Archive for April, 2009

Paris, redux

April 30, 2009

Last weekend was too much for me, as evidenced by my previous post. So tomorrow, I leave for a 3 day weekend in Paris. This time, I hope to get into the Louvre instead of just admiring the outside, possibly climb the Notre Damesince my legs won’t be randomly cramping, and maybe even take a picture with me in it. I think that’s the major hit list. Also: one of the palaces, Troucedeau, a cruise on the river Sienne.

True story: last time, my mother received recommendations from two different people to try the crepes to the left of the Notre Dame cathedral. It wasn’t hard finding the incredibly subjective “left”, but it was hard picking from the six crepe stands in a row. Perhaps I’ll find the one this time.

Expect more pictures next week, and then I’ll prepare you for my next trip.


Post Vacation Weekend

April 25, 2009

I don’t have a car. The weekend shuttle service the garrison used to provide for us was stopped. The German city bus comes 3 times during the middle of the day on Saturday, and once on Sunday. A Taxi costs 15 Euro to get into Wiesbaden, about 12 for Mainz. There is a bowling alley on post, a library, 4 places to eat, and a store with the selection of a very large convienence store. A bar is on post, and it is cheap as well, but everyone who drinks there is in the Army or a dependent, and probably outranks me. We have playgrounds, but you have to go to the schools to use them.

And people wonder why I’ve taken up running? After going to England and France, stir crazy does not begin to describe this.

Take today for example: I wake up. I edit pictures from my vacation. I play a few video games. I listen to podcasts or music. I eat lunch. I am about to go on a run. I read some of a book. I start and finish a magazine.  I go outside to just sit and enjoy the weather. It’s not dinner time yet. I hear a small cracking sound, which must be the edge of my sanity.

The upside? I do things like clean, and research for my future job. That’s nice.

Also, I post more pictures. You can click the link on the left, “Photos” where you will see more pictures I took on my vacation.

Work, Work

April 21, 2009

I am back to work, officially. The optimist inside of me says that this is a good thing – it means the time to when I take another trip is coming closer. The cynic inside says it might be a while. I sure hope not, because Paris and England were fantastic, phenomenal; a lot more than alright.

If you haven’t started, I encourage you to look at the pictures on the left side of this page and follow the link to my Flickr Photostream where the 300+ pictures I’ve uploaded, so far, now live. I haveanother 100 to choose from that came from London, Cantebury, and other places in England. It takes forever to upload that many pictures, so I do a batch a day, or so. I have to go sort through some more, but I think there might be some Paris pictures left over too.

I really would like to tell you every story from my trip, but there’s too much to recount in one post. I took a travel journal, of sorts, to help me remember the sequence of events and to jog my memory of all the laughs and suprises that accompanied seeing the sights. Instead of a book (which may or may not be coming one day), please email me or send me a message on whatever program of your choice, and I will let you know about the sight you want to see. I love to talk about myself and my travels, so it will help if I can narrow down what story about myself I get to tell. Yay, for me!

May I make a suggestion? Don’t just look at the little pictures of the stained glass. Download the large file, even though each is about 2.5 MB large, and then really look close at them. They scale up very well, and I was able to catch a lot of the detail that just doesn’t show through in the small pictures. The Notre Dame stuff is amazing, and the Cantebury glass is coming today or tomorrow.

I love the idea of a single picture telling a story, and how medieval artists, working with limited materials, could provide a narrative in one piece. Sometimes, the subject of the story appears multiple times in the same picture to denote the different events. It’s a fascinating subject, and something worth study. I just need someone to pay for my Art History degree, is all… as well as food, shelter, health insurance, and keep my son busy.

Paris Marathon: Completed!

April 5, 2009

Picture this… about 37,000 people running in the streets of one of the oldest and greatest Western cities. Every 5km, people grab oranges, bananas, and water bottles, consume them, and toss them to the side of the road. Pictures me, slowly plugging along for a total of 42.2km, or 26.2 miles, up and down hills, through the streets, past monuments and museums, bands playing every 2km, 200,000 people cheering us along the course, and the perfect weather for a long run.

That was my day today. I ran the 2009 Paris Marathon, when I didn’t think I’d make it 15 miles due to some severe and long hiccups in my training schedule over a month ago. I never ran further than 15 miles, but finished 11.2 more today than I’d ever run beofore. It was glorious.

At 18 miles, I was on pace to finish at 4 hours and 25 minutes, but then the cramps started. We’re talking cramps that made prior “charlie horses” I’ve had feel like small annoyances. When I ran to the side to stop and massage the muscle, I could feel it spasming under the skin. But I walked through them and continued on. I ate even more bananas and oranges at the rest stops every 5km. They were gone by mile 22.

I had to walk up most of the hills after mile 18 (Paris is on a river, but it’s not flat) and I walked the rest stations with perhaps 100 meters on each side, but I ran 95% of it. I have finished something that less than 0.05% of people will ever do. My knees and legs don’t know it now, but I feel amazing.

Pictures will be forthcoming.

%d bloggers like this: