Sunday, April 29, 2012

jim kehl shared an Instagram photo with you

Here is a collection of photos I posted while on the go in Barcelona.

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"Ok, any guesses? Where am I now?" 

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"You know you're in the gay neighborhood when oversized disco balls are featured for sale in the windows. "
(taken at c/ Casanova, (Eixample) Barcelona)

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"Chocolate croissant in Barcelona. Forget Paris?"
(taken at Santanach)

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"Toothpick tapas"
(taken at SAGARDI BCN Centre)

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"How do I explain? In the basement, on the left is the DJ, on the right is the toilets. PARTY TIME!"
(taken at Boca Grande)

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"First class lounge breakfast"
(taken at Miro Lounge)

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"This flight is too early. Who booked it?"
(taken at Terminal 1)

Saturday, April 28, 2012

If its Thursday, I must be wearing a bow tie!

 Thursday we began at our favorite place for breakfast, Ma Bourgogne, on Place des Vosges. 
 What, oh what do they do to those eggs to make them so delicious?  Perhaps its the french ham and the french cheese.  Perhaps its the company?
 It's still cold in Paris, and not all the chairs are set out for outdoor dining.  Let's be honest, we ate inside on Thursday as well.
 We walked out of Place Des Vosges (Venita in the lead) and headed towards Notre Dame.

Our plan was to get there early enough to beat the crowds that want to climb to the top.  We also wanted to beat the rain that we were certain would follow us and soak us wet, again.

Dorothy and Angie didn't come to Notre Dame so it was 5 of us.  Lyle said he didn't need to climb the stairs to see the view, but in much more colorful language.  Language a sailor might use. But Bev, Venita, Cindy and I were eager to see the views, so up, up, up, up, up, up... spiral staircase... dizzy... up, up, up, up, up we went.  Dear Lord, thank you for these calves of steel.

When we go to the top, the sun was out!  Freezing cold and windy, but SUN!  So I yelled, "Strip off your clothes and we'll take a picture!"  Well, we got as far as the coats anyway.

 The view from up high anywhere in Paris is always amazing.  From the top of Notre Dame you can see the Grande Arch at La Defense, the Arch du Triomphe, and following the Champs Elyses there is Place Concorde with Cleopatra's Needle in gold tip.

We looked down to see a LONG line of people waiting to get inside the church.  We all agreed, this was enough up high, we didn't need to wait in that line.
Looking more closely, we recognized a friendly face in the crowd, Lyle!

Cindy and Venita went up the see the infamous bell in the bell tower which Quasimodo rang in the Hunchback of Notre Dame.  I'd had enough stairs and waited for them on a lower level.
 Here are my little Hobbits now, returning to me!

 We climbed up one more level for the panoramic view. Up, up, up, up, up, up... spiral staircase... dizzy... up, up, up, up, up, ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

Once on top, the sun came out one more time and Bev yelled,  "Strip off your clothes and we'll take a picture!"  So of course we did.
 And then it's back down the stairs.  Down, down, down, down, down, down, spiral, down, down, down, dizzy, dizzy, dizzy, down, down, down....
 Once we were back on solid ground, we ran into a lovely French couple.  Excuse me miss, do you work for Air France?  You look great too Venita!

 We walked to the end of Ile de la Cite and looked at Pont Neuf.  It means "new bridge" and it is now the oldest bridge in the city.

 We paused and soaked up as much sun as we could.  As the tour boats went by along the river, we waved like maniacs to see if we could get them to wave back.  They waved back!

FINALLY it was time for lunch.
 Dorothy and Angie met us at Robert et Louise.

Then it was back to the hard work of vacationing.  Everyone scattered across the Marais for shopping.
 Lyle took Angie and I by his favorite building in the Marais, the Archives Nationales of France, or as he calls it, "My house." I keep telling him we can't afford the condo fees but he never listens.

Home.  Blissful home.  Shoes off, feet up, Home. 

Then about 10 minutes later, we were all changed and ready to go see the Opera House.
 We were too late to take an inside tour, but the outside is never a disappointment.

Ulterior motive, just behind the Opera House are two LARGE department stores. On Thursday nights they are open late.  Galleries Lafayette and Printemps.  I got a great pair of DSquared silver and white sneakers at Galleries Lafayette.  Printemps charge Lyle 1 Euro to use the toilet.  We've decided we hate them.  So let's talk about Galleries Lafayette:
 In this photo you can see Venita taking the exact same photo as me at the same time.

The amazing stained glass dome over the atrium inside Galleries Lafayette.  You should visit there.  And not the department store next door.
 4 floors of fashion in the main store, 4 floors across the street for the men's store along with a food floor.  Oh, and across a a different street, 4 floors of home goods.  A person could lose their mind and their savings.

After shopping, we split camps and headed off to dinner back by the apartment.
Two beers for Lyle?  No, one is mine.  A rare beer night for me, but after all that shopping, I'd earned it!

Later that night, unseen in photos, I had dreams.  Dreams of stairs.  Spiral stairs. Up, up, up, up, up, up... spiral staircase... dizzy... up, up, up, up, up, up, up, up, up, up, up... spiral staircase... dizzy... up, up, up, up, up....

Friday, April 27, 2012

Paris street photos

These are some of the photos I shared through Instagram while in Paris.

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"Well looky who I saw at the Louis Vuitton/Marc Jacobs exhibit! "
(taken at musee des arts decoratifs -annees 50)

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"Lyle has the best hat ever!"
(taken at Tour Eiffel)

view full image "At l'Arc du Triomphe. " 

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"In Paris, the parking police are on rollerblades. "
(taken at 115 rue st honore)

view full image "En Paris, il pleut beaucoup. Merde. " 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Bonjour Monsieur Poulet! - Wednesday

Bonjour Paris!  Bonjour Mister Chicken!

We launched our Wednesday in separate camps.  The ladies headed for Musee D'Orsay and Lyle and I decided to skip it (I love art, but my feet hurt.)  So we wandered through the Mariais, the Ile St Louis and the Ile de la Cite.  The Ile de la Cite is where Notre Dame is.
 While we were walking past Notre Dame, Lyle and I saw what appeared to be a photo shoot for a Japanese bridal magazine.  I sprang into action!
Don't judge me.  I later saw two Japanese girls doing the exact same pose atop Notre Dame.  I really wish I had asked to take a photo with them.

We arranged to meet the ladies at the Bon Marche Grande Epicurean in St Germain.
The food there is amazing.  Each item a work of art.  Even the radishes all looked polished and perfect. Such an beautiful, glorious, expensive store...
 Vueve Cliquot was sponsoring an a large display of champagne.  They had special packaging showing Vueve packed away like sardines.  Cindy and Lyle share the difficult task of begin in a photo for scale and perspective.  I think Cindy is Scale, Lyle is perspective.

Our plan for a lovely sit down lunch was slightly hindered by being ready at about 2:30 for lunch.  No sitting down for lunch in Paris at 2:30.
 So we purchased some nibbles and had a standing picnic in the middle of the food floor.

 Post "lunch" we did some tour of the shops in St Germain.  Angie bought a pair of hot pumps, Cindy, Dorothy, and Bev all bought some, how do they say it in France?... "seductive wear".  Let's leave it at that. (wink, wink)

We can't shop all day.  Ok, I can shop all day.  But other people wanted to see "sights".  We headed to Jardin du Luxembourg.
 Bev shows us all how it's done, strike an imperial pose!

 Angie hit a regal mark.

 Cindy is royal and pondering who to have beheaded.

 Venita let us all know she is in charge.  Do not question the queen!

 Dorothy was back at he apartment.  Insert Dorothy, here.

 The Jardin du Luxembourg is the park directly behind the French Senate building. Its gorgeous.

 Lyle directs the royal guard to do his bidding with a little assistance from Venita.

 Of course I am winsome and warm to all.

On our way headed home we am across something none of us had seen so far this trip... SUN!!!

After a number of hearty French winter/spring meals, the ladies were crying out for one thing: Vegetables.  Lyle and I made a reservation at Nos Ancetres les Gaulois.  When you are seated, they bring the table an ENORMOUS basket of fresh vegetables to eat to your heart's content.

 Cindy looks pretty content.

The meal also includes a bottomless jug of red wine, coldcuts, a hot meat skewer of your choices, a cheese and fruit course and then, just when you think you'll explode, dessert.
 This is a little bit into the endless jug 'o wine.

 Beverly was missing her kiwi.

Dorothy always knows how to make friends and an entrance.

After a late night of dining, we made our way home by foot.  Foot.  Foot.  Everything we do in this city is on foot.  My feet are killing me!