Blog, Interrupted

Hi All!  Since my last post, we’ve traveled the Gulf of Thailand, visited Sihanoukville, Cambodia and are currently in Saigon (Vietnam).  Despite everything you’ve ever read or heard about how fast the internet is here in Asia, I’m here to tell you that I can’t download/upload/sidewaysload a SINGLE photo off my camera and onto my laptop in order to continue my blog.  I feel like I’m waiting to hear the old static of an AOL dial tone before I log in to the 21st century.

As soon as we arrive in China, where they have REAL wifi, I’ll catch you up on our journey to date.  My apologies.  And blast you, Apple, and your darn icloud!!!

(The photo, above, is Chinese New Year being celebrated at the Siam mall in Bangkok)

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Buongiorno, Bangkok!

Toscana Valley Resort

I know, I know.  The photo above does not scream “Thailand”.  (Well, it doesn’t scream “Italy” either.  Maybe it yells “empty film set”.)  After a relaxing 26 hour trip from Los Angeles, with only one missed connection, we arrived at Bangkok International Airport at the refreshing hour of 3 AM.  As you can see in the photo below, the airport was nearly deserted.

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Sign, Sign, Everywhere A Sign…

When driving in England (on the ‘wrong’ side of the road), it pays to be alert, lest a lumbering beast (or dragon) suddenly trots out in front of your car.   Continue Reading →

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Time Travel

Lake Ullswater in England’s Lake District

Where has the time gone? I don’t know about you (however, if you leave comments I WILL know about you), but I spent considerable time futzing with slow wifi on all of our recent travels and, ultimately gave up on the idea of ‘timely blogging’.  What you’re reading now is ‘untimely blogging’, which, hopefully, doesn’t carry the same semantic burden as ‘untimely death’.  Only the good (blogs) die young.  This one’s still going.   Continue Reading →

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Arles. Aaarghh! (revised)

The majestic Chateau de Tarascon

The majestic Chateau de Tarascon

(Sorry about all the sideways pictures on the first iteration of this post.  I have to stop drinking.)

The bittersweet last stop on our French River cruise.  Arles.  Site of a well preserved Roman amphitheater.  Site, too, of Van Gogh’s ear removal.  Arles.  Now, the non-French-speaking among us will struggle with the pronunciation of this town’s name.  We’ll say things like: “Are Lay” or “Aruls”.  Wrong, wrong, wrong.  Please see the second word in the title of this post.  Now say it:  “Aargh”  BUT drop the ‘G’ at the end and insert an ‘L’ (but feel like you’re swallowing your tongue while doing it).  There!  Now you have it!  You, too, can speak French like a… well, like an American.  You’re welcome. Continue Reading →

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Avignon…and on…

Palais des Papes at dusk

Palais des Papes at dusk

The penultimate stop on our cruise was the city of Avignon – home of the “Multi-Pope Experience”.  (Surely you all remember when the Catholic Church had an Italian Pope AND a French Pope?  The years 1378 to 1403 must have been some fun with two men claiming infallibility.). Continue Reading →

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Viviers and Truffle Snuffling


We’ve sailed on to the port of Viviers (not so much ‘port’ as ‘boat ramp’), another picturesque medieval village in the Rhone valley.  The village is vertical and mostly free of automobiles, but the real attraction here was our tour guide, Frances.   Continue Reading →

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Indulge me in a bit of time-travel.  On Day 2 of our enforced stay in Lyon, while most passengers were being bussed 4 hours to Beaune, we rented a little Alfa-Romeo and took to the road to rekindle memories of our first trip to Bourgogne, during Roger’s 1998 sabbatical.   Continue Reading →

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The Rhone River - from the 'wild' Tournon side

The Rhone River – from the ‘wild’ Tournon side

Day One of the Real Cruise.  We docked at Tain-L’Hermitage and Tournon, two towns spanning the Rhone River, both known for their Syrah vines (and wines, of course.). We learned from the local guide that one side of the river (Tain-L’Hermitage) is warmer and sunnier than the other and that people on the Tournon side of the river are wilder than their countrymen on the Tain side.  Being cold and dark will do that to you. Continue Reading →

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Lyon, City of Lights

The Museum of Confluence

The Museum of Confluence

Competition between cities seems to exist in every country, every culture.  Lyon, which can really stand on its own as a center of French gastronomy, still struggles not to seem provincial compared to Paris.  Paris – the City of Light.  Lyon – the City of Lights.  That essential ‘s’!!   Continue Reading →

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