Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Paris/London Postings: Written as Email Update to Family

Thought I would at least tell you that I am alive and very well in London. Roger and I had not one single international incident while we were in Paris! We found our apartment (small though it may have been) and it was in a 300 year old building with a window overlooking a charming courtyard. Within minutes of arriving, Roger made friends with the chef at the restaurant beside us and he not only gave us water (we were a little surprised by the heat), his wife/partner allowed us to leave on bags at their flat when we had to vacate our place on the last day.

We took in all the iconic structures of Paris -- on foot, on bike, by bus, and by boat. We learned the Metro and were able to traverse from the highest hill to the highest building. We fell in love with our bike tour guide who gave us the best tip of the trip -- an entrance into the Louvre that had NO lines on the free day. While the rest of Paris stood in the sun in a entrance line that was at least the size of a football field, we walked right in, took two flights to the Mona Lisa, went into the catacombs to see the Roman antiquities and were back out on the streets in less than an hour. I know that some of you probably think we should have spent the day there but we had miles to go before we could say we had seen and done Paris.

Thanks to great input from my buddy Jocelyn, we were well prepared for the food situation and enjoyed light and inexpensive fare while we were there.

The train ride to London allowed us to meet an interesting woman now living in London but originally from Morocco. A Muslim, a teacher of French, and brilliant conversationalist, Roger and I enjoyed her immensely.

When we arrived at the airport, Rob and Aimie were waving giddily and had flowers for us. We hugged and kissed and hugged some more then they went south to the wedding location and we got in the cab they set up for us and headed to Shannon's. She was finishing off a chicken marsalis and quinoa dish that was delicious. We slept well and on Monday I worked with her and her team while simultaneously biking to some of her favorite spots. Roger took the Big Red Bus to lots of different tourist attractions. We met up for drinks at the city's oldest pub and sat in a cave lit only by candles. We then headed back to her neighborhood and enjoyed live music with members of her team and then prepared a healthy salmon and veggie dinner.

Today, Roger took a boat ride as Shannon and I worked on more strategy. We have a park to visit and some Indian curry to enjoy before the day is out. Tomorrow we head south to Devon to meet up with folks for the wedding. We are looking forward to making homemade salsa for 90 people as part of our requested contribution to the weekend -- that and talking Southern so all the couple's friends can enjoy our accents.

So that's it for now. Love to all. Cathey and Kelly, please share with Mom.

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