Friday, October 18, 2013

Last of the Paris Photos

I'm rubbish. I've been neglecting this blog for too long - caught in a rut. Hopefully, I've climbed out and am trying to book some new travel.

The last of my photos from my lovely weekend in Paris. I wandered around Notre Dame for awhile and probably took a few too many photos. 

Look! I'm actually in a photo for a change. Look kids, Notre Dame (again).

A bit of scale. The people look a bit teeny tiny, don't they? Where's Quasimodo?

Is Notre Dame really 850 years old? Wow.

Had to take a picture of a tree lined boulevard. Love 'em.

Of course, I got distracted by a woman throwing a ball in the Seine for her dog.

I liked the view from Holly's apartment. Holly likes it too. But she doesn't like the motorcycles. Sound echos......

Next time, I'm thinking I should cycle there and back. Discuss.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Love Bridge

Paris is known as the City of Lights, although it is often referred to as the City of Love. And for those in love, there is an interesting tradition in Paris.

From afar, this bridge appears to have gold railings/iron work.

But upon closer inspection, it actually is filled with hundreds of locks.

The custom is to write the names of you and your loved one on the lock, lock it to the bridge and then throw away the key into the Seine. Thereby declaring that your hearts are forever locked together in love. Aw... sigh.

Holly and I decided it would make a good photo op although I am so pale that I appear a bit reflective.
But the real question is.....

Are you cheating when you use a combination lock? That's not very committed now, is it?!?!?!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Four Wheels on the Water

In Windsor and along the London canals, there are lots of houseboats. Some people plant gardens o the top of their houseboat, or travel with pets and bicycles.

I have to admit, this is the first time I've ever seen someone travel with their car on the boat.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Parisien specialties

What I found quite interesting is there are tons of specialists stores in Paris. I got distracted and didn't take pictures of all of them, but somehow in addition to the ones below, I also walked by a candle maker, a sock maker, a paper maker, fake flower maker and a million chocolatiers. That might have been why I was distracted!

You don't have to speak French to understand what their speciality is. Artisan Beers!

Thought this shop looked interesting. This person is master of the biscuit. Butter cookies only!

The view from outside. I was afraid that I might eat them all if I went in. A giant Nilla Wafers store.... mmmmmmmm....


This person is a master soap maker. Who knew that you didn't just go to the drug store to buy your soap? I highly recommend wandering in the 7th arrondismont (neighbordhood). Lots of good finds!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Temporarily Do Not Enter?

Saw this Do Not Enter sign in Paris.

Thought it was hilarious. Does it mean that someone is trying to make it accessible??

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Three Days, Two Museums, Not Bad

I was only in Paris for three days but managed to see two great museums. First up was a nice evening trip to the Louvre. They are open late on Fridays so I had a 'date' with Holly for a quick stroll through parts of this mammoth museum.

When I first came to Paris over 20 years ago, my friends and I got in trouble for walking in the fountain. Apparently we were early pioneers. It was HOT while I was there so most people took advantage and decided to cool off a bit in the water.

However, please don't walk in the fountain. Well, please don't walk in the fountain if you are wearing a business suit. All other forms of dress must be okay.

Inside the Louvre, I actually took more photos of the building/museum itself than I did of some of the artwork. Holly was an excellent tour guide and although we might have been in there for less than two hours, we say some amazing stuff. I think we almost ticked off the top 10 'pieces to see' while there. I was just fascinated by how enormous and beautiful the museum was. Gorgeous columns and marble everywhere. I highly recommend it.

Holly takes a break. Some seriously beautiful work in here including this must see of Psyche Revived By the Kiss of Love.

Outside the Louvre, I actually found this statue a bit unnerving. Too much like the Lord of the Rings and a bit real. Shudder.

With the visit to the Louvre done on Friday, it was then off to a Saturday afternoon at the Musee d'Orsay. Funny, I also didn't pull my camera out much here as this place was mega full of statues as well as Monet, Renoir and Van Gogh works. I was even surprised to see Whistler's Mother on display. Some really cool stuff. I also have to admit, I was quite proud of this photo. The Musee D'Orsay is housed in an old train station. Super cool.

Outside on the roof, a view across the Seine and more giant statues. I really think all new builds should include a nice, imposing statue. Or I wonder if Ghost Busters put builders off of doing this incase the statues come to life?

Bobby and Holly were my museum mates for the day. Enjoying the roof!

I like the fact that we could be right behind the old clock. I just wish I would have gotten a picture from outside for everyone to see the building.

The view from behind the clock and across the river. Another respectable photo!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Weekend in Paris

Sorry I'm behind, I spent the first weekend in August in Paris and have tons of lovely photos to share. Just been lazy about getting them together!

It was a surprisingly easy trip. I went to work with my suitcase and then left about 4:30pm for the 10 minute walk to the train station.

Then the magical doors opened and I headed up to the boarding platform. I found this very interesting as I've never gone UP to catch a train before, always down.

I wasn't the only person being whisked away to Paris for the weekend. I forgot the summer tourist season was in full flow.

But, it was super quick and within 15 minutes, we all scurried on the train and found our seats.

I then woke up here! Almost literally. I fell asleep about 15 minutes after the train departed, I slept through the entire time under the Channel, and then woke up at about 8:30pm in sunny Paris. The trip really isn't that long but the time change and my eagerness to get out of work had me with a three hour round trip.

I couldn't resist some evening wandering and a few photos of statues and fountains (more to come).

Did I mention I went to visit my friend Holly? She recently moved from New York to Paris. Am excited to have her only a timezone away now. This restaurant was by her house.

I just wondered if this restaurant has a different translation in French than it does in English?

I thought one might appreciate the different types of roads and buildings in Holly's neighborhood. Definitely not a new build planned community.

I also thought this was great. How often do you see a man smoking and carrying a boat?

Oh yeah, this is why. You need to go out and sail your boat in the fountain. I really thought I was in a Renoir painting for a while.

It was a great weekend - and I've got some lovely photos to share. It's amazing how you can be relaxed about going to Paris when you realize how easy it is. There's no rush to try and squeeze everything in and you just make plans to come back. Easy peasy.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Tucker's New Favorite Pub

Since the weather has been so lovely, I finally got around to visiting a much talked about pub called The Bounty. It's a bit secret as it is only accessible by foot, boat or bike. It's right on the river and there is no car access so it's a fun walk from the nearest car park (it might be a mile? ) along the river. With the weather as lovely as it was, I took the opportunity to take Tucker up to meet my friend Katy. 

Katy (and friends Chris and Gervase) kept telling me how dog friendly it was. I assumed as most pubs in Windsor are dog friendly, that it meant dogs were allowed. Oh no. They take it too a new level here. Just the welcome sign alone means they expect more than just dogs. They even allow children!

We were lucky enough to get seats right on the water. I'm afraid the picture does not do this place justice as there were easily at least 20 dogs wandering about. Some on leads, some just saying hello and some taking a snooze as it seems their owners may have been here for awhile.

I went in search of food and came across the vegetarian menu.. and at the bottom......

The doggie menu!! Too bad Tucker already had dinner or the Mixed Sausages and Burgers would have been his for the taking. He's begging to go back though - I think this could be his new favorite pub.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Taco Truck

I work near an area that is under going some major construction. Some one had a brilliant idea to make the area a little less desolate by inviting food trucks to set up shop each day. Five differnet trucks are invited and scores of people head out to watch the construction progress and have lunch.

I finally went when I saw that a proper taco truck was on the menu for the day. Fish tacos!!! When I got there, it seems that everyone else is missing the taco truck experience too. Look at this queue! (Line to my American readers) In the end, I settled for a burrito and it wasn't bad. I think there might be a business opportunity here.....

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Birthday Presents

So I couldn't just talk about my birthday without sharing some of the other fun. I got some fun food from my family (yes, I still miss a few of my old favorites but after 5 years am really adjusting to the cuisine here), several bottles of bubbly and some other very thoughtful books, gifts, and jewelry from friends. My two 'big' gifts get photos though.

Since on average I ride a bicycle 6 days a week, I figured that I need to be comfortable, right? So - a new commuter bike was decided up on as a birthday gift to myself (it was either this or the Garmin so what can you do?) and this flash machine arrived. It's a bit posh for me and I'm trying to find some cool places to ride it, but I'm still in love with it and oh so happy to be riding it in this great weather.

My other big prezzie was a trip to Wimbledon. I had a fantastic day out - I saw Boris Becker for the second year in a row - and some great tennis. Too bad my 'Go USA' vibe didn't help Serena win this match.

Also on Centre Court. Cool! Cool! Cool!

And just to gloat a bit, a photo of drinking some bubbles on the lawn while watching tennis in the sun. Who says it isn't any fun to turn 40?!!?!? (PS: Riding single speed bicycles is really fun)