When I first came to Paris, I spent my time taking photos of all of the facades I saw there. There was a period in time when much time was spent fashioning and sculpting truly splendid door ways and windows. You will often see the name of the architect and the date somewhere by the door of the building. The dates end about the time WWI started. Many of the facades were done around the time Napoleon III hired Hausmann to change the face of Paris. Hausmann is the one responsible for the wide boulevards, the sewer system and the beginning of the metro lines, as well as the many little parks scattered around Paris. I have hundreds of photos of facades that have caught my notice. Sometimes it is just a small window, sometimes a huge painting done on the side of a building.

This photo is of a door that was facing a narrow little street, almost an alley, off of the Rue Faugbourg St Honore. I wonder what was behind it and what it represented. Maybe a seafood restaurant. Whatever it was, I love it, especially the color.

Spring in Paris

I think the cold that can sometimes stick around in Spring is finally over. I’ve noticed that the temperature doesn’t have that much to do with the blooming of plants as the length of the exposure to sun-as the days get longer, more plants start blooming. Trees get their fresh new leaves, tulips come up with a finger of color, and wysteria do their thing.

Some great pink tulips in the garden at Palais Royal, a great place to visit in the Spring.

Here is a view of the garden at Palais Royal.

A closeup of some wystera, one of my favorite spring blossoms-love the fragrance!

Monte Carlo

Maurice and I were lucky enough to be able to attend an annual Master’s tennis match in Monte Carlo through a friend who plays in a league in Provence. It is a lovely drive to Monte Carlo with the country side in Spring bloom. I especially love seeing the parasol pines come into view, sillhouted against the sky. I always know I am near the sea when I see these. The country is very hilly, even mountainous, right down to the water. The traffic is always heavy as people love living and visiting in this area. This is a sad time for Monte Carlo now as Prince Ranier just died. His funeral is on the 15th of April. On the way we saw many policemen on motorcycles on their way to help with security at the funeral-1800 extra policemen were sent in.
A group of policement that we passed on the freeway.

You enter the city by curving back and forth on the narrow road first high above giving you fantastic views of the city and sea below.

Monte Carlo
The tennis match played on red clay

We saw Federer play, the number one man player right now, and a new up and coming young French kid. A great day in the sun-perfect weather. From my seat I could look to the right and see the Mediterranian Sea. High above a hotel that intrigues me. It must have fantastic views. There was a seat for the royal family and usually one of them comes to see the matches but, sadly, it was empty today with a boquet of flowers with a black scarf across the middle

The hotel-called the Vista Hotel.

view to right
The view of a great house I could see the to right from my seat.

It was a long day-we didn’t get back to home until 9 PM-but lots of fun. The Cote d’Azure is such a beautiful place.


Carousel in Aix

This Saturday we we to Aix to see what supposed to be a festival with costumes. It was just a band dressed in blacks vests who did play very good music, sounding like the Irish music popular now and there is, indeed, a link between Brittany and Ireland. This carousel was nearby, set up especially for the month. It was made in 1999 but looks like something from several hundred years ago with creatures to ride right out of Jules Verne.
Close-up of a flying man
Close-up of Flying Man
I particularly liked this fish with seats below
I particularly like this fish with seats suspended below.
Liked this toad that you can ride inside of.
Isn’t this toad fun-you can ride inside of him.

An Evening of Jazz

April 10, 2005
Last night we went to a jazz show in the little village of La Tour d’Aigues, not far from where we live. The leader of the jazz group, and clarinet player, was a neighbor of ours just up the road, an owner of a gite. Maurice and I, along with my sister and her sister in law had stayed at the gite once when our house was still being built. It is a wonderful building, a couple of hundred years old with thick stone walls and antiques everywhere. It wasn’t the cleanest place I’ve ever been, but I loved the feel of it. I was really surprised at the professional level of the band. If I closed my eyes, I could have been in a club somewhere in the States, even New Orleans. Mostly the band plays New Orleans type jazz but last night they had a fabulous older guy, a professor of music, who played a few tunes at the piano and the music went into what I call smooth jazz. It was a great evening. We did get to bed until 2 AM. We have found, the longer we are here, the more we enjoy it and alot of that has to do with the people we are making friends with and the happenings we attend.