Friday, July 30, 2010

Oh, La La----the Open Markets of Paris

I sniffed out as many farmers' markets as I could while I visited the "City of Light." The peaches were perfect, especially the white ones. It's hard to find a good peach in Hawaii as they have to be picked too green for shipp[ng and then they don't ripen properly.
Lucky me-----the ones in Paris were just right-----juicy and very sweet!

Cheese, Cheese, and More Cheese

Do you believe how many cheeses are available to purchase at an open market in Paris? Europeans LOVE cheese! They eat if for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert! There were many kinds of yogurt for sale too.

.....And More Cheese!

Yes, the French love their cheese. The selection just goes on and on and on!

The First President Points the Way

Now, the best open market I found in Paris, and I visited many, is on Avenue Woodrow Wilson in the 16th Arrondissement. There is a statue of George Washington holding his sabre in the direction of the market. It's open on Saturday mornings.

French Postcards, Anyone?

I got up very early one Saturday morning and took the Metro to Clignacourt to the biggest flea market in the world--Marches aux Puches which means "Market of the Fleas". It was huge and a little intimidating----the makeshift stalls just went on and on and on. Then it started pouring hard, so hopped back on the Metro and headed south, but not before I found this tent full of wonderful posters and postcards. If you go, go with a friend and plan on staying all day.

Take Flowers Home to your Sweetheart

All the open markets in Paris sold bouquets of colorful blossoms fresh and beautiful, especially the roses. The market on Avenue Woodrow Willson had the best selection in case your are shopping in Paris anytime soon.

On the Way, on the Metro

It's so easy to get around in Paris by using the subway---all the lines are color-coded. Find your destination, find the line, and then take the car towards the last stop on that line. It's cheap too. Buy a booklet of ten to save money. You can also use the Metro tickets for the bus or train. You might make friends with a Parisian too. This young woman is carrying her baguettes home. I saw so many people with these long hotdog bun-looking loaves of bread. They are a staple in France.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

4th of July- Ambassador's Residence-Paris

Yes, it's Uncle Sam and me on the gigantic lawn of Ambassador Charles Rivkin's home in Paris.
It was a traditional Independence Day picnic attended by hundreds of people! I had lots of fun as you'll see the next seven photos.

Oh, Oh Say Can You See.....

Gail has been playing the baritone saxophone for the Air Force Band for sixteen years and she loves her job. Her ensemble was bussed in from Germany to play at the Ambassador's 4th of July Picnic. I liked singing along to many favorite tunes, especially the national anthem!

Across the United States

"Route 66" was the theme of Ambassador Rivkin's party. There were road signs and photographs of America all across the lawn.
See the surfer next to my head? Remember to click on the photo to get a better look!

One, Two, Three Go!

As typical of many 4th of July picnics, there were games for the children on the lawn. Although it was pretty hot, all the kids were having a fine time and doing their best competing in relays.

Pass it on Quickly!

Keegan, in the blue shorts, was having lots of fun at the picnic and loved the excitement of the relay games. I was fortunate to be a guest of her parents, who work at the American Embassy, while I was in Paris. I am one lucky dog, if I do say so myself!

Inspired by Michelle Obama

Xavier is the Agricultural Specialist for the Embassy. He was showing me around the garden of Susan Tolson, the Ambassador's wife. This organic garden was planted by agricultural students at the horticulture school in Paris and looked like the one that President Obama's wife designed next to the White House in Washington, D.C. Mrs. Obama enlisted the support of local school children to plant her garden, too.

On the Inside, Looking Out

The first floor of the American Ambassador's residence was open to all the party guests. It was magnificent! This is what you see from the entry to the lady's powder room.

If "You" are Ever a Guest

This is the view of the main entry as you enter American Ambassador Rivkin's home in Paris. This mansion at 41 Rue de Faubourg-Saint Honore in the 8th Arrondissement (district) was built in 1855 by the French architect Louis Visconti for a baroness. It is a fine example of the architcture of Paris---absolutely elegant! (The United States purchased the residence in 1948.)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Onward to Paris via the Eurostar

I had to stop for a bite to eat at San Pancras Station in London before I boarded the train to Paris.
I found a great deli that offered delicious, healthy sandwiches with whole grain bread. Yum!
Ronnie, the manager of Sourced Market, purchases all their ingredients from local farmers. My salmon, watercress, and cuke sandwich hit the spot!

On My Way through the Chunnel

It was pretty crowded checking in for the train ride. I had to pass through English security showing my passport to leave England and then steps away I had to pass through French security clearing the way to enter France. Then I had to put all my luggage on a conveyor belt to be screened.
Make sure if you take the Eurostar that you arrive a couple of hours early just to give yourself plenty of time to board. Taking the train is better than flying because I was dropped off right in Paris at the Gare du Nord (the North Station) and could get to my destination easily by riding the subway called the Metro.

All Aboard..............

I loved the San Pancras train station; it was clean, bright, and beautiful. This is the only station from which you can catch the Eurostar to the continent.
The ride to Paris was about 2 and a 1/2 hours and there is a one hour time change during the journey, so make sure you set your watch right when traveling back and forth between London and Paris.

My Paris Destination

While in Paris I stayed on Avenue Victor Hugo (Hugo was a famous poet and author), which is in the northwest part of town. It's a fancy section of the city in the 16th Arrondissement (see the number in corner). The "City of Light" is divided into 20 parts (arrondissements) through which the Seine River flows.

My Face was All Over Paris!!

While sitting at a bistro (outdoor cafe), I glanced across the Place Victor Hugo, and saw a movie poster for TAMARA DREWE. Mom signed a release last year so the movie company (in England) could use my image in their film. Well....after dinner I strolled over to look more closely at the advertisement and what do you think!! There I was---riding a bike with a surfboard under my arm on the t-shirt of one of the main characters of the film! Yikes---international exposure!

Look More Closely and You Will See......Me!

I zoomed in and took a photo of the t-shirt on the actor, Bill Camp, so you'd see me on my bike! (click on me to see more details).
It's a great way to exercise and stay healthy, and keep the planet healthy too!
TAMARA DREWE was released in Paris on July 14th. The movie will open in the United Kingdom on Sept. 10 and in the United States on Oct. 8. It premiered at the Cannes Film Festival this year.

You Can Take your Dog Anywhere

Parisians love dogs! Here is Lalu, happy as can be, with her family as they sit outside and dine at one of the city's many bistros.
That's Marie, Clara, and Alessia from left to right! Wow---to be a dog in Paris-----that's the life!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Jack Johnson Backstage in London

My hometown friend, Jack Johnson, is a famous musican and surfer. Born and raised on the North Shore of Oahu, he has always been kind and caring. Right now he is on tour in the United States after performing many concerts in Europe. (That's were I saw him). His community service extends around the globe---all the profits from his summer tour, "TO THE SEA" which is also the title of his latest release, will go to charities that promote sustainablilty and green awareness!! Bravo, Jack, we love you!! and so does the planet!
The next 5 photos are from his concert.

All the Way from Italy

Giuseppe and Camilla traveled hundreds of miles on the train to see Jack perform. They love him! Both of these friendly and talkative Italians are world champion rowers which means they are great athletes!
I just love making new friends from around the world!

In Case You Need to Ask a Question

Of course, Mom always needs to ask questions, that's just her way. So.....because these beautiful, young women were wearing wings, Mom had to ask them, "Why?". The O2 Angels are available to point you in the right direction, answer your questions, or pose with smiling, talkative little dogs like me! From left to right---Bernadette, Francesca, and Sinead.

Appropriately Dressed for the Concert

Amanda, Sharon, Dawn, and Jennie (from left to right) loved being in costume for Jack's concert at the O2. Their hula skirts fit right in. They had taken the "Tube" which is the London subway/underground to the event and no one had said anything to them. Imagine that!
They were laughing and talking, and so happy in their Hawaiian attire.

Elated to be at Jack's Concert

I met Anna (with the red bow) and Aneken as I was taking the Tube back to Highgate in north London after Jack's concert. These two young German women are living in the city being "au pairs" which means they help moms take care of their children, something like a "nanny". When I told them I was Jack's friend in Hawaii, they were so excited and happy to meet so we chatted for a long time!

The Concert Hall was Packed!!

Samuel and his dad, Boyd took the train into London to see Jack's concert. They traveled from Lincolnshire which is about 100 miles north of the city. Sam who is 15 years old has loved Jack's music for the past three years. Jack has sold over 18 million albums so far and his "TO THE SEA" release is Number 1!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Stepping Back in History

Yes, this is the exact spot where 100 Pilgrims set sail from Plymouth, England, in 1620, to the New World to find a better life.
It was a rough journey as they had started with two ships and ended up with only one, the Mayflower. The late start and cold December weather they encountered when they reached North America set them up for a difficult first few months. Luckily, they met Squanto, a Native American who spoke English, who guided them through their first year. To celebrate their success and bountiful harvest, they invited the locals for a three-day dinner party and so began the first Thanksgiving.

For a Better Look

Plymouth was a very important trading port and ships have set sail from here to destinations around the world for hundreds of years. This small industrial town in southwest England is also famous for building ships. It was bombed heavily during World War II, but was rebuilt. If you visit, take this boat around the harbor and learn more!

...And Down on the Farm

These geese are waddling around Alex William's farm near a beach called Bantham in southwest England in Devon (a county). This gaggle is very happy! It's no wonder-----the weather is glorious and there's food aplenty.
Alex is an avid surfer and professional photographer who can walk to the beach (see it down the valley) in minutes! What's the surf up to right now? Find out at The following six photos are from his home where he has a number of artists in residence.

As Comfy As Can Be

This painter, Graham Fish, has the most airy and light-filled 2nd floor studio and gallery at Alex's farm. He's a keen surfer who paints in oils (can you see smudges on his shirt?) and is always working on a number of projects at once. Every day he paints a picture of the landscape while looking at the sea. It's a tribute to his 60th birthday year. Now, that's a big committment!

Graham's 60th Birthday Tribute

Look at each painting and see the changes that take place every day at Bantham Bay from the yard next to Graham's studio/gallery.
What views, what colors----the temperment of the ocean and sky are always in flux.

The Printmaker at Work

I loved the red table in the first photo. It would inspire me to do art too! That's Mick Cartwright hard at work cutting out the image of his dog----he's making a family portrait collage and his pooch is part of it. He's another of Alex's artists in residence. He's also prepared for a surf as evidenced by the photo above---a longboard in his studio, all waxed up and ready to go!

Art From What You Find

These two photos show that art is art! It can be anything or made of anything.
I'm going to start collecting driftwood on my beach in Hawaii so I can become an artist too! I know it will be fun and make me proud. What can you create by using recycled or found items?

Friday, July 9, 2010

Getting Ready to Head South

Mom splurged and bought us first class tickets to southwest England to the county called Devon. We had a "continental" breakfast in a private lounge before the train departed from Paddington Station in London. I like this high living!

The Tide was Out

I'm making my way to a small, surfing beachtown called Bigbury-on-Sea. I was able to go by car next to this river because the tide was out. It's impassable when the tide is in. Those white objects in the water are beautiful swans. (Remember to click the photo to enlarge.) The boat is listing as the tide is just starting to come in, and then, when the tide is high, it can float upright again!

Two Gentlemen from the Land Down Under

Terry, on the left, and Donald bought three-week train passes so they could take day trips in and out of London. They got the "senior" discount. These two holiday travelers are from Cairns, Australia, and were happy to chat with me for a little bit. We had to whisper because we were in the "Quiet Carriage", no cell phones or loud voices, please!

Heading Out for a Surf

Matz is getting ready for a three-minute walk down to the waves! He's carrying a full wetsuit as the water in southwest England is always pretty nippy and it's required surf wear. See that big white hotel on the far hill in the background; it's famous because Agatha Christy would come to this community, stay at the Burgh Island Hotel, and write her adult mysteries.

Who Wants to Learn to Surf?

Yes, there is a surf school in Bigbury-on-Sea! DISCOVERY SURF!
That's Luke in the red rash guard getting ready to give instructions to three novice waveriders. They are students from the local school and it's part of their P.E. curriculum. Pretty cool, huh? When the tide is in, the water flows all the way back to the base of those hills!

The Youngest Surfer on the Beach

Annika and her son, Sebastian, took me down to see the action at their beach. Notice the surfers in the background. When the tide is in, the whole beach, yards and yards and yards of it, fills up with ocean!

I'm Ready to Take the Plunge--Brrrrrr! Where's my Wetsuit?

Sebastian tried to take me into the ocean, but we just got our toes wet. He usually plays and plays along the shore. I know he will be surfing soon as his parents, Annika and Martin Connelly, own Discovery Surf which has been up and running for eight years.
Shortly, he'll be a pro like his Mum and Dad.

Just in Case there's Trouble

As with most surfing and swimming beaches around the world, they are patrolled by capable men and women who are there if you need help! This truck was parked on the flats, as the tide was out, and the female guard was in the surf paddling around.

....And if You Need ANY Surf Gear

So if you are ever at Bigbury-on-Sea, in southeast England, stop by Martin and Annika's surf shop and pick up what you need or something to take home to a friend. Or how about a surf lesson! The staff is friendly and attentive!