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September 30: Lunch with our friend Dominique. We each struggle at times with each other’s language but our friendship has survived over 10 years.

Vive la difference!

September 29: Chateau Vincennes - hunting lodge, fortress, birthplace and residence of 14th century Kings. Not nearly as grand as Versailles but a piece of history that has survived for 7 centuries. Too bad I can’t last that long.

September 28: I just ate 1 million calories at one sitting. We had breakfast at the famous Laduree (several locations but we ate at the original). I choose a Caramel Tart that oozed caramel and nuts when you cut into it. OMG!!

OK, now to burn off those calories.

The Eiffel Tower remains a beacon in the skyline. As we walk along the seine it is leading us onward to touch her figure of steel.

We discovered the Arenes de Lutece located in Paris' 5th arrondissement or the Latin Quarter. The Arena was built towards the end of the 1st century. The Arena could accommodate between 15,000-17,000 spectators. Not much is left but if you close your eyes, you can see gladiators dancing around with their swords and shields.

Tomorrow is Chateau Vincennes.

September 27: Goal - to find the remaining windmills (moulins), statue of Saint Denis holding his decapitated head on the Montartre Hill and to pretend to be Parisian by just sitting in a cafe and absorbing the sights and sounds.

September 26: In 1883 Claude Monet moves to Giverney. Monet’s philosophy of art:

"I want the unobtainable. Other artists paint a bridge, a house, a boat, and that's the end. They are finished. I want to paint the air which surrounds the bridge, the house, the boat, the beauty of the air in which these objects are located, and that is nothing short of impossible."

The garden’s were full of mums and sunflowers for the end of September. Inspiration was his constant companion and I can see why.

September 25: Our first visit to the Cluny Museum officially known as Musée National du Moyen Âge (National Museum of the Middle Ages). The museum formerly was the home of the Cluny Abbots in 1334. What is also of interest is that it is partially built on the Gallo-Roman Baths dating from the third century. It is just large enough that everything can be seen in one visit. (I now am getting tired of museums. The Paris Museum pass for 4 days was a great value and it too is expiring.)

The afternoon was spent walking the Marias area of Paris on a “Paris Walk” tour. The only downside to the tour was it’s popularity. I want to go back and take the southern part of the Marias tour. Wonderful architecture to go along with the enticing stories our guide recited.

September 24: Adventure - find the correct train that will take us to the Palace of Versailles. No problemo. The palace built by Louis the 14th known as the “Sun King”. No expense spared here. I love looking at the ceilings in the palace. We forget to look up. Can you imagine being the artist and working on your back, hand above your head, and the lack of light - très magnifique.

We also had a great crepes dinner with my sister and her family. The crepes were so delicate they resembled lace.

Note: You must have a credit card with a chip to use the gas machines and the toll booths.

September 23: Place de Fetes a market for the common man. The tents protect the beaucoup types of chesses, vegetables, pates, terrines, and fish all at reasonable prices. Gary & I have always wanted to sample every fromage out there. Would I turn into A piece of cheese - hopefully not a stinky one? They also have clothes, jewelry and some furniture. It’s an outdoor WalMart!

Musee d’Orsay is another wonderful museum in an old train station. It’s full of glorious statues!

September 22: Notre Dame reflects the light the of centuries. The cathedral will celebrate it’s 850th birthday in 2013. Paris History constantly pulses like the traffic on the street. Paris was a small village on the Ile De La Cite (where Notre Dame is situated) called Parisii. The village was conquered by the Romans in 53 B.C. Paris grew under the tutelage of the Roman Empire. The island wasn’t big enough to support the growing community therefore the town spilled over into what is now knows as the Latin Quarter. !So that’s where the name came from! - the light is glowing in the light bulb above my head.

We only spend two hours at the Louvre when you could spend a life time. I have decided I am more of a sculpture lover. Not that I can’t appreciate the paintings especially after taking a painting class but to create a masterpiece from a piece of earth and make it live and breath is a very rare talent.

September 21: Arrived in Paris! Monmartre the bohemian artist area - Toulouse Lautrec, Van Gogh, Salvador Dali to name a few. But the two Monuments (I use that term loosely) we all are familiar with are Basilique du Sacré-Cœur and the Moulin Rouge. I didn’t realize they had to many sex related shops located near Moulin Rouge. Should I buy some naughty lingerie?

September 14: I have repacked the luggage twice and it will be a third time as I can’t remember if I packed my pajamas. I also need to pare-down toiletries. I can buy everything I need in Europe. I’m also preparing the house in Colorado for renters.