Sunday, June 5, 2011

Back home!

Yes, I am back from a great trip to the Netherlands and one other place in Europe. Can you guess where we went on this train???
How about this little icon? Any ideas where we went??
Yep, we went on a short little excursion to Paris! My sister, who lives in the Netherlands, surprised Ellery and I by booking us a trip on the speed train the Thalys from Amsterdam to Paris in three hours and fifteen minutes. We walked along the River Seine (below).
Walked along many small and narrow streets like this one.
We saw some beautiful churches.
The one below is Notre Dame Cathedral, located on the Seine River.
We used public transportation or our feet to get around town,
meaning we walked up many, many staircases like this one.
The picture below is taken not too far from Notre Dame Cathedral on
one of the bridges crossing the river. On this bridge couples from
all over the world place a lock with their names engraved, a symbol of their enduring love.

A grand slam event!! It was just a coincidence that our annual trip to the Netherlands coincided with the French Open, at the magnificent Rolland Garros of Paris. My sister, an avid tennis fan, submitted a bid to get tickets through the lottery like system. She was able to get tickets for Day 9 (round four) on Monday, May 30. Because Ellery was only 6, she was admitted free. All of us followed these tennis rackets from the Metro Station (subway) to the grounds.
A view from our seats in the beautiful Court Philippe-Chatrier.
We were able to see two matches with our tickets! The best was the last match of the day between Maria Sharapova and Agnieszka Radwanska. Maria is Russian and is on a comeback in Grand Slam events after surgery to repair her shoulder. "Maria overcame a rusty to start to see off Agnieszka Radwanska 7-6(4), 7-5 in a topsy-turvy match that saw her advance to the French Open quarter-finals for the fifth time in her career. " You can read more here.
Maria was eventually defeated in the quarter finals. It was a thrill to see her come from behind to win that match (picture above from here). After years of being a fair weather fan of tennis, I will say that this year, I will be dialed in to the other Grand Slam events, including Wimbledon and the US Open, to see how our "girl" does. I am guessing from her keen attention at the matches that Ellery will also want to watch more tennis, too.

You may already know that "China’s Li Na held firm in the face of a ferocious comeback on the part of defending champion Francesca Schiavone to win 6-4, 7-6 (0) and claimed the first-ever Grand Slam title for a player from Asia."

So, as you read in the title post, I am back home in Minneapolis. No further travels until late July when we go out to Washington State for our son’s wedding. I did pretty well with exercise, at least 7/12 days biking over 5 miles a day. We walked a total of 12 miles through Paris over our 4 days, too. Eating was good for the first 7 days, but the last five, including 4 days in Paris, let’s just say I was over my calories budget. So, Slimmer This Summer, Alan’s June Boom, and Tami's Small Change Challenge, here I come!

As I close, I would like to welcome the many new followers, including Marilee, Miss April, Jacqui, Big Clyde, Simple, Sassy Sarah, Casey's 279, Cinner, Alliehbc, Tread Lightly and ec_212, that came on board with me in the last couple of weeks. Together, we can move forward and get fit and healthy. Thank-you all for reading. Have a great start to your week everyone and TTFN, Michele


  1. Oh wow!!!!! What a fun time to be in Paris!!! Glad you had a good trip!

  2. It sounds fabulous! We're scheduled to do a river cruise on the Seine in October. We will spend time in Paris and other sites, and are looking forward to it. It's always good to get home safely, however.

  3. Glad you're back! Great pictures and so glad you had so much fun! What a trip!

    Vacation can be hard for calories but glad you're back and ready to get back on track!

  4. I LOVE this. I'm a big fan of taking advantage of good timing. We were passing through Indianapolis in April the day after the college basketball championship and were going to go to the Butler parade if they won, just because. Carpe Diem!

  5. Oh girl, I evny all your travels. That is awesome all that you got to do and see. Thank you so much for sharing.
    Yes it's time for your challenges but you enjoyed your vacation and that was what was important at the time. Good luck with all three challenges. I know you will be a rock star with your goals.
    Take care Michel and havea blessed night sleep.

  6. Glad to hear you made it safely home. What a wonderful and special surprise to have the Paris trip booked by your sister! These memories will last a lifetime. You'll burn off the extra calories before you know it. It's great that you were able to enjoy so many activities and sights.

    BTW, they do that "love locks" thing in S.Korea too, such a neat idea. My sister & brother-in-law left their lock on top of a building in S.
    Korea this winter.

  7. Sounds like an awesome trip! Thanks for the fun pics.

  8. Hi, Michele
    Thanks for stopping by. Too bad you live so far from Yosemite. Being able to finally hike all those trails is a good motivator for me to keep those # off (lost 96 a few years ago and fighting to keep them off).
    We went to Paris last year. I want to live there at least for a year. What a magnificent city.
    My best classical music moment is being on a trail run early in the morning. Birds were singing, creek was bubbling, and Chopin was playing softly in my ears. Pure magic.

  9. When I see a clay court I think of good feelings when I was young and played on them. I loved the slide to the ball you could do on clay.

    Such a wonderful trip. I want to go one day to see the Art. I want to see the real stuff. I once spoke my tourist French in Montreal and some guy told me to please stop. Que terrible!

    The Twin Cities is a beautiful Northern Metropolis. I had an opportunity to see it as a child and remember the Longfellow connection because my sister had "The Song Of Hiawatha" memorized and she would not stop with her chanting it over and over during the trip. That park was so beautiful even with the echoing of a 5th grader saying "gicheegoomie"!