Final Message from Linda

Hello again from Paris!! This is our last day in France- we are on our way home tomorrow- leave at 12 noon. If it works for you Steve we will see you at the Medford Airport at 5:30 tomorrow- if it works for you. If not we can easily take a cab. We have had a great 3 and a half weeks seeing Europe. We have seen and done so much it is mindboggling! We have been on many many flights, trains, buses, metros, cabs and we have walked dozens and dozens of miles. We have eaten wonderful food but actually have lost weight. We are both very tired and weary and our bodies are beginning to give out. We have been amazed that we have been able to keep up with Kyle and Sara( ages 23 & 24). We did some last minute sightseeing and shopping in Paris today and have been helping Kyle and Sara pack up their apt. so they can fly home themselves on Sat. They are very very excited about returning home after 9 months in France! Can’t wait to see everyone and get back home. Seems as tho we have been gone a very long time! See you all soon!! Linda

Back in Paris

Hi, we have come full circle and pulled back into Paris early this evening. We spent the last few days in Les Rousses with Sara’s family in the east of France. We were able to have a nice relaxing time and enjoy great home cooked French cuisine. Mom and Dad also got to see the countryside of Switzerland, as we took a small red train up the mountains into the little village of Les Rousses. This is the town where Sara’s grandfather is from, and is a beautiful place to spend time. We had a great visit with all of her relatives and it was all a nice change from the huge cities we had been touring the weeks before. Pictures of Italy and London are below. We leave Paris FOR GOOD on Saturday. Mom and Dad leave on Friday. Can’t wait to see everyone! I will get Mom or Dad on here tomorrow to give their take on the past week or so. We will see you soon!! Thanks for checking in.

Goodbye London

Well tonight is our last night in London. We saw the Tower Bridge today, the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park and Trafalgar Square. It was a gorgeous sunny, hot day. We really lucked out with the weather. Tomorrow we fly to Geneva and then after a bunch of trains we”ll get to Les Rousses. Kyle”s parents will be able to meet my French family. We”ll visit there through Wednesday. Kyle and I will arrive back in the US one week from today!! It”s unbelievable really. We”re so happy. See you soon!

London Calling

Hi we made it into London last night. What a cool city. Everything looks new and bright. And clean! It puts Paris to shame in many ways. We did only a brief tour last night as we were all quite tired. Our hotel is right around the corner from both the train station and Buckingham Palace, so we walked around both until the sun went down. We also walked along a couple of the many parks within the city. Today (which started an hour earlier than expected thanks to our alarm clock) we are going to see a session of Parliament and tour the Westminster area. Big Ben, Westminster Abbey and the like. In the evening we have tickets to see the Ceremony of the Keys at the Tower of London, which is supposed to be very cool. We”ll let everyone know how it goes. As for the hotel, it is VERY small, but nice enough and close to everything in the city. It”s been great to use the English language again, and the culture here is so much closer to our own that Sara and I have been feeling teased about going home next week. We even found a certain restaurant to have a quick lunch at. We”ll write more tonight as our hotel has free internet access. Only a week and a day left until we leave Europe and head home!

Farewell to Italy

Hi again from Rome. We have come to our last night in Italy. Tomorrow we leave for three days in London as we get into the latter part of our trip. Today was pretty unbelievable. To start things off, we walked up to St. Peter”s Basilica in Vatican City and who was there but THE POPE. He was giving his weekly blessing, and we had a direct view of him from the plaza. We will post pictures soon to prove it! It was really incredible. He gave blessings in about 6 different languages, including English luckily. After this we toured the Vactican museums (with the Sistine Chapel) and St. Peter”s itself. The church was HUGE and we ran into a free tour, which made it very enjoyable. We had a simple dinner out tonight. The food here has been very good, including all of the Gelato and pasta dishes. We have been stocking up before London, where the prices will be higher and the selections not quite as dazzling. Only about a week left before we prepare to come home. Lots still to see but everyone is quite tired and we are taking it a bit easier. Sara and I can”t wait to get back on May 1!!! It”s really close now!! See everyone soon. We”ll try to get pictures up as soon as possible, hopefully in the next few days. Keep checking back!

Message from Linda

Hi! We are now in Rome. We are in a small internet shop somewhere in town. What a city! Very big and bustling with people and motorscooters! We took a open air tour bus today that took us to all the major sights in Rome. We saw the Roman Forum, Collosium, etc and it was really incredible. So very very old! Something you really have to see to appreciate. We are staying in a cute (rick steeves) b &b in the heart of Rome. Tomorrow we plan to take the metro to the Vatican and Sistine Chapel area. Talk to you soon and hope everyone is doing well!! Linda

Greetings from Italy

Hi Everyone. We got into Milan yesterday and took the train down to Florence. We made it in at about 7pm after a 3 hour train ride. We had a little compartment all to ourselves for most of the trip, so it was fairly painless. We found our bed and breakfast, which has turned out to be much more bed than breakfast (although even the beds have produced some stories). The town of Florence is beautiful, especially after the sun has come out late today. The town is filled with tourists, but that still can”t ruin all of the great buildings and art. Mom and Sara have bought more things than you can imagine, and we are all carrying around about 10 pounds of bags as we write this. Everyone should expect some great gifts when we return. We had a great meal last night at an Italian pizzeria. Great pizza, spaghetti, pasta, and wine. Tonight we will probably take it easier, but we have been enjoying the food the whole time. We have walked all over town, it has been quite a chore. We will hopefully have a good rest tonight. Tonight is Sara and I”s anniversary, so we will try to do something special! We”ll be here for another couple of days, and then take the train down to Rome to spend a few more. We”ll check in as soon as possible. Hopefully we can get some pictures up soon, but as of now we are stuck with Internet Cafes. Sara and I can”t wait to get back! Only two weeks left until the U.S.! Mom says hi to Marci and everyone at work. Thanks for signing our guestbook! Also to Ted and Kymberly. We have been trying to figure out who the strange guy with the French berret is in all of our pictures. He keeps following us around. Ciao for now!

Normandy Getaway

Hi Everyone. We had a great few days in Normandy, seeing some unbelievable places. We rented a car and took in a lot of the countryside. Among the hightlights: The D-Day Beaches, Monet’s House and Gardens, Mont St. Michel, Cider and Calvados farms, and the French Coastline. We took a ton of pictures, and have put up some below. Tomorrow we leave for Milan, and will spend a week or so in Italy before heading to London and finally Les Rousses (to visit Sara’s family). We’ll check in here whenever possible– hopefully the Internet Cafe’s will be plentiful. See you soon!

Unforgettable Day (with more pictures!)

We headed over to the Chateau of Versailles about noon. The train ride took about 45 minutes. Once we got off we realized everyone else in the world was going there too. So we waited in line for over an hour. David and Linda took a tour of the palace- the King’s Bedroom, Marie-Antoinette’s Bedroom, The Hall of Mirrors and several other famous rooms. Kyle and I went to the gardens which were filled with bright yellow daffodils and purple pansies. The Gardens of Versailles It was wonderful to see the gardens again during spring. The last time we came was in late fall. While touring the gardens we also got to see the “Grandes Eaux Musicales” which is a beautiful show with music playing in the background of all the impressive Versailles fountains. Sara at Versailles The Palace of Versailles It was really incredible being there for Easter. It was so gorgeous and touching with the classical music playing. There were many people in paddle boats on the canal of the gardens too. We even saw a couple getting married in the gardens! We headed back to our apartment for a quick break and then walked over to Notre Dame for Easter mass. Easter Mass at Notre Dame We arrived 5 minutes before the mass started and surprisingly were able to get in. The church was breathtaking with the high ceilings. We really lucked out because the mass was done by Jean Marie, the Archbishop of Paris. It’s really beautiful to hear a mass given in French. It’s such a beautiful language. They had an incredible choir for the Easter mass. After mass, we went outside and walked alongside the church and saw all the beautiful flowers and cherry trees and the Rose Window. Sara and Kyle outside Notre Dame Then we went to the park in back of the church and got a beautiful view of the back of the church. Mom and Sara outside Notre Dame For dinner, we went to the Latin Quarter and found a French restaurant and had a wonderful Fondue à la Normande which is a fondue with emmentel, comté and apple juice. There were even apple slices in the fondue. It was delicious. I’ve never tasted a fondue anything like it. With the fondue we had yummy white wine, potatoes and an “assiete de charcuterie” (a plate full of yummy ham, sausage, and cornichon). Kyle’s parents also got to taste “salade du chevre chaud” which is my favorite- salade with hot goat cheese. Kyle ordered a yummy salad with walnuts. We ate outdoors in the heart of the Latin Quarter. The ambiance was incredible- a nice night, laughter all around- that’s what I love about the Latin Quarter – it’s a real happy, lively place. For dessert, Linda and David got yummy crepes at a crepe stand nearby. It was a really special day- definitely the best so far. We have a lot of wonderful things coming up though!!!!! The Dome Church Guard at the Luxembourg Gardens The Paris Metro

Weekend Update (with pictures!)

Today was another busy and fun day. We started out at an open air market around mom and dad’s hotel. They seemed to really enjoy the people and the atmosphere. They like to stop at each little place and check out the food. We brought home some cheese and sweets for dinner and had some sandwiches along the way. We had planned on seeing the Louvre Museum today but it was actually pretty sunny for a change, so we instead went to the Hotel d’Invalides area, and took in the Musee Rodin and Dome Church. We were able to walk along the Seine River and see some of the great bridges as well. The Invalides area has a lot of nice greenery and we walked a long ways. Everyone was pretty tired after it was over. The outside of the Dome Church is incredible, and everyone seemed to really enjoy it. Inside was also fantastic, with riches galore all over the place. Napoleon’s Tomb is quite a site. We made our way home by way of the Latin Quarter, and also taking in Notre Dame from afar. The Latin Quarter was really crowded, with the many different restaurants and shops buzzing. Mom and dad are really getting to see how big a city this is. We had hoped to take a Boat Ride tonight, but it was pretty windy and we were all tired. We’ll try to fit that in another time. Sara made another great dinner tonight– a French Raclette with potatoes and melted cheese. Everyone really enjoyed it! Dad is also liking all of the great wine. Tomorrow we are planning to go out to Versailles, and also to attend an Easter Service at Notre Dame. Hopefully we can get in, as it will likely be very crowded. More reports to come– directly from Mom and Dad when possible. Keep checking in! We’ve put some pictures up below (Dad took most of these):

Dad on the streets of Paris Mom and Kyle in front of Eiffel Tower Mom and Sara in our Neighborhood The Gardens of the Rodin Museum The Thinker