We made it home safe and sound. The plane trip was looooong.
But getting home and sleeping in our own bed was heaven.
Our house sitter had everything ready for us. Sweet.
I also had Amy Hamrick -aka The Sweeper, come spruce up the home place for us. If you are looking for someone to help you with those New Year resolutions call Amy. She is a master at cleaning closets and organizing clutter.
Of course, once we emptied the suitcases the house was a mess again. Oh well.
Jet lag is over and now we are ready for the next trip. We are off to Denver and Glenwood Springs, Colorado. Looks like snow is in the forecast!
Our good friends Jerry and Jeanie are bee keepers. Did you notice how we focus on bees with some of our posts? Jerry has educated us on the importance of bees and the environment.
We also try to keep up with the latest “trash innovations.” Jeanie’s grandson, Jake knows a lot about trash and he has spiked my interest in it also. So this post is dedicated to Jake.
The City of Paris makes a lot of trash. It is estimated that each person living in the city makes 1,600 lbs of trash in a year. This does not take into account the tourists or industrial waste. That is A LOT of trash!
But they are also big on recycling. We have three different trash cans:
One for glass…
One for recycling…yellow lid
One for the trash that is left….
Here is some of our trash ready to be recycled.
They recycle everything possible: cans, plastic cellophane, cardboard, plastic, paper, and glass. You look for the recycle icon on labels and that helps you know what is recyclable.
There are some items that do not recycle well. Such as light bulbs, batteries, or the hard plastic lids from milk bottles or cola bottles. There are bins in the local stores for you to bring those items. Pretty cool!
Some neighborhoods also have these large bottle recycle bins. You deposit the bottles according to color.
I am glad this city is trying to control litter and trash, but just like any huge city…..there will always be trash…..everywhere. Maybe Jake will be able to work on this problem for us.
Some of you have asked about our flat. I don’t feel comfortable sharing pictures of the flat because it is not ours…even though I could claim it right now! I can share about the neighborhood and surroundings.
Our front door.
Inside the lobby looking out and the Christmas Tree in the lobby.
Susan and Michael have a beautiful home. It is filled with memories. That is the only way for me to describe it. Treasures from a lifetime of travel: books, trinkets, art work and small souvenirs. It is very comfortable and cozy.
By Paris standards this flat is huge. A large entryway, nice sized living/dining room, TV room, generous bedroom and two bathrooms.The galley kitchen is outfitted with modern cabinetry and appliances.
Courtyard of the apartments. We overlook this garden from the second floor.
The neighborhood is quiet and clean yet close to town. The Metro stop is right across the street.
We have a church next door….love the bells ringing. A pharmacy, book store, several restaurants, neighborhood schools and banks are in this area. The grocery stores are within walking distance as well as several other shopping establishments. La Poste is right around the corner. It is a small community within the larger city.
Robert even got his haircut in the neighborhood.
Thanks for stopping by today. We’ll be home soon. I can’t believe it is so close!
This past weekend we went on an adventure with our friends Kathy and Robert Ludwigs. Kathy and Robert (Row-Behr) are from Belgium and we met them when they came to Georgia to visit Kathy’s cousin, Madeline. (Those of you at home you know who I’m talking about.) We have since visited with K & R 4 times in Europe and Georgia. They have become good friends. Kathy has even sort of talked me into looking into my ancestry/heritage. Hmm…
We met them on the outskirts of Paris as Robert L. does not like to drive in the crazy traffic!
It was cold and snowing but the snow did not last long. I can now say we saw snow in Paris.
This castle was lovely. We saw furnished rooms and could imagine life back in the 15th century. The tapestries were wonderful. The park overlooks the Loire Valley and even though the gardens were bedded down for winter you could tell how beautiful they must be during spring and summer.
We ate a light lunch as we were joining Kathy’s long-time friends for dinner.
The château was very nice, but in need of upkeep. I can not even fathom the amount of money it must take to maintain such a place. All in all I would recommend it as a great place to sleep and visit. The owner was a retired pre-school teacher….We got along just fine, even though she spoke very little English. The castle dog is Hector. “She” is a hunting dog.
Dinner was at Patrick and Ginette’s home directly across the Cher River. They had a beautiful, cozy traditional French home. The home had just been re-done in the past 3 years and was fresh and sparkling. The food……Oh My!
Appetizers, wine, foie gras, wine, chicken and noodles, wine, bread, fromage, wine, dessert and wine! Priceless! We waddled to the car stuffed and satisfied.
Saturday morning we arrived back at Patrick and Ginette’s, piled into two cars and went to visit the wine caves.
This region of France is famous for quarrying a sandy white stone. These blocks are quarried in sheets and then cut into blocks. The stone is soft but hardens over time when it is exposed to the outside air. The stones are quarried out of the mountainside, leaving behind caves. The remaining caves are then used for growing mushrooms or storing wine. We went for the wine!
The La Loire region is known for Vouvray wines. Inside the caves at Bourillon Dorleans the walls are covered with sculptures. Some were serious and some were humorous.
The donkey is teaching the farmers how to trim the vines.
After walking the caves we had a wine tasting…at 9:30 in the morning.
Frederic told us how the local Tourist Bureau had instituted a new marketing strategy. Apparently the Japanese think getting married in a French castle is tres romantique. So now they have package deals: castle wedding and wine tasting tours. Sometimes there will be 40 brides in white dresses inside the cave waiting to get their picture taken.
Next we took off for the town of Tours. Tours is known for it’s wine, St. Martin of Tours, and Tours Bicycle Races.
Tours is a large city but the city central is very walkable. We walked around town and Patrick filled us in on a lot of history. The buildings were outstanding.
We visited Saint Gatien’s Cathedral. The Cathedral is dedicated to Saint Gatien, the first Bishop of Tours, Saint Lidoire, Saint Martin and Saint Gregory of Tours. The church was quite rich back in 13th century and this church was elegant, very detailed and ornate. The façade of the church was missing all the statues. Patrick explained they had been destroyed during the protests several centuries ago. The renovation plans are to restore the original look.
Lunch at a local café was Boeuf Steak et Frites for Robert H. and Boeuf Bourguignon for me. Kathy had Escargot…..she always picks this! When it came time for coffee I said yes as long as it was American coffee. Our waiter said….”For sure I have American coffee. I am from New Orleans!” He had migrated to Tours after Hurricane Katrina. We chatted about NOLA, Georgia, and Louisiana for awhile before we left for our next stop.
By now it was getting late but Kathy decided we had time for one more castle. And what a castle! We visited Chateau du Clos Luce and Parc Leonardo Da Vinci. This Chateau was amazing. It was well worth the entire trip. The grounds were beautiful, the castle was in great condition and the Da Vinci exhibit….WOW! We wished the grandsons were there to see all the inventions. Leonardo was a true genius.
Some Christmas lights in Amboise..
A late dinner of savory crepes and we were off to bed.
Sunday we enjoyed breakfast at our Chateau and packed up for the return trip to Paris. One last castle to see on the way...Chateau de Chaumont-Sur-Loire. This castle is a 15th century castle and nature park. Many famous people lived here in the past, such as Diane de Poitiers, Catherine de Medici, Nostradamus, and Benjamin Franklin. The park was peaceful and winter plantings were underway… just lovely.
The horse stables were huge, at least 8/10 times larger than our house. The horses even had their own kitchen.
Lunch on the road and a return ride to Paris. The traffic was not too bad and Robert L. was a perfect driver. We enjoyed dinner at our flat, called home to chat with Madeline and Morris and introduced Kathy and Robert to our family in Denver via video chat. A very busy but satisfying weekend.
Thanks Kathy and Robert! We loved every minute of the weekend programme designed for us!.