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When I started my retirement travels - the first of which was my solo overseas trip to Italy in 2009 - I wanted a way to share it with family and friends as it happened. Hence, "My Travel Journal". However I realized I wouldn't always be on a trip and wondered what to do with the blog in between times. My daughter pointed out, wisely, that travels can also include trips to the kitchen to try a new recipe, trips to visit family, trips to my neighborhood Starbucks, or a fun day trip with a friend. You're welcome to join me on any of these journeys!

P.S. I've set up separate pages for each of my major trips (see tabs above).

I recently added an "Italian Word a Day" thingie which shows up at the bottom of every page. You see the word and can click to hear it pronounced. I've been enjoying it and I think my accent is improving as time goes by.

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May 19, 2012

A very quick Thursday report

I'm really behind and I guess it's because it's been so nice sharing experiences with Heather as they happen rather than blogging about them later.

But I will try to start catching up now.  And when she leaves Monday, I may very well lock myself in the hotel room and get all the way caught up because that very first day alone again, I may just not feel too much like taking on any new adventures. :)

The train ride up here from Nice was delightful.  It was a 6-hour trip but the train was quite comfortable, very quiet, and the views out the window were very nice.  We traveled along the coast of the Mediterranean for longer than I would have imagined and when we finally turned inland, we were going through what was most like Provence with many vineyards, old farms with the houses and buildings like you see in all the pictures, the white cows that I know have a French name but I can't think of it...all in all, very pleasant.

We arrived in Paris only about 20 minutes late.  I had heard from Heather almost as we were pulling into the station who called to tell me that she had overslept her wake-up call (her plane left at 4:40 p.m. US time, got into Paris at about 6:30 a.m. Paris time (12:30 a.m. US time) and when she was finally allowed to check in to the hotel, she took a nap and really zonked out.  Poor thing - she started fighting a cold the day before she came over.  So she suggested taking a taxi instead of the Metro and even though I had received a lot of helpful tips from a man sitting next to me on t train, I decided that was the wise thing to do and did it. Was so glad I did because it wasn't too expensive and my cab driver spoke fairly good English and when he realized it was my first trip really made an effort to let me know what we were passing, telling me a couple of things he thought I really had to see, and generally just being very nice.  A very good introduction to Paris, after Nice!  So, first photos after Nice:

 On the train, traveling along the Mediterranean coast - so beautiful.
 On the train - wine country
 I arrive at Gare du Lyon, one of the seven train stations in Paris.
My first glimpse of Paris after exiting the train station

After getting settled in, we didn't do much the rest of the day except wander around the streets surrounding the hotel.  The hotel is delightful by the way.  I wanted to take a picture of the room at some point because it's small, but so nicely decorated, but it's also with two of us here pretty much always quite cluttered.  However, I did take pictures of the views from our windows, which open up so you can lean out and look.

 The intersection to the right of our building.  The church is quite old and there is almost always a group of various types of musicians playing music outside of it.  They also have had concerts each evening we've been here but we've kept ourselves pretty busy and so haven't been able to attend any.  We may manage it tomorrow evening (Sunday).
 And the view to the left of our building.
Again to the sharp right, the twin towers of Notre Dame!!

And just a few more pictures I took as we wandered:
 Doors everywhere you look - massive, beautiful, colorful...wonderful!
 And these roofs with their chimneys and chimney pots.  I told Heather it just all constantly reminds me of the animated movie "Ratatouille".
 And just a closer look at the iron work and trim...
I got so tickled when I saw this in a shop window.  January gave me a Marushka doll two Christmases in a row and I love them, and always did from when I was a kid but I had to tell her - no more - I have no where to put them.  Well, imagine trying to find a spot for this set!!!  It goes down to one such little ones I really didn't notice them while I was taking the picture - only after I had been in the shop and came back out again.  I count 58 down to where I can't differentiate between them anymore.l

And that's all the pictures I have for my first day in Paris and also all I can think to relate.  I think aside from feeling puny Heather was as thrilled to be here as I was to have her here and we've been having a great time each day.

More tomorrow evening hopefully.  :)

Au revoir!


Chinch said...

So happy to have you safely in Paris and delighted that your trip there (and the taxi driver) went so well and that you took a bit of time to let us know you're fine. It all looks so charming and lovely. And your train station pic brings back a happy memory for me because we one time ate in Le Train Bleu and then took Le Train Bleu probably to Nice but if it goes on to Cannes then we stayed on. We were going with another couple so had a little compartment and it was beautiful scenery and great fun. And while I wish Heather was staying longer (and really hope she's not too wiped out with a cold) it will nice to get your catch-up day of pics and details. Have fun. Love to you both.

Lisa in WV said...

Mary Lynne, I love Marushka dolls too and this one is amazing. So nice that you had Heather with you in Paris, someone to laugh with when the tourism gets rough. Can't believe that Monaco was so crowded in May - I would not have liked that either. Also I do not like places where you feel like you are just burning money. Can't wait to see your report of your visit to Elly. Lisa

Christopher said...

Such quintessential street views... those roofs, the balconies, the elaborate trim everywhere... I hope you get into the old church; it looks fantastic from your window! PS--I managed to count 64 dolls in the matryoshka doll set---wow! Looks like a neat shop... was it all Russian?

Mary Lynne said...

Thanks for checking in and taking time to comment. It's now Sunday and about 7:00 p.m. here so about 1:00 p.m. there. And no one will believe it when I say that I did not take one single picture today! I will report why (nothing bad!) when I post Monday. I guess I still need to do Friday, Saturday, Sunday and now Monday. Wow! Didn't know I was so far behind.

Chris, the shop was all Russian items and thanks for the official count. :) Your eyesight is better than mine.

Another good day tomorrow and I will try and do some catching up tomorrow after Heather leaves.

Jamie said...

LOve, love, love the buildings with the balconies. The trees and plants give it an enchanted garden lOok. Glad the train ride was sO nice. And how great to get a good taxi driver. sorry heather is not feeling well. I'm hoping you guys have a wonderful time and the cOoking class goes well. Be safe and have a wonderful time. Keep The pics coming!

Mary Lynne said...

Hi Jamie! We DID have a wonderful time and now it's Monday morning going on 10 a.m. and I'm all by my lonesome. It is a very, very chilly, grey, damp day which is my perfect excuse to burrow in for the day and take the time to switch from "what fun to be with Heather" mode to "all by myself, but that's all right" mode. :)

Cynthia said...

Hey ML. Now I know what those dolls r called...matryoshka (now just need to know how to pronounce it) ha. I always learn something from reading about ur travels; sounds like all is a great big fabulous adventure! Stay safe. I hv much more to read & looking forward to it (hard to do sometimes from my phone; really should get an iPad or laptop). Take care & continue to enjoy! Lv. -cb

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