European Tour – Introduction (June/July 1990)

Since I began this blog, I’ve wanted to write down before senility ensues capture for posterity my first international trip – a tour of northwestern Europe back in June and July 1990.(1) My off-and-on labors for this story (i.e., remembering important events/details, outlining notes, writing and revising content, finding and scanning pictures/negatives, researching locations and … Continue reading European Tour – Introduction (June/July 1990)

European Tour – France (July 1990)

Dirty Old Men Make Questionable Tour Guides We arrived in Paris anxious to see the “city of lights.” It was like any other metropolis (i.e., heavily congested, dirty), but as picturesque as I imagined. And given the city’s romantic reputation, it wasn’t much of a coincidence that the previously barely begun twosomes amongst our ranks … Continue reading European Tour – France (July 1990)

France – Introduction (October 2011)

Timing is Everything I’m in a group on called The Virginia Wine Club that checks out many of the Virginia wineries. Up until now, I believe the furthest they’ve gone on an official group trip has been Maryland, so this was their first attempt at an international wine adventure. The trip was organized through … Continue reading France – Introduction (October 2011)

France – Days 1 and 2 (Sunday and Monday, October 2 and 3, 2011)

They Say It’s the Journey and Not the Destination… Sunday morning was a frantic race to hit the store for a few last items I needed (travel-size toiletries, Claritan, petty cash, etc.) and radically indulging my OCD by repeatedly making sure I packed all of my stuff (by my count, I only rearranged it all … Continue reading France – Days 1 and 2 (Sunday and Monday, October 2 and 3, 2011)

France – Day 3 (Tuesday, October 4, 2011)

Went to Sleep in Bordeaux, Woke Up in San Francisco Monday’s sunny, warm afternoon gave way to a cool evening and a gloomy, chilly Tuesday morning. Bordeaux is nestled along a bend in the Garonne River, which meets up with the Dordogne River north of the city (both drain into the Atlantic Ocean, not too … Continue reading France – Day 3 (Tuesday, October 4, 2011)

France – Day 4 (Wednesday, October 5, 2011)

You Don’t Walk These Streets, You Climb Them Wednesday morning’s fog was short-lived and we enjoyed a slightly cooler, but still summer-like day. Today was a full day on the road, starting off with a tour of the very old village of Saint-Émilion (almost due East of Bordeaux and across the Dordogne River). The town … Continue reading France – Day 4 (Wednesday, October 5, 2011)

France – Day 5 (Thursday, October 6, 2011)

Tour of Bordeaux, Part Deux The cold front that accosted the East Coast when we left the U.S. had finally arrived in Europe, and today was somewhat cooler than we were used to so far on the trip. Shorts and t-shirts were abandoned for jeans, jackets and long-sleeve shirts and sweaters. One or two of … Continue reading France – Day 5 (Thursday, October 6, 2011)

France – Day 6 (Friday, October 7, 2011)

The Final Tour of Bordeaux A final shopping trip in town was in order this morning, and somehow we found the Rue de Sainte Catherine, which is a “locals market.” Judging by the lower prices and the non-touristy stuff for sale, this is where the regulars went to shop. Every other shop was a kabob … Continue reading France – Day 6 (Friday, October 7, 2011)

France – Day 7 (Saturday, October 8, 2011)

It’s Five O’clock Somewhere, Even at 9:00 AM Being a creature of habit, I never sleep well on a different bed when on travel. I especially don’t sleep well the night before I know I’ll be traveling somewhere, and last night was true to form. I tossed and turned most of the night, and was … Continue reading France – Day 7 (Saturday, October 8, 2011)

France – Days 8 and 9 (Sunday and Monday, October 9 and 10, 2011)

The Best Laid Plans… Despite my plan of sleeping in, I woke up reasonably early, but still full from a late, big lunch and late dinner from yesterday. It was a rainy morning, but I mapped out my morning and afternoon site seeing, got cleaned up and hopped on the metro for the Eiffel Tower … Continue reading France – Days 8 and 9 (Sunday and Monday, October 9 and 10, 2011)