IntrepidWoman's Journey

Posts Tagged ‘travel

Time marches on, with or without my approval. Ten days have gone by since my return from Agde and it seems more like a month. The good news, to me, is that I am a different person since returning and that has not gone away. The travel experience did change me and in my humble opinion, for the better.

Strangely, I feel less materialistic now. “Things” do not seem so important. I want to simplify even more than I did when I moved here last year. I feel surrounded by clutter and it uses up oxygen. I need a simpler, brighter space that includes an area to create.

It is hard to give notice to my landlords though. It will be difficult for them to find a new renter with the place currently for sale. They are a nice young couple and it is quiet out here on the ranch, but being in a basement without a lot of direct light is not working for me anymore. I liked it originally when I wanted/needed a safe haven to come home to, but now I want sunshine and large windows and fresh air.

My main dilemma is that nothing is happening with my church in the Pass. Real estate has come to a standstill there. I am looking at another winter of owning the building there and renting here.  I guess I will have to make it my winter project to paint some rooms there and work on the basement to improve the building.  It would be more preferable to get it sold and find a light, bright place to live in here, but I have no control over the when of this.

Ah, but there is a reason for everything and there is right timing for all things. One of my best lessons in life has been one of patience because it is all in the timing. The right people will come along to buy my building when my next place becomes available, and moving will be another tiring but exciting adventure. In the meantime, I will enjoy my trips to the Pass, my little getaway where I can soak up the sun, summer and winter, play my music at rock concert level and enjoy the always fresh mountain air. My art supplies are organized in a large tackle box to go back and forth when I have my days off to go there to play.

I received a ‘proof’ of the Okotoks fall community guide today and found several classes to sign up for, including learning French!

I also have an idea for a book using my door photos and I want to start creating some Christmas gifts. Life is good and my creative side is ready to play on a regular basis. I did not check work emails after hours even once during the last ten days and that felt so good! I work hard when at work, but work on not thinking about my job once I am on “Jan time” after 5. Each day it gets easier to do this.

In a few hours it will be my birthday, again.  They seem to be getting closer together! This year I am marking the day with an appointment at the Foothills Hospital in the morning to deal with the lumpies in my thyroid. I have requested hotdogs on the grill for supper at Carmen and Jim’s, and Michael is picking out a cake for me. Last year it was cupcakes shaped like a very green dinosaur and it was delightful. He was so excited to show it to me, so I cannot wait to share his and Laura’s enthusiasm when I arrive tomorrow evening.

I need to think of something to do in the afternoon – maybe the zoo or Heritage Park or . . .

I will give it some thought tomorrow when I get up. I had better get to bed now as I am going to be a whole year older in 15 minutes, which means I definitely need my beauty sleep tonight. In my dreams . . .


In twelve hours I will get ready for my first day back at work. My down time in the Pass has been peaceful and restful, but is now over. Tomorrow is Day One of my new Life Challenge – Keeping My Authentic Self.

I have been drawing and listening to music and looking at my France photos this afternoon. “Here’s to you Mrs. Robinson” just started playing on the stereo – a glass of French wine to toast that, please!

Highlights of France for me:

* Eiffel Tower – a splendid monument to man’s creativity; it stands proudly above all others in the city of Paris.

* Musée d’Orsay  – where I bowed to the dancers of Degas. His work humbled me and quieted my spirit while it caused my heart to race. My best meal in France was in the restaurant at this museum with Lyndsey.

*Agde – a historical city of charm and gypsies and doors; a city of cafes, plays, music, art and markets.

* Three weeks with David, Lyndsey and wee Jack – irreplaceable and forever in my heart!

We choose our lives, but sometimes we lose perspective along the way when it becomes too busy with responsibilities and duties and “have to’s”. As the days rush by and turn into months, then years, it can all get away from us. How do we change this? How do we yell “Stop the world, I want to get off!” when we have created such an interwoven web?

I just did stop my world for three glorious weeks, and now that I have returned, I can see how easy it is to fall back into the whirling dervish I have created for myself. I need to work because I require a roof over my head, gas for my car and shoes for my feet. What I don’t need is to be caught up so much in my work that it becomes my life. Before my trip to France, I ate, slept and talked about my job 20 hours a day. I made excuses for not seeing friends and not taking time to read a book or just sit and breath in and out. I lost myself. This has been my pattern for a long time, rushing through life at break-neck speed, trying not to feel my inner emotions and ignoring my body’s desire for relaxation and down time. I would snatch a day, here or there, but always with guilt in my mind that there must be something I should be doing related to my job or other responsibilities.

I do love my job. It is a wonderous thing to be able to say that I get paid to do something that is fun and creative and connected to kids, art and history. Of all my careers through my life, and I have had many, working for the past 44 years, teaching and what I am doing now are the two most rewarding jobs I have ever had. I want to continue, but I want to have balance. Achieving that will be my great challenge and it must be tackled starting the day after tomorrow.

On Tuesday, I will return to a hundred emails, several programs have to be created, advertised and finalized as quickly as possible, a publication needs completion, and I will  find out what I have missed in the 3 weeks I was away. The difference from before my trip – I want to stop working at 5 o’clock on Tuesday and every day thereafter. I want to put all my thoughts and energies towards my wee grandchildren who I have not seen for nearly a month, get an outfit and a gift for a wedding next weekend and call several people to set up dinners and visits with over the next couple of weeks. I want to start a series of paintings based on the Doors of Agde. I want to walk everyday. How do I do all this when I work 9 to 5, five days a week?

One way is to remember Paris and Agde. When life starts to drown me I will look at my photos and take myself back to those magical places. Now that I have found my authentic self again, I do not want to lose me. The child in me who delights in taking photos of French doors, moving a fine tip pen over the surface of quality drawing paper and putting my feelings into words through the keyboard does not want to get lost again.

I want to have honest conversations with those I care about and really listen to what they are saying. I want to laugh a lot and hug a lot. I want to be that girl on the swing in the back yard in Marda Loop in Calgary who talked to God and felt her spirit rise above her and look down at herself and her world one afternoon. At this moment I can smell the apple blossoms on the big tree near the back door and feel the warm air on my legs and face as I swing higher and higher. There is no pressure. There is no guilt. There is no regret. There is just a young girl living in the pureness of the moment.

As an adult, I have felt that same pureness of the moment when involved in the creation of  a painting or working with clay, mache or stained glass. The right brain world where your creative centre lives, does not judge or over analyze or stress or think too much. It feels and explores, and when in that place, time is forgotten.

That will be my next trip. I am choosing to travel into that place where colors and textures and shapes work together to soothe the soul.

But right now, at this moment, I need a nap. It is all about priorities.

I am home. Laundry is done, unpacking is mostly done (throwing away BIG suitcase, will never travel like that again). I have had 8 hours sleep, my French coffee, two ibuprofen, and cut my hair very short. All this since arriving near midnight last night!

It is nice to have a dryer again for my clothes, feel the chill of Alberta weather and living in a basement suite, enjoy the quiet of being out-of-town on the ranch, sleeping in my own bed, drinking from my favorite mug, and looking around at my ‘stuff’.

But I miss France – the beauty of the buildings, heat and humidity, exuberant people, sleeping on the roof deck under the stars, the art, music and culture, walking the many narrow streets with camera in one hand and water container in other, eating at the outdoor cafes late in the evening, living and loving with Jack, Lyndsey and David.

It was the perfect holiday. I came home with a calmness in my soul and a determination to make some quality changes in my life. I came home content.

Paula said it exactly right: I found the authentic me again.

Wed. July 28th, 3:06 pm.

We leave at 11 a.m. tomorrow on a high-speed train for Geneva.

Today the temperature is well into the 30s and there is no cool breeze. It is very hot, but we are used to it now. I will never complain when it reaches 28 degrees in Alberta again. That will seem very moderate. Also, it is very humid here and that makes a huge difference. It is like the air kisses your skin and hair. You never feel like it is harsh or dry. It reminds me of Hawaii when I was 28. I stepped off the plane onto the runway and felt like the air was kissing my cheek. That was quite the trip. I went with my mom and two aunts and I was recently divorced. The boys stayed with their dad and my dad paid for me to go to Hawaii.

It was January. I wore a ski jacket to the airport and handed it over before boarding. Getting off the plane in Maui is something I will always remember. It was so hot and humid, a lot like France right now. Funny stories about that little trip – the three ladies shut down every day at noon to watch soap operas in the hotel for a few hours. Imagine being in Hawaii and sitting in a hotel room watching ‘soaps’! I read books in my room instead of going out on my own because I was very timid back then. Also, they would fight over the bill at every meal, to the point of actually tearing it as they pulled it away from each other. When I suggested we just each pay for our own as I found this public display a tad embarrassing, they looked at me in disbelief. Too funny. I can look back now and laugh. I thought they were all very ‘old’ at the time but they were actually right around fifty. I was just very young at 28. Here I am at 61 and I would not dream of watching a ‘soap’ in the middle of the day in Paris. Actually, I would not do it at home either, ha! ha!

The concert last night on the water was awesome. The entertainer was simply named ‘Dave’ and thousands came to hear him. He is well-known in France. There is entertainment here all summer, day and evening, including art, craft and drama programs in the parks for children. I could come here and teach programs as that is what I do in Okotoks  – hmm….

All the entertainment is at no cost to the visitors and is paid for by the town. It is well-organized and we have been most impressed by the smoothness of setting up, taking down, dealing with the crowds, etc.

The last two nights I have slept on the roof deck under the stars. Awesome! Once it gets cool during the night, I burrow a little deeper under the sheet, but love the break from the heat. The best part is waking up early with the sunrise. The sky is so bright blue that it is impossible to sleep. That way I can shower, dress and head out with my camera. What joy in that! I have over 160 photos of doors to bring back. I could never tire of taking photos here.

If my church ever sells and if I ever get to buy another place, I will most certainly decorate it in shabby French Provincial style. I love the tiles and metal work and bright colors, truly an artist’s inspiration.

This is likely my last post from Agde, sigh! It has been an awesome experience here and I have totally loved France. My wish is that I return home and do not go back to being the person I was before I left. My dreams are bigger now and my right brain is ready to get to work. I will have to find another place to live quite soon as I need some studio place. A basement suite is a place to retreat, not a place to create.

Total pictures taken to date – just over 2,000. I have lived in the moment and stopped to take pictures as well, the best of both scenarios.



I know the instant I am back home that this will all seem a dream, as if it never happened. That is always the result of being in another world and then returning to your real one. Ah, but we are all makers of our fate and I hope once home I do not lose the urge to stir mine up a little.

I took my “Doors” album down as I have an art idea for my photos and do not want anyone to borrow my photos on FB. On line it is open to all to help themselves, but I want to keep these.  I can’t wait to work with my photos when I get back home!

I have a friend who has travelled a lot over the last 20 plus years and her family feels she has not secured her future in her senior years. I believe she has. The memories will accompany her wherever she settles at this point in her life and the flavor of her past will remain vibrant. She has achieved the best education there is.

Personally, my four years at university do not compare at all to my 3 weeks in France, 2 weeks in China and 1 week a few years ago in Hong Kong. These trips have been my real education. They have helped me learn about myself and see that the world is not the Crowsnest Pass or Okotoks in Alberta. I feel very blessed to have been given these opportunities and it is because of my 3 sons that I have had this education. Funny, I raised them and stressed the importance of their education in their formative years and they have shown me the value of travel as my education near my senior years. Merci beaucoup Jim, David and Dean.

Sunday, July 25th.
We are into the last time for everything. Today is the last Sunday open market for us. The time has gone by so swiftly. In the beginning, three weeks seemed like forever but now we only have 4 more days left here! It makes me a bit sad; this is a perfect place to spend the entire summer.
The young teacher from Thunder Bay who lives around the corner has bought her place and does just that! What a glorious lifestyle, teach and come here for holidays. She figured it out while she was young, bravo!
Yesterday in Montpellier, I watched a woman sitting next to a bank machine begging. We have seen several woman in Paris and now Montpellier, who sit with heads bowed and a cup beside them. This woman looked tired and would speak to each person as they walked up to the machine. Most would pretend not to see or hear her. One actually replied, “No’.  A man ignored her and as he walked past her upon leaving the machine, another man walked past, said something rude to him and dropped a coin in the woman’s cup.
I had just decided to go buy her a cold drink when a young girl around 7 ran over to her and was complaining about something. She was dressed well in a pink outfit with Crocs on her feet and was angry about something. The woman then moved to a different spot and I noticed that she had a large ring on one finger and had a purse. What a way to make a living.
David said lots of ‘beggars’ arrive on the buses in Lourdes to take advantage of the seniors and the sick who travel there for the holy water. I guess that is why it is better to donate to the food bank or charities where you know your money is needed and used for good.
Montpellier is a tourist’s delight and a place for lots of money. They have a huge, modern mall with over 50 boutiques and many, many streets filled with high-end stores like Cartier’s. I totally window-shopped and found it enjoyable. Later, I went  inside the mall to the central area with padded seats so Jack could play and rest. He ended up falling asleep on the rug next to me.
A lovely French grandmother in a ball cap and I had a conversation with few words, but eternal understanding. She asked if he was 4 and was delighted to tell me when he had gone to sleep. We both sat there across from each other for a long time while he napped, and when she left, she gave me the thumbs up and waved good-bye.
Soothers are very common in France, up to about the age of 4! We see kids plugged in everywhere, on the trains, in strollers and walking along with families! That must be why they are so noisy later, after being plugged in for their first few years!
Today has been a rest day as Jack was out of sorts, so we all took turns wandering the market and the side streets. I decided to do a “doors” project with my camera. There are so many styles and the iron grating patterns are numerous. Some doors are very fancy and refurbished or new, while others remain ancient and worn. I doubt that is an indication of what is inside.
Our house has a very warn, wooden door with an old-fashioned latch and requires a big skeleton key to open it, but the inside has seen major renovations. Photo album coming up soon of FB.
I sat on the roof deck this afternoon, enjoying the blazing blue sky and cool breezes and listening to a family across the way have a very loud, melodic conversation. It is not quiet in the neighbourhood where we live!  Most families have several children, and there is a lot of crying and yelling. They do it all with gusto.
Because houses are attached and share tiny, open areas, they also share cooking fragrances, music, television shows, and conversations!  Most Canadians have no idea how lucky they are to have so much space.
Children here play on their steps or just outside their doorways. Even the laundry is put right outside the doorway on racks to dry. My clothes are going to think they have gone to heaven when they get dried in a dryer next week. I open my walk-in window to find myself at the door under the stone stairs leading to our main entrance. Inside is the washing machine, so that is handy. When a load is finished, I hang everything on hangers or drape items over the day bed in my room.
It sounds rather inconvenient, but works very well actually. Because it is humid here, it does take several hours to dry things unless there is a breeze.
We leave by train for Geneva, Switzerland on Thursday morning, then have a flight on Friday to London, England, then Toronto and finally Calgary, arriving home Friday evening.
It will be a long trip home and we will have gained the 8 hours we lost on arrival in Paris. It will be good to have a long weekend to decompress before going back to real life on Tuesday.
My plan is to head to my church in the Pass for the weekend. I would like to take my jet lag to Allison for a picnic and perhaps do some painting. This time I do not mean walls. Finally, I mean canvases! It has been a long, long time. Coming to France has healed what has ailed my creativity, I think. I also plan to learn French.
I have made a promise to myself that my job is not going to be my life from this point on. It will take up part of my time, but not the most important part. Amen to that!
I want to talk to our landlord about taxes, etc. in Agde. It would not cost a lot to live here on a pension if one owned their home. . . . There I go, dreaming again. But what is life without dreams?

July 23rd

D & L spent two days watching the Tour de France and staying in Lourdes where the healing waters are to be found that attract tourists from all over the world. The tour was pretty exciting for them as they have watched it every year at home and followed Lance Armstrong’s many wins.

There is so much to tell, that I hardly know where to begin. We live near the water and have tried a different cafe almost every night, having wondrous culinary experiences. Last night there was a huge production on the river about the history of Agde and ‘awesome’, my much over-used word, does not cover how impressive it was. There was a full re-enactment with boats, fighting, music, singing and dancing, fireworks, etc. and the story was being told in French of course. It did not matter that we did not understand the words. The story was obvious and the drama was exciting. It lasted a couple of hours and even some rain did not dampen the spirits of the actors. I took so many photos but they likely will only mean something to me as this is one of those ‘you had to be there’  events.

The markets are wonderful – an abundance of fresh fruits and breads, clothing, purses, etc.. The weather is sublime – temperatures over 30 degrees every day. My hair is bleached right out and I give up trying to curl it. I look like Heidi of the Alps most days or like a stray puppy, but do not care. We shower morning and evening and it feels so good! My hair is unmanageable and immaterial.

Walking through the narrow streets is fascinating as there are so many interesting little shops to experience. The  kids’ park by the trompe l’oeil painting on the buildings is where Jack likes to go at least once a day. I like to sit and watch the dynamics of the locals. Young women gather to smoke and visit while their children play, teenage girls group together, black hair piled high and dressed in skin-tight black pants with white, tight tank tops that go down to their knees. Grandmothers sit in dresses, adorned with jewelry and rule the family from their benches. The young women frequently yell very loudly at the men or at their children and do get their attention! After a noisy exchange, everyone goes back to their business at hand.

I must learn French when I get home because I plan to come back to France. I want to tour the French countryside by train. It is not expensive and it is so beautiful.

Tomorrow we are going by train to Montpellier, a larger city, to shop of course. I have bought some beautiful scarves and several little things for Wee Michael and Miss Laura.

There was a local flea market on the promenade on Wednesday that I would have loved to plunk down a few dollars for items, but how to get them home? I will go next Wed. as Jack was not well this time. I remember doing a ‘Christmas in France’ program at the Frank Slide Interpretive Centre and talking about the little clay figures of local people in the towns like the baker and the mayor. These were made for people to purchase and put out like we do the crèche with Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus. I think they were called santons. Anyway, there was a basket of little santons on a flea market table. I want to get some to bring back to talk about French Christmases as a museum program, as a lot of French settled in the Okotoks area in the early 1900s.

I must go shopping now.  Our landlord, David from London, is meeting us for dinner later tonight. That should be fun. He is most interesting – has a couple of places here and was a wine lecturer before retiring; he now has a gift shop with his wife in London. He is renovating his other place here and staying for the summer. I love to hear his English accent in the middle of all the vibrant French.

This is definitely a different world from Canada! I am glad to have had the opportunity to come here!

We found a cafe with wi-fi –  I am drinking Sangria as I download updates that I typed off-line.

Last day in Paris – July 15th:
We took the Metro to the Louvre in the middle of the afternoon. The sun came out and the area was packed with people because of the National holiday. The Louvre is massive – it goes on for blocks and blocks and branches out in several directions. It would take days, literally, to visit all the displays in the entire museum. Lyndsey and I followed the signs forever to get to the massive room that displays the Mona Lisa. After hearing that it is small, I was surprised that it was larger than I envisioned. People were standing in a huge crowd to view it and take photos. The rest of the massive hall walls were filled with paintings of the era and they were most impressive and gigantic. The light coming from the ceiling made the room perfect for photos, no shadows. It really was awesome to see the Mona Lisa and to now be able to say I have seen it in person, but after seeing it so much in books and commercialized a dozen times over the years, it did not take my breath away like the Degas pastels of dancers did the previous day.
After the Louvre we walked around the area and down to the Seine to watch the tour boats from a bridge. When I waved and told Jack to wave and shout ‘Bonjour!’ he did, and people from the boats began to wave back to us. It was fun and Jack loved it!
We found a marvelous little street cafe – I now understand the many paintings of street cafes and really have more appreciation for these paintings now that I have been here. Our meal was again magnificent, and we took photos for our food record. Sometimes we leap in and then throw our forks down, saying, “Oh no, we forgot!” at the same time. Then we grab our cameras, take our photos and go back to our forks. Magnifique!
Coming home on a series of metro trains was exhausting, so it was nearly 1:00 a.m. when we returned to our apartment. We took photos of the cafe at the base of our building as this was our last night in Paris.

July 15

We got up at 5 a.m. to clean the apartment and take a cab to the high-speed train. Traveling first class was lovely as we had comfy seats and a good view. I was enthralled with the countryside in the first hour out of Paris – lush trees, rolling hills, the most charming farms with crops and white cows and gorgeous stone farm houses out of an earlier century. So picturesque! I totally understand how France inspires a person to want to paint and capture its beauty!

Four hours later we arrived in Agde where our landlord from Britain, David, picked us up at the station. He made two trips to the house – one with Lyndz and Jack and some of our luggage and the second with David and I and the rest of our bags, in his very tiny English car and we soon saw why. The streets are very narrow and the way he maneuvered through the side streets where the stone houses are so close was incredible.

The closer we got, the more in shock I became. We ended up within a maze of turns and twists and 400 year old stone walls, then walked past a rabbit cage containing a little white, long-haired, floppy-eared fellow and up steep steps to our house. In the basement there is a bedroom with en-suite and a window to step outside which is for me. The house has 4 levels. I will post photos. Finally, a warm shower with plenty of water pressure – heaven!

We have 3 levels plus a private, open roof top deck! It is so old but updated for comfort. He paid 16,000 pounds for the building and then had it updated for wiring, etc. adding 3 bathrooms. Many of the interior walls are stone while others are white plaster. Large windows open wide to cool the interior at night and have shutters on them to keep out the daytime heat and to lock for security. No glass window panes!

On the promenade around the corner was a street market today. I think it is here twice a week. There are many cafes along the river and the ambiance is right out of a book! We had a rest in the afternoon before venturing out to the river and cafe walk and another excellent dinner. Lots of local sea food here! There was an orchestra playing with an operatic singer near the bridge and the music floated out over the water to our outside cafe for our enjoyment.

Not home again until nearly one. Everything shuts down at midnight so the walk back was dark and quiet and the night air was cool and fresh. Sigh!

July 16th

Everyone slept in until after 11 a.m.. From all afternoon at the Louvre and not getting to bed until after 1 a.m., then up at 5 a.m. for a train to Agde and then exploring with a sidewalk cafe evening and another walk around until bed time again after midnight, my poor body cried, “Enough!” I have shut down for the day. The rest went off to find the bus that goes to one of several beaches in the intense heat of the day. I have my sparkling water, my fresh prunes and a roof top bed to relax on, so that is my plan.

Like many hot climates, this place shuts down for siesta about 12:30. The stores close and everyone retreats inside for a break from the heat, coming out later, refreshed and ready to continue the day. We like to walk the streets and go down to the river where there are an abundance of cafes and little shops. There is a young Canadian, looks to be in her 30s, living around the corner from us. She is from Thunder Bay, Ontario. David and I both know people from Thunder Bay. Not sure if she lives here full-time, but seems to own her house. This would be a lovely place to return to for the summer every year.

There is not much English spoken here however. I would have to truly concentrate on learning some proper French to live here. The menus are difficult. I was expecting a salad with fruits of the day in it but ended up with salad greens with an assortment of fish of the day in it last night! Not sure how French people stay slim. They do walk a lot, but they eat a lot of high calorie foods and drink a lot of alcohol! I am curious about their cholesterol level – will google when I go home.

July 19 –

David and Lyndz are heading to Tour de France for two days tomorrow. Jack and I will be on our own for 2 nights and 3 days! Life here is sublime!

Today was France’s National Holiday and it was celebrated very well by the French – parades, fireworks, events happening everywhere. Rain did not dampen the spirits, the French nor ours. We headed to the Louvre where I contemplated the Mona Lisa. I can’t say it made my heart beat faster, but finding a lovely John Constable and standing in front of it did!

It is nearly 2 a.m.; we have only been home for 2 hours and need to get up before 5 a.m. to catch the high-speed train to Agde at 7. This is a 4 hour, very fast trip from Paris in the north to the south of France.

Today we had another incredible meal in a sidewalk cafe. I had escargot, duck with potatoes cooked in the juices and apple pie with their special pastry accompanied by real vanilla ice cream.  This was followed by a mocha coffee that had shaved dark chocolate in the bottom of the cup, which when stirred into the coffee was absolutely orgasmic. Sorry Tim Hortons! I will post photos of our meal once we arrive at our next destination.  I have  so many photos from today! Our next stop is a much smaller place, around 22,000 and near several beaches on the southern coast of France.

I bought a Mary Poppins hat tonight to cover my weird, baby-fine hair which has been very rude since we arrived here. I realized it is exactly like the hats worn by the women in the cafes where Toulouse Lautrec painted except it needs a large flower on the side. I will talk to Carrie when I get home! I bought it in a little shop where the young man said I reminded him of his grandmother and then said she was a marvelous lady. He had been talking to David and Jack outside a few minutes earlier so I told him that was my son and grandson. He went out and gave Jack a present and told David that he had a lovely mother. David thought he meant ‘lovely wife’, as he had never heard anyone refer to me like that before; not ever, in his whole life, ha! ha! Ah, those Frenchmen, young and old, are wonderful!

I will miss Paris and must return someday. Traveling the metros is so easy to get to any destination, and there are so many museums, art galleries and restaurants that I could return every year for the rest of my years and explore new things every time. I have loved staying in an apartment. It is so French and so charming. We were able to unpack and ‘live’ here for a week, preparing many of our meals and enjoying the scenes on the streets below. I will post some of the photos I took tonight, showing the cafe on the main floor with the bright lights and red awnings, below our apartment. We took pictures at midnight as we arrived ‘home’.

I will even miss the cold showers. Well, maybe not so much. I look forward to our new destination where we will live in a four hundred year old house for the next two weeks. It will be a more laid back pace with trips to the beach, open markets for fresh food, shopping in quaint little shops and maybe time to read a book or finally send those post cards that I bought at the top of the Eiffel Tower to mail to those who sent me addresses.

This evening outside the Louvre, I finally purchased a little metal Eiffel Tower from one of the many street merchants who are selling them. I decided that I wanted one to perch on my desk at work to remind me that there is more to life than my job. I also bought some prints to frame of the art works that moved me the most in the Musee D’Orsay, so that my right brain (creative side) will be inspired to pick up my brushes and pastels when I get home and to do so on a regular basis. Life is too short to just work and then sleep. I want to work and dream and create with much less of my time spent on the work part. . .

Historically Speaking

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