We made it… after a long day that consisted 48 hrs. It was hard to figure out exactly what day it was. Having taught right up to that very last minute… literally. My interactive and design class did a truly fabulous mural which was process piece of the work they did for the band–The Idle Hands. The mural was topped off by a few of the students doing their own vision of finger painting… like using their whole body. I didn’t have my camera and it was a “real happening” so it will have to live on in my memory.
Mike and I didn’t get much sleep on Friday because we were packing … I know it sounds last minute but not really. We had everything out but it wasn’t bagged yet nor discussed. That took a while.
We boarded the plane … Saturday morning at 6:40 am and proceeded to see the USA first… at least the manufacturing towns of the past. We spent about 6 hours in Cleveland and another 2 hours in Detroit. At 7 p.m., started across the eastern portion of the U.S. and finally made it to France. Air France’s service was great. The food was okay. The entertainment was plentiful. Air France gave us a chance to see our take-off by way of a video camera mounted in the nose of the plane… that was exciting. The only thing one might complain about is that the seats were like sitting on wooden benches…. they were padded but the French must have the hardest butts in the world. It felt so good to be off the plane.
We came into Paris from the airport on the train… that was a great way to start learning the local custom and a few bits of language of French we know. The ride from the Metro took about 45 minutes and I never had the chance of dragging several pieces of luggage through a subway and the several flights of stairs that those corridors consist. It was even more fun dragging the same pieces through the city’s streets. I think our walk with the bags down and through the streets of Paris lasted another 45 – 60 minutes. Luckily, the temperature was only in the 80s with very low humidity.
We got to the hotel that Mike work so hard to find… and it was wonderful. It has a very clean room, comfortable bed and even cleaner bathroom. The hotel is very nicely located it is in sector 14… I believe… but by either taking the metro or walking we are having a wonderful time. Yesterday evening we walk to Jared Luxembourg Park… sat under the shade of trees and watch an interesting game involving a little red ball and big weighted balls. I think the point of the game is to get your balls as close to the red as possible. It was a very social game and the participants were young and old alike. The park had a couple of spaces for artist to show their work… and we run across a woman’s work Rosy Lamb… really beautiful pieces where she used plaster and paint… abstract drawing/painting sometimes scratching into the plaster and at other times molding it. Great use of color, space and form!
We got up to Notre Dame as well… not to see it but just to be able to stroll along the river and people watch and the watching was great. People were everywhere enjoying the evening. We had a nice dinner and then back to the hotel. We slept well.\n\nToday we had a very nice day out and about… we did have to get our ticket for our train ride tomorrow to Lucern and then to Florence a day or two after that. We got to Versailles and were able to spend a few hours in the chateau’s gardens. Now that is a yard. Imagine having a yard that is big enough to house your wive and mistress at the same time and they seemed never to get into one another’s way. Hmm… now that is interesting.
The French are treating us very well… and are being very patient with us. I hope this finds you all well. I hope to drop a few lines now and again to you as we progress along our route. We are expecting to be back on the 16th of August.