Category Archives: France

Travel: The Great Educator

As I look back on all the travel we have done in our life time, it is clear that I cannot think of any thing that has provided more of an education to us. 

One of the key trips that we every took was to London with our kids.  They were High School/Jr High School age and it was their first time out of the United States.  We rented a flat in the heart of London and we have so many memories of the things that we did and learned.  In fact, after a few days in London, they were able to take off on their own on the “tube” and explore London.  They learned from that trip that they were capable of traveling anywhere they wanted.  And boy have they taken advantage of that as adults. 

SAM_0357Our last trip a few months ago was to France.  It was one of the greatest trips we had as the people treated us so well and we learned so much.  Our trip to the Normandy Beaches to see how much our troops gave up in the second world war was very emotional. 

louve lib 3When the Islamic terrorists went on their murderous rampage in Paris, it was especially painful for us as both shootouts were within walking distances from where we stayed or visited.  The French people watched their police fight and die to protect them and now look in wonder at the anti-police marches in the US. 

So much about travel is perception.  We dressed like the French, learned some of their language, treated them with respect.  They responded in kind.  We saw a few Americans in France with backpacks, treating the locals with disrespect and they were not treated like we were.  Perception:  Missed a huge opportunity the other day to 20150114_123854have the people of Europe perceive that the United States support them in the fight against the Islamic terrorists. 

Our visit from family this week was a joy.  That family is a great traveling group.  Good planners, not afraid to try new things even driving the infamous LA freeway at night in their rental car.  I love the pictures where their kids were enjoying the sunset over the Pacific ocean and the visit to the SoCal mountains.  A trip that will help educate them in a positive way for the rest of their life. 

Travel:  The great educator.


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Posted by on January 17, 2015 in California, england, France, politics



Thoughts About Traveling in France

Things in France are not getting better with the Muslim terrorists.  Now there two hostage situations.  Five women and children in resturant lib mel2one hostage situation.  A lot of blood there soon?

Because Libby and I are just back from Paris and have been in the areas currently involved, this seems very close to us.  The Jewish district in Paris was just closed down.  The Jews are always on the forefront on the hate of of the Muslims.  Sad.  A beautiful and active area that is full of energy and happiness.  Will the gay district be next?  They are hated by the Muslims as well.

We will be going back to visit France, no questions but will police in Paris be allowed to carry guns and protect themselves, citizens and tourists? 

Sky News reporting the French police went in to take out the terrorist brothers.  Now Sky News says six explosions in hostage situation in Jewish district as well.   Wonder if this occurred in the US would our current leaders have approved this police involvement or blamed the police for it all? 

Happier times in Paris.

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Posted by on January 9, 2015 in France



Condolences to the People of France

When we heard that Paris had a very serious terrorist attack today we were sad to see how easy it was for the the “Allah Akbar” terrorists to murder 12 or more people in broad daylight.  However, we were not surprised. 

We spent 10 days in Paris a couple of months ago and really enjoyed our stay and the people a great deal.  The city is very open with very few police seen and many of them were unarmed and must say obviously out of shape and well into their 50’s.  Every now and then you would see three military types marching in formation fully armed with automatic weapons that the Parisian laughed about as “window dress.”  Hopefully there may have been undercover police that we did not see. They had lots of cameras but cameras alone cannot stop terrorism.  Libby and I mentioned how “soft” Paris seemed to be for a terror attack and here it is.

Many pro gun control people until today said, “Don’t worry, you can’t get guns in Paris because of their strong gun control laws.”  Woops only the criminals and terrorists can get them. 

The masked, black-clad killers whose Paris attack on the offices of Charlie Hebdo today took 12 lives were carrying Kalashnikov AK-47 assault rifles. The scary thing in France, where gun-control laws are far stricter than in the U.S., is that their weapons choice wasn’t surprising.  Semi-automatic and automatic firearms are banned, but that hasn’t stopped drug dealers and terrorists from acquiring them in increasing numbers, according to the National Observatory for Delinquency, a state body created in 2003 by then-Interior Minister and later President Nicolas Sarkozy. The numbers of illegal weapons in France have increased by double digits for  years, the body says.

With open borders…although not as open as ours…France will continue to be a soft target for terrorist.  Condolences to the French.  Might be time for them to take a hard look at their current laws and what they are spending their taxes on. 

Is it time to protect our borders and stop trying to push more ineffective gun control legislation…can you say Chicago and Paris?

Will this stop our travel?  No.  Just what the Terrorist would love.


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Posted by on January 7, 2015 in France



France, Trip Coming to an End

I am writing this from the airport waiting to get on the “Monster 380”  heading for Los Angeles. 

Up at 5 a.m. and finished packing, got our luggage to the lobby, ate a leisurely breakfast and the taxi to Charles De Galle  was only 12 minutes late.  Light traffic to the airport and fast friendly check in.  Fun to watch people trying to cut lines, carry too much on the plane etc.  The same all over the world. 

Although we are not yet home, I must say that 98% of the French people treated us with great friendliness and respect.  We had a great time.  The food is expensive but so well thought out and delicious.  Couldn’t have asked for more.  What a City.

Paris:  A city full of cathedrals with no parishioners other than tourists .  A city of people who love their language and monuments.  The older are white the young are every color, creed and religion.  The young DRINK wine by the bottle not glass.  The Metro is the best underground system we have ever used.  Very busy but very inexpensive.  Best museums we have ever seen.  Exceptional trip. 

Home at last.  Good flight. 

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Posted by on October 7, 2014 in France



France, Day 7, Saturday, October 4, 2014

Now this was a day that we actually expected when we planned our packing for France in the Fall.  Cool and clear in the morning and rain in the evening.  No longer did we wish for our t-shirts and shorts that we had left at home. 

We left after breakfast jumped on the Metro and headed off toSAM_0373 the Musee D Orse, a museum full of impressionist art.  Libby was in her glory;  Renoir, Van Gogh, Degas, Monet, Rodin etc.  The museum was a huge old train station and though busy, it was large enough that you could take time to enjoy.  We were not allowed to take photos of the painting but it was an outstanding place to visit.

It was about lunch time and we stopped at a restaurant and had a wonderful Italian lunch.  The picture says it all as we sat outside to watch Paris flow by.

SAM_0329We had a quiet sleepy afternoon with a nap and off again on the metro for mass at Notre Dame at 6:30 pm.

The downtown area of Paris was a zoo!  Literally 1000’s of people eating in the parks, squares and everywhere;  One thing we did notice is NO ONE eats in the underground.  Not allowed ever. 

Great Day

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Posted by on October 5, 2014 in France



France, Days 5, 6 Thursday, Friday October 2014

We were so busy the last couple of days that we had no time to post a blog of any kind.  Thursday, Day 5, was a morning visit to Notre Dame Cathedral and the surrounding area’s.  In the evening ate at one of the famous restaurants in all of Paris, Pharamond and then a Seine boat tour from 10 p.m. to 11 p.m..

On Friday, Day 6, Friday we left the room at 5:30 a.m. for the Metro underground and  the day on a looooog bus tour to the Normandie beaches and arrive back at the hotel 10 p.m…16+ hours.  Exhausting. 


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Posted by on October 4, 2014 in France



France…Day 4, Wednesday

louve venus de miloToday was the Louvre Museum.   Early breakfast, bus to the the Louvre and it was huge. 

Extremely well organized including airport like security. A beautiful building(s) that seem to have just enough antiquities that does not overwhelm the building which is a beauty to behold itself. louve lib 3
Our guide was adequate in her English but was very nervous. We scratched the highlights in two buildings. There is just so much to see that you are overwhelmed. There is a crush of people in the museum but not nearly as bad as the Versailles Palace.
The Tulleries Gardens, adjacent to the museum gives some insight on howlouve crowd the French live. It was lunch time and the office workers located around the park were eating their lunches, some even stripped down to sun bathing, others napping in surrounding we pay $1000’s to visit. Life is hard.
The Metro…underground…pops up inside the museum and in the Tulleries Gardens. Very inexpensive way to come and go. Oh yes about the underground. Clean, organized, fast and reasonably priced.

We took a long walk this evening and picked up some food to each in our room.  It was good.  Good day. 

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Posted by on October 1, 2014 in France