Friday, May 6, 2016


It is good to be home.

It was good to be away.  It was all so so good.  Except the air travel.  Oh, the hours stuck in a small metal tube! There are parts of my body that I hardly ever gave a thought to that are still aching, days after.  Did you know you have a tail bone?  Well, the vestiges of a tail anyway.  Did you know that 17 hours on a plane makes one acutely aware of this small but important spot on the body?  When I rise - ouch.  When I sit - OUCH.  But enough of that.

It really was a wonderful adventure.  From Paris, to Provence, to Barcelona.  Each had its own treasures.  Le Pick Clops in Paris, around the corner from our apartment, was our morning coffee and croissant place.  The 'kids' who ran it were fun, spoke petite Anglais, were hip and cool.  The sound tracks they played - all American music from the 1950s.  They soon learned that Steve loves his chocolate.  On the first day, our waitress made a special trip to a boulongerie to get pain du chocolate for him.  For the rest of the week, they had it on hand.

It is a neighborhood thing.  All the regulars come by.  They sit at the bar, drink their beverages (sometimes beer for the night workers) and have great gab fests that elicits much laughter.  They are young and old. Elites and street sweepers. 

There are dogs in these places!  YES!  You can bring your beloved animal in with you.  We saw some cuties.

Dogs are everywhere in Paris.  Big and small.  Many, many dachshunds.  Seems to be the dog of choice.  It's great to watch them trot furiously on their stubby legs.  They've got to work to keep up, and there was not a fat dachshund to be found.

Le Pick opened earlier than all the other cafes in our neighborhood.  That's what first got our attention.  But within 2 days we realized that there were just so many things to love about this place.  The people there embodied joie de vivre.  Just watching them at work and at play was instructive.

We found the French people to be friendly and kind.  In Paris.  Steve noticed a remarkable shift in their demeanor towards tourists and travelers.  We can't account for it, but it is welcomed.

The mister and I will be editing images for months to come.  The urban scenes of an ancient, great city.  The pastoral pastels of the southern countryside.  The old city of Barcelona, boasting the oldest Synagogue in all of Europe.

My, it is good to be home.


  1. I followed your travels with great interest. We're heading to Provence soon; Avignon, Marseilles, Aix-en-Provence, etc. I wish we could follow your lead and spend time in Barcelona!

    1. You and J. are going to love it there. I didn't quite 'get' what the fuss is about when it comes to Aix, but oh well. If you can make it to the west of Avignon to see the Pont dud Garde, you should. Standing since before Christ. Near there, the town of Uzes is a MUST SEE. Completely unspoiled and beautiful.

    2. have a blast John, I hope you all have fun, Visit as well, Uzes, le Pont du Gard, a few of the very small towns like Joucas, Bonnieux, Gordes, les Baux, Rousillon. etc Amuse toi bien!

  2. That morning coffee and croissant place looks like such a fine way to start the day. What a wonderful journey you and Steve had. Can't wait to see the photos. Welcome back to California, so glad you're in our time zone again!

  3. Your accounts were delightful. By all measures our beloved Paris is still 'ON! Welcome home you two and thanks for sharing the fun with us.

  4. Happy travels
    Happy home-coming

    All the best Jan