Rob and Sarah

Rob and Sarah

Rob and Sarah

This is our resurrected travel blog. We also submitted the travel blog titled 'Ditirmind'




Today we leave the South and return to Paris for a day and a half before we return to the US. Blogging has been light while we've been in the south because we've had so much fun relaxing and soaking up the Midi sun. Some highlights of our time in Provence include: 1) A trip to Cassis, a small fishing/beach village about 20 km east of Marseille. Cassis is known for the beautiful coves, or calanques, that mark the coast. We took a boat ride to see the inlets dug into the chalk cliffs over millions of years. In the 1980s, a diver found underwater caves in this area that bore the markings of prehistoric man! Drive time from Avignon - about 2 hours, depending on how lost you get. It's probably better to take the ... read more
L'Vue
Moon Rise
The Famous Pont


We left Paris for Avignon on Sunday. TRAVEL TIP: Don't buy your TGV tickets with American Express cards. When we got to Gare Lyon, we went to an automated kiosk to print out our e-tickets (because we booked a couple months ago - tickets are much pricier if you buy in Paris), but soon found that the kiosks cannot process tickets purchased by American Express. We had to stand in a slow-moving line at the ticket counter to get our actual tickets. But, the train ride was fun and fast and we arrived in Avignon in under 3 hours. The car rental area is right next to the train station, and we received our reserved car with no problems. Our cottage is located on the grounds of the most gorgeous B&B on a little island in ... read more
Our Car
The B&B
Our Cottage

Europe » France » Paris May 23rd 2010

As we get ready to head south we thought a quick review of our stay in Le Meridien in the Montparnasse area (left bank of the Seine in Paris) would be nice. 1. Location: great location, close to decent restaurants, laundry, and the Eiffel Tower. Very convenient for access to the metro and RER. Several grocery stores within a block or two. Several movie theaters close by. 2. Hotel Exterior: looks like a non-descript, boring tall box from the 80's. Even though its huge, finding it when you're in Montparnasse can be tricky. 3. Hotel Lobby: very euro-cool, sleek design, nice seating and free wifi. Space is typically filled with flight crews from all over the world, Japanese and American tourists. 4. Elevator: Creepy. Sarah and I first got in and could not figure out what ... read more

Europe » France » Paris May 21st 2010

The day started with a hotel change. We checked out of the Marriott and made our way up the road to our next hotel, Le Meridien Montparnasse, which is right next to Gare Montparnasse. We don't like this hotel as much - it's situated in a very busy area without much charm. But, our 19th floor room affords some great views of Paris and her suburbs. After settling in, we walked through the 6th arrondissement (St. Germain) and meandered to the Luxemborg Gardens for a picnic lunch. We marveled at all of the Parisians enjoying a leisurely midday meal in the park. After lunch we walked to the Luxemborg Palace, which anchors the gardens. Henry IV built this palace for his wife, but the building now houses the senate. We got a kick out of watching ... read more
Sarah and the Palace
Stained Glass
A cool carving

Europe » France » Paris May 20th 2010

People seem to find a favorite part of this large and exciting city. Many people say the Latin Quarter is their favorite (definitely not ours!), or perhaps St. Germain. Robarn and I continue to confirm our expensive tastes by independently deciding the little island next to Notra Dame is our favorite part of the city. Of course, real estate is most expensive on this tiny strip of land in the middle of the Seine with cobblestone streets and gorgeous old mansions that have been converted into apartments (with beautiful courtyards, of course). o Not very many tourists make it here, which is one reason why we like it so much. It's quiet and quaint. We had dinner here two nights. On Tuesday night, we just had a light dinner at a corner cafe that looked out ... read more

Europe » France » Paris May 20th 2010

In case you haven't noticed, we've been back-filling the blog when we have internet access. So, I'm posting this entry as May 20th even though I'm really writing it on the 21st. Additionally, to keep posts relatively short, we're posting by event rather than day. We're doing this because we've returned to several places multiple times. So, the set up to this post is that we visited Sainte Chapelle and the Conciergerie after visiting the Notra Dame. The three buildings are about a block apart, on the Ile de la Cite. Our good friends Audrey and Michael told us if we paid to enter one church in all of Paris, we should go to Sainte Chapelle. This church was built by Louis IX (the saint) to house the crucifixion relics, which he bought in an attempt ... read more
Starry Night
The Rose Window
A Floor Tile

Europe » France » Paris May 20th 2010

We walked by Notre-Dame several times over the last few days and finally committed to braving the crowds. The line for the cheap-ass entry was long but ushered us in quickly. The line to the far left is for those wishing to climb up to the upper veranda. The inside is a dramatic contrast to the bright, penetrating sun, school groups, and tourist-trap salesmen outside. People move relatively respectfully through the monstrous and caverness alcoves. A surprising amount of access is granted to visitors. Much of the church continues to be used for services. They offer an interesting version of confession - an ancient alcove was encased in modern, frosted glass with about 10 chairs out front for those seeking absolution with the attending priest inside. The flow is counterclockwise with the middle portion sectioned-off but ... read more
Notre-Dame
Sweetie on the East side
North Wall of Notre Dame

Europe » France » Paris May 19th 2010

After we left the Louvre, we walked through the Jardin du Tuileries, which is the oldest formal garden in Paris. Parisians and tourists alike walk down the pebbled paths enjoying the temperate weather. The avenue is spectacular - you can see the Louvre on one end and the Arc du Triumph on the other. We walked down the Champs Elysees to the Arc to take a picture and then stopped for an espresso and to rest our feet. From there, we walked over to the Trocadero section of Paris and crossed the Seine to view the Eiffel before walking back to our hotel. Basically, we walked a lot. ... read more
The Arc
The Tower
The Tower 2

Europe » France » Paris May 19th 2010

The day started late - Robarn woke me at 8:30! I had slept almost 12 hours (I guess that's what jet lag does to you). I was worried that we would be unable to see the Louvre today because all the guide books say you MUST get there before it opens (at 9 am) to avoid all the lines. But, we quickly got dressed and set off. Of course, we were walking less than 5 minutes before a cafe enticed us in for petite dejeuner. Cafe (you think cafe would mean coffee, but it always seems to mean espresso), orange juice, and yummy french bread with lots of sweet butter and apricot jam. After a leisurely meal, we were off again. We're staying in the 14th arrondissemont, which is in the Montparnasse section of the city. ... read more
Looking to the Right
The Courtyard
A Greek Statue

Europe » France » Paris May 17th 2010

Mom drove us to Newark, NJ airport at midday Monday. As soon as we entered the terminal, I was so glad we decided to carry on. The line to check bags weaved all around the building! We waltzed on by the queue and into a short security line. We were through within 20 minutes. It would have been shorter accept that a TSA official flagged Robarn for "inconsistent density patterns" in his left shoe. We're still not exactly sure what that means, but a second scanning confirmed that Robarn was safe to fly. Our Continental flight to Munich left on time and was packed! Luckily, the attendants were really friendly and cheerful. Fun fact - Germans really like seltzer water; the crew ran out of the yummy, bubbly drink somewhere over the Atlantic. Of course, I ... read more
Robarn and Fountain
Some Building
Bullet Marks




Tot: 0.299s; Tpl: 0.011s; cc: 7; qc: 85; dbt: 0.1054s; 85; m:apollo w:www (50.28.60.10); sld: 3; ; mem: 6.6mb