Last Poems by A. E. Housman

My Grandfather re-sited this to me once. So amazing.

Oh stay at home, my lad, and plough
The land and not the sea,
And leave the soldiers at their drill,
And all about the idle hill
Shepherd your sheep with me.

Oh stay with company and mirth
And daylight and the air;
Too full already is the grave
Of fellows that were good and brave
And died because they were.

A Good Song Out of No Where

Today I was sitting in my car searching the radio channels trying to escape
Nickel Back and I came across a station (97.1) which usually is never
there but stuck on top of the blu water bridge came in nice and clear.

The station plays classical music and the song that played, while I
don’t know the name (shame) was beautiful and I recognized it right
away.

It was the same genre of music my grandfather would be playing when I
got home from school as a kid and as I got older, burned to an mp3 cd
when he and I traveled to Europe.

Imagine, driving through the coast in the south of france, up on a cliff,
this beautiful music playing over my beautiful back drop while
Grandad, smitten with glee to be a passenger taking it all in.

It brought me to a deep state of peace. I miss that old man. Scotch tonight,

Europe Trip Day 10 – Lido de Jeselo!!!!!

Meghan

Mini travel day, this time only a 2 hour jaunt from Lake Garda to Lido di Jesolo, just outside of Venice. The benefit of having an uncomfortable bed meant that we were up and ready to go by 9 am – can I just say that I was showered packed and we had eaten breakfast in the dining room by this time. I know, this vacation has changed me a little.

We were in Jesolo by noon and I was sprawled out on our hotel’s private beach front looking on to the Mediterranean Sea. The breeze was perfect. The view was amazing. The sun was crisp without a cloud in the sky to obstruct its rays. Heavenly. Ron joined me after his jog and we both basked in the sun until it was time to make our way out to dinner. Another phenomenal meal topped off with a walk and some gelato. Like Paris, Italy has spoiled me for everyday life. I’m already contemplating when I can make it back for more 

Ron

Jeselo is the “vacation” destination for the Italians. This time around it is MUCH cheaper. I know the recession wasn’t a good thing however my bank account has benefited from the cheaper accommodations and restaurant bills.

We are staying a beautiful hotel just a hop, skip and a jump from the sea.
The beach front stretches on for about 5 kilometers and is littered with swank hotels.
Each hotel has a private lounge area on the beach and we took full advantage. I tanned the nicest red yet.

I always eat at the same restaurant when in Jeselo. As you will see from the pictures below, the food is tremendously well prepared. Eating good food has not been a problem on this trip.

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For all pictures, click here.

Europe Trip: Day 09 – Relaxing in Lake Garda

Meghan

The bed was not comfortable, but the views more than made up for that fact. Barely awake, I stumbled out onto our balcony to breathe in the fresh air and look up into the mountains as the morning mist was still rising.

The plan for the morning was to drive around during the morning and early afternoon to visit the surrounding little villages. I was supremely pumped. Ron, on the other hand, looked like a lost boy. See, when we came in for the night after a long drive, Ron was setting up his laptop only then to notice that he had forgotten the power cord at the Frohmader residence. Since that realization, withdrawal had set in hard. The plan was to check out one of the locale towns which he knew to have an internet café to see if he could find some way to charge his laptop and/or get his pc fix in. Luckily as we wandered around checking out shop after shop (and by we I mean me; Ron had his backpack with laptop gear trudging along downtrodden) when we came across the local office supply store which also had pc equipment, including a universal laptop power adapter. This was to be Ron’s souvenir from Lake Garda.

Spirits lifted and we headed back to the villa to cool down (walking around in +28 degrees makes one crave being pool/lake side). We took in some sun, a nice swim for Ron (after being thrown in, I also enjoyed the pool) and some gelato down by the lake which happened to be directly across the street from our hotel. Hours faded quickly as we read and napped under the hot Italian sun. We found our way to Mecesine for a fantastic meal of four cheese gnocchi and pizza, topped off with more gelato and a complimentary limoncello. The service was exceptional and the owner lived up to my expectations/visions.

Once we haggled a bit with the parking lot meter (silly tourists!), made our way back to our uncomfortable bed.

Ron

I love Lake Garda. Many a good night I had with my Granfather as this is where I usually let the belt loose and drank the nights away.

The hotel, call “hotel Isabella” is located directly on the lake in a town called Benton. Directly next door is a pizzeria called “Di Pipo’s Pizza” which has the best pizza I have ever eaten. This is saying a lot since I love to eat pizza.

Meghan and I headed over there after our walk and swim and………. New owners!!!! Ok, not to worry its still called a pizzeria. Oh what, you just haven’t changed the signage, you don’t serve pizza. Crap, well, I just had the soup. Still god though.

Dinner was great in the evening and relaxing by the pool was much needed. Tomorrow we have a quick 2 hour drive to Lido Jeselo which is just outside of Venice.

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To see all of our photos, click here.

Europe Day 8: Over the Swiss Alps!

Ron

ANOTHER TRAVEL DAY.

12 hours!!!!!! To top it off we left late from Watwill so we arrived at our destination just before midnight.

The day was filled with highway however we did divert to take the back, back, back roads of the Swiss Alps and went over (and up 8000 ft).
We arrived in Lake Garda at the Hotel Issabella and fell into a deep sleep on an uncomfortable bed!!!

Meghan

This was definitely a long day. The view throughout this trip was largely dull, due to the highway nature of our route. Oddly, this led me to observe the complete lack of advertising billboards all along the roads as is the norm in North America making for a rather pleasant trip through the Swiss country side.

We spent some time on the Swiss-Italian border town of Montreau, taking in one last view of Lake Geneva and sipping on some delicious Starbucks. That’s right, I said it. Starbucks. In this city, it was the cheapest game in town.

Next on our route was the Great St. Bernard passage over the Alps. This climb was definitely tough on our little VW Polo but Ron whipped him up into the mountains, usually having to resort to driving strickly in 1st gear. These were some steep roads. Not only were they steep, but they were narrow and hugged the cliff sides that lacked any form of barrier. I may have sworn a couple times as we ripped around some of the sharp bends in the mountain. The views on the way up were as gorgeous as they were on the way back down into the Italian side of the Alps.

Standing on top of the Alps at the highest point accessible by public roads was not something I ever thought I would be able to do. Not because of any limitations or fears but due to what I thought was limited accessibility. I didn’t even know one could simply (well, not easy) drive up and see the tops of the mountains, having the peaks within an arms reach (kind of). I scooped up some of the snow covering one of the peaks to keep as a souvenir. Ron laughed, but I thought it was a great souvenir for myself. I called my Dad from this spot and told him all about the views and updated him on the progress we were making on our adventure.

Next stop was Lake Garda. As soon as we got down to what can be considered the base of the Alps in Italy, we hit the highway hard for 4 hours…would have been a brutally long trip if the average driving speed wasn’t 140 km/hr.

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To see all of the pics, click here.

Europe Day 7: Wattwil and the Locals

Meghan

The previous nights romp with the locals at the pub gave way to a solid morning of sleeping in. When we did eventually manage to crawl out of bed, we were invited to the downstairs neighbor’s (Ueli) patio for coffee, orange juice and butter croissants. Further evidence that Wattwil is filled with very friendly and welcoming people and friends of the Frohmader clan are treated with special care.

Our conversation with Ueli, Ursula (Ueli’s wife) and Paul covered many broad topics. The main takeaway is that the Swiss are very organized, have no qualms about letting their government ensure the citizens are well cared for and that taxes apply to nearly every aspect of life. But this is not looked down on, rather it is somewhat appreciated as it allows the Swiss to live nearly worriless lives. Or at least, that is the impression Paul left us. In describing our lack of taxation for the many things he is familiar with, he seems to think we do not know what we speak of. Very interesting conversation.

After a few minutes to freshen up and get a load of laundry going, we were rounded up for a luncheon at Paul’s house. His wife had just returned from their summer home in Luganno and his children, Pascale and Natalie, were home for the weekend. This luncheon ended up being quite the feast: chicken (quarters and breasts), famous St. Gallen bratwurst, tomato and cheese salad, fresh bread and fondue, salad and wine. Needless to say, I was not hungry for dinner today.

Paul took the rest of the afternoon to show us around Wattwil and the surrouding towns. The very winding roads climbing to various altitudes got to me by days end and so Ron and I ended our day on a relaxing note, watching a movie.

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Ron

The impression I am left with after a few days in Wattwil is that the Swiss are very personable. The moment we arrived at the apartment we were greeted by a man named Paul Sibold.

Paul, a self made man came across humble and hospitable. We later learned that he owns pretty much half the land all the buildings were situated on around us so when the bartender kept joking that Paul was “the real boss” it turns out he wasn’t lying.

Paul spoke good enough English and spent the night entertaining all of my questions about Switzerland as I had many. The Swiss are an interesting nation. Firstly, all men must serve in the military deep into their adult lives, every year. Every man owns an automatic riffle given to them by the government.
The Swiss are very familiar with “black” and “white” money as I am sure you know what that implies by the Swiss banking practices. The more Paul explained it to me the more I was like “yes, I am totally for this black and white money” and then realized that a lot of my income falls into this “black and white” world.

Paul has a solar farm in his back yard and sells his electricity back to the government. I was AMAZED to hear about this practice and have already been researching how to get solar panels installed in my home. This will be my summer project most definitely. (Meghan: “I think Ron has a Swiss crush”)

Paul explained how the transportation system works all over Switzerland and I must say it’s impressive. Everyone has a “pass” that allows for bus and train travel. Most people don’t have cars and get around quicker via rail. Both his kids come regularly to house to visit from other cities and easily make it to the house via rail and bus.

Anyway enough about my new found crushes on the Swiss, I have to go read up on Solar Panels now.

Europe Trip Day 6: Leaving Geneva to Wattwil

Ron

By far my favorite day. We awoke in Geneva Switzerland and enjoyed our complimentary breakfast. After getting ready we set out for Pontarlier which borders Switzerland and France. This was the location my Grandfather had brought my Grandmother many times.
Leaving Geneva you drive along Lake Geneva until reaching the top. The lake is beautiful to say the least and once we arrived at the top we had lunch in a town called Morges. There was a market taking place and Meghan bought a very fancy necklace.

We left Morges and traveled North to the French border. The road we took was very important to me. On a random side road in a town I could not remember was a tree that bore my Granddads hand carving. Granddad brought me to the tree every time I came with him. There is a picture of him at it below. He chizzled into the tree “Geoff and Dilys” with all the dates they had visited the tree. More about that in a minute.

When heading to the border there is specific route to travel to see this tree and I could not recall how to get to that route. I was only familiar with the route on the way back from Pontarlier to Geneva. We drove 60 kms to Pontarlier and every time I saw a layby (picnic area on the side of the road) I would get excited and antsy. None of those laybys were not the right spot.

We made it to Pontarlier and found the hotel my Grandfather had been many times. There is a woman owner who knows my Granddad well. Many a year he would travel there and he and this woman would have conversations trying to understand each other. Geoff in English and she in French. She told us later that they often resorted to picture drawing.

When we arrived in the afternoon she was there and she remembered me (as I had been there 3 times before with Granddad). I so wished Granddad could have been there as Meghan and the owner spoke so gracefully to each other. It almost brought me to tears as this lady, whom I thought at times was annoyed with my Granddads broken attempts to speak French with her came to life and was so happy to talk about my Grandfathers trips and time together.

I informed her of his passing and she poured us a drink at the bar. There we sat and Meghan translated for us as we shared about each others lives.
After the visit we departed for the town. The town has 2 historic Castles that sit on top of the mountains overlooking the entrance into the town.

We ventured to the top of the 1 of the castles. In the town we stocked up on French wine (6 bottles) and food. We left the city and traveled back down towards Switzerland in order to find this tree.

There is a town called Valorabe which has a stream running through it. I think it is one of the nicest pictures I have ever taken and I knew it was on the route back. When we entered the town Meghan was ready to pounce with her Ninja Photography skills. She took a picture of every angle of this stream. They look fantastic!!!

Shortly after Valorabe is the location of my Granddads tree. I arrived very excited and then very disappointed. In the area of trees where it should have been were about 6 tree stubs. It had been cut down and quite recently it appeared. I don’t know what is was about the tree but seeing it gone was like the last physical thing I had of Granddad. It was just another painful reminder. I was glad to make it all the way back there though.

We left and started our 3 hour drive to Wattwil Switzerland. Wattwil is in the middle of no-where. I love it here.

Meghan

Another beautiful, sunshiny day. We hit the road mid-morning headed for … I have no idea. All I know is that our ultimate destination was outside of Zurich. The in-between was in Ron’s hands.

The drive was filled with incredible sights and unbelievable views of the mountains over looking Lake Geneva. We stopped in the village surrounding Chateau Morges. The beautiful Saturday weather welcomed both locals and tourists to the waterfront market place. Wandering, we came across a number of vendors, one of which had beautifully crafted silver jewelry which he had designed. His charming salesmanship and a gorgeous necklace both won me over. After a bite to eat at the waters edge, we hit the road to Pontarlier. Once in Pontarlier, I was very happy that Ron recognized the proprietor of the hotel which was often visited by his grandfather over the past 20 odd years.

She was not in the least bit capable of speaking English. I translated for Ron and her as they reminisced about their memories of Grand-dad. I felt like an intruder in their memories and privileged that I was able to participate in the conversation, even if it was just as a communicative aid. I’m very happy she showed up to the Hotel early today.

Before wandering back into Switzerland, we explored the Chateau de Pontarlier which served as a fort in the 14th and 15th century as well as a stronghold against the Nazi invasion of France during the early years of the second World War.

We headed back toward Lusanne, Switzerland, on the hunt for Grand-dad’s tree. On the way, we stumbled across the most beautiful view in the southern region of Switzerland. I took a few pictures…surprise surprise  The next hour was dedicated to locating the memory tree…Ron describes this part of our day far better than I ever could.

We finally made it to Wattwil, the small town in which the Frohmader villa is located. We were both very happy to finally reach our destination. We were greeted by the Frohmader’s neighbor and friend, Paul. He showed us what was to be our quarters for the next few days. This included a brief history lesson about the Frohmader clan and their relationship with Paul’s family over the years. The lesson gave way to the short walk to the pub for several pints and great conversation with the locals, with the Switzerland v. Italia football game filling the background.

From the sounds of it, the arrival of the Canadians was quite the news. We were introduced to the pub’s manager and granted full access to nearly limitless pints. Wilkommen to Wattwil!

Europe Day 5: Arrived in Geneva, Switzerland

Meghan

Firstly, I’d like to apologize to our ‘followers’ for the delay in posting about our last day in Paris. We have been very busy taking in the sights of the continent.

This morning, we were awaken by the bright sunshine glowing through our hotel window. After a quick breakfast, during which time I stocked up on baguettes and cheese for the road, we hit up the local deli and grocers for some meat and fruits. Next stop, Switzerland.

For anyone planning on taking a trip to any country which they are not familiar with, we highly recommend investing in a GPS system. Pretty sure Ron has praised the wonders of our GPS in previous days. But let me tell you, not only does it make navigating roads and unanticipated construction pleasant, it has probably saved us from frustrations with one another that would have been almost inevitable given the fact that neither of us have patience for not knowing what we are doing.

Getting out of Paris was not as bad as some would think. Once we got on the autoroute, there were very few incidents of slowing down or traffic. The French countryside was beautiful. Thank goodness Ron didn’t stop every time I wanted to take a picture or else we would still be in the French fields.

We crossed into Switzerland as vigilantes. Let me explain. As we came up to the border crossing, we spoke to a border guard who indicated to us to pull over to the side to speak with another man. Given that I have a non-Euro passport, neither Ron nor I thought much of it. When the man finally approached our vehicle, he explained that we had to pay a toll – an autoroute toll – which we have since renamed the tourist tax. Since neither of us could find any reason to give the Swiss government 30euros, we told the man we did not intend on going into Geneva (the city of the border crossing) the officer directed us to a way which we could turn around. This detour happened to require us to get onto the road away from Geneva. Needless to say, we didn’t take the detour back into France. Hence, vigilantes.

We traveled up to the Centre Europeen pour la Research Nucleaire, aka CERN and the house of the Large Hadron Collider, where we saw the outer offices and the time table indicating that we were too late to get a tour of the facility. Next stop was our hotel in Geneva. Navigating the Geneva streets and traffic may end up being the most unpleasant experience of our journey, between construction and poor traffic light timing. We reached the hotel tired and starving.

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Getting out of the car helped our spirits perk up. We walked the couple of blocks from our hotel to Lake Geneva. Tucked away from the main Lake side drive, we dined at a delicious Italian bistro (the Swiss appear to love their Italian bistros) called Chez Lopez. I had fabulous wood fire cooked lasagna covered in cheese and vodka sauce. Delicious!

Our evening was made complete with some ice cream and a moonlit stroll along the lake and city before retiring for some much needed ZZZs.

Ron

A driving day. I really don’t mind driving so long as “This American Life” is on the radio and I know where I am going. Thank goodness for the GPS (or as we have nick-named and genderised her as “GP”).

Paris to Geneva is about a 5 hour drive. Add to that 1 hours to get out of Paris, an accident on the highway backed us up another hour and 2 hours of traffic into Geneva made for a very long driving day indeed.

Driving from one area to the other in Europe is very different. Firstly in respect to the physical roads they weave and sway all through the mountains as though they have a personality where ours back home are just straight; lacking character. The roads here are also in mint condition and the maximum speed limit is 130 km/h.

Saying all of that you would think I favor the European roads however this is not the case. As I have been speaking to the locals here I have been informed about some interesting facts.
The roads are in mint condition because they are well paid for. The “tourist” tax that Meghan mentioned earlier is not a tourist tax at all. Every driver (local or tourist) have to pay a fee to drive the auto route (highway) in Switzerland. If you drive on it once or everyday its 30 Euros for the entire year meaning for the 3 days we are here I have to pay the same rate as the local who drives it 365 days. If you do not have a ticket indicating you have paid then you can be fined 200 Euros.

In France, it’s different (and worse). You pay only when you drive the route (which is great is you only drive locally or don’t have a car). When we entered the auto route out of Paris we received a ticket and when we attempted to leave the auto route coming into Switzerland it was 40 Euros for 1 direction. Thinking about that makes me appreciate North American high ways much more. I can drive from Toronto to Calgary and pay nothing to drive.

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To see all of our pictures, click here.

Paris – Last Day :(

Ron

Firstly, let me introduce the newest member to my shoe family.

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Today was another beautiful day! Meghan and I, well rested set off for the Louvre just before lunch.
On the way there we found an amazing park which has a name but I’ll let Meghan pronounce down below. There we had lunch (left overs from our heisted breakfast) and basked in the sun. Filled with locals and tourists its hard to appreciate when you are sitting there; so much to take in!
I could see so many things working in harmony, everything had its place. I tried to imagine myself 4-500 years ago sitting in the same spot and wondering what the people of the day thought of this place. Clearly this is one of the most beautiful places on earth but did the people back then think the same?

The Louvre was…. Well lets just say Meghan enjoyed it. I have been to the Louvre and already know that everything is in French. There are so many wings to travel down (you have to pay for each area) yet because we had to see the Mona Lisa (of course you have to see it) we went to the same wing I had already been to.

Don’t get me wrong – I enjoyed it the first time I went and spent much of the day there listening about the pictures from an English CD recording however I find my issue with it all is that you have AMAZING, important, historical art and everyone rushes by it with the mentality of “well isn’t that nice, ok, where is the Mona Lisa?” Once you get to the Mona Lisa – BAM – disappointment sets in.

The Mona Lisa, probably the most lacking painting in the entire building is undoubtedly the most famous. Hundreds of people crowded around snapping pictures of it and yet so many other amazing (and probably more important historical paintings) are left with no appreciation.

Hey – check out all of pictures with Mona Lisa!!!!!!!

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Once we left, we headed to the shopping district where Meghan went shopaholic crazy for these stores. It was fun to watch her go on about purses, shoes, scarves, dresses, etc. Meghan backs Chanel because of something Co-co Chanel did about pants.

Luckily we found a “local” area of Paris where the real Parisians do their shopping. By the way, this is the location of my shoe discovery. It was as though they were perfectly hand crafted and placed there waiting for my arrival.

Meghan

We took our time getting into the heart of Paris this morning, enjoying our breakfast and the nice weather in our quarter of the city. The weather has been getting progressively better with our vacation. Today may have been the nicest day of the year. The sun was bright and hot keeping the tourists at bay in the shaded areas of the city. We, on the other hand, were big fans of laying out in full sun by a fountain outside the Louvre, facing an avenue leading up to the Arc de Triomphe. You know, just another spring day in Paris.

We then decided to take an air conditioning break, making our way through the Denon wing of the Louvre to see some of the most exceptional pieces of Italian and French art. Of course this included the famed Mona Lisa (aka La Joconde for you Frenchies out there!). Despite the fact that it may be one of the smallest pieces in the galleries of the Louvre that we visited, it is thought provoking and mesmerizing. To come down from the highs of seeing the visions of world renowned artists, we shared a milkshake in the café on looking the courtyard of the Louvre.

The rest of the afternoon was spent wandering down the, let’s call it prestigious, part of Paris. This included a leisurely stroll through the gardens of the Louvre as well as dipping our feet in the fountains of La Place de la Concorde. What came next could only be described as the culmination of ever so many of my fashion dreams. Hermes, Chanel, Dior, Gucci, Prada, Missoni, D&G, Ferragamo, Cartier…Wish I had a bankroll that could have allowed me to purchase even the smallest of items from one of these shops. Alas, as Ron said trying to keep me in check, I will need to wait until I reach a point in life/career where a simple purchase will not require a credit check by the sales staff.

Along the way, we snacked outside of La Madeleine and passed by a number of ministries and embassies that required high security by well clad officers. Our last stop of the day was in a district which seemed to be 98% populated by locals called Forum des Halles, which appeared to be a modest shopping area with numerous cafés. Ron and I are still dumbfounded by the number of cafés in this city. Don’t Parisiens ever eat in?

Tomorrow, we hit the open road to take in the French country side on our way to Switzerland  Au revoir mon amour, Paris.

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To see all of our pictures, click here

Paris – Day 3

Meghan

This morning, we woke up from a solid 12 hrs of sleep only because we were going to miss breakfast. Quite frankly, it was much needed/deserved. After all, we are on vacation. I scoped out the weather by sitting out of our hotel room window and taking in the lovely Paris surroundings, we decided to head up to Montmartre and the Basilisque Sacre-Coeur. Located on a hill overlooking the city, Montmartre was not only a feat (in my eyes) to get to using a manual transmission VW, but finding a parking spot in such a cozy and primarily pedestrian-oriented town would be challenging. That is, unless you are us and find a parking spot in the center of all the action.

My photo finger was going crazy from the minute we got out of the car. The basilica is breathtaking, as is the view from the front staircase. We roamed the small streets and side streets taking in all the action and the aromatic air of all the cafés. In the central square of the town, artists set up their easels and showed off their skills for all and any to watch in amazement. This is where Ron pointed out the bar that he and his grand dad drank the night away on a previous trip…as good a place as any for us to take a seat for a café au lait, some crepes and people watching. We fell into a great conversation with an older couple from England in the area to visit their son (the photographer) who lived around the corner from the café. The conversation was very lively and included various topics including crazy Republicans in Texas and Arizona, the BP disaster, Canadian politics and even some science. It just so happened that this couple has a son who is a faculty member at Yale in Biochem/Med research in cancer drug development. So cool.

After saying our farewells, we continued to explore a bit more before deciding to move onto more outdoor venues. The weather was incredible and the idea of being indoors, even if those indoors were the Louvre, seemed stifling. So our next stop was L’arche de triomphe. I can honestly say that (thus far) it is the most impressive structure/monument/attraction in Paris. And I say this after having been to the Eiffel tower. The view was incredible and the displays describing the history and structure were “just very well done” (Ron’s words). Despite the signage prohibiting it, this is the locale from which I gave my Mom a call, just to say hi  Back to the base of the arche, we had a light snack of bread, cheese and beers. Stay classy, Paris!

Next stop, up the Eiffel tower. The line was fairly long, but well worth it; Again, breathtaking views. I still can’t believe that I can now say I have been up the Eiffel tower. Luckily enough for Ron, the very top level was closed due to high winds, and so his strength of courage to tackle the great heights was not challenged as much as it was planned for. Riding down, we both got our hunger pangs.

What to do when hunger strikes in Paris? How about grab a beer and some frites at a pub across the street from the Moulin Rouge. I can get used to this.

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Ron
I championed the height that is the Eiffel Tower. Unfortunately the top was closed or I might have run up it. We will never know.
I was very excited to get back to the Monte Martre. My Grandfather had a special place in his heart for it and I can see why. We really explored this area and it was my favorite part of the day. We veered off a side street and came across a beautiful park. Greenery, people having lunch and a school group playing games in the court yard (with a priest). It was so peaceful and perfect, I mean literally perfect. I could have stayed there all day.

The Arc du Triumph was great! Everyone had to take the stairs to get to the top and I thought “right on, sticking it to the tourists!” We made it to the top, received a history lesson and ventured onto the ledge. Fantastic city view, as far as the eye can see in all directions.

The Eifel Tower I didn’t enjoy as much and not because of the heights!
There were so many people trying to sling product at you. In some parts you had as many street slingers as you did tourists. I don’t like the “in your face” approach and particular, I don’t want to buy an Eiffel Tower knick-knack.
It made me want to avoid parts. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind people trying to make a buck but the area was littered with knick-knack crap.

For dinner we headed back to the red light district and settled in at a restaurant across from the Moulin Rouge. The waiter knew we were tourists right off the hop as I ordered a burger and fries. The burger comes with an egg on top with no buns – love it!!! Meghan, not so much.

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To see all of our pictures, click here