Saturday, March 30, 2013

Hallo from Amsterdam

Our last night in Paris found us in the hotel restaurant.  Fabulous food.  We had brought a bottle of Chateauneuf de Pape 2007 to drink in the room first, then down for dinner.  This place was classy and we had such fun.
First a little rest

Jerry, Walter, Judy, and me

My scallops and white beans, with some sort of meatball

Dessert was like a chocolate Bomb.  Amazing

Jerry's art photo of me from the upstairs balcony

Left on the fast train to Amsterdam.  Packed with people on Easter holiday, but went 180 mph and arrived about 3:00 PM   Just hanging out in frigid Amsterdam, Netherlands with lovely Kristine Galiher.  We arrived yesterday from Paris and a quick taxi ride to Kris' apartment on the Tilanustraat #336.  She was waiting with open arms, a plate of stuffed dates, olives, cheese and wine.  Her mama would be proud!  Kristine lives on the second floor (which in Europe remember is 3rd floor) of a 4 floor building.  So first thing was getting the luggage up the stairs.

31 of those suckers, straight up!

Her apartment is light and airy.  Living room with balcony, bedroom with little balcony, kitchen with big window and a typical (She says) Dutch bathroom.  She also has a " workroom" which has a huge desk with window and all her books, papers, etc.  Delightful!!!!

We found a charming little vegetarian restaurant around the corner called Marits.  Small, intimate  fresh pumpkin ravioli  onion tart with lentils and peppers, and an amazing salad of Chicory leaves and blue cheese, with pomagrante seeds.  Yum!  Then we had a lemon pie with pine nuts. Came home and died in bed.
So glad to see eachother

white chocolate mousse!

Today was a slow start, then a grocery store trip which is about takes the whole day because you have to walk it all back to the apartment.  Jerry pulled the wheeled cart and I carried the toilet paper.  We also bought Pansy to plant on her deck window boxes.

It is frigid here  38 degrees, windy, and it even snowed a little

Turkish market where we bought Curry for soup on Monday

Bakery for Lunch

Kristine and friend. Will he turn into her handsome prince?

Kristine's old apartment which is being renovated under that drape.

The windows will look like this when they are done.

We are off to an Indonesian place for dinner.  Never eaten this type of food, but I am game for anything.  Taxi ride there, I am sure.  It is dark and too cold to walk.  I will report tomorrow.  Happy Easter. Love,  Kris, Jerry, and Jean

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Living the high life.

After a fun last night in Avignon we said good bye to the beautiful blue sky and 65 degree temps and boarded the fast train to Paris.  We are getting to be old hands at this train  business, and had nothing to report on this trip.  A few last minute pictures from Avignon.

last remaining waterwheel in Avignon that powered looms to weave the silk

we are not kiddding about the width of the streets

Little restaurant in which we had a snack

Tartine Voygieone - ham, cheese, cream fresh

Next morning we are up and out of the apartment by 10:00

We arrived at one of 6 or seven train stations in Paris, Gard Lyon, and secured a place in the "taxi" line.  Here a manager loads up people into cabs, depending on how many people and how much luggage you have.  Since we were only 2 we got one right away and were off to Hotel Scribe.

Passed by the Louvre

Look at this little girl.  Doesn't she look French?

Even the iron work is beautiful

The Opera, which is just down the street.

A quick word about why we are  in Paris.  Jerry grew up in Muscatine, Iowa, and one of his good, good, friends in high school was Walter Jones.  Still is a good good friend. :-).  Walter was in the Marines in the 60's - 70's and he and his wife, Judy, traveled a lot during that time.  When he got out of the service he joined a mortgage company (or started it, or .....) and has done very well.  Judy is a writer.  They live in Mananas, Virginia and have a home on Rehobeth Beach, Delaware that we visited a few years ago.  Anyway, we have kept in touch, and last year at Christmas they were in Florence, Italy and called us.  Blah, blah, blah.  We set up that they would meet us somewhere on this trip, and Paris it is.

Well, Walter and Judy made the hotel reservations and said they would pay for them, and from those of you who have been reading the blog regularly  we tend to stay in budget friendly places.  Apparently, not Walter. and  Judy.  This place is like out of a MOVIE!  We have a 2 floor suite, 2 bathrooms, you name it is  here.  We are "not in Kansas any more, Toto!".
Jerry and Judy

This is their suite living room

Walter and Jerry drinking wine

Our living room.  This is a two story suite

upstairs bedchamber.  This is living!

But despite the differences in our expendable income, Walter and Judy are dear friends of ours, with hearts of gold.  We just are having the best time!!!!!!  Judy lived in Paris when she was in her 20's so we are visiting old haunts of hers, and visiting galleries, etc.  Fun 2 days.  Here are some hanging out photos we took today.  The temperature here is 45 degrees and pretty chilly so we are bundled up again.
Walter and Jerry catching up on old friends

Le Paix Cafe where we had dinner last night

Jerry checking the scores

On our way to the Tulleries to the museum

La Orangerie is now an impressionist museum

gotta love Renoir

La Florentine where we had lunch today.

We have had such fun.  Just drank a bottle of wine in our room and now downstairs for dinner.  What a fun two days.  Off to Amsterdam tomorrow on the TVG (bullet train) at 12:15.  Can't wait to see Kris Galiher there.  I will probably post on Saturday.  Have a good night.  Ciao!