This is the second part of my post on my reasons for selecting some special travel destinations but, first, I’d like to thank all my bloggy friends who came to read the first part and commented. I am so pleased that you liked the paintings of Paris that I posted and also, that you like my hometown. Below is another painting of Paris. It is the Rue de l’Abreuvoir painted in the late 1800s or early 1900s. This street is behind the Sacré-Coeur of Montmartre. I could walk to this street from where I lived in Paris; it would have taken about 15 to 20 minutes.
La Rue de l’Abreuvoir à Montmartre by Alfred Renaudin, French 1866-1944
I’d like to answer some questions asked by my bloggy friends. Jenny Woolf asked “can you say whether you found the places you visited lived up to your expectations?” I can sincerely declare that I have never been disappointed. I don’t have expectations I just go and enjoy each trip.
Rosaria asked “How did you manage to get away so often? “ The company where I worked closed between Christmas and New Year so I could take time off then. After so many years I also received one month paid vacations. In addition I worked often on week-ends and evenings and received “compensation time” or paid time off which I could add to Holidays or week-ends.
Fennie said “…personally I like returning to where I know..” I feel the same. This is why for example I have been to Tunisia 4 times, to England a dozen times or more and Italy at least 10 times. If not I would have visited more countries.
Rauf said “Cost is my deciding factor.” It is mine too. I came to the USA with $1,000 cash. From then on I worked. I was fortunate to get extra work, like Tour Guide for French speaking tourists, French voice-over on training videos, translations, modeling, etc., in addition to my regular position. I also always waited for a “good deal” which is why I waited sometimes decades to visit a certain country.
But when in Paris I always return to the Place St Michel….
La Place St Michel by Eugène Galien-Laloue, French 1854-1941Radio Show
To get back to some of the reasons for my trips -
My radio station in Atlanta used to broadcast a show every Saturday afternoon from Public Radio International called “AfroPop.” The show is no longer on my radio station but is available online. Georges Collinet is still the radio host (mother from Cameroon and father French.) The music is from all parts of Africa and is not “African-American music” but genuine African music.
Georges Collinet and singers Baaba Maal and Youssou N’Dour from SénégalBelow is another photo I scanned – it’s of me on the same day in the Island of Gorée.
I enjoyed the music so much that I had written to Georges to tell him that he should get a group together to travel to Africa to listen live to some of the music. He did call me later on and said that it was a good idea and was going to do just that. This is the way I joined his group and went to Dakar, Sénégal for 10 days. I’ll write a post on this as it would be too long now. Below is a picture of part of our group eating lunch in the Island of Gorée (off the coast of Sénégal.) Georges is at the top of the table on the left.
Books and Roses
I used to grow roses in my garden. I had up to 150 bushes but now that so many of our trees have grown there is too much shade in our yard and most of the roses are gone. Then I belonged to the American Rose Society and drove to Atlanta for monthly meetings. They would often speak about the famous International Rose Test Garden in Portland, Oregon – and I longed to visit it. Several years later my husband and I, who are total book addicts, learned about Powell'‘s Books – an independent bookstore in Portland that offers more than 4 million new and used books in a large store which uses a whole city block. This was a double reason to visit Portland. Some years later an airline offered cheap flights to Portland, Oregon from Atlanta, so we went.
We visited both places - the rose garden and bookstore. Below is a scanned picture of me in the rose garden
and a postcard of Powell’s Books.
Because of the name of a city
One year I was searching the Internet for something in Paris, France. Another Paris came up – Paris in Kentucky. As we were planning to drive to Columbus, Ohio to visit my husband’s family I checked the map and saw that we could make a slight detour and visit Paris, Ky. I wished to visit it because it was called Paris. I had requested some information from the Tourists Office there and told them I was from another Paris, in France. They offered to give us a guided tour of their Paris. We went and had a lovely time with the gracious Parisian ladies from Kentucky who gave us an entertaining driving tour. I did not take many pictures with my film camera but below is a vintage postcard of a thoroughbred horse farm in Paris. The whole area around Paris, Kentucky is covered with famous horse farms. (Top picture is a second floor of store in Paris, Kentucky.)
Vintage postcard of Claiborne Horse Farm in Paris, Kentucky (home of Triple Crown winners.)Since childhood I have had pet cats. My husband and I love cats and they have shared our home. We have two right now – Cody and Mitsou. A while back (a long while back) I had read a short story of Ernest Hemingway where he mentioned his cats. I also had a book just on his cats.
I found out that in his Key West house he had cats with extra toes in their back paws or 5 toes (polydactyl ) and more than 40 of the cats descendants still lived at the Key West property. What a great destination… cats in Key West! In 2010 we were able to go to Key West and we visited Ernest Hemingway’s house and garden – and saw the cats. My husband bought me another book there which is giving me another special destination, but this will be coming up in May, so I’ll speak about it then. Below is a polydactyl cat I photographed in Hemingway’s garden.
I started my blog in March 2009 and have enjoyed it tremendously. I also like to read a variety of blogs. In late 2009, a Norwegian blog I read RennyBa’s terella wrote a post inviting bloggers to a “Blog Gathering” in Oslo in August 2010. I had never been to a blog meeting and did not know any bloggers then. In addition I had always wanted to go down the coast of Norway on the freighter ship which stops at tiny villages. At the time we had enough frequent flyer miles on Delta to get free round-trips to Europe. Renny had organized the gathering offering many discounts to the city sights and hotel. So we went and had a super great time. I have written 3 posts on Norway starting with Norway – Arriving in Kirkenes, but I still have to write several more.
Part of the port of Oslo, Norway taken from a hill in front of the castleLast September we were going back to Columbus, Ohio to visit family. I searched the Internet for interesting places around Columbus and found out that the film “The Shawshank Redemption” which is one of my all time favorites had been filmed in and around Mansfield, Ohio, about 1 hour from Columbus. I did more searching, found a motel and also found that the Tourist Office offered a driving guide to the major film sites. I mentioned this already in my post on my 2011 year of travel but I’ll write a post on it later on as I have many photos. We drove to Mansfield because of this film. Below is a door in front of the historic Ohio State Reformatory.
I have more special destinations to write about but this is getting too long so I’ll write about them in the future. In the meantime I’ll keep observing and reading and I am sure, finding more unusual reasons for trips in Georgia, the USA or abroad.
Painting by Claude Grobéty, French born in 1940