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25 posts from June 2010

the catacombes

Les Catacombes de Paris doesn't allow flash photography, but there was enough light in a few places, combined with increasing the exposure in iPhoto, to show you a few pictures.

What the pictures can't show you is how many bones there are down there...the catacombs are a labyrinth of about 200 miles of tunnels of bones, bones, and more bones, stacked along the walls of the tunnels, five to six feet high.  You can only walk through a designated one way path, all of the side tunnels are closed off by locked gates.  To get down there you walk down a seemingly never-ending narrow spiral staircase carved out of the stone...Kate was starting to get a little freaked out just before we finally reached the bottom.













The ossuary used to be guarded 24/7, and the bored guards would carve sculpture into the walls with spoons...that's what this last picture is of.


le domaine de Marie-Antoinette

The part of our trip I was looking forward to the most...and it was better than I had anticipated.

My pictures of the Petit Trianon didn't turn out very flash photography was not permitted inside my pictures are dark, and most of them look black and white after I bump up the exposure levels in iPhoto.  There are some very nice pictures here

It was a beautiful day outside that day, so I can post some of my pictures of The Queen's hamlet.
















This video is not mine, I found it on gives a good feel...

shopping in Paris

Melinda wants to see what we bought while we were in Paris, which seems like an easy place to start...

From Fragonard, the oldest still operating perfume factory in France, where we took a tour to learn how perfume is made, bars of olive and lemon soaps, a bottle of lotion, some perfumes for Kate, and two boxes of gorgeous perfumed soap for Susan and Melinda...from Dalloyau, some chocolates, macaroons, candied fruit slices, and caramels...and from the gift shop at the second level of the Eiffel Tower, some souvenir towers for Kate and I.


I bought myself a new coat and a shirt at Zara's, on the Champs Elysees, a silk scarf from a small department store, and two painting from artists who were set up in Montmartre.


Kate and I also had our portraits done in Montmartre.  I don't like mine at all, but Kate's turned out really nice.

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We brought home for Matthew, from assorted shops during our trip, some nutella (which you can buy in the U.S., but I was told it's not quite the same as what you can buy in Europe), some olive oil in a neat crock type bottle, a tin of basilic olive oil, some pate, dijon mustard, olive spread, and a jar of spice mixture.


From the shop at the Petit Trianon, two scarves, some postcards, and a book.


I wouldn't have purchased the scarves had I looked at the price tags first, but I was busy talking to the cashier when I picked up the white floral one, inquiring about the pink one on display that I couldn't find.  She so graciously pulled out their scarf stock trying to find it for me, apologized profusely when she couldn't...then thoroughly inspected the display scarf, found the original envelope it was in, then perfectly folded and repackaged it for me.  I gulped when she told me my total, but I handed her my money, then looked at the receipt when I got out of the shop.  The white floral one was 55 euros, and the pink one 95 euros.  I would have been too embarrassed to return them at that point..."I'm sorry, but I was too stupid to look at the price tags before I put these on the counter...".   When I got them back to the hotel and took them out of their envelopes I was glad I kept them, the fabric is absolutely sensuous.  I've never bought such high quality silk before.

Kate got a few new dresses...the three on the left are from Morgan on the Champs Elysees, not too far from where I bought my jacket and shirt...the two on the right she bought at a street fair.  I tried to get her to put on a little fashion show for you but she told me no, so I spread them out on the couch instead.


She also got the white floral shirt/dress she's wearing in the picture taken at Pere Lachaise cemetery at a street fair...and the black and red dress she's wearing in the other picture, taken at The Queen's Hamlet, from a shop in Montmartre.  The red scarf that's tied to her purse strap is one I bought for myself, I loaned it to her that morning because it was a little chilly when we set off for Chateau Versailles.

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I also bought a blue striped scarf and a multicolored zip front sweatshirt in Montmartre, because it was colder in France than what I had packed for.  I'm glad I did, I needed them when we went up the Eiffel Tower Monday evening.