Monday, October 29, 2007
Of course she is in Paris while I am here in Cleveland. She has the requisite scarf that must be worn when in France. Granny glasses just like those worn by Meg Ryan in French Kiss (I do have a pair of those). And she wouldn't be complete without her constant companion....Manic Monkey...whose job is to throw a banana peel in her way every so often just to shake things up.
Friday, October 26, 2007
I love horses....I love men....and I really love men in knee high boots....mounted police are a dream come true. I know...I'm a piglet...that's what Lou would call me. He puts up with my little ogling good looking men. But to be fair...I look at beautiful women too.
I never mentioned the men in Paris. For the most part I didn't noticed any difference in basic looks than American men. I mean they didn't stand out as being more or less handsome than the men I'm used to seeing. But one day walking down the street I nearly peed myself. I looked up and thought it was Clive Owen walking towards me....only better looking. I think I herniated a disc...I snapped my neck so fast as he walked by. I don't think I have ever seen anyone that good looking in person.....except for Lou of course. Then one evening on the Avenue George V up near the Champs Elysees I saw a man crossing the street that reminded me of Cary Grant. Very handsome and distinguished.
Enjoy the weekend. I will be making jewelry all weekend getting ready for my next show.
Monday, October 22, 2007
Sunday Jennifer and I did a resin demo for our PMC guild. I"ll post some pics of the resin jewelry later tonight. That was fun. I love talking about making jewelry and this group is such a great group of women. After the guild meeting (Lou refers to it as a coven since we convert something the consistency of clay to fine silver) I went to my step-son's house warming. Jason and Maggie are such a great couple. We took them out to Santa Fe with us last year and had a lot of fun. Pic of them below.
Monday I worked at home so we could get a new furnace and central air installed. I've gone my whole life living in houses without central air. Now I have it and I can't use it until next summer. I can't wait for it to get hot........hahahahahaha.....cause I will be stayin' cool in my house.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
So why is it the Year of Annoyances....this summer we had to replace the gas line from the street to the house and we were without gas for 8 days. Then we had part of a tree fall that took out the neighbors fence. And now this......AH...the joy of home ownership.
Speaking of shows....I have my first Holiday Show this Friday and Saturday in Aurora. This is also listed on the right hand side.
New name of the blog.....Gail's Tales....and Jewelry Designs.
Saturday, October 13, 2007
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
I have been chronicalling the trip and working with the pictures.....I can't get Paris out of my head. I bought Hemingway's A Moveable Feast and on my list of movies to watch is Amelie, La Mome, and Paris, Je T'Aime. I just finished reading Suite Francaise and bought Nemirovsky's Fire in the Blood. It's an illness...I can't get enough of Paris. I thought I would stop reading the blogs from Paris when we got back from vacation...nope. I love reading them and seeing the pictures. Matt from Misplaced in the Midwest left me a comment that I would have to come back and stay longer....I know!!!
I already told Lou that I wanted to go back for a month. But that would mean I would be in Paris by myself for part of the time because he wouldn't be able to take that long off work. I probably could. My boss takes the entire month of August off...so he probably wouldn't say much if I asked for a month. Lou doesn't mind me being there ...partially because he goes to Korea every other year for 2 weeks without me (it's a martial arts thing)...but he worries about me being there alone. Anyboy want to stay with me in Paris for a couple weeks???
Thursday, October 4, 2007
The second instance was in a restaurant...and we should have learned our lesson about restaurant bars in Amsterdam. It seems that in restaurants (at least Amsterdam and France), the bar is not for drinking. It is there for looks, paperwork, and for the waiters to pour drinks for their customers. So we went into a very nice restaurant and was told we should come back in 30 minutes and they would have a table for us. That was fine with me but Lou asked if we could sit at the bar....big faux pas. Of course the hostess said yes and asked what we wanted to drink...and then ignored us for 10 minutes. That's not the rude part. One waiter went back behind the bar and poured 4 glasses of wine. He then walked around to the front of the bar where Lou and I were sitting with our heads together talking quietly.... and reached in between us to pick up his glasses of wine and place them on his tray. That was RUDE. So I learned my lesson. Unless they invite you to sit at the bar for a few moments while they prepare your table....never ask if you can sit at the bar for a drink while you wait. We did have a similar experience in Amsterdam....they were flustered when we asked to sit at the bar and they had to clear away paperwork....but the owner made us drinks right away and without asking for it...prepared us an appetizer on the house. That man was the epitome of hospitality.
Are all French women thin?....yes. At least thinner than the average American women. If you lined up 10 average French women and 10 average American women....the French would be thinner. I only saw one person I would have classified as morbidly obese. I see them every day in Cleveland.
Do all French women wear scarfs?.....no. But I did see more than you see in the US and they know how to tie them so they look so chic. I have a few scarfs and have never been able to make them look good. I guess I expected all the women to be dressed to the hilt walking around on 4" heels with beautiful scarfs wrapped around them. I remember reading that you don't wear tennis shoes in Paris....so I made a point of going out to get a pair of nice walking shoes. What I found is that they dress pretty much like us. Jeans and tennis shoes were everywhere. But that may be because we were close to the University and in areas where tourists frequent.
How was the food?.....everyone is asking about the food. We had great food. What I really like was the lack of fast food restaurants!! It was so nice to stop into a sidewalk cafe for lunch....love the Croque Monsieur's (ham and cheese). Amy at C'est la me...provided us with restaurant recommendations. Le Coup Chou on rue de Lennau was so charming and was just a short walk from our hotel ....over by the Sorbonne it was hidden away up a side street. We had a table outside on this little street that went up a small hill. I didn't think that cars would use the one-lane street at night since the restaurant had tables on both sides. But both a cab and police car came through....but they did so very very slowly. At one point I thought the table next to us was going to get knocked over by the police car...it came that close. But it was a beautiful night and the restaurant was great. Boullion Racine was a couple blocks down from our hotel. The interior is art nouveau...bevelled mirrors, painted opalines, stained glass, carved woodworks, marble mosaics...it was lovely. The manager/owner (don't know which) was very nice to us and the food was excellent. One other restaurant of note was the La Mediterranee. This was literally steps from the hotel door. It was also the place were we mistakenly sat at the bar. But once we had a table things were good. We both had bouillabaisse (Provencal fish soup). Lou said it was the best he has ever had. For dessert I had the poach pear which was by far the best dessert I have ever had. It was lying in the most wonderful chocolate sauce with a thick vanilla cream (or ice cream) on top. It was amazing.
An ancient asian bronze statue and the glyphs next to her....Cris...take a look at this....we can turn this into a tear-a-way for PMC.
Did I buy a lot of clothes?: No. They don't regularly carry my size. But I did get a purse...actually Lou bought it for me as a birthday present. A Francesca Biasia...a beautiful green leather. I have this thing for purses...it just started a few years ago. And I've managed to have Lou buy them all :)) Usually for an anniversary or birthday I pick one out and have him get it for me. He doesn't have to rack his brain about what to get me and it feeds my fetish...it's win-win.
Odeon Theatre de l'Europe...this was right next door to our hotel
Memorable moments.....after being up for ~20 hours to get to Paris, the taxi taking us to the hotel went over a bridge on the Seine and we caught our first glimpse of Notre Dame......sitting at Bouillion Racine for dinner the second night and hearing Louis Armstrong sing La Vie en Rose in the background....seeing Botticelli's frescos in the Louvre.....standing under the Eiffel Tower
Wednesday, October 3, 2007
This is the ceiling of one of the salons. The Louvre began as a fortress and became a royal residence in 1364. Imagine going to bed looking at ceilings like this....who needs mirrors?
Took this picture of Lou (and some other lady). This is a capital (support) for one of the porticos in the palace of Darius I in ancient Persia. It was massive. Lou loves this type of stuff.
Tuesday...our last day in Paris and we hadn't seen the Eiffel Tower yet. Today we had so much to see that we decided to really use the Metro...alot. We started by walking up the Champs-Elysees to the Arc de Triomphe. The Champs-Elysees reminded me of Michigan Avenue in Chicago. Very upscale stores and hotels, a Virgin Megastore...which actually was great because we were able to sample French CDs. We came home with a couple of contemporary female singers and and Edith Piaf CD. Then there was the McCafe. The one thing I enjoyed in Paris was the lack of American fast food restaurants...but I did see a few McDonalds and a Kentucky Fried Chicken but did not eat at them.
And yes...."this is me in front of the Arc de Triomphe".
The picture below was taken to the side of the Arc. The way the clouds were surrounding the building...it looked like it was floating in the sky.
One of the last things that we went to see was the Eiffel Tower. This was another giddy moment in the trip. To actually be standing in front of the Eiffel Tower....the symbol of Paris to most people. It was much larger than Lou thought it would be...it is 1063 ft high.
This is a great image to play with in Photoshop. Invert the colors and apply a few other techniques and Voila (we had a waiter say that to use when he brought our lunch...eh Voila).
Or how about a little....hippy, hippy shake from the Eiffel Tower.
Back later with a few random pictures and some final thoughts on Paris.
Monday, October 1, 2007
Lou in the background talking to a vendor about netsukes (miniature Japanese ivory carvings). Most of the alleys were like this.
What flea market is complete without a stuffed weazel.
And beads....there were tons of beads at this one stall. But most of them were plastic so I didn't stop to buy any. They made a nice picture in their boxes. I would have loved to spend the entire day there looking in the various stalls...but Lou has a short attention span.... and we had planned to go to Montmartre to see Sacre-Coeur.
This was our view as we looked up from the cafe where we had lunch. It doesn't get much better than this. It was beautiful and the sky was so blue that day. As picturesque as it was, I preferred St-Pierre de Montmartre for its stained glass. St-Pierre is just around the corner from Sacre-Coeur and is the oldest church in Paris, founded in 1133. The windows were destroyed in WWII by a stray bomb and replaced in the 20th century.
Montmartre sits on top a hill overlooking Paris. It has a country village charm. This is one of two reamining windmills in Montemartre.
Below is the house I am going to buy when I win the Mega Lottery. I am giong to run away to Paris and design jewelry. You are all invited to come and stay with me.
We made sure we strolled past the Moulin Rouge. Actually the neighborhood is really dicey. Sex shops all over the place. Reminded me of Amsterdam's red light district.
More to come...the Louvre, Eiffel Tower, and Arc de Triomphe....