Monday, April 30, 2007


for the



pop, Mom.

Katie usually doesn't get a can of pop.
But it was hot
and she was thirsty
and she asked so nice
and I've gone soft.

But, without ice cubes, I think pop is tough to drink.
And evidently, it is for Katie.
With every sip came the puffed out cheeks and squinted eyes.

Didn't look like too much fun.

That's why I drink my pop with ice cubes.

It's much less gassy that way.

Did you know I couldn't drink drink pop until I went to college?
It hurt my throat.

Growing up we weren't offered pop very often.

We had Hawaiian Punch and Kool-Aid.

And Black Cows.

Our father would make us Black Cows.

Do you know what a Black Cow is?
It is a root beer float.

A&W rootbeer (brought home in a jug)
Add vanilla ice cream

Grab a straw,
and a spoon.


Now that is one good drink!

What is your favorite summer time drink?

Saturday, April 28, 2007

"Sure, you can take a couple of little bites.
Here, use this fork."

"Oh! Katie. Not like that.
You sure made a big mess."

Seconds later.

I guess it was just too tempting.

Some things you don't think you have to tell them.

You have to tell them.


And now, please go over and meet a really cool woman.

Corey @ tongue in cheek

She left a funny comment at Ree's blog...
and well...I went to see who the really funny lady was...
and well...she just so happens to live in France and has a great sense of style and a delightful sense of humor...
and now she comes and leaves funny comments here, too.

(And really, Corey, I wrote this last night before you sent me that glorious email.
Really :o)

This Internet thingy is really more than a fad.
It turns out to be a fantastic way to make new friends,
keep in touch with loved ones,
near and far,
and encourage one another.


"Friends are the sunshine of life."
-- John Hay (1871)

Happy Saturday!

I feel the sunshine.
Literally and metaphorically!

Encourage one another,

Friday, April 27, 2007

Friday Feast

How fast can you type?

What is your favorite online game?

On a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 as highest), how intelligent do you think you are?

Main Course
Name three of your best teachers from your school years.

What are your plans for this upcoming weekend?

HT to Friday Feast

Fine Art Friday

Van Gogh

Finding a Worm

"I'm in the worm club!"

There must be more to life than having everything.
-Maurice Sendak

Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us, or we find it not.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

The mere sense of living is joy enough.
-Emily Dickinson

Encourage one another,

Thursday, April 26, 2007

1. Name a movie you have seen more than 10 times.

The Wizard of Oz

Every single year when spring time rolled around, The Wizard of Oz was shown on television. The stations played it early, around 6:00 so the kiddies could watch it.
This was before home video, so the only way to see The Wizard of Oz was to watch it each spring on television.
For me, it was a very special event.
The music.
That tornado.
The magical change over from black and white to color.
The songs...
And the witch with her absolutely green, scary face.

One of our children asked me how many times I had seen this movie.
And well...I think it may be over 30 times...easily.

2. Name a movie you’ve seen multiple times in the theater.

Rocky and Gone with the Wind

3. Name an actor who would make you more inclined to see a movie.

Tom Hanks

4. Name an actor who would make you less likely to see a movie.

Tom Cruise

5. Name a movie you can and do quote from.

Parenthood, The Wizard of Oz, Rocky, The Princess Bride.

6. Name a movie musical in which you know all of the lyrics to all of the songs.

Oklahoma, West Side Story, Singin in the Rain, The Wizard of Oz, Camelot,
Fiddler on the Roof....

7. Name a movie you have been known to sing along with.

Fiddler on the Roof

8. Name a movie you would recommend everyone see.

To Kill a Mockingbird.

"Hey Boo."

Older Scout: [narrating] Neighbors bring food with death, and flowers with sickness, and little things in between. Boo was our neighbor. He gave us two soap dolls, a broken watch and chain, a knife, and our lives.

One time Atticus said you never really knew a man until you stood in his shoes and walked around in them; just standin' on the Radley porch was enough. The summer that had begun so long ago had ended, and another summer had taken its place, and a fall, and Boo Radley had come out.

I was to think of these days many times. Of Jem, and Dill, and Boo Radley, and Tom Robinson, and Atticus. He would be in Jem's room all night, and he would be there when Jem waked up in the morning.

Tears welling...sniff...sniff...

9. Name a movie you own.

The first VHS I ever owned was The Princess Bride.

10. Name an actor who launched his/her entertainment career in another medium but who has surprised you with his/her acting chops.

Will Smith

11. Have you ever seen a movie in a drive-in?

We went to see The Pink Panther and The Island of the Blue Dolphins at the drive-in in Hayward Wisconsin. Must have been the 60's.

13. Name a movie you keep meaning to see but you just haven’t gotten around to yet.

The Queen.

14. Ever walked out of a movie? Which one?

Yes. Taxi Driver.
Too violent.

15. Name a movie that made you cry in the theater.

How about in an airplane.

The Pursuit of Happyness and Charlotte's Web.

16. Popcorn?

Love it. Butter of course.

17. How often do you go to the movies (as opposed to renting them or watching them at home)?

We used to go every weekend.
Now we go three or four times a year.

18. What's the last movie you saw in a movie theater?

Charlotte's Web. Patrick and I took Katie.

19. What’s your favorite/preferred genre of movie?

Romantic Comedies. Especially with Hugh Grant.

20. What’s the first movie you remember seeing in the theater?

I am almost sure the first movie I ever say was with my mother and sisters...
at the Oak Brook theater....

I know we had this album, too.

21. What movie do you wish you had never seen?


22. What is the weirdest movie you enjoyed?

Eating Raoul
I blame Roger Ebert.

23. What is the scariest movie you’ve seen?

Rosemary's Baby. The most awful premise ever.
Alien. Really good and scary.

24. What is the funniest movie you’ve seen?


There are hundreds of great, funny lines.
Almost every line Steve Martins utters is perfection.
It is a stellar script and a perfect cast!

Come on...a guy names his kid, Cool.


Feel free to take this meme to your own blog and fill it out, bay-bee.

I would like to know from ya'll;

What is the funniest movie you have ever seen?
What movie do you recommend everyone see?
What is the first movie you remember seeing?
Name a movie you can quote from...
and quote something :o)

Share the movie love!

My quotes;

"I happen to like the roller coaster!"
"Yo, Adrian, it's me, Rocky"
"The happiest days are when babies are born, Cpt. Butler"

And one of the most romantic lines I have ever heard,

Rhett Butler: No, I don't think I will kiss you, although you need kissing, badly. That's what's wrong with you. You should be kissed and often, and by someone who knows how.

Oh. Swoon.

Encourage one another,

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Can you remember wanting to be grown up?
Really grown up?

Did you beg for pierced ears, or nylons or high heels?

Katie came home from Carrie's house today with these fancy "pierced" earrings.
She was so proud and pleased.

We all reacted with the proper amount of shock at the pierced ears.
Especially daddy!

But, alas, they are not really pierced earrings.

And if you look closely you can see the red marks from the pinching.

Now, Katie is the kind of girl who will let you know if she is physically uncomfortable.

"That feels funny."
Is moaned every day.
About her hair.
Or her shorts that I have rolled up a bit.
Or the socks.
Or the shoes.

"They feel funny!"

And then the tears come.

Until I fix it.

But, I promise you, I did not hear a whisper about those pink ear lobes.

And I asked.

"Don't your ears hurt. You better take those off."

But. No.

They do not bother her.

Pink earlobes are a small price to pay
when you want to look very grown up.

Bless her seven year old heart.

And no, she does not have on lipstick.
That's Bomb Pop pink.
(The Popsicle :o)

And yes, her necklace is upside down.

Don't tell her :o)


Do you know Roger Ebert?
The long time film critic from Chicago?

Has has cancer.
He is not giving up!

Being sick is no fun. But you can have fun while you’re sick.

Read this amazing article to see the human spirit at it's very finest.
‘I ain’t a pretty boy no more’

Have a wonderful time at your festival, Roger!
God Bless!


And one last thing.
Who will go tonight, on American Idol?

Chris or Blake???

And how fantastic was Jordin, last night?

Absolutely lovely in every way.

Encourage one another,

How old were you when you were able to pierce your ears?
I have a story about ear piercing that I will share in the comment box.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Little Earth Stars

To some the dandelion is a weed; but not to me, unless it takes more than its share of space, for I always miss these little earth stars when they are absent. They intensify the sunshine shimmering on the lawn, making one smile involuntarily when seeing them. Moreover, they awaken pleasant memories, for a childhood in which dandelions had no part is a defective experience.

Source: "The Home Acre," by E. P. Roe

To a Dandelion.

Blessings on thy sunny face,
In my heart thou hast a place,
Humble Dandelion!
Forms more lovely are around thee,
Purple violets surround thee,--
But I know thy honest heart
Never felt a moment's smart
At another's good or beauty,--
Ever at thy post of duty,
Smiling on the great and small,
Rich and poor, and wishing all
Health, and happiness, and pleasure,
Oh, thou art a golden treasure!

My Father made this beautiful world and gave me a heart to love his
works. Oh, may I love Him better than all created things!

The little plat of ground around our house is a great field of
instruction and amusement to me. How little do I comprehend of all
contained within it! I am glad I was not born in some great city--
where Nature had not been so kind and dear a friend.

Source: "Canadian Wild Flowers," by Helen M. Johnson.


The difference between children and adults is dandelions.

Children see the bright color, the abundance, the freedom to pick, the ability to share, the necklaces and the butter under chins.

Adults see stains on clothes, odd smells and quickly wilting bouquets in a cup.
Well...and awful, jagged leaves and roots.

But, it's the children's flower.
Little earth stars.

I'm growing fonder of them every minute.

Happy Dandelion pickin' day!

Encourage one another,

Monday, April 23, 2007

Some folks were wondering...

Just finished.
Linen handtowel.
Mason-Dixon Knitting Pattern.

Just cast on...
Vesper Sweetwater.
Gonna be a sock.
From the stash.

Self-striping yarn....
I love you.

And while I was knitting...
We were watching,


This really is one of the sweetest movies you will ever see.

It was filmed entirely in Rome.

Gregory is at this Atticus-Finch-finest, Eddie Albert is funny and Audrey Hepburn is her usual enchanting self.

If I were ever to go to Rome again...I would take the Roman Holiday walking tour.
We missed quite a few of the sites that are seen in the movie.
But, to be honest, I had run out of gas.

We rode this baby...
instead of a jaunty, quick, little Vespa like Gregory and Audrey.

And we ate perfect pasta and pizza at many outdoor caffes.


What is your favorite pasta?

Encourage one another,

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Control Freak

Not her.

I'm pretty laid back and have very few perfectionist tendencies.
And for 25 years I put my camera-love on the back shelf.

Little wiggly babies are hard to capture with a manual the one I used in college.
All the focusing and adjusting was just too much.

So we bought a Canon Sureshot. (And my Minolta had a kink. Something was not right. I can't remember what.)

So I happily clicked away with my easy, breezy Sureshot.

I was in love with my baby....and subsequent children and was a busy young mommy.

I hardly noticed the photo quality.

And then I started the blog.
And I had to have a digital camera.

Pictures help me tell a story.
Pictures inspire me.

And I was happy, snappy with my automatic digital Olympus.

Until I started taking pictures for Project 365.
And all my pictures were looking flat.
And I just didn't like the quality of what I was seeing.

Then one day, I stumbled onto Confessions of a Pioneer Woman...

And I remembered what I forgot about the SLR camera.

The colors, the depth, the control.

And Ree gave the greatest tutorial on her camera.

And the two things I wanted to be able to do the most were:

Inside shots without a flash.
Blurry background with clear subject.

Then one day, I mentioned to my husband, that I might rather have a camera than a puppy this year....

And he was all over that!

The next day he had talked to co-workers and they happened to like the same camera that Ree used.
And the rest, is history.

I had my camera for five days before we left for Europe.

(This lead to an stressful moment on the Eiffel Tower when I was seeing very strange things in the viewfinder and I had no idea what to do about it.)

There are so many features on this camera that I haven't a clue how to use.
And sadly, I have forgotten more than I remember from my college days.

But, soon I will take a class to learn to use my D80 as well as I can.

I feel like I'm off to a good start with it...
but I still have a lot to learn.


The farmer's market opens this morning up at the Capitol.
They don't have much at this time of year...
but I'll bet the baker with the homefried donuts it there...
the one who wondered if I was Katie's grandma.

I forgive her really I do.

I'll even eat her donuts again.

Happy Weekend to all.
We have been promised 70's and southerly winds.


Encourage one another,

Friday, April 20, 2007

Friday Feast

What is your favorite kind of bread?

When was the last time you bought a new pillow?

Approximately how many hours per week do you spend surfing the ‘net?

Main Course
What’s the highest you remember your temperature being?

Fill in the blanks: When I ____________, I _____________.

Ht to Friday Feast

Pierre Auguste Renoir
Chemin montant dans les hautes herbes

I love looking closely at the strokes.

Dana, you may translate for us, if you will :o)


Closer to home.

Katie, age 7: Mom, have you ever heard of Clue?

Me, age, neveryoumind: Yes, It's a good game.

Katie: I played it at Jeaneen's.
It says eight and up.
And I can play it.

Me: Well, you're a smart girl.


And if you would rather talk about Grey's Anatomy in the comments,
be my guest!

It's Friday already! Where does the time go?

Encourage one another,

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Do you have The Crocs?
You you wear The Crocs?
What color are your

Time to guess.

Do I own The Crocs?

Yesterday, I innocently suggested buying Crocs as a gift on a certain message board.
I thought it would be funny, and kinda cute and ugly at the same time.

All hell broke lose.


Not really.

But it's funnier that way.

Actually, people seem to have strong feelings about The Crocs.

Just like Sanjaya.

Too bad.
So sad.

Poor dear.
I wish him well.

You're gonna be okay, Sanjaya.

And another sad thing.

The day before we left for Europe.

I. forgot. to. walk.

Yes, I did.

I accidentally broke my streak.

Eighty-seven days.

Gone with the wind.......

While in Europe, I walked for hours, every day.
But the streak had been broken and I'm not gonna lie.

So, since I have been home my only streak has been one of idleness.

I have walked once, since April 8th.

Very bad.

Don't you think it is time to start over?


agh, agh, agh.

Encourage one another,

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

TV talk.

It's time.
It's really time.

For Sanjaya to get voted off of American Idol.

Do you really think Howard Stern's (Radio Shock Jock) nutty fans can keep someone on Idol? I would think they are all out at a bar somewhere...and not home voting for Sanjaya.

If he doesn't go this week. I may start believing there is something sinister behind his votes.

It's also time for Phil and Chris to go.

And Blake. He can stay around cause he is current and reminds me of Sting a little and he at least has some true originality.
But, I'm afraid he is just a bit something.

Lakisha and Melinda are wonderful, fabulous and belong on Broadway or in the 60's.
They just don't fit: they seem too old.

A few of you spotted it and called it a few weeks back,
and now I totally agree that Jordin is the front runner.

She is poised and beautiful and sang very well last night.

Although it is a little weird to me how she towers over shrimpy Ryan.

And Ryan was a pain last night.
It's not his job to tell the judges what to say.

Let's just call him, McSensitive.


Dancing with the Stars....


Before the show started my husband said, Apolo 'Creed' Ohno would be really good.
And he was right.
No. He doesn't even watch the show with me.
I think he was thinking: athlete.

And Apolo does approach the dances with the determination of an Olympian.
He's good.

But Joey Fatone has my heart.
And I would want to dance with him.
Cause I wouldn't tower over him...or weigh more than him!

And he is funny and cute.

We're fools whether we dance or not, so we might as well dance.
~Japanese Proverb

Remember, Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, but backwards and in high heels.
~Faith Whittlesey

Let us dance in the sun, wearing wild flowers in our hair...
~Susan Polis Shutz

And since you all like flower pictures...

The composition is less than perfect on this one...
but the colors are lovely, aren't they?

Paris roundabout, near Luxembourg Gardens.

Here is another shot of the flowers;

This is the one I liked best. Just couldn't find it this morning.

What flowers do you see?
Are those begonias along with the poppies?

Happy Wednesday!

Encourage one another,

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

My favorite parts

Traveling Mercies (Some Thoughts on Faith)
by Ann Lamott made me laugh, wonder, nod in agreement, cringe and weep.

Why I make Sam Go to Church

It's funny: I always imagined when I was a kid that adults had some kind of inner toolbox, full of shiny tools: the saw of discernment, the hammer of wisdom, the sandpaper of patience. But then when I grew up I found that life handed you these rusty bent old tools-friendship, prayer, conscience, honesty-and said, Do the best you can with these, they will have to do. And mostly, against all odds, they're enough.

Mary Williams, baggies of dimes and beam of love.

p. 101

Now, a number of the older black women live pretty close to the bone financially on small Social Security checks. But routinely they sidled up to me and stuffed bills in my pocket-tens and twenties. It was always done so stealthily that you might have thought they were slipping me bindles of cocaine. One of the most consistent donors was a very old woman named Mary Williams, who is in her mid-eighties now, so beautiful with her crushed hats and hallelujahs; she always brought me plastic Baggies full of dimes, noosed with little wire twists.

I was usually filled with a sense of something like shame until I remembered that wonderful line of Blake's-that we are here to learn to endure the beams of love-and I would take a long deep breath and force these words out of my strangulated throat:"Thank you."

On aging


...I was at my most incredibly unyoung. I was tired, squinty, jet-lagged, stressed. Of course, I told myself, there is beauty in being older, being a mother, there is beauty in the wise steady gaze...
Later that same day, I went to the mirror and looked for a long time, trying to see the timeless glory of crow's-feet, the resplendence of having survived. Instead I see a woman in her early forties who grew up playing all day in the sun. Who knew? Then I saw a woman who had had just a few thousand too many social drinks, and then there was a woman who became a single mother. And the long and short of it is that I looked like a fabulous woman who was on sale at the consignment store.

I am trying to accept that I am actually m-m-m-m-m-middle aged. And even though I am a feminist and even though I am religious, I secretly believe, in some mean little rat part of my brain, that I am my skin, my hair, and worst of all, those triangles of fat that pooch at the top of my thighs.
In other words, that I am my packaging. Even though both feminism and Christianity have taught me that I am my spirit, my heart, all that I have survived over the years and all that I have given, still a funny thing happened after I started liking this guy: I looked in the mirror, and sighed and thought to myself, I will cut out my eyes.

And then she says this....

From time to time I tugged on the skin of my upper eyelid, which I can now pull out about two inches, like on of those roll-up shades. I ate a four-ounce KitKat bar in attempt to console myself, and my butt instantly began to feel like a beanbag chair. My underpants grew tight and deeply uncomfortable. I started to wonder if I'd accidentally put on a pair of Sam's.

Oh, I wish you were here...I would love to be reading this out loud to you all :o)
Really. I would.

Cause we would laugh and nod and I would get choked up and pass the book to you, to read to me.
And I would have to add my opinions too.

Like this one;

I actually believe that discernment and wisdom and patience and hard won tools.
Tools that grow from a life of prayer, with the asking and the Holy Spirit.

And you would want to say, 'Shut up and read'...

And if you were my sister Cindy, you would get tired of my reading out loud...
and you would hide the book.

And everyone would think it was terrible funny.

Except me.

Cause I don't like to be teased.

And how could you NOT want to listen to me read out loud???


Thank you, Anne Lamott for being so open and funny and real.
I'm grateful you survived to tell your tale.
I'm glad you are a writer.

Are you reading something worth reading out loud this week?

Encourage one another,

Monday, April 16, 2007

The South End of Notre Dam

We walked to Norte Dam from our very quaint hotel.
It was pleasant to walk along the river, watching the magnificent Gothic cathedral on the shore, growing closer and larger.

Notre Dam is on a small island in the River Seine.

We did not take the boat tour, but it would have been lovely on a warm, sunny day.

I am a fan of symmetry so these trees called my name.
They were lacy and new.
New buds are gorgeous, aren't they!?

We wait for the tree lined streets to start budding here in Wisconsin.
The green is such a delight of our eyes which have seen their fill of grey and brown over the winter.

A small garden at Notre Dam.
Orderly and pretty.

"I see you!"

April hath put a spirit of youth in everything.
~William Shakespeare

Are you planning your garden?
Are your trees budding?

In our neighborhood the daffodils came up and were flattened by 5 inches of snow.
We hope they spring back up.
My tulips are still hiding. They are new, just planted last fall.
I hope they survived our spring storm.

Encourage one another,

Saturday, April 14, 2007

I won! I won!

Everywhere I go...
People are being chosen.

For the prestigious

Thinking Blogger Award.

Well, I know deep down, I don't deserve such a lofty award...
and that might be the reason...
I haven't been awarded it.

But I do have a sense of humor...
and I made myself a little award.

Go ahead.
Be my guest.

If you are an Unthinker, like me,
take my gigantic button and display it proudly!

(And if you can think of a way to make it smaller,
let me know, cause I am out of ideas)

I may be an Unthinker...
but I sure have some mighty phine photos.

That's big!

But awful purdy.

So....what are you all doing this weekend?

Any good movies to see?
Any great books to read?

Are you taking a walk?
Or a jog?
Or a nap?

I'd love to know ;o)

Encourage one another,

Friday, April 13, 2007

I dreaded Rome.

Everyone said it would be a madhouse, chaotic.

It was Easter week.

I believed them.

But is was actually quieter than Florence and the lines moved quickly and we moved thru the magical door at the back of the Sistine Chapel and walked right into St. Peter's and the food at the restaurants was perfect and so were the owners of those restaurants and our hotel was....quiet.

The quiet hospitable Hotel Alimandi

Friendly, proud, waiter/chef Francesco.
He asked us to take this picture of him.
He thought it was 'bella'.

The Trevi fountain.
The Romans were so proud of their water supply they really flaunted it!
As well they should have.
No one else had running water!

My two rules of thumb for photos when traveling;

Hold the camera still.

Get yourself in the pictures.

(You know, I don't like having my picture taken...
but I am a rule follower,
so pose away, I did!)

Yup. She drank from the fountain.
No. She didn't get sick.

Nice shot.
They liked it here.

Et Tu, Brute?

Don't you love Kathryn's pose? Where did she get that?
We heard a few giggles from those around us as we took this picture.
It is on the actual spot.
We think.

Classic :o)

One last quick shot at St. Peter's.
The end of day seven.

"Let's go get some Pizza!!!"

And so it ends.
Our mad, wonderful dash thru remarkable Paris, lovely Florence and glorious Roma.

Thanks for coming along on this little photo journal with me and helping me organize and share my thoughts...and feelings :o)

I am so grateful for the chance to take such a fantastic trip, to experience all of these adventures with my steady husband and precious daughter.

I am filled to the top with gratefulness.


"Oh Auntie Em, there's no place like home."

Encourage one another,

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Florence, you had me at Duomo.

Me: Knock!

Lovely Florence

Don't you just love these skinny streets?

Florence was very busy. Very.
We waited for three hours to see the David.
He was magnificent and worth the wait...

We were not allowed to take photos.

But, I can report that he is not circumcised.
Some thought this was because David was created for the Catholic Church...and they were not concerned with making David...all that Jewish.

Or perhaps Michelangelo's vision of the perfect male was uncircumcised.
We know Michelangelo was interested in physical perfection, perhaps that was more important to him than being historically/religiously accurate.

We also had a discussion about whether David was preparing for battle or if he had already slain the giant.

Due to the rocks still in his mighty grasp, it is clear he is just about ready for battle.

It was my bright idea to climb to the top of the dome...what do they call it?
The Cupola.

That's it.

I was the only one who thought this was a good idea.

But I know...for the rest of our lives...
we can say
that we climbed the 323 steps
to the top of St. Peter's!

Can you see the people?
They're there!

And we were there too!!

A very attractive photo.
Just goofing around a little.
Pretty convincing, no?

The Sistine Chapel was awesome.
St. Peter's was amazing.
The Pieta was moving and glorious.

And I wept as I looked at the Pieta.
For there was my Jesus.
In his mother's arms.
Her slain son.
Her boy.

And I missed Katie.
And didn't want to die before I saw her impish face again.
And that stupid will writing,
just really messed me up.

Mary is not crying.
She is calm and peaceful.
I think Mary has a direct line to God.
She is strong and full of faith.

But on this trip...
when it came to dying...
I was not strong.

Because sometimes mommy's die and leave behind little seven year old girls.
And the pain of that, the reality of that, just breaks my heart.
Thirty four years after the fact...


I was one of those weeping statues.

"Why are you crying?" crooned Patrick.


'It's so sins.....his mother...


Oh man.
What a mess.

Ah. Rome.

We were just getting started....

Encourage one another,

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

In which we leave Paris and depart for Florence Italy....

The Louvre

Saturday night saw us basking in the glow of the Arch de Triumph and the sparkles of the Eiffel Tower.

Sunday morning was the d'Orsay.

This was our favorite art museum (although we did not make it to the Picasso museum and I know Patrick and especially Emma would have enjoyed that very much)

We were a little silly.

After filling our noggin's with Impressionist beauty we found our way to Luxembourg gardens for a stroll among the locals...we walked back to our hotel for a little picnic before heading to THE OVERNIGHT TRAIN.

Boom. Boom.

First of all, we found the station.
That was good.
We were early.
Good for me.
Bad for everyone else.

Since I was in change....of everything....
I was going to be on time...

You must remember, every single thing we did was a first.

So the unknowns were immense.

My desire to be early for things...began to irritate my fellow travelers...
but they were rather good about it.

So we find the train station and wait for the train.

We paid a lot of money for our train tickets to Florence so we were expecting a sleek Eurotrain. Clean sleek fast quiet.


What showed up was something you might see in China or Romania!

And further more.

The train station was packed.

With teens.

Teens in huge groups.

Excited to go to Italy.

Double Dang.

So we climb aboard at 7:00 pm and enter our six person bunk room.

Hum? Where are the bathrooms?
No bathroom. Gee. I didn't know that.

Bathroom is down the skinny, dirty, teen filled hallway.


(Three of the four girls on the trip....really need a bathroom...if you get my drift.)

So we try to store the luggage and find ourselves cramped.
And thirsty.

And into the room walks the sixth person for our 'cabin'.
A nice, twenty-something, woman from Roma.

Really, she was perfectly nice and clean and polite.

But, she was a stranger and we just didn't want any more people in the room.

And we didn't know what time to try to go to bed and the kids in the hall screamed and talked and laughed....all night!!!

And we slept in our clothes....well...I use slept loosely...
because even with earplugs in...I could not sleep.
And I could not sit up.

I laid on that plank for a bed, in the dark, tipping up and back.

(And I am not going to tell you about my bathroom issues which made the night go from unbearable to hellish)

Wanting to just die.

And when six o'clock arrived.

We we awakened by the conductor, returning our passports...

And our train pulled into beautiful, stunning Florence.

But we had one more train to catch to enter the center of the town.
Which we caught...
And we stumbled to our hotel, in need of showers, which was steps away from...

And our eyes were filled...

And so were our tummies.

And our adventure continued...

And, Camy, Patrick was a champ!
He traveled well...and was the one to tell me I had done a good job with all the planning....

He was, however, quite bewildered with the weeping.

More tomorrow...if you can stand it....

Encourage one another,