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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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June 03, 2012

Friday - last day in Paris

It was my last day and whether I felt awful or not, I wasn't going to spend it in the apartment with absolutely nothing to do!  I spent most of the day inside on Thursday, but at least I had the Louvre blog to occupy me.  And after my shower, I felt like my day of rest had done me some good and that I would just do a little shopping.  After all, that's what you're supposed to do in Paris, right?  Although I was just going to try and find a few gift-y type things plus visit a couple of stores on a list I had made before I started the trip.  It wasn't quite as hot as it had been either, which was nice.

I had mapped out a route - the metro to as close to the first store as possible, and then a not too lengthy walk to the next store on the list.  My metro stop was the "opera" and I figured I might be close to that and sure enough, when I came up to the street, it was about half a block away.  Took several pictures of that - another huge building with lots of ornamentation, statues, etc.

 I love the lamp posts that are statues of women!
 That must be some sculpture up on the very top cause it looks very busy, but I have no idea what portrays
 On the left - an even more elaborate light post
The top of the building is beautiful so on this one I cropped away all the cars, people, "stuff" at the bottom.
This was taken after I had walked a ways down the street.

Then I started down Avenue d'La Opera watching for the cross street that would get me to the needlework shop I was looking for.  The Avenue d'La Opera is a beautiful street, lots of the typical Parisian buildings with balconies and the curved roofs, all in pretty tip-top condition, and lots of nice shops also.  One of them caught my eye and I popped in and ended up getting two little gifties there. :)

Meanwhile, I WAS watching for the street I n and I don't know HOW I missed it because on the map it looks like a fairly major street.  But miss it I did and by the time I realized it, I was getting closer to where the second store would be and decided to heck with it, supposedly there was a different needlework store in the underground mall at the Louvre and I was going to end up within a block of that. 

Went off in search of the second store which was described as a really fun, interesting store with all kinds of "lifestyle" stuff.  I found it fairly easily and it probably WAS a nifty store for the young set, but nothing of interest to me. 

By now I was pretty hungry and decided to keep my eyes open for a place to eat.   Went in another store on the way and got another little gift-y.  Finally ended up down around the Louvre and picked a restaurant from the many around there.  I had coq au vin with pommes frittes of all things.  Traditionally, I'm pretty sure coq au vin has small potatoes in it, along with pearl onions and various other bits and pieces.  This didn't but it was hot, it was meat (which I sure haven't had much of since I've been here) and it was tasty.  (and it's Friday, I'm on the train, and I'm now in Belgium entering Brussels.  Sure do miss the old pre-EU stamping of passports!)

I didn't rush through lunch so had a nice little rest before I got started walking again.  Went into the underground mall to find the needlework shop and it wasn't listed on their map of shops so that was a bummer.  Went back out and looked at my map and decided the first one I had missed wasn't terribly far away and by damn, (excuse the French but that's what I thought) I'm going because I'm going to see a needlework store before I leave Paris!!!  So off I went, and on the way, right past the Comedie Francaise (France's national theater) was this statue of Moliere.

I don't understand it's location - it butts right up against the flat side of a building but I don't think it was somehow part of that building.  And it was a little way down from the Comedie de Francais.  It just is there at a fork in the road.  And after I took it from the center of the road in a "waiting for the light" spot, I was walking the rest of the way and a man walking towards me actually gave me a friendly smile!  That's the first and only time anyone in Paris (or Nice for that matter) actually made eye contact and smiled.

This time I did very well finding the shop and really enjoyed poking around in it.  They had all kinds of different threads, lots and lots of patterns (some American so I bypassed those), kits, ribbons and trims, and even a small room with a nice collection of fabrics.  I bought what I thought was a French chart and it turned out it's an Italian chart.  But I really like it, I really like Italy (surprise!) and at least it's one I couldn't buy in the states.  I did remember to ask if they sold patterns by a designer that we talk about sometimes on my petitpointers group.  They knew who I was talking about but didn't have any of her patterns.  So I left there very pleased with the outcome of that visit.  Then I went BACK to the underground mall and bought  a gift-y at that crazy store I posted a picture of at the end of my Louvre report.

And on the way back to the mall here came this big mass of big dogs out for a stroll I guess.  Tried very hard to get my picture while they were walking toward me but wasn't fast enough - they were "on the move"! 

And after all that I was pretty well pooped out again and decided to just go on back the the apartment, finish packing and throwing out trash, etc., find something to eat and wait til it was dark enough to go to bed.  I didn't find anything to eat - I had planned to just get a baguette sandwich and the place I was going to get one was pretty well sold out and the other place I tried was totally sold out.  I seem to have had a problem with eating in France - always seem to be too late for whatever I've been thinking about getting.  Bought I bought a baguette, still had some of my olives left, had a Coke and the rest of the wine from a small bottle I had bought and just chawed away on that off and on throughout the night.  Oh, and finished off one of those small cartons of Ben & Jerry's ice cream!  And I seemed to get sicker as the night wore on - I was burning up and ached all over - fingers, toes, hip, back...not a very happy camper.  Ended up turning on the TV out of desperation and finally came across a channel that played about 3 episodes of Malcolm in the Middle - in French, of course.  That was sort of a hoot.  The watched, in French, quite a bit of a strange movie that I think would have been kind of an edge-of-the-seat type if you knew for sure what was happening.  Finally got tired of NOT knowing what was happening and turned it off and went to bed, pretty much completely packed and cleaned out except for morning necessities.

So, pretty much what Jamie and I would call a lackluster last day, but I did manage to see one more sight (the opera qualifies) and visited some nice shops and bought gift-ies so in my weakened condition, it was a good day.


Christopher said...

Farewell, Paris! Glad you got to pass by the Opera; such a beautiful building! Would love to see the inside too, as I've seen pictures of the famous staircase there. I hope you're feeling a bit better now; I know you said in an email you'd met up with everyone just fine, but had barely any voice left :(
Safe travels, and enjoy the mini show! Can't believe this French Adventure is coming to a close tomorrow!

Lisa in WV said...

I hope you are going to post pictures on petitpointers of what you bought at the needlework shop. You know how much we enjoy seeing purchases!

Diane Adams said...

So sorry to see that during your last day in France you felt crappy. Hopefully by the time you hook up with the ladies in Holland you will be in much better shape. Have a great time.

Mary Lynne said...

Marlene wrote: Oh, it must be awful to feel achy and feverish and have to pack for your next jaunt. My sympathy. Good luck, Mary Lynne! P.S. Especially enjoyed seeing all those dogs!

And I really liked the dogs too - they were so galumphing galoots - all wanting to go in different directions.

And, Chris - I would have liked to seen the inside too, but with my tendency to suddenly drop dead in the afternoon, I figured I'd better not press my luck. I've seen pictures of it though and saw that nifty model in the D'Orsay (was it?) both of which make me think it must be pretty fabulous inside.

Jamie said...

Hopefully by now u r feeling better. Totally stinks to be sick on vacation. Especially such an adventure so far from home. Hope a good night of rest helped u feel better. Love the photo of the dogs! Have a great time at the show with your friends. Feel better!

January said...

Ice cream makes everything better! Can't wait to see you and get reports in person!

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