Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Self Focus.

Self Focus..."Holding My Space".
Taking time from Paris Focus, for Self Focus.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Brunch in Paris with Patricia.

We started off with breakfast and coffee; then before we knew it, great conversation turned breakfast into lunch. What a way to spend an afternoon in Paris, brainstorming business ideas, laughing and talking about love and relationships, work, travel, hopes, dreams, goals, pets, etc, etc. all in the warmth of a cozy Parisian Cafe just across the street from Notre Dame.

Patricia has lived as "An American in Paris" for 26 Years, and has some of the most interesting stories and insights to share. Women like Patrica are rare jewels hidden in Paris. Brunch was wonderful, as I feel the New Year beginning to pick up momentum.

Patricia and her beloved dog.
Friendly Waiter.
Happiness is Brunch at a Paris Cafe!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Swimming, Finally.

Swimming has been on the top of my "To Do" list since arriving in Paris. "Go Swimming" has turned into a New Year's Resolution. Today I spent the afternoon swimming with a friend. Actually it was more like "swimming lessons" from a friend.
I am not a swimmer but now I have a few techniques to practice. This indoor pool in Paris, featured an Ice Skating Rink, several hot tubs, a warm swimming pool and a separate area lap pool.
Just another reason to LOVE Paris!

Heated Swimming Pool Area.

Lap Pool.

Ice Rink.

Swimming indoors in the winter is wonderful. Hope this New Year's resolution lasts the entire year.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

An Evening with Familiar Friends - Paris Soiree

Getting back into the 'routine' of life in Paris, which includes the Sunday evening dinner Soirees at Patricia's. Walking to her home is filled with beautiful sites along the way. I think I will always be a tourist (at heart) always with a camera.

Sometimes Paris does not seem real, but it is!

Tonight Patricia showed me how to make these Salmon Appetizers. I made the entire tray full, and before I could get my camera, half were gone!

Chez Patricia.

Guest Speaker, Rebecca.

Rebecca and Patricia.

Lamb, Vegetable Couscous, Green beans, Black-eyed peas, Bread, Dessert, Cocktails and Wine.

A few Guests and Old Friends.

Paris Soirees always turn into a nice evening with old and new friends.

Beautiful Paris.

Walking past this sculpture brought a smile to my face, because sometimes I feel this way and would just prefer to curl up in a ball and lay down. Hmm, would I become Beautiful Art?

Sometimes Life gets a little "bumpy"and out of balance, negative thoughts keep trying to creep in to replace the missing Las Vegas Sunshine.

Taking a walk anywhere in Paris, is always a nice thing, taking a few photos to capture moments along the way is even better.

Beautiful Art, The way I feel sometimes.

Carousels always bring a smile, especially in Paris.

Ice Skating in the Winter brings Laughter.

Ahh, Paris, even without the Sunshine is beautiful.

From behind the artful rails, it's beautiful.

Street/Bridge Performer.

Beauty is everywhere.

This is Paris.


Saturday, January 16, 2010

Still Not Happy All the Time.

Happiness - Cheeseburger, Small Fries and a Small Diet Coke

It comes and it goes, unhappiness that is, even in Paris?! Most of the time, he's not welcomed in my life and I quickly close the door or go the other way, (towards the sun) when I see him coming.

Today, he snuck up on me. I haven't seen the sun shining for the past two days since I arrived back in Paris, it's been rainy and overcast. I should have known unhappiness was somewhere near, waiting to visit when the wonderful holiday memories faded along with the sunshine.

Unhappiness surrounded me as I walked down the sidewalk, within the crowd he found me, singled me out and asked me why I was walking all alone. "Where are your friends?", he asked, "Look around at everyone else, they are not alone, you are all alone, you have no one to share your life...", he hovered over me blowing cold air over my head as he reminded me I had forgotten my umbrella. He laughed at me as the rain fell, soaking my head and shoulders. I looked down as I walked.

I thought, as I walk down the crowded Paris sidewalk, "Isn't it interesting how the thoughts in my head can literally beat me up like little ghosts of unhappiness, having a boxing match against my heart and soul." Seemingly for no reason at all, negative thoughts, depression, and unhappiness all appeared.

I know I'll feel better the moment I realize that I am in control of my thoughts, but until I take control, depression and the little unhappy ghosts surround me, and kick my ass.

I'm tired, hungry and lonely.

Moments like this, I need McDonald's (yes, seriously). Only half a block away, I enter the overcrowded McDonald's, full of French, American and internationl families, men, women, boys, girls and children. The lines fill the lobby, on any 'normal' day, I would turn around and leave, but I smile on this rainy cold day as I see the crowds and realize that if there are this many people waiting here for food, my choice to be here can't be all that bad. After all, the cozy Bistro across the street doesn't have nearly half as many people lining up for a menu.

I order my usual, one cheeseburger, small fries and a small diet coke.

Sitting on the bar stool between two strangers, watching the parade of people passing by on the sidewalk below, I realize I must have lost depression and the unhappy ghosts in the crowded lobby downstairs. I start to feel better already.

Just as I finish my last bite, my cell phone rings.
"Where are you?" it's the voice of Pierre with a strong French accent.
"Uh, I'm ah, out... eating lunch." I answer, not wanting to confess my McDonald's affair.

"Where are you?" I ask in return.
"I'm going to my apartment." he answers.

"Okay, I will meet you there in 30 minutes." I reply, knowing it's okay to be there.
"Sure, why not? 30 minutes is fine." he says.

In a burst of "Retail Therapy" and unable to resist the massive Sales going on all over Paris, I buy a pair of boots, a new scarf, a hat and some chocolates all within 30 minutes along the way to Pierre's apartment.

"Ah, you are so lovely." he says with a smile, "but we must change your look." he says referring to my natural hair that is now a little bit straight, part curly, and somewhat afro puff from the rain. "You look poor." he says with sympathy. I wonder if he means I look sad and beat down by depression and the unhappiness ghosts. "I want your hair smooth with curls." he says as he lightly kisses my cheeks, and brushes my wet hair away from my face.

By now his demands are normal to me. I smile.

"I'm tired, I want to take a nap. " I tell him as I look for a place to hang my rain soaked coat.
"Yes, but when? Where will you sleep?" he asks puzzled.

"In there..." I point to his guest room. "...and you can continue to work." I finish.
He touches his index finger lightly on my forehead and says, "You are very special. You are a very special girl."

I think jet lag is still in my system as I lay down to rest. He enters the room, "Oh, it is better that you sleep under the blanket as he pulls a blanket over me and quietly leaves the room, closing the door behind him.

"You are a special man." I think to myself as he doesn't hint at sleeping beside me.

I smile again, wondering where depression and unhappiness had gone as warmth and comfort surrounded me. I realize I am still not happy all the time, but in Paris, I am happy most of the time!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Things I Miss Already.

Only one day back in Paris, and already I miss riding in the back seat of my sister's truck with Hannah staring at me. (maybe wondering why I cluck like a chicken to get her attention.)

Niece #2 Hannah.

Did I mention, I miss Hannah? She'll be walking and talking the next time I see her.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Traveling Home to Paris and New Beginnings.

Landing in Germany, the final stage of this travel adventure is ending. It's cold, wet, and snowy as we walk from the our "luxury mode of transportation", to the waiting bus.

I quickly snap a photo of the massive mode of transportation, from the frosted window of the bus.
After spending a day in Germany of shopping, eating, laughing and talking with my good friend, ex-boyfriend, best friend, etc, Benny, he takes me to the train station for the 2 hour TGV Fast train ride back to Paris. .
I contemplate all the happy and wonderful holiday memories spent with friends and family.

Watching the snow covered German countryside whiz by from the train window.

It's warm inside the train, as I take off my snow boots, curl my feet underneath me, taking up two seats with a good book, and a cup of hot chocolate, I relax and enjoy the ride.

Arriving in Paris Gard de East Train Station, the taxi ride home.

Ah, feel the energy of the hustle and bustle, beautiful sights (even at night), and sounds of the city, along with the fresh cool crisp air! I immediately know why I absolutely love the city of Paris!
It's good to be back.
Home Sweet Home - Paris!

The end of Holiday Travel. Time to Start the New Year, New Goals, New Hopes and more New Beginnings.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Traveling Back to military " Luxury".

A travel adventure begins...I wonder if we'll have to put on parachutes and exit from tail of the plane, the same door we entered? And where's the flight attendant?

The Entry...and Exit Door!
Ahh, the familiar comfort of military travel. There is NO flight attendant.

Friday, January 8, 2010

25 December 09 till Now...Las Vegas.

It's a New Year, time flies...What Happened in Vegas, stayed in Vegas (and my memory).

City Center, Las Vegas.

Beware of the Sharks at the Golden Nugget Casino, Las Vegas.

City Center at Night.

City Center, an amazing site in Las Vegas.

Las Vegas City Center at Night...after a few drinks?!

Flying Southwest (a short flight) to a miltary base, for a military flight back to Europe.

The Party is Over, heading back to Paris. Au Revior Las Vegas...
The End... (of Holiday Madness)