Tamara Whitson

twhit9149

Tamara Whitson


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Former TravelPod Member: twhit9149


Joined: May 18th, 2009
From: lives in United States



Europe » France » Lower Normandy » Colleville-sur-Mer October 26th 2017

We decide that today (Monday) is the day we'll head to the D-day beaches. We're going to follow the advice given by good 'ol Rick Steves and work our way East to West beginning in Arrowmanches. We get an early start. We have no idea how many tourists are in the area and I would like to get a few places in if it gets crowded. I wish we could be alone. I have a feeling that the emotions might be a bit overwhelming. We arrive in Arrowmanches and there are only a couple of cars in the lot closest to the Landing Museum and the Tourist Information Center. We head into the TI first to get any tips they might might be able to offer and set out on a 10 minute walk to the ... read more

Europe » France » Lower Normandy October 25th 2017

We woke up bright and early. It is Sunday. We are leaving Paris today and heading to Normandy! We finish the last of our packing and head down to breakfast at 7am. Surprisingly, four of our tour mates are already in the breakfast room. As we eat, another two join us to wish us well. The people are headed back to the States, the gentleman is staying in Paris til Tuesday, the sisters are headed to the D-Day beaches by train and our leaders are in Paris for a few days before heading to Italy. Steve walks us to the train station a couple blocks away and makes sure we get on the correct train. It is an express train to the airport where we will pick up our rental car. This train makes fewer stops ... read more

Europe » France » Île-de-France October 25th 2017

Today is our last day in Paris. We are free to do what we want but the tour leader, Steve, is going to the Woodrow Wilson market and we decide to tag along. The bus drops us off and we cross the street into the market which is once again, on a boulevard. The first stalls are selling seafood and the displays are gorgeous. Scallops still in the shell, prawns, octopus, dozens of fish varieties, mussels, clams, lobster and sea urchins. The list goes on and on. All fresh. All waiting to be someone's lunch. The next stall has produce. The one after that has breads. Then nuts. Then olives. Then meats. Then scarves and sweaters. Then artwork. One after the other again and again. Prepared ethnic foods. Truffles. Spices. Flowers. We buy a couple of ... read more

Europe » France » Île-de-France October 23rd 2017

Friday is museum day! I am excited to see both the d'Orsay and Louvre. Our afternoon is free so Mom and I need to figure out what we're going to do. We only have this afternoon and Saturday left. There's so much more to do! I'm not sure how someone can say you only need a few days in Paris. Weeks! You need weeks and then there would still be more places to see, bistros to eat in and macarons to eat! Cooler weather has come to Paris. It finally feels like autumn. As we wait to get into the Musée d'Orsay, the wind has quite a chill. We huddle in the sunshine trying to get warm. Once inside, the cavernous central room feels more like an intimate gallery. The building used to be a train ... read more

Europe » France » Île-de-France October 21st 2017

Today, again, is more of a wander. The weather just keeps getting better. By better I mean, sweater weather without sweating and without needing anything heavier. Perfect! We are heading toward Sacre Cœur but where Michael leads us is anyone's guess! We start just down the street from our hotel (I swear I'm going to talk about it at some point) at Saint Germain des Prés. That means Saint Germain of the fields. This is the oldest church in Paris. As we walk in, again, I'm am struck by the sheer beauty of the way the light comes in through the stained glass. I get emotional and have to let the group go on ahead. I cry as the feelings become overwhelming. I can't describe it. The gloriousness (I'm just fine making that up if it ... read more

Europe October 20th 2017

Each morning we wake up, get ready and head down to our favorite meal of the day. The hotel (I swear I'll talk about it in a later blog) has a great breakfast laid out for us every morning. Cereals, yogurts, meats, cheeses, breads, eggs, potatoes, sausages, juices, coffees and teas get things started the right way. Without exception, our favorite item at breakfast is the bacon! I would hip check an old French lady out of my way to get to it. It is so tasty and they roll it up like a little sausage. I'll be sad if our next hotel doesn't have the same terrific breakfasts! Each day Michael meets us at the hotel to begin our journey. Today, we slow down just a bit. Just a few blocks from our hotel is ... read more

Europe » France » Île-de-France October 18th 2017

Ten hours! Ten hours of the soundest, hardest sleep we've ever had. I tried to open my eyes on Tuesday morning. I felt run over. "What time is it?" "8 o'clock?! Really?!" "Holy shit!" And, with that, day 2 in Paris officially began! We were thankful for a later start. Normally, the Whitsons are butt-crack-of-dawn people; however, that travel day and full day of sightseeing did us in! We didn't even go out to dinner. It was Marks & Spencer pre-made sammies for us and we quickly passed out! Day two started with a lovely breakfast including yogurt, croissants, blueberry tart, bacon, eggs, potatoes, cereals, cheeses and meats! We ate til we were full and joined the group in the lobby for our journey through the city. We began just a short distance from the hotel. ... read more

Europe » France » Île-de-France October 17th 2017

We've been in the country for 2 full hours and....we're OFF! Just like that our guide of the city, Michael, sets our course for the day. Michael is an ex-pat and has lived in Paris for 20 years. He has his work cut out for him today. Entertain mom and I so we don't think too much about our lack of sleep! We walk toward the Seine as we all trying to learn about the group we're going to spend the next few days with. Why a tour? Well, originally Mom was going by herself. I joined the trip after she was committed. She had been with the trip leaders to Peru, the Amazon and Machu Pichu and had a great time. Honestly, it was nice to let someone else do the planning in Paris. I ... read more

Europe October 17th 2017

I flew through Detroit to get to Paris. After a weekend at EPCOT's Food and Wine Festival, I needed to get back to Mom so we could travel together. Flew in without a hitch. Mom was waiting for me at my gate and we caught up as we walked the 20 gates to catch the 6pm flight to Paris. The flight was noneventful, thank goodness, but a 7 hour flight meant that we were gonna have a hard time being rested before we arrived in Paris the next morning at 7am their time! We both got less than 2 hours of sleep (it was probably closer to 1) and landed at Charles de Gaule at 7:15am. We got off the plane and walked for what seemed like miles toward baggage claim. Just as I was about ... read more

North America » United States » Ohio » Bowling Green September 30th 2017

Two weeks. Just two weeks until I head to France with my mother. All arrangements have been made. Tickets, hotels, rental car, a loose intinerary and a general idea of the things we want to see and do. I'm feeling a little more nervous than normal. The language barrier and reputation of the French certainly contribute to the anxiety. Ranger Rita has not failed me though. I have a vision of how the weeks should play out and know there will always be adjustments. Relax, be yourself, be flexible and when all else fails....eat cheese and drink wine! ... read more




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