Friday, July 4, 2008

We're Home -

Have a lot more pictures I'll be putting up in the next week or so, adding in where we have stuff, but didn't have tome to put it up.

Thanks for looking in and commenting !

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

in the Taxi

On the way to the airport

Last dinner in europe

Flight tomorrow @ 8:30am

British Museum

A slideshow from the British Museum

The british Museum

There was an awesome British Museum in England that we went to today(our last day).There were all kinds of figurines and armor. There was a crocidile skin suit of armor, a samurai suit of a armor, an iron greek suit of armor, and even a crystal skull. I got dumplings. IT IS THE BEST MUSEUM IN THE WORLD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

English breakfast

On Cromwell road, off to see the Elgin Marbles today.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Notré Dame Cathedral

I went to Notré Dame Cathedral.It was my favorite place. I loved it there. I especially Liked the GARGOYLES!!!!!!!!!!! They were awesome! I climbed to the second to last floor. it was tiring but totally worth it! On every floor there was a bird GARGOYLE. They were the main GARGOYLES. It was so AWSOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Various Horrors of Extremely Long Car Trips

The car ride was highly not fun. Not the one yesterday, and not the one today. Yesterday, the A4 was closed, all trucks were being searched, and there was at least one, possibly two, car accidents. We must have passed and been passed by at least 40 police cars and ambulances. We had to take detours through multiple tiny French towns. We started going to Luxembourg in places, and for a while were going back the way we came. We finally begin to understand the inspiration for the movie “Weekend,” during which a family is just in these constant traffic jams as they go throughout Europe, and start passing things like flaming wreckage but are so sick of being in the car they don’t even pause to look. We stopped at a hotel that was part of a European chain called Mercure, (this particular on was the Reims Mercure) and was the most bizarre hotel you ever did see. The walls were a sort of sparkly purple, the places where it wasn’t like that were black wall panels on hinges (?!), and it was just sort of generally unpleasant. I’d rather be in the one-man fishing hut of previous posts. With three other people. Today, the A4 was closed again, and when we finally reached Paris, we couldn’t for the life of us find the Hertz rental car drop-off. We finally figured out that it was in an underground parking place, and promptly went in. The signs kept taking us lower and lower, until we finally reached what my father rather aptly titled the “Sixth Ring of Hell.” Then we discovered that the elevator didn’t work, and thought we would have to walk up to the Hertz office, which was all the way back up on the first floor. Fortunately, we raised enough of a fuss that the staff person on our level took us and our luggage up in his car. Mom was just about sitting on me, Jonah was riding on Dad’s lap, and every time we went around a curve, the two of them nearly fell out of the car. Needless to say, the Hertz person in the office was met with my father’s boundless fury. Somehow, he managed to continue to be civil. My breakfast was some hot chocolate from one of those shops that are always at gas stations and a piece of pain au chocolat, had at lunchtime. My lunch is (I’m still consuming it) some little tomatoes, balls of mozzarella and noodles from a salad, and three bags of Lay’s potato chips, had shortly after what was sort of lunchtime. Words cannot describe the horrors of the past few days. As for what happened in Reims, well, if we hadn’t been there, Daddy would have punched the waiter. Up until this point, however, the trip has been fun.

We've come up the chunnel

Writing computer posts.

Embarquement prevu

Á 14h53

Gare du nord

Dropped car off

It's a story. Kids'll have to write about it.

@ the bonjour

Rest stop outside Paris.

Dead stop on tha A4

Monday, June 30, 2008

Reims Cathedral

The Cathedral is spectacular. There are stained glass windows by Marc Chagall and other contemporary artists inside.

Last night in France

We are in Rheims tonight.
Had a crazy drive in to the city.
All was fine until we got n the A4 in France, and we encountered two complete closings of the road. One just west of Strasbourg, which was about a one hour delay, and then again, at St. Avold, where we left the highway and went ont to another rout. Added about three hours total onto an already long drive.

In Rheims we went and saw the cathedral, it is magnificent. But walking around the city tonight reinforced my feelings about France in general. There is Paris, and then all the rest. It just doesn't seem worth leaving.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Munich tunnel

Tomorrow's Drive

We are officially starting the trip home tomorrow. We have gone as far as we can east, was far as Salzburg and tomorrow head back to France.

One night in Reims, then onto Paris and the Eurostar to London the next day.


There are amazing things at the playgrounds here including:
Tarzan Vines
Spinning Plates
Eiffel Tower Webs

There were playgrounds at:
Luxenburg Gardens

They are AWESOME!!!!

There were parts where Leah Pushed Me on the vines and I fell off. I called that part action and drama theatre.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

More hops.hodare

From the Salzburg Castle

@ hohensalzburg

We are joining in the hops.hodåre festival here atop Salzburg.


No juden here now though...

Cafe Konditorei, Salzburg

Tasse Schokolade, Orangensaft frisch gepresst, hauskaffee, pastries...

The many animals of Austria

Many Austrian animals were encountered. We met multiple herds of cows.  There were these quite pretty cows shading from brown to a light brownish-gray, as well as many with these splotches of dark brown with white tails and backs. They all actually do wear cowbells! Now we know where those got their names. On the way to the restaurant shack fifteen minutes down the road, we met a group of hikers being followed by a herd of goats. These goats stopped to meet us, and when the hikers moved on, the goats decided to follow us instead (we were going the other way). There were two or three white goats with horns, including the first one, a very friendly one, that came to inspect us, and also a brown mama goat with three brown babies. After a while, we passed by the restaurant cabin, and discovered that it was also the farm where the goats live. They also have those stereotypical pink curly-tailed pigs, and a mother bunny and two baby bunnies, and two guinea pigs. And cows. This morning we stopped to admire the Hintersee (or something like that) and met some horses. Of course, when we stopped to pet them, Jonah got bitten (he's okay), and one tried to follow Daddy back to the car. There were also many ducks that looked just like mallards, and three utterly adorable ducklings. Wow. Lots of animals. Oddly enough, the only wild animals we saw were the ducks. Everything else was domesticated. Except the flies.

From Mittersill to Salzburg

We took the scenic route after visiting the Hintersee south of the Mittersill.

It was a beautiful drive after seeing the Hintersee - pics to come.

Friday, June 27, 2008

In Austria

Tuesday we drove to Austria.
We are in the town of Mittersel, but yesterday spent the night in the Krimmler Ach valley in a fishing hut.
This is our hut.

This was the inside of our hut.

Jonah and Leah reading on a rock in the back yard of the hut.

We climbed up the valley to look at the waterfalls.

This is the view of the valley from near the cliff edges.

These are the heroic climbers.

There were many waterfalls in the valley - this is the valley above Europes highest waterfall.

Yes, there were fish to be had at the fishing hut.

our hut is off in the distance.

-more soon

Monday, June 23, 2008

Orange Pressé

There is amazing orange juice here.It is freshly squeezed.Once I had it with Seltzer water.I saw it get squeezed in the machine on the rue de rivoli.You pull a lever to squeeze.Once an orange is squeezed, a new one drops and is then squeezed.The juice pours into a bottle or cup and is ready to drink.


-Jonah W.

Sainte Chapelle

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Housekeeping :

I just updated the header graphic - not for any good reason but it seemed like a good thing to do.The pictures are piling up faster than I can get them uploaded - so I am back dating some posts as we get to them, so there are probably some new things going in further back in the queue, off the front page if you are interested. You know, blogging is quite a time soak when you are also busy seeing the sites.

The first header :

Le Musee d'Orsay

At the Musee d'Orsay, I amused myself with making lists. I looked at the paintings and sculptures and listed some of the things I saw such as mountains (five), beards, (numerous) and bare bottoms (bordering on 100). This shows, if nothing else, that Neo-classical sculptors see a lot of naked people in their line of work. Our feet became very tired after a while, so we stopped before we'd gone through anything like most of the exhibit. Still, I saw many lovely paintings by some of the masters such as Monet, Van Gogh, Renoir, and Gaugin.

A la Musée d'Orsay

Still life with Van Gogh's Eglise D'Anvers

Saturday, June 21, 2008


Against all the odds, it has happened! I never thought it would, but it did. Our suitcases have arrived! As I speak, I am actually wearing something other the the two outfits that weren't in my suitcase!!! My mother is rejoicing over her 100% cotton white underwear. As soon as we had confirmed that these were, indeed, our suitcases, church bells began to ring. We went to Sacre-Couer, and were met with celebration and music. Mom promptly declared it to be "Suitcasemas" and said that all of Paris was celebrating the arrival of our luggage. It's actually the summer solstice. It is celebrated here with great fervor. The entire city comes and listens to people of varying degrees of ability try to play music. And watches the sunset.Of course, this goes on past midnight, so now I'm lying awake listening to someone play rock music almost right outside my window. I can't close it, it's too hot. Ugh.

The descent

From Montmartre

Pour moi

Moule frites

Á Montmartre

sur le menu ce soir: moules frites & pastis

The carrousel@montmartre

Leah and Jonah are in there somewhere. I think.

Sacre Couer

On the longest day of the year.

Can't help it. This thing looks like a hallucination.

Sur le metro

En route a Montmartre

The Marais

Spent the morning in the Marais. First the Picasso Museum.

and then the Place des Vosges, it was a hot day and the kids cooled their feet in one of the fountains.

Breakfast at the Tabac, Rue Rendez-Vous

Misommer's Eve Eiffel Tower

Maybe someone will write something here ..

A new Parisian Dress

To celebrate the lost luggage Leah got herself a new dress to wear.

Here she is modeling her new dress along Avenue du Trone with Columns in the background on the Place Nation. It is Midsummer's eve, and we are on the way to the Eiffel Tower.

More Gargoyles

I Spotted a few more gargoyles when we went to see the Cathedral of Notre Dame.
There were also 2 large gargoyles at the top of The Tower St. Jacques.
Try looking at my other gargoyle post. I also got my own email account.


Thursday, June 19, 2008

Dinner at Cafe Marco Polo

Steak frites for the boys, Pizza Marguerite with Nutella Crepe for dessert for the girls.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

On the eurostar

Ear popping on the TGV

Notes from the Eurostar

This is being written on the Eurostar train which goes across the Channel tunnel.

Yesterday, we woke up after having been on the plane all night. We then discovered that both my and my mother’s suitcases were lost at Washington when we made the flight connection. We were told that the suitcases would arrive last night, but since that did not happen, we can only hope that either they somehow miraculously reach us in Paris, or we can collect them at the end of our trip when we come back to London. After this ordeal, we got on a cab from Heathrow to our hotel. Our hotel was in an area where there are many streetsfuls of near-identical white Georgians, all of which have been turned into hotels. Upon arriving at our hotel, we were then told that we could not check in until 1:00. Then we had to find something to do for three hours. In the end, we walked to Westminster Abbey, which was lovely, but rather hard on our legs. We saw the memorials of many various people of varying degrees of famousness from only-known-of-today-because-they’re-buried-here to highly well known. We saw a memorial to the Hunsdons, which, to those who don’t know, is the name that Mrs. Smith, my LRC teacher, used when she was in the Renaissance Fair. We also saw Big Ben (which was cool) and than walked back to the hotel (which was cold). We slept for a while, got up and ate some assorted dinner items, and then went back to sleep after watching the telly for a while. Then at about 5 AM here (or midnight in Chicago) we got up, got in a cab, and got on the train!

Gargoyle at Westminster Cathedral

We were staying at a hotel at Westminster and we went to a cathedral. There were many stone animals including a hedgehog and a golden dragon.Outside there was a wall with 3 stone gargoyles.


In a taxi

In london

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Back on a plane

the last part of planes, trains, & automobiles (before more planes) is set. Jonah is mentally preparing for the 6 hour hop by advancing a level in the "new super mario brothers".

Washington Dulles

Seat 25 & 26

On the first hop to Washington.