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TTT: June 6th, 1996

Posted by cybertoad on 07/26/2016 in europe, france, time travel tuesdays |

My first full day in Paris!

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Paris

Wearily wake up and get our butts moving. Get supplies for lunch (mayo, cheese, ham, bread, juice) plus get stamps (successfully!) and take subway to Le Tour Eiffel where we plan to meet Marianne [D’s friend]. Because of a subway strike (yes, another strike), it took a bit longer.

Too cheap to pay for the privilege of walking up the stairs, we contented ourselves with walking underneath. Had a picnic lunch on the lawn (Parc de Champ de Mars) and rested an hour before making our way to Le Palais Royal and its gardens. Walked across Le Pont des Arts (where the river splits) towards L’Ecole des Beaux Arts and ended up at a cafe along St. Germain.

Note –> we found out later why the coffee was so expensive (34 Ff). We had picked Cafe Fleure, a cafe that has inspired writers [such] as Sartre. *

[To] celebrate our days in Paris,we buy a bottle of cheap champagne, meet up with Marianne again at the Georges V Metro on Le Champs-Elysee and guzzle it down under L’Arc de Triomphe!

 

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* Fact-checking this and I had the cafe spelled wrong, it was Cafe de Flore, and Sartre did not go there but other famous intellectuals did.

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TTT: June 5th, 1996

Posted by cybertoad on 07/18/2016 in europe, france, time travel tuesdays |

This is my journal entry from the 5th day of our trip. We had already landed in London, taken the Chunnel Train from London to Paris, visited Sacre-Coeur and stayed a couple of days in Palis, a small village an hour and half southeast of Paris where my travel mate’s aunt, uncle & cousin lived.

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Palis to Paris

Took train from Troyes to Gare du Est, Paris. Come in the middle of a protest march. The electrical workers are demonstrating against the raising of rates tomorrow as well as the idea of privatization [see pic below].

Took Metro to Chatelet and walked to Notre Dame. Walked alongside the river towards Le Louvre. Walked through L’Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel and relaxed in the shade in les Jardin des Tuileries.

Walked to the Obelisk and La Place de la Concorde and then made it to a Metro and found our way back to Le Gare du Est. Couldn’t get a hold of Olivier and began to panic – we had no place to go!

We took our luggage (because of terrorist problems, station lockers closed up!) out of consignment and lugged it back to the train station. Our plan was to call Olivier and/or Dave’s friend Marianne every 15 minutes till we found someone.

Upon a 2nd try, we did find Olivier & our moods instantly lifted. We jumped back on our subway and made our way to 28 rue de Chazelles via le Courcelles subway.

Olivier graciously took us in (after mistakenly going to the ‘2nd’ – he lives on the 3rd – our 4th) and we had dinner,where I finally met his fiancee, Lawrence.

Got cleaned up and prepared to meet David’s friend Marianne and her friends at the steps of the Bastille Opera House at 11 PM. Upon arriving, I noticed Stephan G. at the steps! [French grad student I had know in college] He was also meeting a friend but he was late so we decided to have him meet up up at a local bar, His friend, Michael, turned out to be another INTS major [my college major] from Texas A&M. We hung out at a couple of bars and just to show how people know people, here is a quick diagram…

Libby (Dallas) <-> Alison (Dallas) <-> Katell (France) <-> Marianne (Boston U) <-> Dave (I knew him from high school) <-> ME -> Stephane (A&M) AND Michael (A&M)

 

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TTT: Summer of 1996 Itinerary

Posted by cybertoad on 07/12/2016 in europe, scrapbooking, time travel tuesdays |

On my initial Time Travel Tuesday entry, I told you guys about my epic 1996 post-graduation summer through Europe. Before I start posting some of my old journal entries, I thought I’d share with you my itinerary on that trip.

I hand wrote the list of dates & cities below in my journal and even hand drew that map of Europe at the end of this post.

As you can see, I saw a LOT of Western Europe in those two months! I even made you guys a handy dandy interactive map!

    June 1: Houston (IAH) –> London, UK (Gatwick)
    June 2: London
    June 3: London –> via Chunnel –> Paris –> Palis, France
    June 4: Palis
    June 5: Palis –> Paris
    June 6: Paris
    June 7: Paris –> Bochum, Germany
    June 8: Bochum & Koln, Germany
    June 9: Bochum & Dusseldorf, Germany
    June 10: Bochum
    June 11: Bochum & Munster, Germany
    June 12: Bochum –> Verona, Italy (12 1/2 hour train ride!)
    June 13: Verona
    June 14: Verona –> Firenze, Italy
    June 15: Firenze –> Innsbruck, Austria
    June 16: Innsbruck
    June 17: Innsbruck –> Munchen, Germany
    June 18: Munchen & Dachau, Germany
    June 19: Munchen
    June 20: Munchen –> Stuttgart, Germany
    June 21: Stuttgart
    June 22: Stuttgart –> Fribourg/Rossens, Switzerland
    June 23: Rossens & Avenche, Murten, Switzerland
    June 24: Rossens & Bern, Switzerland
    June 25: Rossens –> Paris
    June 26 – July 1: Paris
    July 2: Paris –> Poitiers, France
    July 3: Poitiers
    July 4: Poitiers –> Bordeaux, France
    July 5: Bordeaux
    July 6: Bordeaux –> Madrid, Spain
    July 7 – 9: Madrid
    July 10: Madrid –> Valencia, Spain
    July 11: Valencia
    July 12: Valencia –> Barcelona, Spain
    July 13 – 14: Barcelona –> Fribourg, Switzerland (overnight train)
    July 14: Rossens, Veytaux & Montreaux, Switzerland
    July 15: Rossens, The Swiss Alps – Zermatt, Gornergrat – & Sion, Switzerland
    July 16: Sion –> Baden, Switzerland
    July 17: Baden & Lucerne, Switzerland
    July 18: Baden & Zurich, Switzerland
    July 19: Baden –> Paris
    July 20: Paris –> London, UK
    July 21 – 26 –> London
    July 27: London –> Edinburgh, Scotland
    July 28: Edinburgh
    July 29: Edinburgh –> London
    July 30: London
    July 31: London –> HOME!! (Houston, Texas)

    europe1996

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    Revisiting a list from July 2003

    Posted by cybertoad on 07/10/2016 in bucket list, travel |

    Wow! While cleaning up this blog to convert it to a travel blog, I came across this post from 13 years ago listing locations I wanted to visit in my lifetime. Thrilled to see I’ve made some headway – and even visited some locations a few times.

    If I have visited a location, I’ve added a link to the pictures too!

    Within the USA

    • Seattle, Washington [PHOTOS]
    • Las Vegas [PHOTOS]
    • Chicago [PHOTOS]
    • Vermont during the fall on one of the foliage road tours [PHOTOS]
    • Skiing either in Colorado or New Mexico (I’ve never skied)
    • Santa Fe, New Mexico
    • The Southern East coast (i.e Virginia, the Carolinas, Georgia)
    • Alaskan cruise (this is planned for our 10-year wedding anniversary) (we actually went for our 15th anniversary) [PHOTOS]
    • Puerto Rico
    • More of Northern California including a hot-air balloon ride over one of the wine regions.

    International

    • Basque region in Spain during the cider house tours
    • Somewhere in Asia, don’t know where yet and depends on political climate
    • Australia/New Zealand
    • Canada – Quebec, Montreal, Lake Louis, Nova Scotia [PHOTOS]
    • Greece
    • Ireland & Scotland [PHOTOS]
    • Denmark – Legoland and Eskesen (the floaty pen factory) (does it partially count if I visited Legoland in San Diego instead?)
    • Eastern Europe including Warsaw, Prague, Budapest [PHOTOS]
    • Southern Italy (already saw Northern Italy)
    • Guatemala – so I can take Kenny since I’ve already been
    • Costa Rica
    • Buenos Aires, Argentina

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    Passporting since 1979…

    Posted by cybertoad on 07/06/2016 in travel |

    I have had a passport ever since I can remember and was surprised to find out when I was in a study abroad prep class in college that most of my classmates had never had one. I assumed everyone had one, even if they didn’t travel!

    I still have almost all of my past passports:

    • 1979-1984: I was 5 years old!
    • 1984-1989
    • 1989-1995: Sadly, I am missing this one!
    • 1994-2004: I’m finally over 18 so the renewal period changed from 5 to 10 years – also, read more to find out why it was green…
    • 2004-2014
    • And my current one that is good till 2024.

    Regarding the green covered passport, I recently saw an article about passport covers colors and it reminded me that I was fortunate in my passport renewal timing a few years ago and had a special commemorative edition passport…

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    According to Wikipedia, the “Green covers were again issued from April 1993, until March 1994, and included a special one-page tribute to Benjamin Franklin in commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the United States Consular Service.”

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    BONUS PHOTO: My four older passport photos (I hate my current one so I did not include it) – me at 5, 10, 20 and 30!

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    Pretty neat, I thought!

    So do YOU have a passport and if so, when did you first get one?

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    Video Sunday: Girls Steel Drum Band

    Posted by cybertoad on 07/03/2016 in belize, central america, video sunday, videos |

    I don’t take too many videos when I travel but I have a handful so I thought I’d share them individually at the beginning of the month or so on what I’ll start calling “Video Sunday“.

    You can view them all over here if you want to see more and can’t wait…

    The first featured video is from our July 2010 trip to Caye Caulker, Belize. We were visiting during LobsterFest and I videoed this group of talented young schoolgirls playing the steel drums. The band was called Pannerific. Don’t you just love the sound of steel drums?

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    Introducing Time Travel Tuesdays

    Posted by cybertoad on 06/28/2016 in europe, time travel tuesdays |

    In the summer of 1996, after graduating college, thanks to my mother’s support and encouragement, I had the opportunity to travel through Western Europe for a full two months as a graduation gift before hitting the “real” world and settling into a full-time job.

    This summer will be 20 years since that amazing, life altering trip and since I just refreshed this blog with an emphasis on travel, I thought it would be fun to revisit the handwritten journal I kept on that journey.

    I was very meticulous about journaling every day – I often took notes in a smaller journal then every few days would review my notes and maps and write my thoughts out more fully. Places and new terms were highlighted (highlighters were bought in a stationery shop in Florence). Even though it was tedious sometimes to try to catch up, other times it was a great excuse to slow down and find a cafe or park to do my writing. Some days it kept me occupied on long train rides or was a great nightcap at the end of the long day walking.

    I won’t publish every entry (I made a point to journal each day of travel) but I’ll type up my favorites so you can join me in laughing at the thoughts and writing style of a 22 year old Elaine. They’ll be featured under this new category, Time Travel Tuesday.

    Below is a picture of the journal itself. And it was such a perfect travel journal! Since it was spiral bound and hardcover, I could fold it upon itself and write without needing a hard surface like a table. And when I wasn’t writing on it, I could use it to play cards or write postcards. It held up great throughout two months of travel!

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    Dusting this blog off…

    Posted by cybertoad on 06/22/2016 in commentary, personal, travel |

    Hello everyone! I hope you like the updated look and the new focus on travel. I’ve had this blog since the summer of 2001 and I couldn’t just give it up after 15 years. You can read a little more of the blog’s history here

    In addition to simply updating the theme with new background art, I’ve added a page with videos from our different trips and a page of my Instagram feed. I even have some pretty nifty maps detailing my travels.

    I hope to revive this blog sharing my stories from past and current trips. I think I will even start a “Time Travel Tuesday” where I write up some of my favorite journal entries from my unforgettable summer in Europe back when I was a recent college graduation. It was 1996, before the formation of the European Union, before cell phones and GPS to help guide me. Can’t believe it’s been 20 year!

    That being said, I hope you join me on my adventures!

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    One of my favorites…

    Posted by cybertoad on 06/20/2016 in caribbean, cuba, instagram, photography |

    Taken as we drove along El Malecon.

    One of my favorites... 🇨🇺 #Havana #Habana #lahabana #cuban #Cuba #caribbean #latergram #streetphotography #elmalecon #malecon #almendron #almendrones #classiccar

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    Caught in the downpour.

    Posted by cybertoad on 06/19/2016 in caribbean, cuba, instagram, photography |

    Caught in the downpour. 🇨🇺 #Havana #Habana #lahabana #cuban #Cuba #caribbean #latergram #streetphotography #rain #raining #rainstorm

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