Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Paris Trip - Part One. Boone to Charlotte and on to Paris - Wheeeeeee!

It was over a year ago that my dear friend Vickie Smith and I said, "let's go to Paris."  

And so it goes.

After a year of making plans, exchanging emails about our thoughts and ideas about places we wanted to visit and things we wanted to do, it finally happened.

And it was glorious.

I have over 2,000 pictures on my camera that I took in Paris (imagine that). 

Today (and tomorrow, probably!) I plan on sitting on my bed drinking coffee with my tired old swollen feet propped up on a pile of pillows while I go through them, editing them and discarding some of them while enjoying being back home with Annabelle and Don Barley.

I'll be including many of the pictures in a series of blogs here at Meanderings and Muses. 

But, in the meantime, here's a few early thoughts about Paris. 

It's everything I dreamed and imagined - and so much more. 

I'll go back one day. I'll do some of the same things and go some of the same places again - including Giverny. 

There are some places I saw and am happy I did, but that I won't visit a second time - including Versailles. I guess I'm much more comfortable surrounded by flowers and the simple elegance of Monet's home than by the over-done opulence of The Palace of Versailles (as Lesa said, "no wonder the people revolted."). 

I bought a couple pieces of art work that I will cherish and I brought home a beezillion memories that I'll be able to see in my mind every bit as clearly as I'll see the new artwork hanging on our wall. 

And here's a couple of travel tips. 

If you're planning a trip abroad and don't have Global Entry - run, run, run get it. Here's why in a nutshell -  when I arrived at Charlotte International Airport, the line through customs was miles long. All I had to do was walk up to one of the Global Entry scanners, scan my passport photo/info page, walk up to a window and I was through customs. That line I didn't have to stand it was only growing longer and longer as I merrily made my way to baggage claim

And this - travel with people who are interesting and curious and smart and funny and who love to laugh. People who aren't going to "poo-poo" other's suggestions and who are willing to roll with the few punches that come with new experiences of travel. Use your good common sense you were born with, but listen to your companions' suggestions with grace and good cheer, even when you quietly ignore them. And by all means - leave the negative souls behind. 

Every day in Paris was a dream come true for me. Every day of sharing it with Lesa Holstine, Lisa Aiken Butler and Vickie Smith turned the dream into so much more, and I thank them from the bottom of my heart and the soles of my tired old swollen feet.

And now - photos.

Lots and lots of photos.

Beginning with Donald trying his best to move me out of the house and into the car for the drive to Charlotte International Airport.  Trying to move me, but at the same time, stopping me every few minutes for just "one more picture."

The man is funny.

And, the Paris Pals meet up at the airport.  Here's Lesa!

and a little treat to get us started . . . 

And, Lesa, Vickie and Lisa.

And, we're off!!

Safely landing in Paris, we met up with a beautiful French Poodle service dog.

It seemed "just right."


Next stop. 

37 Rue de la Tombe Issoire.  

Our home away from home for the week in Montparnasse, 14th Arrondisement.

Our apartment was tucked away in an older section of Montparnasse, built the same year as the Eiffel Tower, and could not have been any more perfect.

Concierge Santos shows us the way through our courtyard and into our apartment

Then a wander through the neighborhood, and a stop for a bite to eat at The Fourteen Cafe where I learned our Lisa is able to engage anyone in conversation. A trait I much admire. 

Trying to figure out how to get into this pubic toilet.  It wasn't as simple as you might think.  It does look as though, as Vickie said, that I was trying to will it open.

Practicing the art of "flâneusing" and taking pictures. Lots and lots of pictures.
and lots and lots of flâneusing

We found our way to Cimetière du Montparnasse

We didn't see as much of the cemetery as we had hoped because it closed fairly early, so we resumed our neighborhood wandering.

Ah, a gal needs a Café crème after all that wandering.

And what's that over there?
That tall ugly building?
The building the Parisians refer to as "THE ugliest building in Paris?"
Tour Montparnasse.

It might be ugly from the outside, but . . . 

The views from inside are enough of a reason to forgive a lot.

And so our first glorious day in Paris comes to an end . . . 

But stay tuned.  There's lots more to come.


Lesa said...

I love it! It reminds me of moments that had already escaped me. Glorious pictures, Kaye! From a wonderful, laugh-filled trip.

Hank Phillippi Ryan said...

Wow! Those views! And all this is day one?������

Kaye Wilkinson Barley - Meanderings and Muses said...

Lesa - THE perfect trip!!!! Love you!

Hank - All Day One. Check back for the rest of the week.

CA Verstraete said...

Great photos! Wonderful views of all the little things, too!

Kaye Wilkinson Barley - Meanderings and Muses said...

Thank you, Christine! Lots more pics to come!!

Kathy Reel said...

So much to love in these pictures--your apartment, the tour of your neighborhood, the doors of Paris, the views from on high, the cemetery, the foods, and the four beautiful women who traveled to Paris!!!!