Sunday, June 19, 2011

J'aime Paris

Otto very successfully completed 5th grade at the international school and he is safely tucked back in Portland with his dad for the summer. on the way there, we went to Paris for the weekend and then i stayed an extra couple of days so i could really do some sight seeing. Otto was a real trooper and actually liked Paris. we did a river boat tour on the Seine, and open bus tour of 2/3's of the city, checked out their aquarium (which was quite nice), ate lots of GOOD food and sat in the outdoor cafe's to relax and watch people.

I will let the pictures tell the story of our wonderful trip.  Paris is my new favorite place...but it was so expensive, dont know how the Parisiens can afford to live there.
Our first morning. bright and early after a red-eye flight in front of Notre Dame

Otto was in sugar heaven. lots of good food to eat in Paris!!

One of the many beautiful, old bridges on our Seine river cruise.

Wouldn't be a blog entry about Paris without this photo. More impressive than I imagined.

Proof that I was there (guess it could be a green screen).

The Sacre Coeur. One of the best things about our visit here was all the street performances and the farmers market down a side street where we got fresh strawberries and whip cream. mmmmm!!

The courtyard of Hotel Dieu - the oldest (18th century i think) hospital in Paris. It is still a functioning hospital. I got in trouble for taking this photo, but i was drawn to it and really wanted something to remember it by (and of course you cannot get a tour of a functioning hospital...)

I went to very few museums, but this is the Rodin Garden which was lovely and peaceful to wander around and look at all the amazing statues (including the Thinker).

Rodin Garden, with the burial site of Napoleon in the back ground (Hotel des Invalides)

The Defense Arch. this was a true surprise and a treat. I went to the Arc de Triomphe as all good tourists do and looking in either the West is this newer arch prominent and beautiful in the distance. Forget the touristy arch, i hopped on the metro and took it to the end which landed me here. it was spectacular.

One of the many things i came to love about Paris - their love of lounging. This is in Luxemborg Garden where there are chairs all over the place so you can sit and enjoy the beautiful surroundings - statues, landscaping, people, kids sailing toy boats in the fountain.

View from our hotel room...can you spot the Starbucks?
Had to visit one church. this is St Chapelle, which is wall to wall stained glass. I think this place is from the 15th or 16th century. the panels tell the story of the bible. I love all this old, ornate architecture. I felt like i was living my university art history class. Picture of course doesnt even come close to representing the space.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

picture as proof

and here it is...

Can you believe it?!? i love my car, more than i ever thought i could love something inanimate. i feel like a new person. i think i even like it here now. i have had my car for almost 3 weeks and i cant tell you the difference it has made for my mood/morale. i feel like an adult again.

That lovely dog you ask... he is soon to be ours - Jackson. and this time it is a good pick. he is 7 years old and has lived with one family (who have young kids) since he was a pup. they are leaving post and cannot take him so we get to keep him.  he is the sweetest, best dog ever. Otto and he bonded almost immediately. He sleeps in Otto's room every night.
I have been much busier running around and catching up for lost time now that i have my car.  Otto finished his school year and we were getting everything in order to ship him home for the summer with his dad - via Paris.  havent had much time to write.

my internet was also down for almost a week because of one of the big storms we had here. The storms here are great, the lightning so close it seems it will touch you if you are not careful.  the wind can get very gusty - i was riding my bike home week before last when a storm rolled in, and i could hardly stay upright on my bike (i passed a lady on a scooter who had fallen over).

I was in Paris this past weekend for about 4 full days (2 of which Otto was with me). more about that in the next entry.