Went to Paris for the Seine

It’s been an eventful year, and the other day, I was lamenting the fact that I haven’t taken that many photos this year compared to other years.  But, then one of my Paris pictures popped up on my screensaver, and I remembered I WAS THERE in the Spring! And, I took a lot of pictures!  Posts are likely to remain sporadic for the next while as I continue with work and pursue Life Coach training on the side, but it’s important to me to also at least dabble on the creative side.

Paris was all about spending as much time near, and on, the Seine, as possible, and the pictures I took reflected that.  When you visit any new city, especially one like Paris, it’s impossible to see and do everything, so you pick and choose the things you think you’ll enjoy the most, and living in land-locked Saskatchewan, that meant being near the water.

River Seine from two of the high vantage points in Paris…up the 422 stairs of the Notre Dame Towers, and the Eiffel Tower.

view from Towers of Notre Dame 2view from Towers of Notre Dameview from Towers of Notre Dame 1from the Eiffel Tower

Views of Paris from the Seine on three different tours…tour boat, Batobus (the boat bus), and an evening cruise.

from the tourist boat

Nice reminder of visiting New Orleans listening to this brass band

on the tourist boatfrom the tourist boat 3on the tourist boat 2evening cruise

From the Pont des Arts Bridge (thought I’d read that all the locks had been removed but there were still quite a few all along the bridge).

pont des arts bridge 1pont des arts bridge 2Pont des arts bridge

Walking along the Seine…

walking along the seine 2walking along the seine 4

Saturday morning stroll

spot the sun worshipper in the red speedo…

walking along the seine 3walking along the seinewalking along the seine 5

Morning coffee view from the apartment…

from apartment window

And ending a day of exploring…

cheers

 

 

The Enchanted Forest

My favourite family vacation almost came to a tragic end at the Enchanted Forest, near Revelstoke, British Columbia.  My mom, dad, brother (with a box of comics between us in the backseat) and I had just finished walking through the Enchanted Forest and piled into our two door blue Dodge Aspen, pulling our Boler trailer, when I became hysterical at the sight of a spider inside the car (I was five or six at the time) which caused my dad to almost veer across the road, and  plunge down a cliff, which surely would have lead to our demise. This is how I remember the scene, and it’s a story I’ve repeated for many years.  We also visited Bedrock City, a Flintstones theme park, and Old MacDonald’s Farm in Kelowna, and camped near Okanagan Lake where I hoped to spot the legendary lake monster, Ogopogo.

Alas, the two theme parks no longer exist, but the Enchanted Forest still beckons weary travellers on the Trans Canada Highway to stop and walk through an old growth forest full of delightful fairy tale characters.  This summer, I wanted to see if it was as magical as I remembered.

Here’s how the Enchanted Forest started..

how it began

And some of the scenes you’ll see…

cow jumped over the moon

there was an old woman 1red doortea for twodwarfsstorkTortoise and the hareMary, Mary

old woman hat

not sure about this one

Not sure which fairy tale this is?

Wedding partygingerbread man and foxwolftroll under the bridgepeaking out the windowwingsfollow the yellow brick road

Oh, and as we pulled out of the parking lot, I made sure to note just how far down that cliff was…..there was no cliff.

ceilings of the Louvre

“Remember to look at the ceilings in the Louvre!”

That’s the advice I took to heart in Paris.  The Louvre is intimidating – it’s the biggest and most visited museum in the world, so not only is there so much to see (over 35 000 works of art), you are often jockeying for a prime position to view a piece of art.  My advice to both beat the line-ups and to navigate through the crowds is to book a skip the line tour.  I booked an Express Tour through Viator, and with our guide, our group breezed through the line, and we were provided with a good overview of the collection. By no means did we see it all (that would take months!), but it was a solid introduction.

And, honestly, mostly I took pictures of the ceilings! Amazing!

Louvre Ceiling 6Louvre ceiling 3Louvre Ceiling 5Louvre ceiling 2Louvre ceiling 7 (1)Louvre Ceiing 4Louvre ceiling

Walking Along the Seine

One of my favourite parts of Paris was being near the Seine River. After a long, cold winter, the real purpose of the trip was not to visit the museums, eat the food, and drink the wine (okay that was part of it, too!!),  but to be outside and explore the city on foot.

Every day, and night, included a walk along the river.

spring afternoon by the seineNotre Dame at night

 

 

Just go!

Posts have been few and far between for a number of different reasons, but quietly in the background, a trip to Paris has been planned! It’s getting very close to lift off, and I hope to have many pictures to share in the weeks to come.

somewhere over Minnesota, March 2016

Everyone I’ve talked to about Paris seems to have a strong opinion. It’s beautiful! The food was amazing! Wine is cheap! Paris in the Spring! You’ll love it! People are rude! Dog poop is everywhere! I would never go back!  I’ve tried to take those opinions with a grain of salt because travel is very personal, What one person thinks is an amazing destination, is on another person’s “I would never go there!” list.  (Jamaica is on that list for me.) My only travel advice is if you want to go somewhere, just go!

I thought it would be fun to pick just one photo from each of the last few trips to capture what I liked the most about each one.

Elk Island National Park, near Edmonton Alberta, Summer 2017 (one of the best places to watch a sunset!)

 

Puerto Vallarta, Banderas Bay, March 2017

 

Island Lake Lodge, August 2016 for a classic Canadian wilderness scene.

Prince Albert National Park, June 2016 (another classic Canadian wilderness scene)

New Orleans, March 2016. This was a hard one because I pretty much love everything about New Orleans. But one of my favourite things was walking along Royal Street at night in the French Quarter to take pictures of the window displays. This was in the window of the Red Truck Gallery.

Jasper National Park, July 2015. I love talking animal pictures.

Watching surfers, Maui, March 2105

This is not far from home at all…near Regina, summer 2015

Butchart Gardens, Victoria, BC, June 2014

…and still one of my favourite pictures I’ve ever taken…Great Bear Rainforest, June 2013

All of these pictures make me realize I’m very lucky to be able to travel and to see and experience many different places.

Classic Canadiana

A glimpse of the Banff Springs Hotel (someday I’ll stay here, but a visit to the Rundle Lounge in the Hotel is the next best thing!)

banff springs hotel daytime

And further down the road, a sliver of beautiful Lake Louise….

lake louise

Since this is the first of my favourite places I’ve visited (having camped in Banff as a little kid), it’s probably at the top of the list followed by New Orleans, Maui, and Tofino/Ucluelet.  Where to next, that’s what’s on my mind – somewhere new, perhaps.

 

mountains of Banff

It was a hot, dry, summer in Western Canada, and as a result there were a lot of forest fires.  Prior to our camping trip to Banff in August, it had been so smoky that the highway between Banff, and Radium, British Columbia had been closed.  We camped for four days and had spectacular weather for three of those days.

Castle Mountain

Castle Mountain

Cascade Mountain

Cascade Mountain

walking by the Bow

Walking by the Bow River

It was very smoky on on our last full day in Banff.  Mount Rundle on a clear day…

Rundle on a clear day

And on a smoky day….

Rundle on a smoky day

Made for an interesting sunset…

Banff August 2017Banff August 2017 1