Saturday, June 5, 2010


Okay I know I haven't updated forever but we have a new family blog over at:

I promise to update this one more often.

Monday, August 10, 2009

3-day Cleveland--day 3

Sunday morning came faster than I wanted it to. Not only was I awoken to the sound of Heather’s alarm and people milling around outside, but to the sound of rain. I groaned inside and snuggled deeper into the blanket. I did not want to get up. I did not want to walk in the rain. Heavens, I did not want to walk at all. I lay back down and listened to Heather’s “threats” to get up, all the while pondering if I just wanted to SAG it to lunch.

Finally, Heather’s admonitions got me up and out, even though I still longed for my blanket and swimming pool mattress. We got up and braved the now drizzling rain to pack, take down the tent, and head to breakfast. Right here, right now I want to tell you that Heather is a pro at packing a tent. I want her with me every time I do one of these things for her tent packing skills alone. I mean she is a brilliant conversationalist and hilarious, but she could go pro with the tent packing skills.

We headed over to breakfast and got a hug from hug lady as we waited in line. Much to my dismay there was no oatmeal this morning. I ended up with cream of wheat though and that was a close second. I didn’t eat much the rest of breakfast, there was something about it that just didn’t sit well this morning.

We finally striked off, so happy that there was only 17 miles to accomplish. Hug lady and Jerry were waiting for us as we left camp and we felt their enthusiasm. The first three miles flew by, for one reason. We started making up a lovely chant with our new friends Kim and Trish. We got all those around us chanting with us as we walked through the streets towards Pit One. I love how easy it is to meet friends from all over. We were determined our chant would go 3-day wide. That this would be Cleveland’s mark on the 3-day. So here it is, all verses written down, for your chanting pleasure:

I don’t know but I’ve been told,

3-day walkers bring in gold.

Walking in the rain and sun

Making friends and having fun

I don’t know but I’ve been told,

3-day walkers are really bold

Pirates keep us safe from harm

Crossing streets and saying Arrrr

I don’t know but I’ve been told,

3-day crew carries a heavy load.

Red shirts yelling out at me,

Drink and Pee and no IV.

I don’t know but I’ve been told,

3 days in my shoes are old.

Blisters, chaffing, busted knees

CVS has bio-freeze.

Sound off


Sound off


Bring it on down

1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3-day!

That little chant honestly got us through and we chanted it walking into Pit one, only to be told that the neighborhood we were in did not want us and we had to be quiet. I understood the people of Westlake’s concerns, but it was one morning that we were interrupting. One morning that we really needed to laugh and cry and joke and chant with one another simply to make it through the day. I stayed made at the city until Pit 2. Childish, I know, but still when you have walked so many miles you just want people to understand and accept the sacrifice of hundreds of walkers. It really put a damper on that next three miles.

The three of us separated during that leg, Erin called a sweep to take her to the pit so she could fix her blisters, Heather and I just separated. There seemed to be a damper on all the walkers during this leg, not helped by the rain that started to fall. We finally got to the next pit where there was polkaing. I was amazed with Heather’s polka skills, or the fact that she could still polka after walking 49 miles.

We set out again, quickly doing the two or so miles that we needed even in the rain. Finally we reached the next Pit, knowing it was only three miles to lunch we took the time to stretch and make plans to hop a van during the next three miles.

Those next three miles were brutal. Absolutely brutal. It started off with rain but ended up with sun pounding down on us. There were times that I just kept praying that I could put one foot in front of the other. Heather and Erin caught a van about half way through the leg, for some reason—despite the plan—I did not get on with them. I continued to walk and it was a mistake. My feet were killing me, my blisters were getting bigger, and the way that I was walking was killing my knees. I finally staggered into lunch, being asked by one of the crewers if I was okay. Because of the short day I felt rushed at lunch, there was no time to sit and be leisurely. It was quickly eat, get medical care, and go. I felt cheated out of my time to relax. I made my way to the potties where they drew a lovely pink ribbon on my arm with lip gloss. Then I headed to medical and bandaged my several blisters. As I was bandaging I found Kim and Trish and they were able to tell me about the latest verse added to our chant.

We headed out again, only to be delayed at the next Shell station as Erin had to use the bathroom again. Of course this was after the cheering station where they were handing out Jell-O shots so most people were stopping at the Shell to use the facilities. I was getting frustrated, my legs hurt, my feet hurt, and I felt this invisible line inching towards me that was the deadline, the time I had to be to the grab and go before they stuck me on a bus. No matter how much I wanted to be on a bus this morning I was ready to finish this. We pushed hard to the Grab and Go. Really hard. I felt like it was back to day one and we had all the energy that we needed to keep going. We even passed up one dollar dairy queen ice cream to make it.

We finally made it to the G&G where we stood in line for 15 minutes to use the portapotties, then it was off. We had 4.5 miles left. 2.5 to the next pit. We set off but my knee was becoming more and more useless. The more we stopped the harder it was for me to get going again. I was hobbling and no longer was striking out for the team. I finally realized I couldn’t make it anymore and hopped on a bus for the mile or so left to the pit. It was the ABBA van, and I was so excited. I got to listen to one of my favorite groups while being taken to medical care.

Pit four might have been a grab and go. Most people were just peeing and leaving, with two miles left I don’t blame them. The wonderful nurse, Laurie, that had somehow taken care of me all three days was there to ice my knee and then wrap it. It felt somewhat better but it was also nice to put my feet up again.

Erin and Heather came into camp and we headed out soon after. Two miles left and each step taking us closer to where we needed to be. I slowly gained steam again and was able to keep up with everyone. We walked through the cheering station at Bera and there was one mile left to go. This mile turned out to be the toughest mile that I have ever done.

It all started with another potty break. The stopping is what killed me. I was running on pure adrenaline at this point and stopping was killing me. We were so close and I just wanted to sit down. I leaned against the stone wall waiting for Erin and Heather to come back down and started to cry. I just hurt. Hurt beyond hurt. When we finally were on our way again the tears didn’t stop. I was sobbing by the time I made it to the last pit stop and my tears were exasperated by the fact that I had to stop at the cross walk.

There was one crew member that made it a bit better. He put his arm around me and just let me cry while he told me how strong I am. How proud he was of me. How he crewed because he couldn’t walk. That I was so strong. This just made my tears flow even more. He offered to help me cross the street, but me in my stubbornness told him no.

We finally crossed that finish line and the other walkers and crew members but I was in so much pain that it was just a relief. I knew that I would be able to sit down and just cry. We got our pictures taken where I slapped on a fake smile, then Heather and I made our way across the field for closing ceremonies.

It took me 25 minutes to cross that field and get my luggage. I was amazed that I could still walk to be honest. I met Heather’s husband, who is fantastic, and dropped my stuff off in his car. I then hobbled back stage where I collapsed to the ground and took a nap. Apparently I was really out of it as one crew member tried to introduce himself but I ignored him.

When I finally came to Heather was talking with Kathy, another walker whose husband had breast cancer. She was walking in at least two other three days this year. I am amazed with people that can do that.

Closing was fantastic, full of tears and laughs. I wanted to take Jerry and Woo-hoo man home with me. Just so I could have that constant cheering when I cleaned the house or finished a lesson plan. There are things that I will continue to bring with me after the three day. The sense of accomplishment, the friendships, the memories of participating in something greater than myself. As we sat at dinner that night, finally getting to use a nice clean flush toilet, and eating the best burger I have ever eaten in my life I realized it. This is what life is about. Committed citizens doing whatever they can to change the world. We aren’t rich, we aren’t famous, but we have heart. Hearts that reach out and touch so many more. And it is those hearts, those unfailing giving hearts that will change the world.

Getting a hug from hug lady as we Our team at Pit 1
left Sunday morning

Heather Dancing at Pit 2

Me dressed as a polkaer

Look a covered bridge after lunch! I love that pink bunny

Not the best picture, but for some reason the one Sleeping behind stage--don't bother me.
I uploaded.

Heather at closing me at closing.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

3-day Cleveland--day 2

I had an interesting night. To quote Heather "I didn't feel like slept well, but I felt rested." It was a chilly morning and I was grateful I was snuggled up in my fleece blanket. Heather and I nudged each other out of bed and then Heather rolled over to hit the tent Erin was asleep in to make sure she was up. I am not sure if Erin appreciated the well intended wake up call, but hey—it was sure fun.

I was so excited for breakfast that morning as breakfast meant oatmeal. Lovely oatmeal. I know that is a strange thing to be excited over but it was a highlight for me last year in Atlanta. There is something that they put in that oatmeal which is addictive. It will keep me coming back year after year.

We started off the journey with a hug from hug lady and then a cheer and encouragement from Jerry. The morning was gorgeous. It always amazes me how quiet mornings are and how much three dayers accomplish before the sun really comes up. I have thought of that a lot this past week, how much I truly enjoy those first few moments of morning.

We moved at a bit of a slower pace that morning. The three of us all blistered and a bit sore from the day before. Though moving slower we still clipped through the morning. Bouyed by each other’s company and quoting West Wing and Clue. It will never cease to astonish me what a bunch of nerds/geeks we all are. The girls I walked with also amazed me. Erin was (and is) so kind to anyone who crossed her path. Her patience with everyone is a true example to me. Heather is so full of compassion it is incredible. She made sure that day that she took something from every child that offered it. No matter how full she was, how much water she had, or what she was already carrying.

I got the ‘My Grandma’ flag at pit one. I was so proud to carry it for my grandma who is a survivor for over 40 years. She is one of the reasons that I do this walk every year. I felt honored to carry it for the two miles I did before passing it over to Erin.

After leaving Pit two (in which I was able to answer a trivia question about Elvis because I watch Doctor Who—thank you David Tennant) we realized that we needed something else to keep us entertained so we began to go through Mia’s Disney CD. We sang Old McDonald, This Old Man, There’s A Hole in my Bucket, and a host of other songs. This got us over several crossings of I-90. We wound our way through neighborhoods where Heather realized that she had to use the restroom. We were once again about a mile in a half away from the pit and in a residential area so we had no other option. We walked by a small cheering station who asked if we needed anything and Heather yelled out, “I need to pee.” To make a long story short one of the kind men out there let Heather use his home bathroom. The kindness of strangers never ceases to amaze me. After Pit three we headed to lunch, the three miles were long and almost unbearable.

There was yet another bathroom van called for Heather and Erin and I went on alone. For some reason those two miles seemed to never end. It was hot, and I was moving faster than I probably should have. I was still amazed that I didn’t have shin splints, and despite an annoying blister on the bottom of my foot that was still giving me trouble, I was okay.

Finally, after devouring the best Otter Pop I have ever had, I made it to lunch. I was ready to collapse, but we were stopped at the crosswalk by a funeral. Those of us waiting there tried really hard not to have feelings of exasperation as we waited for a very long funeral train(?) to go by. It was quite annoying—yes, by that point I was hot, tired, hungry, and had a full bladder; I no longer felt charitable.

I finally made it to lunch and collapsed next to Erin and Heather, my feet were relieved that we got to stop for a while. We had a great lunch before we headed out again. Once again, a mile away from lunch and two away from the next pit, we had to use the bathroom. Thank heavens there was a Shell station around that the three of us were able to do.

We spent the next bit of time to vote each other off the team for various infractions. Heather seemed to be the only one safe as she was the ride to the airport and we had no way of getting home without her. The day wore on and not even Doctor Who quotes could lift our spirits. It was hot, really hot. We tried to cool off with a nice soak from a super soaker from Pit four, but it was of no use. We were on another three mile stretch that never ended. Heather and I had really seemed to slow down, while Erin was booking it closer to the grab and go. Finally, not able to go any longer Heather and I hopped a sweep van forgetting to yell up to Erin what we were doing.

The bright side to this was the sweep van was the coconut bra van—the van that Heather had waited for. We soon found out this was the best van to take a rest in. There was A/C, candy, pins, and a grab bag. Though they could not take us to the Grab and Go they did take us to Pit five to wait for Erin. They did however stop long enough to let Heather take her picture.

I knew that I needed to work on my feet and headed over to medical to take advantage of our time. I took my shoe off and noticed that I had grown another toe in form of a blister, funny as I never felt that blister. The size though was troublesome to the medical staff there and they told me I would not be walking the 2.5 miles back to camp. In fact they told me to go hop a bus, I was done for the day.

An intense feeling of failure swept through me. The one promise I had made to myself is I would not get on a SAG bus, there was no reason for it. I was determined to push through to have them pop it and send me on my way. I had time, I could wait till the popping or care was done. I knew they were right though, and I headed to the bus. I finally got a hold of Erin and explained what happened. Heather was going to wait for Erin to come, but Erin mentioned she would catch a van anyway. So Heather and I headed back on the bus, but we got a pin out of it all.

We arrived at camp and since I am such a Hermione I knew that I couldn’t go to medical until I had showered, and that I could not shower until I ate, and we wanted to wait for Erin. So after realizing that the ten was about 90 degrees we headed over to the 3-day main street.

It was here that Heather and I discovered the love of our three-day life—the i-squeeze machines at the Bank of America’s booth. Those five minutes were some of the best five minutes of my life. And when the lady tried to cheat us out of a minute Heather quickly put her in her place and told her we had more time. Not only did these miracle chairs massage our legs it also attacked our backs. We hobbled into that booth but walked out standing tall and proud. It was fantastic. Those machines work miracles and I am determined to try the one in my faculty room more often this year.

We then wandered over to Energizer and signed up for chair massages. While we waited for Erin to come for our team massage we played the Energizer game. We found we did not like the game as much but the questions were fun and Heather and I took turns asking each other questions and making new friends.

Erin got back in time for the massages—she did not hop a bus but had walked the rest! A woman named Penny gave me a wonderful shoulder and leg massage. I still had some kinks but it worked wonders. We went over to stretch the last of the kinks out and I had an enjoyable conversation with a woman from Connecticut. I know I have said it before but it bears repeating I love that there is so much more that connects us and binds us. So many women from all over truly coming together and showing that we are stronger than any of the things that divide us.

It was finally time to head to dinner but I was not feeling well. I hadn’t drunk anything since we left on the bus and I was now dehydrated. I managed to pick at dinner, but I didn’t eat much. The cake though was fantastic, I kinda wanted another piece.

We finally went to the showers and it was so nice to feel the water run over me. It also stung in a few places but the showers were fantastic. Finally I made it to medical and a very nice RN took care of my blister. We chatted and she was just fantastic. Blister popped and drained we headed to the remembrance tent to pay respect to those who have been lost to breast cancer and those who keep fighting, the real reason that we walk.

Like last year this was an overcoming experience. To be surrounded by the pictures of so many lost. It didn’t even matter that I never had met these women. There is a kinship there one that exists between any 3-day walker. Much like the bond between marathon runners or triathlon participants, you share the same hardships and the same triumphs.

We went to go get settled in for the night when, to the delight of Heather and myself, someone stopped and asked about our pink Tardis. It was made our little geeky sci-fi hearts leap in joy. It then took the three of us to get the tents ready for the rain that was going to threaten us that night and hunkered down. 43 miles down and only 17 left to go.

Team FBG at Pit one
Carrying the flag for Grandma

Ah, the king of rock and roll

Look who I found- and he has drinks Look at my team following rules and stretching

One of my favorite vans--they played ABBA Mile 35!!

So excited to be back at camp At the remembrance tents

Heather's indecent picture--I love it I feel surrounded by pink

Waiting inside the Tardis--is the Doctor coming?

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Cleveland 3-day--Day 1

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.-- Margaret Mead

I believe this statement, history has proven it, my life has proven it, and I believe that you don't have to have money or power to change the world, simply the heart and the determination. For me I have decided to fight cancer and I do all that I can to fight it. This last weekend I walked 60 miles (the second time in nine months) to do that.

Nine months ago I walked into camp in Atlanta having just finished my first day of my first three day. I was overcome with emotion and knew that I had to do this again. Erin looked at me as if I was crazy, and perhaps I am, but we she followed me to the tent to sign up. We sent a post card to Heather and told her we were coming to Cleveland and that we wanted her to join us. Partly out of guilt, partly out of interest, and partly at out devotion Heather decided to join us in this year's adventure.

This year of training was full with up and downs, many times I was facing bouts of depression, not knowing if I had the strength to make it yet another 60 miles. I drew strength from so many though and that is what got me through some rough training months and some tough fund raising.

I arrived in Cleveland the Tuesday before the three day to be with Heather and visit some of the sites. Heather and I instantly picked up our friendship, that is one thing that always amazes me about meeting online friends, it is not like meeting a stranger--even though they technically are. We had dinner together, I met her daughter, we sat and talked and it was fantastic.

On Thursday, after we picked up Erin, our team was together and I realized that this was going to be a good thing. Though I was still nervous about starting my 60 mile journey the next day I knew that the three of us were going to get on fabulously.

Heather and I were both honor flag carriers, this was fantastic and we were both honored to do so. This meant that we had to attend an afternoon rehearsal. That was when I first saw our starting point. It was on Lake Erie and it looked over downtown Cleveland. Seeing the pink trucks filled me with and overwhelm sense of serenity. I knew that I was supposed to be there. I cried when they placed the My Father flag in my hand and each time I carried it I felt sense of pride and would often tear up. My father is a wonderful man and a cancer survivor. The tears flowed freely during that afternoon and I knew that they would come even more the next day.

The next morning Erin and I woke up early to a torrential rain storm. I have to admit I was ready to cry for different reasons then. I had to walk in the rain last year and I wasn't ready to do it again. I sat there and watched the rain pound against the windows, a boa sitting on my head at 4:30 in the morning. I was willing it to stop, but no end seemed in sight. I was so scared I had to walk in the rain again and any confidence that I had rallied seemed to drain away. Heather's friend was a champion though, she drove through one of the worse rain storms I had ever seen. We arrived at the drop off site to our pirate traffic crew, cracking jokes in the rain and full of good spirits. I felt my spirits began to rise as I was once again immersed in a group of people who were willing to take on a rather formidable task.

We picked up our bunny ears from the Enterprise representatives and we stood in the rain snapping pictures and really hoping that the rain would stop. Heather and I left Erin and made our way behind stage, with plans to meet up after the ceremonies. As we stood there the rain began to let up and I felt that by the time we started that I could ditch the poncho.

Opening ceremonies was powerful. Most the time I was just hoping that I wouldnt slip and fall, but it was amazing to be surrounded by a sea of pink and know that I was part of something that was bigger than myself. We walked through the gates and I felt energized. I was in my element. If anyone knew about hard three days, that was me. If anyone knew about the joy of the three day, that was me. This is where I was supposed to be.

We walked through downtown Cleveland and Heather gave us a running commentary and I learned quite a bit about the city. it was a fantastic walking tour. We started walking with a man sporting a pink beard. We soon found out that this was Pink Beard Barry's 45 walk and he was scheduled to walk ten more this year and crew the last five. I couldn't imagine having the strength and stamina to do the walk so many times. I was in awe of this man, and during the rest of the time I saw him on the walk I was amazed that he always seemed to be doing well. I figured if I could keep up with him I was doing okay as well.

We wound our way through two pit stops meeting two friends that would accompany us the rest of the journey. Woo-hoo man and Jerry. Woo hoo-man is a 20 something man whose mother continues to walk in the 3-day. He could be heard from blocks away yelling woo-hoo and holding aloft a sign stating Woo-hoo. We started to look forward to his random appearances and loved to hear him cheering us on. Jerry became our personal cheerleader. He was on the route three or four times a day, cheering us on and making us feel like heroes. I looked forward to seeing Jerry at each step and he always seemed to pop up just when i needed his bit of support.

We continued on our way and the sun came out and was shining now. Heather, knowing that I would get moody if I hadn't eaten, made me stop and eat at each pit. it is funny the things you remember about the 3-day. The food is one of them. They were the same meals that they had last year but for some reason the Uncrustables and the bananas seem to taste better at the pits then at home.

We finally hit lunch, mile 12, and I was so happy that I didn't have shin splints. It was a minor victory after what I went through in Atlanta. We enjoyed our time at lunch, and for me the only downside was that I did not have any clean socks. I had left them in my bag and was forced to walk in my now wet and bloody socks. The back of my heels had started bleeding profusely, the back of the heel torn away on both legs. Armed with wet socks, but a full belly we started off again.

About a quarter mile after lunch walking through the most beautiful area that we had seen I had the overwhelming urge to pee. It was crazy as I had gone twice at lunch but my bladder was full again! Heather and I were contemplating committing an illegal act and using the woods as our own personal bathroom. Fortunately at the moment the Sole Patrol- On a mission from God to put the band back together Team-For-A-Breast. The nice ladies in suits came and picked us up and took us to Pit 4 where the lovely porta-potties waited. We had to miss a cheering station to use the bathroom, but it was worth it. While we waited for Erin we stretched and took a bit of a nap maybe, it was fantastic. There was the moment when there was a nice pop and twinge that went through my back and my knee and at that moment I let out a sigh of relief.

When Erin got there we continued to walk and I loved the conversations that we had. We talked about Doctor Who, online friends, Harry Potter, talking about my religion, Heather’s religion. There was strawberry candies that I hadn’t had in years that I was able to eat once again, taking me back to my childhood. There were tears as we passed through small cheering stations, just grateful people that were there giving us the bit of boost we needed. <

The three of us hobbled through the sun, just laughing and enjoying our company. Heather and Erin jokingly (or not so jokingly) called me Hermione as we walked as I was a safety monitor. I would call out something or tell them about rule breaking they would say “yes, Hermione.” We cheered on the cute kids-crew that would pipe us music and gave us a fun way to enjoy the rest of the day. Every time that the hula van went by Heather talked about the inappropriate picture she wanted to take with it. These talks filled us through the really long three miles to the grab and go it was horrible. One thing that got us through was there was a woman standing outside her door crying, knowing that we were doing something that also overwhelmed her was overwhelming to me. If I wasn’t sweaty and gross I would have gone to give her a hug and told her it would be okay. There was even one moment that my cell phone sounded and the Tardis sound split the air, Heather and I both had a moment of hope that the Doctor was there to save us, then that hope died.

Finally we reached the park where we were to spend the next two nights, our home away from home to enjoy. The music of Michael Jackson pulled us forward towards our goal and I felt like I needed to dance to Billy Jean as I came in. We were greeted by Hug lady, the woman that was there to simply give us a hug.

We went to pick up our luggage and it was so easy to find this year. Then we went to put up the tent, for some reason this was easier this year. We set up our pink Tardis and were so proud of our geekiness. The Hermits United sign was placed in the front and then we were ready.

I actually got two lovely letters from my parents. I felt so proud to be their daughter and so loved. We then headed to dinner, as we are rule followers, and poor Heather started getting sick. I am pretty sure that she was dehydrated. I felt so bad for her, after a while she started to get better. We headed to the showers hoping that all of us would feel better. When we got there there were lines that made you get up and go, we decided to be rebels in our own right and start a rebellion. We started a sit in and told them just to remember who was in front of them. That meant that we didn’t need to move until it was time to move to the “prime seats

After showers we headed to medical where Erin got a nice shin massage and I got my blisters lanced. This would lead to later complications; but that is a story for another time. I lost my camera in medical..thankfully we found it soon after.

We then went to 3-day main street, and though we were too late for the massages we did get an awesome team pic and I got to spin a wheel and won a bandana;what a perfect gift for me. We also bought $11 dollar buttons, I don't remember them being that expensive last year.

Finally it was time to go to bed, 22 miles behind us, ready to face the 21 miles that we had the next day.

Me at ceremony practice
decked out in our ponchos waiting for the morning walk to start

Me with Cleveland
Heather and I practicing holding our flags

Heather and I getting away from the rain. Behind stage with the flag to honor my dad

At the first pit stop and going strong Crossing the "EPA Bridge" about mile 4

Heather and I with Lake Erie, about mile 7 Goofing off at the last pit for the day, about mile 20

With Woo Hoo man, about mile 21.75 Making it to camp

Heather and I with our pink tent

Saturday, June 27, 2009

I'd like to see Paris before I die. Philadelphia will do.

That is the mantra I should have lived for. I disliked Paris. Never need to go back, have no desire to go back, wasn't that keen to go anyway. But anyway, I guess it was alright. Paris really is a city for lovers. It was rather romantic and maybe that is what turned me off to the whole know me...maybe it was the bus ride. Maybe it was the reek of urine, maybe it was the chaos after the order of England. I am not sure.

We took the night bus into Paris and got there at 5 am. It was odd to try and communicate that early in the morning in a language that I don't speak. I wanted to slip into Spanish all the time. Of course, since I got home, I now want to answer merci to everyone. Go figure. We trekked to the hostel only to find that we couldn't check in until two. They let us crash in the chill room and we slept for a couple of hours. Okay that sets up all the pics below the cut.

This is what that I took to Paris. That little back pack. Of course that made it easier to carry around with me.

At the Louvre. We didn't actually go in as I am not an art fan. But this appeased my mom enough, at least for now.

Ah this was kinda fun to see.

This is my favorite picture that I took in Paris.

Um, this is my first bee sting. I got it on a bus tour. It hurt like snot and I hope the bee died a painful death. This is right after it happened, yes I took pictures before I sought medical attention. My whole arm ended up in rash and swollen, did I mention painful death?

The view from our hostel room. We ended checking in at three and crashed for the rest of the day. I think we went and got pizza too but for the most part it was was just a catch up on sleep day. We did call home to wish our father's happy Father's Day. I have to admit this was the first day that I was homesick and I was grateful that we had a room to ourselves. The hostel was fantastic and I would stay there again.

The next day I was feeling slightly more chipper and though Paris still stank of urine I liked it a bit more than before. Notre Dome was fantastic.

We saw all the big sites that day and realized we could have done Paris in a day rather than three and been perfectly happy.

The Sacre Coeur was my favorite part. Other than the men grabbing at me and calling me baby and sexy. That just made me angry. We had some great crepes (the food in Paris was fantastic) and then we walked around the church and the Montmarte which was fantastic.

I read six books on the trip most I read in Paris as there were days we would sit in the park for hours and read. One day I saw a couple snogging rather intensley, this lead to groping, which lead to some other things that I didn't think you should be doing when a seven year old is playing in the fountain next to you. That was a bit odd but we saw it more than once.
We took a boat trip which was okay, the London one was better. But the best part is that we got to see the Effiel tower at night.

Our last day we went to Versailles. This is the one thing I always wanted to see in France. So it was nice to go. I rode a bike for the first time in 15 years and realized how much I enjoyed it. The fact that I almost hit a small child who cut in front of me just made it more of an adventure.

We got there in time for the fountain show which was great.

Halfway there on the bike trip. The only way to see the Park and the gardens.

On the stair case at Reinette's house. It was so cool.

The gardens!

The hall of mirrors. The palace was packed and we didn't get to see it very well but this was so cool.
After we went to the d'Orsay which was great. The only reason we went was that we both like the impressionists. We really only looked at the fifth floor. But it was fun to see the paintings I actually liked.

Then we started our Pastry tour of Paris and ate our way through every bakery that we could find. Ah the food was fantastic. As we ate dinner this fine man came up and showed us why Paris stank.

And this was my reaction

So we left Paris that night and I did not sleep all that night. I caught about four hours when we got to London then it was off to the airport where we got upgraded to first class. I don't know how it happened, but it did. That was fantastic too. I felt so well taken care of and just adored. The final night of the trip we stayed at Amy's house. she is fantastic and I wish I had more time with her.

Well that brings the end of my journey. i loved it. I would go to England again in a heart beat and I have plenty of pictures if you want to see more.