Memories of Paris

It’s been way too long since I visited Paris. I miss walking the streets filled with romance and history. The Left Bank  (Rive Gauche) was always my favorite place to be. The restaurants in the Latin Quarter bustled with excitement and fun. As I look at my photographs, I can feel the atmosphere and smell the food. Can’t wait to return.

Minolta DSC

Minolta DSC

Dead of July_Cover_in-template

My Favorite shots

Cabo San Lucas - December 2009

Cabo San Lucas – December 2009

Flowers at Richmond Castle - England 2011

Flowers at Richmond Castle – England 2011

Rome - 2010

Rome – 2010

Puerto Vallarta Sunset - 2012

Puerto Vallarta Sunset – 2012

Puerto Vallarta - 2009

Puerto Vallarta – 2009

My back yard - 2010

My back yard – 2010

Steamboat Springs - Colorado 2012

Steamboat Springs – Colorado 2012

New Orleans - 2018

New Orleans – 2008

 

I love to travel, I love to take photographs and I love to write.

My new book ‘Dead of July’ will be released  later this year. Watch out for it.

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Preview Dead of July

Check out my other blog – STOP TALKING TO ME

Why I love the French – Paris – The City of Lights

My last (but not final) trip to France was in August of 2007. We celebrated our 35th Wedding Anniversary there. Our journey took a little longer this time as our home is now Colorado. It was worth the trip. We arrived early on a Saturday morning, dumped our cases in the hotel, before going for a walk until our room was ready. Our hotel was located on the left bank, our favorite area, and we wandered through the Saturday morning markets.

Paris market

We felt at home immediately as we rubbed shoulders with the locals. Happy, but exhausted from our overnight flight we returned to the hotel and went to bed where we went to bed where we slept for five hours. Our brains had no idea what time it was. We woke up refreshed and then off we went  to explore Paris untill well after midnight. Heavenly, beautiful Paris.

For the next two weeks we walked for miles, we shopped, ate, took photos, sat in local bars, ate in small cafe’s and stayed away from the tourist areas whenever possible. Of course we visited Versailles, and the Louvre, who wouldn’t? We ate in the Jules Verne Restaurant half way up the Eiffel Tower. We watched a show at the Moulin Rouge, visited Notre Dame and Sacre Coeur, it was Paris, we had to.

 

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What did I like about Paris? The art, the museums, the buildings, the back streets, the restaurants, but most of all the people. The wonderful artistic, cultured French who made all of this. The last time I visited Paris was 2007, but I will be back.

Is Paris my favorite city, no it’s my second favorite because the most beautiful exciting city in the world is Rome. Paris comes a close second though.

 

 

EuroDisney 1992 – still loving the French – third visit was a charm.

In 1992, when my daughter was 8 years old, my husband and I visited France for the third time. We went to Disney World Paris. Our first Disney adventure. We LOVED it.

We took a bus tour from our home in Chatham, Kent. It was very exciting for my daughter, and for us. We stayed in a modest hotel on the outskirts of Paris. Our first meal was almost a disaster. My eight year old tasted creamed spinach for the first time, and almost couldn’t swallow it. Her face turned as green as the spinach and I held my breath, waiting for the green slime to come spurting out of her mouth like a scene from the exorcist.

Our hotel room was small, and very basic, but we didn’t spend much time in it. We walked for miles in the enchanted new Disney Park. My husband often left us and returned to the hotel after an overload of Mickey and friends, but my daughter and I stayed long into the night. We experienced the rides over and over again, our favorite being ‘The Pirates of the Caribbean‘. We watch Tinkerbell fly high above us after dark. It was my first visit to a Disney Park and it was truly magical.Disneyland Paris Magic Christmas Season Launch

Then there was Paris itself. We spent a wonderful hot day in the City of Lights. A boat trip on the Seine was the highlight of the day for me. Our overheated little girl joined the French children and ran through The Trocadero Fountains to keep cool. My husband climbed the Eiffel Tower, yes he took the stairs.

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We strolled along the cobbled streets of the Latin Quarter and ate delicious food  in a wonderful lively restaurant. The day was perfect. It was perfect because of the wonderful, gracious, cultured and sometimes bashful French.

Latin Quarter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Love of the French (Part 2) Road trip to Port Grimaud!

My Dad died in 1988, and left my mother lonely and grieving so we included her on our road trip to the South of France. We drove to Dover from our home in Winchester, and spent the night there before taking the Ferry to Calais. It was a great adventure for our four-year old daughter, made even more special because she got to share a room with her grandma (Feeble Ekkel). My mum was called Phoebe Ethel, but Feeble Ekkel was my young daughter’s translation.

The car we had at the time was a brown Saab Turbo. We certainly put some miles on it during that trip.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We broke up our journey with two overnight stops, the first of which was Dijon. We stayed in an old castle.

Castle in DijonIt was a fun night and I could hear (Feeble Ekkel) and my young daughter,  laughing like two kids, enjoying each other’s company. Even breakfast was an event. We continued our journey the following day, spending the next night in Grenoble. What a beautiful area. The roads wound through the pine trees and mountains. Isn’t this spectacular.

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Finally, after three days on the road, we arrived on the Cote d’Azur. It was worth the trip. The dazzling blue Mediterranean took our breath away. We were staying in Port Grimaud which was gorgeous.Port Grimaud

We visited Cannes, Nice, St. Tropez, the small Island of St. Honorat and Monte Carlow while we were there. On our visit to St. Tropez, it was difficult to find parking, and when we eventually did, we found ourselves on a naturalist beach. The beach was beautifully kept, but the sunbathers were naked. When we broke this news to my 71-year-old mother she said

“I don’t mind, as long as you don’t expect me to take my clothes off too” st-tropez-images

Our two-week vacation was beautiful and memorable. My mum started on the road to recovery after my dad’s death and forged a close relationship with my daughter. She enjoyed food she wouldn’t normally eat and visited places she wouldn’t normally go. This was the second trip to France for my husband and I. We loved every minute of it and began to realize the people of France got a bad rap world-wide. The French are funny, helpful, sensitive, artistic, and very willing to please. They are quietly spoken and don’t like a fuss. They had a special place in my heart, right behind the people of Italy and I would visit again. I love the people of France.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why I LOVE the French! Train to Cannes

My first visit to France was in 1980 or 1981. I can’t remember the exact year, but it was magical. I had been married only four years and it was the first trip abroad with my husband. We got on a train in London, crossed the English Channel on a Ferry, and then boarded another train destined for the French Riviera. It was so exciting. The train itself was an adventure, with its bar and disco carriage. Have you ever tried dancing on a train?

We danced late into the night, and then slept in a ‘couchette’.  When we woke up the next morning we were served a very ‘French’ breakfast as we sat by the window viewing the French countryside for the very first time. When I first set eyes on the beautiful blue waters of the Mediterranean I was speechless. The scenery was breathtaking.

div_french_italian_04When we finally arrived in Cannes I was so excited I could barely move. Not having much money, we stayed in a moderate Bed and Breakfast. It was close to the beach with all of its style and beauty. If you look a map of the Cote d’Azur, you can see the attraction.

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We took the train to beautiful old town of Grasse, famous for its perfumeries. We wandered the streets of Cannes by day and by night. We enjoyed the food, the wine, the atmosphere, but most of all the people.

Eating was an incredible experience. On our ‘special meal’ of the vacation, the chef actually came out of the kitchen when he didn’t think that our choice of appetizer complimented our entrée. This was the first time I had ever tasted ‘bouillabaisse’. It was delicious and still my favorite French food.

Bouillabaisse

 

Most of our meals were not as fancy as this because we were a young married couple with a tight budget. We ate in small local restaurants, eating ‘a prix fixe’ menu, or simply buying seafood from vendors on the sea front. Fritti di Mare were delicious, tiny, deep-fried fishes and we ate them often, washed down with a cheap bottle of local wine and accompanied by French bread. Times were simple, we were young.

There was so much to take in, so much to see. I took hundreds of photographs, which I still treasure. Every night ended with a firework display, high over the harbour in Cannes. It was the perfect way to end each perfect day.

 

 

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The French!

When ever I think of ‘The French’. I have to smile. I love France, especially Paris, but most of all I LOVE THE FRENCH!

My friends in America, and in England for that matter, always poke fun at the French. They criticize their haughty manner. I think the French are just misunderstood.

We loved Cannes

During the early years of our marriage we visited the Cote d’Azur often. We loved Cannes and all of the other little seaside towns along the French Riviera. St. Tropez of course was a favorite. How we loved to see the yachts in the water, and the Ferrari’s, Lamborghini‘s and Maserati‘s parked by them on the road.

Our first trip to France was by train and ferry from England. It was in the early eighties and there was a disco on the train. I can say I sped across France whilst dancing to disco music.

We have also driven to the South of France, stopping in Grenoble and Dijon. Lovely memories.

Which way next

Our last visit was from here in Colorado, and we flew. It was a long journey, but from the minute we arrived it was fun. I say it again, I love the French. They talk quietly and earnestly and are very eager to please. They are also extremely sensitive and do not like to be made fun of. The French, on the whole, are extremely smart, worldly and sophisticated. Next time you visit, remember that, and treat them with respect. You will be surprised at how much respect you get in return.

Looking out of the window in the palace at Versailles

One more reason I like the French……they have started buying my book ‘Girl on the Beach’. I think the French and I have a lot in common, I hope they enjoy the story.

To download your free ‘Girl on the Beach’ e-book click on this link  Girl on the Beach (US).

My other book ‘Guy at the Bar’ is available for $0.99 at Guy at the Bar Amazon

Both books are also on Amazon.com in the UK, France and Germany.

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