Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Well, Alix left this morning - very early - which made her very unhappy, both the early and the leaving.  It certainly didn't seem like two weeks. The Europeans really know what they're doing when they mandate at least a month and often more. U.S. citizens are so clueless, not even realizing that they've been cowed into accepting nothing.

Alix and the Eiffel Tower (duh!)

Alix doesn't "do computers" but she has fallen in love with my MacBook Air and is vowing to change her ways when she gets home. So she wanted a picture of herself in front of the Eiffel Tower for her profile picture on Facebook - when she learns how to create her page. It's amazing how far away you have to get to get both a person and the tower in the same photograph.

Tower, carousel, and redbud

We love all the carousels around Paris. We may have to hit a bunch of them when Andrew arrives.

On the way up

Alix and I are both afraid of heights, but we did just fine and went all the way to the top. Too bad it was such a gray day, though we had a very short line. You can buy your tickets ahead of time, but you have to be able to print them up - and they're usually booked way ahead, so we got lucky.

Possibly another Facebook picture

All around the room at the top of the tower there are the names of cities, so you know where to look across the globe to look at yours. Here is the view to San Francisco - probably one of the least inspiring, particularly with La Defense's ugly buildings on the horizon.

I think it was just under 7000 kilometers to San Francisco

And we managed to get the visit and the photography in just before it started to rain.

Last Eiffel Tower picture for a while

We spent the next to last day of Alix's visit just strolling around the neighborhood and buying souvenir gifts for her family - with the obligatory cafe stop and glass of wine (we've had some good roses from Provence, but this wasn't one of them). So a few more shots of the neighborhood.

Cute little restaurant around the corner

In the shadow of Sacre Coeur

Taking advantage of the opportunity to get
a photograph against a blue sky

And another carousel

On her last day, we went to Versailles - not a favorite place of mine. All that opulence and what it represents! Alix had really wanted to go, but she says she never needs to see that again!

Door to the Versailles chapel

Later in the day I was talking to a shop girl while Ali was trying something on. Alix had told her we'd been to Versailles, so she asked me how it was. I told her I'd been before and didn't like it. She agreed and said, "Once is enough!"

A teeny tiny bit of Versailles

We had a nice last restaurant meal (for Alix) in a restaurant down the street that had a piano player. He had a huge repertoire and played Louis Armstrong for her. We have found the French to be very friendly and helpful - nothing like their reputation. They have made things very easy. And more people speak English than did the last time I was here. I don't get to practice my French very much, but Alix is impressed. And I'm also a very good map reader and have a very good sense of direction, so we never get lost. Got a big "thank you" from Alix for that.

And now I'm here alone, as was the intention, until Ellen, Julia, and Andrew arrive on June 10th (Bennett arriving later) - with a very brief visit from Bruce Pardoll, as well.

My little studio with all its broken stuff -
but it's cute

Now I'll find out how much of myself I can stand!

Peonies outside the apartment

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