A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: Sunniet

Showing Alex the World!

Three weeks in France and 1 week around Italy:)

Getting ready for our next blogging adventure........Departing the USA on June 28, 2009 and returning on July 28, 2009........

Posted by Sunniet 14:10 Comments (0)

Chartres

As we crossed the Seine River today, I saw two old ladies, dressed exactly alike,arm in arm, walking together and having the most lively conversation......they were at least in their 80's and they were twins!!........Imagine that!! It was quite a sight to see these two with so much love between them........

We took the train to Chartres today, but most everything was closed........We saw the church where our ancestors were baptized and walked the town where they were born and raised....In the square was a statue of General Marceau (our relative) and in the Marceau Square was another memorial dedicated to him......there was even a restuarant named after him with a huge painting of him, however, it was closed today also.........The church was beautiful, but we weren't able to spend much time in it as they were having an organist competition.......oh well.....it didn't rain today, but it teased us with overcast skies.......I realized that French Taxi drivers feel VERY strong about politics......in fact, every chance mom gets, she eggs someone on in a discussion regarding politics.........it usually escalates in a heated Bush bashing time.......she and the taxi drivers go on and on, and my dad just nods...........It's incredibly amusing, however, it's getting old after almost a month of it! She even starts these conversations on train rides with people of different nationalities........AND, she knows I'm a Republican, yet she continues.........so far she's been safe....everyone seems to hate Bush here.......:(

I'm growing less and less fond of Paris.....it's becoming to look like just another big city........for the most part, the waiters are fairly nonchallant.....I asked one waiter if he was having a good day and he told me rather rudely......"You're having a good day...I'm working!! How could I be having a good day?".........AND, he was serious!!......I wouldn't have expected that kind of answer ever!!.....

I don't know what has taken me so long to finally visit here....I should have got it out of my system a long time ago... it's a no brainer to travel here alone and to get around fairly easy........I'm thinking how nice it would be to send Alex, my 15 year old here next summer to spend a couple of weeks with his cousins in Lake Geneva........I think it would be a good experience for him to dive into another culture without the apron strings........

Rick is anxious for me to reserve our Family Thanksgiving Caribbean cruise....I cringe at the thought of having to pack another suitcase!!......I think the next time I get the urge to go away for a month, I'll choose an island somewhere, so that the biggest decision I have to make that day is whether I want to swim in the pool or ocean..........that's a real vacation!

Posted by Sunniet 10:25 Comments (1)

What I've learned today:

I have been learning alot about the French.........one thing that I find amusing is that even though there is beautiful fruit on top of chocolate desserts, it may just be there for decoration and not necessarily to be eaten!!! Have you ever had kiwi with chocolate??.......YUK! The neighborhood bakery, grocery store and restuarants are starting to recognize us and they are giving us warm smiles! I am beginning to feel at "home" and not so disoriented.........

Most of the French people I've met speak at least 3 languages, if not more........Makes me realize just how limited we are in the U.S. and how very uninterested we are in the rest of the world...I was fortunate as a child that my father loved to travel and I was exposed to more than most......I am realizing how incredibly spoiled we are in the U.S.......I haven't seen one SUV automobile in Paris yet! And, everyone recycles!! I'm understanding just how sheltered we are from the rest of the world and it's cultures in the U.S.......I've been watching the news here and seeing TV commercials advertising travel vacations in areas that I've never even heard of!! Everyday, I get to see what the weather will be like in Africa and other neighboring countries.....really makes you feel like you're a part of the whole world! I don't want my children growing up thinking that the world revolves around the United States!! It's a HUGE eye opener!...Paris is like a huge melting pot, except, it doesn't seem to be melting! So many cultures under one roof.......

I saw the sweetest old couple today, sitting on a park bench!........

Versailles was wonderful! We had a picnic lunch on a park bench....I'm starting to relax, I fed the pigeons today:)....

I don't like the metro/bus/taxi system here....It's so confusing...I miss my convertible and my family and my dog and my bed and my coffee and the way my bare feet feel on my wooden floors.........

Wish I had my own personal driver to take us anywhere we wanted in Paris, anytime we wanted!

It may rain tomorrow......another walk in the rain, perhaps......what a day to look forward to!..........hugs, Me

Posted by Sunniet 12:47 Archived in France Comments (0)

Bought the HAT!!

sunny

Thanks Mary! All I needed was just a little encouragement and I bought a hat! See the pictures....I think it looks great, but Dad made fun of me all day:) We saw Paris again today on the hopon/off bus........I sat on top all day....with my hat on:) I even saw "Madona" coming out of her hotel and into her limo....evidently, she was in Paris for some odd reason.....our bus just so happened to be exactly in front of her hotel when she came out, then they were in front of us for a few minutes....I swear, she saw me and my hat on top of that bus and smiled at me:).............Awe......the life of a Parisian wanna be................We went to where Napolean was buried and I inquired about General Marceau, only to find out that some of his ashes were buried in the crypt, right where we were, but they were off limits.......so, when I explained that he was my great uncle and that his brother was my great grandfather (several generations removed), Mom, Dad, and I, got the real ROYAL TREATMENT.......and we were escorted underground to the crypt and saw where his ashes were buried and being honored....(make sure you see the pictures), our museum escort had tears in her eyes and she kept saying how honored she was to meet us!!!.......it was really cool! Of course, I think the hat helped in getting to see the ashes:)

Great sunny day and we are all exhausted........my cousin Myriam will be joining us in Paris on Monday morning, just in time for some girl adventuring in Paris before we head for home on next Thursday! Tomorrow, Mom wants to go to Versailles......I'm not that excited about seeing one more museum, but, she's been wanting to go one more time....I understand it will take a full day......Hope all is well with all of you! Keep sending me those emails.........love, marge..........

Posted by Sunniet 11:36 Archived in France Comments (2)

Paris hop on/off bus day

sunny

What a wonderful way to see Paris! We travelled on two of the three hop on/off routes today! Mom bought a French "beanie" hat, and it looks great:) We saw all the major sights......I'm exhausted........See the Pictures:) me

Posted by Sunniet 12:22 Archived in France Comments (1)

Paris Pigeons!

semi-overcast 21 °C

Paris Pigeons......Why do the tourist love the Paris Pigeons? Yesterday, we ate at the Louvre...we sat outside on the top balcony and overlooked the pyramid and the square.......it was the best seats in the cafe.....however, there were pigeons.....everywhere! Each time a pigeon would sour by, it seemed to come inches above my head....I couldn't help but give out a little scream, no matter how hard I tried to keep my composure......I soon became the piece of art everyone in the cafe was interested in....Did they hope one of those awful pigeons would leave a part of themselves on top of my head?......The Europeans think this is a sign of good luck....I could do without the drama!..The man at the table beside us kept feeding them pieces of his chocolate cake....he thought it was amusing and tossed elegantly each piece of cake as though he had wanted to do this all of his life.......I wanted to scream at him.....he was particularly attached to one that had only a single leg....That pigeon gave me the most trouble....A single leg, but he had vulcher eyes......staring at me, waiting for his next move.........Thank God, I escaped without a souvenier!

The Louvre was just as beautiful as all the tourists books said....and, it does take days to see it all....however, after a full day of wandering and reading and observing, unfortunately, the pictures seem less and less impressive and the statures appear more and more the same........it's too much beauty under one roof to be appreciated and admired. And yes, the Mona Lisa was beautifully small and the Queen of the day.........we managed to cross the Seinne and walk past the book stalls towards Notre Dame.....we arrived just in time for Mass...Mom has been so lucky, always arriving within 5 min. of mass starting......the music was beautiful....we wandered around just a bit and I found the most amusing hat! It was quite pricy, but I fell in love with it at first!! How fun it would be to wear in Atlanta in my convertible with a scarf and gloves this winer!! It's one of those purchases you need to take a day and consider.....I'll be back, I'm sure, to claim it.....We took the bus back to the hotel, though it was fairly close, we were all tired.

Today and tomorrow, we will travel around paris via the open top, hop on bus........It's very convenient and there's no hassle with trying to find the right metro or bus stop, etc.......It drops you off right in front of the site you want to see!!......I'll post pictures tonight! Me

Posted by Sunniet 23:28 Archived in France Comments (0)

Pictures:)

Don't forget to look at the new pictures I uploaded on this site.......click on the right side where you see authors, then click on more photo's..........Thanks for the note Mary and Brenda! It's great to hear from ya'll:) Love, Me.

Posted by Sunniet 10:50 Archived in France Comments (0)

Wet Paris......

rain

Today, I walked the Paris streets in the rain! WOW:) I saw a different Paris today......I walked to the corner grocery store alone this afternoon and saw an old women wearing boots, clutching a worn cane melting in the rain with a slight smile on her face as we crossed paths......I wanted so much to take her picture....what an incredible sight! This is the Paris I wanted to see....to soak up....to give it an opportunity to reveal itself to me.........Alone, I can notice the common....the usual....the Parisian history......The lines in the faces........uninterrupted~ As much as I enjoy being with Mom and Dad, it is stressful. I worry when we get lost. I worry about someone taking Dad's wallet.....I worry that I may be pushing them too much.....I worry about where we will eat, it they're happy.....If they want to go home.......I worry, worry, worry!!!....So, as common as walking in the rain to the corner grocery store, may seem uneventful to most, it was a glimpse of Parisian HEAVEN to me:) Merci Paris, for showing your face to me!

Ok......Can you tell I had one too many sips of wine this afternoon? We were back to the apartment by 3:30 today. The day was cold and rainy.....just beautiful:) We went to the Arc D'Triumphe and saw General Marceau's funeral procession in the top right hand corner.....then ate lunch at the "Drugstore"...the same place Mom and Dad have eaten at for years........however, this time, it's changed, according to them:) Thanks Rosie for giving me the red hooded rain gear...it came in handy today:) We got lost.....we took the metro after all (upon Dad's suggestion:), and saw the outside of the Louvre.....tomorrow, we'll spend the day discovering the inside of the Louvre. Mom made a delicious meal! I really miss her incredible cooking:) Bien!! Tomorrow!

Posted by Sunniet 09:41 Archived in France Comments (0)

Finally!

overcast

OK......It took us all morning to transfer from the small apartment to the larger apartment. Through all the hassle of trying to get the new keys, packing up, getting a taxi, unloading and going up a "French first floor apartment STAIRS", we are here and the computer is working........it was all worth it! Mom and Dad will be VERY comfortable, except Dad is complaining that the bathroom is rather "SMALL".....well, I think that's pretty normal for the French.....all the bathrooms I've seen so far in Europe have been "SMALL".......We have two large window's facing a courtyard that are open right now and it's really beautiful:) I'm just starting to feel that I may actually be able to unwind and relax these last few days of our trip!.....It's nice to finally be settled in one spot! Mom wants to go to Lourdes and right now it seems so impossible.....I'm up for it if we can take the train and return in the same day, but it's about a 5 hour train ride, so, that means we'll have to spend a night.......which means, we'll have luggage.......which means a hassle all around........We'll see..........Mom has successfully given the apartment the sweet aroma of French Cheese already!...........We're going for a walk in 20 min......there is a large grocery store a few doors down, we're about a block from the Seinne River, and we should be able to see Notre Dame from here. We are right smack down in the middle of the Marais..which is downtown Paris.........It's overcast and rained this morning, but I'm hoping for a pleasant stroll in a little while.........Thanks Rosie for the Shampoo and Conditioner and the miscl little bottles you gave us....they really came in handy! Brenda, Dad really appreciated your singing him Happy Birthday!! Hugs.....me

Posted by Sunniet 04:43 Archived in France Comments (1)

Paris is Incredible:)

sunny

What an adventure! The train ride from Lake Geneva to Paris was beautiful.....we met some wonderful people and the ride went quite fast. Paris is HUGE......So far, I haven't seen many Parisians! The place is swarming with tourists......

We arrivied late yesterday, only to find that the apartment we rented was not "ready" and the only option was to stay in a studio apartment for two nights before going to our original apartment. Needless to say, the apartment we are in now is terrible! Dad is sleeping on a sleeper sofa (Mary, you know how that is turning out!!) and me and mom are sleeping together in a loft........we have to climb a ladder to get to the bed, then we have to get on our knees, because the ceiling is only 4ft high in the loft!!!.....AND, I never knew Mom snored!!! Dad, of course, had to have his light on all night, and got hungry around 3am and fixed himself a sandwich......so, needles to say, there was little sleep last night.........

Today is Dad's birthday and we spent it shopping in the largest flea market that Paris had to offer.......what a wonderful birthday present for Dad:) He was a trooper today!! I found a beautiful silver ladel, along with 8 matching forks and spoons....for a real bargain of $14.00.....I also bought two antique rings, one each for Sydney and Olivia....one has two saphires and the other has diamond chips.....We both bought some scarves and Mom got some lace and a skirt. The flea market was VERY crowded, especially towards the end of the day. The crowds made Dad really nervous, so we left the market around 3p, instead of staying a little longer........

Dad also refuses to ride the metro in Paris....so, we took a taxi today and it cost a fortune! Tomorrow, we're moving to our new apartment 1 block from the Seinne River and in the Marais, just east of Lourdes.....I'm hoping to get all the info on the bus system and purchase us some daily passes so that we could get around via bus instead of Taxi.....I already have two days of Hop/on and Hop/off open top bus tickets that we will use on Tuesday and Wednesday to see the museums on two of our 4 day Museum passes.........So, the next couple of days will be filled with seeing the more traditional Paris!

Mom and Dad insists on eating at 6p every night.....this was near impossible in Italy, as the restuarants don't start opening until 7:30pm and don't close till well after midnight! Tonight Mom made us a speghetti in the apartment's kitchen which was a nice change and as usual, they are both in their PJ's and ready for bed at 8:00pm. The entertainment tonight was watching Mom and Dad try to figure out how to get the TV on, then, how to get the channels up!! HILARIOUS!!! Like Laurel and Hardey reruns:)

Hopefully, Myriam will meet us in Paris and she and I will be able to have at least one late meal and observe Paris at night. Also, I'm hoping to connect with my friend Dominique from Venice who will be arriving Paris tomorrow.........A'revior

Posted by Sunniet 11:07 Archived in France Comments (0)

Paris tomorrow!

We are taking the train from Lake Geneva to Paris tomorrow! We are all exhausted and are looking forward to having our apartment to ourselves......It's located in the Marais, so, Mom and Dad won't have to walk far to see sights and to enjoy themselves..........I am hoping to finally get to see and SHOP in a real Parisian Flea Market! Today, we are having lunch with relatives, then Dad is going on a personal tour through the mountain villages with Entiene, while the ladies are going shopping! I spent the morning yesterday in Geneva and it was very uneventful! All the shops were the same as in the U.S., however, much more expensive.....I did see a shop that said 70% off and wandered in just to find that when I picked up some books, I was in a sex shop!!!!........Could you imagine! The only sale I find was there?????.........I was so embarrassed!! Mom got a good laugh out of that story when I told her later!....Well, the apartment in Paris has internet service, so, We'll chat soon! Love and hugs, Marge

Posted by Sunniet 01:43 Archived in Switzerland Comments (0)

more tidbits

Some other interesting things I've discovered is that they also have Goodwill and Thrift Stores! You would be so amazed at the beautifl furniture and antiques that people just through away! It all can be found at a French/Switzerland Thrift store!........I'm assuming that because their winters are so horrible, everyone celebrates the summer months with flowers! They appear everywhere and seem to be singing like children as they sway in the wind!........They treat their dogs and cats like they were their children.........They celebrate with their whole heart and soul and can tear up with a drop of the hat! They feel very deeply within.........They love to eat outdoors and there are no BUGS!!.......Every meal is gourmet! And everyone has herb gardens and fresh veggies.......it is not unusual for Christine to do all of her grocery shopping in one part of town, then drive to the other part of town, pay for parking in a parking garage, then walk 4-6 blocks to a bakery just to purchas fresh bread for dinner!!! Amazing, huh??........Icecream and chocolate are the most celebrated food!....Our first day here, Christine brought out a small box with one piece of chocolate in it......special, just for me!............You know they like you if they share their chocolate with you!!!.........

Posted by Sunniet 01:35 Archived in Switzerland Comments (0)

Miscl. Tidbits

I have realized that in the US we are becoming more "French" and the French are becoming more "USA"......Several of my friends have "French" kitchens....like to cook French food, etc.....In France, everyone is excited to hear about the big cities and neighborhoods in the US.....it's interesting......one day, there may be no difference at all...........Some things I've found amusing is that the French bathtub is way too small! Then I realized that the one I was assigned to, you're supposed to stand while holding a shower head!!........Most French familes don't have a dryer to dry their clothes! Most clothes are made from 100% natural fibers and the dryer ruins them! So, they go through the ordeal of hang drying ALL of their clothes!!......Each family is very proud of the liquor they make in their cellars! Very good and VERY strong! In fact, Dad had just a little and woke up yesterday very dizzy! We all thought he had a stroke and for a few hours it was abit scarey.....however, he bounced back and we all decided no more homemade liquor for Dad:)

Posted by Sunniet 01:28 Archived in Switzerland Comments (0)

Something has gone wrong......

sunny

hi there....please forgive me...i am using a european typewriter and the letters are not where im use to and all caps and commas etc. are a mystery to me.......i have just realized that my last several entries have not made it to this site....i am so dissappointed...i am not sure if this will go through.....after a long week in rome florence assisi and venice we are at the boarder of switz and france....just beautiful here.....i saw pictures of relatives in frount of houses that were taken over a hundred years ago....i took a picture of myself in the same spot....everyone here is awesome...the celebrate food children and family....tonight they are having a huge family reunion in our honor so that we could visit and meet everyone...everyone has welcomed us with open arms and open hearts....everyone has cried when they first lay eyes on mom and dad...very touching......

Posted by Sunniet 12:30 Archived in Switzerland Comments (1)

with relatives

so....here we are at lake geneva....i am staying with cousin christine and husband paolo.....the have a beautiful country home...although there english is little and my french even less.....we have been able to communicate beautiful...last night christines niece line came to visit and was a wonderful interpreter....line may come to atlanta next summer.....christine has been so wonderful....mom and dad are staying with older relatives in a home overlooking lake geneva....beautiful....they are visiting on a slower pace than myself....drinking coffee and relaxing.....while christine and i are discovering little villages and staying up till 3am in the morning.....as mentioned earlier we will be celebrating tonight a huge feast zith all of the relatives.....they started the preparations early this morning with having wood delivered etc.....i hope this updates everyone...we leave for paris possibly on friday and depart paris on sept 7th....we will be staying in the center of paris in a two bedroom apt

Posted by Sunniet 04:10 Archived in Switzerland Comments (0)

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