Sunday, August 28, 2011

Ooo La La Paris 99


In my last post I shared with you scrapbook
pages that I made in 2002
of my trip to England in 1999 to see my sister 
and her family.
This post is from that same scrapbook.

While I was visiting my sister
Jan surprised me with a WONDERFUL
trip for just the two of us to
PARIS!

It was a bus tour.
I never thought I'd enjoy one but
I would HIGHLY recommend it as you 
don't have to worry about watching the road...
you can just look out the windows and start
snapping pictures of the
beautiful scenery..

We caught our bus northeast of London
just as the children were heading
to school. It was fun seeing
them dressed neatly in their
uniforms ...each school 
with it's own colors.

We drove to Dover and boarded
the ferry which was huge.
The trip took about 90 minutes
to reach Calais France.

We all loaded back on the bus
and off we went on our journey
to Paris.

My first glimpse of the 
Eiffel Tower
took my breath away.

This was like seeing the Grand Canyon...
pictures just don't do it justice.
You FEEL it...not just see it.



Our tour guide was a sweet
Englishman who looked like
David Niven.
He wore a beige trench coat...
wore a fedora...
had a thin mustache and carried 
an umbrella. He was fluent in French
and a lot of other languages.

He was SO much fun and was full of interesting
information and tidbits that we would have 
missed had we been driving ourselves.

He made sure we didn't miss a thing.

We arrived at our hotel in the afternoon
and they let us get settled in our rooms
before we all headed out walking
to a quaint little restaurant district 
near the hotel.

We could wander off where ever we 
wanted to go ...exploring shops and/or finding
places to eat for our first supper in
Paris.
Jan and I picked an Italian restaurant
of all things!

We had wine.

Later once everyone was back at the hotel
and rested the bus picked us up for a 
tour of
Paris at night!

The Eiffel Tower was all lit up 
and had the countdown to the
millennium. 

If you think the Eiffel Tower is 
beautiful during the day...
you should see it at night!


The next day we drove all around the city
seeing different areas and landmarks.
Then we were dropped off near
the Sacre Coeur.

We wandered around and I took tons 
of photo's.


We then walked the steps to the top
and wandered around to the top of
Montmartre.

This is the place where many 
of the artists of the day
hung out such as
Monet, Picasso, van Gogh
Dali.



Behind the Sacre Coeur there are many little
cafe's and restaurants with tents and heaters
and tables and chairs
so Jan and I along with tourists from
 around the world...had supper.

It was WONDERFUL!
There were waiters and waitresses with 
white aprons scurrying around with 
round trays carried by one hand.
The tables were covered with
red checkered tablecloths.

And like the old days...there
were artists with easels set up
in the narrow street and around the restaurants
and they were painting portraits of
paying tourists or scenery which
they had for sale. 
French music played in the background.
I soaked it all in.

Below my sister poses at our 
outdoor table.



I'm afraid I got my days mixed up...
the day after we arrived we
actually went on a boat ride down the 
river Seine. 

Unfortunately for me that first 
morning after arriving in Paris
I had reached over to pull a table in our room
over a bit and I put my back out! 

I mean I REALLY put my back out...
I couldn't sit or stand up straight!
It was terrible.

Anyway I worked through it and off 
we went down the river.

I'm smiling below as we boarded the boat
but believe me...I was in PAIN!


Here are a few photo's taken from the boat.
Paris has the most gorgeous bridges. 


One evening we were taken to 
a French restaurant on the Left Bank.
We were taken down into the cellar
where there were the most beautiful 
old brick walls and arches and the tables 
were all set up with red and white 
checked cloths.

Each table had 3 bottles of wine.
One red...one white and one 1/2 bottle of Rose.

The two of us nearly finished all 3 bottles!!!
Neither Jan or I drink much wine or other spirits
but hey...when you're in Paris...!!!

Another day we traveled to 
Versailles.
We started off at the Palace
which was very beautiful 
and had the most gorgeous fountains.



But by far the the village
of Versailles was my favorite
part of this day. 

Jan and I walked around the narrow 
streets and looked at all the shops.

We had lunch at an outdoor cafe
and then went to the outdoor 
market.


The colors were BEAUTIFUL and it
was wonderful hearing the French
voices calling out their wares.

In the picture above this old
gypsy lady was playing 
French songs on her 
accordion and a little girl 
started dancing.
You can see the woman's face
smiling at the little girl. 


The fruit and vegetables were
bright and colorful and everything
smelled SO good.

Jan and I stopped at  
la pattisserie
and bought some beautiful 
chocolates to take home.
See the little chocolate flower pots
in the middle picture on the left?
Those found their way to Canada. 


The picture below is my sister
in the alley of trees 
at the Palais Royal.


Our last morning in Paris was spent
at the Eiffel Tower.
This was the highlight of my trip.

We took the elevator up and my 
sister described it as being
like the 'Tower Of Babel' 
as it was packed and everyone seemed
to be speaking a different language!

If any of you have ever been on the 
Eiffel Tower 
you know what I mean when I say 
the view is spectacular.

This too is like the Grand Canyon...
you have to experience it. 

I'm afraid I lost my photo's 
of the Eiffel Tower in my move to Kansas.
Maybe one day I'll get back there again.

It was hard to leave Paris
but harder still to say goodbye 
to my Sister.
I haven't seen her since that trip in 1999.

I'm still keeping my fingers crossed 
that she comes to visit this fall. 

Well...now you've seen my first 
attempts at scrapbooking way
back in 2002.
It was a lot of work but well worth it.

I hope you have a wonderful week!

Maura :)



6 comments:

Leslie said...

gorgeous! I would love to visit paris. Thank you for taking me there this morning.
Have a great monday

Maura @ Lilac Lane Cottage said...

Thanks Leslie, I learned a valuable lesson about scrapbooking from these two posts and that is to ALWAYS make copies of your photo's! Unfortunately I hadn't done that so I had no photo's of my trip other than what was put on scrapbook pages. OH well I made that mistake 9 years ago...I've learned my lesson since then. You have a great Monday too!

Beverly said...

What wonderful trips you had. Thanks for sharing...those are both places I have not seen (but would like to!).....Thanks for the quick vacation off the farm!!
Have a great day, Maura,
Bev

Mecky said...

Those are wonderful pictures. My daughter said the same thing about the Eiffel tower. Pictures don't do it justice.
I hope that your sister is able to come and visit soon.

marilyn said...

Dear Maura,
Just a perfect trip for this armchair traveler. It seems you did see all the best of Paris. Hope your sister can make it to Lilac Lane Cottage. Have a wonderful week.

John Gray said...

lets see your UK bits!!!!!!!

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