Travel Season

Thursday, July 27, 2017

You already know about the 12 days we spent in Cabo and very soon we will be spending a week in North Eastern Oregon- one of our most favorite places on Earth. Soon after that trip we are headed back to France. This time we will visit not only Paris, but also Southern France in the towns of Arles (Provence) and Nice (French Riviera).

We haven’t traveled much since the arrival of the bébé. But, now we are blowing the dust off our suitcases and getting back on the airplane.

It’s always a tough decision to leave our children for any extended period of time. Of course we miss them like crazy and the logistics of caring for 5 children is complicated. Even with lots of family around to help it’s not easy. I would love to bring our kids with us, but most of the trips we have been able to take are relatively short and we move much too quickly for family travel. We usually are up early and out late. Walking 10-15 miles a day. There is little sleep involved.

So, in the next few weeks stay tuned! I’m bringing the blog along for all the preparations, travel, and fun. We also have some exciting things happening here on the homefront. And, if you have any questions be sure to leave a comment so I can answer them!

Paris| What We Brought Home- SURPRISE Edition!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015


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cinquième enfant de surprise!!

Paris| What I Brought Home

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

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Paris| Shopping

Monday, October 12, 2015

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Staying in the 9th Arrondissement of Paris leads itself very naturally to a lot of shopping.  It’s home to two of the most famous department stores along with Rue after Rue of shops. Here are a few of the places we visited this last trip.

Zara Home

This place was so cool. Who even knew Zara had a home store?  Of course, the prices were cheaper in Paris then here!

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Galeries LaFayette

One of the most famous department stores in Paris.  The Galeries LaFayette is beautiful.  This trip my Mom bought an exclusive perfume only available in Paris by the French brand Guerlain.

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Galeries LaFayette Gourmet

Not only a luxury beauty and fashion department store, the Galeries LaFayette also has an entire store (over 3 levels) devoted to food, grocery, dining, and cooking. It’s a must stop on my Paris itinerary.

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Le Grenier a Pain

Boulangerie’s specialize in the baking and selling of bread and they are very important to the French way of life.  Wouldn’t it be lovely to have your own favorite boulangerie where you stop in daily to pick up a freshly baked warm baguette. This one has been voted best baguette several years running.

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Patisseries are shops that bake and sell pastries and often bread as well. 

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 Maison George

One of my favorite chocolate and macaron shops in Montmartre. Everything is beautiful here.

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Beautiful seafood markets

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Affordable flower shops

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Famous designers are abundant in Paris.  I tried on a necklace here and pretended for a moment it was an option. 

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Historically one of the most famous avenues in Paris, today it has some of the worlds most upscale shopping and the worlds busiest McDonalds. Probably not what Allied forces would have imagined when they marched down it in 1944 declaring victory over the Germans. 

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The lines to even get into some of the luxury stores are insane. It’s rumored that if you hang around you will be offered cash to go in and buy items for oversees shoppers who have maxed out their shopping limits. 

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One of the perks of shopping high end is sipping champagne while you browse.  Maybe we didn’t look like serious shoppers, because we weren’t offered any, but with all these people it was hard to find a sales associate who wasn’t busy.

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Stay tuned this week to see what we brought home. 


Paris| The Sites

Friday, October 09, 2015

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Ideally, one would have weeks to explore Paris and the surrounding areas.  Our mere 4.5 days wasn’t nearly enough time. I’m not ranking these in any sort of order. Obviously, the Eiffel Tower is pretty amazing, but I do love so many other famous sites in Paris, too. 

1. Arc de Triomphe

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I personally am very moved every time I see the Arc de Triomphe.  To think of the lives lost and wars fought for French freedom is pretty powerful.  

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The tomb of the unknown soldier from World War I.


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2. Tuileries Garden (Palace)

We spent so much time last trip in the Luxembourg Gardens that we never made it to the Tuileries. This large garden runs between the the northern and southern wings of the Louvre. 

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The French appreciate a good arc like the Italians do a good fountain.  Not to be confused with the Arc de Triomphe this is the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel. 

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3. Louvre

I’m sure we have committed some serious art felony, because we have never (GASP) gone into the Louvre.  I know. I know.  We will get there. So much to do. So little time!

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 4. Les Invalides

The first time Brian and I walked by this we were like, “What’s this?”  I could smack my forehead with the palm of my hand.  Gah! It’s only the burial site of Napoleon surrounded by other military and war hero monuments. 

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5. Notre Dame de Paris

Unfortunately, it wasn’t open this trip.  It’s such a wonder to imagine the tenacity of a people who had such passion for building a place of worship, they did it for free knowing that it would take a thousand years and not even their great grand children would get to see it completed. 

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6. Eiffel Tower & Champs de Mars

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The Eiffel Tower is breathtaking.  What’s also fun is people watching and making sure you don’t get pick pocketed. 

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This group of cyclists were finishing a charity ride from London. It was pretty fun to see them coming and toasting the 2 day ride.

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Also, because they were English speaking we got to chat with them a bit and enjoy a celebratory toast.

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7. Seine River

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8. Montmarte

The 18th arrondissement in Paris sits high above the city giving it a great view. It’s also a fun mix of art and cafes.  Beware, it’s a sweaty climb.

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Can you imagine Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso, and Vincent van Gogh sitting here and painting?

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I’m kicking myself for not buying a small canvas for my travel wall. 

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9. Sacre Couer

My all time favorite church I have visited so far. 

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10.  Moulin Rouge

Somewhat underwhelming, but still fun to walk by at least.  The neighborhood known at Pigalle is famous for being a seedy district filled with sex shops. American World War II soldiers nicknamed it “Pig Alley”. 

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Places we haven’t been to yet, but are definitely on my bucket list and a must see! 

Palace of Versailles


Musee d'Orsay





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