Friday, October 31, 2014

technology...and stuff

We love all the little World Series stories. The hefty man in the top photo
is handing over the keys to a big red 2015 truck to Mad Bum, the MVP.
Hefty Man was supposed to sing the praises of Chevrolet, but he was
so nervous and intimidated that he sort of mumbled and then just said
that the truck is filled with all kinds of technology and stuff. Then in
today's newspaper, we see that the Chevy Ad Dept. is able to have
a little fun and let's see some more corporate humor along the way, OK?

Thursday, October 30, 2014

and we love the day after too

I'm up early listening to KNBR and reading the Thursday Fish Wrap, as
the Great Plotnik calls our Chron. So touching that KC turned their ballpark
fountains orange after our win last night. The 9th inning was brutally scary
and now time for ALL the stories - the joy and the tears. I'll miss the parade
tomorrow, but I did go two years ago and I'll watch it on TV later. Who 
would have dreamed all those years ago shivering under our plaid blanket
at Candlestick that we would win THREE World Series? Honestly, all
the pain along the way, all those "I hate baseball!" emails, slamming out
of the room after some fatal error (don't ever WALK the first batter!) and
the to/fro texts ("Strikland?" or "18 Innings - are you kidding?") or listening
silently to the game at 2am while we were in Paris. Worth it? Oh yes, even
if we had lost last night. The city has turned orange again and all the
fireworks and honking horns last night after our win was even more 
exciting (in a different way) than in 2010. Congratulations and thanks to
our Giants - yes, we are privileged.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

a haven for Amercan book lovers

one block on Rue de la Bucherie

Dancing Jen loves her books
Shakespeare and Company is in a fabulous location across from Notre Dame.
It's a big old rambling bookstore, the great uncle to our own City Lights.
This glorious shop is filled with books, history, dreams and stories - many
of them true. Even today, aspiring writers can bunk a room upstairs and
stay while they create their masterpieces. An estimaetd 30,000 writers
have slept here over the decades. Founded in 1919 by Sylvia Beach, it
became famous in the 1950's when the beatniks discovered Paris. The
owner, George Whitman, died in 2011 at age 98 and his daughter, Sylvia,
now runs the place and to me, it hadn't changed a bit, except she likes the
computers that her father abhorred.

(World Series update - disastrous loss to KC last night, on to Game #7
tonight and I'm already nervous and resigned. It's just a game...)

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

two Parisian weddings

Jardin Des Tuileries

Pont Alexandre III
Such a nice treat, especially for this woman who thinks all the brides in
their wedding gowns in Las Vegas look so tacky. But hey, I'm a snob and
these small wedding groups were a delight to behold. (I LOVE the camera
feature in my new iPhone - it identifies exactly where I was for each shot.
Who needs privacy? Not I.)

Monday, October 27, 2014


The Giants win again last night - congratulations to Madison Bumgarner
who set all sorts of pitching records. I think we are all exhausted today.
in a good way, of course.

walk with me...

Little specialty stores, art galleries, history, the old and the new - who
wouldn't want to stroll through the streets of Paris on a sunny day?
Check out the reflected background behind this bathing beauty shot, I
didn't even aim for that. Bonus!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

the Paris - SF food scene

It's been 25 years or so since we were last in Paris. Much has changed, but one
thing I noticed this time is how much better the food is here in SF than it used
to be. The egg salad sandwich pictured above is from Cano Russo down at
the Ferry Plaza. Scrumptious. I had some good meals in Paris, but the days
of dropping into any tiny hole in the wall cafe and having an exceptional
meal for 5 Euro are long gone. With a couple of the meals I would have
even (nicely) suggested to the waiter that the steak was as tough as nails,
or the omelet was too greasy, if I had been here speaking my own imperfect
English. On the other hand, I didn't spend much money on meals in Paris.
Husbando and I used to do "the big splurge" when we journeyed and those
meals could eat up the entire travel budget. Memorable? Hmmmm, I can't
remember. Yes, the croissants are still flakier, but our home squeezed oj is
tastier. But I do think fondly of those escargot at "The Zinc" and that might
have been my favorite restaurant. But this subject will take a little more time
and thought - so prepare thyselves. In the meantime, a wave of the white
chef hat to the fresh and innovative restaurants here in Frisco.

World Series - exciting game last night. Giants won and the series is
tied 2 to 2. One more game tonight and then back to KC and those blue folk.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

highly recommended


We bought 4-day Museum Passes at the airport for about 54 Euro each. We
probably saved a little money, but more importantly, one can easily avoid
long lines (Versailles was the exception) by flashing the pass. And for me,
it just sort of pushed me inside to view beautiful art when so much of my
very being wanted to walk some more and then sit in secret gardens or the
Tuilaries or an outdoor cafe and really, the museums are enough reason to
justify a trip to Paris. Of course, so is siting and people watching...

World Series update - the Giants are back home from the horrors of Kansas
City and, alas, they lost last night. The series stands with Giants -1, KC - 2.
We need to WIN tonight, pls.

Friday, October 24, 2014

please release us...

They are pretty from a distance - all those locks sparkling in the sun on a
bridge in Paris. But, good god, worse than Ebola. This is spreading to other
bridges, all the street vendors sell cheap locks and please tell me all these
romances will last. It has become a problem in Paris and the bottom photo
shows how they have to cover some sections of some bridges because they
are too laden with locks. I'm sure they have early morning crews cutting off
locks that are causing problems. And then I spot some random gate and it
has a lock on it and by the next day the damn thing will be covered. There,
my first Paris rant - not the last, never fear.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

meet Niece Jill

I think I learned more about Paris from Jill and the K clan (see future
T & O posts) than from any guide book. Dancing Jen and I had dinner with
N.Jill in our very own nabe on our first Sunday night in Paris. Jill grew up
in St. Louis (as did Husbando) and has lived in the lively Marais district for
22 years. She is happy in Paris and has lots of friends and activities, including
the American Library which she so appreciates. Although she visits the U.S.
about twice a year, she certainly considers Paris her home and she gave us some
tourist ideas and tried to convince us that her French is not great. Ha! It is my
belief that there exists a large and active American ex-pat community and
I think moving to another country takes an extra dose of courage always,
but especially to leave the comforts of our comparatively easy-livin' USA.
A memorable night, for sure.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

thoughts and observations - chiens

Husbando is encouraging me to write down memories while they are
still fresh. The photos help. When we had dinner with Niece Jill, she
was explaining how the last mayor pushed through a law making it
VERY costly not to pick up after your dog. I can't tell you how much
better this makes walking, but of course you can guess. We saw mostly
little dogs, all on leashes and some as above - a photo I had to take in
a most furtive manner. (hahahaha, get it?)

Happy news - what fun watching the Giants bash those cocky Cinderella
Boys-in-Blue last night for Game #1.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

simple pleasures

 .Morning coffee in my John Deere mug
 .World Series starts tonight
 .Fruit for breakfast
 .This morning's Blogmaid email
 .Almost 8 hours of sleep 
 .Walking the nabe later in the day
 .Putting away suitcase until next trip
 .Hot bubble bath last night 

After Husbando picked me up from BART he urged me to go
right to the Verizon store and get my phone back in U.S. order
and I reluctantly did so, even though I was in such a fog. But that 
was necessary and today of course I'm grateful that he pushed
me there, dropped me off and waited while I hung around in a stupor.

I have a new adventure coming up too. I will work Election
Day and that entails long hours, two training classes and
pretty good pay. This, like the SPCA, is part of my "let's give back
to the universe with thanks" campaign now that I am an old
woman who refuses to actually admit it.

And this morning my thoughts are with Dancing Jen who has to
work - you can do it!  

Monday, October 20, 2014

blogger tourist home

A nice French woman took this photo of me being the solo tourist
at a little cafe near the Eiffel Tower. The food wasn't spectacular,
but I just love sitting and watching all the people. I walked down
the left bank and then crossed over to the right side and it was just
the best day ever - hot even! I meant to hit another museum, but
I didn't want to be inside on my last day.

Air France is wonderful, truly. If you have to sit for 10 to 11 hours,
you might as well have excellent food and service. I'm unpacked
and wearing orange and black already - starting to fade and getting
the jet lag feeling. So good to see Husbando who loves his new
beret and macaroons. It's odd without Dancing Jen, but I'll leave
her alone and email her tomorrow.Yup, we have some memories!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

sunday, lazy final day

More beautiful sunny weather here this morning. More church bells - my this last
week flew by, in a good way. Yesterday was a walking/sitting/savoring day and
then we went to dinner in a real Parisian apartment. Jen's friends Pascal, Fatwah
and their 13 yo son generously invited us for a delicious fish dinner, preceded by
fois grois (sp?) the goose liver banned in SF. Yes, it is animal cruelty, but truthfully
it was amazingly good and I can' be rude, can I? Then fish, vegetables, cheese 
and tart - all delicious. Fatwah gave us each a rose when he came home and 
Jen generously gave hers to a woman crying on the Metro. I needed mine for
the blog as all my photos yesterday are on the iPhone and I will share them with
you when I get home next week. It was midnight when we got back home, so
we both had restless nights.

Today I was planning on another museum, but I think I'll just walk along the
Seine and stop for coffee and some sort of snack.

I asked Joe to send me my work schedule for next week and you know how
that puts one right back in the thick of things. But I don't start until Thursday,
so that's all good. No one feels sorry for people with jet lag.

Our plane leaves around 10am tomorrow. With time change we should hit
SF about 2ish. So much I didn't do and see - but so much that I did. 

I have a French mosquito bite on my right eyebrow - ugly!

Next post will be from Bernal - thanks for reading, I don't know why spell
check isn't working, but that just adds to the blog-charm.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

saturday in paris after zzzzzzzz

We have two more nights here, unbelievable, no? For some blessed and
inexplicable reason I slept last night! I mean really slept with the ear
plugs in only for maybe a half hour. Our Kindles are such a godsend,
we can both read and not turn on any lights or bother the other person.
I am reading and loving "Paying Guests" and yes, I recommend it.

So, yesterday. I took a leisurely walk through the Tuilleries again, sitting to
watch the tourists sleep in those lounge chairs. Then I walked to Musee
de l'Orangerie that was created for the Monet water lilly searies. Lovely,
of course. But then downstairs, lots of glorious art including a special
exhibit by Emile Bernard that I so enjoyted. Of course I spent more time
here than I planned, and by the time I hit my old stand-by Blvd. St. Germaine
I was famished and stopped at The Two Maggots (see photo) for a croque
monseiur and salad, then some map advice from several waiters.

Onward to the Rodin where I once again was impressed with this artist,
so beautiful. I had tea in the garden cafe and called Husbando, then
ooooohed and ahhhhed some more. He  produced so many, many

Now, a smattering of photos for your enjoyment. I don't know what order
they will appear, but they are sent with much love. Another sunny day here
in Paris - we so lucked out with the weather. OK, Bernard is last, then 
Deux Maggots and finally Rodin.

Friday, October 17, 2014

friday and on to the world series!

Wow, thank heavens for the iPhone - I listened to the game during the night and
when Morris hit the home run I almost screamed. Then, bottom of the 9th - I
really so love our Giants. This morning I am having a $15E breakfast at our hotel,
with a whole banana, cheese, rolls and (imagine) a pot of coffee! I'm sharing the
table with a woman from Denmark and she is busy on her iPad too. How did we
travel before these wonderful conveniences? I've been watching videos of our
Giants and their colorful fans and looking forward to the World Series next 
week. Orange people vs. the hefty blue ones in KC.

But hey, ths is about Paris, n'est pas? So yesterday, no rain all day. I had a great
time at the Pompidou Center because of the strange and unusual art and the
building with the elevators on the outside. I'll show you somee photos next.
Stopped for a latte and a sweet, just like at home. Everyone is so friendly and
eager to please this happy American. I spent more time here than I planned,
then walked to the Louvre.

What a zoo, but free on the Museum Pass, so I really needed to go in and
experience the whole thing. It was not an easy time, but I did see the
Italian section and had some wonderful memories of touring Italy with
ALL those women a few years ago. 

By then it was getting to Husbando Calling Time (4:30pm here, 7:30am SF)
so I went to the Tuillaries and sat by a fountain. I have grown to love these
huge grounds and will probably end up back there today at some point.
This is the last day of the 4 Day Museum Pass (a really good deal), so I
will try to hit 3 on the list. But, thanks to the Giants, I am moving slowly
this morning.  

Oh, dinner - with Dancing Jen in a pizza (!) place here in the nabe. We were
both tired and retired eardly with our e-books and iPhones.

The photos are backwards - the bottom is the view from Pompidou elevator
and the top the garden. 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

thursday with photos

I'm back at the Pigeon, taking my time before hitting Le Pompidou Museum
which doesn't open until 11am. What? I will tell you in just a few unworthy
words how very much I enjoyed D'Orsay - I didn't think I would because 
I had seen so many at the DY, but my, this was entirely different. Just the
magnificent building and the different small rooms and ALL that art. I spent
more time there than I planned to, just soaking it all in. And then the people
watching and all the little family squablles from tired travelers. Great!

I had planned to hit the Louvre, but my mind was too full of all those 
Impressionists, so I went on a long walk - stopped for a fruit dish and 
some coffee on St. Germaine whch is about two blocks away from Rue
Jacob and a good central "now where am I? guideline. A young woman
asked me for directions in broken English and I felt smugly French and
she greatly relieved when we used our native tongue.

I see a big tour group now, heading to Notre Dame. I like sitting alone
in these outdoor cafes - reading/writing emails, da blog and just looking
at all the people from all over the world. I'm feeling so comfortable now
and so admire Niece Jill who moved here from St. Louis more than
20 years ago. I understand Fev. Brain who feels she was born to live
in Paris. She will return, as wll I.

A little rain yesterday, none today. The weather is perfection. First photo is 
Rue Jacob, the street where we live.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

versailles in the sun

We spent the entire day here (pix after I return home) and it was absolutely 
gorgeous. The last time Husbando and I were here it was raining and we 
didn't walk in the extensive gardens. Yesterday we soaked up the Palace,
the Queen's "cottage" (thanks, Jen!) and those magnificent paths and pools
and my, what a life the Sun King lived. We had a dinner snack in the pleasant
city of Versailles and hopped a crowded train back home.

I listened to the Giants - congrats on another win, but those KC Royals get
alll the attention. They are formidable and fun indeed.

Today we are splitting up and I am having an omelet, croisssant and oj
here at what I think of as the Pigion Cafe because one was sitting snugly
on a table last Sunday. None today, but I am getting exquisite and friendly
service from our previous waiter. No rush in Paris, I've been sending emails
and now posting your update.

I will head to d'Orsay to tell the retail workers there that I understand their
pain and I will bug them about stocking a postcard that they must have 
and don't. 

Weird, this. My feet and knees are fine with all this constant walking. I know
you wanted to know that.

More tomorrow. Thanks, as always, for reading.

wednesday, maybe rain?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

today is tuesday

We will probably hit Versailles in a short time, but I wanted to post this
from the comfort of our hotel room. We walked up to the market on
Montorgueil (per Henry at the DY, please thank him) and had a quiche
and sandwich sitting by some beautiful fountain. Then walked back
to  "our" St. Germaine and hit the Luxenbourg Jardin again. After 
dinner we took the boat cruise and that was so special, seeing Paris
at night. Even the 400 giggling school girls were (ahem)something 
to behold. Herre are some photos from that - I still haven't been able
to blend my iPhone and iPad pix, so these are just from the tablet.
Still beautiful weather, can you believe that? (OK, Giants, we need a
win today!) 
Thannks to you friends who call Husbando and discuss the fact that I 
did laundry yesterday in Paris. He is doing great, by the way.

Monday, October 13, 2014

monday morning - day #5

This is the bird and flower market (Cite Florale) on Place Louis-Lepine - greaat! We walked
again and just ooooohed and ahhhhhed at buildings and people. Toured the Ile St. Louis
and  continued walking until we hit the Pompideau, the Homage to Stravinsky (pix below)
then continued walking to Gallerie La Fite (spell check) and had a small lunch. Saw an Apple 
store (!) but Jen helped me fix ALL electronics yesterday afternoon when the rain started
and we returned to our hotel.

Dinner last night with my niece Jill who lives here. I have a photo on the iPhone, but first
I have to get Husbando to find my iCloud password so I can meld (ahem) all the photos.
We had a terrific evening.

I was able to listen to the game last night, sorry about the outcome. The good news is 
that just having the uncomfortable ear plug and baseball news allowed me to really
sleep better than I have since we arrived. I am writing this from our hotel room. 
Imagine! Noww we get some coffee and plan our day - bon jour!


Sunday, October 12, 2014

sunday morning

Church bells galore - including Notre Dame as we have our du cafe et 
croissants this morning, enjoying working Wi Fi. Congrats to our Giants
and thanks for the emails last night. What fun, even from a foreign land.
Today we head to the bird and flower market (thanks Fev. Brain) and then
to "do" the isles. Excellent dinner last night at Le Petite Zinc in our very
own nabe. Escargot, steak, scallops, creme brulee.

It is cooler this morning and no sun yet. Sleep is an issue, but that's OK,
we don't need to really think until museum days next week.

Best part of yesterday? The Tuileries and all the people enjoying the sun
and space. We are walking so much that this mornings black slacks are
roomier than they were in SF. Ceci found a FT chef job with Marimiko (sp?) in Napa and she
starts tomorrow. She is currently on Mullen Ave. with her

I am one lucky woman. Giants, do it again, please!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

assorted electronic issues

However, today we found a cafe and I could actually connect and let you all
know that we are fine and busy - walking, walking, etc. Yesterday to
Pere la chese (pardon my spelling in English and French) to sprinkle Michael's
ashes near Jim Morrison's grave. We toured the cemetery and then took
the metro to Montmarte for more walking and sightseeing. The weather 
is clear and beautiful. Jen has a fabulous sense of direction, plus she is
not afraid of the metro and she also loves cafe. Our hotel is in a great
location and we have conquered the nabe. Today we walked to Shakespeare
and Co. then down the Seine to and through the Tulieries and on to the
Champs Elyesee. I call Husbando from a different park every afternoon
about 5:30pm and that works well. He is doing just fine, speaking better
French than I ever will.

Since last I was here (1986?) it has become so much more Americanized.
Easy if one doesn't speak French, but the boulevards are lined with our
stores and even restaurants boast menus in English. Yet it's still very
French and wonderful. 

I will close now and see if I can get this iPad to work tomorroow. 

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

"pinch me" day

Ever since Husbando and I first went to Europe (in the late 70's), we
would utter this when approaching a foreign city. Neither of us imagined
that we would ever travel this way - to see and feel so much. I will miss
him, but I have our old travel journals and will text and email him from
some of our favorite Parisian haunts. The iPhone keeps us close.

Yesterday I went to the gym, then spent the afternoon with the good and
patient folk at Verizon while I got my new iPhone 5 (for 99¢) so I can
get the SIM card the moment we hit Paris. I have been with Verizon
for (possible?) twenty years and I so admire how they handle dolts like me.
A truly great company in this land of ones that aren't.

Above is my new smaller suitcase and this morning's addition. Our Giants
are going to battle St. Louis and my phone will ping with updates from
friends. This is the perfect time to thank you for all your good wishes and
"don't miss" emails - my goal is to entice The Fevered Brain to return to
Paris in 2015. I will post next from Paris - imagine that!

And from the Blogmaid's morning email (she knows I get pre-flight jitters):
I’m really proud of you for taking this trip. I know right now 
you’d probably like to skip it, but traveling is SO good for us. 
I still remember my trip to France in 2008 with a clarity that 
I lack for something I did here a month or two ago. It’s so 
exciting to actually BE in another part of the world, and not 
just see it on TV or read about it in a book. The experience 
expands us in a way that’s a sort of exercise for our (agnostic) 
soul, making us a more empathic person, and a better world citizen.
(This is my own little pep talk for my upcoming trip, too.)