Tuesday, September 29, 2015

it's all about change

My original travel plan was to leave here on Friday, fly to Seattle and from there to Paris, arriving Saturday morning.  My personal Delta representative informed me this morning that that was NOT going to work.  Nor could I get to DeGaulle from Atlanta, Minneapolia, Detroit, Boston, Denver, National (DC) or JFK.  Maybe she could get me to Nice, Burssels, or Zurich instead.

Her next suggestion was to go from Sacramento to Salt Lake to Minneapolis to JFK to Zurich, then overnight there and take the train to Paris the next day.  This would be leaving on Thursday instead of Friday.  OK, I can do that.  So I researched trains to Paris and hotels in Zurich that are close to the train station ~ there is actually a Best Western .03 miles from the station.   And plenty of ATMs to buy Swiss francs.

But then my crafty agent suggested going to Pittsburgh and heading to Paris from there but of course I had to get to Pittsburgh first and it's the flights out of Sacramento that are also the headache.

Now it looks like I will leave TOMORROW with the original schedule, just 2 days earlier.  This, of course, means I now have to find a hotel in Paris for a couple of nights but I am much more familiar with that city than I am with Zurich (or Pittsburgh, for that matter).  If the CDG flight is full I can try to get to either Atlanta or JFK, easier to negotiate from a big hub airport.  Eventually I will get there!

Now I have to finish up everything I thought I had a couple of days to take care of.  Fortunately I got my haircut today, did some banking, and bought a new pair of sox.  I think I'm ready.  All things being equal, next post will be from Paris.

Monday, September 28, 2015

oiseaux d'amour

Cait sent this picture from a wedding she and MM went to.  Bow ties were made for this man . . . and vice versa.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Chinese medicine

I've had a strange growth on my shin for the last few months and finally decided I should have it checked out at Kaiser.  I don't want to go off to Mexico with that worry on my mind.   I called my "primary physician" and got an appointment for the following day, Thursday.  He is a delightful chap, Dr. Ho.  Young, smart, very personable.  Yes, he thought I should have it seen by one of his colleagues, Dr. Su.  It is famously difficult to be seen at the dermatology clinic but, mirabile dictu, he got me in on Friday morning.   Dr. Su agreed that this growth looks suspicious and should be biopsied immediately.  Twenty minutes later I emerged with two big bandages on my left leg, a little bag of bandages and a prescription for some sort of mega-watt antibacterial salve.   What's under the bandage are two small wounds, one about the size of a dime, the other the size of a 1-centavo piece.  I should get the biopsy report in two weeks while I'm swanning around Florence.  If the results are bad I'll have some further nipping when I get back.  If not, I'm done.  I'm hoping for the latter result, of course.  I have a total of six different docs I see at Kaiser; three are Chinese, three are women.  I get great care from all of them. 

Meanwhile, I'm finishing up on my packing chores, gathering all the necessary plugs and chargers and converters so I will be thoroughly connected to the world at large.  I've hoisted my suitcase around the house to be sure it's not too heavy to shove up into overhead bins.  Of course there's always the possibility I can gate-check it and avoid the strain.  My personal Delta representative (aka daughter Caitlin) will give me a final update toward the end of the week in case I have to alter my plan to fly Sacramento-Seattle-Paris and instead take some other route.  She herself has just returned from a Switzerland-Paris trip, business class all the way and I am hoping to do as well.

Like my fellow blogger over at No More Commas Period I have been very moved during the visit of Pope Francis to this pretty secular country.  His spirit of benevolence, kindness and peace is sorely needed these days.   My father was an Episcopalian priest in Coronado so that's the religious culture I grew up in.  But I always found the local Catholic church, Sacred Heart, to be a place of quiet and mystery; all those statues of dead "saints", you know?  And Anglicans didn't depict the crucified Jesus hanging on the cross.  It fascinated me as a young child.  Completely different from my experience. 

I leave you with a new photo of our gal Daisy, here with her big sister.  She'll be two months old on Tuesday.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

the mystery of the traveling pants

So I bought these trousers from LL Bean to serve as my basic travel trousers.  I love the fabric, they fit perfectly (after a quick alteration for length, and yes, the legs are the same length.  It's just not a very good picture!).   But I really have no idea what color they are and Mr. C is not much help.  You know, after 10 years of laser treatment on the eyes the rods and cones aren't much help.  The color in the catalog says "Wet Cement".  I thought that meant a grey shade, so I set about getting together all my grey-ish shirts, sweaters, etc.  Then I got them into a good light and discovered they aren't anywhere near grey.  Not tan, not green, not anything I can recognize.

Here's a close-up of the fabric/color.  Not khaki, either.

So what the heck color is this anyway?  I even went out and looked at some wet cement and am no closer to identifying it.  Perhaps it doesn't really matter but I am curious. 

To distract myself from this world-shaking problem I made this delicious olive cheese bread this morning.  SO easy and SO yummy.  And the smell . . .!!

Monday, September 21, 2015

new girl in town

Look what Erin brought home from her vacation!!

Her name is Daisy.  She's 7-weeks old, a downy-soft blond (Golden Retriever), very friendly and curious (a good sign), wiggle-y, and eager to join Erin and me on our morning walks.  It will be a while until she's ready ~ maybe 3 weeks ~ but by the time I return from my trip (see yesterday's post) she'll be ready to explore all the gardens and parks of our neighborhood.

Welcome to the 'hood!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

as I was saying . . .

The terrible heat we've been having here in the valley is almost over.  But there are some up-sides, too.  This . . .

 gave us these.

All in all, not a bad trade-off.  Caprese salads every day for lunch.

Now that the weather has begun to cool I am really getting in the mood for my trip.  By this time in two weeks I will have visited the Marché aux Oiseaux et aux Fleures held every Sunday at the Cité Metro stop right next to Notre Dame.  If you want to buy a beautiful little song bird (or fish, hamsters, rats, turtles, etc.,) or some lovely flowers for your smart Paris apartment, this is the place to shop.

To put me even more in the mood - if such a thing was needed - my lovely friend MAS over at No More Commas Period sent me this to get me started.

Yes, it IS always a good idea!  Merci mille fois!  I will lift a loving toast with my beautiful €20 (coffee, of course!).