Friday, January 25, 2008

pictures of day 6

i am still trying to figure out how to handle pictures and posting, so please bare with me! here are the pics from day 6 at the museum that i couldn't get into the last post because i have only now just downloaded them... ENJOY!

Monday, January 21, 2008

paris, day 5 & 6...

**again, i am still figuring out how to put pics in my posts, so this is why they are out of order and not aligned... bare with me!

like i said in an earlier post, i scheduled us to take one of the "ho/ho buses" (hop on/hop off) which stops right in front of the eiffel tower-perfect! we just had a short walk and could leave the damn wheelchair in the apartment! the ho/ho bus goes to all the tourist spots and paris landmarks, and lets you hop off and back on all day long as you like, and it totally worked out for us.

we used it to get to the notre dame, and had a nice liesurely ride past wonderful paris while on the way. about notre dame.... it is just spectacular. really. the ancientness of it all, and of this city, just astounds me. really. we toured the ancient church on our own, i lit candles and said prayers/rosary for my great grandmom Irene, and wrote my prayers in their book to be blessed. then we headed out into the cold for a bit to eat nearby. the only snaffu was that the bus driver told us (all) the wrong time for the last bus, and we had to take a taxi back home.... still no problem... it's paris!

honestly.... although they are great, i don't want another grilled ham and cheese sandwich for a long while!

today was our last day here, and of course i'm wishing that we had more time. just one more week, at least. one more week and my french would be even better. one more week and juan would have a better understanding of this place, and be more comfortable here. one more week and i will have discovered a few more wonderful patisseries with amazing breads and pastries, and one more week to discover more little out of the way brasseries/cafes with incredible food. aahh, just one more week...

so here's how our last day went down...

WONDER OF ALL WONDERS!! THE SUN CAME OUT JUST FOR US!! yes, after days of coldness, wetness, dampness. we got sunshine. glorious sunshine. our last day was a beautifully clear, crisp, sun filled day with blue cloud kissed skies. oh paris, you shouldn't have!

so, we got off to an early start, for us, at around 11:30am, and hopped on the famous bus #69, which stops less than a block up from the apartment. it's famous because its route passes alot of the famous paris landmarks like the louvre and d'orsay museums, the tomb of napoleon, and it begins at the eiffel tower. it doesn't pass the arc de triomphe though, but everthing else it passes is so very good enough!

once on the bus, we headed straight for the musee d'orsay, and i must say now that after being there for hours, it is hands down my favorite museum. it houses all the greats - monet, van gough, matisse, cezzanne, renoir, and whistler. or at least great to me. honestly, i enjoyed these guys more than the mona lisa. i was touched. bitten really. by the discovery and now love of wonderful art. which i thought i had always appreciated and liked, but not this way. no.

after the d'orsay, we had lunch - our last grilled ham and cheese sandwich, thankfully, for a very long time - along with the most amazing hot chocholate, but not at the famed angelina near the louvre on rue de rivoli. we just didn't have the time. (major pout). then we headed back to the apartment in a leisurely way, back on the bus.

we hopped off the bus at rue cler, a well known street market that's not far from the apartment, and picked up dinner - a good bottle of pinot noir and a syrah, some fresh zucchini, tomatoes, bread, and croissants and juice for the morning. the last stop was at the cafe champs de mars for a couple of grilled fillet mignons and voila! dinner! off to the apartment. i whipped up a mustard vinaigrette to drizzle over the steak that i reheated, and the zucchini and tomatoes i sautaed in butter... mmmm!! then, the wine.... heaven i tell you!

that was it. our last two days in paris. we didn't get to see and do no where near as much as i would have liked to, and i'm trying hard to get over that. but what we did do, it sounds simple and small as i read it back to myself. but it really wasn't. it was spectacular.

be well :)

Sunday, January 20, 2008

paris, day 4

thsese pics are from days 2&3-> our first meal were tasty chicken sandwiches-the mayo was so good that i could have taken a bath in it!!; night time at the louvre museum, just beautiful; the construction going on right off our balcony >: ; a good dinner at a nice cafe a block from the apt.; the shot of us upclose when we were waiting for a bus that would never come (wheelchair issues!); and the gorgeous eiffel tower as we were walking back to the apartment.
it's sunset on day 4 and we've been in the apartment all day. juan's been sleep for most of it and i've been on the computer fiddling around. it's been cold and rainy here, which means i've been achey, stiff, and hurting. but i'm handling it - heck, i'm in paris!. the travel and excitement of getting/being here in paris has caught to me, and i'm feeling it today, which is one of the reasons i decided to stay home today.

i'm a bit sad and am trying hard to shake it because i am in paris afterall!! but i am. why? well, i really am having a hard time putting it in words without sounding like an ignorant non traveler, whose unappreciative of being here in paris. but i'm gonna try, so bare with me...

firstly, it's been a bit hard getting around, mainly because juan insisted on bringing my wheelchair. we can't, or have been told that we should'nt take the metro in my condition (by my trusty TA friends), so we are lugging the damn wheelchair around on the bus. and paris IS NOT disabled friendly, AT ALL. and the chair either doesn't fit in many taxi's or they just don't want to take you. so it's been hard in that sense. plus, people stare very hard and wierdly at me. it's amazing in a way, in how they stare! it's so very uncomfortable. it's got to be because of the chair/cane, because there are tons of people in this city that look like me with a strange sort of astonishment and perplexity - as if i'm a fool to be "out". this morning i was on my way to the bakery for fresh croissants/bread for breakfast with my cane when a woman, in her 50's maybe, dropped her bag because she was staring so hard and in such a way that i thought something was wrong, so i turned around to look too!! then i realized she was looking at me, which i had a feeling anyway. well, i just couldn't take it anymore, so i asked her in french if something was wrong, "non", do you have a question? "non", was there a problem them? "non", "aahh" i said, "you must really like my red boots then....i do too! auvoir madame", i said ... in french. juan and i are feeling a bit discouraged about going out. and it's making me very sad.

and mind you, i speak french fairly decently, and understand and read it even better.

secondly, because of my mobility issues and how hard it's been to get around, we haven't been able to see and do as much as i'd/we'd like. for example, i haven't really been to the louvre and the musee d'orsay yet. oh, we got there fine. day one was because it was our first day out and about, and it i just didn't expect, nor allow for how difficult it would be. day two was my fault- i forgot the closing times for the museums and it still took us longer than i thought it would. in addition to the time it takes for them to figure out what to do with me, where to send me. should i go through this door or that one. if they have an elevator or not. little things like that. so by the end of day 3, which was yesterday technically, i was near tears! one night we waited for an hour, in the cold damp night waiting for a bus because they didn't want to pick us up with my wheelchair. i just didn't realize how difficult it would be to get aournd this beautiful city for someone with mobility issues. and now that i really think of it... we havn't seen anyone in a wheelchair!! they're a few with canes, but you can tell that they're more of a style statment than a necessity. so where are those with mobility issues anyway?!?!

then there's juan. he's fallen into one of his moods. i don't think he's finding paris to his liking. he's uncomfortable here. but really it's as he is in most places and situations that involve coming out of oneself, and being personable, and having to interact and communicate with others. he says it's the language issue. well, there are TONS of people here that don't speak english. here we are in paris. we flew first class. we have a fabulous apartment (albeit with hideous construction practically on the balcony!). we are literally steps from the eiffel tower in a beautiful upscale nieghborhood. WHAT THE HELL DOES HE HAVE TO BE PISSY ABOUT?!?!?!??? ok. i give to him the things i mentioned above - that it's been difficult to get around because of my wheelchair. and yes, he has to push and carry my wheelchair around (well, he's the one who wanted to bring it!). and yes, he's worried about how i'm doing with all of this, healthwise. I GET THAT. and yes, that's a handful. but we are in PARIS! A i am very frustrated with him. it's the same 'ole, same 'ole (see previous post in august), but in paris. come.... on. !!!! dude... we're in PARIS!!

ok, i've vented. i must stop now. yes, stop. because at least we are able to laugh about this stuff. yeah, he's in a funk. well, so am i. but he has a more valid reason to be in one, whethe i agree with it or not. he is just so worried about me, and that we are in a foreign country who see's my situation so very differently, that he can't even let go. ... yet (hopefully). we were on the bus, after finally being able to get on one, and it was the right one. and he looked at me to make sure i was ok. and he looked so... i just wanted to hit him and hold him at the same time. love and stubborness.
well, we have been able to do some things. like go to the louvre. not in it. just to it. we had comedy of things go on. it was open late, so no problem, right. well, i wanted to buy the museum passes since we were there, but no one could agree on where i should go due to the chair. we went back and forth thru the main hall so much, that it was time to go. they were quite polite about it though. we were able to go the arc de triumphe, but we couldn't go past the street level because the lift was broken and had been for many months. it took us about 30-45 minutes to figure this out. nobody bothered to say anything eventhough they saw i was in a chair because they were staring. now we were ableto take a stroll down the champs elysees(or should i say roll lol!) and had some discovery in between. we did make it to the beautiful and fabulous musee d'orsay, but had no time to look at anything but the toilette. this was my fault. bad timing. but then, things take much longer when you're in a chair/cane.

so far everyone here is very nice and i love them (believe it or not!), but then i do speak my fair share of french, and understand/read even more. heck, everyday at least 2 people ask me for directions-and i'm able to give it them!! {{LOL}}!! it's trips juan out. hey, what can i say?!?!

well, again. i just needed to vent a bit. i have though, reworked our last two days in such a way that should make up for the first 3. tonight we will go to a nice (hopefully!) jazz club for dinner, drinks, and music. tomorrow we will hop on a tour bus to catch everything we've missed going to individually, and not have to worry about the metro bus. then on tuesday we will spend all day at the musee d'orsay. well, at least these are my plans. we'll see!!

be well :)

Thursday, January 17, 2008

the city of light

PICTURES FROM TOP TO BOTTOM: what we see when we leave the apartment!!; rushing thru paris traffic heading to apartment; on the plane, just waking up; the street the apartment is on; under the "welcome to paris" sign in the airport; rushing in paris traffic. (i'm new to putting pics in, so bare with me!)
OMG!! i can't believe that i am IN paris. i am blogging in our fabulous apartmant rental just steps, literally (!), from the eiffel tower!! the niegborhood is just beautiful.

so here's how it went down, so far....

we left teh bay area arouond 6:30am, with a layover in atlanta to hand ladybug off to juan's sister at the security gate, then we turned around and headed to the international terminal. we had a leisurely dinner since we had just under 3 hours to kill. were the first to the gate, so we thougt. turned out that they had changed the gate, and us two dumb dumb's didn't bother to check the status board!! so juan went to see what was up, and just as he did that,we heard them calling the final boarding call for our flight!! we hauled a** about 12 gates with me in my wheelchair!! we just made it. but, we flew first class, so that made it a bit easier, lol!

the flight was very eneventful, and quick! we had a delay in atlanta once we got on the plane due to snow. we picked up our luggage, caught a taxi, and came on in to our "home" while in paris. and it really is nice, we didnt expect this.

after dropping off the luggage, we headed right out to check out our nieghborhood. i can not believe how close the eiffel tower is to our place! we walked/wheeled (in my trusty wheelcair!) around the eiffel tower, then headed our for groceries. then came on back to the apartment.

so we've just finished our "first" meal in france - ham and cheese sandwiches we made on a french baguette. that was the beast ham an dcheese i've ever had!! heavenly!

will post pic's later, i must take a nap!!

be well :)

Monday, January 14, 2008

paris bound!

hey all! well i am so sorry for being so neglectful. i had to take a much needed break. well, actually, it wasn't planned. i got pretty busy with all my holiday baking and wore myself out!

so how were all of your holidays? mine was nice and quiet - uneventful with little drama. however, there was a little bit of mommy drama....but of course!! i won't bore you with all the details, but lets just say that it involved the regifting of a necklace that i misplaced at her house. all and all though herand i have been fine. i'll post about that development later, what i really want to talk about is paris. yes. PARIS. as in paris, france. breathe angela!!!

i'm going as a birthday gift from juan. i am BEYOND excited, which is another reason why i've been out of the blogging loop. i've been doing alot of running around to prepare for this trip. we had rented an apartment there in the 5th (latin quarter), but that fell through this morning and all hell broke out. the company, vacations in paris ( ), did not want to do anything but refund my money, and acted as if i should feel lucky and greatful, when in reality, i can go to targe or nordstrom's and get my money back with little to no problem! well, the wonderful people on my new absolutely favorite site (TA) came to my rescue!! they all rallied around me, bolstered me, helped me. and now, because of them in part, i was able to work it out with owner. but just know that it was a "hot mess!!" it's over. calm yourself and breathe angela.

so it's going to be just the two of us and we need this so badly, given all that we've been through since i've been sick, especially this last year with my disease (you know i don't like saying that word) moving to my brain, and my memory loss (see posts from june/july). it's been worse than incredibly hard. so paris is my reward. our reward. for persevering. overcoming and making our way through, in a way, this situation...together. it's no longer as bad as it had been. 5 months out from my last full round of chemotherapy. i'm still here. and i get to go to paris. tears in my eyes now. breathe angela.

now, i just have to get ok with leaving my baby. my love. my ladybug. she will be with my mom in law in atlanta. i'm not one of those moms (no offense meant). i've been away from her before. she stayed with mil this last summer for a whole week while i was here at home. no problem. especially on her end. she's such a big girl! but this is different. we will be on another continent. i'm nervous. but not a deep down forboding in my gut kind of nervous. no. we wouldn't be going if i felt that. i don't know, really, i just am not sure about being that far away with her being this young (6 years old). she will be just fine. we haven't left yet and i already miss her, my God!!! breathe angela.

so, it's now late the night before we head out to the hotel, spend that night there, then off we go wednesday morning! i'm so excited that i am on the verge of a flair. breathe angela.

i've got to go pack!! i'll check in with you all while on the road. much love!

breathing...... breathing......

be well :)

Tuesday, January 1, 2008


i am hoping for a blessed year for all of you and yours.

for me? well, this year it will be all about me. and here are the things that i will be working on in order to take better care of me:
  • to be more selfish
  • to be quiet
  • speaking my truth
  • finish what i start
  • spend more time with ladybug
  • do more cooking, crafting, and horsebackridging
  • do what i need to do

this list is not a new years 'resoulution' there's more to this list than just the words and what the words mean. i will show you in the coming months. but, for now, these are the things that i will be working on for myself,

be wel