Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Paris: Day Seven

Aurevoir, Paris!

Our trip has come to an end. We boarded our flight at 10:30, Paris time. Unfortunately, the flight was an hour late leaving and we were consequently late for our connection from  Minneapolis to Denver. 

Right now, we are sitting in a cafe in the airport, waiting to board our new flight. We are beyond exhausted; my older sister and Mom were able to sleep on the nine hour flight but Barbie and I were awake the entire trip. 

I do believe I will sleep well tonight, which may help to reset my internal clock and will get me back on a normal routine. 

Or, I won't be able to sleep and will be miserable for my 7:00 am flight back to Neighboring City, where Hugh will pick me up for the forty-five minute drive home to Petticoat Junction. 

I have enjoyed every minute of this trip but, I must admit, I am ready to be home. 

Monday, March 30, 2015

Paris: Day Six

Today was our last day in Paris. We spent it at the flea market, hunting treasure, which we found in abundance.

I have a much heavier suitcase to check through to Denver tomorrow, but, considering that my older sister had to buy an entirely new bag just to get her stuff home, I don't feel like I am doing too bad. 

This evening, Mom, Barbie, and I went to dinner at a lovely restaurant overlooking the city. 

My older sister opted out of the dinner in order to take advantage of another massage, and, I have to say, no matter how relaxing a french massage is (very, in my recent experience); she missed out on an amazing meal. 

The view didn't suck, either. 

Tomorrow, we will be up before the sun to catch our plane back to the states. I'll miss Paris, but I'll have approximately seven hundred photos to keep as reminders, not to mention the treasures that I found while wandering the sellers' stalls at the market. But, more about that once I am stateside. 

I'm sure you are on the edge of your seat. 

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Paris: Day Five

A more appropriate title for today's post would be Rain in Versailles.

We knew the forecast called for rain but were not expecting the chill; as a result, the wait in the rather long, serpentine, line to the Chateaux de Versailles was less than comfortable. 

The beauty of the palace made up for the misery of the wait, but then the tour through the rooms was sullied by tourists acting badly; we were pushed and shoved and elbowed without mercy. 

By the time we had seen our fill of the royal artwork, we were tired, aching, and a little out of sorts, so; we decided to grab lunch and a cappuccino and to head back to the hotel to book massages for later this evening. 

Right now, we are relaxing in our room with what is left from yesterday's bottle of wine while we debate the merits of the restaurants located nearby for dinner prior to the massages. 

Personally, I would be fine with another baguette and some more fresh cheese from the fromagery down the street. 

This is what I will remember the most from Paris. 

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Paris: Day Four

Today we crossed one off of my bucket list-we visited the famous Angelina for hot chocolate. And, let me tell you, that was REAL chocolate in that cup. It was so thick, I'm surprised the spoon didn't stand on its own. And, sweet? I've never tasted chocolate so rich.

So, worth the trip. Although, not something I would feel the need to repeat. 

Well, maybe. You know, if it meant coming back to Paris to do it. 

Friday, March 27, 2015

Paris: Day Three

Today has been jam-packed with sight-seeing and merriment, which, considering our late night at The Moulin Rouge, is quite an acomplishment.

Our first stop of the day was The Louvre, where Barbie finally got to see The Mona Lisa and where I spent thirty minutes in line, praying that one of the resident pigeons wouldn't take a crap on my head as they flew over. 

Next, we toured the city by open-air taxi before stopping at the Pon des Arts bridge, where we purchased a lock for Mom to leave as a token of her and Dad's lifetime of love. 

After lunch and some souvenir shopping, we caught a taxi back to the hotel where we planned to relax until dinner. Little did we know that, in addition to relaxing, we would all be nursing a slight case of whiplash, thanks to the rear-ending our taxi took from another taxi. 

This trip has been anything but uneventful. 

I will post longer, more detailed, accounts of our adventures when I return home. The stories really are too good not to share. 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Paris: Days One and Two

Our first day in Paris is a total blur; we arrived at 8:30 a.m. after flying all night. Once we got to our hotel, we slept until dinner time and then went back to bed so we would be refreshed for day two. 

We started off day two with pastries in a small cafe on the Champs Élysées before walking to the Eiffel Tower.

From there, we took a taxi to the cathedral of Notre Dame, where we toured the building and listened to mass being said in french. The whole experience was just lovely. 

Afterward, we sipped cappuccinos while strolling along the high end stores on the Champs Élysées before returning to the hotel to get ready for the Moulin Rouge later this evening. 

I have taken a ton of photos and can't wait to download them on my computer when I get home. 

This really is an awesome experience. Highly, highly recommended. 

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Greetings From Paris

We have arrived! Flying all night took its toll on us, however, and we slept the majority of the afternoon here.

We are now about to go out for our first dinner in the City of Lights and will hit it hard, tomorrow. 

What an experience this is shaping up to be!

Monday, March 23, 2015

The Guilt Is Strong in This One

I leave for the airport in approximately thirty minutes. My bags are packed (and, repacked), my passport is in my purse, my camera batteries are charged and my nerves are stretched to the max.

I have such mixed feelings about this trip. On the one hand, I am so excited! I get the chance of a lifetime, to visit a beautiful city in a foreign country with three woman whom I love with all my heart. On the other hand, I am visiting a beautiful city in a foreign country, without the rest of my family, and that just feels really weird for me.

I know I'll have a great time and I know that everything will roll right along in my absence, but, the guilt is real; you would think I was Catholic or a mom or something.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Packed, Under Packed, Possibly Overpacked?

I just spent two hours agonizing over what to pack for Paris; I literally walked articles of clothing back and forth between my closet and my suitcase a minimum of five times, each. At this point, I honestly could not tell you which items made the cut and which were thrown, haphazardly, back into the closet.

I sincerely hope I have decent outfits to wear once I arrive in France.

It would be a shame to have to go shopping.

...a crying shame.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Three Out of Four Ain't Bad

Today's baseball double-header was a clean sweep for the boys; they took the first game 10-0 and the second 11-0. The Cub got to act as courtesy runner for our pitcher, and, he brought in four runs. He impressed the coaches and the crowd with his awesome base-stealing ability, and he created a wee bit of anxiety by barely squeaking by on a couple of slides; he likes to keep things exciting. In addition to running, he also got to play second base for a couple of innings, which thrilled him to pieces.

But, the best part of the day, according to the Cub, was the fact that Tones finally got pulled up to Varsity, so, with the Cub and Mikey already playing, we had three out of four of The Fearsome Foursome together again.

It was nice to see.

After the game, I had the pleasure of driving Mikey and the Cub home. Four hours of baseball under the spring sun produced two, shall we say, aromatic boys. Luckily, it was a beautiful day for a drive with the windows down.

And, honestly, I wouldn't have missed it for the world, stinky armpit smell and all.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Friday Favorites: First Day of Spring!

Yesterday, as I pulled into my driveway, a flash of color in my flowerbed caught my eye and I was immediately annoyed by the thought that someone had tossed trash into my yard.

I parked in the garage and got out of the car. As I made my way to the flowerbed to pick up the trash, I realized that it was actually a purple crocus that had pushed its' delicate little head up from the cover of dead leaves that blanketed the flowerbed.

Today, I cleaned all of the dead leaves and winter debris out of the flowerbed, uncovering several more purple crocus blooms as well as some white ones. I also discovered tulip and daffodil shoots that, with any luck, will be ready to bloom by the time I return from my trip.

I love spring; the rebirth of nature is always such a phenomenal and humbling process to witness.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Throwback Thursday: Love in Black and White

When I got my first really good camera (the non-digital version of the Canon Rebel), it was only natural that my favorite subjects to photograph would be my children. What was not as expected would be the fact that my favorite medium for the photos would be black and white film.

Black and white portraits became my signature thing, so much so, that, when Hugh purchased my first digital Rebel a few years later, I was reluctant to give up my precious stock of black and white film; I really didn't think that digital could compare.

I was wrong, of course, and I quickly grew to love the new camera. I especially loved the fact that I could shoot in black and white mode at the click of a button; it was more convenient (and less expensive) then reloading film, and, I never had to worry about wasting money of prints that were less than perfect.

Not that there were ever any pictures of my kids that were less than perfect, but, you get what I'm saying.

This weekend, I purchased a frame for the latest black and white portrait of the kids. I displayed that picture next to the first portrait that I took of the kids and it invites the usual comments about how much the kids have grown as well as less expected comments about how my talent as a photographer has evolved. I don't know that I am any more talented than I used to be, but I do know that I still have the best subjects for my efforts.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Paging MENSA

Earlier today, I ran through the drive-through window of the A&W for a small order of cheese curds. PMS is having its' wicked way with me and I was craving chocolate like it was my job. Since I am staying true to my Lenten vows, I fought the urge to stop at the dollar store for a bag of Cadbury Mini Eggs to strap on my face feedbag-style and, instead, allowed myself the indulgence of the fried chunks of cheese.

Have you ever heard of the meat sweats? I had, but, I didn't think they were a real thing (kind of like ice cream headaches , which, I've heard of but never experienced). Then, halfway between Hooterville and Petticoat Junction, and, three-quarters of the way through my small order of cheese curds; I got the most god-awful sweats and general over-heating that I had ever experienced.

I thought for sure that I was having the cheese version of meat sweats, I mean, that could be the only explanation.

Then, I realized that I had accidentally hit the button on the seat warmer.


I am a genius, hear me roar.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Luck O' the Dodgish

This evening, I volunteered my time at my ASTRA group's annual dodgeball tournament. It was the best attended tourney that we have hosted yet, with eight teams entering the competition, including the team that the Man-Cub played on.

The Cub's team failed to place in the top three, but they swept the competition in the best costume category, and, I'm pretty sure they had a good time.


Once the tourney was over, the Cub and I headed home for a corned beef and cabbage feast that had been lovingly prepared by Katie and The Teenager. The house smelled ah-maaaazing when we came in and the meat and vegetables were cooked to perfection.

I am raising such talented kids, I can't brag enough.

I'm lucky, which, makes sense because I am part Irish.

Happy St. Paddy's y'all! (I am also part Texan)

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Here Comes Peter Cottontail

It occurred to me today that, once I get back from Paris, I will have only a few days to prepare for Easter. I already have the house decorated, so, that won't be an issue, but, if I intend to deliver on the promise of the Easter Bunny, then I had better get a move on.

So, I dusted off the Easter baskets and organized my supply of faux grass and plastic eggs. I purchased a few bags of candy and some additional treats and stashed them in the guest room. I need to check with The Teenager to see if she is planning on making the trip home for the holiday, and; if that isn't something that she wants to do so soon after spring break, then I will put her items in an appropriately decorated care package, rather than in a basket.

I know it seems silly to still be playing the part of the bunny to children who are nineteen and sixteen, but, they are still my babies, and I'll be the bunny for them until the day I die. That's just one of the responsibilities that I took on when I decided to become a mom, and; I take my responsibilities seriously.

(And, I like candy. Not gonna lie)