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Today in My History

2001: Having a Whale of a Time
  Be It Ever So Humble
2003:  Going Nowhere Fast
2004:  Rescue My Bathroom

2006:  More Nuts on the Family Tree
2007There's a Long, Long Trail a-Winding
2008:  Et Lux Erat
2009:  Life and Times
2010:  Briana
2011:  Look Like a Pirate Day

2013: Sunday Stealing

Bitter Hack
Updated: 1
Santaland Diaries

Books Read in 2014
"The Ocean at the End of the Lane"

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mail to Walt


7 January 2014

When we returned home from Istanbul last year, I said that was it.   I was happy.  I'd seen a lot of the world and if we didn't go on another cruise, I ws perfectly happy.  Walt wondered if we had enough money to continue cruising.

I've been telling everyone that we aren't going anywhere in 2014.

Silly me.  Char calls and we, her humble servants, obey.

We aren't going the whole way with Char and Mike.  She offered me the choice of the "Elegant Elbe" or "Portraits of Southern France."  Or both.  Both (which she and Mike are doing) was more than we could pay, and longer than we wanted to stay (if you do both and take extensions to Berlin and Paris, you would be gone almost a month). 

But each time we plan one of these trips, I put in my oar for France and get overruled.  I've loved the place we have visited, but I really would like to take a tour of France, to revisit the places I saw with Jeri and Char (and others) in 2009 and for Walt, who wasn't on that trip, to see the places I loved at that time.

So we fly into Paris in October, spend 3 days, fly to Lyon (or take the train--I remember it's not a very long ride from Paris to Lyon, I don't think) and board our ship and then cruise on down the river to Avignon, from where we go to the Marseilles airport and home.  Not quite two weeks.  Perfect.  And October, my request, so we miss the summer heat.  I don't care if it rains.  I just am tired of sweating all the time.

All of our previous trips have been to countries where I don't speak the language.  I don't speak French either, but as a French major several eons ago, I have a slight knowledge of the language.  Susan, who owns Logos, was an ESL teacher and speaks several languages.  Logos has a monthly French conversation meeting for "advanced non-native speakers of the language."  I am by no means "advanced," but I told her I want to come to the meetings.  Now she only writes to me in French.  Once a teacher, always a teacher.  I can't make the first meeting, but she tells me I should read the discussion articles anyway, so I'm plunged immediately into brushing up my once serviceable, if not exactly fluent French.

I checked out resources on the internet, for helping speak french.   I found this one video for conversational French and as the actors speak, the words appear on the bottom of the screen--in French (you guess the meanting from context).   It was a few seconds into the video, which I had been reading with no problem, when I suddenly realized it was not subtitles, but French words, which I understood with no problem.  Had to laugh at that.

I'm also thinking of all the things I left France sorry I had not done and wondering if I can fit them in.  I really regretted not going to the Louvre, but the day the group went there, I wanted to see the Paris Opera House, setting for The Phantom of the Opera and realized that if I went to the Louvre, I would not have enough energy left to also do the opera house. I loved exploring the opera house, but wish I had also seen the Louvre.

Walt and I went up in the Eiffel Tower several years ago, so with only 3 days, we probably don't need to do that again, but I never went to the Champs Elysées (though our bus was there) and would like to go back and visit a macaron shop that our tour guide waxed eloquent about.

I am thrilled to be returning to Arles, my favorite stop in 2009.   This time I want to take the Van Gogh walk, which leads to many places where he painted some of his more famous works.  I also want to go to the Van Gogh tribute museum, which I was too late to visit last time.  It contains works by all sorts of artists, tributes to Van Gogh himself.

And while I have been in Avignon before, we didn't have time to take the tour of the Palace of Popes, which is included on this  tour.  We also have an optional tour (which we will, of course, take) to Châteauneuf-du-Pape, perhaps our only chance to taste some of those wines.

So I'm excited about this trip, perhaps more excited than I have been about the last several trips.  Looking forward to preparing for it!


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I just got a remote control to take selfies on my
cell phone...it works!

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