Category Archives: Travel

Passengers loading a jet

40 Genius Travel Tips That Will Change Your Life Forever

School has start­ed, and that’s when a lot of peo­ple pre­fer to trav­el… when the sum­mer vaca­tion­ers go home and it’s less crowd­ed out there.

I don’t trav­el all that fre­quent­ly, but I found these trav­el tips real­ly great. Some are com­mon sense, but oth­ers I wouldn’t have known. For one, I like #20 since I tend to get motion sick, and I didn’t know that the tur­bu­lence fac­tor dif­fers depend­ing on where you are in the plane. We sort of fig­ured out #22 last time we were on a trip and dri­ving from place to place with­out wifi or data turned on. #31 is cool. And #35! I use Pho­to­shop, but I had no idea about that one. There are some excel­lent tips here. See what you think.

Hiking Edwards Crossing, South Yuba River

Edward’s Crossing, South Yuba River

My daugh­ter moved to Egypt two years ago and hadn’t been back to vis­it since. But that changed this month. She wasn’t able to bring both kids — imag­ine two hyper kids on an 18-or-so-hour trip — but brought her youngest, Abdu. We trav­eled up to gold coun­try to see fam­i­ly and took the most amaz­ing hike. We even had my mom with us, who turns 80 in Octo­ber. It was a very spe­cial time spent togeth­er, for all of us.

Trea­sure time spent with loved ones. We can’t be with them all the time or always.

Gordes

Provence

Isle sur la Sorgue

Isle sur la Sorgue

Catapault at Les Baux

Cat­a­pault at Les Baux

Cheese vendors

Cheese ven­dors

Taking a nap on the barge

Tak­ing a nap on the barge

Life in St. Remy

Life in St. Remy

Well, we did it. We went back to France this year. I think it’s start­ing to become an addic­tion.

We stayed in the south of France, main­ly Provence. I hadn’t real­ly been to this part of the world before, so it was a real adven­ture and we cov­ered a lot of ter­ri­to­ry. To the left is Isle sur la Sorgue, where they have a ‘bro­cante’ or flea mar­ket every Sun­day. The items for sale on one side of the riv­er are nice antiques, sil­ver­ware, linens and the like while the ven­dors on the oth­er side sell inex­pen­sive cloth­ing, bags, food, and basi­cal­ly cheap stuff.

One place I high­ly rec­om­mend if you’re ever in the area is Les Baux. Plan to spend most of the day explor­ing this his­toric site, then catch the Car­rières de Lumières after­ward in the near­by quar­ry. ‘Klimt and Vien­na’ and ‘Invis­i­bles Cities’ were play­ing when we were there.

We went to the out­door mar­kets in sev­er­al towns and they sell the most amaz­ing local fruits and veg­eta­bles, olives, soaps, hats, cloth­ing, and laven­der. The sights, smells, and sounds are so invit­ing. The French real­ly know how to live. They would gath­er around lit­tle tables at lunchtime for a glass of wine and share some food. Very friend­ly and warm.

Then there were the many cas­tles, vine­yards, laven­der fields, and roads with cir­cles just about every time you blink. And the food. Oh, the food… We stopped to get gas one after­noon and found a place serv­ing food. Real­ly good food. At a gas sta­tion. And espres­sos. Real­ly good espres­so, not your 7–11 crap. How great is that?

We were hap­py to be able to stay with some friends, which was the real high­light. We also stayed sev­er­al places that we found through Airbnb. It was an oppor­tu­ni­ty to meet some new friends. We even stayed on a barge one night and met some real char­ac­ters who we hope will come vis­it us one day.

We made a road trip, which by Cal­i­for­nia stan­dards isn’t a big deal. It was only about three hours. We drove to Nice and met an online friend who has a music stu­dio he built there. It was great to final­ly meet up in per­son. The ocean off the coast of Nice is an amaz­ing shade of aqua. It was a windy day, and watch­ing those waves crash­ing and the palm trees blow­ing was a mem­o­rable expe­ri­ence.

Fromage

Paris!

Last week, I got back from my dream vaca­tion… 10 days in Paris. Of course longer would have been bet­ter. It seemed like I was just get­ting the hang of it about the time we had to pack our bags and come home. We rent­ed an apart­ment in Mont­martre with a kitchen so we wouldn’t have to eat all our meals out. I found the rental on line and it turned out to be owned by some­one here in Cal­i­for­nia, and a very good choice. The own­er left all sorts of tips in a note­book, so we learned the lay of the land fair­ly quick­ly.

We went to the famous flea mar­ket, right in our gen­er­al neigh­bor­hood… the largest flea mar­ket in the world that cov­ers sev­er­al blocks; vis­it­ed some of the land­marks in Paris; toured the Museé D’Orsay and the Muse­um of Dec­o­ra­tive Arts; famil­iar­ized our­selves with the local shops that sold all dif­fer­ent kinds of food and wine; walked all around the area where we stayed, which includ­ed Sacre Coeur and crypt, Au Lapin Agile, Clos Mont­martre (the remain­ing vine­yard in Paris), and jazz venues; and checked out the Eif­fel Tow­er, vin­tage and thrift stores, the Tui­leries Gar­dens and Notre Dame.

Only decid­ing to go a month before­hand, sort of on a whim because of my boyfriend’s birth­day, we had our work cut out for us brush­ing up on our French. I got­ta tell ya though, one of the high­lights of the trip was walk­ing home one evening after going to the ‘phar­ma­cie’ and being asked for direc­tions. I was able to give them… in French, then Eng­lish, as I asked and she sound­ed as though she was from Eng­land.

I took rather a lot of pho­tos. Some have said I could sell some of them. That’s a thought… maybe I could start sav­ing for my next trip to Paris. {smile}