Saturday, February 14, 2009
We started out at the famous (and now seedy) Moulin Rouge! What an area! There are many sights better left "unseen" - if you catch my drift!
She's not just a model - sometimes she's a little actress!
We had climbed up a long staircase which led to private villas - at the top we had a wonderful surprise - an unexpected view of La Tour Eiffel!
We looked out over Paris and then I stepped behind Jeni two paces to the left to get a better view and Voila! There it was!
The Romans were not happy about Christians moving in to the area where they had built temples to their gods. So, the legend is that the beheaded Pope, St. Denis, picked up his head and carried it for about 4 miles before he dropped. He supposedly washed it in the fountain at the park now dedicated to him. Yuck!
I love the views from the TGV (Train Gran Vitesse - very fast train)! I LOVE the TGV! It is the BEST way to travel - so smooth, so comfortable, so fast! I just love it - as I've said before.
Punkin did what she always does on the train - sleeeeeep. What a little Punkin!
I took one last photo of the TGV in the Gare du Lyon in Paris - my last TGV for quite awhile - c'est triste! :(
Thursday, February 12, 2009
My very last day in Montpeller - a gorgeous, mild, sunny day! I raced all around Montpellier picking up some essential gifts! On my way back to the hotel, I happened upon this peaceful little park tucked away in the corner of Place de la Comedie. I don't know how we had missed it all week long. Jeni - enjoy some quiet moments here - I know you're going to love it!
Wow! If I look like - I don't know - the worst thing ever in this photo - you're right! We certainly had timed it way too close for catching our train. After searching and searching for a place to park, we finally found a little lot which we didn't know whether it was ok to park in or not - but we grabbed it - we had no choice - we were about to miss our train. So, still in my meeting clothes and heels, I began to run - pulling my suitcase, pain in my side, pain in my chest, short of breath - no idea where to run to! I stopped a man in his car and asked "Ou est la gare?" "Where is the train station?" and he told me how to get there - down the street, turn right, down some stairs, underground and to the train station. I remember throwing my dignity away as I yelled across the train tracks to the security guards, "Monsieurs! Monsieurs!!! Si vous plait!!! Attendez!!!" We had to run down the platform, down the stairs and up to the other side and jump on our train without tickets. I had to buy duplicate tickets on the train and go back to the station the next day to explain the situation and get a refund (all explained in French, by the way). Still waiting to see if that worked out!!!! By the time we got our seats - I was hot and exhausted, but oh so relieved! Jeni had to be back in Montpellier for an early morning class. Wow! I still can't believe we made that train! I think it must have been by sheer force of will. Who's Will? Whoever he is, I need to thank him!
The next day all hell broke lose on the streets of Montpellier as Jeni and I really had it out!!! It was not fun! We both sobbed. We were both heartbroken and miserable. But, we recovered and ended up "clinging" to the sweetness of our last few days together.
I took a photo of Jeni and Elizabeth on the bus on our way to Vero's house - a little nervous of how the night was going to unfold as I told Vero I couldn't stay for Jeni's birthday dinner. Vero was so loving and kind as she said we would have a normal dinner and she would give Jeni her birthday present some other time. Jeni sat by me all night and was very cuddly and affectionate! All's well that ends well! We both just felt a little banged around emotionally! But, what I would give to be back with that little Punkin in France!!!!!
Thursday, February 5, 2009
After being treated to a wonderful breakfast of FRESH croissants and pastries - which Autumn ran out to buy for us before the meeting - and sauteed apples, juice and tea - we left to go meet our family on the other side of the world!
Autumn with Ingrid, May (the Circuit Overseer's wife) and Chineze.
Jeni and Violin (Vee-oh-leen) - they talked away in French as if Jeni was a native! Beautiful!
Autumn and Rachel - from Great Britain - I loved her!!!!
The whole congregation! Wonderful!!!!!