Endz

knitting, eating (well, cooking first… mostly vegetarian), bodywork, menopause and general recreating

HOTEL EVERLAND June 9, 2008

Filed under: paris,travel — lynne @ 7:53 pm

Through some grace of the universe, hubby and I will be spending a night in the amazing art installation/hotel ‘pod’ known as Hotel Everland. I became obsessed with this place the moment I saw it on Paris Daily Photo (thank you Eric, so, so much!) and have been double clicking the shortcut I put on my desktop constantly since last fall. One can only stay for a single night, and you have to arrive at the reservation page at the precise moment they release a night, 60 days in advance. For special nights, they’ve done auctions on Ebay, and the winning bids have been between $4500-9300 USD!! I’d started thinking it would never happen, but on Memorial Day, while filling time before picking up hubby at the airport, I clicked just for the heck of it, with the vague feeling “maybe this time…” Well, an unfamiliar page popped up, that looked quite like a reservation form. I got a little nervous- hubby was in the air, so I couldn’t consult with him, and of course securing the reservation meant not only paying for the ‘room’, but also getting to Paris and accommodations for the rest of our stay.
I decided that I’d keep filling out the form until it asked me for money. At first I thought I’d be entered into a lottery to reserve that night, but I got to the end without being asked for a credit card, and in a few minutes I’d received an email telling me I had a reservation! I was over the moon with glee, but also nervous because now I had to convince hubby we should DO THIS! or figure out how to cancel the reservation.
And as if the day wasn’t weird enough already, when I got to the airport I saw hubby standing next to Michael Kang of the String Cheese Incident- our favorite band. So surreal… I got to introduce myself and shake his hand- what a powerful little being that man is! So after that excitement, I got hubby into the car and told him the news. Since we had already discussed and dismissed the idea of going to Europe this summer (bad exchange rate, exorbitant airfare) his first reaction was- no way- too expensive. But such a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity needs more consideration than that, right?
So next day, I called my parents- I thought I should talk over the idea of pressing this issue with hubby with my elders. I knew that if I pushed, hubby would relent, if a bit begrudgingly, but with the poor economy I wasn’t confident about allotting a good portion of our savings to something so extravagant. During the conversation, my Dad got on the phone to hear my tale, and then hung up. A few minutes later he picked up the phone and said- why don’t you see if there’s a Marriott you can stay in- I have all these rewards points that we’ll never use up and maybe you can use them. OH! MY! I called Marriott and they said yes, the points can be gifted. Then I checked their website and found a hotel in a reasonable location, clicked the points icon and saw the number it would require, and thought, no, that’s too many points. But when I called my Dad back and told him how many, his response was “is that all?”.
SO: we are going! We’ll stay for free at the Marriott Rive Gauche in Montparnasse- an area that held no interest for me, but that on study looks to be pretty interesting. It was, in the ’20s and 30s, the heart of the Bohemian culture in Paris, where Picasso, Hemingway, Cocteau, Matisse, Modigliani and others lived and hung out in the local bars and cafes. And in far better accommodations than we could ever afford ourselves- imagine, a comfy bed in Paris! And since this will be our second time there, we’re looking forward to long, slow days (Paris is pretty far north, and we were delighted to learn how late it stays light in summer!) checking out the various neighborhoods and soaking up the culture.
No doubt there will be more ravings as our trip approaches…

 

Crikey! December 8, 2007

Filed under: family,holidays,paris,travel — lynne @ 5:07 am

How time flies by at this time of year…

The trip east to see my niece as Clara in the Nutcracker was just wonderful- got to see my brother as well as the rest of the fambly, and the performance was so much fun to see. My brother-in-law got to be Drosselmeyer, and I think he was pretty nervous, but he did a great job. And of course my niece was angelic. The most perfect, beautiful little Clara I’ve had the pleasure of knowing. My sister reported, however, that after the last performance she was weeping broken-heartedly because now she’d been Clara, so that was done and she’d never get to do it again. I guess after five years of  striving for it, having it be over is pretty hard- especially when you’re 10! She does get to keep her nutcracker though, so that’s something…

On another note, on my flight home they showed a Discovery Channel special about the human body. In the part about our skeleton they talked about the honeycomb structure of the bones, and how it’s that interlacing structure that makes them stronger than steel. In fact they’re so strong that Gustav Eiffel studied their structure and incorporated that study into his design of the Eiffel Tower. Now come on- can I not get away from that dern thang??

I know I’m not the only one feeling plowed under by this busy season, but OY! What with Thanksgiving and then hubby’s 50th celebration and the trip back east I am so behind on my holiday-making I’m not sure I’ll catch up. I’ve already accepted that I’ll have to spring for Priority Mail to get the gifts back east in time for Christmas. We got our tree, but hubby flew away for work again today (last time ’til next April-yay!!) and there’s just so much to do!! I’ll be making soap this weekend so it’s ready for next week’s Hannukah celebration with hubby’s family… then there’s cookies (I like to give those to my acupressure clients too,) and tree decorating to be done. Can I get an aw poor baby, or is there too much company in this boat?? I do love the holiday season though, starting with Thanksgiving, (as Jon Carroll says, how can you argue with a holiday that’s all about gratitude and good food?!?) and always strive to keep my appreciation and enjoyment of it separate from all the commercialism.

(PS- OMG! I just re-read where I referred to ‘the bones’ of the Eiffel Tower…)
 

Finally! November 22, 2007

Filed under: paris,travel — lynne @ 6:23 am

twinkletower.jpg 

I could not post a photo AT ALL yesterday- just kept getting that little red x. Ugh. Not sure what the trouble was, but here’s what I was trying to post! 

Here’s what it sorta kinda looked like when it started to twinkle- it was SO awesome!

The Eiffel Tower is at the end of a park-like area call the Champ de Mars- it was once the  parade ground for the military school opposite the Tower.  Behind it is the Seine, and across the river is the Palais de Chaillot & Jardin du Trocadero. This was taken looking back across the river (you can kind of see the light reflecting off the water in the foreground). They change the lighting design on the tower every so often, and the musem there has images of the lighting through the years. If you go, you must be patient and wait in line as long as it takes to get up to the top. It’s SO worth the time! We were quite lucky the morning we went and got right into the tower. Then it’s three elevator rides to the top, and you wait in line to get onto each elevator- but no matter! You are seeing a different view of the city of Paris from each level- what could you possibly have to do that’s more important than that now that you’re here?? Also, you can take the stairs all the way down, which was quite an experience! You can really see the ‘bones’ of the tower that way.

Of the many things I’m grateful for, this trip is high on the list.

Happy Thanksgiving!

In addition to the holiday, we’re celebrating hubby’s 50th b’day this weekend, so I’ll be back next week.

p.s. to D-H: I’d written a nice review of our vegan meals for you yesterday, but lost it in the chaos of trying to post this photo- I’ll get to it again soon!

 

Et voila! November 20, 2007

Filed under: paris,travel,yarn stores — lynne @ 3:50 am

Just back from (nearly) a week in Marina del Ray, where hubby was orchestrating a training for his day job- it’s always fun to check out that LA vibe, eat at a different assortment of restaurants than we’re used to, and visit with my sister-in-law.  We ate at Real Food Daily two nights in a row- after several days of hotel fare their delicious, wholesome vegan food tasted SO fantastic.

Thought about stalking our Crazy Aunt Purl, but the valley is a bit of haul from where I was ; )  I did get to one yarn store this time though, on Montana Ave in Santa Monica, L’Atilier. It was lovely- a nice little group was knitting at the table and they had some gorgeous yarns. But oddly, no sock yarn! Last year when I was in LA I found Wildfiber & Yarns Unlimited- also in Santa Monica (we don’t get a lot of free time with a vehicle when we’re there). It was interesting to visit those two stores one after the other- Wildfiber was very upscale, with lots of fantastic luxury fiber yarns, and Yarns Unlimited was much more utilitarian, with shelves and shelves of so many of the yarns I had been reading about online and wanted to touch. L’Atilier was more boutiquey, with lots of unusual knitted samples and perhaps the most fantastic selection of buttons I’ve seen. If you need interesting buttons on the west side of LA, this seems like the place to go!

Anywho- I threatened and here you go- my favorite tower in the whole world (well, at least the parts I’ve seen!):

tower.jpg

I turned this image into coasters from the Kodak Gallery for a gift last year (no, really!) and they turned out SO cool.

The evening of the day we first saw and climbed the Eiffel Tower, we had a fabulous dinner and then took the Metro back to Trocadero to see the tower from a different perspective. When we rounded the corner, the lights on the tower were dark for a second, and then they began to TWINKLE!! I nearly wept with joy to see that sight- it’s way up my list of most memorable occasions. Oh, one day Eiffel Tower, I will visit you again!

 

Self-Striping Yarn and Mason Dixon! November 8, 2007

Filed under: knitting,paris — lynne @ 11:03 pm

sm-bias-sq.jpg

This is my first bias square- presented with many thanks to Kay from Mason Dixon Knitting (see link to right- yeah, yeah, I do know how to code a link, sort of, just haven’t tried in this blog yet…) and also my first time knitting with this teeny tiny yarn on #2 needles (I really like the knitpicks needles!). Kay’s asked for 4″ squares to make up a blankie to then raffle off for Oliver’s Fund (please rely on others for that link- see above!). Also, I just LOVE self-striping yarn. I know some folks thinks it’s ‘for dummies’, but for me it’s inspiring- I love to see what will happen next. Easily entertained I guess. My first (and only, so far) socks were knit with Knitpicks Parade, and I’m pretty sure the main reason I got them done as quickly as I did was the stripes. This is Regia Jacquard Color, and the color is called Paris. It’s got so many of my favorite colors in it- indigo, purple, lavender, cobalt- so pretty! And so today I also disclose my obsession with Paris. We traveled there two summers ago and I was so smitten I’ve been planning my return ever since! No doubt I’ll be sharing some of the myriad photos I took during that trip at some point.

Anyway- check out Kay’s post, and you too can knit fun four inch squares and send them to her, where they will be transformed into a no-doubt beautiferous blankie to help Oliver get a new wheelchair. What fun!!