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Trip Report Amsterdam, Keukenhof and Paris May 2006


Trip Report Amsterdam, Keukenhof and Paris May 2006

Old May 26th, 2006, 06:24 PM
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Trip Report Amsterdam, Keukenhof and Paris May 2006

What a lovely time Naomi and I had on our European Spring Fling.

This initially was planned as my best friend and my 50th birthday trip to Denmark, we are both a bit Dansk. Then I suggested the Champagne District. Then it just moved to Paris with a side trip.

Things change and I talked my daughter into said trip. She needed to travel in the spring because she hopes to be in graduate school in the fall of 2006. An inserted update, she HAS been accepted to graduate school! She is such a good kid.

So on May 3, 2006 we met at her apartment in St. Paul Minnesota to go to the airport and try to be the first in line to make better seating arrangements than we had been assigned. The Icelandair staff are only at the airport for a very short period of time, and my thought was first in line counts FIRST! We weren't first, but we were second and third. The ticket guy told us he got us single rows both on the flight to Kelvik and Amsterdam.... "liar liar pants on fire!" We did sit across from one another on the longer flight to Iceland. We weren't even close on the second leg. Oh well, it was a very good price.

I also talked her into checking luggage so we could take the newly installed light rail transit to the Mall of America for the remainder of our 4 hour wait. She agreed, but I believe she had second thoughts about this when we arrived in Amsterdam.

Took the light rail line to the Mall of America, walked through the four floors and around them all. I think my daughter was starting to understand how quickly I walk when on vacation. As she said the last night in Paris, "you don't know how to stroll, do you?" Ugh... well, perhaps not.

Back to the airport, and onto the food! I have been on a low carb diet for over two years. This has been fabulous and I've been very successful in losing a great deal of weight. But VACATIONS start at the first time you are off the work clock. I really enjoy the mexican restaurant place next to the Icelandair gate. My husband and I started our last vacation in this same place with this same meal. Chicken Nachos and two margaritas please!

The flight to Iceland was uneventful. The woman on the window seat closed the window so if there were northern lights, I missed them. But I don't really enjoy viewing the polar icecap because my paranoid thoughts run polar bear rampant. So, dinner and Forrest Gump later we arrived in Keflavik. Now I remember that we found the Scandanavian processed cheese I love so much in this airport. This will come into play when I insist at the end of the trip to go THROUGH passport control and CAN'T go back for this cheese product. I know it's not raw milk cheese, but I do love it. But,that is later.

Arrival in Schiphol. As I mentioned I talked my daughter into checking our bags so we were free and easy in the Mall of America and the Airport. WELL, for a wee bit I thought I may have made a big mistake. The only saving grace was that there were SO MANY people waiting for luggage that I hoped ours was not lost. Then again, first on, first off. We were second in line in Minneapolis. I really yipped out loud at the sight of my daughter's bag. I had a change of clothes in that bag! Then eventually my bag emerged as well. We were almost ready to rumble, but the ticket machine wouldn't accept our cards for tickets to Amsterdam Zuid.

We made our way to the Holland Tourist Information desk in Schiphol. I can't recommend them highly enough. We purchased our bus and Keukenhof tickets and the strippenkarts we needed. We just needed to buy tickets for the train to Amsterdam Zuid from the train folks. Naomi accomplished this and we were off!

In my earlier trips we always got tickets to Amsterdam Centraal. This time I figured out this was a mistake, I could go to Amsterdam Zuid WTC (World Trade Center) and then take the trusty tram 5 to our stop in the Museumplein. Only three strippenkart tickets.

We stopped near the Concertgebouw and made our way to the Hotel Washington. This is my fourth visit here and because of a problem in the booking and a change in ownership I have to take Suite 21. My husband and I had Suite 21 on our first visit, we figured it was a very happy mistake. I paid more this time, but I'm glad that Naomi and I get to enjoy this comfortable space together as well.

We checked in and our young host apologized for the crying kitten in the room. "He is very sick, the Vet says he may die". Is what I remember. But, every morning that little orange cat talked louder and louder until he was picked up or until he got what he wanted. He was my first experience in Amsterdam.

Then again there are THE steps. The steps to Apartment 21 are very narrow and very steep. And the luggage provides a special challenge. I just told myself, it's three days until you have to bring it all DOWNSTAIRS! Oh well, better to wait for the scary stuff.

We stopped in my favorite Albert Heijn to get essentials for our room. I love this store because it is built UNDER the museumplein. Crackers, cheese, fruit, wine and sweets were procured.

We walked around the Rijksmuseum and then along to the Leidsplein. I thought since she hadn't seen Centraal Station she should see the other tourist central. I had read about a coffee roaster on PC Hoofstraat so we headed that direction. Unfortunately I didn't take the closer way and we had to risk life and limb to cross the street to window-shop.

By this time is was hot and we were tired so a pit stop was in order. We just stopped at a sidewalk cafe and ordered drinks. Three gentlemen were sitting alongside and we chatted. They were very old friends two Irishmen and one Dutchman (I don't know if that is correct). They were delightful. They were waiting for their wives to emerge from the very nice shops along this street. They told us about trips they had all taken together and separately. One of them, the Netherlander, talked about being at this year's Ascot Opening Day. Holy Moly Rocky, just like Eliza Doolittle. The other piece of information I remember from this encounter was the fellow who responded to my saying I had been learning French for 1 1/2 years for a half hour before work. He said (and quite truly I think) "I do well when I'm speaking, it's when they talk back I'm in trouble." SO True, So true. In the end their wives emerged without shopping bags. What a nice group of folks to meet at the beginning of our trip.

I had asked our hotel to make reservations for Brassiere Bark. We loved it. www.bark.nl/ I had the "butter fish" that one of my on-line friends translated as "oily fish". It was great nonetheless. My daughter got the Bouillabaise and she liked it very much. One of our table neighbors and as it turns out street neighbors took our photo. We look happy. I was happy. In Europe at the front of a trip, who could ask for anything more.

Okay, I can't stay awake anymore. So more tomorrow. This travel report is tough work!

I have three done, but the rest will take awhile.
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Old May 26th, 2006, 06:27 PM
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I have to add that we were too late to stop at the underground grocer for coffee our first night so I was forced to beg a coffee from our Hotel Washington's main room. I like to have coffee right away, not waiting for someone else to make it.

Day 2, May 5

Photos are at www.worldisround.com/arti...oto94.html

I woke at 7:15, late for me. There were more young people in the hotel than I'd experienced earlier. The group of young men who roomed overhead arrived back in their room about 2:30... it took awhile for them to get to sleep. LOL

We had breakfast in the Hotel. The menu has changed alittle with new ownership, but it is still very nice. Now it's a boiled egg, salami and breads and toast with honey and jams. The tiny cat who was at death's door yesterday was being very "vocal" today and yelled until s(he) was picked up. It's amazing how such a small body can make that much noise,

Off to Keukenhof. We bought the strippenkarts to cover our bus trip from Leiden to the garden and return from the Tourist Center in Schiphol. We just had to get a train ticket to Leiden. The Keukenhof Express is just outside the Leiden Statioin. We arrived in the gardens early, about 9:00 and left around 13:00. This was good because this was one of the very warm days we encountered. Being in full days sun would not have been fun, even in that lovely place.

My daughter agreed that of all the gardens we have dragged her through this was a good one. In her words, "At least there is something to see here." You have to look at my Keukenhof pictures to imagine this day. It was good. I have to say that my most magical moment involved the two little girls who were petting a small dog. The oldest girl was silently and tentatively petting the dog's tail from the back. The Baby Sister was SCREAMING HER HEAD OFF because being this close to the dog was so fun. If my picture could have sound you would be amazed. That is my "kodak moment" in my head from Keukenhof.

We got a Brodje "?" It was a sausage in a bun. I asked them to pronounce it for me, unfortunately I didn't take a photo. But by about noon this little smackeral of something that hit the spot.

We took the bus and train back to Schiphol. We were hoping to catch the Icelandair folks, no such luck. But I did get my first compact flash card downloaded to CD and bought a replacement booklight. While waiting for my CD hour to expire we had a Toasty and a Sausage Roll with Heinekin to pass the time.

You will notice that my souveniers are really rather ordinary and cheap. Oh well, I prefer to spend my money on food and wine.

Then we were in search of the two internet cafes near Centraal station. Found one of them, I can't remember now which, and of course my travel diary is of no help whatsoever. We then walked toward the Damrak and caught the old "reliable" tram 5 back toward our hotel.

That night we ate ristaffel at the Djanoko Restaurant on Van Baerlestraat. 22E per person for the 16 dish Ristaffel. I got a small pitcher of wine.

This was the ONLY restaurant in our travels that would not serve us a carafe of tap water. Very odd. We didn't eat all of the ristaffel dishes but they included: green beans, fried hard boiled eggs, fish fried with sour sauces, meat, satay, mixed vegetables in coconut milk, chicken leg, ?meats cubed, vegies in satay, sweetly pickled veggies in sauce, tempe fried in sauce, cucumbers , bean sprouts and tofu in sweet sauce, fried banana.

I have to say the fried banana was the biggest surprise. My daughter liked the Serunding... fried rasped coconut.. the best.

Back to our hotel and the BBC on two or three channels. Boy would I miss them soon. There was some large event on the museumplein, but we didn't find out what it was.

May 6, 2006

This is our wander about Amsterdam Day. Started out at breakfast at the Hotel Washington. The kitten is now starting to rule the roost. When he isn't picked up he just gets louder and louder. It's amazing the sound that little body can produce.

We walked across the canal to explore the Albert Cuypt market. Things were still pretty quiet while were were there. Just looked at it and then headed to the Bloemenmarkt, the flower market. Naomi was looking for the "floating part" I had to tell her, this "is" the floating part, the anchored shops. It is so amazing to see those bunches of tulips for 4 and 5 Euros. We pay soooo much here for 6 tulips. Big fun.

On the way to our next site we found the Chocolata store where we bought two hashish bon-bons, for consumption later tonight. As I don't smoke anymore this is my illicit opportunity in Amsterdam.

Then off toward the Noordmarkt. I'm good with maps, but of course I got close to it (like across the canal) and then zoomed off to the north. Thankfully a postman gave me some advice on the route. I bought my most expensive gift for me at this market, a 18.50E wallet. It's lovely soft leather, and a whole bunch cheaper than the 160E wallet at the "blow out" sale at a going out of business shop in Schiphol.

From there we had to stop for a smackeral of something. We found ourselves at the Hasselink Koffie on the corner of Spuistraat and Raadhuistraat. Had a lovely Champagne Cake and Mocha Cake with cafe. www.besselinkkoffie.nl

Off to the Ann Frank Huis. I have never been there, and as we speak I still have never been there. Oh well, the line didn't move quickly enough for us. But I got some nice photos of the Westkirken and a small dog fight along the walk.

Wending our way westward I had an article about the Westgasfabrik this new arts development on the west side of the Jordaan. We found our way, nothing was open, all getting ready for an exhibit at 4:00 p.m., oh well it was only 1:00. BACK ON THE TRAM!

Across the canal from the Rijksmuseum we got a great lunch at De Spiegel Lijnbaansgracht 277. We had croquettes and frittes. They were made just the way the tour guide said, hard on the outside and gravy like interieor. This family worked hard for their money.

We then went to the VanGogh Museum to use our purchased tickets for the Rembrandt Carevaggio (sp?) exihibit. It was really fascinating. The paintings I thought looked more modern (ie. Rembrandt's) were actually the older works by Carevaggio.

We got groceries for an in room dinner and then hopped a canal bus for a quick canal tour. The first part of our tour from the Rijksmuseum to Central Station was in Dutch, German and English. All of a sudden when leaving Central Station (and NOT GOING farther west) we were hearing French and English. The women from California we met said that the time line and everything about this boat line didn't make sense. Thank god it dropped us off by our hotel, they had to find their way back toward the Ann Frank Huis! End of the line and all.

We went back to our hotel and enjoyed an "in house" meal. A Waldorf Salad, chorizo, cheeses, crackers, stroopwaffels, thai chili potato chips and our bon bons from Chocolata.

We then packed and were ready for an early departure to Paris. I love Amsterdam.
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Old May 26th, 2006, 06:29 PM
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On our last morning in the Hotel Washington I had to laugh about the new ownership's breakfast plan. The young man we dealt with told us that we should appear for breakfast from 8:00 to 8:30 and then the rest of the hotel guests can eat. On our last day we requested at breakfast at 7:30 and shortly after we sat down other guests arrived. They didn't seem to notify if they were from an apartment or not. In fact they asked what was for breakfast, "egg" was the response. With what? salami.... Kippers? Egg. This went on for awhile. I don't think they will suceed in the differentiation of the rooms and apartment plan. As an apartment person I was rather put out that I had to show up soooo early!

So, bye bye to Hotel Washington. I'm glad my girl got to be in the place that has been the hub of our Amsterdam explorations.

Naomi tried her phone card again at Schiphol it didn't work. Little did we know this woul be a harbenger of our french phone experience. We also found that our ChipKnip cards only work in the Netherlands. So we have to save all our spending on these for our last few hours in Schiphol. Oh well, could be worse, I can spend money there, no matter what the currency.

Onto the Thalys. It goes slowly through the Netherlands and perhaps through Belgium.

What I learned is that I really don't know very much about Belgium. When we moved through stations I just did not know where we were and what should be next. This is unusual for me. I like maps. In Paris I bought a map I thought would help here, WRONG, I bought a map for Northern Netherlands. This is of absolutely no use for the Thalys line. Oh well, I'm going to study and learn.

We arrived in Paris at Gare du Nord. Naomi and I had talked about whether to go by metro or taxi to our apartment. I decided that taxi was the way to go. It was SOOOO coool. This taxi had a GPS system and the female voice told him when he was "about" to turn and when to "turn now". It cracked me up. This looked like a man who would have taken us for a ride, literally and figuratively... and this ride cost 13E with 2 bags to 3 Rue Magourg in Paris 75016. The same ride back cost 10.90 at 6:15 a.m. A woman driver who I did not have the GPS but also didn't scare me whilst driving.

So... we arrive at the apartment I have dreamed about for many months. Because of the French Yellow Pages I really know what the street looks like. When we land on the doorstep I know this is my apartment.

We ring the gardienne and she is waiting for us. Unfortunately she is Portuguese and speaks French, we are American and speak a LITTLE french and some spanish. We pretend to understand one another regarding the garbage, washing machine and everything else.

After we settled in I did a walk about to find the food, wine and ATM's. This is important stuff Maynard!

I tried to call many times on our house phone to Jim Haynes, the host of our evening soiree.

Jim Haynes is an American expatriot who hosts dinners on Sunday nights. For 20E each one can have an all you can eat meal with drinks and an evening of chatting.

Naomi and I ended up with a group of Americans, 2 young women (Loren and Molly) living in Paris and working in the fashion industry, and 2 women (Jules and Leah) from California who worked in the fashion industry. In the meantime we had met separately a poet (James) who lives in Taos, NM, a Parisian with an american accent whose parents paid for "american english" time, 2 folks who had been in europe since March and were really ready to be home, a parisian woman in a pink suit and pink cowboy boots. She told me that Naomi was lovely, I was forced to agree.

The Jim Haynes dinner is not for the faint of heart, but then again it isn't scary either. One of his friends cooked some lovely vegetarian curry, lentils, chutney and naan bread. Later there was ice cream. In the meantime there was all the wine or beer you wanted. It was a lovely meal. A perfect first day in Paris.

We made it to the St. Jacques Metro and then off to the Trocadero.
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Old May 26th, 2006, 06:29 PM
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Monday May 8, Paris First Morning.

I started out early to check out the neighborhood and try to find the internet access place on rue Boissiere. It was misting on and off. I missed it on the first go round, didn't have the address and expected a cafe. It was Time and Space on 79 (not 59) Rue Boissiere, near Place Victor Hugo. It was great, 3E for 30 minutes. Not a cafe but one could buy canned drinks. By now it is raining. Note to self, buy umbrella. On the way back to our apartment I stopped at the nearby Mini-Monoprix for toilet paper and paper towels. Closed, the sign said open Monday 8:30 HEY It's Monday at 9:00. Now I remember, it's a holiday, VE day. Back to the apartment sans TP. I put my jacket on the towel warmer in our apartment and it's dry by the time we are ready to leave again. I need on of those!

Headed up Rue Kleber to see what was happening at the Arch de Triomph. On the way I spied a sign that proclaimed SHOP! Well, we checked, and indeed toilet paper and paper towel can be had on a Monday morning holiday. Schlep it back to the apartment and start out again.

This should have been a continued sign to my daughter that I walk ALOT when on vacation. Oh well, she waits a week to stage her revolt. LOL

A block away from the Arch de Triomph we are herded off to our left. Every police officer in France and perhaps from the entire EU is on every street leading. The woman who searched me asked if I spoke Italian.... oh if only this were the case. If I had been a criminal, this would have been a good time to start a crime spree, because they were all very busy.

Then on the Champs Elysees we go through a very thorough search of bag and self and get a good spot along the barricade only about 1/2 a block from all the action. Occasionally people with passes are hurried through the barricades and allowed where the "big people" go. We hang out in the enclosure. Now, not much happens for quite awhile, being the instant gratification Americans we are, our interest wains. Once in awhile someone yells out from the main area, he sounds something like the Iron Chef. People seem to be moving from the viewing stands to the Arch and back. Pretty boring really.

THEN A BAND! Yeah! A parade! The first band comes through, and a group with bannors, I assume the standards of the troops.

THEN THE BEST BAND. We hear the clattering of horse hoofs and a brass band all in one. This band is cantering on horseback whilst playing brass instruments. Okay, I don't think there were any tubas, but many a trumpet was playing. It really was amazing.

Big break in the action and then some more noise and President Chirac zooms by. Then not much, we decide to ditch the parade. Wander down the Champs Elysees and then hang a right to check out a place for lunch. It's only 11:45 so all the restaurants are still closed. We keep walking and window shopping and looking for lunch.

Suddenly, right in front of our eyes IS "The House of Dior". One of our (Naomi and I) favorite made for TV movies is "Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris". It's based on a Paul Gallico story about a London Char who saves all her money for a Dior dress. It's her adventure to Dior's dress shop. Anyway, this was on our list of things to see. We had a lovely lunch alfresco about a half block away.

Then wandered back around and found ourselves on the street where all the busses for the military units from the ceremony were parked. Band after band and unit after unit paraded down the street and went through their various stand down orders before they broke ranks and got in their busses. We got a view of the best of the celebration in double time. I particularly liked the unit that came down the road singing a song in french, to the tune I know as "you are my sunshine.

We walked then toward the Place Concorde and through the Tuilleries de Lovre and took the metro to the Bastille. We were headed toward the Place Vosges but were headed in the wrong direction.

We walked behind a young man and his son. This boy was making all the superhero ninja spiderman moves, sounds and kicks as he made his way down the sidewalk. We were enjoying him a great deal. When his father noticed us laughing I said, "Tout garcon" He laughed. I am so glad I learned the little French I did, I made a quip and it worked! I bought one of the things on my "list" a basket or bag for market and shopping. 10E. I'm a cheap shopper.

We were helped by a man who told us to go back where we came from for the Place Vosges. Oh well, next trip perhaps. So, we saw a sign for the Viaducts des Arts. Headed that way, window shopped, as all the stores were closed for the Holiday. Stopped and had a well deserved glass of wine. The sun was out and we were in Paris. Life is good.

Since we were close we hopped the metro to Bercy Village and window shopped there. I took pictures of cat perches my Wee Rab needs. Then back to the apartment. We were looking for a Vietnamese place for supper (one the list) but I mentioned the place with 125 Belgian Beers I had in my stash of places. Naomi was up for that.

La Gueze, 169 Rue Sufflot, Paris 5th, phone 01-43-54-63-00. 3 courses for 19.90E but the beer is pricey. I had a bio Lambic and Naomi had a Trappist Ale. We sat in the non smoking section so we were practically alone. LOL I decided to be adventurous and had the andouillette and Naomi had the hanger steak. I'm glad I tried the chitterlings, but won't order them any time soon. I was reduced to that old kid trick of mushing it up and hiding it under the salad. I did eat about half, I think american chitterlings would be better, they are fried. You can't help but like fried things. I had cheese for my dessert and Naomi had chocolate mousse. This is a great deal for the price. The service was friendly. Our server asked where I go my sun. We told him we were Saulteurs, American Indians, we are just brown.

Home again home again, jiggety jig. What a wonderful first day in Paris.
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Old May 28th, 2006, 12:09 PM
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Paris May 9 & 190, 2006.

Tuesday the 9th was planned as the shopping day. I carried Patricia Well's Food Lovers Guide to Paris, my daughter carried a shoppers guide to Paris, different strokes.

But, before she awoke I did a little walkabout the neighborhood. Kids were going headed to school. Two little girls were in front of me in pink and riding the obligatory scooter. I saw a little boy being pulled through a very crowded market on his scooter. They are everywhere. I also fond the Picard store just a few blocks away.

Naomi and I started the day by walk to 79 Boissiere to find the Time and Space cyber place. 3; Euros for 30 minutes.

Metroed one stop to the Etoile, down Champs Elysees toward Sephora the giant perfume and makeup store. Before we got their I couldn't find one of those free toilets on the street. Come to think of it I NEVER saw one when they would have been useful. Anyway, went to McDonalds and paid for coffee just to use the toilet, in the end the touch pads on them were simply a ruse.

My daughter entered one of the major places on her "list of things to do" I was looking for a garbage can to ditch our cups. On that stretch of Champs Elysees there aren't any trash cans. I asked the doorman at Sephora, I asked two police officers, I was stuck holding the trash. I entered Sephora to wait out Naomi's visit. To quote my husband, for me this is just about as exciting as watching paint dry. Oh well, I did ditch the trash. On our way out I showed the doorman my empty hands and said, "Don't tell anyone!" We shared a laugh. I found plenty of Parisians who shared a chuckle or two with me.

Two more shops were on my daughters list, I got a black and white umbrella for 4E90 ( I know last of the big time spenders). Naomi got bags, clothes, cosmetics and flip flops. Finally next door to Printemps for their lunch room and toilets. We had a lovely lunch I had a chorizo and red pepper salad and my daughter had pasta with salad. Refreshed we metroed back to the apartment.

That evening we ate at La Cagouille.
I had reserved this table prior to leaving home. It probably was our most expensive meal, but I think the extra wine explains it. You can come here if you want fish, fish and only fish. We did have a pureed celeriac but other than that not even a speck of parsley. There was some question on our order and so I was suspicious of the whole shebang. Anyway, we were somewhat disapointed and returned to Trocadero to have herb tea creme brulees to ease our discomfort. We took photos of the blue Tour Eiffel, but not the copywritten sparkly one.

Wednesdays May 10, 2006

Today is the number one on my "to do list" day. But first, a stop to the Market on Ave. President Wilson, in our neighborhood. It looked just like it should. I bought cheese and asked for a smaller piece of Reblochon. I was told you can only buy a whole or half round. I don't know why, I asked about this later and was told that's just the way it is done.

On our way back to drop off our goodies we met an older woman who asked directions to rue I'ena. We conversed in French and English and were able to help her on her way. This was the first, but not the last time, we were appoached for directions. I guess it was our ever present Paris Pratique Par Arrondissement books. We met many folks this way. The only person I couldn't help was a young man who didn't know what rue his Hostel was on, and he spoke Spanish and French.

Dropped off stuff and then off to Musee Marmottan Monet. YEAH!
We metroed to Porte de Muette and asked directions as we went. It seems the deeper into the 16th one goes the grander the houses become. We walked through the Jardins du Ranelagh to the Musee. This is a lovely museum. You get to see the Monet's personal collection of his and his friend's works. The basement holds the Monets. I can't recommend this highly enough. This is the first time someone responded to my french in english. Day four, not bad.

We walked off to find Rue Annonciation, the pedestrian shopping street in Passy. We had a a grand lunch at Passy Zen, 35 Rue De L. Annonciation. I had the asparagus risotto and my daughter had this great plate of crudites and chicken. If your in the neighborhood I really recommend this place.

Following lunch we continued down the street, I was in search of a coffee roasting store. We found this and then a bookstore. I was searching for a map that would show me the area of the Netherlands and Belgium that we traveled through on the Thalys. I bought a map, but it was just of northern Netherlands, this doesn't help. Anyone need a map of the North of Netherlands?

Back to the apartment to rest up. We decided to have in at the apartment with food from the frozen food store Picard. Picked up tomato basil soup and entrees. Naomi had endive gratin with jambon and I had rabbit in mustard sauce with fettucini. Naomi picked out a orange and grapefruit (sounds more fun in french pomplemouse) and I picked up a baba au rhum on our way home. I've never had baba au rhum, but I've always loved the way it rolls off the tongue. Before dinner we explored the 7th and I found the La Dernier Goutte wine shop, check another off the list. It was a much smaller shop than I imagined. The owner Juan Sanchez was there, it was kind of startling to hear this all american accent and see this very young man. He does have a nice shop!

On our way home a smiling old man played the accordian on the metro, had to pay him! Then home to our Picard dinner. It was then I had a major "incident" with the corkscrew and synthetic cork at our apartment. Scissor were the final solution. A lovely meal and a lovely few days.
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Old May 28th, 2006, 01:12 PM
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Thursday May 11, 1006. AKA the day of the hot pink velour pant suit.

Anyone who has spent any time at all at the Fodor's site knows that the biggest mistake one can make is a pink pantsuit and white tennies, sneakers, trainers etc. But I saw the answer to this "truth" on this morning.

First I headed off early to the Market Breteuil in the 7th and bought some lovely small artichokes, they looked like a bouquet. On my way back while walking across the Pont de I'ena I saw this stunningly beautiful young couple. Okay, he was handsome but she was stunning. Early 20's long dark hair, olive skin, perfect smile and perfect body. WEARING a body skimming hot pink velour jacket and pants. I looked down and yessirreebob there were electric white tennies. I was so shaken I couldn't get my camera out to record the moment. You are just going to have to trust me, one human in the universe CAN pull this look off in Paris.

Today is museum day. Up rue Kleber to the Arch de Triomphe, purchased Carte de Musee and up the almost 300 stairs. It's a good thing I quite smoking three years ago. It was hazy, and of course a million school children on a field trip. Down same stairs and off to the Louvre.

The Carte de Musee is the WAY TO GO. You just bypass all lines. We only had a few goals for the Louvre. I really wasn't that interested in the Mona Lisa, but since we were there we stopped by, it was nice. I'm more an impressionist gal myself. Naomi wanted to find her favorite picture from her first visit so off to the large French paintings "Francesco and Paolo". Napolean's coronation was very interesting. Then off to Napolean's apartments. Naomi was right, these were really fun to see. The gruesome paintings of dogs bringing down a stag that hung in the dining room would NOT work in my decorating scheme. The Grand Salon was certainly grand. After a few hours on this stone floor we were beginning to scheme about renting a wheel chair and taking turns. One last stop to the medieval Louvre exhibit, it looked like a typical french chateau originally, lots of round turrets.

Okay, we're exhausted time for lunch. Cyrano de Bergerac, Palais Royal here we discovered Tartines. I had the Roblechon, Lardon, Pommes and herbs tartine and Naomi had the Tomato, Mozzerella and Basil Tartine. Later a cafe and tarte framboise finished an entirely delightful lunch. It was getting hot in the sun, we probably should have taken a table inside.

So, off to use the tickets Jody so generously sent to the Broccante de Bastille. This is a big outdoor antique market I think is on either side of the Port de l'Arsenal. Well, as we approached the Bastille station a message came over the intercom, something about security, no stopping at the Bastille. So, off to Gare de Lyon we go! This worked out well, we had to get rail tickets for a day trip to Chateau de Chenonceau for the next day.

We found our way back to the Brocante, only because of Naomi's rather amazing sense of direction. On the way we saw a number of groups of police, in pretty serious gear, but not looking like they were ready for immediate action.

Walked all the way through and finally purchased some sheet music that we will use as framed art. I bought one that has some blue and purple with a couple in a Tango, and a tangerine hued woman who looked like a Gibson Girl. My daughter snatched the Indian Chief sheef out of my group of "possibilities". It was really quite fun. I think these are our best souveniors.

So, back on the shopping track, Naomi was searching for a duty free shop she either saw from the taxi. We alighted on Rue Raspiel, walked quite abit, but didn't find that shop. In the end she did find a duty free perfume shop where she was happy with the service and her light summery perfume.

Back to our apartment, ditch our treasures and right back out to the neighborhood Cafe Rouge, 79 Ave. Kleber. We ate early Carpaccio and Croque Monsieur for Naomi. She had a Mojito with cuban rum (on the list) and I had a Rully Blanc wine. It was a nice break, but only a break because we are using our Carte Musee tonite for the Musee d'Orsay.

The d'Orsay is open tonite until 9:30 so we are using our carte once again. This was the museum where the wonder of the carte showed it's worth, no we didn't wait in that long snaking line, we went around the back to door C, and right in. This is my second museum goal of Paris and it didn't disapoint. We laughed at one of the paintings that showed a group of friends, there was one who Naomi called, "the crazy friend." Sure enough he looked like that, the one who says the wrong things, laughs inappropriatlely and is just odd. A few galleries later, there he was in a self portrait. He even looked odd there! He was in the pre or post-impressionist showings. We enjoyed the sculptures enormously, the under the floor city scape with dead animals hither and yon was a little disconcerting however. The view of the Sacre Cour was amaizing.

Home again home again, set alarm for 6:00 a.m. to Chateau Chenonceau tomorrow.
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Old May 28th, 2006, 02:48 PM
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Friday and Saturday, Chateau Chenonceau and Le Cordon Bleu

Up and at'm at 6:00 in order to catch a 7:55 train at Montparnasse. While waiting we had a cafe, birds are winging their way freely through the station, my daughter hates birds. She was glad it was time for the train. We take a TGB to St. Pierre des Corps and then a local train to Chenonceau.

My daughter's idea for this day trip was inspired. She had been here and enjoyed this chateau more than Chambord. When we emerged about 9:30 and the air was cool and moist, the birds were singing and it smelled green. Walking down the tree lined entrance you can imagine being a visitor in a carriage. Why is it we don't imagine ourselves as the servants ON said carriage. We spied the turreted chateau, the moats, the gardens and the river. This is a lovely place.

It has an interesting history of Henry I, his wife Catherine de Medici and his mistress Diane de Poitiers. At his death Catherine made her hand over this chateau and then again she gave her another chateau in return. Worse things happen to mistresses I think. Of course I liked the gardens, but the forest most fascinated me. The many paths through the grounds were very inviting indeed. We bought some wine from the cave, walked through the kitchen, flower garden, 16th Century farm and walked by the burro field.

The little village is lovely, lots of restaurants for tourists. My daughter spied a Peugeot that had feather decals on it. It looked like a car in our towns, with Indian designs, although there aren't many Peugeot Rez (reservation) cars. LOL We took photos.

We peeked about and I bought a few items at the Pottery. He was a very nice artist, inviting us to look at his workshop. I told him (in french no less) that we needed the train, I think to catch was understood. He replied that he would hurry.

Ate lunch at Brasserie des la Tour, 2 Place de La Gar, St. Pierre des Corps. Sandwich Parisian and 2 wine for me and Pasta Carbonara and Coke Light for Naomi. 19E10.

Trained back, the TGV makes your ears pop when you enter and go through tunnels, fascinating. Back to the apartment, Naomi's feet seriously hurt now. "Vacations aren't for wimps" I tell her, "I don't see dad here with you" she retorts. Poor kid, she doesn't have great shoes and doesn't walk as much as I do.

Back in Paris we search for someplace to have couscous and hear Jazz both things on the list. We searched for the Jazz club first and then worked from there. Came up with AuP'tit Cahoua 24 rue des Tallandiers, Paris 11. Phone 1-47-00-20-42. It was slow when we arrived for our 20:00 reservation but it filled up. They were turning folks away later. Naomi had Couscous with Chicken, I had a Vegtarian Tagine, both were wonderful. Morroccan Rose wine was my big surprise. Later I found Moroccan rose in my local store (Paris not Minnesota). We had coffees and a selection of partries.

Then off to the New Morning 7&9 Rue des Petites-Ecuries, Paris 10, 01-45-23-51-41

We arrived and it looked like a smoky jazz club, but surprisingly we didn't come out smelling like smoke. We saw a group from the US the Terance Blanchard Quintet. I have to admit I don't know anything about Jazz. But Naomi assures me that if it was bad jazz I would know it. I wasn't that impressed with the piano and trumpet, but I did like the bass and percussionist.

The last thing I do set was shortly after midnight so back on the metro, we have school tomorrow! Naomi's words? "I am NOT getting up on SUNDAY!" The revolt has begun.

Saturday, May 13, 2006. Le Cordon Bleu.

Okay, this is the mother lode for me in Paris, I'm an amateur gourmet and this is the center of my trip. Now, I would have preferred to take the Market Class the day before, but Naomi wanted to do the Petit Fours Class. Her reasoning is that it would be all day cooking, which it was. But unfortunately for the kid who looked forward to a day with out walking, there are NO stools. On your feet all day for the lesson.

We arrived at 8:30 for the 9:00 class. We took the instructions seriously to leave all extra items behind. So, we have no camera. Luckily Edith from Oklahoma City had taken the Market Class the day before and brought her camera this time, she's sending us copies of her pictures, when she returns to the states in late June, or was that July? Our class of 16 included Edith, Naomi and I, two friends from California Gwen and Zena, they provided most of the fun commentary of the day, example, "you make petite fours, we make pitiful fours." The Chef did use their choux as an example french and american. He was smiling while he did this. Others, there was one more mother daughter team one from California and one in New York. A couple of young American women who are living in Paris. Naomi thought they may each be in some job rotation. The other American was a Martine a simply beautiful young woman from California. Ross who worked at the Ritz Hotel Boston pastry kitchen (you can only imagine his petite fours!) Filling out the group, a Japanese woman who is a stewartess, I now know what a size 0 looks like, a woman from Hong Kong who took an earlier bread lesson, and a woman from Brazil who was living in Paris.

We were taught by the Head Pastry Chef of Le Cordon Bleu Nicholas Bernarde and a lovely interpreter who is Australian and French. We just called them Chef and Madame. We cooked all day. The focus was on technique and ingredients. We made Financiers, Diamonts?, Choux Pateaox, and Grenache that we piped into chocolate molds, Pastry Cream and Lemon Cream. WE took a great deal of sweets home in multiple boxes. Most of them made the way to the garbage, except for the easily transported chocolates and diamonds and then what we could eat.

We had reservations that night for Cave de l'Os a Moelle, 181 rue de Lourmel, Paris 15, Metro Lourmel. I made this reservation before I left home. This little winebar is across the street from the L'Os a Moelle both owned by chef Thierry Faucher. You eat at common tables and food is either on the table or served from common buffets. Salads, terrines and foies on the table, two soups at the end and desserts and cheeses along the side. You can buy a bottle of wine for the same price you can take it home. We were seated together, but I think that was best, we really couldn't add to a table's conversation. The food was awesome. I even tried and liked foie gras in the terrine. This is something, I am NOT a liver lover, I don't even like liverwurst. You also can rent a bike (Velo) and picnique from the restaurant.

This was my most perfect Paris Day.
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Old May 28th, 2006, 03:09 PM
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your photo link doesn't work. some letters missing.
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Old May 28th, 2006, 05:07 PM
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Sunday and Monday 14 and 15, May 2006 We are almost done with our visit. A year before my daughter had toasted me and said, "Next year in Paris". Here we are!

This is Naomi's "I'm not getting up on Sunday" Sunday. I got up and out and walked to Bois Boulogne with the Parc Bagatelle as my destination. After walking through some very isolated forest paths, not marked I might add, my sensibilities came back and I found a main car thoroughfare to walk to the Parc Bagatelle. In about an hour I got to the Parc's entrance, 15 minutes before opening. I didn't think it would cost, luckily it wasn't that much and I could pay out of my change. I was looking for the roses, but it's a bit early for that, but the tulips were in their last bloom. It is also too early for iris but overall it is a lovely garden. The now identified wisteria were in full bloom and fascinating. I don't think I can grow those here in zone 3. I think the tundra is zone 2.

Then I heard the peacocks... calling and calling. Just then my camera shut down and told me to replace the battery pack. I just changed batteries two days earlier! Luckily it did take some great photos of these peacocks. They were wearing each other out in their displays.

Back out I found a trail straight east and when I got to the eastern edge of the forest the place was very busy. I want to come back here and rent a bike for a morning.

Back to the apartment and to the market to buy a rabbit for our dinner. Unfortunately I misread the market info and President Wilson market is on Saturday, this is Sunday, so off to Market Grenelle. I got a rabbit at the first stand because they only had half of one left.... big mistake, there were more rabbits to be had later in the market. I bought the other things I needed for our dinner, white asparagus, parsley, didn't see pasta so small potatoes. Naomi asked me to look for scarves at 5E max, got two for 10 and back home again.

I wanted to see the 13th Arrondisement. I had read about small homes in this neighborhood. I also think I would like to stay here on my next visit to Paris. So, off we go, exit Metro at Place Italia. Of course it's lunchtime and we find somewhere on the Place to eat. This was a mistake, we could have gone a block in any direction and had a better and cheaper lunch. Live and learn.

Off to the Cinq Diamonts and surroudings, then checked out Passage Barrault and Boiton and Rue Daviel. It is a very cool neighborhood. This was one of the places where two Parisians asked us for directions. One was surprised we were Americans and complimented our french. I could stay here, I really liked the area.

Back on the Metro and walked across the Pont des Arts (not a secret Dave! LOL) and then along the vendors on the Seine. We saw the rollerblading folks lining up. Police at the front, rollerbladers and then police and ambulance at the back. We thought we'd go to Isle St. Louis, but I figured on Sunday Berthillons would be closed, so we got artisnal ice cream at Daumann's Glacier quai Montebello, 1, rue des Grands Degres.
Then off to the Batobus for a ride back to the Trocadero. Boat on the Seine, check it off the list!

The boat trip was uneventful except for Rachel. When I was at the back of the boat taking pictures of one of the island tips this little girl saw my camera and started posing for the camera... the million dollar smile. I just burst out laughing when I noticed her. Her grandfather introduced us, and allowed me to take her photo. I don't think she would have believed if I had told her I was actually taking pictures of the shoreline when she first spotted me.

Back to the apartment and I made Lapin Au Moutarde, pomme, asperge, artichoke and sweets from our Le Cordon Bleu stash. This year in Paris!

Off to Cafe Rouge for a nightcap. I remember not planning on taking my purse, as Naomi was buying. Clearly this would prove to be a false memory.

Monday May 16, 2006

LOST PURSE! On my way out to buy croissants for breakfast, no bag. I looked everywhere, peek in Naomi's room where I last remember seeing it. It's a small apartment, it can't be that lost. Luckily it doesn't have anything valuable in it, just useful. I head out to the ATM for money to replace the little bit in my bag, and it regrets it can't give me 80E WHAT! So, I go to Cafe Rouge, the morning guy tells me he understands, but the bag is not there. Il est pas ici! Rats, but I don't quite believe him. So, we determine to wait until the afternoon and our waiter comes on duty. In the meantime I email my husband to keep track of any unusual activity, although there isn't much money left in either accounts that may have receipts in purse.

This morning Naomi was going to go to Versaille, but when I was emailing her dad about my purse, there she was, Versaille is closed on Monday, so she's going shopping. She gets 80 E for me, as partial payment for Amsterdam Suite, she is a good kid. I'm going to float about Passy. Actually I head to a Gallerie Didier, I'm successful and get some gifts for my husband at the Nicholas. Also a wine bottle carrier for 1E that will come in handy, heading toward the apartment I stop at an office max and get bubble wrap for our wines. Drop stuff off and head south toward Passy. I find the rue Passy and see many fine stores I've seen advertisements for, but have never actually seen in person. That was nice. I also found an Asian Deli, and ordered a springroll, check another thing off the list. I found this Monoprix Gourmet that was pretty amazing. Unfortunately they didn't have a loupe, magnifying glass, and so I moved on. Found one in a nearby bookstore 5E.

I enjoyed the walk back and then stopped into the Cafe Rouge for a drink. There was my same waiter, after my glass of wine I asked him if he worked last here,right?, I'm searching for my black sack. Once again, I was so glad I took the time to learn just a bit of french. His response? Magnifique! My Sac Noir! Voila!

I really wanted to go back the next day and tell the day guy that my purse "WAS TOO THERE". But it's better to have it in hand. My extra glasses, my new wallet, my Euros. Went home to leave Naomi a note and she arrived to show off her Herve Chapetier bags. This means nothing to me, but they are cute.

Off to the Musee Homme to meet Dave the fodorite and his wife Kathy (or Cathy?). We sat on the terrace and it was a perfect spring day. They had been in Amsterdam just after we left and we talked about our almost simultaneous adventures. This is my first Fodor's GTG and it was very nice. We laughed about Kathy walking his legs off and Michael Osman walking both of their legs off! I then showed them the apartment. I think they may try this sometime.

Much later we were able to make our 22:00 reservations for Dans Le Noir, 51 rue Quincampoix.
We weren't called until 22:30. This is a restaurant where your eat in the total dark. Our server was blind and brought us to and from our table. We shared a longish table with another couple, I could feel their wine bottle when I reached for our carafe of water.

You can order and know your meal ahead, or you can order a surprise menu. I decided to just order a known meal. I ordered scallops for the main course and Naomi ordered duck. She ordered a first course that they ran out of and so we both had tempura white asparagus with eggplant caviar and a green sauce.

I thought that I would become claustraphobic, but after a little rose wine I was much better. We could hear a large party to my right singing happy birthday, the couple right next to us and a couple to our other side. Later they turned on some old timey country western music, not hokey, but with modern artists. Sfter awhile I'm very comfortable in my "zone" I know where I and my stuff is and have some idea about Naomi, the rest is just "out there". We didn't have dessert, I was concerned to get the metro before the close.
Checking another thing off the list! Dans Le Noir!
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Old May 28th, 2006, 05:31 PM
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Tuesday May 16th, our last full day.

Today Naomi successfully makes her way to Versaille. I head inland to find the Cour de Rohan in the 5th. The 5th is very confusing, all those small medieval streets. I did find the Cour de Rohan once from the equally medieval Cour de Commerce and the back of the Cafe Procop is on this street. They talk about the Cafe Procop on my Pimsleur tapes.

After looking at these courts I headed south to the Arena Lutec, the Roman ampitheatre. I read that they could close stuff off and hold sea battles here. Those Romans were pretty inventive.

I was torn since I was very close to the Jardin du Plantes. But, I headed instead to Isle St. Louis, the island in the stream without Notre Dame. It was lovely, the shopping street had great stuff. I particularly liked the marionnette store and the toy store. I stopped at a boulangerie and had a brioche buerre. Another few photos of Notre Dame from another angle and a bus back home. Naomi prefers the metro because she takes the bus every workday. They are slow and boring. I like them because I can see, but her point is well taken.

Our lunch is the eat everything in the refridgerator, or throw it out, lunch. We had the remaining tomato soup, left over rabbit, cheese and baguette.

For our last afternoon we checked out the area around Canal St. Martin. Our outdoor cafe was along a very busy street canalside, so it lacked a bit of atmosphere. We walked about, it didn't thrill me. I liked the 13th better.

Home and packing. We packed and were ready to rumble at 6:00 a.m. Our train leaves from Gare du Nord at 6:55, we hope to be in a Taxi by 6:05. I call and try to reserve a taxi, but no luck.

Oh Well, our last meal, GR5 Restaurant, 19 Gustav Courbet, Paris 16. Tel: 01-47-27-09-84.

Naomi thinks this is the best meal in Paris. I'd have a hard time disputing this but I'm partial to the Cave de l'Os a Moelle. We had the fondue with three cheeses and a bottle of Chignon from Savoire. As I was snapping photos one fellow at the outside table caught me. He made such a fuss, the owner was laughing and shaking her head, I was forced to take his photo as well.

Off to the Tower for last shots. We missed the twinkling at 9:00 and so stopped and had a creme brulee and tarte tartin and coffees at the Cafe Trocadero. There were three folks sitting behind us. Two of them were American business men, young men, in their twenties or thirties. They were loud and obnoxious in any language, and they thought they were so suave. I hate it when stereotypes come to fruition. Oh Well, I blame them for my last illegal photo of the sparkling Eiffel Tower being blurry.

Tomorrow back to Amsterdam and home again.
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Old May 29th, 2006, 08:47 AM
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Winging Home, Start Gazing and Random Thoughts.

May 17, 2006.

Up at 4:30 and woke Naomi at 4;55. Our train is at 6:55 from Gare du Nord. Ate breakfast, packed snacks, finished packing the frozen Le Cordon Bleu treats, called for a cab. Of course the cab was not there at 5:55, 6:00, 6:05 so we hoofed it to Trocadero, hailed a cab and I believe she was trying to tell me that I had to go to the cab stand la ba!. Finally, she just rolled her eyes and opened her trunk and off we went. She was a very good driver, cost 2E less than the ride over, she didn't charge us for our bags, and it was our last chance to look around.

Thalys ride was uneventful. Back in Schiphol, checked bags and now have two hours till we need to be at the gate. I had satay chicken just so I could have frites, Naomi had pasta bolognese. We then went in search of places we could use up the funds in our Chipknip cards. They didn't use them at the restaurant, but the grocery store took them. I bought some port for Mark and Gouda for all of us and used up the whole thing and paid the remaining 0E45.

On our arrival in Kelavik Naomi thought this guy in front of us looked like Garrison Keillor. I kind of sped up and looked at him. IT WAS Garrison Keillor. I had wanted to get some scandanavian processed cheese spread I had seen in this shop on the way over. I went through passport control, even though my daughter said, "Are you sure you want to do that?" Yeah! Well, of course she was right, I did NOT want to do this before I shopped at the store on that floor. Afterward we had to go to another section, no turning back. Rats, Rats and double Rats. Note to self, listen to your kid more. Oh well, there was some similar cheese on the departure gate floor just not the shrimp kind.

We listened to Garrison Keillor get chatted up by some North Dakotan LOL and winged our way to Minneapolis. Mr. Keillor was in First Class, but Rich Dworski of the Guys All Star Shoe Band was back in coach with us! This will only matter to Prarie Home Companion fans. Naomi got a row to herself, the movie with Queen Latifah was very funny. I always find flying home much easier.

Random Thoughts and Experienced:

* Cowboy Boots are all the rage for women.

* The women in Amsterdam wear colors, sure just when I go with the Black and White look. But, black is still in in Paris. Thank Heavens. Parisians do wear brown and black together, difficult for us, and very pointy toed shoes.

* Buy tickets ahead of time, on the Thalys you get to sit looking forward, at museums you go to the front of the line.

* Thalys smiley international ticket IS printable at home computer.

* The Carte Orange is great for a stay that you can use the Monday to Sunday pass.

* Pharmacies don't sell those gel shoe inserts. Trust me, Naomi searched each and every one, particularly those that had "ped" predominate in signage.

* My most important phrases in french beside the obvious were "Can you help me?" and "Can I help you?"

* They have better potato chips in Amsterdam, Thai chili, whereas Paris seems fixated on roasted chicken chips, that's too wierd. LOL

* Buy a Paris Practique par Arrondissement. You will be surprised how many French people you will meet who are lost and you can help with this handy dandy map book.

* Bring two packs of batteries because your first change may only last one day, like mine, and I almost missed the peacock picture.

* Tip street performers who make you smile. That jolly sousaphone players still makes me smile.

* Our cell phone did not work as planned because our house phone couldn't call it, it wasn't a Paris number. We used it to call home few times, but hardly worth Naomi's expense.

* If you buy a chipknip in Amsterdam for use in the grocery store, just get a small denomination. We got two large cards that weren't all that useful.

* I saw someone scything grass or grain by hand along the side of the train track in the Netherlands. I also saw the perfect stone farmstead in France on the way to the Loire valley.

* French TV is really rather interesting, even if you don't have a clue what is being said. We watched an episode of The Weakest Link where the contestants were showgirls in full regalia. We also watched some reality show where parents were talking to adult children about their impending divorce.

* It's nice to be in a place where manners matter. As I returned to the apartment one morning a mother and her small daughter were leaving, I assume for school. The mother reminded her daughter, "Alyse, bonjour madame." The girl quickly greeted me with, "Bon Jour Madame." Cool.

* A young man asked us to take his picture in front of the Rijksmuseum. Then he asked, "Who is this Rembrandt anyway." I was tongue tied, the best I could do is "he's a famous Dutch master, the Nightwatch." I don't think that was helpful.

* I have spend more time looking at maps of Belgium. I was completely at a loss as to what I was seeing.

Best french links? The yellow pages of course
I have a good link for reviewing restaurants, but that was on my old computer, I'll have to search that one out at work.

* From our apartment we could hear all the sounds of life around us, the good the bad and the just wierd. We had a classical pianist somewhere about, a family with a crying kid and screaming mom, and a soprano who piped up occasionally, rather like on Gigi.

* Still yet to do, oh so many things. We didn't eat any crepes, St. Chapelle, Sacre Cour, Bon Marche food court, organic wine bars, Reims.... oh well, next time.
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Old May 29th, 2006, 10:40 AM
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Oops, Thanks for the Heads Up Joanel!



Chateau Chenonceau

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Old May 30th, 2006, 11:29 AM
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Nice report, Danna. bookmarking it...
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Old May 30th, 2006, 01:24 PM
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great trip report danna. it made me hungry! i liked your descriptions of the neighborhoods like the 13th and areas/sites that are less typically visited. Thanks for sharing.
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Old May 30th, 2006, 05:22 PM
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jayne1973 (The year before I graduated from BHS) and chicagolori you don't know how much I appreciate your responses!
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Old May 30th, 2006, 06:19 PM
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Very much enjoyed your report - and your pictures are wonderful! Going to Paris same time next year - especially enjoyed the pics of the parade - we will definitely plan to see the parade next year! Thanks so much for posting your report!
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Old Jun 1st, 2006, 06:52 PM
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Hi Danna - loved your report. I had the same thought approaching Chenonceau - what an entrance! I think your mystery flower is wisteria - I am also a big fan of it. Unfortunately, it doesn't grow well in Minnesota so we I don't have my own.
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Old Jun 1st, 2006, 10:57 PM
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We were thinking of going to the Haynes dinner, what makes you think it is not for the faint of heart? Something I don't know about? Really enjoyed your report.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2006, 04:09 PM
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Sea Urchin... you have to be willing to be "out there". My public persona is very verbal and invitig, while my real self is rather hermit like.

So for me, being at Jim Haynes' Dinner meant putting on my professional "face". To talk with folks first, to engage them in conversation, to not wait to feel comfortable.

I think that is what I meant, you need to arrive ready to come out of your comfort zone and meet folks.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2006, 05:43 PM
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blh that us a perfect time to visit Paris! I look forward to your report. (any pressure there" LOL

cls2paris... I live in NORTHERN Minnesota, I'm quite sure that wisteria don't grow here. On the other hand, global warming may bring us closer on the growing zone from 3 to 4. Basically out of the tundra.

Even then I don't think wisteria are going to be trained here, rats, rats and double rats!
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