Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Brief departure from European posts.  Thought you might need a break.

Stella went missing for 18 hours -- 2:00 p.m. Monday to 8:00 a.m. Tuesday.  She uncharacteristically went outside during the daylight hours when I left to run errands Monday afternoon.  No sign of her when I returned.  No sign at dinnertime.  No sign at bedtime.  No sign Tuesday morning when Sophie returned from her nightly prowl.  My common sense told me that yet another of my feline friends had ended up splattered on the road, or carried off by coyotes.  Surprisingly, the strongest emotion was aggravation that I had just spent $70 on her at the Vet last week for an ear infection.  Arghh!

As I was drinking my coffee and scanning the landscape it hit me.  I had gotten some things out of the garage Monday before I ran errands.  Could she possibly have slipped in there and gotten trapped?  Affirmative.

Poor kitty.  It was hot yesterday, and even hotter in that garage.

Now, I know she didn't go 18 hours without needing to potty.  But I haven't gotten the courage yet to go back in there to inspect.  If I wait long enough, it'll disintegrate, right? She's getting back at me by refusing to cover her deposits in the litter box now.  

But she's not wandering too far away from me, whether in the house or outdoors.

There are more mice to catch in her future.  Happy ending.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo, blah, blah, blah

We actually had a discussion as to whether or not we would visit the Louvre.  Oh my goodness!  I can't believe we almost missed this.

Apparently there has been some controversy about the three modern glass pyramids in the courtyard.  I must say, I don't really fancy this particular blending of the old and the new.  But then, I'm not an artist.  I just love art.

Know what I'm sayin'?

The outside is almost as beautiful as the works of art inside.

 Case in point....
This is what Ted & Greg had to put up with.  Cargo Pants Girl trying to strike a pose, Monkey Impression and Betty Boop.  My apologies for your embarrassment.

Would anyone mind if I just lie on the floor and study this ceiling?


And of course, the main attraction.  Looks just like the magnet on my fridge.  And not a heck of a lot bigger.

Another one of Napoleon's arches.  This one, just across from The Louvre, has rose marble columns.

Just a little freshening up at the Hilton, before leaving Paris.

Ahhh.  I heart Paris! :)

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Eiffel Tower and Other French Things

There she is.  A really tall steel structure.

With some very intricate details.  I thought it looked like lace.

She's also quite beautiful at night.

The Seine River

The old ball and chain.  (Just kidding, Greg, we loved being on a schedule.)

Arc de Triomphe
The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier 

The Champs Elysees
or Paris' "Rodeo Drive"

Egypt gave France this obelisk.
France gave us the Statue of Liberty.

And Obama gave the British Prime Minister 25 movies on DVD.
Things that make you go hmmmmmm.

Sacre Coeur & Notre Dame

Sacre Coeur (Sacred Heart) 1875-1919, planned and built after the 1870 defeat of France in the Franco-Prussian War as a guilt offering.

The equestrian statues are Joan of Arc and King Saint Louis IX.
Not sure which is which.  They both looked very manly.

 300 steps to Sacre Coeur, 2nd highest point in Paris (Eiffel Tower being the highest)
Located on Montmartre (Mount of Martyrs)

Only half-way there!
Tip:  Bring bottled water.

This was pretty cool.

Notre Dame
 The Griswalds
FYI - there's an unwritten rule about carrying your purse on the left hip.

We had fun checking out the gargoyles.  And even MORE fun MAKING fun of Janet for insisting on calling them gargirls.

More posts on the trip to come.  Aren't you excited????

Friday, September 16, 2011

Europe: The Travel

Greg demanded strongly suggested only carry-on bags.  We're talking 10 days in Europe, folks.  Does he realize that I check a bag for a weekend in Houston?

But, of course, being the "rule-follower" that I am, this is what I took with me.  So when you see pics of me in the same clothes, it doesn't necessarily mean it's the same day or place.  It's just what was relatively clean at the time.

From Tulsa to Dallas, I somehow was privileged to fly First-Class. (Thanks, Greg.  Don't tell Janet that you love me more.)  And man-oh-man, would I have loved this seat on the next 10-hour leg of the trip!
Though I would NEVER rub it in.....I did feel the need to photograph this momentus occasion...
...and also document that Janet was in Coach.  "Hi, Elaine!!!! How are the pretzels back there?"

Traveling with Greg, was like traveling with the President.  Not that I've ever traveled with the President.  But this is how it must feel.  He is a seasoned traveler, and has VIP status wherever he goes, and since we were his traveling companions, we got the same treatment.
In the Admiral's Lounge at DFW.  Greg obviously hasn't started his "vacation" yet.

Admiral's Lounge.  Making notes in my spiral-bound trip notebook that Greg prepared for all of us. This was between logging on to my FB account in the complimentary computers and sampling the complimentary snacks and drinks in the lounge. How will I ever fly Southwest again?

Taxi to the hotel in Paris.
Considering we've been in planes and airports for the last 17-1/2 hours, and it's 3:00 a.m. in Tulsa, I think we look pretty good!

Paris Taxi Cab
"Jeudi - 25 Aout"
Thursday, August 25
In Paris we got very familiar with the Metro.

Well...sort of.

Never mind.

You guys figure out where we are and we'll stand here and look pretty.

Yes, we had TWO GPS's and still couldn't find our hotel in the Netherlands.

 Love the signage.  Ya think?

Please--Do Not Feed the Driver

Gasoline is extremely high in Europe.
But tell me, have you ever seen a cleaner gas station?
(The Swiss take great pride in their cleanliness.)

Or one with prettier flower boxes?

These feet did a LOT of walking and stair climbing and hiking.
I think I deserve a pedicure.

A UFO?  Incoming jet on fire?

Oh.  I guess it's just sunset at Charles De Gaulle airport.
View from the Airport Hilton--last night in Paris.