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Sunday, August 30, 2015

A Walk Through Bohemia

Dear Family and Friends,

One tourist attraction that we had not done on a previous visit was the Sacré-Cœur Basilica.  

The weather was perfect and there were thousands of people doing the same.

Since the basilica is built on top of a hill it can be seen from most anywhere in the city of Paris.  It was constructed between 1875 - 1914.

The hill, Montmartre Butte, that it is constructed on has quite a colorful history. In this neighborhood many famous artists lived, or at least at one time had a studio.  Salvadore Dali, Claude Monet,  Pablo Picasso, Vincent van Gogh and Pierre-Auguste Renior to name a few.

The struggling artists of that time could not afford to live here now.  It is full of tourists eating and drinking at cafes and shopping at souvenir stores.


There are many artists hawking their ability to do a portrait of you while you pose.  This lady below seems to be quite talented.


Keeping well hydrated on a sunny hot day like today is important.


After a rest, we continued down the hill.  We visited the Montmartre Museum which included Renior's gardens.  Through photographs and paintings you were shown the colorful history of this bohemian neighborhood at the turn of the the twentieth century.


Renoir's grape vineyard.



After the museum is always the gift shop.  Here is Chuck trying on a hat like the one used in a portrait of Van Gogh.  Actually, Chuck did buy a hat but not this one.


I will tell you about the hat he bought later.

After the museum, we continued our walk down through the neighborhood.


When we got to the bottom of the hill, we stopped at this sidewalk restaurant for lunch.



Chuck's salad with ham, fried potatoes, cheese, tomatoes, lettuce and topped with a poached egg.


My lunch consisted of a small steak, salad, french fires and in the cup is a wonderful onion reduction dip.


We ended out walk by making our way to the famous Moulin Rouge.  They are performing the "Can-Can" for tourists still at this place.


Below is a Renior painting... notice the hats the men are wearing in the upper right corner.  These straw hats were quite popular and can be seen in many paintings of the 1890's.  The reason I am pointing this out is...


because that is the type of hat Chuck bought at the museum gift shop.


It looks like a sunny Sunday is ahead for us.

Love,
Nancy


Friday, August 28, 2015

Both Hands Repaired and All Is Well!!

Dear Family and Friends,

Today Chuck got both of his hands repaired.  He has Dupuytren's Contracture in both hands.  This is a disease that causes your fingers to curl in towards the palm of the hand, giving it a nickname of "claw hand."

About 10 years ago Chuck had a procedure done to straighten his fingers.  It was very successful.  Over the last 10 years since his first procedure the fibers have grown back causing his fingers to, once again, curl.

The whole purpose of this trip was to have this procedure done.

I took these pictures this morning in our hotel room.  This is to show you how Chuck's hands looked before we went to the doctor.








After coffee and a roll, we went to the train station to buy a ticket to Soisy Sous Montmorency, a suburb of Paris.

Here is Chuck buying our tickets.


The trains run in this direction about 15 minutes apart.  Here is ours, waiting for us.


After getting off the train Chuck asked for directions from a meter maid.  After 10 years we were a little rusty.


We arrived at his office about an hour before the appointment so we walked to a local pub type restaurant for lunch.


We ordered the plate of the day.  This is typically offered in restaurants in France.  It is a set menu and offers a meal at a good price.


We choose the entree and plate....(salad and main dish) for $12.90 each.

The salad had boiled egg halfs topped with a seasoned mayonnaise.  I've seen this offered on other menus here so I guess it is French.


Our main dish was seafood filled ravioles with a mild white sause.


It filling and actually, we were not that hungry.

We walked down the street to find Dr. Badois' office.


Once there, Dr. Badois examined Chuck's hands.


Time to go to work.  This is a procedure that is done in the office.


Applying antiseptic.


Numbing Chuck's hand.


Cutting the fibers with the beveled edge of the special needle.


In a short time it was time to bandage.


Next, Dr. Badois moved to Chuck's other hand.


Same procedure as before.


All finished....happy patient and happy doctor!


Chuck has to keep his hands bandaged for three days and can not do any heavy lifting.

We will be here through the weekend just to make sure everything is fine before we head home.

Chuck created a website 10 years ago when he had this procedure done the first time.  I am including the link here just in case you know of someone who may benefit from this procedure.   http://users.owt.com/watson/index.htm

Oh, the weather was great today and should be good tomorrow.  

Love you all,
Nancy


Thursday, August 27, 2015

A Very Rainy Day in Paris

Dear Family and Friends,

When we looked out our hotel window this morning, we got a glimpse of what would lie ahead today.


While having breakfast we decided that today should be an inside day.  Chuck suggested that we go to the Paris Catacombes.

We took the metro and checked out the entrance.


However, the line of people waiting to enter went almost all the way around the block.


We decided that this is something we should do on another trip....maybe in a November or January or most any month that would not be tourist season.

But on the bright side, on a day like today, you can easily find a seat outside at a sidewalk cafe.  Yesterday, when the weather was beautiful, all the tables were full and it was almost impossible to find a place.


We went around the corner and found a pedestrian street that was lined with all kinds of street front stores selling meats, cheese, produce, just about any type of food.

Here is Chuck checking out a wine store.


I salivated as  photographed this delicious looking bread encrusted with cheese.


Fresh vegetables and produce store.  Everything was open to the street.


Fish store.

Here is Chuck posing with a statue of a Holstein calf outside a cheese shop.


And a butcher shop.


We went back to check at the catacombes and yep the line was still there, maybe even longer.


It was time to think of Plan B.  We decided to go to Musee du Quai Branly, which is a relatively new museum in Paris.  It has been built since we were there about 10 years ago.

But first things first.  Did I use it?  Yes indeed and so did Chuck.  We were happy to find this toilet.  It is clean and free.


The museum has collections of artifacts from all over the world, Oceania, Asia, Africa and the Americas.

Once inside the museum I took literally over 100 pictures.  We spent about four hours viewing the artifacts.

I decided for this post I would limit sharing only pictures I took of masks.  It seems all cultures have them.







After leaving the museum, we had to cross a bridge over the river Seine to get the metro back to our hotel.

I think every bridge on this river is full of locks.  Most have names and initials of lovers.


Here is a large house boat that is tied up (rather permenantly I suppose).  They have a nice deck with picnic table on the top of the boat and a grand view of the Eiffel Tower.


Speaking of the Eiffel Tower, I am so glad we went to see it yesterday.



That is about it for today.  Tomorrow we take a train to a little town outside of Paris for Chuck to have his hands repaired.

Love you all,
Nancy