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Sortie Guinguette PDF Print E-mail
Written by Bill and Nancy   
Tuesday, 19 May 2009 15:02

Friday May 8th we left port with a flotilla of yacht club boats to make our way to Neuilly-sur-Marne for  "Une Sortie Guinguette".  It was a great weekend with a shared meal on the decks of boats moored together Friday night, and a great dinner at le Bar de la Marine on Saturday night.  Fifi, the owner, was a great host, and he and his wife even found the time to do a line dance with Alain, our yacht club commadore.  Cette guinguette a une ambiance festive et bon enfant.

 

 
Tulips in Bloom PDF Print E-mail
Written by Bill and Nancy   
Monday, 18 May 2009 14:49

One of the advantages of living in a moving village like the European barging community is that you often have friends moored in places that you want to visit. This year, our Dutch friends Henk and Jacqueline spent the winter at their mooring near Amsterdam, and they were kind enough to invite us to come to Holland to see the tulips in bloom. Living in Paris makes it easy to hop on the train and the trip between Paris and Amsterdam is direct, takes about 4 hours, and is inexpensive if you buy the tickets in advance.  Henk told us that it would be best to come mid-April, so that is exactly what we did, and just as we had been lucky with the weather in Ireland, we were blessed with sunshine every day during our stay in Holland, something that our friends said doesn't happen very often.


 

 
Ireland with 7 in a mini van PDF Print E-mail
Written by Bill and Nancy   
Wednesday, 25 March 2009 12:00

 

When we heard that 5 assorted family members were going to Ireland we said, "We want to go too!" So plans were made to meet in Dublin.

We all arrived in Dublin on different days. Walking to meet the last to arrive and the mini van with a chauffeur who had picked them up at the airport, we heard a horn honking and looked up to find several hands and heads sticking out of the windows, waving and calling to us. Their plane had arrived early, so they were ahead of schedule and found us as we were walking toward our arranged meeting place. We stowed our bags in the back and piled into the van, trying to hug and kiss everyone over the seats. We were siblings, in-laws and cousins in a mini van with a singing, story telling retired Irish cop as our hired driver.

Now 7 different opinions of where to go and what to do could have been a problem, but we all recognized that very first day, on the drive from Dublin to Blarney, our first stop, that our driver Jim knew every little corner of the counties that we wanted to explore. Without even discussing it, we all turned the trip over to Jim and he never let us down.

Jim led us to some great restaurants for delicious lunches after mornings of sightseeing, and he knew all of the best pubs to stop in for refreshments when our eyes were tired from seeing green rolling landscapes and stone castles. In one of the many small out of the way villages that we visited, he met someone he knew when we were walking down the street; a pub owner wouldn't you know. And when we had spent too much time visiting an old church and exploring the cemetery, he called the Jameson distillery to hold the last morning tour for us, so we could taste some of Jameson's finest before we went to lunch. After the second day, we started inviting him to have lunch with us, and by the end of the week we felt like old friends. When he dropped us back at our hotel in Dublin, we were all sorry to see him go. We are spoiled now, and the next time that we go on a trip we might call Jim and see if he wants to come along.

It was a memorable vacation. Our hotels were both wonderful, we never had a bad meal, and our traveling companions were family; what could be better than that.

 
New Pontoons PDF Print E-mail
Written by Bill and Nancy   
Friday, 20 February 2009 18:00

Workers taking away our old pontoonsnew pontoons

The good news is that we are getting new pontoons in the port, and they are wonderful, but the bad news is that since our telephone lines run through the pontoons, we, the residents on the side of Boulevard Bourdon (the Boulevard de la Bastille side of the port went through this last fall), have lost our phones and Internet connections and won't have them back until............

It has already been 3 weeks and it seems like an eternity. No longer can we pick up the phone and call family and friends in other parts of the world without thinking about the cost. We still have our call back service, but it is not cheap on a cell phone, and we have been spoiled by the convenience of making long distance calls without charge. When you are paying for the call and you have to wait 20 minutes at long distance rates for a company in San Francisco to finally pull you out of the wait queue, it feels like torture.

When our pontoons went away, we had to leave too. For one week we lived in front of the captain's office on the other side of the port way down by the lock. It was like moving to a new neighborhood. Suddenly, we were no longer in the 4th arrondissement; we were in the 12th. The Bastille métro station and the shops that we frequent were much further away, and we had to add an extra 15 minutes to our estimate of how long a métro trip or a quick run to the bakery would take. Without our land telephone line, we had to go to the captain's office with our computers to check our email or do projects. While we whined about this at first, the captain and his team could not have been nicer, offering people who were there to use the Internet coffee or juice, and letting us use one of their desks when we had a big project to complete. People came and went, with and without their computers, and we saw neighbors from the other side of the port that we normally don't run into in the course of a day. So we realized that it was a fun place to hang out, and now that we are back in our Bourdon side mooring waiting for our phone line, we pack up the computers to make the trip all the way down to la capitainerie, just for the fun of it.
 
Winter in our Port PDF Print E-mail
Written by Bill and Nancy   
Tuesday, 20 January 2009 00:00

Snow at the Arsenal

Snow on outdoor tables at the cafe at the port

 
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