Thursday, May 29, 2008

Home at last! Or are we?

Finally got it together to do this. Been a little weird the last few days. Just finished watching the 2 hour season finale of Lost. I think we need to go the island....or Paris......or..

Moscow seemed a little depressing at first although not nearly as much as Detroit! Getting used to it now and I feel like I belong where I am. Just had a nice dream...over now.

Really makes a difference to have family to embrace us. Everyone has been so wonderful.

Packing. It finally took both of us jumping on it. And I thought we would have plenty of room for souvenirs after we got rid of Bekah's peanut butter and paper plates!

Chris does stretches in the lobby while waiting for our ride. Gotta be in real good shape to be a world traveler.

I'm a little more relaxed and reflective about it all. Trying to figure out how we can possibly stay forever. Also dreading Charles de Gaulle airport after reading all of the travelers comments about the place.

And the waters part for her.

Our frantic but capable driver. Made it safely and on time. somehow. I suspect he was actually an alien from another planet. His ear was sure a funny shape.

Nice couple from Australia on their honeymoon. They were facing two back to back 12 hour plane rides to get home! Ah, youth.

As we near the airport, I can't resist shooting some of the things that catch my eye. I always seem to be too rushed to think about making photos here. Today will be different.

Chris straightening out some lame baggage clerk.

Interior of the airport! Amazing new efficient comfortable and beautiful place! I am beside myself.

Smug, satisfied travelers on the shuttle train. All dreaming different dreams about where they have been. (or where they are going)

Chris checking her hair in a reflective wall. Looks great, dear.

I think this is how she thought she was looking.

In line with a celebrity! Lady Carla Carter, author and psychic talk show host. presented by Mr. Wonderful Productions. You can see that she just loves the camera!

So much to see, even at the airport. Going on board now and into the strange world of air travel.
From here on, it all goes a little blank. Good thing too.

Out side the Spokane airport in the middle of the night. Everything actually looked this weird. I'm so excited that I can finally record it with the camera. I used to think I was crazy. Now I know that those cosmic rays actually do change the appearance of everything.
Wish I could share this with my old Physics professor.

You all know about this part. Praying......fingers crossed......lucky charms in our pockets. They all came! I'm going to hang that lucky charm from my car mirror.


And don't they all look fabulous? It's because they are! Good to be home........really!

Love to go on and on. You know how I like to gab, but it's pretty late and the week isn't done yet. Looking forward to seeing most of you....oops.. pretty late..

We both were trying to nap today and after about a half hour we both got up and related the same experience. No sleep...just a slide show narrated in French words which had no meaning.


Mark (Chris, of course, is sleeping)

Monday, May 26, 2008

Last day in Paris

Someone had asked for more on what we were eating so I keep trying to give some idea.
This is breakfast. Nothing fancy, just Special K with brown milk. works all morning.
The bread is all important. For dinner we got a baguette that was still hot from the oven. Perfect!

Here is the ugly truth though. Americans are such messy people.

I just never tire of the city views. Light and colors constantly changing. Later this evening we stood on one of the bridges in the late dusk and watched the beacon from the Eiffel tower swing across the whispy clouds hanging over our heads. It was spectacular. Made me think of Charles Lindbergh.
I left the camera at home because some things should not be attempted with photography.
Life has magic of its own. No need to try to make it.

On the Metro for a trip up the hill to Sacre-Coeur. Mostly for the view from on high. But also for the different shopping. Actually, the shopping turned out to be very good. How about that hot scarf? She is enjoying this!

The scary underground.

Le chat!

Cute little Merry-go-round on the way up the hill.

There it is. History of the place is a little weird but we are here for the view. Unfortunately, I decided not to haul my heavy long lens so the view was wasted. Oh, well, there's always more shopping!

This guy is some kind of famous soccer star who is now reduced to doing incredible tricks with the ball outside tourist attractions. A little cut in pay I bet! Amazing, though.

Nice view from the refreshment wagon.

I think i have finally found the Crypte things that Francis is always talking about. I'm going to follow the signs and try one!

We come to a whole square of artists (?) offering to make us look even more ridiculous than we do already! We tourists are pretty gullible. Still hoping to see a real live pickpocket. I guess the real ones could never be seen.

We finally find a lady who has made some very nice little watercolors. Colorful, abstract, very meaningful. I am moved to tears. We exchange email addresses. Life is wonderful.

Finally we get back down the hill a little and discover.... scooters in love!

Other end of the two-wheeled scale. Chris is uninterested in either. I don't like them so much myself but they all can make fun pictures. This one is decidedly untypical, even at home!

Look at the way the scooter color matches the color of the building where the owner works! This is on purpose, surely.

Finally, I must include this nice Ducati Monster. I am convinced that my next bike purchase should be a Ducati. Need some Italian passion in my life! Maybe we should start planning the next vacation trip.

This evening, we decided to make another meal in the apartment. No eating out in the expensive and unpredictable fancy restaurants. I know we will really get a lot of criticism when we return but who's trip is this anyway? Besides, the ingredients we get at the local markets and bakeries is so good, who needs to spoil it?

And after, some nice pastries to celebrate. Just right.
Chris promises to publish her special secret recipe for "canned baby die for!" Stay tuned.
I'm sure everyone will think we are spending too much time in the typical tourist haunts but I can testify that they are popular for some very good reasons! I especially liked the oldest coffee house in the world! And even though this city no doubt has much much more to offer, we are both so satisfied and happy with what we have experienced that nothing else matters.
As they all say, we just have to come back again!
I am really missing the little girls now (and my guitar) so it is really good that we leave in the morning. Loved hearing your comments. What a crazy world we are living in.
See you soon,
Mark and Chris
PS: Haven't had so much fun making photographs for a long time!


Discovered this one among the Louvre photos. Just had to include it somehow.

Musee d'Orsay.........oh, no. Another museum!

Yea, but.......this one is popular. Mostly Impressionist sculpture and paintings. Moved from the Louvre and placed into this old train station. Good idea.

Out on the street first. A few dogs in this part of Paris. Mostly extremely well groomed and behaved. Abundance of Jack Russell Terriers, but also bulldogs, whippets, golden retreivers, and little dogs. Poodles? none!

Here it is, just down the street.

Homage to Hubert Humphrey. They really follow our political scene. I think they feel responsible for our democratic direction. I thought it was our idea.

This is the old clock. Chris has nothing to add.

People receiving a talk from the guide about this bronze statue. I missed what he said.
Chris says: "This is getting boring".
I know she will scrutinize this for grammatical errors so I must be very very careful.

Water skiers? Ice skaters? Modern dancers? Impressions of same?

I started out trying to shoot some of the famous paintings but then I realized it was stupid. We were there to SEE them! After that, it was much better for all of us.
Really, really wonderful to be up close and personal with Van Goghs and Monets.

I thought this little family was so charming. These people populate a wing of my dream world which I have never visited. I will have to stop by for coffee one day. See how the baby is doing.

This fellow seems to have some special insight into these strange busts. Maybe he is related.

Either suffering from musee overload or the intense pressure (weight).
I can relate.

Evidently, this is how the domestic, home spinning wife of the day really looked. Chris says: "we hope she is making herself a shirt".

Part of a very interesting demonstration on how marble sculpture is done. If I can just find something inside our rolling pin..... trying to get out!

Art Nouveau china hutch. Notice the latch in the shape of a small mouse. Lesson in Zoology.

View from up high at the far end. Sculpture in the middle, paintings etc along the sides.

Sleepier and sleepier..........I'm sure that's how you're feeling by now. Just like us. Fabulous gallery. Schedule a whole day if you are into it.

We took the side trip to the little known Musee d' Roumkie. Museum pass was useless here.
Such snobs!