Monday, July 20, 2009


Last week I unexpectedly went to Paris with my best friend Martin. It was my idea as a matter of fact and he went along with it because he also needed a break, just like me!

So I made some arrangements for my son and we left around 4.30 pm on Tuesday. I looked on the web for two cheap hotels, wrote down the addresses and crossed my fingers that in one of them was still a room available. But in case we couldn't find a hotel we also took a tent (a quick up), matrasses and sleeping bags. We arrived rather late in Paris and booked a room in the cheapest hotel of the 2 hotels I had found on the web in the 18th arrondissement just behind the Sacre Coeur. We were lucky because there was just one more room available and the hotel was almost closing down when we arrived!!
It was a nice room with toilet and shower in the room. After we had put our luggage in the room, we went out for something to eat. There were still some small restaurants/bars open.
The first night I slept badly. Martin and I had to sleep in the same bed and I'm not used to that anymore.

On Wednesday we first went to Les Halles in the centre of Paris. We took the wrong direction and discovered a small parc on top of Les Halles. We stayed there for a while and took some photos of the two of us behind a hand and in front of a head.

At 12 o'clock we were supposed to be at Annik's. She is the lady I worked for as an au-pair in 1977 and 1978. I hadn't seen her in 20 years or so. Martin and I stayed at her place for about 2 hours and had lunch with her. It was nice meeting her again!!

After Annik, we went to the Sacre Coeur. We went upstairs with the funiculaire. On the stairs in front of the Sacre Coeur there were several amateur singers and jugglers performing their acts. We loved the jugglers a lot!! I made several videos of them. Loved the act with the crystal ball!! If you go to this link at You Tube you can see it for yourself!

After visiting the Sacre Coeur we went back to the hotel to rest a little bit and then went out again for diner which was nice and not too expensive. We also discovered a summons underneath the windowscreen wiper of the car! We forgot to pay for parking the car during daytime. It was only 11 euros though! In the Netherlands the summons are a lot bigger!!

The second night I slept a lot better (probably because I was exhausted from all the walking earlier that day)!

The next day we decided to take the car and drive to the Eifeltower and afterwards to Les Halles again. We both wanted to buy some nice (French) cd's and in Les Halles there's a large mediastore called FNAC.

We first wanted to buy a seal for the summons at a Tabac, but the lady of the Tabac told us not to bother about paying the summons. There isn't a law yet in France that makes it easier for the French police to get the money for summons from foreigners. So we decided not to pay the 11 euros.

We said goodbye to the hotel and went to the Eifeltower. We found a parking spot not that far away from the tower. We didn't go into the tower (too much people waiting and we weren't really interested in the view). When we were in a small parc near the Eifeltower we both put our red noses on and made some children laugh. I'm not really a clown (and I lost my nose everytime I smiled, which was funny in a way) but Martin is. I also had a good laugh about him and the things he did. We found out that during day time a lot of people weren't in the mood to laugh about his red nose, but at night people got more open and laughed a lot more and made jokes with him.

After visiting the Eifeltower we had to leave for Les Halles. It took us more than an hour to get there. Paris is really getting overcrowded with cars!! We parked the car in a garage underneath Les Halles (it costed us 8,50 euros for just a couple of hours, so you better go for the summons!!! But beware of areas where they can tow away your car!!!). Martin and I both find some nice cd's: 4 for 20 euros which is really cheap.

Before leaving Paris we went to a supermarket to buy something to drink and eat. It took us another hour to leave Paris and it wasn't even during rush hour!
We left Paris around 3 p.m. and arrived home around 1 a.m. We drove slowly (well Martin did, I didn't and therefore missed the turn off to Antwerp so we had to make a detour) and stopped a few times to rest and to eat.

And now I'm getting ready for a 2,5 weeks stay in the Vosges, also in France. I'm going camping near Hennezel and in the first week of August I will be following a workshop Rebalancing, which is a form of massage. Really looking forward to the workshop!

So see you in a couple of weeks!

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Rough time!

I received some not so pleasant news yesterday about the homeschool teacher, Pia, who got really very sick about 2 months ago. After they have kept her in a coma for 2 months she finally died last Sunday. I just couldn't believe it at first that she had died. So again, we have to say goodbye to someone who was dear to us!!

I also have to deal with the fact that the man I fell in love with has finally decided to stay with his friend. He told me so yesterday evening, so I really had a lot to take into yesterday!

And today it would have been Ad's 52nd birthday! I lit up a candle beside his picture and took the time to think about him and remember the good stuff.

There's also some good news to share with you: I'm finally going on vacation to France again!! I haven't been on a vacation abroad for years! I think it's at least 20 years ago that I have been in France. My French has become a little bit rusty, but because I have lived there for 1,5 years I'm sure it'll come back to me soon.
I'm going to stay in a Dutch Community Centre called 'De Natuurlijke Tijd'. The second week of my vacation I will be following a workshop Rebalancing, which is a form of massage, at another Dutch Community Centre called Ecolonie. I'm really looking forward to this.

I haven't been able to scrapbook for a long time now. I think there's too much going on in my life right now. I feel restless and leave the house very often to see my friends. The other thing is that I really need to get rid of some stuff that I piled up in my house. This also makes that I don't feel comfortable. But for now I can't find the courage to get started. Maybe after my vacation in France....