Okay, time for some fun and games…
I saw this ready made sculpture in front of a boutique or gallery in Paris last year. Can you guess what/who it represents?
Okay, time for some fun and games…
I saw this ready made sculpture in front of a boutique or gallery in Paris last year. Can you guess what/who it represents?
This is a four minute short by French director/screenwriter Philippe Orreindy. A guy steps into a subway and says:
Ladies and Gentlemen, ever so sorry to bother you. Don’t worry, I’m not here to beg for money. Let me introduce myself. My name’s Antoine. I’m 29. I recently read in a magazine that there are about 5 million single women in France. Where are they? I’m looking for a lady aged between 18 and 55 who’s also had trouble meeting someone in a conventional way and who wouldn’t mind giving a honest relationship with someone a shot…
This short took me through a range of emotions. It melted my heart, made me laugh in a feel-good way, then a surprised way, and finally a guilty way. Go see if you have four minutes.
I made a page with links to most of my travel posts and put it in the sidebar.
Check it out if you have time.
I’m going through my photo albums and have a lot more stories to write (The US, Belize, Mexico, Canada, Germany, Belgium, Portugal, Wales, World Cup France, Tour de France…)
About five years ago, I took the girls on a month long journey through France. The exchange rate was great and I was convinced the Euro would rise, so I wanted to buy a second home in my favorite country. It would be an investment. A fun one. I just didn’t know exactly where in France to buy. So this trip was to find THE place. Actually, we took about 4 or 5 different trips that year and hit just about every major region of the country.
We did this month-long trip by car. This was the time we went to Normandy. Although it was an off the beaten path type of trip, we did swing by Mont St. Michel, a heavily touristed area, yeah, but it was something to see because this place has one of the highest tide differentials in the world.
The first thing we noticed was how much this place looked like Hogwarts. I guess everyone knows this now, but for us, then, it was a discovery. There were other things to discover in a place like this.
On the other side of the Mont, we went out for a walk. There were warning signs posted about how quickly the tide comes in. I’d read it travels as fast as a galloping horse, but the sign said it was at the pace of a brisk walk. Which meant my kids would have to run from it.
Hard to believe that hours earlier this beach was under thirty feet of water. Equally difficult to comprehend that it would be underwater again in a few more hours. Walking around “under the sea,” there were jellyfish and other forms of sea life scattered about, left behind by the tide.
This is about how far out we walked before heading back.
Another thing we discovered was quicksand. Somehow we missed those warning signs. Not that I would have believed them anyway. What I understood about quicksand was what I’d seen in the movies: It’s in the jungle, it looks like liquid mud, and all that is left of a bad guy who falls in is his safari hat.
Look closer. Here, I’ll zoom in for you. My kids are sinking.
The more they moved, the more they sunk. I don’t have a photo of them up to their knees because I was busy pulling them out before the damn tide came in.
Don’t believe it?
Look at this dude:
It’s at the same place we were.
Quicksand is not as scary as made out to be in the movies. You can learn more about it here.
Here is Mont St. Michel while the tide is in.
Besides finding “Hogwarts” and quicksand, I found out a lot of things on that trip. Things I could not learn in a book. Mainly that my daughters did not want to be raised in France. I also realized that while the countryside and its people are amazing, it is not for me. Paris is THE place.
Just not for now.
Some people might think I’m crazy to travel to a foreign country alone with two little girls. It was difficult at times because they were at the age when they were at each other’s throats so much. That’s the only trouble we had.
I’m not afraid of the unknown. The only things that scare me are the things I do know. And the girls? They are the same way.
This post was highlighted in Best of Holidailies.
Okay, as promised, a little bit on Parisian sounds.
Paris is called the City of Lights. It’s a reference to many things, one being the Lumiere brother’s first public showing of moving pictures. But mostly it’s because the city doesn’t sleep (I think New York City already has that title). So if you have a room in Paris that is on the street side (versus the back, or garden side) and it is summertime, you aren’t going to get any sleep. Most hotels do not have air conditioning, so your windows will be open or you will suffocate.
It is noisy.
Mostly with buzzing cars and motorbikes. I don’t know why they are so loud, but they are and when the traffic is light at night, they rev those little engines to go faster. It reminds me of bees, multiplied by about a thousand. I’m a heavy sleeper, so I can do streetside. I like waking up to the street sounds of Paris.
Falling asleep in Paris, you’ll hear people walking below, heeled footsteps, and often singing. People in Paris love to sing.
Speaking of singing and sound, we did catch a My Chemical Romance concert at Le Zenith. It was the only concert of theirs we have gone to that was exclusively theirs (versus a festival), so we got to hear them for two full hours versus about 30-45 minutes.
We were shocked when we got to the arena because it was so small and the upper levels were curtained off. There were only about two to three thousand people there. Unheard of. It was like having our own private show. Anyone was allowed to go into the pit and the French didn’t crowd us. Or mosh. Or throw bottles. Quite a pleasant experience. It is no doubt the best show I have ever been to or will probably ever see.
They played every song from The Black Parade in the order that they are on the CD. They also wore those marching band costumes and called themselves “The Black Parade” during that half of the concert. They even played some B-sides from that album. After that, they said they were leaving, that their friends “My Chemical Romance would be out to play some old school stuff, if you’re into that kind of shit.” While they went backstage to change, a lot of people got confused and thought the concert was over. So while they leaving, we were able to inch closer to the stage. MCR came back and those suckers lost their places.
I know. Where are the photos? Well. Those bastards at the Zenith confiscated every camera and held them until the concert was over. Zenith’s policy, not MCR’s. I am bitter about that, bitter. My best opportunity for some amazing concert photos and, fuck, no camera.
Life is funny isn’t it?
You’ll just have to settle for Metro (subway) photos. There are lots of adverts on the walls which Parisians frequently complain about. Most of the time they are entertaining and tastefully done. This is Paris, they lead the world in taste.
The Metro is one of my favorite things about Paris. It’s been around for about a hundred years. It’s hard to imagine people zipping around town in these underground tunnels 100 years ago. These days it takes minutes to cross town in this thing. Above ground it doesn’t seem to take more than a five minute walk from anywhere in Paris to get to a Metro entrance.
The tickets are only about $1.30 each if you buy them in books of ten. Considerably cheaper than London’s underground which is about $6 per ticket. Both are even cheaper for the locals who get Carte Orange (Paris) or the Oyster card (London). Tourists can get them, but station agents are reluctant to sell them to visitors.
I have always loved this warning sticker in the Metro cars.
Wait, wait. This one too. I am a sick puppy. But hell, if you fall on the tracks I might save your ass.
Here’s a video of what it is like to walk through the Metro tunnels and ride the trains under Paris. It was done by some Parisians so you can hear their lovely voices and laughter.
I hope you watch it.
Here is a drawing in the guestbook at the home where we stayed just a few miles outside of Paris. A guest from Denmark or Holland did this with an ink pen. Amazing.
I asked my French friend once, “Paris est belle ou beau?” (Paris is beautiful (f) or beautiful (m)? She answered, “Paris est beau.” What that really means is Paris is a masculine word in French. I would have guessed feminine. No doubt about whether the place is beautiful.
Everything there is beautiful. To the eye, the ears, the nose, the palate, the fingertips. And some.
There is lavendar everywhere. Did you know that it chases away scorpions? In the south of France there are beautiful rolling hills of blue, so much of it you can smell it in the air.
They say in France a baker is either a good at making pastries or bread, never both. There are bakeries everywhere to tempt you.
If you take it “to go” they always wrap your pastry in lovely paper, just like this:
And speaking of pastries, can’t you just smell the wedding cake?
I stumbled upon this wedding and watched the guest throw confetti on the bride and groom. I love the way the confetti looks on this gown.
In the Montmarte district, I saw this window and wished I lived there.
Even when things are weathered, they still look amazing.
And who would think Contact paper could look so good on something?
This light fixture in this clothing store, I have to have one.
It won’t go anywhere in this house, but I’m going to make one of these. I will.
See these patches of grass on the table?
Those things are everywhere this season. Decorating store windows in England, Switzerland, and France. This is real grass here in Paris, the other countries had plastic grass. Don’t know what’s up with that, but maybe we’ll be decorating our store windows next year with that stuff.
Oh yes it is…
Not just the regular Coke Blak, chers, they do have that, but also an extreme version of it. The bottle is metal, not glass as it is here. Heaven this place, heaven.
The most beautiful thing about Paris is this:
My daughters buddying up and walking real close to each other like the Europeans do. They never hang out like that at home.
I will give you the sounds of Paris in another post. I am off to my dreams now. A bientot (later).
No matter where you go or live, there always seems to be a house that is spooky. A house where everyone says “the witch” lives and kids take dares to run across the yard. We saw one in France so I took the opportunity to tell the kids a creepy story about a French witch in that house.
And then a black cat came out. Of nowhere. I poked the camera through the wrought iron fence and took this photo. It wasn’t until I uploaded it that I realized I took that photo through a spider web.
So I sit here creeping myself out with this photo and decide to zoom in on the cat’s eyes. That is not red-eye. That cat’s eyes are glowing. I did not Photoshop or enhance it in any way, just crop and zoom.
Hell, while zooming in why not look in the windows?
You see that ghostly face?
After that fabtabulous ride on the Eurostar with the male model, things went a little downhill getting out of Paris.
It took about two hours to get out of the underground parking garage at the train station. First, the car was dented so I had to go back up to the rental desk and document that. Then when I got to the gate, the machine would not spit out a ticket or lift the gate for us to get out. I was pretty fired up and got into a screaming match (in French, you should have heard me) with the attendant on the speaker. This was my first fight in another language and the girls were cracked up. But this is what they do in Paris, yell at each other all the time. I was fitting in like a local. If you think Parisians are just rude to foreigners, think again. They are actually ruder to each other.
Oh and it gets worse. There is a ring road around Paris, not too easy to get to, but once on it, just like any highway back home. I just needed to get onto that road, circle the city and then on my way toward Switzerland. When I got to that road however, the section I needed to get on was closed. So I went to the next “Porte” or place to enter the road. I was at the north end of Paris and needed to get all the way across to the south end. There are no highways that cut across Paris. Just this ring road that goes around it. Paris is like a rat maze and the cars in it are like maniacal rats playing chicken. The motorcyclists add to the havoc, cutting in and out of traffic as if they have a death wish.
I’d never driven in Paris before. I had no map. Porte after Porte was closed and it felt as if I were in a balloon trying to punch my way out. The only thing I wanted more than a nav system at this point was this car:
Looks like something you’d get in a basket from a fairy godmother doesn’t it?
I did have a Google map printed from home that took us from that highway to Switzerland. Once we got out of Paris, I realized Spanky is the most amazing nav person ever. There were so many turns on the way there as we took some back roads at the French Alps part, but we never missed a turn. She is better than a nav system and way less irritating.
I’ll tell you more about some other special skills I discovered about the girls on this trip over the next few days. Right now I’ve got to go dig out a thorn that has been in my finger since the first day of the trip (I touched a rose bush).
I hope no one thinks I could leave Paris without sending some “grand baisers.” Here they are, four big ones, two for each cheek. O la la.
Paris is wonderful as it always is. I’ve been there for about ten days I think and have only seen the Eiffel Tower from a distance this trip. Sometimes we do that, go there and do not see it. There are a couple of things I wanted to do and did not get a chance. That is why there is next time. One can never see all of Paris. It’s a good thing.
The weather has been cold. I don’t ever remember it being this cold in France in June. It has been a little rainy also but fortunately only at night and in the early morning. The rain has been chasing us this entire trip. It’s the funniest thing. It seems the day will be ruined and just before we are ready to go out, the sky clears and the sun comes out. This has happened about 20 of the 23 days. Three different times it began to rain just as we were leaving to go back in for the night. Unbelievable.
Right now I am at the airport in Paris. My flight does not leave for another three hours and I did not sleep at all last night because I plan to sleep on the plane. Why waste my last night in Paris sleeping?
It is strange, the sun goes down at about 11PM and rises around 3:30 or 4AM. Strange because I get up to sleepwalk and it is daytime. It wakes the sleep zombie.
Kiss, kiss, kiss, kiss…
I’ve got a good bit of my upcoming trip planned. I hate planning, would rather just stumble upon places to go and things to do, but my family doesn’t tolerate this too well and it is not a good time for all the unknowns. I’m exhausted from all this and haven’t even left the house yet.
I can drive in England, a stick at that. The brain adjusts quickly, it is just a mirror image of driving here. No big deal. Still, I did do this a couple of years ago. Rear ended someone. So I think I’ll be a sissy and get an automatic shift this time.
You’d never see this here. It’s funny seeing things like this. (It is a bit over the top, aye?)
My friend Liv has a green thumb and a warm heart. Will go see her and her beautiful gardens and chill for a few days. I’m restless though, can’t stay in one place too long.
So we’ll do London for a few days. I do not like driving in London. I got stuck in the city once while driving through. It was like being a rat in a maze with no end. Took me three hours to get out of there and this was at night with little traffic. And a stick shift.
Bet you thought the Eiffel Tower was black. In fact, every few years they change the color. I found this out from my friend in Paris. I had just painted my fence and she asked what color. I told her it was called “Eiffel Tower.”
She said, “But Keetty, it shanges colors all ze time.” I love her accent in English. I especially like the way she pronounces the “h” in “hour.”
That is a house she owns near Paris. My favorite place in the world, that house. It is right on the River Marne and although she says we are too good of friends to charge me, I hide money in there for her because if I am there, it means she is not leasing it out to someone else and is losing money. We are staying there for a week. A long time for us to stay in one place. It is not difficult to stay put there.
There is a village in walking distance with bakeries and markets. No tourists.
And Paris is a short Metro ride away. Since this place is outside the periphique, it is expensive for four of us to take the metro into Paris. We usually get a car while at my friend’s place and when we want, drive into the city and find a parking garage to put it for the day.
I like things like this about France. The parking garages are clean and painted. Every one of them. I lost a car once in Nice, went to the wrong garage and was severely confused. That movie “Dude Where’s My Car” had just come out and I kept hearing that in my head.
We leave Sunday. I’m looking forward to seeing my friends and seeing something different.
Oh, did i tell you we’re going to see My Chemical Romance in Paris? By coincidence they are there at the same time we are (I swear). We’re seeing them at a festival in Switzerland too. So twice. Think I am an obsessed fan? No, just a passionate one. It is important to have passions in life. It is what makes life good and interesting.
Their “Teenagers” video came out yesterday. If you want to go see it, click here.
No, I’m not packed yet. I pack on the day I leave. C’mon, it’s me, what did you think?
I will have some internet access while there, so keep checking, I may do some blogging from there.
I’ve been planning a trip to Europe over the last few days and burning up the Expedia search engine. The flights are expensive this summer. Outrageous. The cheapest cities to fly into from Dallas are usually London, Paris, Zurich, and Brussels. There are some cut-throat ways I could get there, but it would involve using mileage and crazy flight connections. This year, I just want to do some straight flights.
I always read guide books about the area I want to visit. Rick Steves is okay, I’ve learned a lot about traveling from that dude, but the hotels he recommends are always booked, and well, I don’t want to see a bunch of other Americans when I travel.
Lonely Planet books suck. Just take my word for it. I hate those books. Fodor’s, I never could connect with that guide.
Let’s Go guides are my favorite. They have detailed maps, the prices for whatever they are talking about is always accurate, and they have phone numbers and websites for just about any place they recommend. The writers of the books are a bunch of backpackers who actually do this travelling. They are an adventurous crowd. The books are full of asides like the one about the backpaker who ran a marathon around the tiny county of Liechtenstein just so he could say he saw an entire nation in a little under six hours.
I like quirky whacked-out things like that.
So far I have tickets on hold entering London (going to visit a friend there) concert tickets to the Greenfield Festival in Interlaken Switzerland, my favorite place in Paris reserved for a week, with flights back home from Paris. I am not sure how I will get to Switzerland from the UK, but I’m thinking I will fly to Paris and pick up a car there and drive. It is about a six and a half hour drive, a beautiful one. Just us girls. Road trip, baby! We’ve got ten days until Blane flies into Zurich, we’ll meet him at Interlaken. We’d like to camp at the festival there, but I know how cold it gets there at night and shit, Blane is not much of a camper.
That takes out the entire month of June. Gotta go…
I never thought of myself as a romantic. I was a nurse working with people hooked up to so many machines they looked like the back of my tv. My mind was grounded in science. Heart rhythms, not heart strings were more important in those days.
ICU nurses burnt out quickly. Fortunately I didn’t have to work anymore. Even better, I got to start travelling. At first it was just to visit my friend Liv in England with a side trip to Paris.
Before long, I found myself driving all over France looking for a second home, something we could fix up and live in during the summertime. The Euro was only ninety cents US. This would be a great investment.
One of the first houses we looked at was in the Loire Valley. I’d found it on the internet and it seemed perfect. It was a huge stone house, multi storied with a turret and on about 10 acres of land that backed to a beautiful river,. It was called a maison de maitre, but to me it looked like a little chateau.
I don’t have a photo of it, but this one is similar and in better shape:
So we got there and were greeted by a French couple, a man and woman in their late sixties. The house had belonged to the woman’s mother who had recently died. They did not speak a word of English. No problem. We spoke a little and brought Blane’s cousin, an interpreter with us. Parfait.
The old man had bug eyes and a constant smile on his face. He was about five foot tall, a little bent over with arthritis and rail thin. He had little patches of fine hair that reminded me of baby bird feathers. When he talked he began every sentence with “Quand” which is sort of the same as valley girls saying “like” all the time.
His wife also smiled a lot, was not much taller than he, but she was rotund and robust. Everything was funny to her. That’s how it seemed at first. Until I realized she was just embarrassed about what was in that house.
The house was still completely furnished with the oldest antiques I’d ever seen. Dark stained furniture with carvings of creatures and claws. On the wall in the living room was a wooden plaque about ten foot wide by about two feet tall. Hung up like a picture. There were skulls and skeletons carved into it. She just shrugged when she saw my eyes pop out of my head. Then there was the human skull on the mantle. I asked her if it was real. She picked it up, turned it over, then placed it back on the mantle and nodded, “Oui.” More laughs.
On to the cellar. The French word for that is “cave.” It looked like one. A single light bulb with a pull string swung from the ceiling. Roots grew into the walls. Full of spider webs. But the most amazing thing, there were shelves filled with Bell jars of preserves. Thousands of them. Green beans, peaches, everything you can imagine. They had been sitting on those shelves for fifty years.
What I thought was a turret was actually a two story chapel that was added to the house after the loss of a child. It had pews and an alter, beautiful religious frescos on the walls and ceilings. Lots of old melted candles by photographs of the little girl.
What was really confusing about this house was the staircase. It was a two story house, but the way this house was spread out, it looked like it had five stories. It was a circular staircase and every few steps there was a door to a room. It didn’t make logical sense.
On this staircase was where Blane and I got separated. He went one way with the old man, I followed the old woman into another room. Right away, in the dead woman’s bedroom, leaning against the wall was a wooden coffin, classic toe pincher style, upright, empty and with its door open. The French woman was giggling so hard she could barely tell the story.
Which was her father had made the coffin by hand for her mother, but the father died first and the mother refused to be buried in that. No one in the family had the heart to get rid of it.
We meet up with my husband and the old man in a similarly macabre room and Blane says, “We’re going to get eaten in here.” The old man was nodding, “Oui.” He had just shown Blane a bone he pulled out from under the bed, a human arm bone. He was pretty sure as the old man kept pointing to his upper arm and then to the bone. And Blane knows human bones, he comes from a funeral home family. He grew up around bones. They don’t scare him, but people showing off bones?
There were things to see outside. In the front yard, a pigeonaire which is a two story round tower about ten feet in diameter. Birds still lived there, wild ones. I don’t know why so many old French homes have these things.
The barn and stables were set far back from the house, next to the river. To get to it we crossed the pasture of knee high grass, lush, perfect green and dotted with wildflowers.
On the old barn door was a metal warning sign. It doesn’t take a single French lesson to understand the two words that stood out: Quarantaine and tuberculose. More nervous laughter from the woman when she saw my reaction. The sign had been there since the 1950′s.
We didn’t buy that house or any house in France. It would’ve been a good investment, just in terms of money exchange. The thing is, it wasn’t really about an investment anyway. It was just a romantic notion I had, an idea to go live in a place where the grass seems greener, the language velvety, and the people sometimes so quirky they reorganize your brainwaves for a moment.
Seems greener? It is greener. I still have those ideas, too. Maybe if the Euro goes down. One day…
One of my first memories is of the time I was all dressed up as Raggedy Ann for a costume contest. My little brother was Andy, of course, and my mom had made the costumes. I must have been about three.
We were about to go in front of the judges when I had a panic attack. My mom had sewn the mittens of the costume to the sleeves. I couldn’t move my fingers freely. I wanted them out. Immediately. There was screaming.
Mom gave in and ripped the seams open with her teeth and hands. It was an emergency. She lost her costume contest and I won my freedom that day.
My hands are always ragged from some project. I can’t keep polish on my nails. From painting to refinishing furniture to mosaic tiles. To writing. I need these hands as much as I need the brain.
This week something ripped and my fingers are flying all over the keyboard with story ideas. I love it when it’s like this.
This is a fountain in the Luxembourg Garden in Paris, fed by a natural spring. Those hands belong to Sweetpea and Spanky.
The kids used to hate going to Europe. They wanted to stay home and have sleepovers all summer long instead of hanging out in strange places where people ride in underground trains and speak in strange languages. One thing they always did was keep journals where they drew pictures of things they’d seen and write about the trip and how much they missed home.
It’s one of my favorite drawings because it is so thorough. The sun above the rain clouds, the kid in the car, the advertisements in the Metro station (the woman’s head below the Metropolitain sign is an ad that was pasted to the walls) as well as the variety of people in the metro cars. The ones holding the poles crack me up.
I’ve been getting your spam emails every day and haven’t complained or removed myself from your mailing list. I’m not sure what camera you should get me, but here is a good example of things I like to photograph.
Make sure the booklet it comes with is easy to understand so that I actually read the thing this time.
I am so not surprised.
|Your Inner European is French!|
Smart and sophisticated.
You have the best of everything – at least, *you* think so.
I love the short flights from London to Paris. People are always in such a good mood, the pilots talkative…This time I took an Air France flight and the pilot didn’t speak English too well. He’d crack everyone up with things like, “Put your seat belt up.”
And boy do you need that belt on that ride. The descent is quick, almost like a baby roller coaster. My belt held me down for a good while, I was floating, my butt did not touch the seat. And the turns, I’ve never felt turns like that on a plane.
This is the fourth time I cross the channel this way and I’m just catching on now that they do it like that on purpose. That’s why everyone is giggly. They even thank the pilot for it when they’re getting off the plane.
First thing I did was get my souvenir. Got my cartilage pierced in Paris. Hurts like hell, especially when I sleep, but it’s worth it. At least it is not a corset piercing.
Just the left ear. The guy who did it hated, hated wasting that other earring. The French hate waste. If you ever get invited to dine with them, don’t ever leave a morsel on your plate or a sip left in your glass. Never ever drink soda with your meal. It makes them ill to see us do it, really, they dine with wine.
I never thought I’d see a Starbuck’s in Paris. First one I saw was in an underground shopping mall. Thought it was a fluke, but when we got out of the Louvre, there it was on the street. And that is a real shame because Starbuck’s is inferior to the espresso in the cafes there. It may be better than much of what you can get here in the States, but damn, it is a really big mistake to go for that stuff when the authentic stuff, the espresso Starbucks tries to copy is right there.
Every once in a while in the subway stations the police are checking tickets, to make sure you have one and that it was validated. So we make it through the police checkpoint and while waiting for a train, a man pops up out of nowhere, flashes a badge briefly and asks to see my ticket. I thought it was a crook trying to steal our tickets because of the swarm of cops up ahead, so I tell him, “No.” He flashes his badge again so I hand them to him and he drops one but catches it just before it hit the ground. “Wow” just pops out of my mouth and this man smiles for a fraction of a second and then puts back on his “serious” face. When he handed back the tickets, I checked them over really well to make sure he didn’t hand me some expired tickets. They were legit. He was legit. I think he was having a good time playing Inspector Clouseau or something.
Okay, do not touch the electric wires around here, or else.
The highlight of the Paris trip was seeing my Parisian friend Helene, the one with that second home near Paris. She took us to her sister’s apartment late on the last night we were there. We’d been driving for quite a while in Paris when I realized she was lost. It didn’t bother me one bit. We drove around for about an hour or two and I sure did enjoy the view.
Not as much as the one at the sister’s place though. She lives on the 17th floor and from her balcony is the most beautiful sight, The city of Paris spread out perfectly like I’d never seen. And this was at night. I didn’t have my camera.
We didn’t get back to the hotel until about 3 AM and the flight back to England was later that day, so, technically I got to see my British friend and my French friend in the same day. I never thought that would happen.
This is how Parisians move into an upper floor.
See that thin metal ladder going into the window? There is a sort of elevator thingy that carries everything up that ladder. It sounds like a garbage truck. It was right next to our window and it took about two full days to get all the stuff moved.
But hey, now I know how they do it. One day, you see, I’ll get my turn to move into a Parisian apartment.
Got the tickets to the UK. Got a Mini car. Got the tickets to the festival. Got a room for three nights. That leaves two weeks to kill in Europe. One of my daughters wants to see Phantom of the Opera in London. We can go from the festival to London in the car (3 hours) or fly to just about anywhere from the airport that is right there (East Midlands). We do have to come back to London for our flight home, so we can catch a show on the tail end.
And I want a kiss from Paris. Gotta go there for a couple of days at least.
There is something that’s been nagging at me for a while now. Istambul, Turkey. It seems so exotic. I don’t know if it is the fact that it is the only city that sits on two continents or if it is that I refuse to believe that Islam is out to kill all us Christians, but I just gotta go see for myself. Turkey is almost 100% Muslim, but it is part of the EU. The important thing about that they no longer have the death penalty. How can a place without the death penalty be bad?
My father worked in North Africa and the Middle East in the 80s and I loved the stories he told about the hospitality and kindness of the peoples there. On his off days, he’d get in a Jeep and go into the desert and meet up with nomadic tribes who would invite him into their tents and offer him goat milk. He said you have to drink or eat anything they offer or they will take it as an insult.
I don’t know if there is enough time for all that. I have done some crazy trips on the rail out there and with little kids to add more crazy to it all. I can do frenzy. The kids have a little trouble with it though.
When the kids are all grown, I plan to sell everything and go to every corner of the world.
I gotta go. We went last year, but it wasn’t planned. My daughter was on a flight to meet me in the UK and on that plane was one of her favorite rock stars, Bert McCracken of The Used. When they landed I met him and he invited us to the Download Festival 2005, promising us we’d be on his guest list and have backstage passes and all that. Since we travel without any plans, we took him up on the offer and went.
Now I want to go to Download Festival 2006 but it is in 10 days and it is in the UK and I am not.
I can do it. Put together a trip in 10 days. The tickets are still affordable. The kids want to go. There are about 30 bands out there and the crowd is small and well behaved. Not dangerous.
And we can go to France on the way home.
Let me look at those airline tickets again.
Here’s the lead singer from the band The Used who we met from the plane, Bert McCracken. He’s digging through his papers to give us some festival info.
Below is someone with interesting hair I saw at the festival last year.
I read my French friend’s email again and I think I was mistaken about her house for sale. She’s been thinking about selling it for years, so when I saw her photos in the email, something about 675 Euros, and for sale, I thought this was it.
I reread the email (it’s in French) and now I think it is the house across the street that is for sale. I’m waiting for clarification on that.