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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Journey of Life

In 1957 I was born to a loving mother, and a father who loved alcohol, working mans clubs and greyhounds.

In 1967 my drunken abusive father was a distant memory. My mum had re-married and we lived in a lovely village in North Yorkshire with my step dad. I was no longer the ‘odd one out’, or was I? I was always a ‘little different’.

I didn’t have to go to jumble sales to get my clothes anymore. The pantry was full of food. My step dad loved me and tried hard to make up for the years my mum and I struggled. Life was normal at last.

In 1977 I got married to a British soldier. It was a controversial marriage at the time because he was ‘black’ and mixed marriages were still frowned upon a little. It was an interesting and very enjoyable wedding.  I was very happy. We went to Babbacombe for our honeymoon. I was young and in love.

Have you ever noticed that the first ten years of your life seems like and eternity, the second ten goes a little quicker…..after that, its warp speed.

By the time 1987 came around I had lived in Dorset, which is the most beautiful county in England. I also lived and Dortmund, Germany for three years.

Whilst living in Dortmund, I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl…Joanna. It was so hard to think of a name as I was convinced she was going to be a boy (Benjamin). The name Joanna came from the ‘Kool and the Gang’ song. It is the perfect name for her because the love and happiness she brought into our lives made us want to sing.

By the time 1997 came around, my husband had left the British Army to work for the Bank of England. After working for the Bank for five years, and living in Kent we moved to Denver, Colorado.

Colorado is beautiful.

In 2007 my beautiful talented daughter had left home, was done with college (DU), but still worked on her Masters. She had a full-time job and was already smarter and more successful than I would ever be. I had been married for thirty years and my unromantic husband surprised me and took me to Paris for a vacation. We went to the ‘Jules Verne’ for our Anniversary dinner. It was spectacular.

The ‘Jules Verne’ is half way up the Eiffel Tower. It is a beautiful unique dining experience and was the highlight of our trip to Paris. It was a fabulous vacation. We stayed on the left bank, which in my opinion is the ‘right’ side of the river. We went to the ‘Moulin Rouge’, which was a great experience. We drank champagne every single night, and we were very sorry to leave.

Now it’s 2012 and I have been married 35 years.

My beautiful daughter has a very good position at a successful company as well as going to Law School.

My husband is well-respected in his field and works very hard. He also runs his own IT Security Company.

And what about me? I have a good job too, but I also write and writing is my passion. I have finished my very first full length novel, of which I am very proud. Would I like to be a best-selling author? Of course. If it doesn’t happen it won’t break my heart though because I know I have given it my best shot.

I have written two short stories, based on my life experiences, which have done pretty well. They should have been edited better, but I was still a novice. My novel ‘Dead of July’(Preview) Dead of July will be edited and polished before it is released later this year. I am proud of it. My life has been quite a journey and I have lots to write about so this novel may be the first of many.

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Girl on the Beach (UK)

Girl on the Beach (US)

Guy at the Bar Amazon

Guy at the Bar Amazon UK

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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