Sunday, February 24, 2013

Jump on in!

I remember at some point reading about a festival in India where you can bath in the Ganges and end the endless cycle of reincarnation.

Now, I find this fascinating and if only I could remember when it is I would hop on a plane and ski-daddle over to India to jump in the Ganges.

Well, today's paper tells me that the festival is happening now. It began on January 14 and lasts for 55 days.

I suppose I could still make it for the last few days, but there are shots to get and air fare to book and I'd have to find a place to stay - which might be difficult since there are about 100 million other people looking for a room.

Now the article says there are 35,000 portable washrooms. This works out to about 29 thousand people per washroom, that is a lot of toilet paper not to mention long lines.

Which leads me to my next thought. The Ganges has an estimated 750 million gallons of sewage pumped into it daily (I would think this includes the output from the above mentioned washrooms for the masses), you bath in it to end the endless cycle of reincarnation. Perhaps you are just being rewarded for jumping into that swill?

Well, since the festival only happens every 12 years I have a while to plan my trip in 2025!

Anybody want to join me? Get your shots now avoid the rush.

One more Paris post

In 1844 Charles Dickens said this:

"I cannot tell you what immense impression Paris made on me. It is the most extraordinary place in the world."

In 2013 M said this:


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Paris, Paris, Paris

We left our little Parisian apartment at about 7:30 Monday morning. I was sad, yet so grateful to my beloved for our time there.

Paris (in my humble opinion) is one of those places that you either love or you hate.

It is a city and has everything that a city has to offer.

Yes, it smells like piss.

Yes, there are people begging all around you.

Yes, the traffic is awful.

Yes, sidewalk sharing is not popular here.


It has some of the most beautiful buildings in the world. I could and have spent days just wandering looking at them. I am constantly finding something new. Always remember to look up.

It has works of art that you can see no place else in the world.

It has a river that is crossed by bridges and bridges and bridges.

It has more churches than you can shake a stick at.

It has cute little children that speak French.

I mean what more could a girl want?

I dream about living in Paris, maybe not forever but maybe for a little while. Beloved, could you hang for longer than two weeks?

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Past Last Morning

And here it is the morning of our last day in Paris - this trip.

It is Sunday and it is bright and sunny and the church bells are ringing. I have checked us in for our flights and send a message to the car service that will be picking us up in the morning.

My heart is heavy. Today will be a day to walk and contemplate our next trip.

This vacation is different from the last few vacations we have taken. Just my beloved and I. One place. Our own time. Lovely.

Now off to say

Au revoir. jusqu'à la prochaine fois.

Paris Day 9

Today we went to the L'Orangerie where the fantastic Les Nympheas by Monet live. These paintings are huge, there are eight of them, four to a room. In the first room is one of my favorites. It is not the water lilies you see on the postcards. No, my favorite is the one in browns and yellows and dark greens. This was painted towards the end of Monet's life, ironic as it may be he became nearly blind towards the end. How sad.

The building was originally a place where fruit trees were grown for the royals. In the 1930's it became a museum and rooms were specially designed for the Monet's. The walls are curved and the paintings are attached in such a way that they cannot be removed from the walls. There was originally a glass ceiling on the building and the paintings were bathed in natural light.

In the 70's some smart person redesigned the museum, they put a second floor in covering the room where the paintings were. You just gotta ask why?

In the late 90's another renovation was done, the second floor was removed. I was told that the rooms where the Monet's are was hydraulically lifted up a millimeter at a time, alarms would sound if it could out of square, work would be stopped and the room set back on the right course and again up it would go. Another floor was dug out below the original first floor and now the Les Nympheas were back on top with special light filtering stacks that allow natural light in without damaging them. Amazing!

The L'Orangerie is in the Tuileries Garden which is the location of a place started by Catherine de' Medici in 1564. In 1871 it was set on fire - on purpose! It was totally destroyed except for the exterior stone facade. It seems many other buildings in Paris also met this fate during this time, but were selected to be restored, including the Louvre which thankfully was selected to be restored. The Tuileries was considered too much of a symbol of the royals and was eventually torn down. I can only imagine what it must have looked like. I can imagine the Louvre and Tuileries museum - perhaps with all that room they could display their entire collection?

Then it was a walk down the Champs Elysees to the Arc de Triomphe. The Champs Elysees was crowed with people, it was a lovely day for a walk. I have never been to the top of the Arc and probably never will - 300 steps up I'm thinking not. But it is amazing to look at and watch the traffic go round and round.

A quick metro ride back to the hood and a little rest before dinner. As a vegetarian Paris is not the easiest city to get a good meal in. I found a book before we left called "Vegan in Paris" and it helped. We were able to find a good place right around the corner from us. Lebanese. Yum.

Tavern du Nil at 16 Rue le Regrattier right here on the little island. The best hummus I have ever had. Lots of little plates.

There were not very many people in the place and we got a table right away. Sitting at one table were two old men and two young women. It reminded me of the old white guys you see in Asia with the really young Asian girls. Creepy.

After we were there for a little while we heard a cat and the cat did not sound happy. We wondered where it was coming from, afraid that when we left we would walk out the door to a cat war by the sounds of things. But no, it was the cat of the house and it just wanted out of its cage. It is not unusual to see a cat in a restaurant here in Paris, you see them soaking up the sun in the windows during the day. At night they earn their keep by, well I will let you think about that.

Then back to our little apartment. In all a great day in Paris.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Do Ducks get cold?

OK, this is still Paris stuff, but not what we have done, just some observations that I did not think belonged in my regular blog postings of Paris.

First of all girls, not many of us look really good from any angle in those tight leggings as pants. Stop wearing them.

Next the shorts and stocking craze that we have noticed here, is stupid. Looks really bad and it is fucking cold out. Put some pants on and not the legging kind mentioned above.

Who knew Buddy Hackett is worshipped here?

People, people, people - look up from your phones. Not only are the sidewalks here narrow and full of dips and loose pieces, there are other people in the world that are sick of bumping into you.

Hey all you people taking pictures with your iPad, get the connector for your camera. You look really dopey.

Do ducks get cold?

Sometimes I just have to say things out loud.

Paris Day 8

Today we visited what I think is one of the most beautiful churches in the world. St. Chappel. The mother load for a glass girl like me. They are in the process of restoring some of the glass in this wonderful place. I could go on and on and on about the process and about the glass in general, but I will save you that and just show you some pictures of the place Louie the 9th built to house his relics on his way to becoming a saint.

If I had a comfy chair I could sit in this magical place for hours and watch glass change as the sun moves around the building.

We also did a little wandering, the best thing to do in Paris and noticed the water level in the Seine is falling.

Then off to a piano concert in a little tiny theatre just a few doorways down from us. I had looked on line to see what was going on and found mention of this place, the time worked and we were treated to some lovely music. The theatre was done in all red, except the curtain behind the stage which was black. Otherwise red walls, red seats, red carpet. Even the girl that sold the tickets was dressed in red. It had about 45 seats and about 15 people in the audience. I did mention to my beloved that I half expected to see Antonio Banderas walk out on stage. Yes, she looked at me just the way you are right now. Interview with a Vampire??? Paris???

Anyway, the girl that sells the tickets is also the one to tell you to make sure that your cell phones are turned off. Why is there always one....

My beloved got me a new camera prior to this trip. My last one that I got in Asia was taking blue pictures and not because I wanted it to. Anyway, this new one has a lot of bells and whistles and a zoom that it great. One of the features is that you can select to shoot your picture as a painting or a watercolor or an illustration among others. I share a couple of them below. Same scene, just a different settings. Crazy I tell you.

Thanks beloved.

V-day dinner - Pairs Day 7 Deux

My beloved and I took a dinner cruise to celebrate St. Valentine's Day. I made reservations on the same boat that we took for my birthday dinner a few years ago.

We took the metro to the location, if you have ever ridden the metro here you know that it is very easy to navigate. You pick the line you want to ride, the direction you need to go and off you go. Of course, most times you need to change lines and trains to get to where you want to go. That means getting out at a station and then have to get to your next train to reach your final destination. Getting to your next train can be a very long and athletic endeavor.

Out of the train, find the right tunnel, follow the signs for your next train, go down some stairs, follow a long tunnel, up some stairs, around a corner, take a moving sidewalk, up some more stairs, around another corner down a few steps, up a few steps, around one more corner and then you are on the correct platform, wait for your train, get on and then get off at your final destination.

Altogether about a 30 minute trip.

We took the 4 line to the 6 line to Bir-Hakeim which is the bridge AFTER the Eiffel Tower. The boat leaves from the Allee des Cygnes - Walkway of Swans. The Captaine Fracasse is a small boat (compared to some of the other boats on the river) old school, lots of wood, small intimate tables and being V-day rose petals on the tables along with your bottle of wine.

You stand in a queue waiting to get on and they are running late, this is familiar. We are seated at a table in the middle row, we have a table to the left of us against the window and a table to the right of us. At the table to the right was a couple a little older than we are and to the left a couple a bit younger than us. All around us were couples celebrating this night of love.

We witnessed a proposal, it seemed to be accepted. I mentioned it was a good thing that she dressed up tonight. She looked pretty and happy, he looked relived and happy.

We realized we were not the only lesbians on the boat.

The price of the cruise includes a bottle of wine on your table. So, you my faithful readers know that I do not drink, my beloved does not drink very much. So we were commenting on the fact that after her first glass of wine the rest would just go to waste.

Oh no, our neighbors to the left had finished their bottle and noticed we were not drinking ours. The woman leaned over and asked if we were going to drink our wine and if not, could she have a glass. We readily agreed and poured her a glass saying that we were just commenting on the fact that it was a shame that it would go to waste since we don't drink. She leaned back in her chair and saluted us with her glass and said "I am French" and shrugged her shoulders.

The husband asked where we were from and we told him San Francisco (remember this).

We cruised on the Seine and could not figure out where in the world we were. We were cruising past house boats, lots of house boats. Abandoned buildings covered in graffiti. And a swan - how appropriate.

Our wine loving neighbors starting talking to the waiter and I understood her as she pointed at me and said San Francisco. She turned to me and said "I was just saying that Paris is such a beautiful city if you go THAT way, but we are going THIS way where it is not very pretty and people come all the way from San Francisco and this is what you show them?"

I asked is it because the water is so high and the boat cannot get under the bridges?

Yes, yes that is the reason, but still Paris is more beautiful that this - as she sweeps her arm at the scenery. Oh well, I explain that we have taken this cruise before and have seen the beauty of Paris from this vantage point before. She seemed to be happy about this. At this point I gave them the rest of our bottle of wine and she gave me her Valentine's flowers.

Once things were done and we were docked we headed back to the metro for the reverse trip home.

We were not sure if the metro would be open, but it was. We got on our our first train, the 6 line back to Montparnasse for our change to the 4 line back to Saint Michel. Sounds easy, right....

The first part was, got on the train and in our car were four really drunk young men - swearing, smoking and drinking. Yeah!! Well, they kept to themselves and we got off at Montparnasse and started the long trip to the 4 line. Up stairs, down stairs, around corners, a people mover, more steps, you get it. Finally the platform. The time 0:55, the time the last train leaves the platform? 0:53. That's right, two minutes late for the last train. We were not the only ones that seemed to be late and have missed the last train.

OK, now what. Well you put those two things at the end of your legs to work - your feet. We walked home, down the boulevard Montparnasse, to Rue St. Jacque to Blvd. St. Germain to Rue F. Sauton to the Seine over the bridge, across Ile de la Citi, across another bridge to Ille St. Louie to our little home.

I'll admit I got a little turned around and was unsure of our location a few times, but we made it home and had a beautiful walk thru Paris on a beautiful night.

All in all, even with aching feet a good night.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Paris Day 7

Today we woke to rain, real rain. Not the morning drizzle of the past few days. We hung around and went to a place I had not been in a very long time The Carnelvalet - a museum of the history of Paris. It starts in the Middle Ages and ends after the revolution. It is an interesting place, it is full of everyday things like signs from businesses. Since most people did not read, pictures were necessary to find what you were looking for. The big scissors below are not for your local hair dresser, but for a tailor.

The next picture is from a modern day sign. It is actually for a Thai restaurant, not a place that sells elephants.

The museum is in two large hotels (homes of the rich) joined together to create a very large space. I found it interesting that the flow of the museum brings you thru the beautiful public areas of what were the homes, in these areas are the recreation of beautiful rooms from other buildings, lovely chandeliers and artifacts from the everyday life of the privileged few. Then you are brought up to the revolution area, on the top floor up a plain wooden staircase to rooms that are low ceilinged and just not quite as nice.

On our walk back we went by a shop that sells only eclairs. That is all. Not just your run of the mill eclair but beautiful works of art.

So now we are home waiting to get ready to go out for a valentine's dinner on the same boat we took on my birthday trip here. I am looking forward to once more being under the Eiffel Tower at midnight as it twinkles.

PS, I think my days are messed up. C'est la vive

Paris Day 6

So today we visited the beautiful Musee d'Orsay. For those of you that have been to Paris you understand what I mean when I call a museum beautiful. It was originally built as a train station, but was quickly was obsolete because it could not handle the bigger electric trains that came out not long after the station was opened. It sat empty for many years and was eventually made into a museum.

One of my very favorite pieces is here, a sculpture by Lois Ernest Barries - La Nature se Devoilant al la Science, the first picture below. I will admit this is not my picture, they frown on picture taking here at the d'Orsay, I got this off the internet. She is just simply beautiful to me.

They have the Impressionists here, Monet, Manet, Degas etc. Not my favorite style of painting by some of it is breathtaking.

We did look at some pieces and wondered again, what makes it art? Who decides that something is museum worthy? If something outlasts everything else of its time, is it then museum worthy.

They also have a wonderful collection of Art Nouveau furniture and decorative items. Looking at these things made me wonder what is the difference between Art Nouveau and Art Deco? I always, being rather stupid about these things, thought they were the same. But no. I now know that Art Nouveau uses curves, natural elements, leaves, flowers in its design. Art Deco? More geometric. Good to know, I guess.

There are many Art Nouveau buildings here in Paris, you just have to look for them. We passed one of the most famous on our walk the day before (photo two) without realizing it until I looked up Art Nouveau when we got home.

I forget how much there is to see here. That was about all we did today besides the ever present walking.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Paris Day 5

Today we started our day by returning to Notre Dame to get some of those commemorative coins that seem to be for sale in every large cathedral around. Notre Dame is no exception, she is celebrating her 850th birthday. They have removed all but one of the bells from her towers and melted them down and re-cast them into 8 new smaller bells that will join the remaining original bell. This will make nine bells in all, which was the original number in the church.

My favorite was the bells with keys on it. There are a couple of pictures below.

What we did not see was the women that were protesting the church, celebrating the retirement of the pope and the fact that the French government has just voted to legalize gay marriage (it still has to go before the senate) but survey says it is going to happen. They protested/celebrated by stripping down to panties inside Notre Dame and pounding on the new bells. I have also included a picture below of this. They were arrested outside and I have to wonder what happened to the clothes?

We ran into some kind of costume parade. First we noticed a boy in a tuxedo and a girl with a face mask. Then we stumbled upon and Indian with a full head dress, then a girl that looked like a toilet and then an entire group of kids in all kinds of costumes, we don't know what it was about, but it was fun.

Then we found penguins in Paris. Yes who knew?

We then walked to Rue Clec and bought some shoes at the Mephisto store, the finest walking shoes made. Or so they say. So we each find some shoes we like and I whip out my HSBC card to pay for them. Now keep in mind that we contacted HSBC to tell them we would be travelling in France from this date to that date. Our purchase is declined. Not happy. We were able to get them with another card, but really... We follow the rules and you decline our purchase? So when we get back to our apartment I look at my email and I have a message from them saying there has been some activity on my account and to please call them ASAP. So we do. Well, there has been some purchases that we need to clarify. Did you make this purchase? Is it in France? Yes and yes. Oh OK. You are all set now. I want to run out and purchase something big just to test them.

Anyway, then we mosied to the Eiffel Tower, the line was long. Surprising to me for February, but then I realized they only had one leg open. They seem to be doing work on the other ones and they are putting some sort of solar on the tower??? So we looked at each other and said "been up there before" and continue on our way.

We ended up at Angelina's where today there was no line. So we walked right it and were seated right away and ordered our chocolate chaud and a treat. It was yummy. They bring you the chocolate in a pitcher with a little side cup filled with cream. Again yummy.

We sat next to a table of four Japanese girls and man do I wish I could have understood what they were saying. One of them started to cry, the other three got her calmed down and then one of them started going and then the original one started up again. Geez it was painful to watch girls cry while trying not to ruin their makeup.

We walked home and it was not as cold as the afternoon, seems the wind dies down or something in the evening. We walked past the Hotel de Ville and they have little sparkly lights on the roof. They twinkle, it was lovely.

Finally home after a long day of walking. Tomorrow is museum day!!!

Paris Day 4

Today was another late start. I think that is going to be our MO here in Paris this trip. Sleep late, wander and do things for hours, come home. It is rather nice. Like a real vacation. No alarms, no gotta get up and to this, gotta run here.

Our first stop was the department store BVH for some ear muffs for my beloved. If you have never been in this amazing store, you need to make it a must the next time you are in Paris. Their housewares displays are works of art.

It is weird, just when you think you have been inside every church in Paris, you run into one you did not know existed. Today we went into two new churches. The first was Saint Gervais, over near the Hotel de Ville. It is a large church and very well kept up, well for a building that is really old, there was a little weirdness inside the church, there were loaves of bread left around the church. Not sure who the offering might be for, but it was something I had never seen before.

The second church is St. Merri. It has the oldest bell in Paris (1331) and has a connection to my favorite warriors for God, the Knights Templar. It seems the portal (which is covered by netting to stop pieces of it from falling on people passing by) has a devil carved into the very tip of it, it is supposed to be Baphomet, whom those that wanted to get rid of the Templars said they worshipped. This church also has a chapel dedicated to the patron saint of prostitutes, Mary the Egyptian. Yes, even prostitutes go to church.

A little further and we come to the Tour St. Jacques. A tall tower that is all that remains of another church. The famous Nicolas Flamel (yes, he really did exist) was buried here, but according to a ghost tour I took once, when his grave was opened there was no corpse. That old sorcerers stone at work perhaps? Good to know that this is also a starting point for the St. Jacques de Compostella, because that is on my to do list.

Then across the river, where again I was amazed at how full it is to perhaps the most beautiful church, St. Chappel. This is the one where the beautiful stained glass windows tell the story of the bible in picture form. My first thought when I was first here was what a nice king (Louis IX) to build a church so his subjects that could not read could still enjoy this story. Then when I realized the common person never saw the inside of this church I thought off with his head. Oh, wait that came later.

The line was far too long and we will be returning earlier in the day to visit this marvel.

We also saw how the French are becoming more green. Special parking spaces for electric cars. They have a serpent like electrical cord painted on the space.

We also walked thru the garden next to Notre Dame where there is a sign that says don't feed the birds. Judging from the photo of the largest pigeon I have ever seen not very many people pay attention to that sign.

And crossing yet another bridge filled with lovers locks we looked for the one my nephew attached for his beloved a couple of years ago. We were not successful, but found that even the Buddha has found a place in Paris.

Oh and one last thing. Our first day I mentioned how high the water was and posted a picture of the street light that was now in the water at the end of our block. Well, I have been wondering if that light was still working at night, as you can see from the picture below it certainly is.


Monday, February 11, 2013

Paris Day 3

Day 3 was a lost day.

We both had problems sleeping the night before and we rolled out of bed about 11:30 to a cold rainy morning. I went to the bakery around the corner for breakfast then came back and made coffee. We ate and drank some coffee and then for some reason I went back into the bedroom and got back in bed. I never do this! My beloved did not realize I was actually back in bed for a little while and then when she did she joined me.

So at about 4:30 we woke up. I knew immediately that a mistake had been made. Because this late sleep was going to affect the next nights sleep. An awful cycle to be sure.

Anyway, it was still raining when we got up, but I was hoping it would turn to snow and it did! It was beautiful from inside and I decided we had to go out in it.

Fuck, snow is cold! Snow falling and the wind blowing in your face is not as romantic as I had hoped. So we walked around the island, took a couple of pictures, stopped for hot chocolate, picked up some supplies, because I was convinced we would wake up to a city carpeted in the white stuff, and headed back to our cozy apartment.

It continued to snow. It was snowing when we went to bed. At some point it turned to rain because this morning when I got up there was no snow in the courtyard, so no great Parisian snow pictures today.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Digital pictures to iPad journey

While this post deals with Paris, it is not about Paris. It is about the painful process of getting my digital pictures from my new camera onto my ipad where I can post them as I blog. The first thing to say is that I am not sure yet, how to get the pictures to appear where I want them to in the blog entry. You will be able to see when I get that figured out.

What you won't see is the fucked up process to get them on the ipad in the first place.

A couple of days before we left I looked over at my beloved and said, how do you think we get pictures from our camera's to our ipads? Hmm, we both said.

I looked on the internet and there is a device that plugs into your ipad and you can either connect your camera via usb connection or another one that allows you to pop your sd card from your camera into it and magic happens.

Well... magic did NOT happen for me. I took a bunch of pictures and then sat down last night to upload said pictures and when I plugged my camera in, I got the message that the attached device requires too much power.

OK, so then I pop the card out of the camera and into the other device and guess what? It can't read the card. What??

We plug in my beloved's card and it works???


Then I take a couple of pictures with her card and magic does happen. It can see my pictures on her card. OK, look at the instruction booklet. There is some kind of software you can load on a WINDOWS pc to download the pictures. What???

So, we look at the pc sitting on the table in the apartment and try to download the software. The PC is a VISTA (kill me) and so slow that patience was a very good thing to have. We could not download the software, but to make a long story short my beloved was finally able to get the pc to see my card using another little device she had. She was able to copy them to the hard drive, then over to a thumb drive I had AND up to Shutterfly, where I was able to download them to my ipad.

Then we formatted the 32gig card and took a couple of pictures with my camera and they were able to be uploaded using the little apple device. We formatted the 64gig card and took a couple of pictures and they would NOT load? Weird??

So, I'll be using the 32gig card and just to be safe I took a couple of pictures this morning and tried it again and it worked like a charm.

Perseverance or OCD as my beloved called it, payed off. Thanks honey.

Paris Day 2

Ah Paris.

Well today jet let got the best of us. I woke up about 5:00 in the morning and decided to just sleep for a little bit longer. Well at 11:30 I looked at the clock again! Yikes!! My beloved was not far behind me and we finally left the house about 2:00 on a cold winter day.

If you have ever been to Paris you know that you can't avoid the Seine and staying on Ille St. Louis it surrounds you. This winter it is a swirling light brown angry looking river. I have never seen it so high.

Sometimes I think I forget how much this city depends on the Seine, but with the water this high you "see" it better. The stairs that used to lead you down to a walkway along the river's edge now end in the water and it is easy to imagine a boat pulled up to them and tied up to those large iron rings in the stone walls that contain the river. I do wonder how long those walls could continue to contain the river if it decided it had had enough.

We headed over to the Latin quarter to have the "best" falafel in town. We were going to Moab and it was delicious! Perfectly fried little balls of heaven with thick creamy hummus in soft pita bread that you pile high with "salad". Salad consists of olives, carrots, radish, cole slaw, your choice of sauce from HOT to mild. Yummy. The other "best" falafel is in the Marais, which is closed on Saturday - because they observe the Jewish sabbath. Will let you know which we prefer.

Then a walk down a street that is full of galleries. Every store front is full of "art". Some I liked, lots more I did not. This walk of course leads me to the age old question - Soup/Art?

We continued over to river and crossed over the Pont des Arts. Bridges in Paris vary from old stone bridges to iron bridges. The only thing for sure about a bridge in Paris is that where there is a wire, there is a lock.

These locks are put on by lovers, they are inscribed with names and dates. I wonder if the love ends do you come back and take that lock off? If you come back to Paris more than once with different lovers and you put a lock on for each one, how special is it?

There are guys that stand on the bridges selling locks for you to purchase and attach to the bridge. They also provide the sharpie to inscribe your love note. Oh and then they want you to throw the keys into the river. Hmm, perhaps all those keys has added to the color of the river? I can't imagine that all those keys can be good for the Seine?

So then we wander down the Rue de Rivoli. We pass the Louvre where there a long line to see a costume exhibit. We will hit museums during the week, when I think the lines will be shorter. But this is Paris and the museums are a big deal, so maybe not?

The plan was to take my beloved to Angelina's for hot chocolate. Yeah, us and about every other tourist in Paris! So we will go back during the week for thick hot pudding like chocolate.

So we stopped at another lovely cafe for coffee. Trust me, do not order a double cafe creme at 4 in the afternoon. Just not a good idea.

We wander taking a long time and pick up fresh bread and cheese for dinner. We have had a wonderful long walk and return to our cozy apartment to prepare for another day of exploring.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Paris Day 1

We have arrived in Paris. Our direct flight from SFO to CDG allowed us to miss any weather related problems moving towards the east coast.

I have to say that having someone meet you at the airport with a sign with your name on it is not a bad thing. A person to drive you to where you are staying

We have rented an apartment on Quai Bourbon in Ille St. Louis which is an incredible location. It is one of those Paris apartments that seem to be carved out of a space that was not meant to be. The front door is half way up a flight of stairs between the ground floor and the first floor. It has been referred to by my beloved as a hobbit hole. It is quite nice but yes some of the doors are low and she has about three inches to spare when standing up in the bathroom. And believe it or not I have banged my head on the bathroom door jamb. Yes I know hard to believe but true

We spent our last day in the states at a funeral for my beloveds aunt. So our first stop after arriving was Notre Dame to light a candle for her. She was a true believer that she was going to Heaven and be with her lord. Well, not sure if I buy into that but she did and if lighting a candle for her in that beautiful church gets her closer to where she hoped to end up it is worth the 2 euros. Rest in peace Kay.

We the went to the grocery store for supplies and walked a bit. We brought dinner home and are now trying hard to stay up for a bit longer to fight that jet lag.

Tomorrow oh what shall we do????

Thursday, February 7, 2013

To drive or not to drive

At the airport and waiting for our flight to Paris. Me and my beloved for 10 days in my favorite city.

Before I leave I have to blog about something I saw twice in the last two days.

The Google self driving car. I saw what I am assuming were two different cars. Once on the way to work and once on the way home.

I understand the concept of the self driving car. It has some kind of thing on the top of the car that spins that must communicate with a sattelite. It has all kinds of sensors so it can tell where it is in relation to other cars and I am assuming people.

They both had humans sitting in the drivers seat, but what do they do? I'm thinking that you can't text or talk on the phone because even though you are not driving you are in the drivers seat? I guess you could paint your nails or organize your purse. Or in the case of the man I saw driving a non self driving car the day prior, you could be reading a book.

I wonder about how does it park? I know they have cars that can park themselves, but my question is how does the self driving car know where you want to park. Do you enter a parking lot and then take control?

Yes, I also understand the concept of how it knows where you are going. Put into google maps and get the directions, but we have all had the experience of those maps being a little off? What happens if your route is blocked by construction or an accident?

Does there have to be a person in the drivers seat? I'm assuming in case something weird happens and human intervention is needed.

And another thing, how do you stop wanting to step on the brake or take a different route? Who gets to yell at the stupid driver in front of you?

I think the self driving car should come with a big speaker and a bunch of pre-recorded phrases and they should be in a funny voice. Maybe you could choose the voice depending on your attitude that day.

I also wonder how much longer before you hear this from your car:

No, Margaret we are not going that way. There will be no stops between here and there, so hope you did not drink too much coffee this morning. Buckle up!