After a long, miserable day of travel, we’re finally home from Montpellier

We’re finally home from Montpellier, back in Phoenix. I spent most of the past 24 hours wedged into middle seats on airliners, so I’m now rewarding myself with one or more cold beers, in my kitchen, in my underwear. It’s good to be home. A young woman from our parish, whom we met during our … Continue reading After a long, miserable day of travel, we’re finally home from Montpellier

The long journey home from Montpellier is underway

After fifteen days in Montpellier, France, our long journey home to Phoenix is underway. The upside of getting an early start is not having to rush. The downside is a lot of time spent waiting. We unwittingly arrived at the airport an hour before check-in was scheduled to begin for our flight to Paris. We … Continue reading The long journey home from Montpellier is underway

Arrived safely at our apartment in Montpellier

We enjoyed a bit more sleep on our flight from Paris to Montpellier, but since we were only in the air just over an hour, there’s not much else to say. By the time we collected our bags, we had missed a shuttle bus to the city by about 15 minutes, so we had to … Continue reading Arrived safely at our apartment in Montpellier

In Paris, waiting for our flight to Montpellier

I planned to write a brief status update as we took our seats on the flight from Detroit to Paris, but somehow we ended up in an AT&T dead zone, so I had no access to the internet. The flight was uneventful, other than a bit of turbulence leaving Detroit. Kathryn and I both got … Continue reading In Paris, waiting for our flight to Montpellier

Notre Dame de Paris during a late evening stroll along the Seine

I put this photo of Notre Dame de Paris Cathedral on my blog many years ago. In light of the news out of Paris today, I thought I’d share it again. Kathryn took the photo in September 2007 during our first visit to Paris together, a little over a year before we were married. We … Continue reading Notre Dame de Paris during a late evening stroll along the Seine

The main altar of La Madeleine, Paris, just before a weekday Mass

Kathryn took this photo of the main altar of the Church of St. Mary Magdalene, La Madeleine, located in the heart of Paris, over five years ago, in January 2013. It was one of those right-place-right-time situations we like to take advantage of. We happened to be walking by the church just a few minutes … Continue reading The main altar of La Madeleine, Paris, just before a weekday Mass

Delta missed connection in Minneapolis

We missed our connection in Minneapolis by minutes. It looks like our baggage didn’t make it either. Luckily there’s another flight to Phoenix in a couple hours. We had a confirmed reservation on the later flight before we even stepped off the flight from Paris, but unfortunately we no longer have assigned seats.

Delta ground delay in Paris

We’ve boarded our flight in Paris, but it’s still parked at the gate. It’s just as well, since we opened our Delta apps to discover our bags are indeed on the airplane, but they didn’t arrive there until four minutes after the flight was scheduled to depart. Our connection in Minneapolis is going to be … Continue reading Delta ground delay in Paris

Friday in the City of Lights

We arrived safely in Paris yesterday in the early afternoon. We found the Gare de l’Est train station with no problem, but there were multiple parking garages at the station and it wasn’t obvious which one was for returning rental cars. After about fifteen minutes in the wrong garage we found the right one, completed … Continue reading Friday in the City of Lights

Sauce Samouraï: “Why have you hidden this from me?”

When Kathryn and I were in Paris in 2013, we ate in several kebab shops. Although I had eaten in French kebab shops when I was younger, usually after or during long nights of drinking, Kathryn, for her part, was totally sober and immediately hooked nonetheless. Meat, potatoes, bread, salt, grease, and just enough lettuce, … Continue reading Sauce Samouraï: “Why have you hidden this from me?”

To my fellow countrymen: Who lives in a police state?

We’re in Paris at the gate for our connecting flight to Montpellier. The security line was long here, but it went smoothly. The security agents were cool about the fact that I’d left my computer in my backpack. At home I probably would have been read my rights. Speaking of home, it was easy to … Continue reading To my fellow countrymen: Who lives in a police state?

Once in a lifetime, alone in the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles

If you’ve ever been to the Palace of Versailles, you know what a tourist attraction it is. If you’ve never been, take my word for it. Even on a cloudy, drizzly winter day like yesterday, when the park and gardens were closed and only the palace itself was open to the public, there were dozens of tour buses parked in front of the palace. Getting a photo without other people in it is nearly impossible. So it was somewhat remarkable that, for a few brief moments, Kathryn and I ended up in the Hall of Mirrors, the highlight of the tour, by ourselves.

Regional words and fat Frenchmen

It turns out that Angelina, the venerable tea room on rue de Rivoli in Paris, has an outpost at the Palace of Versailles. Kathryn and I found ourselves there earlier today, enjoying a snack of chocolat chaud africain before finishing our tour of the museum. We were in the tea room all alone — more on why we were alone in a future post — and we had just ordered. As usual, Kathryn let me do the ordering. I think she likes to hear me speak French, even though my French sucks.