One Happy Couple On A World Adventure

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How Mobile Are You?

What if you were suddenly presented with the opportunity to take a day trip?  How about a trip to the coast?  Move across town?  Move across the continent?  How about to another country?  Would you be able to grab the opportunity and run?  The answer probably depends on this:  How mobile are you?

Here in America, we are raised to believe that the American Dream is some variation of a house, a spouse, 2.5 kids, a dog, and a picket fence.  Before all that, you should work hard in school, go to college, and when you graduate, an amazing job will be waiting for you, along with the aforementioned spouse so that you both can get to work on the kids, the fence, and the dog.  I bought stock in the dream, so to speak, but I eventually reached a point in my life where I started to realize it wasn’t for me.  Whether you are loving the Dream or are taking a different path, one thing is consistent.  The more stuff you have, the less mobile you are, and the less able you are to take advantage of new opportunities.  And it’s reeeally easy to accumulate a lot of stuff. Read the rest of this page »

The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

Well, we’ve made it back to the U.S. and have settled in at home.  Three months away was exhausting, but worth every moment.  While I worked away in the backcountry of France and visited all kinds of amazing places, from towns destroyed by World War II to posh palaces, I was hoping for a personal epiphany.  What should my next big life step be?  What new career should I pursue?  Where should we go next?  Alas, the big moment of “I want this!” never came, but I did learn a lot about what I didn’t want, and what I’m not willing to put up with.  Here’s a quick list of what was cool, what wasn’t, and sometimes even what I learned from it: Read the rest of this page »

Pictures of Paris! Who Doesn’t Love That?!

All the pictures of Paris are finally uploaded. It’s been less than a month since our return and I’m still stunned and blown away! I suppose it’ll be better late than never when we finally finish up writing about France, but we’re also looking forward to sharing our adventures across America. We’ve already tried 15 different wines at a Vineyard in Virginia, had some of the worlds best BBQ in North Carolina…and saw some hills and grass through the midwest.

Thanks for reading world, more to come!

– John

It’s not over!

Hey loyal readers and those forced to read by their friends. I’ve updated the “France – June 2001” page in the Photo Gallery with pictures from our trip to Versailles, so enjoy. While we are back in the US, the blogging continues. We still have six snail and duck liver filled days and night in Paris to blog about, so keep reading. I’ll try to upload some new pictures each day over the next week or so. Now that we’re not in rural France and at the mercy of horrible internet connections, we should be able to write about some  more of our mis-adventures in France. Also on the horizon is a cross country road trip from Colorado to Virginia…with a side of North Carolina. Enjoy the pictures, I’ll be enjoying some good old American bacon.

A Weekend In Belgium

Sorry these posts are a bit out of order.  We’re slowly catching you all up on our adventures, but it may appear like we’re jumping all over the place for a bit!  And now, for a jump right out of France…

I’ve never lived in a part of the U.S. that allowed me to just pop over the border and visit another country easily.  It still shocks me a bit that in Europe, you can be in the middle of a country, drive a few hours, and cross the border into another.  I suppose it’s the same concept as us Americans driving from state to state, but it still seems odd.  In any case, that’s just what we did last weekend.  Saturday we drove to the town of Hoegaarden and toured their beer brewery, then hit the touristy part of Brussels on the way back “home” (home is Lille, France at the moment).  The brewery tour was simple but fun and informative, and we followed it by having lunch and a complimentary beverage in the attached restaurant.  Hoegaarden’s white ale tasted significantly better “at the source” than it does from a bottle.  I could taste subtleties of orange and coriander that I’ve never tasted before, and their Hoegaarden Citron, which I’ve never seen offered in the U.S., was excellent. Read the rest of this page »

Paris

Finally made it! We’ve been in Paris a couple of days now and have come back to the hotel to exhausted to type each day….might start taking the Metro or “Mo” more. Our hotel is in the 15th arrondissement (district) on the left bank of the Seine, just over the border from the 7th arrondissement, which is where the Eiffel Tower is. We can walk to just about any major tourist attractions, such as the Eiffel Tower, Louvre, Notre Dame and it’s way cheaper here than other neighborhoods. A lot of every day people live and work here still and the nearest intersection to our hotel has cafes, flower shops and bread/pastry shops. We are enjoying ourselves immensely after nearly 3 months of hard work. We leave for the US in less than a week and we’re a little sad it’s ending so soon. There’s so much more to see and do, and blog about! The posts and updates will probably continue after we get back, just so we can fit it all in….yes, that means more pictures soon! Also, did you know you can take stairs up to the top of the Arc de Triomphe?!

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Stairs That Go Nowhere

Falaise, France. Birthplace of William the Conqueror. It seemed to me that Falaise is often overlooked for where Mr. The Conqueror died in Rouen, France. Much of Falaise was destroyed in World War II, including the castle where he was born….well technically in a house nearby.

The castle is being rebuilt to a certain extent and has been turned into a very educational museum (yes I still went inside!). There is a cheesy audio guide, available in English, to accompany you on the tour. The displays contain artifacts from Medieval times and have English labels thanks to tourists from the United Kingdom. On a side note, if anything in France is available in English, look for a British Flag next to it. Normandy has a close tie with Great Britian, in fact many “English” words have a Norman origin. For example, that’s why “Cow” becomes “Beef” when we serve it. In fact, aside from small spelling differences we share many words with French. It makes things easier here, trust me.

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