Not Versailles

Note to self: do not assume the guy with an accordion will give you good directions on the metro.

This was our morning:

Got on the wrong train. Ended up in the Paris suburbs before we figured it out. Thought we could stop with a cup of tea and figure it out, but at 10am in that town there’s four places to get your hair cut ready and waiting but god help you if you want breakfast.

Le suck!

Well, that was a waste of a morning, but we went on to have a fun day anyway.

Note: objects in photo may not be tacos.

Not really sure what’s going on here, but it tells a story.

“Pain Pain”

A tool box for her!

Tiki Bar #1, closed!

Le Tiki Lounge is open!

Bar owner Cedric made us feel very welcome. What a lovely place! We felt very comfortable and quite enjoyed our time there.

In retrospect I should have taken better photos, but we were relaxing and enjoying ourselves.

Meanwhile, in case you are lonely…

… and of course, there’s the Bad Life Choices club…

Joyce is going to do her hair up like this lady:

Who needs potatoes when you’ve got all this chocolate?

Cooking With Class

Joyce signed us up for a cooking class and it was definitely a peak experience. Our instructor Patrick started us off at the market and guided us selecting our menu.

Afterwards Joyce went off on a solo mission to the fabric shops while Steve plunked his bum in Cafe No Problemo.

Afterwards we went to a caberet show thingie which sadly turned out to be a disappointment. It was probably fine, but our command of French is sub-par which makes it hard to get the jokes. Left me feeling awkward and out of place. Le sigh.

Walking About

And so, our heroes pulled on their walking shoes…

Here’s where Napoleon turned the tide against Bed, Bath and Beyond.

Why the heck the sour face? Wasn’t there a victory?

This one is titled “The Search For Pants”.

Is it American of us to ask why there’s a guy who went off to war with his dingle dongling? He’s got shoes, were jock straps in short supply? And what’s up with the Scooby Doo expression on the guy behind him? Who proofed the mockups on these?

Kitty!

Graffiti

This was shoplifted from Egypt. How rude!

Mermaid!

Many live-aboard canal/barges are to be seen on the Seine. Here’s one that has planned ahead to carry a 60’s era amphibious car built in the states. Clever!

Meat! Cheese! Gurl!

Some peep is running around Paris putting up tiles of classic 8 bit and 16 bit computer game characters. Here are a couple. His name is Invader. He’s been prolific in numerous cities.

Eat your heart our F. Porsche. A chocolate VW Bug is not the chocolate of the people at 68 euros.

Easter in Paris, 2019

We started off our morning with services at the American Church, which proved to be not only in English but a very friendly and open community. Two thumbs up!

Meanwhile, the frequent chocolate shops show off their skills with items like these chocolate eggs the size of Donald Trump’s legal bills.

This thingie showed up. In fact try getting away from it!

Meanwhile, next to the ticket vending machine in the metro…

Art gallery stuff

Ancient cathedral, modern mural.

Who doesn’t like cider and crepes?

Thousands of people streaming for miles to see Notre Dame.

A Citron 2CV has a sad breakdown.

Facial hair.

Schindler’s Elevator. No one knows what “RC” means.

Leaving the Boat

Well, they wouldn’t let us sign up as crew and otherwise they seem to want us to pay them for our entertainment skills. So one last night on the boat.

Here Captain #1, Captain #2 and Jana, Queen of the scene being jolly.

And here you see how many wine glasses a table can accumulate when you’re sitting with a wine maker. Debbie and Anne salute you!

Arles, Tres Bon

I found Arles to be my fav so far. Possibly because it’s my kinda quaint. Old, battered, not too fancy. Friendly people, interesting stuff to look at. Van Gogh agreed, he did many of his paintings here, and the local gift shops will not let you forget it.

Who doesn’t like having a Roman amphitheater?

They have bullfighting. There was one that afternoon. Our guide went to great lengths to make sure we knew the French form of bullfighting does not kill the bull.

Ah yes, big party in town that night. We saw at least three stages going up. There was a carnival set up by the river. By the time I walked back to the boat the young people were playing beer pong and blasting hip-hop.

And every town needs a cathedral or six.

A little hard to see, I know, but behind the metal grate appears to be many glass boxes of bits of human remains. Presumably relics of the saints. They aren’t big on signage.

For the people reading this years from now, this poster is a photo of the fire at Notre-Dame which happened just a few days before.

Wherein Joyce finds some flamingoes.

I love the little details like this found in these old cities.

Then we went underground. No one is really sure of the function of these crypts, beyond being the foundations holding up the massive Roman forum above.

Here’s 8 minutes of audio recorded in secret in this busy bar / tobacco shop. People roll in and out of here nearly as fast as a New York bus station for tiny cups of espresso, tiny beers or mouse-sized glasses of … something that must be tasty.

Over the shoulder of the author you will see three ladies dressed in some period costume headed for doing something at la Féria.

And this is some of fine artwork on tobacco products. This one has slight humor aspect, but the images of cancer patients in the other packages aren’t so polite.

Famille Perrin

Our second wine visit was less interesting to us as we weren’t there to buy wine to take home. This was more like visiting a wine shop with friends, which we can do at home. However, we enjoyed their wines more than the previous place.

This place is in the village of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, which is a tiny place and as a result I’m foreshadowing something to come.

See that box on the counter? It’s got the best winery snack we’ve had so far. BONUS POINTS!

The family crest.

This is where we lost the bus. Or the bus lost us.

We hiked down the hill past the school….

… and here you see us troop off into the distance. Eventually we were forced to join the French Foreign Legion and serve in North Africa.

Well, eventually we made a few calls, and sent a couple scouting parties which made contact with our transportation. Then came the next problem. This ain’t the suburbs baby. Ya can’t just drive your giant heavy bus down any old street, leaving our party stranded.

Well, some members of our party aren’t as spry as they used to be. We got it all figured out. Advice: don’t leave the bus without the bus driver’s phone number.

Pope Hat

Some of the Portland people organized a side-trip to Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Here we are on a bus we eventually lost.

Maison Bouachon, our first stop.

Here is an example of how their vines grow. Note this is not an exaggeration, the soil is quite rocky.

Here is a chart of the grape varietals grown in the area.

I love these giant casks they use to age the wine.

Here’s a clever wine tool set that’s also a game of chess.

And here we see a typical vineyard. The rocks are believed to retain the heat of the day and radiate it back to the vines at night. Another goal for the way they are trained is to allow the local “mistral” winds to keep the vines dry.

The ruin on top of the hill contains an ancient lich and his legions of skeletons. Your party will want magic users, clerics… ok, just kidding. We are told this was the Pope’s summer cabin.

Avignon and On

The French Pope hung his Pope hat here for quite a number of years. Yes, so much Pope-ing needed to be done that there was more than one Pope for quite some time.

The Rhone River.

This tower was used as a prison, and was in use until relatively recently.

Here we see evidence of The Great Zombie Wars of 1595.

We enter the market. Here’s a box of crabs.

Escargot of various types.

Fish!

Notice that when they sell duck they leave the head on so you can tell you’re really getting a duck and not a chicken.

Flea market, somehow I managed to restrain myself.

Candy shop!

City Hall. We were warned to avoid the cafe places there as they have the worst food.

Viviers

Viviers, a really nice place to raise your kids up! Another labyrinth. Many of the homes are not occupied as it’s not so convenient to live like this in our modern era. You’ll get lots of exercise walking from your parking space with the groceries, and it’s not simple to renovate these old buildings. We are told there are generous tax breaks for those who take it on.

Cheese tasting on board! Yes, it was very yummy.

Steve from Lenee Winery has a birthday on our ship. Somehow they brought their wine which they’ve been sharing during the voyage.

Yes, in the lost and found, a Tasty Bite. Who leaves something like this lying about on a river cruise boat?