More photo-a-day pics from France

The third week of our trip began in Saint-Etienne-du-Gres, a small town between Avignon and Arles, continued to the Cote d’Azur (French Riviera), up through part of the Alps (in and out of Italy and Switzerland), and back to Paris.

Here’s a photo from each day of the that week.

Sep_17_17

(9/17/17) Old car show in Aix-en-Provence

Version 2

(9/18/17)WWII Deportees And Resistance Memorial, Menton

Version 2

(9/19/17) Monaco

Sep_20_17

(9/20/17) I forgot the name of this little town we drove through in the southern French Alps.

Sep_21_17

(9/21/17) Paraglider over Chamonix

Sep_22_17.jpg

(9/22/17) Beaune, Burgundy Region

Version 2

(9/23/17) Jardin du Luxembourg, Paris

Advertisements

Photo-a-day from the second week in France

After a couple of days in Paris and a couple more in the Loire Valley, we headed south to the Dordogne and Lot regions, and then on to Provence.

Here’s a photo from each day.

Version 2

(9/10/17) This little cabin contains an old bread-baking oven (the round part on the left) and is attached to the main house on the right.  We rented it as an Air BnB room. It was a terrific place to stay in the village of Rignac, a few miles from the well-known town of Rocamadour in the Lot region of France. Jean-Luc and Maud, both retired teachers, were our hosts. They were wonderful. We had great breakfast conversations with them, and they gave us a tour of the surprisingly large and beautiful church in their village.

Sep_11_17

(9/11/17) Rocamadour cascades in 3 levels down a cliff. Yes, it’s a tourist town, but is so beautiful, that you can easily ignore the gift shops and daytime crowds. And it looks stunning at night.

Sep_12_17.jpg

(9/12/17) At the recommendation of of our host, Jean-Luc, we took a drive south to the towns of Saint-Cirq-Lapopie (right side of this photo) and Bouzies, on the Lot River.  We took a 2 hour boat ride back and forth between the two picturesque towns.

Sep_13_17

(9/13/17) After leaving the Rignac AirBnB, we headed southeast, in the direction of Provence.  After taking a few wrong turns, we finally found our way to the route we wanted, which was a drive through the the Gorges du Tarn, a deep valley cut by the Tarn River.  There are several small towns like this one along the way. It’s a popular area in the summer, with camping, hiking, and canoe/kayak rentals.  We arrived as the season was winding down, so it was quiet and peaceful.

Sep_14_17

(9/14/17) The Pont du Gard remains largely intact as a masterpiece of Roman design and engineering. Almost 2,000 years old, it was built as part of an aquaduct that carried water across the Gardon River on a 50 km route to supply the city of Nimes.

Sep_15_17

(9/15/17) Avignon

Version 2

(9/16/17) Arles

 

Off to begin a European vacation

After a trip to Europe, it’s time to post again.  While Minnesotans sweltered in the September heat that followed a cool August, the French and the Italians bundled up to face an early autumn after a hot summer.  It was hard to pack for a trip in either direction.

I’ll write more about the trip after I catch up with the photo-a-day thing.  Here’s a pic from each day of Week #36 of 2017.

Sep_3_17

(9/3/17) I think our little back yard looks pretty good the day before we leave for 3 weeks.

Sep_4_17

(9/4/17) 4:30 PM – We taxi onto the runway and take off toward the approaching storm. It was a bouncy and discomforting way to start the trip.

Version 2

(9/5/17) Bonjour, Pareee!  After landing at 7:30 AM, we dropped our bags at the hotel and set off to stumble around and see a few things. In 2015, the city decided to remove all the “love locks” from the Pont des Arts Bridge. Since then, “lovers” (such as those in the middle of an argument in this picture) have found a new home for their romantic trinkets nearby. It’s probably just a matter of time before these locks are also scrapped. I think it’s interesting, but doesn’t strike me as a particularly attractive assemblage. ( I think that might be a French word.)

Version 2

(9/6/17) Speaking of lovers, these two lovebirds jump in the air in an attempt to take flight in front of the Notre Dame Cathedral. A photographer snaps away in an obvious attempt to get a good photo for their engagement announcement (I hope).

Version 2

(9/7/17) After a couple of nights in the big city, we pick up a rental car and head south to the Loire Valley for a little Chateau-hoppin’.  First stop is Chateau de Chambord, probably the largest and most elaborate of all.  Lunch was bread, cheese, and an apple on the bench.

Version 2

(9/8/17) We visited two Chateaux today. The first was Château d’Amboise (home several Kings of France) situated on a cliff above the city of Amboise, and the second was the Château of Clos Lucé, also in Amboise. This photo at Clos Lucé was shot through an old glass window which warps the light, resulting in an impressionist-like image of the gardens. Clos Lucé is where Leonardo da Vinci spent the last three years of his life. He was persuaded to move here by his friend, King François I, whose city (and this house) made a better place for Leonardo to work than in Italy during it’s turmoil at the time.

Version 2
(9/9/17) One more chateau visit today, before heading farther south.  This is Chateau de Chenonceau, which is really beautiful because it spans the River Cher. It is nicknamed “The Ladies Castle”, because it was “built in 1513 by Katherine Briçonnet, decorated by Diane de Poitiers, extended by Catherine de Médicis and saved by Louise Dupin during the French Revolution.” (quote is from a blog post about the top ten Chateaux in the Loire Valley)

 

 

Will summer return?

Week #34 of 2017 is in the books. We had some rain, some sun, and some cool weather.  It seems like summer took a break in mid-July and never returned. Here are my photos of the day for last week.

 

Aug_20_17

(8/20/17) A brief sun shower while biking on East 36th St. at 46th Ave So in Minneapolis.

Aug_21_17

(8/20/17) We bought several varieties of Kale at the Barton School plant sale fundraiser. This one, planted in a straw bale, is the smallest but most colorful.

Version 2

(8/21/17) In today’s installment of the “Missed our flight, have to sleep at the airport” game, our two world travelers share a quiet moment together.

Version 2

(8/22/17) While walking on the Stone Arch Bridge in downtown Minneapolis, I ran across what appeared to be a wedding party photo session in the Mill Ruins Park below.  

Version 2

(8/23/17) Prairie grasses catch the last rays of the evening in Glendalough State Park, Minnesota

Version 2

(8/24/17) With rain and more rain in the forecast, we aborted our camping trip to Glendalough State Park after one night and headed for home. Guess which rig is ours.

Aug_26_17

(8/25/17) Late summer color in the backyard

Dog Days are here again

The little bathroom is almost done.  The temps are starting to go down. We’re picking tomatoes.  The State Fair is just ahead.  Svea starts Kindergarten next week. Time to savor the remaining days of summer.

Here’s a photo from each day of last week.

Aug_13_17

(8/13/17)  The tiny bathroom is nearly done, thanks to the hard work of expert craftsmen and artists (such as the one pictured here). It’s too bad there was no one around to hold that light for her.

Aug_14_17

(8/14/17)  Urban fishing at its best — Lake Harriet, Minneapolis.  What you may not know is that there are some very large game fish (Muskellunge) in this lake.  Watch the video below to see someone catching a Muskie in Lake Harriet.

Here’s a video of someone landing a 39-inch Muskellunge from a dock in Lake Harriet within the city limits of Minneapolis. Muskies 6-8 inches longer than this one are not uncommon here. 

 

Aug_15_17

(8/15/17) No, the PGA Champions Tour was not in town. But Ron Julien was the coolest cat on the course today at Como Golf Course in St. Paul. Thanks, Ron, for inviting me to play!

Aug_16_17

(8/16/17) Imagine the odds against being in my photo of the day TWO days in a row! But Ron managed to do it during Happy Hour at Barrio Restaurant on the Nicollet Mall in Minneapolis.  Here, he reacts when Mary says, “Whoa, Ron, I think you’ve had about enough bean dip and guacamole.”

Aug_17_17

(8/17/17)  It’s that time of year.

Aug_18_17

(8/18/17) I tore my Meniscus for this photo of a Hibiscus.

Aug_19_17

(8/19/17)  Sometimes those Groupons really pay off.  Osteria I Nonni in St. Paul is a fantastic Italian restaurant, and neither of us had ever been there before.

Photos to take your mind off nuclear war and white supremacists

Here are my photos of the day from Week #32 of the year that Trump built. Don’t be fooled, we’re not immune to extremism here in the heartland, but it doesn’t hurt to take a little break from the daily news and go out and find some good things.

Version 2

(8/6/17) Rainy evening at Lake Nokomis

Version 2

(8/7/17) Reid Parkinson at the Nicollet Diner

Aug_8_17

(8/8/17)  Barbara Shelton invited us over at dusk for a Mojito and some catching up.  Her backyard screened porch, now in its third summer, is charming . . . and it keeps the rain and bugs away.

Aug_9_17

(8/9/17) Roger walks through wildflowers on his way from the tee to his drive (in the middle of the fairway, of course) on the 14th hole at Keller Golf Course in St. Paul. It’s amazing to think that Keller, a Ramsey County public course, was a regular stop on the pro tour for four decades, and even hosted the PGA Tournament twice — in 1932 and 1954! While today’s players disagree about some of the design changes made three years ago, no one disputes that this place is more beautiful than ever right now.

Aug_10_17

(8/10/17) As a heretofore non-vegetable gardener, you can imagine how cool this seems. Right in our yard!  Things you can eat!

Aug_11_17

(8/11/17)  Mark and Deb Frette joined us for some excellent Scandinavian appetizers at “Erik the Red Nordic BBQ and Barbarian Bar” in the old “Hubert’s” building across the street from the Vikings Stadium in downtown Minneapolis. (Karen looked up from checking Facebook for a split second!)

Aug_12_17

(8/12/17) A moment, Lake Nokomis, Minneapolis

Just a regular old summer week – but it never gets boring.

It was good week, with great weather (except for one weird day). I hung out at some lakes and a creek, went to a block party and a baseball game, drove up north for a wedding– pretty much what summer’s all about.

Version 2

(7/30/17) Airliner on final approach to MSP over Lake Harriet.

Jul_31_17

(7/31/17) Two kayakers negotiate a fallen tree over Minnehaha Creek.

Aug_1_17

(8/1/17) National Night Out block party on our street.

Version 2

(8/2/17) This kid waved at me as he floated down Minnehaha Creek. As he went under the bridge, I asked him how far they were floating.  “We go a long way”, he said, “maybe about 3 hours today”.  Not a bad way to spend an afternoon.

Version 2

(8/3/17) Today was a really strange day.  It was cold and cloudy all day — high temps in the mid-50s with on-and-off rain. So when I saw a smidgeon of blue sky in the distance at Lake Harriet, I grabbed it.

Aug_4_17

(8/4/17)  I went to the Twins game with Lauren tonight.  When we were walking around, I saw her taking a picture of the big “shaking hands across the river” sign in center field and felt happy that she appreciates these retro things as much as I do. I was 8 during the Twins’ first season in 1961. This logo takes me back — and it’s cool that my kid loves it too. Now, if they’d play the Hamm’s Bear commercial on the big screen and have Herb Carneal, Ray Scott and Halsey Hall calling the game on the radio, I’d be all set.

Version 2

(8/5/17) A lovely outdoor wedding at Karen’s cousin’s farm near Brooks, in the Red River Valley in northwestern Minnesota.  Congratulations, Tyrell and Natalie Hamrum!