I am a part time travel agent, retired teacher who loves to travel. Just driving by an aiport exit ramp or seeing some fantastic scenery gets me thinking about where I want to go or what I want to do next. A trip to a nearby provincial park or halfway across the world on a luxury cruise is a good reason to pack my bags.

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London November 1st 2018

Monday, Oct 29th - the calm Up at 8 to dress and clean the apartment. Not bad team work – Pam, the owner, actually turned up just as we were finishing so I didn’t get to check how Ross did with the toilet room. All subway and train connections worked fine so I thought we’d have a lucky day. But on the train, I again had a seat travelling backwards (top speed was 331 km/hr). Kept my head down most of the time. Arrived in St. Pancras station London around 2:30. Used the phone to find our studio rental. Basement unit but all we needed – clean, well equipped, teeny tiny bathroom and a wee double bed. I did opt for the cheapest unit so no complaints. Only opened the suitcases as there was no need ... read more
The Fork
standing right next to this made me cry
this is probably my expression after the fall

Europe » France » Île-de-France October 28th 2018

Saturday and Sunday, Oct 27&28 Ross wanted to check out the Paris Chinatown before we headed to Haussmann Blvd for serious shopping. Before we even got there I spotted Maisons du Monde. Oh I wish I could furnish an apartment from this shop. So many cool things. I think the shipping costs put most things out of range. On to Chinatown and through a mall - very similar to areas in Richmond. After a good look around we caught the Metro to Galeries Lafayette. So many people. Such high prices. I couldn't believe the line-ups at Longchamps and Gucci purse counters. Security all around. Outside the store the street was lined with huge limo buses dispensing foreign shoppers. They must have a much better budget than me. We took photos from the roof top but didn't ... read more
Christmas at Galeries Lafayette
from the rooftop
all lined up for purses

Europe » France » Île-de-France October 26th 2018

Friday, October 26 Boy these 9:30 mornings are becoming a real habit. Out on the streets by 11 and off to the Metro. A day of walking and planned shopping! But actually spent the least on goods today but oh my I could have if I had another suitcase. We went to Les Halles and followed the phone. First stop was trying to get Ross to do a set pose by the big head and hand sculpture because we had one of me from a trip a few years back. Well Ross is Mr. Polite and a slow mover so we started out as the only people there and by the time he got to the head another group had moved in and then 3 more and they all took 5 or more different poses. I ... read more
quick sketch - they were done before I was
Ministry of Culture building
Do NOT have coffee here

Europe » France » Île-de-France October 25th 2018

Thursday, October 25 Just looked up Thursday markets this morning and Marche Bastille came up. So off we went around 11. It certainly is the largest food and odds and ends market we've been to in Paris. Took a long time to check everything out. Lost Ross a few times. Bought some fruit and nuts and a lot of "almost buys'. Next up was Place des Vosges which we've never seen and we got a couple of pastries to eat in the park. Sketched a fountain and a bit of the apartments there that are from the 17th century. Apparently Mozart gave one of his first recitals here. Now to just walk and follow the crowds. I managed to follow the ones who had shopping bags with good labels on them figuring we'd end up somewhere ... read more
and I went to Russia last month for one of these
The Bastille monument
just window shopping

Europe October 24th 2018

Wednesday, Oct 24 Darn - slept until 9:30 again! Karaoke again last night. At least I finished my book. A little faster getting ready this morning and out by 10:30 to check out our local street food market. Surprise I forgot the Wed market is only partly food and the rest is clothing, leather goods, dry goods, etc. Took longer than expected to see everything. Next off to the Eiffel Tower. We got off the Metro early and walked through some gorgeous streets and came at the tower from the east - no stairs this time though. Good pics as we neared it but what a shock when we were there. Major security. The whole square under the tower, which used to be wide open, is now surrounded in high clear protective shielding. You pay to ... read more
Maybe a few million would get you a closet?
interesting walking streets
there she is

Europe » France » Île-de-France October 24th 2018

Tuesday, Oct 23 Up late again. Have to stop reading my ereader so late at night. It does take my mind off the karaoke singers (who aren't very good - even I can tell) who seem to start up around 11 pm and go until 1 am. The sounds come in through the back window that's right over the bed. Anyway we decided our plan would be to walk around Montmartre and ponder going up the dome and then do a sketch somewhere and have lunch. I really wanted time in a few special stores in that area. Got off the Metro at a station that I thought was behind Sacre Coeur so we could walk down to it rather than hike the hill. Majorly wrong choice twice over. We came at it from the east ... read more
7 flights X 22 steps
and then 2 more
now why wouldn't he go up the dome

Europe » France » Île-de-France October 22nd 2018

Monday, Oct 22 If you've read the earlier blogs you know I needed a coat. Have looked at a few but can't pay the prices when I have perfectly good jackets at home. Today was the day to find one. Late start since I fell back asleep at 7:30 and didn't rise until 9:30. Finally got out of the apartment at 11 and Metro to Chatelet. I had researched vintage clothing and thought we'd start there. The cheapest place was called Free'P'Star. I thought Monday mornings would be a slow time. Wrong. Got inside and could hardly move. Found a jacket right away but had to fight to move and got pushed to the back to a bin that was just stuffed full of clothes all for 1 Euro (Ross remained at the front of the ... read more
trying to get back to the front of the store
That blue area is the tiny upstairs

Europe » France » Île-de-France October 21st 2018

Oct 21, Sunday A bit late starting out but the time change hasn't affected us much, although as I type Ross is having his nap before bed again. Walked out and intended to head straight to Luxembourg Gardens but at our local street market it was art market day. Spent an hour looking at all the interesting sculptures, acrylics. oils and mixed media. Loved one painting but a wee bit pricey. Walked on to the gardens and was not too impressed until we got to the main area. What a people place. Seems like most of the population was out playing, reading, relaxing, sailing. Dawdled here sketching and people watching. Slowly wandered until we found a lunch place. Great food but a tight squeeze with close small tables. We had galettes - a little like crepes. ... read more
fountain at Luxembourg Gardens
a parade of ponies went by
sailing the boats using a push pole

Europe October 20th 2018

Oct 19, Friday Up at 5:30 since I went to bed at 9. Sorted through papers and did computer stuff until Ross woke at 8. Breakfast and off to the Metro. Got out at Cite and started randomly walking until we reached the official main tourist office. Ross engineered that since he always wants to visit every single tourist office we ever see. Anyway I found out a good coffee shop which was my only incentive to ask any questions. Le Pain Quotidien proved to be a good choice - croissants were delectable. The we walked all around the Marais area and we found this great store called Fleux. Good thing I don't live here - loved everyone of their four shops and could have spent a small fortune. Ross checked out a few things too. ... read more
oooh croissants
Popular bread place

Europe » France » Île-de-France October 20th 2018

Everything was ready to go and catch the Skytrain to the airport - only one last thing to add to the suitcase. Could not remember what it was and checked all my lists but everything was there. Oh well off to the airport. Sitting in the waiting area and yes - I forgot a jacket or coat or even sweater. Hmmm - how many Euros for a coat in Paris? In the waiting area I told Ross he needed to download the Westjet app so he could have entertainment on the plane. I had done it early in the morning. Then we both checked our headphones so we wouldn't blast our choices all over the plane. Mine worked and I was happy because I could never get it to work on my old computer. Ross could ... read more

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