Wednesday, May 25, 2011

England 1990 - Final Entries

Saturday, November 17

Mild – drizzle, cloudy. Breakfast arrived at 7:45 so we were out early, even though the newspapers and comfort of breakfast in our room makes it difficult. We walked to Harrods – mobs in the stores and on the streets. You can barely move. Everything is just too costly to buy as we can buy it when we get home for half. Shoes are the only good buy – expensive, but excellent quality – worth it. Met Tom and Snookie Caldwell for lunch at Fortnum & Masons. Fun to see them here. We went then to Churchills’ War Rooms and it was very interesting. We took the underground to Covent Garden and the streets are still jammed at 5-6 pm. We couldn’t find a pub we could squeeze into – packed everywhere. So we went to Rules for dinner. Oldest Restaurant in London – expensive. $75 for dinner for 2 and it wasn’t very good. We won’t recommend it. We took the underground back to S.Kensington. The subways are so crowded with young people it is scary. Wall to wall crowds everywhere.

There was a group having a costume party in a conference room at the War Rooms. The door was left open and it was as if I was in a time warp. Nurses in uniform – Lorrie drivers, soldiers, Rafipersonnel. I thought it was part of the show for a few minutes. They were all having cocktails and chatting in these “get-ups.”

Sunday, November 18

Sunny. Cool. Feels like Spring – I hear birds singing. No heat – open windows. Not so warm when outside, but nice and sunny. We walked to the London Oratory for Mass. A gorgeous church – Italian Renaissance – a larger mass than St. Pauls. After Mass we took the underground to the British War Museum and spent the day. John was thrilled to visit the different exhibits of all wars but the thing I will remember most was a trench like those in WWI that was so real it gave you goose bumps of fear. The guns were going off and soldiers all around you.

We went back to #16 to relax with a scotch before dinner. Dinner was at Luigi Malones – pretty good Italian and then off to the Concert at the Royal Albert Hall. It is Beethoven & Brahms with a piano soloist. Upon our arrival we were outside looking for the ticket office and a gentleman asked us if we needed tickets as he had some he wasn’t using so he sold us two for £10. When we arrived the usher showed us to a box and the gentleman and two guests arrived shortly. He explained after introductions all around that he was a conductor and we might like to buy some of his CDs, so he gave us some titles, which we will pursue tomorrow. The concert was fabulous with Leif Segerstam conducting the Rheinland–Pfalz State Philharmonic Orchestra. Lars Vogt on piano – debut performance.

Must remember our morning, which was lots of fun at the flea market at Campden Town which was recommended by our hotel as less touristy. It was great and I bought a hat. Everything from art to vintage clothing. New – old – you name it. Fun, Fun day.

Monday, November 19

Last day in London. Rain is promised – cloudy, cool. Went shopping, but it was so difficult. Ended up buying a couple of sweatshirts in Soho for $20 – ugh! We picked up two 100% robes for $50, but my first choice of lovely shawls was impossible. They were $80 each. After lunch we went to the Tower of London. It was fun to see the jewels, but hardly worth $16 for the two of us. We had a nice hour of rest in our hotel before taking off for dinner and the theatre. We stopped at a pub for a drink and then a quick dinner at the Aberdeen Steak House next to the theatre.

“Aspects of Love” was very good – a delightful way to end our trip.

November 20

Mild/clear. Up early – breakfast arrived in our room about 7:30 and we were in our car on the way to the airport at 8. John stocked up at “duty free” on the Scotch we’ve enjoyed so much. It is high priced, but we are afraid Lagavulin and Longmorn won’t be available in the states. We tried to use up our pounds but will still be taking some home. Flight 217 arrived on time in Washington. Smoothest flight I can remember. On our way to Durham – broke down in Fredericksburg.

Monday, May 23, 2011

England - 1990; entries 10-15

Monday, November 12

Monday – drizzly. Stephen off to school for 8:30 – Ian came over to say goodbye. John is going to the dentist in Ravenstall to put in a temporary filling before we head off to Edinboro. A long drive in fog so dense we couldn’t see the green fields along the road. The fog lifted about the time we entered Scotland, but night closes in early. You are in the dark by 4 pm. The hills are beautiful and we look forward to tomorrow when we have a full day to see it all. We are staying in Cringletie House in Peebles, 30 minutes south of Edinboro and this is our best accommodation so far – a gorgeous/40 year-old Victorian Estate that looks like a castle. We are in a turret room. Luxury – we were ready for this. We both had a good long bath before dinner. Only two other rooms are filled – one from Italy and one from Spain. Should be an interesting dinner. We are going to have a scotch in front of the fireplace just as John promised before we left home. My choice of scotch was “Lagavulin” – terrific Islay Type. Dinner was equal to any four-star Restaurant. What a fabulous meal – salmon, of course!

Tuesday, November 13

Warm – cloudy. A great breakfast served beautifully before we are off to Edinboro for the day. Easy 17 mile drive and we parked at the foot of the castle wall. We had a good tour of the castle before our CV walk in the lovely park near Princess Street. Then we had some scones before visiting all the stores. Found some wonderful kilt shops and bought kilts for Sarah and Carrie with matching sweaters. Dad bought a beautiful black lambs wool cable sweater so we broke the ice with a couple of purchases. I think they were good buys in spite of the exchange. Another fabulous dinner. The food at this Inn is worth the hotel bill by itself. They charge outsiders £18.95, which equates to $27.90 for one dinner. I had mushrooms Justin – corn and bacon soup. Mango-stuffed chicken – lemon & lime mousse.

Wednesday, November 14

Cloudy – mild. We’re going for our CV walk before breakfast this morning. Hope we don’t slip in the Scottish mud. It was a bit slippy but we returned to a fabulous breakfast and lovely good=byes from the guests, most of whom are here for three or four days. Sort of hate to leave – love this house and haven’t seen enough of Scotland. We walked in the gardens before our walk, and although it is November there is much to see. The kitchen garden covers at least ½ acre by itself. The greenhouse was full of flowers. It was a long drive to York and we’ve stopped at “The Dower House” in Knaresborough. It was written up in Karen Browns’ book, but has grown and become a beautiful hotel beside the façade of a lovely old home. It is quite modern – even to having a health club – swimming pool, etc. The Restaurant looks excellent so will try it. We’re getting a bit into luxury again, but it is a windy, rainy night and we feel lucky to have such a lovely stop over. Dinner was excellent and early to bed.

Thursday, November 15

Cloudy – mild. We had a fine breakfast and are off to York early. We had a walking tour of the city with a guide, which is a must so you can see the Roman, Norman and Viking ruins. The afternoon was spent in York Minster and a guide devoted himself to us alone and gave a very complete tour, which was quite wonderful. It is the largest gothic cathedral North of the Alps and was built over centuries. The present church is the 5th minster, previous ones having been destroyed by fire, etc… Minster is from the Latin Monastery or Missionary. The windows date back to 1300 – some earlier and are magnificent. We were taken down into the crypt where late Norman pillars are still visible and the tomb of St. William.

Friday, November 16

Off and on rain, drizzle, sun… The drive from York took most of the day. John is like a racecar driver on these roads and can keep up with the English now. It felt like 100, but he drove 70-75 and 80 mph to get us to London about 2 pm. The drive into London was memorable, but we are very proud as we didn’t make any mistakes or wrong turns. We are tired but called the Caldwells and set up a date for lunch and went to Marios in South Kensington for a very good, light dinner. Bed at Number 16 early after reading all the papers.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

England - 1990

Edinburg, Scotland

Saturday, November 3, 1990

Arrived Heathrowe airport 9 am. The sun is bright and temperatures are 40 degrees. We are extremely tired – no sleep on plane. Had forgotten how tiring it is to miss a nights’ sleep. We drove – cautiously – to Castle Combe. It is a hard place to find, but worth the trip. Lunch at Manor House Hotel – lovely old town. It ended up as a T35 lunch, but fabulous as we were served in the Shakespeare room in front of a roaring fireplace. Peg and Bob Galton were home when we called to find out about another B&B and they insisted we stay with them. It was so lovely to renew acquaintances. The place is plain, but adequate – the people are fabulous. We fell into bed at 7 pm after tea and cake for dinner and slept soundly until 7 am.

Sunday, November 4, 1990

Clear, sunny, cool. Leisurely breakfast with Peg & Bob as we exchanged family news. Their son Mark was recently married so we looked at wedding pictures – his and our Susan’s. Off to 11 o’clock Matins at Bath Abbey – gorgeous cathedral-like church. Following services we had scones/cream & preserves in an outside café in the square in front of the Abbey. The temp is about 40 degrees – cold. We took our CV walk in queen Victoria Park and did lots of window-shopping. Drove to Wells and visited the St. Andrews Cathedral. We’ve been there before. Back to Bath for dinner at the Canary – cute little tea room. We were lucky to find a place late on a Sunday for dinner. Early to bed at Fagleigh Lodge – still recovering our jet lag.

Monday, November 5, 1990

Clear, cold – frost this morning. Drove to Oxford via Bibury and Burford, two small Cotswold towns that ooze charm and antiquity. We stopped for coffee and scones at the Gateway Antique Centre, Burford Road. We visited Blackwells and lots of shops, but everything is too expensive to buy. We had dinner at the restaurant called the Poor Student and checked in at our B&B early with a picnic supper. Seems like a very nice B&B – all rehabbed, small but private bath and new.

Tuesday, November 6, 1990

Clear & cold – We left Barclays about 9 and meandered our way through the Cotswolds. Scones/cream and coffee in Stowe-on-the-Wald then on to Burton-on-the-water – Quaint in Capital Letters. Upper and Lower Slaughter are lovely with estates interspersed with cottages. Broadway is great for shopping but nothing has captured our attention enough for us to pay twice as much as home. Our CV walk was done in Bradbury since they have sidewalks. Tonight we are in a B&B. The house is 18th and 19th century. The owner is an antique dealer in town so the public rooms are beautifully furnished. Our room is adequate, but not luxurious – plan – bath down hall is ours exclusively and robes are provided. The town is picturesque, but all these towns are so lovely, you’d wonder if it was run by Disney. Nothing interferes with the look of antiquity. Nothing out of place! We went to a local wine bar for dinner – best food for best price so far. It was the Ligon Arms Wine Goblet. Met a young American couple Kate and Jim from Wilmington and they joined us for dinner. We had great fun laughing over the Brits and the driving. She was on business and he joined her for a week. Jim and Kate Schroeder.

Wednesday, November 7, 1990

Clear and cold. We drove to Chester, stopping in Llangollen Wales on the way. Wales is gorgeous country – steep hills and narrow road with sheep grazing so high on the hills they look like specks of white on the green hills. Driving was precarious at times – many one-track roads. Our car is little but it is 5 on the floor – no power steering. We came into Chester late and found a place at “The Pied Ball” a pub in Center City. It was written up in Karen Brown’s book and although the downstairs rooms were like a bar, the hotel was terrific. What a nice surprise as it was late. Nice linen and bathroom very clear.

Thursday, November 8, 1990

Cloudy and cold again. We had a good night’s sleep and started out at the visitor’s center and a walk tour of the city. It has a fascinating history and the Anglo-saxons, the Normans and the Romans have all left their mark. We did our CV walk on the City Wall, just 2 miles on 3 km. Did some shop looking and then drove to Knutsford. This is a darling town. We found a B&B through the Tourist Board and drove 3 miles to Mabeley to a wonderful house called “Laburman.” Our room is a tiny one with bath but bright and cheerful – nicely decorated. The owner suggested a pub for dinner – “Stags head,” which was one of our best meals yet. Grilled Plaice-like flounder. We met a wonderful English couple Brian and Janice Calloway who planed our day tomorrow.

Friday, November 9

Cloudy – cool. Left for Knutsford – wonderful, prosperous, little town. The people are obviously very prosperous – beautifully dressed. In little town there were 6 florists. We drove to Alderly Edge and then Presbury for lunch in a little pub “Admiral Rodney.” The most adorable tiny town with gorgeous homes and very affluent residents. The pub was jumping at 2 pm on a Friday. People in their 40s and 50s mostly – beautifully dressed. We checked at the hotel there but rates were about $160 so we passed. Found a place on the road “The Dixon Arms Hotel” for about $90 that suits us fine. The good B&B’s is with en suite (bath) seem about that price.

Saturday, November 10

Gray day – a little drizzle. Starting off for Knutsford for breakfast and to put more in the basket for our house gift to Rosemary and Bernard Pickeye. Arrived in Helmshore about 11 am. Bernard was waiting for us with Stephen and it was a happy reunion. We visited David, Ian, and met Samantha. She is just 4-years-old. We went to see Annie Jaggery who has aged a lot in the past 5 years. Then off to the Gold Club for a super lunch with Rosie, and a few beers. They invited us to stay tomorrow for a champagne breakfast and we decided to stay. It is Rosemary’s birthday and yesterday was their anniversary (22) so we all went to the Red Pump Inn for dinner. I didn’t feel too great but have never seen so much food.

Sunday, November 11

Drizzly/warm. Off to breakfast at 11:30. Starting off we had orange juice and champagne while we met everyone. Then off to the dining room for a first course of melon (Gallia from Israel) filled with Port. Next come “haddock pancakes.” It was an omelet-filled with smoked haddock – delicious with a white wine. Next was a whiskey syllabub to clear our palate (delicious). Then on to a giant English breakfast with a red wine. Eggs, bacon, sausage, hashed brown potatoes, mushrooms. Then they brought out brandy and coffee and tea cakes for dessert. We came home about 7:30, exhausted! What a group of fun people. There were lots of laughs and lots of kissing goodbye when we left. A great day! We visited David, Sherry, Sarah, Ian, and Bernard in the evening.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Recollections, by John and Kay on their 50th Wedding Anniversary - July 1, 2000


(John) We met at a friend’s wedding reception in October 1946. I had just been discharged from the service and Kay was visiting in New Bedford as a houseguest of Irene Sheehan, a friend from Katharine Gibbs School in Boston. When I discovered she lived in Arlington, a suburb of Boston and close to Tufts University, I promised to call her.

When I returned to Tufts in February 1947, my friend Jerry Brault and I arranged a double date with Kay and Irene. Another couple with whom we dated during this time was Rosamond and Frank Viegas. Frank was from New Bedford and we introduced him to Roz, one of Kay’s friends, and ultimately they were married. Our dating was done only on weekends at Harvard or Tufts fraternity parties. We played a lot of bridge and had winter fun tobogganing and in summer, beach parties and picnics. No television interrupted our fun. We had fabulous college dances – mostly formal affairs. Many times we rolled up the rugs and danced the night away with our friends at home. Most of our fun was homemade.

(Kay) When my Mother realized John was taking the last bus back to Tufts, she started setting alarm clocks to remind him to go back to school. Mother’s ally was a friend, Mac McCarthy, who drove the last bus to Tufts at 1:30 a.m. John believed my Mother and Mac had a conspiracy as Mac would often report to her that “I drove that young man back to Tufts again this morning!” Of course, 1:30 a.m. to us was only early evening! It wasn’t long before she solved the problem by welcoming me as a houseguest most weekends. She said he is welcome as a houseguest, but he can’t move in!

Since John attended summer school every year, he was always nearby. I was working, and we would often meet at the Hotel Touraine in Boston on Friday evenings before taking the train to New Bedford and John’s home for the weekend. John did not have an automobile at college, so we traveled on the subway, buses and trains.

Wedding and Honeymoon

There was lots of strife in the world at the time of our wedding in 1950. World War II had ended just five years earlier and two weeks before our marriage the North Koreans invaded South Korea. Harry Truman was President, and Winston Churchill was warning of a third world war. Of all the world events occurring on July 1, 1950, to us, none was more important than our wedding.

I remember the excitement that morning when the tent was being set up. Sarah, my sister Mary’s 3 year old, was missing and finally turned up as a lump under the canvas tent being raised. It was a warm and humid day in the nineties, but we didn’t notice. The wedding and reception went smoothly until it was time to leave for our honeymoon.

My 20-year old brother, Peter, John’s best man, spent the day trying to sabotage our well-planned departure by attaching a frying pan to our car bumper and, worst of all, putting a fish on the motor, which couldn’t be removed because the hood was tied down with a turkey head attached to the hood ornament. We rushed to the nearest gasoline station, but despite a thorough spraying of the vehicle with Listerine antiseptic, the car smelled badly. Many years later, John saw the car for sale in a used car lot and it still smelled.

We drove to the Taunton Inn for our first night and the next day took the steamer to Nantucket Island. John got a terrible sunburn on the ship, but we didn’t let it spoil a great week of beaching and biking on the island.

We stayed at the Gull Island Inn, Built in 1765, which has since been turned into a private residence. It is of interest to note that we were on the American Plan for $18 per day. The total bill for the week was $112.44 and included a State Tax of $1.44.

We returned to our first apartment on Albermarle Street in Arlington, not too far from the family home on Jason Street. We earned $100 a week, with each of us contributing $50. John was working as Assistant to the Director of Admissions at Tufts, and Kay was Secretary to the Director of the M.I.T.’s Metallurgical Project (part of the Manhattan Project) conducted at Watertown Arsenal for Security Reasons.

Family and the Working Years

We started our family with Jane’s birth in 1951, which terminated my M.I.T. career, and started my new one at home. Incidentally, our first and subsequent babies each cost $150 for all the doctor’s fees and at the time we could buy a week’s groceries for $12. Gasoline was about 18-20 cents per gallon. When we stopped smoking in 1960, cigarettes were 28 cents a package. Our first new Chevrolet automobile in 1952 cost less than $1500.

The next three years were spent in New Bedford where John worked in his Father’s machine company. John returned to Tufts in 1954 when the former Director of Admissions became President. In his new role as Director of Development, he was responsible for the University’s annual fund programs.

In 1955, we purchased our first home in Canton, Massachusetts, where our daughter, Priscilla, was born in 1958 and our son, John, in 1959. We moved to Wellesley in 1961 when John became Vice President for Development at Pine Manor, a college that was building a new campus in Chestnut Hill.

Susan was born while we were living in Wellesley in 1964, and a year later we moved to Chambersburg, Pennsylvania where John was Vice President for Development at Wilson College. An invitation to become President of the Foundation for Independent Colleges, a statewide group of 53 Pennsylvania Colleges, brought us to our present home in Camp Hill in 1969.

With the advent of the children leaving home for college, Kay returned to work at a local gift shop and cooking school, and eventually became a sales representative for women’s apparel, which she enjoyed for approximately ten years.

Travel Experiences

John’s work in the field of higher education provided an enjoyable balance between business travel and being in the local area most of the time, where he could be a participant in his children’s activities. Attendance at numerous meetings throughout the year gave us an opportunity to see most of America as we crossed the nation several times from North to South and East to West.

Not until a few years before retirement did we embark on foreign travel, with the emphasis on visiting as much of Europe as possible – Austria, Belgium, England, France, Germany, Holland, Ireland and Italy. We look forward to more foreign travel in the years ahead.

We are blessed with a wonderful family and love and admire them and their partners in marriage. They have given us 11 perfect grandchildren. They are our pride and joy and have given us much of which is to be proud. We have many good friends and some of them share our enthusiasm for bicycling and traveling. For 15 years we have enjoyed great adventures in bicycling and traveling from the Atlantic shores of Cape Cod to the Pacific Shores of Seattle, and beyond to England, France, and Italy. It has been a wonderful fifty years and we are looking forward to many more!

France - 1988, Final entries

Saturday, September 10

John and I both have a funny cold. Mine has resulted in laryngitis and even though he has his voice, he is coughing and has it in his throat also. We had a slow start as all we want to do is a little shopping. We walked to Samaritaine and then took the metro to Fauchons and Lafayette and Quartiers. We bought biscuits and mustards and some silk scarves. Everything is tres expensive. I shouldn’t have bought a thing. I priced the Clinique moisturizer I use, which I buy for $16. It is $40 here. We are back in our room by 5 to get ready for an early dinner. The group is going on the River Cruise tonight. We may skip it because of our colds. This is a busy place – loaded with young people. There is always a line at the Glacé shop – expensive also. You get a small scoop about the size of a golf ball for a dollar & half. We love our hotel. It has been a nice day – comfortably warm – about 70 degrees. On our way to dinner we met Linda and Jason Litton. It was their first day in Paris – small world. Our restaurant was excellent. We are becoming accustomed to service that is excellent. It was a beautiful room, peach and cream with white linen and walls covered with pictures.

Sunday, September 11

Good day – we went to mass in a lovely old church in The Marais called St. Gervais St. Protais. The people sit on little benches, but most kneel on the floor, sitting on their heels. The priests were all dressed in white hooded robes. The choir was beautiful in French and the acoustics wonderful. Then we went to Sacre Couer and it is a magnificent church, only 100 years old, but the altar is spectacular with a ceiling in mosaic, which is spell binding. The outside is so white and it sits so very high you can see all over Paris. We took a tram to the church but walked down. It was like the incline in Pittsburgh – very steep. Walked about Montmarte – very dirty. Then we went back to Il Cite and found there is an organ concert at 5:45. Dressed and took in the concert at Notre Dame. It was magnificent – there on to dinner at Place de Vosgres, a lovely place being restored. The buildings are all symmetrical around a spacious square which seems to be being restored as a garden. Dinner at a lovely restaurant called Julliard Garland or something like that. We are tired. Home tomorrow. My cough is terrible.

Monday, September 12

Nice day – up early, 6 am for our trip to the airport. We boarded flight AF005 at 10 and took off at 10:30. It was a smooth flight “no problems.” We met Debbie Perrine, an old acquaintance of Johns. He knew her as a student at Pine Minor and remembered her 20 years later. She was on a trip to the Riviera with her husband who works for Du Pont. Small world department. We introduced her to Jim Clark, who also works for Du Pont. Arrived New York about 6:15 Paris time, 12:15 US Time – then on to Dulles where we arrived 2:00 Washington time, but 8:00 Paris time. Bed time now 8:34 Camp Hill time, but 2:34 am Paris Time. We are tired and sick with our cold. Glad to be home!

France 1988 - entries 20-21

Thursday, September 8

A fun breakfast with toast and coffee. Another gorgeous day! Many happy au revoirs to Joselyn and Marcel and we are off to Omaha Beach, etc… The first stop is Pont du Hoc, the steep cliff where our rangers climbed the face with grappling hooks, losing 135 of the 225. It took 48 hours to rescue the position and was the bloodiest offense in that offenseive. We saw the cement bunkers and gigantic depressions from bombs and went into the gun emplacements. Then on to the cemetery at Normandy. It is magnificent and a fitting and beautiful memorial for our soldiers. It is a sad place, but you can feel the love in the caring and the lovely, intimate, little chapel. There is something special in its placement just off the beach from th Normandy landing, with the blue Atlantic behind the white marble crosses. We drove on to see some German bunkers still in place between Utah beach and Aramanches and in Aramanche, we visited the Museum and saw the remains of Port Winston still in the water. This is primarily a British museum as it is the Gold beachcad but the building of Port Winston was very interesting. On to Deauville, a magnificent beach resort – tres beautiful. Then Hon Fleurs for the night. Pretty town. Beautiful day, warm, high 70’s.

Friday, September 9

Today we go back to Paris. The trip has been delightful although much faster than John and I usually like to travel. We are sorry not to have spent time at Deauville and Hon Fleurs. To see a town you need a day at least. Our Hotel Mercurie was very nice and breakfast was a bit more interesting. The French put very little emphasis on petit dejeuner. It consists of bread and croissants and coffee or tea. We drove to Rouen to see the Cathedral and arrived with 45 min before the usual lunch closing at 12. That is a custom. Hard to adjust to – everything closes from 12 to 2:30 or 3:30. The cathedral is magnificent and the destruction from WWII is almost completely reconstructed. They have lost windows that will never be replaced probably. Little was left without damage, but restoration was completed in 1987. It is smaller than Notre Dame of Paris or Chartre. We drove on to Giverny as our friends hadn’t seen Monte’s home and garden. John and I explored around town and enjoyed a rest while they visited. I bought a wonderful child’s book about Monet. We drove into Paris about 5 – madness. Our new hotel is on Isle St. Louis and called Hotel de Jeu de Paume. It is lovely and much nicer than La Bourdounais, but streets are so narrow you can’t stop your car – all old cobblestones.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

France/Netherlands 1988 - entries 15-19

Saturday, September 3

We left Ambois, after breakfast, for Azay le Rideau, arriving about 11:30. It is raining and raincoats and umbrellas are required. Our new hotel The Monarque is much brighter – very French – a lovely outside terrace between buildings. The lobby and stairways are dingy, but the dining room is lovely all in pink damask with real oak paneling up ¾ of the wall. The rooms are newly papered in blue and white stripes. We had lunch at a grille that was an old stable – very nice. The town is very old and the buildings of grey stucco are brightened up with flowers. The Indre River winds in and out. We went to Azal re Lideau Chateau in the afternoon. It is owned by the state, having burned in 1418 and reconstructed in 1518 by the finance minister of Francoise I. It is a small chateau as they run, but very lovely.

In the evening after our dinner we attended a luminere show, which was all in French. The lovely costumes and magnificent lighting along with renaissance music was delightful. The story we couldn’t follow, but the French language is so beautiful, we did enjoy. The afternoon was spent in Montbazon at a gorgeous Relais built in 1927, but ageless as it looks like a renaissance chateau. The interior is magnificent but rates run about $200/day. Not quite right for this town but a lovely choice. We didn’t see any guests. Rain let up long enough for our luminere show, but most of the day was showers.

Sunday, September 4

We left Azay le Rideau as it was raining and we visited Villandry after checking out of our hotel. It is a lovely small Chateau but the gardens are especially superb. We loved the flowers but the veggies were even more beautiful. Small espaliered apple trees and pear trees, heavy with fruit. It rained. We lunched in the town of Azay in a little restaurant and visited the Chocolatier for dessert – the best patisserie in France according to a man we met. “Samson.” Then we drove to Urse – run down in bad pair “rip-off.” We stayed in the Hotel de France – very nice, small hotel. Oakleys and Merrells at Chateau nearby. 

Monday, September 5

Wake in Chinon and left after a concert by a friend we met from Lawrenceville, N. J. He plays piano at “The Landing” in New Hope – named Al. What a fun guy – he and wife go to Hotel de France every year. We drove to see Oakleys and Merrells at the Chateau D’Anzay in Chinon – a real 15th century chateau – lovely. We drove all day to La Croisic at end of point near La Baulle. We didn’t like La Baulle as it was very high rise – like 6 Miamis in a row across from beach and ocean. It seems as if there are more old people here than anywhere else in France. We rented terrific studio apartments at $36/night all on same floor overlooking a rocky shore. We had a rip-roaring cocktail party at the terrace off Oakleys’ rooms. Vodka and Indian tonic; great cheese and crakers. Nice change from Vino. Oaklays and Clarks went for the usual 5 course dinner. Merrells went to the creperie with us. Crepes very common here – used for 3 meals. They were delicious with egg and sausage, then turned into a roll. Early to bed.

Tuesday, September 6

Looks like a promising day ahead so we’ll stay here and bike. The day turned out to be gorgeous – hot and sunny, 78 degrees. The bikes are good and the roads safe. The rocky coast is beautiful as we bike along. Many houses are closed up for the season but the homes are very quaint – lots of stucco painted white with bright shutters – pretty windows with boxes of flowers. We put a picnic together and found a fabulous beach; many topless bathers but we had a great time. Biked to La Baulle and back along mostly beach and rocks and had some great visits with native French people. John does well with the French. We biked back to town and went to the coutourier and bought the sweater I had admired – too expensive but I will have a memento of Croisic. 

While on our bikes along the ocean we stopped for a beer in the late afternoon. A French lady came along and we started to chat. We invited her to join us so she excused herself to close her restaurant while she visited. This is typical. They are very relaxed. All stores close from 12:30 – 3:30 for lunch. You have to shop early in the day. We may go back to the French lady’s restaurant for dinner. The sunset was gorgeous and we watched it set before going into the D’Atlantic for dinner. Fabulous fish – John and I had sole – wonderful. Jim and Jeannice had seafood place for two. It was a beautiful presentation – all cold crab, periwinkle, oysters, lagnastinos, crevittes, clams.

Wednesday, September 7

Jim knocked on our door at seven so we’d get an early start. We were on our way by 8:30. A little town nearby called Pouliguen was on our way so we stopped for petit dejeuner and laughed all day about the event. We arrived – the place was empty and quiet. Eight of us wanted breakfast and the lady started making coffee – sent a family member for bread, another for beausre, another for coufiture. They arrived one by one – each one bringing friends to see the Americans. We ended up with our breakfast finally and it was hilarious. 

We drove to Dinan for lunch and on to Normandy. We have to miss Jersey and Dinard and St.Malo. We stopped at Mont St. Michel. It is very impressive but a terrible tourist trap. The castle is at the top of the rock. We walked up 1000 stairs to the chapel. The tide was out so far we couldn’t see the water. It rises as high as 50 ft – highest in the world. They have harnessed its energy for electric power. We drove on Bayeux looking for a hotel and spotted a B&B sign on the road. Following it took us to a 170-year-old farm that is lovely. The family here, Marcel & Joslyn, made us welcome with wine and tea on their terrace and prepared our dinner. It is a most interesting house. Marcel is an artist and we had a fun evening. John’s French is helpful and funny as we try to communicate. This is the home of Calvados and we finished dinner with a little glass. She served a salad with wonderful home-baked bread after a vegetable soup. Then we had a lamb brochette, French frys, champignons. For dessert a great raspberry sorbet and coffee. We are tired so off to bed. Tomorrow will be a busy day of the cemeteries and Utah Beach. A gorgeous day – warm and sunny – most have been 75 to 80.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

France/Netherlands 1988 - entries 13&14

Thursday, September 1

The bike crew met for breakfast at 8:00 and the fellows were back with the cars and we were off about 11. The drive out of Paris went smoothly for us in the lead car, but Don Oakley didn’t like going the wrong way on I-Way streets. Once we were on A6 to Chartres all was fine. Jeannice and Jim and John and I led the way. As our luck has been so great – we ran into the start of the English tour at Chartres Cathedral by Malcolm Miller. He is fabulous and although an Englishmen has made a career of Chartres including his tours, books and lectures. He’ll come to anywhere in the world. The cathedral is absolutely magnificent. Each one we’ve seen in Europe and England is so unique, you can’t compare them. Chartres is enormous width and height – 800 years old. The windows have a cobalt blue in them, that have never been reproduced as they cannot figure out the formula. The statuary on the outside and each scene on each window is symbolic of the events in Christ’s life and that of Mary. The cathedral houses the relic of a piece of Mary’s cloak, and many pilgrims come seeking miracles. We had lunch in a little grille in the square. I had a baguette filled with brie- called a sandwich.

On to Chambord! A little mix-up in Blais – another one-way street for Don – separated us and we went on to Chambord. We arrived thinking the others were hopelessly lost in Blais when to our surprise they appeared on the castle parapet saying ello-ello-ello. We had a good look at the exterior of Chambord, but we were too late to go in. From what the others told us it is in poor repair. The exterior needs work also but it is a lovely chateaú. Dinner at Lion D’Or was fine – much improved over last evening, any way. Sky clear after a day of rain. The castle of Ambois out our window.

Friday, September 2

Gorgeous day – cool and sunny. The croissants were fabulous for breakfast and we were off to La Gare for our velos. Adjusting seats and pumping tires took a bit of doing but we pumped to Chenonceau Castle arriving about 12:30 after a stop in a little town for picnic lunch – wine, bread, cheese, ham, fruit and cookies. It was perfect!! The castle is fantastic – beautiful and actually the first castle we’ve seen you could live in. The gardens are small but very beautiful. We biked back to Ambois giving us a couple of hours to see the town. It is busy and quaint with many tourists and narrow little cobble-stoned streets. A few nicer shops, but mostly tourist. Chip has an addiction to raspberries so we stop at Patisseries for raspberry tarts – delicious! The roads here are narrow and not quiet as we had hoped. Biking was a heart-in-the-mouth experience. Everyone drives like they are driving in the “Indy.” We were happy to get back to Ambois and are hoping Azay le Rideau will be on back roads – quiet ones. Gorgeous day weatherwise!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

France/Netherlands 1988 - entries 10, 11&12

Sunday, August 28

Mass travels to three towns here on the island and our church was closed. We rented bikes and saw the best of Texel today, biking first to Oast – about 6 miles and Oosterend, where we found an outdoor café. There were some friendly people and we had a delightful hour. The waitress was Irish, from Kerry and her mother lives in Medford. We had delicious sausage in a roll with Orangiebroom beer. This town was so quaint we took more pictures of houses than we planned to. The bikes are heavy Raleighs and it is slow pumping against the wind. From there we went to De Waal – another small community. A pension called Rebeccas looked wonderful and we wished we had seen it first. We cut across country on a bike route that was on a dyke with the wind at our back. It was so beautiful we kept stopping to drink it in. It is flat land, but the water canals, the constant wind and ducks everywhere and sheep give it a special flavor. We pumped about 12 more miles back to De Cocksdorp and returned our bikes and ran to our hotel just in time to miss a humdinger of a thunder and lightning storm. Due to the weather we dined at our Hotel Molenbos and it turned out to be the best Dover Sole we’ve ever eaten. Of course, this is where all the fish eaten in Europe comes from. We each ate two whole fish – it comes to the table filleted so that’s a lot of fish. Back to our room for another English movie “The Corsican Brothers” – with Dutch subtitles. We’re enjoying the language and add an eua on everything we say now. Many words are similar to the English:

Lot = destiny
Door = door
De = the
Kaffe = coffee
Centrum = center

Weather today was great between 10 and 4 – the weather changes often. We both got sunburns today.

Monday, August 29

We’re up early in Texel – looks like another sunny day. We left on the 10:05 boat to Dan Helder and were on our way to Amsterdam. We made the trip in about 2 hours and drove through Amsterdam, trying to find our way. We drove to an area North of Amsterdam and stopped at a Budget Car Rental for advice. He sent me to a small town called Abcoude. This was a stroke of luck. The town is darling and the hotel brand new inside on a pretty canal. We were able to get a train in town to Amsterdam and took the canal cruise; the city has beautiful old buildings and canals that add so much char, but there is graffiti everywhere and trash in the streets, worse than Philadelphia.

Prostitution and drugs are open and it is very obvious. There are many young men asleep on the squares. It is very sad. We had some time to look at one street of shops before closing. We had dinner at a quaint restaurant and it was good, but not spectacular. Then we took the train back to Abcoude. During our trip to town we had the good fortune of sitting with a young lady called Stella who is an English teacher here. She was very helpful, telling us where to visit and about good restaurants. Then we had a nice chat with a family from Guilford, New Hampshire. It is a small world. We are having a great time.

Tuesday, August 30

Wake for our Holland breakfast of sliced cold meet and cheese, hard-boiled hot egg, coffee, juice and cold breads. We’re both feeling a little upset in the tummy so we’ll try to take it a bit slow today. Our train ride is interesting – we leave the ancient town of Abcoude with its narrow brick streets, old canal and picturesque shops and houses like a Lilliputian village, and speed by the most modern brand new industrial park with high rise buildings of mirror and steel on our way to Amsterdam. We visited Rijks Museum and it is special. The early 17th century Old Masters by Rembrandt including “Night watch.” We enjoyed the 18th & 19th century Dutch Painters the most, especially the works of Isaac and Josef Israel. There were Rubens and Gayans among many others. It’s a magnificent building and its massive rooms and high ceilings lend themselves to the huge paintings of Rembrandt. We went to Hoofdstroots again for shopping. We stopped at a sandwich shop for a light lunch. Our tummies are getting better. We found a sweater for Priscilla but the prices are ridiculous. Back to our rooms early and a light dinner of consommé and quiche at “De Wak ende Haan.”

Sunday, May 8, 2011

France - 1988/entries 8&9

Friday, August 26

Here we are in Scheveningen. Den Haag Scheveningen. Breakfast arrived in our room: orange juice, coffee/evap milk, 2 whole tomatoes, 2 whole apples, a basket of bread & rolls & Holland Rusk enough for 12 – and butter or jam. We drove around, as this is the largest summer resort in Europe. It is old fashioned but very commercial. There is a large pier and large tired-looking hotels – not appealing to us. We drove North by Amsterdam, stopping at a couple of little towns. The one we enjoyed most was Alkmaar. We spent most of the day here. It is immaculate and the people very attractive. It seemed they had more than their share of 6 foot-tall, beautiful blondes. The babies are adorable – white blonds – everyone on bikes. Mothers have one on front and one on back in straw baskets. It was crowded as Friday is the cheese market, but there are many lovely specialty shops and many very well dressed women around. Bikes have the right of way and there are more bikes than cars. We loved it – had a delicious lunch and sat next to a young man from Italy. I had a vegetable omelet – baked beans, peas, mushrooms in the omelet and surrounded by cucumbers and beets pickled. We drove on to Den Helder where we have found a great hotel “The Beatrix” right across from the ocean. Gorgeous beach 0 North Sea, but you have to climb the dyke to see it, as the land is below sea level. The drivers are fast – pass us on the A Roads going 100 MPH. Cars seem to be an indulgence as you don’t see old cars broken down or rusty. They are new, beautiful – many very expensive BMW’s and Mercedes are a dime a dozen.

We had dinner on the 3rd floor of the Beatrix Hotel. It was the best meal so far – a poached salmon I shall never forget, mussel, carrots, broccoli, an artichoke fritter and tiny potatoes with very mild chives. All this while we watched the sun set in the North Sea. The Sea was visible from every window. It was magnificent! It is a beautiful evening.

Saturday, August 27

Eight o’clock breakfast on 2nd floor dining room overlooking fog bank. Our ferry leaves at 9:35. We arrived at 9:15 and were 3rd in line – weather is terrible – rainy & foggy & cold. Trip over is about 20 min and the little town of Den Burg was busy. There are plenty of shops to keep us busy – bought boots for Sue. The people are fascinating, but would not look out of place in Camp Hill Shopping Center. The world is getting smaller. We both had haircuts in a busy little unisex salon run by 5 tall blondes – I kept mixing them up. We drove to de Cocks Dorp and found a small hotel and walked to the dyke. The dishes are fascinating and at low tide the families go to the beach with the children to play in the sand. Tomorrow we hope to bike the dykes if the weather improves. Everyone is on a bike and bike paths follow the roads everywhere. We went to De Koog, but it was terribly honky tonk. Population here is 14,000; swelling to 45,000 in the summer. It is very flat and reminds us of Prince Edward Island, but prettier.

[Small Pension called Rebeccas in De Waal, I would look for on a future visit.]

France - 1988/entries 5,6&7

Tuesday, August 23

We checked out of our Paris hotel, picked up our Renault II and drove out of Paris with our hearts in our mouth that no one would wipe us out before we adjusted to the fast traffic. The cars are little and they travel fast. We drove to Giverny on the Autoroad and stopped for lunch. Lunch was more like dinner, but delicious. Agnea with herbe included 2 rib chops cooked perfectly with lots of vegetables – everything very well seasoned.

Off to the house and gardens, which are spectacular. They are probably more beautiful now than when Monet painted them. The house is fascinating – just what you’d expect from country French. Outside pink stucco with turquoise shutters and doors of natural stained wood. I loved the dining room and kitchen. Yellow everything with blue trim in the large dining room and the kitchen – all blue with yellow accents. All furniture was painted and tiles to complement surrounded the fireplace. His dishes are produced by Haviland – solid yellow with blue borders. His studio is 2 stories high – a lovely, bright, cheerful room with very large windows.

On to Brussels, leaving about three and arriving just about 8:30. It was just getting dark and we landed in a bad part of town. We had been looking for a place to stay with no luck as we drove into Brussels, so we just drove right through and on to Bruges. We arrived late – 10 o’clock, but found a great spot. It is a motel hotel and restaurant, brand new, all done in Scandinavian-type furnishings. I love her fabrics and prints. We had a late snack – the place is so expensive: $8 for two cups of soup and ½ bottle of wine and wonderful crusty bread. We are looking forward to 2 nights here with one full day to explore Bruges. It is very cool. I’d guess about 60 degrees. The road from Brussels to Bruges is a great highway, with lights all the way. No billboards or signs anywhere.

Wednesday, August 24

Breakfast in Belgium is interesting – Buffet style – pitcher of juice – choice of 3 cereals (cold) – coffee & milk – baskets of bread and comfitures and cold hardboiled eggs. We had a full day in Bruges – a fantastic little town – very picturesque, which hasn’t changed since the Middle Ages. The cobblestone streets are narrow and the buildings are old with exquisite leaded windows. We visited the Basilica of the Holy Blood, which houses the relic – a vial containing blood of Christ, and St. Saricares Cathedral when we saw “Madonna & Child” by Michelangelo.

We tasted the local beer and chocolate – both very special. They rinse the beer glass in water and add a slice of lemon. Many tourists, but not Americans here. The shopping is fabulous, but very expensive. The food and beer are reasonable. They make homemade lace here and it is beautiful. I bought handkerchiefs for everyone. We called Priscilla and all is well at home we are happy to discover.

Most people speak English as well as Flemish and French here so conversing is easy. People very warm. Weather is very cool, about 60-65. Showers.

Thursday, August 25

Wake in Bruges and had a pile of bread for breakfast – literally. We drove North on the scenic route, taking a ferry across the North Sea, then a bridge that was 7 miles long, and several shorter ones. Holland is all islands and peninsulas on this Western side – very flat – wet – intermittent showers. Most people speak a little English, but their language sounds very difficult and reading their signs is a joke. We stopped in Middlebury for lunch – a very busy place, and had pancakes that were fabulous. I’m looking for a cookbook to get a local recipe.

We drove on through Rotterdam to the Hague trying to find a hotel or Motel or B&B. Impossible, and finally found ourselves in a summer resort (but it is cold) pronounced Swearingame but written Scheveningen.  The hotel is: 

Gevers Deynootweg 68
2586 BN. Scheveningen
Telefoan 070-50-48-00

I feel like I’m in an IKEA showroom – the same furniture – but a shower – and the bedding is terrific – the encased quilt.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

What A Day It Was

John and Kay's Wedding Announcement – July 1, 1950

"A garden reception at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Peter J. Connolly, 36 Jason Street, Arlington, followed the marriage of their daughter, Miss Catherine A. Connolly, to John Halliwell 2d, son of Mr. and Mrs. Eric T. Halliwell of 26 George Street. Salmon-colored gladioli decorated the altar of St. Agnes Church, Arlington and white gladioli marked the pews for the single ring service.

The bride, given in marriage by her father, wore a gown of white–figured organdy, styled with scalloped off-shoulder neckline and tiered skirt. her tulle fingertip veil was held with an orange blossom crown of seed pearls and she carried white peonies. Her attendants wore aqua waffle pique gowns, fashioned with irish lace trimmed off-shoulder necklines and matching open-crown hats. The maid of honor, Miss Alice Halliwell, sister of the bridegroom, carried yellow gladioli and the bridesmaids, Mrs. Dorothy Healy and Mrs. Mary Edmonds, sisters of the bride, carried American Beauty roses. Peter J. Connolly Jr, brother of the bride, was best man and ushers were Perry Nadig of Philadelphia and Richard Warburton of New Bedford, cousin of the bridegroom.

With her lace-trimmed crepe dress, the bride's mother wore a navy-blue picture hat. The bridegroom's mother wore a pink crepe dress with black lace picture hat. Their corsages were a white orchid.

Mr. and Mrs. Halliwell will reside in Arlington following a trip to Nantucket. For traveling the bride wore a pink linen suit, white linen hat, appliqued with white daises and white orchids. She was graduated from Arlington High School and Katherine Gibbs Secretarial School. The bride-groom was graduated from New Bedford High School and Tufts College."

From France, with love

Post card in Kay's Journal

Chenonceau Chateau
If you look closely, you can see that John has a plastic glass of wine in his hand.  Such class.

France - 1988/entries 3&4

Sunday, August 21

Beautiful day – cool, about 65 degrees. Started our day at Solemn High Mass at Notre Dame Cathedral. This has to be one of the greatest cathedrals in the world. The chair was magnificent and the organ finale gave us goose bumps. We climbed to the tower and looked over Paris up with the gargoyles in the roof top – truly scary for me but a sight I wouldn’t want to miss. Then to the Louvre to see “Mona Lisa,” “Winged Victory” and “Venues de Milo” to name a few of the thousands. People also in the thousands. We cut through the Tuilleries – lovely gardens, to the Champs Elysees. Almost forgot the unforgettable Saint Chappelle where we walked after Mass right on Ile de Cite. It is truly a beautiful chapel – built to have the relic Croure of thorns.

After the Tuilleries, we walked up Champs Elysees to the Arch de Triomph. Such a beautiful boulevard with gardens on each side until you get close to the Arch where you have beautiful shops and arcades. There were thousands of people strolling along and many sitting in sidewalk Brasseries watching the parade.

We are really walked out. Dinner at Restaurant Thoumieux 79 Rue St. Dominique Paris VII. Very good – Very reasonable. 171 F for two. Prices most places very expensive:
$2.00 bottle of water
$3.00 wine glass
$1.50 cake
café au lait $3.00

Monday August 22

After our usual La Bourbonnais breakfast of croissant and café au lait, we headed for the metro to find the velo shop. Monday is a holiday for 50 % of the businesses and due to the fact that many vacation in August, the combination finds things very quick. Poulaine was closed – the bread shop we travelled across Paris to see and we couldn’t find a velo shop open at all so off to Hediards, the delicatessen. It is another superb food shop and we really enjoy that part of town for shopping. We walked Rue Faubourg de Honore, most expensive shops in Paris. This is fabulous shopping for millionaires. We saw the changing of the guard at President Mitterrand’s’ home on Rue Faubourg de Honore also, and had lunch at a little brasserie – ou Place de la Madeline. The women are beautiful. Their clothes and make-up, perfection. It was fun just to “people-watch.” I went into Hermes to price and shop for a scarf and they were there deep to buy scarves at 800 F = $150.00.

It was an easy day. We stopped at Hotel Maurice on Rue Rivoli and for thé at Angelinas on Rivoli. That street is the tourist trap of Paris and we didn’t waste anytime there. We changed for dinner and ate at Le Petit Champ de Mars, which was terrific. The salad was delicious and unusual. A bed of endive lettuce surrounded by chunk tomatoes and grated zucchini, had fried chicken levies and apple slices topped with mustard vinaigrette. Then beef stroganoff, rice, and zucchini. Finished with citron sorbet and thé.

A fun day – great dinner! Weather cool, cloudy – about 70 degrees.

Friday, May 6, 2011

France - 1988/entries 2&3

"Afoot and light-hearted I take to 
the open road, 
Healthy, free, the world before me, 
The long brown path before me 
leading wherever I choose." 
(Typed-written at the beginning of Kay's journal)

August 19 – Friday

Breakfast of croissant and Café-Dau-lait was on the house in a pretty little lobby and we were on our way to the metro and Musée d’Orsay. This has to be a high point of the trip! The building was originally a train station and the arched ceiling of glass rises three stories, The most outstanding collections for us were the Impressionists Monet, Renoir, Pissarro, Sisley, Degas, Van Gogh, Cezanne – Pastels by Degas. The neo-impressionists Seurat, Cross, Luce, Redon, pastel Joulouse-Latrie. There was also Millet Roresseau, Renoir, Fantin-Latour; one only by Whistler: “Whistlers Mother” and many, many more not as familiar to us. Then the sculpture is beautifully displayed in the large three-story rotunda. It was fabulous!!!

We had lunch at a brasserie – superb onion pie (quiche) then on to the shops. The department stores are OK and similar to ours, but the specialty shops are superb and offer merchandise of quality and style and price I have not seen in the US – much higher!! Costs were shocking – $60 little pillow, $700-800 leather pocketbooks – shoes $200 and up. Scarves $30 to $200. Saw the Sorbonne – kind of worn looking in an area rather run down. Back to our rooms to refresh for dinner. We found a wonderful restaurant called La Croque Sel in a little alley – about six tables inside and a dozen out on the street. The food was wonderful and very reasonable. The place was packed at 9 o’clock. Parisiennes seem to dine late – some restaurants don’t open until 8 p.m.

We had a cool start but it turned out to be a 75-degree day with lots of sunshine. After dinner we walked to the Eiffel Tower to see it illuminated – that is really something. It takes your breath away. I’m still getting up my courage to ride to the top.

Saturday, August 20

Cool morning – about 65 degrees. After breakfast we left for Versailles – about one hour from Paris on public transport. It is a magnificent palace and is being restored. There were hundreds of people visiting from everywhere in the world. As English speaking people, we were in the minority, and had an English tour guide. He was a French professor of art and literature – gives a course at UCLA every two years. He was much more into art than history and his tour showed that interest. We saw the private apartments of Louis XIV, XV, XVI, and Marie Antoinette.

On our own we visited the hall of mirrors and the Battle Hall and gardens. The size is very impressive and there is gold gilt everywhere. Also, the panel carving is fantastic. Furniture is sparse but some of the fabrics and rugs are magnificent – some reproductions and some original. The gardens are called the clever gardens and cover over 100 acres. The statuary is unbelievable in the gardens. We had a downpour while in the gardens and hundreds of people looked for cover in every nook. We were in a window nook with about 16-20 people – no one speaking English except us.

John’s French is getting us around and I can understand and ask simple questions. It is fun. We are very tired so stopped for a picnic supper – terrine, wine, baguette, spinach tart, and pear and apple tarts. Not so very good for dinner but it will hold us until morning. We want to call it a day. The wine is fabulous!!! Goodnight.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

France - 1988

Wednesday, August 17 - Thursday, August 18

Lunch with Judy and Walt was fun but we were anxious to "allonz-y." We arrived at the airport - Dulles - at 3 p.m. which made for a leisurely check-in and fabulous choice of seats. The 747 was overbooked so every seat was spoken for. We boarded at 5:40 and sat on the field until 9:20 pm due to a bad thunder storm between Washington and New York. Picked up our other passengers at Kennedy and left for Paris and Charles de Gaulle airport at 12:30. They fed us sandwiches to keep us happy as dinner didn't come on board until New York. I slept through dinner and got quite a bit of sleep. John watched the movie - ate a big dinner - and didn't sleep at all.

Arrived at 12:20 Paris time (six hours ahead). We took the Air France bus to Paris and then grabbed a cab to take us the remaining five blocks to our hotel. It cost $20. We should have known better. We are a bit tired so we walked to tour Eiffel and took the Seine cruise - a good choice for today. We picked up a light dinner on Rue San Dominique. What a delightful section of Paris. Many Boulangeries, Patisseines, Brasseries - neighborhood shops - very quaint and in the open air. I don't understand why they don't have a milion flys. We like our hotel; It is very French and although it seems to cater to Americans, the neighborhood is local and no one speaks English. John is doing beautifully with his French. Temp in 80's, no humidity, lovely breeze. The evening temp about 60 degrees. Early to bed. Tired. We are in the 7th Arrondizment.