Paris en été

"The map says it is supposed to be right in front of us."

“The map says it is supposed to be right in front of us.”

Hot weather followed us onto Paris.  Our first night included thunder and lightening storms that seem to crackle right above our hotel.

Notre Dame was our first stop on our first day.  Now we have seen A LOT of churches, cathedrals, minsters, etc.. so it takes a lot to impress us.  This cathedral did not let us down as it was quite amazing, and celebrating 850 years!

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The Catecombs!

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The largest ossuary in the world, containing the bones of six million Parisiens.

The largest ossuary in the world, containing the bones of six million Parisiens.

Outside the Arc de Triomphe.

Outside the Arc de Triomphe.

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The second thing both my children wanted to see living in Europe was the Eiffel Tower.  Rebecca and I were proud that we were able to take our children to such wonderful monuments across the world.  The kids loved all the sightseeing we did for the past year.

The second thing both my children wanted to see living in Europe was the Eiffel Tower. Rebecca and I were proud that we were able to take our children to such wonderful monuments across the world. The kids loved all the sightseeing we did for the past year.

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There is no line to get up to the second level of the tower IF you choose to walk the 669 steps that it takes.

There is no line to get up to the second level of the tower IF you choose to walk the 669 steps that it takes.

Zachary, Rebecca, and Annika at the very top of the Eiffel Tower!

Zachary, Rebecca, and Annika at the very top of the Eiffel Tower!

Boat tour along the Seine.

Boat tour along the Seine.

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French Bistro for lunch.  My bucket of moules.

French Bistro for lunch. My bucket of moules.

This is what 14 Euros worth of beer looks like in one glass.

This is what 14 Euros worth of beer looks like in one glass.

I only serve the best drinks to my children.

I only serve the best drinks to my children.

Across the street from this Bistro was Père Lachaise Cemetery, eternal home to some of the most interesting French and European artists.

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Reflecting with Mr Mojo Risin'.

Reflecting with Mr Mojo Risin’.

The cemetery is really quite beautiful to walk around in.

The cemetery is really quite beautiful to walk around in.

Many Metro stations were quite colorful.

Many Metro stations were quite colorful.

For Rebecca’s birthday we went to the Louvre.  By now our children were pretty much done with museums, but we somehow convinced them to try one more.  Knowing that the Mona Lisa was here they complied.  The place was packed with tourists, but once you got away from the famous paintings there was more room to explore and reflect.  We spent four hours here and that was about enough.  Of course we did not see the whole museum!

I took an elbow in the ribs just to get this average shot.

I took an elbow in the ribs just to get this average shot.

No one seemed to know that this was Da Vinci as well.

No one seemed to know that this was Da Vinci as well.

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Vermeer.

Vermeer.

Venus de Milo.  It was fun to see so many "famous" pieces of art all in one place.

Venus de Milo. It was fun to see so many “famous” pieces of art all in one place.

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This is moments before Zachary fell whilst running around this art installation and seriously skinned his knee.  Mom was prepared with bandages, thankfully.

This is moments before Zachary fell whilst running around this art installation and seriously skinned his knee. Mom was prepared with bandages, thankfully.

At Metro station La Defense there is a large, bronze thumb that we just had to see to believe.

At Metro station La Defense there is a large, bronze thumb that we just had to see to believe.

Birthday girl enjoying her chocolate mousse for dessert.

Birthday girl enjoying her chocolate mousse for dessert.

Traveling around Europe I noticed that, especially when eating out, the people who wait or assist diners all knew some English.  In addition, many places had menus in other languages.  Both Rebecca and I have worked in the food industry and in America we do not provide menus, or even service, in any language but English.  I did my best to use my four years of High School French, but most Parisiens answered my questions in English or asked me to not bother with my French.  Were they pompous or polite?  I could not tell.

We took the Channel Tunnel train all the way back to London, then on up to Melton for one last night.  We stayed with the Triggs again, who were gracious hosts and are good friends.

We took the Channel Tunnel train all the way back to London, then on up to Melton for one last night. We stayed with the Triggs again, who were gracious hosts and are good friends.
Christopher Triggs took me out in his TRV, and eighties British sports car.  It went very fast!  He even let me drive it home the last mile, my final time behind a right-hand wheel.

Christopher Triggs took me out in his TRV, and eighties British sports car. It went very fast! He even let me drive it home the last mile, my final time behind a right-hand wheel.

We spent a couple hours in their garage sorting out our packing.  We ended up taking back with us four large bags to check, and each of us carried two bags/pieces on luggage onto the airplane.  It was a bit cumbersome, but the end was in sight and that was incentive for all of us.  We flew home on American Airlines, which had hundreds of movies to choose from to watch, so the entire plane was plugged in.  We all watched 3-4 movies each, catching up on films we missed while away.  The food was good as well, and the flight did not feel so long.

We went through customs at Terminal 4 in Los Angeles without any hitches, then humped our gear to Terminal 6 for our plane ride home to Portland.  Luckily our checked luggage was only with us a brief time before we re-checked it at Terminal 4.  Bob and RJ Steed picked us up in two cars from the Portland airport, and we got home around 10:30pm.  I had stayed awake at this point for about 23 hours, and now a bit of adrenaline was kicking in being back in my home after gone one year.

Europe was good to us, and gets big thumbs up!

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4 thoughts on “Paris en été

  1. Bravo, brava to all of you for what in hindsight was probably the fastest year of your life! Welcome back. Now get to work. Bruce the Bald

  2. Welcome Back..Your latest photos are great and remind me of our trip to France and England last month! What a wonderful experience for you and your family. I am looking forward to hearing all about it when we get back to work!
    Janet

  3. Thank you so much for sharing your year in Europe with us. We appreciate all the time and energy it took keeping up a blog for an entire year! We enjoyed it very much. Welcome back!
    Carol, Jim and Liza

  4. When I tried my high school French in Paris, I got an exasperated, “Please, just speak English!”

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