Thursday, June 29, 2006

Loire Valley roads...

I gave a TON of details on the beautiful chateaux along the Loire and Cher Rivers in central France during our ONE, TWO, THREE days driving from site to site. So check out those entries for more specifics. This is the photo portion of our tour.

We begin our photo journal with our own tiny chateau--Le Manoir Les Minimes--situated in the cozy town of Amboise on the Loire River.

Above the town of Amboise is its very own Chateau Royal d'Amboise with flags-a-waving. The town of Amboise makes a perfect launching pad to the surrounding countryside.

Our second chateau was the majestic Chateau de Chenonceau, which actually straddles the Cher River and has beautiful formal gardens.

Next was Chateau de Chambord, an enormous 426-room "hunting lodge".

Next visited Chateau de Cheverny with the 70+ hunting dogs (which made quite a smell).

Then is was the quaint Chaumont-sur-Loire, built in the 15th and 16th centuries with its classic pointed towers and a working draw bridge.

One of our favorites stops was Villandry, a Renaissance-style chateau with stunning terraced gardens, including a tranquil water garden with large pools and fountains, ornamental knot gardens of boxwood borders with flowering interiors, and the expansive 'kitchen garden' that uses flowers and herbs and vegetables to create colorful, intricate patterns. Oh, they also had a gallery with some freakish paintings!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Faded memories...

Yes, I am supposed to be working on my Europe pictures...but I've been swept into a nostalgic mood by this recent slew of old college photos going around. Along the way, I discovered three things:

  1. That NOBODY should still still like film. Color prints fade. End of story. And scanned faded color photos are even worse.

  2. With my 80s and 90s hair (and lets not mention my 70s hair...or my 00s hair for that matter), how did I ever get friends?

  3. Boy were we geeky :)
Anyhow, enjoy a short trip through some fun photos from my archives. The last one is a special one for Mr. Bogdan, who is always a good sport with nostalgia!

Under attack...

Just killed mosquito #3...IN MY OFFICE. This building has lobby doors and elevator doors and suite doors and office doors...not to mention filtered air and sucking recirculation intakes.

I suspect a coordinated mosquito attack. Seal your doors and windows now :)

Yellow-fever mosquito hunter...

How exactly do mosquitoes make it into the sanitary confines of a 33rd floor office? I've killed not one, but TWO, of these healthy-looking buggers in my office today. Its not like I've got an open window up here!!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

iPod commute...

My commute in was quick...four songs long to be exact. U2, John Denver, Van Halen, and Frank Sinatra. I love my iPod...still :)

Monday, June 26, 2006

A foggy Pride weekend...

This weekend was the 32nd annual Pride Parade in San Francisco, so Jeff and I joined hundreds of thousands of gawkers along Market Street to catch this year's cast of bikers, go-go dancers, and leather daddies. And of course, this parade brings out EVERY politician in the area...particularly our well-dressed mayor.

At the end of the parade, we got to join the masses along the route to walk to the Civic Center. The morning fog rolled back for a sunny parade, and then rolled back in to cool the evening down.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Scenes of Paris...

This was my first trip to Paris. (Jeff's second.) So, even though we were in Paris one day longer than London, Paris felt like a blur of postcard images. BEAUTIFUL images, but not yet personal. We had a really fun visit, and we plan to return soon to get to know Paris better.

Sainte Chapelle is a hidden gem and probably my favorite single site in Paris. This small gothic chapel is tucked away in the most unlikely of places--within the walls of set of government building. The 13th century chapel is unimposing and gives no hits of the interior. The ceilings of the chapel look like they are held up by walls of stained hardly do it justice.

We've all seen so many photos of Notre Dame, that its hard to take it all in when you see it. The cathedral is mammoth, yet has so many small personal spaces.

One lesser know site on the Ile de la Cite near Notre Dame is the Memorial des Martyrs de la Deportation--dedicated to the memory of the 200,000 individuals deported from France to German concentration camps during World War II.

On the truly grand scale...the Louvre...full of treasures so familiar that they hardly seem real.

THE icon of Paris: the Eiffel Tower. A magnificent structure with breathtaking views.

To be sure...Jeff and I will return to Paris...soon.