Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Images from my 3+ hour walk today.

The Jardin des Plantes in the 5eme arrondissement.

Signs, signs, everywhere are signs....

Public Art

Windows and reflections from today's walk.


Friday, August 15, 2008

From a walk today...even the graffiti in Paris is elegant!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A Cold Drink of Water in a Dry Land
On Sunday we had a refreshing visit from new friends Shelley, Doug and Michon Pagitt. Well, it was refreshing for us, somewhat exhausting for them as they had just arrived from the US and were seriously sleep deprived. So of course we proceeded to take them on an hours-long walking tour of Paris!--"you WILL stay awake and talk to us, you will, you will!" Their time in Paris was just 24 hours so the best had to be made of it. On our way to Notre Dame we stopped at St. Sulpice. After Notre Dame a rest and a cafe' avec du lait were in order. It was timed rather perfectly as a rain shower occurred while we were sitting having our coffee. Next up was the Louvre to catch a glimpse of the Mona Lisa. We all agree she is a bit underwhelming, particularly in juxtaposition to the mural opposite her which has to be 200 times (?) as big as she is, and therefore much more intricate (and interesting). Everyone was ready for some fuel after the Louvre so we schlepped into a bistro near Pt. Royal and had a tasty meal. The plan was to catch the RER train or the Metro to the Tour Eiffel, but WHAT?--the RER station was shut tight, and backtracking to find the Metro station was vetoed, MUCH to Michon's chagrin. Poor thing was SO exhausted. She may never forgive us for walking her the entire way! Eventually we arrived at the Eiffel, and thankfully she rarely disappoints. We caught the Metro back to our neighborhood where the Pagitt's finally felt they could fall into bed, with Craig and me not far behind. Next morning it was up early and off to the train station so they could catch a cab to the airport for their flight to Nice. We didn't really know them before this day, but thoroughly enjoyed their company and now consider them friends.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

This Little Twiggy Went to Market

Les Puces

Yesterday we ventured to the Les Puces (the fleas) Market in the 18th arrondissment. I'm quite certain we saw but a tiny fraction of it, and will likely return for additional exploration...and save up our euros in the meantime as nothing is cheap.

Well, yes, it certainly beats leaves & twigs.
Chinny Chin Chin

Should any of you out there ever spy stray hairs or WHISKERS on my chin or general facial area, you may be assured that I have not noticed them. Ella-Mae and I will each consider it a personal favor to have them gently pointed out. I can not do much about the droops and lines, but I do have a mean pair of tweezers and as long as I have glasses and a magnifying mirror, I know how to use them! Before any of you gents start thinking you are escaping the bodily evidence of time passing, check for bushes coming out of your ears.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

This is a wonderful invention!

This is not.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

(Since writing this I have adjusted to Paris time, though still am amazed it is only just beginning to lose daylight at 10pm.)


Wide awake again at 2-something a.m. Tonight I tried going without sleeping medication as the half-dose I took in the middle of the night last night encouraged me to slumber until after 12 noon! No wonder I am not tired now, you say! That and the fact my body still believes it to be in California where it is late afternoon. Which makes me wonder why they don’t have Judge Judy dubbed in French here……? If they do such heights of creativity as that supposed-reality-in-Laguna-Beach “The Hills” and “Family Guy” why why POURQUOI is there no “Judge Judy” here?

Lying in bed awake a bit ago I was SO THANKFUL to hear the high whine of a mosquito. Have I lost my mind? Not quite. Tonight is the fifth night in our apartment and on or about the third day I noticed bug bites on my legs and even one on my face. I became a bit creeped out as we are sleeping, eating, sitting, even drying off with things which are rented. Immediately I recalled the episode of Judge Judy where the family bought a NEW mattress, slept on it, got bitten all over and found it infested with BED BUGS!!---and we are sleeping eating sitting etc. on RENTAL furniture!

And so tonight may possibly be the first time I have ever found the sound of a mosquito whining in my ear to be a good thing.

Things I have yet to appreciate or be thankful for:
*stepping in dog poo
*dark hairs growing out of my chin
*the price of gas, and the fact we’re growing corn for fuel while much of Africa starves
*losing my mom

Should my jet lag continue I will be adding to this list, one of which will be “sleepless nights.”
*This now seems hopelessly out of date, but that's what happens when one has only
brief connections with the internet in the space of 2 weeks.

Fab and Slab

Yesterday afternoon we arrived at our apartment in Paris, and it is even more FAB than I remembered. The journey was long, starting with a 3+ hour delay leaving SFO. We arrived in Francfort just in time to scramble the mile and a half (not really an exaggeration, I don’t think) with our ridiculously heavy carry-ons plus Twig to the gate where our connecting flight to Paris had just left. Tired, frustrated, out of breath and sweating profusely we glowered our way back toward where we started in order to re-book a flight to Paris. Passing the Luftansa biz class lounge Craig thought perhaps someone there would be able to help us, and while he asked I entered the lounge and nabbed us a liter bottle of water. The receptionist click-click-clicked on her computer and said “There’s a flight leaving in 20 minutes from A 10. I’ll call ahead.” Off we ran back the way we’d come, and Yes! they had space for us.

Unfortunately our bags did not make that last leg of the journey. We were told they would be delivered to us last night, but “non.” Just now got a call they will be delivered late this afternoon! Thankfully the furniture rental package included a washer and dryer, so we ran our sweaty things from yesterday through a wash and dry, and had clean clothes to put on this morning. I used a large kitchen fork (yes, really) to comb my hair after my shower, but at least I have clean panties to wear!

Adjusting to urban life will be just that, an adjustment, but all three of us are giving it a go. Last night around 10:30 Twig needed to go outside, having not done so since leaving home in Oakland. On went the shoes, socks, jacket, and down to the street we went. Like a trooper he peed in the small square of dirt around a tree right on the busy street. We proceeded on our way and moments later I glanced back and he was pooing directly in front of a restaurant door with one of the workers standing in the open doorway! Thankfully the worker was pleasant (or perhaps he was cursing us while smiling & laughing??) and I immediately scooped up the droppings in a plastic bag and felt as proud of Twig as I would a 2 year old going on the toilet for the first time.

One of the other things we will be adjusting to is the amount of street noise. It is not terribly intrusive if all the windows are closed but yesterday was warm and keeping them closed made it much too hot to sleep. We are sure to find some balance but for now we hear every car, bus, horn, scooter, motorcycle, siren and drunken person calling to their friends. For those of you who may visit one day, be warned and bring ear plugs. Also, pack a toothbrush in your carry on so as not to have to share with your travel partner should your luggage have the same fate as ours!

I have just reached that time of the day when my body says “Why are we awake?—it is 3:30 in the morning where we come from!” Being this tired may even make lying down on that slab the rental furniture company calls a mattress seem appealing. Just a wee little rest, we think………bon nuit!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Wedding gift for Amanda & Derek.
~acrylic paint, spray paint, decoupage on plywood~