Life Lessons

"Figuring out our gifts in life is part of our journey to becoming enlightened human beings.” – Allison DuBois

Saturday, June 16, 2018

To My Guys

Song - My Father's Eyes by Eric Clapton

Here's to two amazing dad Cal Crawford who worked hard for his family and around our home, and taught me tenderness and love and to use every tool in his workshop.....

And Mr. B.......the father of our three boys who taught them to have an impact in this world and to care with all of their hearts.

Thank you both for being a part of my life.

"A father is neither an anchor to hold us back, 
nor a sail to take us there, 
but a guiding light who's love shows us the way."  
-- Author Unknown

Friday, June 15, 2018

Raining in Paris - Day 22

Song - Wish You Were Here by David Gilmour

This post is taken from my French travel journal and my trip through Southern France in April 2018.  For some reason my iPad and Blog were not communicating at the time so I was unable to write any posts. At home I am able to blog "post" travel! Thanks for joining me on the journey!

It was threatening to rain today so I figured that it would be a great day to spend indoors at the Musee d'Orsay but so did a thousand other people.......and this was the "no wait" line for those who already had a museum pass!

But once inside I was rewarded with beautiful art to warm my soul and stimulate my creative juices.....this is a detail from Le Pont d'Argenteuil by Monet.

Mary Cassatt's "Jeune femme cousant dans un jardin"....sigh....

And detail from Monet's "En norvegienne, dit aussi La Barque a Giverney".....enjoying the yummy colors in the sunshine!

Renoir's painting of "Jeune femme a la voilette".....just look at the softness of the veil covering her face.....

Close detail from Vincent Van Gogh's painting "Mademoiselle Gachet dans son jardin a Auvers-sur-Oise"

There is nothing like seeing the real deal - the colors and the brush strokes - there is energy here!

 "Les Roulettes, campement de bohemiens aux environs d 'Arles" also by Van Gogh

And beautiful detail from Edouard Vuillard's  "Le dejeuner en famille"

Garish and amazing quick gesture drawing by Toulouse-Lautrec painted on pieced canvases - once again you can just feel the energy radiating off the canvas.

And I will leave you with a sweet intimate moment in a detail from "Le bal de l'Opera" by Henri Gervex.

In the evening we dined at Le Recamier and enjoyed the best of souffles as well as fun waiters! Mr. B's first time there.....can you tell that he loved it?

"Art enables us to find ourselves 
and lose ourselves at the same time."  
--Thomas Merton

PS - My apologies for misquoting John Lennon on yesterdays quote: 
It should of read "Yeah we all shine on, like the moon, and the stars and the sun."
Corrected by my brilliant and sweet husband Mr. B!

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Goodnight Moon - Day 21

Song - Instant Karma by John Lennon

This post is taken from my French travel journal and my trip through Southern France in April 2018.  For some reason my iPad and Blog were not communicating at the time so I was unable to write any posts. At home I am able to blog "post" travel! Thanks for joining me on the journey!

Au revoir Avignon!  Time to head to the TGV station and head on back to Paris.  But not before a little know how they say that there are two kinds of people.........those that fill up their gas tank when they are a quarter of a tank down and that would be me......Mr. B is the other kind.......

.......those that fill up their tank when they are running on fumes......yup!  So quickly I Googled the nearest gas station and the tank wouldn't accept any of our credit cards.  We even had a French family trying to help us.  So we go to plan B......and barely eeek into the next gas station.  Success as we had to 1) get to the train on time 2) return the rental car full of gas and 3) keep your wife happy!

 The TGV platform in Avignon.  I have to say that I do love riding the trains in Europe.  They are smooth, fast, clean and on time.  And they have a decent dining car.

 So after a glass of wine and two Croque Monsieus, we were quite content to sit back and watch the countryside unfold around us.

 Passing little villages......

 ......fields of mustard, cows and sheep............and before we knew it........

.........we were at the Gare de Lyon in Paria waiting for an Uber.

 And back to the hustle and bustle of everything that is uniquely Paris!

 We had made reservations at Hotel des Saints-Peres in the 6th.  We love staying at Hotel de l'Abbaye but their prices have gotten so high that we decided to try somewhere new. 

 They have both an indoor and outdoor sitting area. And serve a wonderful breakfast buffet. Very nice and helpful staff as well as a great location.  But it's not our beloved Hotel de l'Abbaye!

 Upon the suggestion of our hotel, we dined at the Brasserie Vagenende on the Boulevard St. Germain. It was a little too fussy for our taste but it was a decent meal.

 Mr. B enjoying his oysters and wine.

And a rack of lamb for his main course.

 And I can't believe how much duck I have enjoyed on this trip!

 Walking home we passed by Les Deux Magots and stopped for a glass of wine so I could take some photos of the waiters to paint from at a future date.  It's always fun to people watch from our little outdoor table and soon we were playing a private game of "I'm more French than you" the people passing our table were getting more and more fun!  Who should win?  The lady with the six inch heels that has a little doggy in her arms and bright red lipstick or the older man with riding boots, loud plaid sports coat and a big cigar or the young man in a fur coat and studs??? But all good evenings must come to an end.......

Goodnight moon.........

"Yeah we all shine on, like the moon, and the stars and the sun."
--John Lennon

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Friends, Romans and Countrymen - Day 20

Video - Les Grands Jeux Romains 2018

This post is taken from my French travel journal and my trip through Southern France in April 2018.  For some reason my iPad and Blog were not communicating at the time so I was unable to write posts. At home I am able to blog "post" travel! Thanks for joining me on the journey!

 Got off to a bit of a late start this morning but we enjoy listening to various street musicians who play most everyday as we walk to our car park.  This morning it was a man playing the saxophone beautifully and with great passion at the steps to the Popes Palace!

 We pass by Pont d'Avignon on our way out of our car park and was built in the 1100's.

We are enjoying the trip to Nimes along a little country road when we came across this chapel.  We remembered it from a trip we took many years ago.  La Chappelle Saint Laurent near Jonquieres is a Medieval chapel and was recently renovated. Nice time to take a break and stretch our legs.

Nimes is a lot bigger than we remembered and the town was filled with people - actually a ton of people for a weekday.  We finally find Centre Ville and a parking spot.  Walking over to the Roman Arena we pass a couple of ......pirate boats? 

There is noise coming from the arena and I am thinking they are testing a sound system for a concert. Maybe the Rolling Stones?

 As we rounded the Roman Arena we run into........ people with sticks & rakes............Gladiators.............oh my!

They are practicing for a weekend re-enactment of Spartacus. My understanding is that Spartacus (111-71BC) was a Roman soldier that deserted and became enslaved and eventually escaped with 70 other slaves. 

Even Julius Caesar was there! Holy cow!

 I'm enthralled but Le Mr. B thought it felt too much like a Pirate Faire so we found a restaurant across the street for lunch - La Grand Cafe!

We had plans to go to Musee Calvet in Avignon late that afternoon as it was our last night in Provence. So we purchased a few post cards and walked around the arena enjoying the sights.


Oh my!

I guess even girls in chains need their ciggy breaks.....

Unfortunately I got my museum closing time wrong and they were just closing down when we arrived.  So we enjoyed some free time in Avignon and returned to our hotel to freshen up before dinner at Restaurant des Teinturiers.

Mr. B had phoned this restaurant three different times.  On Wednesday they said that they were not open that night and on Thursday when we had reservations, the restaurant called to say they had an urgent matter to deal with - so Friday night was our last chance to experience this restaurant. Mr. B had read great reviews of this place and they had become phone friends exchanging their messages.

The chef, Ollivier Guillaume came out to greet us and to thank us 
in our perseverance in getting a table.  He explained to us that his wife had just had a baby and needed him at home.  Later he brought out photos of his beautiful family. He was so kind that I asked him if I could take a photo in front of his restaurant to paint!

 Mr. B had a seven hour cooked veal with polenta sticks.

 And I had foie gras ravioli in a  mushroom and truffle cream sauce. Talk about a heart attack!!!

 It was so incredible that we licked our plates............

 ....and were in awe of this beautiful evening and wonderful food.

 Dessert was a berry cobbler with ice cream, caramel sauce and fresh berries.

 While strolling back home we stopped for a glass of wine and a little music.

This poster was in a window and it's what Mr. B's face looked like that night!

 "A tree is known by it's fruit; a man by his deeds. 
A good deed is never lost;
he who sows courtesy reaps friendship,
and he who plants kindness
gathers love." 
--Saint Basil

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