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Wednesday, August 28, 2019


If you head out of Marrakech and drive for about an hour you'll start climbing up and find yourself in the Ourika Valley.  That valley in and of itself is a delight for visitors--rivers, waterfalls, vistas.

We didn't stop there, however.  We climbed into a beast of a truck and kept climbing and climbing

and climbing

and even passing sturdy "goat women" souls until we arrived in


The residents call it Tizi.  In Tizi you can sit on your roof and look beautiful,

Or you can act a little crazy

all in the most gorgeous mountain setting--

far far away from civilization.

Your water might come from a reservoir like this.

You can worship here, climb trees here, run with the sheep here or just 

follow your donkey here.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Pere LaChaise

Almost 25 years ago, I was traveling with a large group of students.  Vanessa was insistent that we track down this cemetery and go see Jim Morrison's grave.

Not only did I feel the spirits of everyone buried here recently, but I also had vivid memories of those awesome kids.

The place speaks for itself.

I've been accused of being morbid and thinking too much about dying.  Guilty.  Morbid has such a negative connotation.  I don't consider being morbid necessarily bad.  Death deserves all the attention it can get.

Doesn't that red door pop??  Ya gotta love a bold grieving family!

We prevailed upon a lovely mother and daughter from Delft, Netherlands, to GPS us to Chopin.  I had remembered it as being so beautiful.  


This could certainly be the basis for at least a smashing short story--perhaps a book.  I wonder if she's wearing her official tomb grooming suit.  Bless her heart.

How does one start a cemetery?  Do you need a permit?  We've got some space for one out on Bench Rd.

Even classics need to add a little funky town.

Exercise, fresh cool air, fellow morbid souls, ambience and perfect shadows made for a soul-lifting morning in Paris.

A Little Parisian Respite

We ended up in Paris for a few days to renew our tourist visa.  Paris has given us the cold shoulder the last couple of times, so we were DELIGHTED that she was such a great hostess this time!!  I guess it was all just a silly misunderstanding.

Imagine my happiness to discover that Athena (right) was in Paris before she begins a semester in London!  About14 months ago we had another "chance" meeting in Berlin!  I think we're on a roll.  She coming to Morocco at Christmas.  So pleased to meet Lucy too--not a Peking University friend, but from China!

Thanks Starbucks for not bugging us for a few hours!

We hoofed it through Versailles from the gare (I ended up with a blister on my toe) and thought we had missed the session here at the incomprehensibly beautiful Paris Temple.  We hadn't!!

These French angels insisted on sharing their lunch with us!

We gave them cards.  I hope they write!!  Their conversion stories included story boards, chance meetings on the street in Italy, and a baptism this week for the gal in the pants!!!

Notre Dame is again a work in progress!

I can only go so long before I'm zooming in on unsuspecting strangers.  It's my own little version of gambling.  I do it quick and capriciously.  No one gets harmed.

The lovely Seine

I bought a charming Le Petit Prince magnet from a book dealer.
Notre Dame in the background looks regal and gracious after her episode.

Tuilleries entrance

Le Louvre

Jerry and I zigged and zagged for awhile on Sunday afternoon.  I used my alone time to knit by this fountain.  It was unusually cool and oh so pleasant.

I tried to chase this gal down to get a front shot, but she was too fast.  The streets were overflowing with Islamic folks scurrying off to their mosques.  It's sacrifice festival time!  I think we completely bypassed it in Morocco--unfortunate.

Don't force me to pick a favorite place in the world, but the Musee d'Orsay would most certainly make the top 10.  I was a French impressionist groupie in another life--probably tagged along like a puppy--wiping paint off their faces, pulling chairs out for them at cafes.

Hidden amid the Degas, Monets, and Renoirs was this!!  I know!!!  
I love the dirty camel knees.  Not impressionist, not post-impressionist--just plain cool.  Thanks for all the fun, Paris.  We like this side of you better than the last one with your too close encounter street riots and torrential winds and rain.

Favorite books

  • Me 'n Steve
  • Thundering Sneakers
  • James Herriott's vet books
  • The Count of Monte Cristo
  • Travels with Charley
  • A Walk in the Woods
  • Peace Like a River
  • The Egg and I
  • Mary Poppins
  • Extremly Loud Incredibly Close
  • How Green Was my Valley