Sunday, September 17, 2017

Seine River Cruise Part 2 (Vernon and Rouen)

On Sunday, we went woke up docked in Vernon, France. A bus took us to Giverny to tour Monet's home and gardens. This is something I have ALWAYS wanted to see!

That's his beautiful home in the background (he bought this in 1883)
 Lots of his paintings displayed on the walls
 I loved the copper pots displayed in the kitchen
 The flowers in the garden were breathtaking

Gardeners trained these branches to form perfect "Ts" to create a fence like border

 Seth and I on the tour
 Water lilies! You can barely make out the famous bridge featured in many of his paintings

 We took a short walk to view his grave

When we returned to the ship, we took a nice (read: long and hot) walk with Brenda through Vernon. There wasn't a whole lot to see but we did walk to Chateau de Bizy.
  We didn't tour the inside, but here's an iPhone photo from the visitor area window

 On Monday morning I woke up and did a killer leg workout with another lady on the ship. When we were finished the ship was barely clearing this bridge! We arrived in Rouen that morning.
 We did a walking tour of the city. The original half timbered buildings have the dates built on them

Notre Dame (in Rouen)- it's older and bigger than Notre Dame in Paris. 
Beatiful stairway 
Seth with Saint Thomas
This is where Joan of Arc was burnt at the stake (there's a memorial in the town centre)

Astronomical clock built in 14th Century
They had some great shops and Seth actually shopped with me (a rarity)

He *may have* only shopped with me because he loves eclairs. The pastry shops in Europe make my mouth water! Seth bought several eclairs on this trip :) 
Notre Dame does a light show every night at 10 pm on the face of the cathedral
I have never seen anything like this, and I bet that other buildings start doing this. It was AMAZING! 
There were two 15 minute shows - one is about Joan of Arc and the other was the Viking Invasion 

Friday, September 15, 2017

Seine River Cruise - Part 1

Seth and I got an incredible opportunity to go with the Wall Street Club on a Viking River Cruise down the Seine River in France. We left August 23rd. This was a LONG trip (13 days) and I was a wreck before leaving. I knew I would miss our children like crazy, but they were excellent hands. My parents kept them for 10 days and Seth's parents kept them for the last few days. 

Sorry, not sorry... but lots of pictures to come.

Wednesday evening:  I needed some champagne to start off the flight. I cried when we left the kids 
 After the overnight flight to London, we had some time to kill. THANK GOODNESS we had access to a lounge in the London airport with a shower Thursday morning! We had a full day ahead of us and you feel a little grimy after being on a plane for 9 hours!
 We took an Uber to the train station and hopped on EuroStar (the train that goes under the Channel at 180 mph) to Paris. They served us lunch, with wine! Only in Europe...
This was a weird meal (some sort of corn cake with beets and don't even ask me what that brown sauce is). I was about to eat my arm, so I ate it anyway. 
 We arrived in Paris that afternoon and checked into our hotel. You could catch a glimpse of Arc de Triomphe and the Eiffel Tower from the little balcony! Plus the hotel gave you a cell phone that you could use for Internet and US phone calls. That was THE BEST. After calling home, we walked to Arc de Triomphe. 
Of course we had to walk the 284 stairs to catch the panoramic view of Paris
 Eiffel Tower
 Montmartre/Sacre Couer
My hunny and I at the top
 That night, we ate at a restaurant in Trocadero where you could see the Eiffel Tower lit up. Then we decided to climb it. We had both done this in the past but thought it would be cool to see it at night! 
This did NOT disappoint! We could only go up 2 levels (704 steps) but the views were spectacular! 

Friday morning, we slept until 10 a.m! That is UNHEARD of for me. Obviously, we were tired and the time difference hit us hard! We grabbed breakfast and wondered around Paris in the rain! (Luckily, it only rained in the morning)
 Seth found Musee de l'Orangerie. This is the exterior gardens 
 Inside was the most amazing Monet exhibit! Monet painted this in his final years, and it was given to the nation as a monument of peace. There are 8 panels total and they're on curved walls. It truly is peaceful to view them. They reflect sunrise in the east and sunset in the west. This was a favorite from the trip for sure. 

Pont Alexandre (bridge)

 After lunch, we wondered around the city. We walked around the Louvre and its gardens and roamed various streets. 

I wowed the guy beside me with how I could touch the top of the pyramid
Late that afternoon, we took a cab to where the ship was docked. Here is a picture of our cozy room. Let the cruise begin! 
 On Saturday morning, we took a bus to Paris. A tour guide led us around Notre Dame. It was beautiful!
 I love the stain glass windows!
 And the detailed work on the exterior

Me, Brenda, and Seth
 We ate lunch with Seth's mom (his parents were also on the cruise) and Seth got a crepe afterwards. 
 Along the Seine River there are random things for kids (or Seth) to play on
 Brenda walked around with us and we went back to The Louvre
We toured the Opera House. It's gorgeous on the outside, but even prettier inside.
 It's a true work of art. There is SO MUCH marble and gold! 

We ran into Bob and Wanda, another couple on the cruise ship and took the bus back to the ship. 

Paris was amazing! 

Stay tuned for more adventures...