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8 Nights Each In Rome And Paris Without An Itinerary Or TRSW's 'Where Ever My Happy Little Feet Take Me' Trip Report

8 Nights Each In Rome And Paris Without An Itinerary Or TRSW's 'Where Ever My Happy Little Feet Take Me' Trip Report

Nov 21st, 2007, 08:36 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 1,827
Anselm - I shoot in RAW, then convert them to jpeg. This way I can make high quality enlargements depending on the size I make the file.

And I either shoot in manual or aperture priority mode. I just found that shooting in auto mode leaves a less than desired result.

TRSW is offline  
Nov 21st, 2007, 11:49 AM
Join Date: Nov 2005
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Can't wait to hear more about your stay in Paris. I leave next Thursday for 2 weeks in Paris and plan to do the same thing -- make very few plans! The trip was spur of the moment and I've been to Paris many times. I'm renting an apartment and a friend will be with me part of the time. Plus I have several friends there. I can't wait to just roam around -- I've never been there in December. I welcome any restaurant suggestions (not TOO expensive). I'm staying in a different part of town for me (bottom of the 10th) and looking forward to exploring it. I usually stay in the 3rd, 4th or 5th. I'll keep checking back until I leave -- I'm not taking the computer! -Ronda
RondaTravels is offline  
Nov 21st, 2007, 04:41 PM
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I'm really enjoying your report.
Also, excellent photos! I love the food/market ones!
How much post-production do you do on the photos in photoshop or other editing software?
Kristina is offline  
Nov 21st, 2007, 05:03 PM
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Hugs, many hugs Tom. It is strange how various people come into our lives. Looking back I am always amazed how I met someone, and how right off the bat we clicked and grew closer and became like family. That even happens between Fodorite's as you know. Take care Tom and know that you gave as much joy to Raymond as he did to you. Cherise your memories of him and as my late husband would say "he is sitting on your left shoulder looking out for you".
LoveItaly is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2007, 08:19 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
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We're planning first trip to Paris and your report and pictures are inspiring! - Thanks for sharing!
Gregbo is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2007, 09:55 AM
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I just want to thank you all for the kind words. Also I want to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving. I will be spending mine at work today, someone has to feed the patients and their famalies.

So there will be another installment either tonight or tomorrow.

Kristina - To answer your question, the only post production I do, other than some cropping, is to hit the auto enhance button on the software program that came with the camera. Sometimes I don't even do that.


TRSW is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2007, 10:17 AM
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Oh yeah!

Tom, I have only read to your second day but as with all good trip reports, I feel compelled to post immediately how much I am thoroughly enjoying it! What a glorious and relaxing Thanksgiving morning this has been.

I hope Mario finds you a charger!

I'm reading again now
Tiff is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2007, 10:33 AM
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Tom, I hadn't yet read your post about visiting the Borghese Gardens. What a wonderful friend you are to take Raymond to Rome and Paris. I hope your heart is filled--gradually--with happy memories. What happened to Dora?

Happy Thanksgiving to you, Diablo and your patients. No one will complain if you find the time to squeeze in an installment or two about Paris over the weekend.
Leely is offline  
Nov 22nd, 2007, 11:45 AM
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Happy Thanksgiving and keep the Trip Report coming when you recover from turkey overload. This is a good one for me and mine as you move at a pace we can identify with. Stops and starts, well-planned walks and pure wandering, days off and days on.

I, also, was caught by your moment of loss...been there. The pang of memory is the gift of a great friendship.
LJ is offline  
Nov 24th, 2007, 08:11 PM
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Bookmarking - I look forward to the rest of your trip report.
rosetravels is offline  
Nov 25th, 2007, 02:37 AM
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Friday November 2nd

Seeing as how the only food like items in the apartment are coffee, Ramen Noodles and about 100 Chile Sauce packets. So the first order of the day is to go grocery shopping.

Luckily my apartment is three blocks from Rue Montorgueil. This street is a food lovers PARADISE!! You can literally get any kind of food here. Be it from the the many shops, the restaurants or the two Super Marches. There are even two Pharmacies.

But before shopping, I head into a small bakery for a pastry and coffee. I grab an outdoor table. What great a way to start the day!!

After stocking the apartment, I grab my camera and head back to Rue Montorgueil. A couple of the shop owners were not too keen of me taking photos of their display cases. So after the second time this happens, I make it a habit (in my very limited and poor French) I ask if it is okay before I shoot.

From here I just head out with no plan. Before I know it, I am standing on Pont Neuf. I decide to head over to Notre Dame in hopes that the line to climb the belltower is shorter than last year. No such luck, it is even longer this time.

And the line to get into the Cathedral seems to be even longer. So I decide to check out the gardens. All I can say is, the architecture of the side and back of the Cathedral are amazing!!

Next, I head over to the Martyrs Of The Deportation Memorial. Talk about a very moving experience.

After this, I head back to the apartment and come across another misleading aspect of the website for the apartment. The website says it has wifi. Well I turn on the laptop and there are no active networks to be found.

So I call the owner. He tells me to get wifi I have to pay 5 euro a day and have to leave the money once again in the safe. And only then, he will tell me how to link up. Uh, no thanks!!!

Now awhile back, there was a thread about finding a Starbucks, I think, in Sweden. I posted that, although I live in Seattle, I don't go there because the coffee,IMO, sucks. Well, please pass me a slice of Humble Pie!

The closest place with internet access is, you guessed it, a Starbucks. But this in the end, turns out to be a good thing. I became freinds with all the Baristas. One even tries to help me with learning French (by the third day, he tells me I am hopeless and gives up).

For dinner, I kind of wander for what seems likes hours. I read menu after menu and just can't make up my mind.

I finally head into Au Petit Duc on Blvd Bonne Nouvelle. I do not recommend this place. The service was really poor. The food was so so. And the Chocolate Mousse I had for dessert(which they tried to charge me twice) tasted like it came from a box.

After dinner, I head back to the apartment and call it a night.


Tomorrow - More wandering and a couple of interesting street performers.
TRSW is offline  
Nov 25th, 2007, 02:59 AM
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Great trip report Tom! And excellent pictures, as we've come to expect from you.

I noticed that we took some pretty similar photos in Paris. At least I know I have an eye for it. Mine are just blurry.
mcnyc is offline  
Nov 26th, 2007, 02:02 PM
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Hi Tom, me again

Ok, now I am up to Monday, 10/29 ~ who knows what dragged me away previously.

We 'know' each other somewhat well, Fodorville speaking, so I feel that I will not be too forward to say that when I read that you snuck some of Raymond's ashes with you to provide him a special view of Rome and Paris, my first response, well, I hope I will not offend dear Tom, when my first response was to giggle. I cannot think of a better gift, and quite frankly were it me, I would be thrilled! A last little adventure. I am almost making you in charge of DH and my remains.

I do hope you will smile when you read this. Truly I was so touched by your experience, and quite inspired. I appreciate you sharing such a private moment with us.

You have been a good friend to Raymond, looking after his dog and now taking him with you abroad. What a beautiful gift!

Ok, I am going back to read more now, just had to tell you that. It warmed my heart.
Tiff is offline  
Nov 27th, 2007, 04:19 AM
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A couple of things before I begin this installment.

Tiff - No worries about offending me. I laughed at the fact you giggled. Sharing the breakdown with everybody here was another part of the grieving process. How many more days until your trip to Rome?

Leely - Dora is now living with Raymonds brothers family in Dallas. She is doing great! They have two other dogs and a pool (Dora loves to swim)

Saturday November 3rd

Yet another gray and overcast day. I start the day with a big breakfast cooked in the apartment. With nothing planned, I pick up my Fodors Paris 2008 guide, close my eyes, flip open the book and decide whatever page I am on, that's where I am going. Well today I am going to be checking out Place de la Bastille.

My path will take me past a couple of things that, when you think of Paris, do not readily come to mind. One is a Kentucky Fried Chicken. Another is a fountain near the Pompidou Centre


Also during my walk, I come across a photographers candy store. It is on Rue Du Renard, and I think the name is The Hollywood Photo Studio. This is a gallery that sells black and white prints dating back to the construction of Tour Eiffel up to the mid 1970's. There were pictures of every topic under the sun. There were many I wanted. If anyone knows the name and a link to this store, please let me know.

From here I head over to the Hotel De Ville. So much too see and photograph!! After some more wandering, I eventually end up at Place de la Bastille.

After lunch at a litle cafe, I head over to Ile St Louis to find Berthillion (sp?) and its world famous ice cream. I am not disappointed. I have a scoop each of the Caramel, Apricot and Chocolate. All I can say is YUM!!!!!!

While I am enjoying this culinary delight, I come across a street performer on Pont St Louis.


This guy was part showman, comedian and acrobat. He picked a poor young lady from the crowd to be his foil. The major part of his routine was bicycle tricks. A very entertaing individual.

So was the gentleman on Pont Louis Phillipe. This guy had the body of an upright piano mounted on some kind of cart playing some really good Ragtime.


I head back towards the apartment, grab my laptop and head to Starbucks to check emails and send out my photo of the day to freinds and family.

Tonight I decide to cook dinner and take it easy. While going through my photos, I have the TV on for background noise and hear something even funnier than SpongeBob in Italian. This year is the 15th Anniversary of Euro Disney and during a comercial celebrating it, I hear 'The Bear Necessities' from 'Jungle Book' in French. Check please!! LOL Time to call it a night.


Tomorrow - Batting 1000 (Not good) and the final farewell.
TRSW is offline  
Nov 27th, 2007, 02:00 PM
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Oh dear friend, no laughing at your breakdown, that part broke my heart, but the thought of you sneaking me into Roma and leaving a part of me there, well like I said above, what a triumph. (I still may indeed make you in charge of my ashes, lol).

We are 50 some days out now from departure. Cannot wait. Unfortunately I have to report for Jury Duty next Tuesday. Can you see me getting on some insanely long trial and having to cancel??????

Oh before I forget, I loved your pictures so much, just breaktaking as always.

I have to pull up my saved files soon from 8 months ago. I cut and pasted a bunch of restaurants in Rome last Spring, time to get those up and review; I like to bullet point those on our little walking map so we can can stop and eat whenver hungry (ha, which happens to me quiet often!) We are staying on a quiet street near P. Navona.

Best wishes to you always and thanks again for your wonderful report.
Tiff is offline  
Nov 27th, 2007, 07:28 PM
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Tiff - I knew what you meant. Even Raymonds family got a chuckle at the idea of sneaking some of his ashes across the pond. They thought it was a great gesture and said that Raymond would approve.

Now as for you and DH's remains, well I am older than you, so I might have to ask you to take me on one last adventure 8-)

TRSW is offline  
Nov 27th, 2007, 09:36 PM
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Sunday November 4th

When I wake up I realize the countdown has reached zero. Yep, I have a head cold (damn that lady on the plane!!!) I am now batting 1000, and not in a good way. Third trip to Europe, and now my third head cold in Europe.I vow to not let this little setback get me down.

I head over to Rue Montorgueil and BOTH Pharmacies are closed. So I go into the Super Marche and stock up on some 'home' remedies. I pick up some chicken noodle soup, orange juice, tea and a little Johnny Walker Red.

The weather today is a little overcast, but the sun will peak out from time to time.

I head across the river to explore the 6th, an area that I spent very little time in on my last visit. During my wandering I come across this restaurant


Okay, this just may be me, but this is soooooo wrong in so many ways. Come on, what would Gandhi say?

After wandering I head over to Jardin du Luxembourg. For you see, this is where I will give Raymond his final view and final farewell.

Unlike Rome, I had the spot picked out months before the trip. On my first trip to Paris, I took a shot of the Medicci Fountain that Raymond loved, so it was a no brainer.


I once again spread his ashes, mix them in the dirt and say a little prayer. With a few tears running down my cheeks, I say 'Adieu mon ami' and go off to just walk around the Jardin and take in its beauty.

After awhile, due to the head cold, I am starting to wear down and decide to head back to the apartment. On the way, I find an open Pharmacie that is open and buy some medicine for the head cold.

Also during the walk back I see all kinds of dogs and their humans. Think about it, who really owns who? This makes me miss my Diablo. So much so that I head into a couple of pet shops to look at the puppies.

Once back at the apartment I start a load of laundry and have a quiet dinner in. Then I call it an early night.


Tomorrow - Angelinas (YUM) and bright blue skies.

TRSW is offline  
Nov 28th, 2007, 03:53 AM
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Fascinating report.

Here's a little factoid about the fountain next to the Pompidou Center: it is the second largest fountain in Paris after the Trocadéro fountain.
kerouac is offline  
Nov 28th, 2007, 12:13 PM
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Tom, it would be my honor. I think I would have to take LoveItaly with me, don't you agree???

You know, one question that has been with me regarding your trips is what your general impressions might be comparing France and Italy. Before my first trip to Europe those two countries were the Top 2 on my list, and quite honestly did not know which one I would get to first. Well, you know how it turned out, so I am curious of what and why you have enjoyed most, having been to both. If that makes sense.

Thank you again, I am enjoying this so much. You are such a kind, gentle soul. Your Fodorites care about your greatly! Thank you for your candor.
Tiff is offline  
Nov 28th, 2007, 02:50 PM
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Hello my precious Tom and Tiff, checking in here!

Ah Tom, as usual I so enjoyed your report. And my heart as you know is with you regarding your dear Raymond.

Tiff darling..perhaps I should do as a dear friend of my daughter's recently did. In her will she had inserted that my daughter was to have an airline ticket to take her ashes to Italy to spread in her very favorite spot. I kid you not.

Many hugs Tom..hope to catch up with you one of these evenings.

And Tiff, have you found a coat for your trip to Rome yet?
LoveItaly is offline  

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