Saturday, May 21, 2011

France - Spring Flowers and The Most Beautiful Walk in the World

The Most Beautiful Walk in the World: A Pedestrian in Paris I've found this incredible book for Summer reading.  Buy it using this link (or click on the book photo on the left) and help to support the blog.

What a joy to look at the Paris photos again, and gather all of the spring flower photos in one spot and look at the beautiful colors. I love Paris in the Springtime!

Royale Palais Gardens in Paris

Royale Palais Gardens in Paris


Monet Pond in Giverny

Monet Pond in Giverny

Monet Pond in Giverny

Monet Garden in Giverny

Garden at Impressionist Museum in Giverny

Tuilleries (near the Louvre) in Paris

Trees blooming in front of a government building near the Orsay Museum in Paris.

This bud looks about ready to explode.  Rodin Museum in Paris

Champ de Mars Park near Eiffel Tower in Paris

Trees in bloom at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris

Versaille Garden

Claude Monet's grave in Giverny is kept in bloom.

Luxembourg Gardens, Paris

Wild flowers at "The Hameau", Chantilly Chateau, Chantilly

Chantilly Chateau, Chantilly

Even the flower shops in Paris are in bloom.

PS. You MUST see the movie "Midnight in Paris.  All of the wonderful places from the Paris trip are in the movie.  See Paris. See Versailles.  See Giverny!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Travel - Items - What Worked and What Didn't

I put a lot of time in on the preplanning of the five week trip.  The ideas for "What do I take? What do I need?" were experiments in the art of minimalist travel.  Most ideas worked to varying degrees of success and some didn't.  This post covers items that I had with me and my thoughts at the end of five weeks with a carry-on piece of luggage and a backpack.  All product links are affiliate links unless noted.

Large tea bags. These are lightweight and easy to pack.
I used these when the apartment had coffee, but no filters
so we were able to make coffee and buy filters at the store.
I also gave two "tea gifts" of the loose Guayusa tea that
I carried along with a few tea bags.

Monday, May 2, 2011

The Art of Just Sitting

There is much to be said for sitting, especially while traveling (or touring). Sometimes, the best part of the day is when one stops touring for just a while and enjoys the local scenery.

You can go to the park and use the chairs as a table for your chess board.
Luxumbourg Garden, Paris

The same chair can be an island to claim your space while you read.

Or, you can claim the entire bench and enjoy the Spring sunshine.

Some seats look comfy, but you are not allowed to sit on them!
Napoleon's apartment, Louvre, Paris

Some don't need a chair to sit, the floor will work just fine.
L'Orangerie Museum, Paris

But if you are walking a lot, there is nothing more welcome than the outdoor chairs at the Bistro.
Imperial, Rue de Rivoli, Paris

Sometimes you can use a chair while you wait for someone.

Or you can take an afternoon off from your touring and enjoy the sunshine on the upper deck of the river boat.
US Swiss Ruby, River Elbe, Germany

If the weather is not warm enough to sit outside, blankets placed on the back of the chair make it more inviting...and cozy.

You can buy a  lounge chair to take home. It is especially cute when the nostalgic traffic symbols decorate the canvas.
Berlin and the adored traffic symbols

Some seats are very fancy with gold decorations and velvet covers.
Vienna Opera

Some seats are functional and are comfortable enough to get you from one city to the next.
Train from Prague to Olomouc

Some seats aren't seats at all, but are standing room only areas.
Vienna Opera offers many "standing room only" seats every night.

See the standing room only seats at the top?
Or you can purchase a nice place, an actual seat, to watch the show.
Vienna Opera

A nice British Pub seat is a good place to rest after a long day and catch up on the local news.

Enjoy the tour. Enjoy the travel. And take time to learn the art of just sitting.
The Art of Just Sitting, Second Edition: Essential Writings on the Zen Practice of Shikantaza If you are really interested in "The Art of Just Sitting", enjoy the book.  I found the book after I had written the blog post.  (Affiliate Link)

London - Ebury Restaurant and Wine Bar Meal #4

We decided to eat in the wine bar area of the Ebury Restaurant for our last night.  Here are some of the offering on the wine bar menu.

Nice global selections of red wine.

London - Tom Tom Cafe

Tom Tom Cafe sits across Ebury Street from the Lime Tree Hotel. During my first trip in 2006 with my sister and son, this was a little community grocery.  The second time that we came through the neighborhood in 2007, the shop was empty.  It was good to see a vibrant business in the space.

The Tom Tom Cafe with the outside tables.  The inside seating area is small.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

London - Ebury Restaurant and Wine Bar Meal #3

We decided to go to Ebury Restaurant for meal #3.  This way, we could determine if the meal itself was good and you made a good selection, or was the menu good?  You need to try a restaurant more than one time to see if there is a consistency to the food quality and the service.

Tonight I decided to mix it up a bit and order off of the menu instead of the fixed price set menu.

The Ebury on the right.

I passed on wine for dinner and selected a natural spring water, sparkling.

For starters, I had the crab bisque with garlic croutons and chilli oil. 6.25 euro

Garlic roasted cherry tomato tart tatin with fresh goat cheese

Main course: Sun dried tomato and goat cheese ravioli with red pesto and rocket leaves.

Roasted veal gremolata courgetta and Parmesan gratin

Warm apple and cinnamon bread pudding with toffee sauce

Lena was delightful!