Wednesday, June 27, 2012

What We Did On Our Summer Vacation

You'll have to pardon my excitement, but this was our first trip to Europe, so you'll be hearing a bit more about it. I thought it might help if I told you all the places we went.

First, we headed to New York from El Paso, so that we could meet up with our son, who was traveling onward with us. Because we are such country mice and were quickly exhausted by wandering around crowded Manhattan on foot, we made our way to this peaceful sanctuary of a cemetery just across from the World Trade Center site.

St. Paul's Churchyard

The next day, we left New York and headed for Iceland, where we had a very brief layover--just long enough for a beautiful open-faced smoked salmon sandwich. Yep, it's always about the food with us. 

Can you tell that I'm excited about becoming a world traveler?
After our late-night "lunch" in Iceland, we headed off in the summer twilight (it doesn't really get dark this time of year in Iceland) and on to Paris. Pausing just long enough to figure out the controls on the rental car and to program the navigator, we headed south through the Loire Valley to the beautiful blue-shuttered house, Les Volets Bleus, that we had rented for the week. The link below the photo will take you to many more views of the lovely interior. It was a dreamy place to stay, and it was all ours--for the week, anyway.

Les Volets Bleus
After an all-too-short week in the countryside, visiting chateaux and abbeys, street markets and gardens, beautiful villages and the sea, we drove back up to Paris and turned in the rental car. From that point on, we explored Paris as the Parisians do--on foot, by metro (subway), by boat, and by le taxi. But not by bike or Vespa--I drew the line there!

An amazing piece of interactive street art. Look closely (click to enlarge)
and you will see that the sidewalk appears to have heaved upward. The little boy
was using it for a slide. I can still hear his laughter. This is located off of the Boulevard Saint Germain, on the south side, at the intersection of Rue de Rennes and Rue Bonaparte. It's in the Place du Quebec and the sculpture is Charles Daudelin's, l’Emb√Ęcle
In Paris, we visited museums, strolled through parks and gardens, ate at sidewalk cafes, became philosophers for an afternoon, indulged ourselves at the Angelina Tea Room, and took an evening boat ride on the Seine.

Sunset over the Seine
Then we flew back to Iceland, swam in the geothermal waters of the Blue Lagoon, and continued on to Boston. In Boston, we did a bit of shopping and a bit of eating (you're not surprised by now, I'm sure), then drove up to New Hampshire for two days of visiting, partying, and reuniting with old friends. And then we flew once more, back to El Paso.

Phew. It's no wonder that some mornings I wake up wondering which hotel I'm in, and which language I'm expected to understand for the day!


Sylvia K said...

Oh, it does sound -- and look like such a fantastic trip, Clairz, and I'm so happy for you to have been able to take and enjoy it!! Love your photos and look forward to hearing more!! Have a lovely weekend and get some rest!!!


Val said...

Would your recommend Iceland? I have never considered making it a trip destination, but now I am thinking I should!

clairz said...

Val, I would absolutely recommend Iceland. We just had a 7 hour layover, but it was almost the highlight of the trip and certainly a life-changer. Flying via Iceland Air was a very pleasant (and economical) experience, and the airline carefully coordinates schedules with the bus line that takes passengers out to the Blue Lagoon. You are guaranteed a seat on the bus back to the airport and we got there in plenty of time for the next leg of our flight.

I haven't been able to stop reading about Iceland since our return. What a place!

JC said...

What fun you must have had !!!

Margie's Musings said...

Hi, I have tagged you for the Liebster Award. You can check it out on my blog.


Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Great trip! Thanks for sharing -- look forward to seeing more....

Linda said...

How interesting that your stopover was the place that seems to have captivated you most.

becky said...

What a great time you've had! I wonder if I'll ever travel internationally...