Sunday, September 26, 2010
I spent the next morning in Bryce Canyon. Suzanne gave me some info to hike into the park from the back roads -- no Park Entrance fees, no buses, crowds or tourists to battle, yay! So I hiked in from the town of Tropic and then toured around the Navajo Trail Loop and back out. It was gorgeous. I was a little nervous being alone, but once I got on the trail and found my way, I realized it was easy to navigate and there were no worries.
The actual "Y" was not so impressive, but the views of the valley were.
For the drive back home to Phoenix, I stopped at the Coral Pink Sand Dunes Arch near Kanab. It wasn't actually in the State Park, but just outside of it. There was a whole write-up on the internet about a nice place to stop and see "a natural wonder" on the way to the park. Um . . no, a bit disappointing. I hope the actual state park is a little more impressive.
From Page to Phoenix, I made several other stops, but no cameras were necessary on these stops. I got a wee bit of food poisoning from lunch earlier in the day and I stopped every 40 minutes or so all the way home to litter the Arizona highways with my lunch. Then I had a massive headache for the next 24 hours. I've never had anything like that happen before. A sad ending to a very nice road trip.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Anyway, it took me a few seconds to realize he was making conversation and was asking "How did you like London?" (Well then, why didn't you say that . . . )
There were many words, phrases and signs that made me wonder or sometimes laugh.
"Did it rain here yesterday?" "Oh, just spits and spots."
I love one word in particular and I am trying to phase it into my everyday speech. Whildst. As in : "If you should become ill whildst traveling . . . "
Traffic signs were full of wonder and misunderstanding for us.
steile taluds ! (I don't know what that means, but there is an exclamation point included on the sign, so I suppose it was important. We obviously did not obey this traffic sign.)
Good fart . . . . (giggle, giggle) I'm not sure why tanks have a different speed limit than trucks . . .
I couldn't wrap my head around the fact the the speedometer needle was pointing to 135!
We enjoyed the labels in the grocery stores too.Potato chip flavors:Pork Scratchings, Worcester Sauce, American Cheeseburger, Prawn Cocktail
Sandwiches: Cheese Crunch, Chicken Sweetcorn
If this was available in America, it would become my favorite soda flavor simply because it is fun to pronounce:
We only had one disasterous food issue ordering off a menu. And poor Kasia got the bad lunch. Bologna Salad. It had the possibilities of being a regular salad. You would expect in Germany that Bologna would be a different variety than the standard Oscar Meyer rounds in the American grocery store. But poor Kasia got a full plate piled high with what looked like sliced grocery story bologna with a couple chunks of cheese whatnot mixed in and a dressing poured over the top. It was very unsettling. I wish we had snapped a picture because it surprised all 3 of us when it was put on the table.
The English translations on sign were sometimes humorous.
Imagine my surprise when I realized that this wasn't a regular port-a-john, and it wasn't set up for the ladies' use. Gross!
Speaking of food, our favorite meal of our whole trip was sitting on the steps of Notre Dame eating crepes from a street vendor. Dave had his with ham and cheese, but I am not ashamed to admit I had Nutella and bananas on mine. It was divine.
Our worst food related purchase was this big mug of soda. We were thirsty for the whole 3 weeks we were traveling. We asked for water and got either A) a teeny tiny expensive bottle of water or B) a small cup of lukewarm water - even if we asked for ice or C) carbonated water - yuck. We finally gave in and Dave ordered "the biggest soda you have!" Although soda isn't quite as thirst quenching as water, it sort of did the trick, but Dave laughed and said "This will probably cost me $8 - haha!" Then we got the bill - 15 euros (about $19.00!!!)
However, on this announced "Day of the French Pastry", we actually forgot to look for pastries until near the end of the day. We saw a little bakery at about 4:30 in the afternoon and went in an we each picked out the most delectable treat. As we were making our selection, they were filling up another bag with several other pastries and treats. There were no other customers in the shop so we tried to tell them we only wanted one each. We don't speak French, and they spoke very little English, and I was worried that we were telling them something that we weren't really telling them. They charged us the $ for 2 pastries and handed us the extra bag for free. They were closing up shop and getting rid of the extras. So it truly was "the Day of the French Pastry". We were near Notre Dame and were contemplating walking or riding the bus back to the Louvre. While eating a bag of pastries, we thought it best to walk. Lest anyone think we don't understand the calorie in/calorie out concept, we do realize that walking a mile and a half on city streets does not equal a bag of baked goods, I will let you know that we did some additional walking in Paris.
These are the stairs up the Arc de Triumph. There are a lot of them. 284 of them to be exact. There are spectacular views from the top. This round-about is around the Arc de Triumph. I think I've seen it in a lot of movies. There is a crazy traffic pattern. There seem to be multiple lanes, but not any lane lines. I would guess there is a driving pattern, but as I watched it for a while, I couldn't quite figure it out. All I know is that I would never drive in it. Luckily there was an underground tunnel for pedestrians to cross under rather than cross through the traffic.
Then we walked up the 674 steps of the Eiffel Tower, which by the way only takes you to the second platform which is not even half way up, but that is as far as the public can take the stairs. You have to buy a lift ticket for the rest of the way. We saved 4 euros each by taking the 674 steps and then getting on the lift instead of taking the lift from the ground. That $4 savings really seemed to motivate us. It was a fun evening though. We stayed up at the top and watched the sun go down.
One of our favorite stops was the Paris Opera House. Rachel was anxious for us to go there and tell her all about it. It was fun to hear all the myths and stories about the Phantom of the Opera. This is lobby where you could go to buy popcorn during intermission, I guess. It's a little fancier than the AMC movie theater we usually frequent on a Friday night.
We were there on July 14th which is Bastille Day. We hoped to get to the center of downtown and watch the parade, however the bus system was altered because of the parade and they dumped us off the bus at an unfamiliar part of town and we had to hike the rest of the way. We came to the river and all pedestrian crossings across the river to the parade route were closed. And when I say closed, I mean closed! They were guarded by armed military. And they didn't want to chit chat with Americans about how to get to the parade, they just told us to back off the bridge. (well, alrighty then!) We tried walking down a half mile and trying the next bridge, then the next. We missed most of the parade until we found a place to cross the river. There seemed to be a whole section of town that was secured for dignitaries and a place secured for parachuters to land at one point in the parade. So this is mostly what we enjoyed of the parade, just the overhead show. Which was kind of cool - about 20 minutes of different airplane formations.
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Monday, September 6, 2010
Thank you Tom and Karen for a wonderful Anniversary gift. It was a fun surprise and it was the perfect getaway for us.
Happy Anniversary Dave - it has been an amazing journey with you for the past 25 years. I LOVE YOU!!