Saturday, August 1, 2015

Two Weeks Ago....and an Anniversary of Sorts

Oh my, it was a 2 weeks ago today that I landed back in the USA from my extraordinary trip to Paris. And yes, I am still going thru my boatload of pictures and weeding thru and weeding out. If I have one, I have a five hundred and one pictures of the buildings in Paris. I was so fascinated by the architecture, with the brilliance of the stone masons of long ago.  And the doors and the street lamps, (obviously I have this obsession with street lamps) so much to admire.



A few of the doors of Paris.....


Most of them were brightly colored and large, really large. I would imagine they are scaled large due to the massiveness of the buildings that they provide entry to. We never went to a neighborhood in Paris, individual homes, so not sure if that color and massiveness carries out into the other parts of Paris.  We did ride the train to Disney France, about a 40 minute ride and all I saw thru the windows were apartments, no neighborhoods like I see on my train trips to downtown Chicago.  A world apart.

Ask me what I have done this last week of July.....nothing, absolutely nothing. It has been hot which the swim pool owners are thrilled with, my yard and garden, not so much. I have had to actually water the grass for the first time this summer....gasp!!  All that complaining and bitching about the rain, now we need it....figures.



The daylilies did exceptionally well this year, probably due to the enormous amount of rain we had in the spring and early summer.  Eventho they will bloom without much moisture, they certainly thrived with the addition of more water.


As the summer begins to wind down, the kids will be back in school in a couple of weeks, I am spending as much time as possible on the back porch. Even with the heat it is pleasant with the breezes and the overhead fan if needed.

I have finished reading "Longbourne".  You will love it if you are a fan of "Pride & Prejudice" and Jane Austin. The language is beautiful, the descriptions are like poetry. I will admit that it is not a page turner in the sense of "Girl on the Train" but a pure joy to read. And speaking of old English, anybody watching "Poldark" on PBS?  Oh yum....another Masterpiece gem.

It was 4 years ago today, Aug 1st that I placed my sweetie in a care facility, one of my life's most difficult decisions.  I don't regret that decision, nor have I ever second guessed my decision, what I do regret is not being able to share trips like to Paris with him. That was the plan we had but life took a different path.  I am forever grateful and blessed to the caregivers that are with him each day so that I can continue to enjoy life, feeling guilty at times, but I know he would want me to carry on. I did shed a few tears while in Paris, knowing how much he would have enjoyed the beauty.

Going now, either to sit on the porch or go thru more pictures. Porch sounds good....

The answers you seek never come when the mind is busy, they come when the mind is still, when silence speaks loudest." -- Leon Brown 

Until next time.....



Thursday, July 30, 2015

And Yes, Paris Has Cats Too....

I am still culling thru all the photos I took while in Paris. Every trip I have been on in the past 2-3 years I have brought my laptop along and downloaded my images each day. This time the laptop never came out of it's case. It's not that I didn't want to see the pics, I was just so tired by the time I would return to the hotel that all I could do was take a shower and go to bed. And speaking of the hotel, I never took one shot of where we stayed. Believe it or not, one of my Arizona girlfriends recently took a wonderful trip to London and Paris and I stayed at the same hotel as she had earlier. She took lots of shots of the hotel, none for me. It was quite lovely. Very nice and super spacious as compared to other accommodations I hear. It is a toss-up whether I liked the shower or the buffet breakfast served every morning the best. And what a breakfast....all I am going to say is chocolate croissants every single day I was there.  And it was right in the center of Paris...about 3 blocks give or take from Notre Dame.

I added a texture to this iconic symbol of Paris

The first day we arrived we met up with our travel guide who was Italian but spoke fluent French, thank God.  She had arranged every detail of our trip....dinners at a different restaurant each night, Metro tickets, tickets to the Eiffel Tower, tickets to the Opera House, tickets to Disneyland France, tours of Notre Dame and the Louvre. She was amazing and a total delight. The morning we arrived in Paris at 6:15 AM Paris time our guide had scheduled a large and comfortable bus to pick us and all of our luggage up at the airport to take us on a 3 hour bus tour of the city, catching the highlights of the week to come. Although a bit sleep deprived (not a wink) we were all so eager to see the sights and experience the beauty of Paris no one was complaining. It was early Sunday morning so not alot of traffic or people, a perfect time to stroll the streets.  No strolling, just rolling. We did stop at the Eiffel Tower and a couple of other places but many of my shots were from the window of the bus. I was pleasantly surprised to have captured some great shots from that bus window.

Seen from a bus window.....



Shiny, shiny gold seems to be rather popular in Paris architecture...especially on the Paris Opera House, perhaps one of the most famous opera houses in Europe. They continue to have productions in this lavish hall, but it's most famous for the book written in 1910 "Phantom of the Opera" by Gaston Laroux followed by the musical, "Phantom of the Opera" by Andrew Lloyd Webber in 1986





And then I continue my fascination with lamp posts.....


Even early on a Sunday morning, a crowd was already gathered at the Louvre.


And just how many shots am I going to take of the Eiffel Tower??.....as many as I want to.  Among all of the beauty and sites that I was so blessed to see, I truly think that the first sighting of the Eiffel Tower had to be my most heart fluttering moment.  It is just so iconic and to see it up close and personal was spectacular.


And here is one more of the family standing in front or back or side, of it.  Really not sure what is considered the front, side or back.  She is terrific at any angle.


And yes, Paris has cats too.  We could usually spot them around the bistros, hoping for a hand-out from a patron.  Not a bad gig....


OK, 2nd installment of the many, many images still yet to come.

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.”  ~  Augustine of Hippo

Until next time.....

Monday, July 27, 2015

Yes, They Have French Poodles in France.....


Here I am again, late as usual, but with somewhat of an excuse.....Paris.  Oh what a trip. If you have never been, I encourage you to go. It is absolutely one of the most beautiful cities I have ever been in, granted I haven't done a lot of European travel, but trust me on this one. When you stand in front of Notre Dame, walk across the River Seine, stroll through those lovely Paris streets, climb up to the tallest spot on the Eiffel Tower, you will know exactly what I mean.

One of many views from the Eiffel Tower....




There were so many places I wanted to go, so many photos to take, but our schedule was so packed with tours, walking, Metro travel, train travel, Disney, that I just couldn't fit in all that I really wanted to do. The one day that I had free, Thursday, was beastly hot and by the time Thursday rolled around my hips, legs, and calves were screaming.  So my walk to the to the Luxembourg Gardens took longer than expected.  Walk a few, stop, walk a few, stop etc. I finally reached the gardens but as I sat and people watched, I thought, "I have to walk back!!"  Darn, I wished I had listened to myself as I kept telling myself to get up and start some serious walking. Next time.


I can't even begin to tell you how awe-struck I was with the architecture. Between the museums, churches, public buildings, bridges, apartments, fountains, and statues I was in eye-candy architectural heaven.



This was right around the corner from our hotel. When the weather began to warm up the plaza began to fill up with people in the evenings. From what I understand, there is no air conditioning in most of the apartments in Paris.  In order to get a little relief Parisiennes flock to the parks and plaza.  This is where I found him....  PS Hop on over to my other collaborative blog, Focusing on Life to see more pics of the people of Paris.






On my walk and stop trip I strolled by the Paris Sorbonne University.


Lamp posts were always catching my eye.  So unlike what we have on our street corner.


And then ofcourse there were the bistros. At least 2 on every block....




And yes, they have French Poodles in France.....


This is just the beginning of many, many images from Paris. See ya soon.  Au revoir!!

Until next time.....