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A lovely day hiking in Normandy

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

I love Normandy. The part of Normandy I go to most often, the ‘Vexin normand’, feels almost like home as I have done so many hikes and visits there. If you are after green and picturesque (which I am most of the time!), it is wonderful.







Rosay-sur-Lieurre, the first village I crossed this morning, had a castle and a manor.





It was so charming, nestled by the river!



From there, I crossed the countryside…





… and made a new friend! The poor horse was quite lonely.



Walking through the fields, I enjoyed one last view on Rosay-sur-Lieurre’s castle…







… until I reached the Roule’s hamlet. There were only a few houses but I loved them all! Here are a few of them:









I so love these wild sweet peas! They are everywhere at the moment.



Then it was time to walk through the forest again. The woods in the area (Lyons’ woods) are well known because of their gorgeous beeches. People speak of a ‘cathedral’ of trees, and I understand what they mean: it is quite impressive indeed.



There are other species such as pines as well.





And of course lots of flowers…











… and even the first few blackberries!



I really enjoyed the part of the hike that followed, between the forest and the meadows, with also a pretty little horse farm right next to the path. I had my sandwich break nearby, in the shade of the woods looking at the meadows!





Some more walking through the woods…





… and I reached Touffreville where I had started. As I came out of the woods, I noticed a little monument on the side, in honour of two British soldiers whose plane had crashed here in July 1944.





I am so glad we have visible signs of all these sacrifices, and not just the cemeteries. Soon there won’t be anybody left alive to tell us what they saw, what it meant to be freed. I hope all these monuments throughout France will help us never to forget. (Am I the only one who cries on the anniversary of D-Day, 6th June, each year? I always remember my parents and grandparents telling me what they were doing when they heard the Allied had arrived in Normandy and how relieved and happy they were, even though they knew that the war wasn’t over yet…)

These two young men died near Touffreville’s church, in the meadow next to it. Such a peaceful place today.



What a gift it was to be able to take the day off today to go on this wonderful hike! It made me forget all about the awful heat of the previous one, and made me hope for many more in the coming weeks (we have had a very wet July so far, with lots of thunderstorms too… not ideal weather for hiking!).

Thank you so much for reading!


  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

YMWONG22 8/1/2014 2:35AM

  Simply awesome! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BLUEJEAN99 8/1/2014 1:58AM

    emoticon

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SPARKMCKENZIE 8/1/2014 1:24AM

    Thank you for sharing all your photos. One of the many reasons I love Europe and wish I would live there again. It's so beautiful and there's so many things to see while hiking. Hiking is awesome in Europe.

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ROXYCARIN 8/1/2014 1:22AM

  emoticon

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RENATA144 7/31/2014 11:53PM

  Bon jour Claire !!! You've done it again !!! Thank you for the beautiful & touching images of Normandy. What happened there must never be forgotten. God Bless their Souls. emoticon emoticon

I hope that all is well with you emoticon emoticon

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JRRING 7/31/2014 10:54PM

  just beautiful!

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NORASPAT 7/31/2014 10:00PM

    Thanks Claire, how are you and your family doing. I loved this blog and your narration was excellent. Thanks so much. HUGS and much love Pat in Maine.
Our grandson is here and we have had lots of rain and sun and he commented on our verdant world. At 16 he appreciates the natural beauty around us. Great BLOG Pat. emoticon emoticon emoticon

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COLOR-BLUE 7/31/2014 9:09PM

    Claire,

You're so right, this was a picturesque hike. It was so AMAZING with all the beautiful trees, the flowers and the poor horse. Even he was beautiful! The homes were so quaint, and I loved the architecture.

I just thank God that there are still some around that can tell us about Normandy. I know it was a hard time, and war is never pretty, but I sensed the relief, when you told me about your parents reaction, when the allies landed.

I remember being told that the allies made it look like there were more troops there, than there really were. If I remember correctly, they put up camouflage coverings over cardboard tanks, etc. and when surveyed from the sky my the enemy, they sent the report back that they were being overrun. I don't know if that's true or not, but that's what I was told. As most kids did back then, they just let it go. I just shook my head and asked myself if it really was true.

Thank you for the picture of the moment of the two gentlemen, who lost their lives, and thank you for the hike, today!

Be blessed,

- Nancy Jean -
GA

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SARAWALKS 7/31/2014 8:22PM

    Wonderful hike! Love those huge beech trees...and the houses in the village...

It is sad to think that the generation that fought those wars is passing, and with it so many memories. I was in the UK on D-Day and the church that I attended had a special prelude and postlude, the praise band played a popular song from the time and everyone just sat and listened. It was quite moving...

Can't wait to come back and hike again...rain or no rain, I will be prepared!
Stay well...
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CAROL494 7/31/2014 7:49PM

  Beautiful photos!!!

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JSEATTLE 7/31/2014 7:15PM

  Absolutely beautiful! Thank you for taking us with you, once again.

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MILPAM3 7/31/2014 6:56PM

  I noticed how similar many of the fences are...at least the ones you choose to photograph. Thank you for snapping the photos, then arranging and commenting on them, so we can enjoy your hikes as well. emoticon

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BLPRETTYGIRL1 7/31/2014 6:55PM

    emoticon for another trip through Europe.

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TERMITEMOM 7/31/2014 6:14PM

    Non, vous n'êtes pas la seule à pleurer le 6 juin, et aussi le 18 juin, le jour de l'Appel. Tellement émouvant...

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NEPTUNE1939 7/31/2014 5:59PM

    emoticon

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JUSGETTENBY42 7/31/2014 5:52PM

    emoticon

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NONNAOF2 7/31/2014 3:57PM

  What beautiful landscaping in the Normandy countryside and the variations of flowers that Mother Nature has given to those passing by to enjoy. Your hikes are always wonderful and the homes seem out of a storybook. Thank you again for giving me a few moments to pretend I am with you enjoying the beauty of your surroundings! :-)

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PATRICIAANN46 7/31/2014 1:40PM

  Hi Claire........
emoticon so much for sharing another beautiful hike with us. On D-Day, there was a special program on our Public Broadcast System, which showed the many cemetaries in France. They were so beautiful!!! I remember my Uncle telling stories of how the people of France honored them and welcomed them. They were so relieved to see the U.S. Soldiers forcing the Germans out of France.

You are so fortunate to have so many choices of places to hike.......each one more beautiful than the next. I always look forward to your hiking blogs and your photos.
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Comment edited on: 7/31/2014 1:41:35 PM

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WORKNPROGRESS49 7/31/2014 12:47PM

    emoticon emoticon

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GARDENCHRIS 7/31/2014 12:40PM

    what a lovely walk ..... and thank you for taking us on it.

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MOONGLOWSNANA 7/31/2014 12:33PM

  Thank you Claire for another beautiful hike.

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ALIHIKES 7/31/2014 12:02PM

    Thank you Claire for sharing your lovely hike through the woods in Normandy! The flowers were lovely, and the forest was so green and lush (where I live, the grasses have dried and are yellow). The homes are charming! I could feel a sense of peace from the beauty of nature. emoticon

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GBSLIM 7/31/2014 11:46AM

    So peaceful...

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PATRICIA-CR 7/31/2014 11:41AM

    Magnificent!

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SCHOPPEK 7/31/2014 11:28AM

    Beautiful! Thank you for sharing!

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REGILIEH 7/31/2014 11:18AM

    PERFECTION!!!

The only way it could be any better is if I had had the pleasure of being there with you in person!

Claire, emoticon emoticon emoticon

Hugs!

Anne

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SDEHNKE 7/31/2014 10:51AM

    My father was a paratrooper with the 101st Airborne and came into Normandy on a glider around Sainte-Mère-Église. He was captured by the Germans and spent the rest of the war as a Prisoner of War. He was fortunate to be able to return to Normandy for the 25th anniversary of D-Day in 1969. I've been thinking of him this morning. It would have been his 92nd birthday today. He's been gone from us for a long time though.

I enjoyed seeing the beauty and peacefulness of Normandy through your pictures instead of always picturing it in my mind's eye as it was in 1944.

Thanks for these pictures and keep it up. Both the blog and your hikes.

Suellen


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JERICHO1991 7/31/2014 10:50AM

    Definitely picturesque and wonderful. Thanks for sharing.

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SHOAPIE 7/31/2014 10:42AM

    emoticon

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DONNABRIGHT 7/31/2014 10:29AM

    Thank you for the tour. Your pictures are just spectacular. I felt like I was hiking with you!

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JOANNANOW 7/31/2014 10:17AM

    Thanks for this lovely look at Normandy. My dad was there with the Canadian army so I had always thought of it as a war torn place. It was wonderful to see it through your eyes. It is so beautiful there. Thank you for remembering the fine soldiers and airmen that helped to free France. May they always be cherished and never forgotten. emoticon emoticon

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GLORYB2014 7/31/2014 9:46AM

    Thank you! Beautiful sites and scenes on your hike and it's great that you share them with us!

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SUSIEMT 7/31/2014 9:44AM

    Claire, thank you for taking me along on this hike. I wish it weren't just virtual for me. Your pictures are so wonderful!

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BFLOGRL 7/31/2014 9:35AM

  I really enjoy your narratives and photos. You're a great photographer. Thanks for sharing your journeys (literally) with your readers. emoticon

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STEVIEBEE569 7/31/2014 9:24AM

    Very pretty

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LOSER_ZIMM 7/31/2014 9:20AM

    Great pics!

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WENDYANNE61 7/31/2014 9:03AM

    What a breath of fresh air that was, Claire - and such tranquil pictures.

My father trained as an RAF Pilot in the early fifties and knew a number of pilots who had survived the war - their stories became part of our lives too ......

Hope your leg is as right as rain again and that the weather in August will be great for hiking! Thank you!

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TRYINGHARD54 7/31/2014 8:53AM

    soooooooooooo beautiful. thank you for sharing

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WATERDIAMONDS 7/31/2014 8:40AM

    As always, I am nearly overwhelmed by the beauty you find to share with us.

Thank you.

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SUEARNOLD1 7/31/2014 7:57AM

    Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful hike with us.

Claire have a wonderful day!

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SNOOPYLINKOS 7/31/2014 7:46AM

    A lovely walk, filled with wonderful flowers. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on D-Day. My uncles fought in Europe, my own father was on the other side of the world, Japan. My family always was thankful they all came home, broken but alive. Freedom comes with a price, I am grateful for those who paid.

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DIANNEMT 7/31/2014 7:44AM

    So lovely, as always. Thank you!

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HELEN_BRU 7/31/2014 7:41AM

    I love the way you share your trips with us. They are truly appreciated. emoticon

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SHARON7464 7/31/2014 7:40AM

    I have never been to Normandy; however, your photo journal was so exquisite I felt I was right along side you. Thank you for the beautiful photos.

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SHERYLP461 7/31/2014 7:34AM

    Thank you so much for taking us along on your explorations. I have missed these walks, welcome back.

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LEANMEAN2 7/31/2014 7:31AM

    Thanks again.
We have blackberries and wild sweet peas in our back yard. I transplanted them a few decades ago.

I'm going to show my ignorance: What is the difference between a castle and a manor?

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PENOWOK 7/31/2014 7:09AM

    I'm so glad you posted...I have missed reading you ;~}

I am always impressed with how beautiful and well cared for those very old houses are in your photos. It truly amazes me! I was in New York City a couple of weekends ago visiting my father and sister and she had a document celebrating the age of her building, It reported on thew history of her building. Originally, an elaborate home had been built on that site and the property across the street. Amazingly, those homes were torn down after only about 35 years in order to build these 16 story apartment buildings which now house individuals who own each of their apartments.I was floored to learn they tore down buildings that were relatively young! There is still one of the original homes on the block and it is a wonderful building, quite large, and used as a learning center...big enough!!

Yes, I find some of the stories of WWII are quite emotional because they mean so much! How fantastic that there is a monument to those soldiers! I am impressed!! Freedom has never been free!!

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SEDONACAT 7/31/2014 7:06AM

    I love starting my day traveling thru the beautiful countryside with you. My husband and I are going to Germany in Oct and then to Alsace where I hope to do some research on an ancestor. Your pictures and stories make me really look forward to the side trips away from the most popular sites.

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CARRIELYN56 7/31/2014 6:51AM

    emoticon

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BESSHAILE 7/31/2014 6:44AM

    Ahhh. Thank you. A sweet vacation to France via my friend's generosity.

My father was a 21 year old man fighting in France. He is gone now. But I thanked him many times, over the years, for keeping us free.

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Yesterday’s hike - a stupid thing to do

Saturday, July 19, 2014

My excuse is that I hadn’t been on a hike for about 6 weeks! When I saw the weather forecast for the weekend (rain again, and thunderstorms), I decided to take Friday afternoon off and head to the Beauvais area (North of Paris), despite the very humid heat (35C/95F).



Well, it was a very stupid thing to do. Saint-Paul and the countryside around it were lovely, very green and welcoming (I must go back!)…









I loved Saint-Paul’s old church too…





… but really from the start I realised it was going to be hard work.



It was very humid and way too hot for me. We aren’t used to the heat in Paris, in total it only gets in the 95s and 100s about one week per year, 10 days at the most. I had brought lots of water, and a good part of the hike was going to take place in the woods, but that wasn’t enough. The humidity was terrible. I was walking through clouds of mosquitoes and flies (those cows!!!), and I suspect I swallowed one or two! emoticon




(This plant is called arum maculatum, I showed it to you earlier this Spring at the flowering stage. Its berries are very poisonous!)



Also, my guide had described this hike as ‘challenging’, and in places it was, even by normal temperatures. I didn’t take any pictures of these as I was focused on not falling, but some areas were very steep and extremely muddy. After 45 minutes, I was thinking of taking a break already. And I decided I was going to take all the time I needed, walking slowly, drinking as often as necessary… but still it was tough.







In the village of Saint-Germain, I sat in the shade before what was going to be the most difficult part of the hike according to my book. I had done a little over one third of the hike, but it had taken me twice the time it should have (over 2 hours instead of roughly 1)! I had already drunk almost 2 liters of water and my heart was beating like crazy. Time for a break, definitely!



It took me a while to feel human again! I was soaked. And as I looked at the pictures I had just taken, I saw the last few ones were completely blurred…



See what I mean? I think this helped me to see it was all getting a bit too much and I wasn't enjoying it! And I was not ready for ‘the most challenging part’ of the hike. So I studied my map to see how I could avoid the very steep and muddy area again, and went back to Saint-Paul, slowly.





The return only took me one hour, and I was glad. I was tired.



When I turned into the last path, the Chemin de la fontaine qui bout (path of the boiling fountain… which I didn’t see... it might not exist anymore!)…



I knew Saint-Paul would soon be in view and I felt immensely relieved! And sure enough, a few minutes later, Saint-Paul’s church appeared and I was back at my car.



Phew! I took time to relax before driving home, but I was still shaky well into the evening. The problem wasn’t dehydration: I had drunk lots of water. But I shouldn’t have gone on a hike by such a hot and humid day. Some people can probably do it, but I can’t. Lesson learnt!



And now, let’s start to think about my next hike!!! It looks like the weather might be good and cool on Wednesday afternoon, and I have lots of holiday left to take, so… maybe Wednesday afternoon, we’ll see. You can tell I am already feeling better, can’t you? emoticon

Thank you for reading!

P.S. If you like flowers, you might enjoy this blog I did when I visited a painter’s garden in the same village, Saint-Paul, a couple of years ago:
www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=4500559

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CORNERKICK 7/31/2014 1:00PM

  Beautiful pics

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CHANGINGHORSES 7/31/2014 6:28AM

    I love the summer but the humidity is certainly a motivation killer for me. Do what you can when you can, I always say.
Thank you for sharing your hike!

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KONRAD695 7/30/2014 10:01PM

    I did a hot one too. Tried running in the in the middle of a hot day with the sun melting me. Ended up in bed with a four hour nap. emoticon

Looks like we're on the same page.

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JLPEASE 7/30/2014 4:11PM

    I LOVE your blogs!!


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MELNJAY3 7/27/2014 9:04PM

    Beautiful pictures. I . Wish we had some place that beautiful around here. Thanks for sharing.

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NELLIEH1 7/27/2014 3:53PM

    Oh, I so want to take these hikes with you! What lovely countryside. Your photographs are beautifully done...so inviting...as if we were there. Thanks for sharing!!

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YIWEN39 7/27/2014 2:42PM

    emoticon emoticon
You'll enjoy your hike better next time ;-)
Take care!

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KDSTAP 7/27/2014 12:35PM

    How Lovely! emoticon

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QUADCMOM 7/27/2014 8:43AM

    That made me tired just reading about the hike. LOL

Glad you made it back to the car safely. I live in Texas, USA and we get that heat and humidity all summer. We mostly just stay in the house where it is cool.

Thanks for sharing your experience.

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FALLNTENN 7/27/2014 8:11AM

    Thanks for sharing your lovely photos. I'm glad you listened to your body and turned back. If you over did it that day, your recovery period might have been days instead of hours. I hope Wednesday turned out nice for you.

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DOILIEQUEEN 7/26/2014 3:29PM

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful pictures. It has been so hot in Southwest Colorado as well. It usually doesn't get this unbearable until August. I don't know how I am going to stand it! I have a hard time getting out to walk in this heat. But I know I need to make myself do it anyways.

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BEWELL48 7/25/2014 5:52PM

    The humidity is a killer! I hate it! I am glad you got back safely! Pictures wonderful as usual. Thank you!

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EGMINGA 7/23/2014 1:36PM

    emoticon glad you made back. I don't do hot and humid weather well either and we get a lot of it here in Atlanta GA. emoticon emoticon

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KAREN91 7/23/2014 12:11AM

    Lovely pictures but be careful with your health! Iowa is very hot and humid in the summer. I walk on the treadmill or walk early in the AM or late at night to avoid the hottest part of the day. I don't do well with the heat and humidity either. emoticon

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DMSGLASS 7/22/2014 6:22PM

    So glad you made it safely back! Thank you for the lovely pictures and taking us on the hike with you. It sounds as though you may have experienced a mild case of heat exhaustion. My husband had something similar happen recently after working in the gardens, despite drinking plenty of fluids and trying to stay in the shade. Be very careful out there!

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LINDAKAY228 7/22/2014 11:33AM

    I have done those hikes that were definitely not the smartest thing to do too! It happens sometimes. In Texas, it's really hot and humid here during the summer and I haven't been able to hike here because I can't handle the heat either. Sometimes I go for walks around some of the areas where I live early in the morning, like 7 am before it's gets too hot. Lots of humidity and temps upper 90's to 102. I can't wait for cooler weather! I hope your hike Wednesday works out much better. The pictures were lovely even if you were exhausted! Glad you got some rest!

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OPALMOON 7/22/2014 11:19AM

    Dear Claire,
Thanks so much once again for sharing your beautiful photos of yet another lovely part of Paris. I am so glad you rested and decided to re-trace your steps before getting ill, which can happen in high temperatures and humidity even if one is drinking a lot of water. I hope you get some cooler weather for your next hike! Take care, and best wishes also to your Mother.
Hugs, Nattacia

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BARBARAJ73 7/22/2014 9:39AM

    emoticon joining your virtual hikes. You were wise to turn around. Alas, the older I get the less I can tolerate the heat/humidity. I turn into a dishrag even walking around the block...

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MILPAM3 7/21/2014 11:37PM

  That shower/bath afterward was probably doubly enjoyable, considering how humid it was.

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TIGGZZZ13 7/21/2014 10:32PM

    I am so glad that you were not injured on your hiking trip. The pictures are beautiful, but one needs to see their beauty from the flower side, not the roots. I know how the heat can simply exhaust a person. I live in the Mohave Valley and our temperatures can get over 125 F and even though you drink water, the heat affects your body as a whole. You were smart in taking breaks and in the shade. I wish you joyful hikes with picturesque skies and foliage.
Be Safe & God Bless. emoticon emoticon

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BEAUTY_WITHIN 7/21/2014 9:04PM

    Pretty! BUt I'm glad you went back, sounds like you weren't doing so well on the walk!

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RENATA144 7/21/2014 8:51PM

  Bon jour Claire, I'm happy that you were able to endure your walk in that heat. Thank you for the beautiful photos. Thank you also for showing us that poisonous plant so we go to Stay from it.

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NSCARNEY 7/21/2014 7:42PM

    Beautiful photos! Be careful with that heat and humidity...I want to see more of your walks!

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GRACEOMALLEY 7/21/2014 6:44PM

    Lovely place to walk, but in that heat, with the humidity and bugs and those muddy roads - not exactly a pleasant stroll in those conditions! I'm glad you chose to head back to St. Paul when you did. Take care and remember this outing next time yopu plan a walk on a very warm day.
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FLORIDASUN 7/21/2014 5:59PM

    Very beautiful and soooo inspiring. Do take good care of yourself. Every 1% of humidity makes the temp feel 10 degrees higher! emoticon Believe me living in sunny SW Fl almost in the south tropics reminds me of this daily! Thanks for sharing your wonderful pics...love them! emoticon

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FOCUSD 7/21/2014 5:40PM

  Thanks. Wouldn't it be great if the treadmill screens could show you on a nature walk rather than a track field LOL. Loved your blog.

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CUDDLYPOLARBEAR 7/21/2014 4:58PM

    Great post and pics

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SPEDED2 7/21/2014 2:51PM

    Beautiful photos. Thank you for sharing.

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MOMMY445 7/21/2014 2:14PM

    beautiful pictures! thank you for sharing and glad to hear that you made it back okay.

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GRACED777 7/21/2014 1:46PM

    You have a real talent for photography, as well as the common sense to know when to pack it in!

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LOSER_ZIMM 7/21/2014 1:35PM

    I did my hardest hike ever on Saturday. It was 2.5 miles one way up 1200 ft elevation and the terrain was mostly rocky! The view at the top was worth it!

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LIZZIECA55 7/21/2014 1:23PM

    Wow! Thanks for sharing your day with us; the pictures are beautiful!

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KBURGOS05 7/21/2014 12:53PM

    beautiful pictures. Glad you made it back safely.

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NANFACEMIRE1 7/21/2014 12:41PM

    As usual, great pictures. thanks for sharing.

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SHOTOKIDO 7/21/2014 10:55AM

  I would LOVE to do such a stupid thing!

Glad you're ok. emoticon emoticon


Great pictures!

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ADAPTINGANNIE 7/21/2014 10:34AM

    Lovely photos from a rather grueling hike. That darn humidity will get you every time. Thank you for sharing. Hope your Wednesday walk is much more comfortable.

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THINTASTICME 7/21/2014 10:09AM

    Great pictures!

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TERRIMMIX 7/21/2014 9:51AM

    Good thinking. Listening to your body and turning back on an easier path. Lovely photos as usual. Thank you for sharing your walks with us. Even the tough ones. Ü

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GBSLIM 7/21/2014 9:50AM

    emoticon Whew! So glad you made it back safely.
Thank you for sharing such lovely pictures :)

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LCRUMLEY81 7/21/2014 9:45AM

  Great Pictures sorry the hike did not go as planned

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STILLMENEWBODY 7/21/2014 9:05AM

    Thank you for sharing your lovely photos! You COMPLETED and SUCCEEDED your hike. That is awesome. I am with you when it comes to the heat and humidity though.....not my cup of tea! Enjoy your day!!!

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LISADCANNON 7/21/2014 8:45AM

    Wow, what gorgeous photos! Thanks for sharing. emoticon

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AJB121299 7/21/2014 8:40AM

    nice photos

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LUNORZAHRA 7/21/2014 8:09AM

    Lovely pics thanks for sharing.
I can't take the heat/humidity either; but it looks like a good hiking idea on a nice cool day.

Cheers!

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BRASKIN 7/21/2014 8:02AM

  emoticon for sharing the lovely...albeit exhausting walk!

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KNEEMAKER 7/21/2014 7:46AM

  emoticon

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PEAR-170 7/21/2014 6:17AM

    Boy do I know just how you felt about the HOT weather. I live 88 miles from The Mojave Dessert and normal temperature ranges from 105-114 degrees. Here in Las Vegas, we broke record temperature in June 30, 2013 when it reached 117 degrees while Laughlin, Nevada had 125 degrees. The previous record breaker was 116 degrees set on June 15, 1940.

It looks like we are headed for another scorcher. Weather conditions are already starting to trend upward. emoticon

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TENNISJIM 7/21/2014 5:30AM

    Awesome. Thank you for sharing.

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ROXYCARIN 7/21/2014 5:21AM

  Great pics

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QUILTINGB52 7/21/2014 4:23AM

    I don't do heat & humidity very well either....glad you turned around and took the path back to your car!! I would have laid down and waited for someone else to go get the vehicle..LOL

As always I love your photo's....and hoping for cooler temps, so you can once again head out to explore another part of France.

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Getting to know your Spark Neighbour

Thursday, July 03, 2014

It's time for another get to know your Spark friends… borrowed from _BABE_!!!
(I had to add some pictures to make it more fun... some are mine, some I found on the Internet.)



Your go to chewing gum flavour… I don’t like chewing gum (oh dear, it isn’t starting too well, is it?!!!).

Best time of the year… Early Spring as I just love to see Nature waking up, and autumn for the colours of course.



If you were a toe nail polish what color would you be…. Probably bright red, although I am also into dark blue at the moment.



Favorite pie… The lemon and meringue pie from my grandmother.



First record you ever bought… I don’t have a clue! That was a long time ago! ;-)



Current perfume you use… Aromatics Elixir by Clinique, but I will go back to something less strong. Coco Chanel was a favorite for years, and I love Pomegranate Noir by Jo Malone too. (I was amazed to find the picture below on the Internet... my mother has a bottle just like this which used to be my grandmother's!)



Do you have any trophies or awards… LOTS… on Sparkpeople! ;-) Apart from that, lots for playing the piano in my younger years!



Worst day of your life… 15 August 2001. I am immensely glad as I look back to see that no ‘bad day’ came even close to it ever since!



Do you cuss and swear... No.

Celebrity crush you would get a hall pass for… This might feel awfully boring but I don’t have any celebrity crush!

What is the new reward if it isn’t food anymore… Make-up… I like lipstick and nail varnish for ‘little gifts’ to myself.



What makes you the Zodiac sign you are… I am not into Zodiac, but I hear that I am a typical Sagittarius as I love travelling so much and I am very independent.



What is your goal weight.... 82 kilos, which is my maximum for a 'healthy BMI' (I am 6 ft). This is me at about that weight in 2007 with my friend Liz:



Do you think you are a giver or a taker… Both! In my job (I work for an international charity) one could think I am a giver… but I believe I receive much more than I give (do you see my smile on the picture below?!)! And with my friends I am both, too. Isn’t it what friendship is about?



Beach house or Mountain cabin… A little house in the countryside I think! I see so many I love during my hikes (like here in Normandy)!



If you monogrammed your towels...... CB if I did it the French way or CMB if I did it the English-American way.



Someone offers you free plastic surgery, what do you do…. I might do something to my nose, but I would most probably say ‘no thank you’ as I hate surgery so much (why have it if you can avoid it?!).

I might be tempted to time travel back to…. Honestly, in many ways I think it is a privilege to live in the 21st century in the Western world, especially as a woman. Because I love fashion from that time, the 1950s would appeal to me though (you know, just to have a look, but I’d be happy to be back in 2014!).



Nick name in high school.... I didn’t have one… In primary school, I was called ‘La Grande Girafe’ on a couple of occasions because I was so tall already! Then when I saw giraffes in Africa I was struck by how elegant and beautiful these creatures are... so I was actually happy I had been called that way! :)



Now cut and paste this with your answers in the comments...or feel free to post your own blog!

In any case, have fun!!!


  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MAYBER 7/26/2014 9:07PM

    Thank you for sharing this wish had time to do it
My computer time is limited due to being a caregiver
Hope will see a shorter one sometime
emoticon


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ADAPTINGANNIE 7/26/2014 10:22AM

    Really enjoyed your post and getting to know a bit more about you. Here is my attempt to share:

Your go to chewing gum flavor . . .Winterfresh....I think it is a blend of wintergreen & mint flavors

Best time of year . . . Fall is first choice because of changing colors, brilliant blue sky, and lack of humidity. Spring is a close second for the trees and flowering bushes plus the sense of life renewing.

If you were a toe nail polish, what color would you be . . . Pink with a little sparkle

Favorite pie . . . fresh peach

First record you ever bought . . .either Elvis or Chubby Checker (I'm old!!)

Current perfume you use . . . Aromatics Elixir

Do you have any trophies or awards . . . school reward for GPA & several times chosen by former students as "most influential teacher"...felt like an award

Worst day of your life . . .

Do you cuss or swear . . . more than I should---usually under my breath

What is the new reward, if it isn't food anymore . . . haven't really found a good one

What makes you the zodiac sign you are . . .Taurus
stubborn, loyal, home loving

What is your goal weight? 160 but I keep throwing obstacles in my own path

Do you think you are a taker or giver . . . giver

Beach house or mountain cabin . . . have enjoyed both...slight preference for the beach

If you monogrammed your towels . . .cDm

Someone offers free plastic surgery, what do you do . . . if ever get to goal weight again will have excess skin removed.

I might be tempted to time travel to . . . 1970's to relive early years of motherhood----got a few changes I would make LOL

Nickname in high school . . . Lemon.....from a TV commercial.."I picked a lemon in the garden of love"


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KAREN91 7/23/2014 12:52AM

    Great blog its always good to get to know you better. My favorite gum is strawberry bubble gum but I rarely chew gum. My favorite time of year is Spring. I love the flowers and nature coming back to life after winter. My favorite toe nail polish color is pink but I rarely paint them. My favorite pie is coconut cream pie. First record I bought was Sonny and Cher, I loved their tv show as a child and was unhappy about their divorce. I rarely wear perfume but if I did I would pick a rose or violet scented one. I loved your perfume bottle. The only awards I ever got was spark people and fit bit awards. I also graduated with honors from nursing school but that was a long time ago. The worst day of my life is a tie between the day my oldest son cut me out of his life, the day I lost my mom and the day I lost my dad. My zodiac sign is Taurus but I don't follow that stuff. My goal weight is 145 pounds. I think mostly a giver. I would like a beach house on the Ocean I have never seen a ocean but its on my bucket list. Monogramed towels would be K. L. I don't swear or curse. I don't have a celebrity crush. My reward would be a book. If I was offered plastic surgery, I'd have excess skin removed when I was closer to goal weight, if I ever get there. If I could time travel I'd go back to the 50s, my husband and I both love that time period. When their was a exhibit dedicated to the 1950s at a local museum we went to it several times. I don't have a nickname. This was fun. emoticon

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SARAWALKS 7/18/2014 12:10PM

    Go to chewing gum flavor: when I did chew gum, it was Juicy Fruit

Best time of the year: 1 - Fall; 2 - Spring

If you were a toenail polish what color would you be: Orange!

Favorite pie: Lemon!

First record I ever bought: Elvis Presley (yes, that dates me! LOL)

Current perfume used: Don't wear perfume often - I like jasmine scents

Do you have any trophies or awards: a NATS contest award (that's National Association of Teachers of Singing)

Worst day of your life: my dad's death

Do you cuss or swear: Not often

Celebrity crush you would get a hall pass for? Nina Simone, but she's dead

What is the new reward if it isn't food anymore? Feeling strong!

What is your Zodiac Sign? Cancer, like my dad. My mom was Sagittarius! But she hated to travel...

What is your goal weight..130...I would settle for a firm 135 however

Do you think you are a giver or a taker:
Both. After a number of years as a spoiled only child who didn't know how to share, I think I have finally learned to give...I hope I have...

Beach house or mountain cabin: House in Villefranche, on the side of a mountain, overlooking the sea! (I want to have my cake and eat it...)

If you monogrammed your towels: SGH...but the H is from my ex...so probably SFG instead.

Someone offers you free plastic surgery, what do you do? My neck! Gobble gobble...

I might be tempted to time travel back to: 1920s...women were breaking out of their roles, and there were so many chance-taking women back then. Plus, it was VERY cheap to live in Paris!

Nick name in high school: My friends called me Weed because I smoked, but I didn't like that name. College friends called me Gilly which I liked better, but not a lot.

This was a fun "quiz!" Merci beaucoup! (I must admit right now my toenails are half sea green and half turquoise...)
emoticon


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JUDYAMK 7/13/2014 9:57PM

    I rarely chew gum,but when I do cinnamon or black jack

Best time of the year Fall, I love the colors looks like a child colored the mountain sides, God's artistry is beautiful

toe nail polish. very pale pink

Favorite pie, pumpkin

First record was an album the Beatles

Perfume Evening In Paris I found a place that still sells it my father bought it for my Mother after world War II it was in a heart shaped box with the perfume and powder, when I was a little girl I would hide in her closet and smell it. Mom had the powder since then and gave it to me. Every once in a while I open the powder bottle and smell it then I was back to the little girl .I bought Mom a bottle of perfume for Christmas a few years ago. I bought it from Vermont store I sent away for it. I have my own now, but treasure the powder I still have.

Awards for the high jump in races in high school, & awards from work

Worst day of my life, is when my parents divorced, even though the home life was horrid everyone wants a whole family good or bad

Capricorn i do not believe in any of that. I do not allow myself to go there

My goal weight is 136 I have 25 pounds to get there,but it is so hard I keep trying

I love to give it makes me so happy when I give I take the person's smile and keep it hidden in my heart & when I feel down I pull it out and it makes me smile,then I feel good inside and not sad within my soul.

That is hard to say I would love a beach house for the summer to hear the pounding waves, the smell of the sea ,sandpipers scurrying so lightly across the sand, the sand crabs scurrying in their homes, sea grass waving in the sea breeze, sitting at the edge of the ocean with my feet having the waves rush over them as I read a good book in the early morning, I love the cry of the sea gulls. I would love a cabin in the mountains in the winter to hear the sharp wind whistling around the corners of the cabin, I would love to step out and see the freshly fallen snow glistening like a million diamonds on the snow surface, & hear the creaking of the tree limbs in the bitter cold air, & glance at a pond with last springs bird's nest sticking out on limbs frozen in the ice, a reminder that spring will becoming,so I can visit the beach house at the sea~~

My towels would be GLk in script form

Very rarely do I swear and when I do I ask the person that heard me to forgive me & I always say God forgive me I am sorry

Celebrity crush at my age I do not have any,but if I had a chance I would want to talk to John Glen the Astronaut

The knew reward would be some thing unique for my home dating back to the 1950's, I love tablecloths from back then or old lace

I would be afraid ,but if would be safe I would have my sides reduced

I would like to time travel to the future 500 years from now everything we have now would no doubt be considered primitive and to see all the advancements

Nick name from my brothers was Skipper I was playing in the barn cowboys and Indians I was the nurse, one of my brothers was to hit by the other brother that was an Indian with an arrow ( a pretend one) he moved and I said I quit because he moved I jumped up and was running down the barn steps and my youngest brother threw the pitch fork down the steps it stuck in my leg, for months I walked on my toes dragging my leg. They were all mad at me they needed a nurse on the battle field!!! They called me Skipper because I could not walk normal for a while.We still talk about it to this day when we are all together!!

I am sorry I could not give just one answer and I felt I had to explain myself on the answers I enjoyed doing this and reading others also

Judy



>








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BKNOCK 7/13/2014 8:42PM

    Cute!

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EGMINGA 7/13/2014 4:42PM

    What a good idea.

Your go to chewing gum flavor . . . wintergreen

Best time of year . . . I love Spring, love watching all the trees and plants come back to life and the weather is warming up but not too hot.

If you were a toe nail polish, what color would you be . . . Pink

Favorite pie . . . sweet potato

First record you ever bought . . .Beatles I'm sure

Current perfume you use . . . rare diamonds

Do you have any trophies or awards . . . not really unless you count sparkpeople awards

Worst day of your life . . . March 23 when my nephew was killed in a car accident and I had to go tell my daughter it was one of the hardest things I ever had to do since they were so close not only in age but best friends.

Do you cuss or swear . . . I try not to

What is the new reward, if it isn't food anymore . . . movie

What makes you the zodiac sign you are . . .Capricorn responsible
patient
ambitious

resourceful
loyal
>What is your goal weight? probably about 150 but have a very long ways to go

Do you think you are a taker or giver . . . mostly giver but do take some

Beach house or mountain cabin . . . mountain cabin by a lake

If you monogrammed your towels . . . EGM

Someone offers your free plastic surgery, what do you do . . . if closer to goal weight get excess skin removed.

I might be tempted to time travel to . . . mid 1900s

Nickname in high school . . . I didn't have one

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LIVEDAILY 7/13/2014 4:39AM

    Lovely to get to know you a bit better!! The perfume bottle was sweet, and those towels - gorgeous!! There is nothing better for drying dishes and glass than a linen towel, and they're so much prettier, too!!

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JAMER123 7/12/2014 10:46PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
Fun to read!! Thanks for sharing!!

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2BDYNAMIC 7/12/2014 10:27PM

    Beautiful and so creatively done ......... Love all the wonderful pictures to go with ............ emoticon

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KALEWINE 7/11/2014 6:18PM

    So cool! I may be stealing this for my own blog!

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CORNERKICK 7/11/2014 3:26AM

  emoticon

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LISALGB 7/9/2014 11:56AM

    Oh what fun! I love getting to know one another. Thanks for sharing this, Claire. Here are my answers.

Your go to chewing gum flavor . . . I don't usually chew gum, however, I do keep a pack of peppermint in my purse for a quick freshen-up if I need it (example, after a cup of coffee)

Best time of year . . . I love Spring, everything is blooming, fresh and new after a long winter. But, Summer is wonderful too.

If you were a toe nail polish, what color would you be . . . definitely pink or red

Favorite pie . . . pecan (I am from the South, you know)

First record you ever bought . . . I can't remember for sure, but I think it was a copy of "Sargent Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" by the BeeGees and Peter Frampton.

Current perfume you use . . . Pleasures by Estée Lauder

Do you have any trophies or awards . . . not recently, but I have tons of trophies and medals from childhood - I was a majorette from age 7 - 17.

Worst day of your life . . . March 3, 2013, the day Sweet Daddy passed.

Do you cuss or swear . . . only if I am extremely mad, which is very rare.

What is the new reward, if it isn't food anymore . . . I love make-up or clothes.

What makes you the zodiac sign you are . . . I am fiercely loyal and quite stubborn, a true Taurus.

What is your goal weight? 145lbs - got a ways to go

Do you think you are a taker or giver . . . a bit of both, I suppose

Beach house or mountain cabin . . . Beach house - I already live in the mountains

If you monogrammed your towels . . . "LGB" or maybe just a singe "B"

Someone offers your free plastic surgery, what do you do . . . politely decline, too many risks involved

I might be tempted to time travel to . . . the mid-19th century. I am fascinated with the antebellum era

Nickname in high school . . . I didn't have one.

Hahahaha - I'm not a very interesting person - just kind of plain and simple.

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CAPECODLIGHT 7/9/2014 9:22AM

    Go to chewing gum flavor:
Do not chew gum usually. Occasionally, Trident Peppermint

Best time of the year:
Fall

If you were a toenail polish what color would you be:
Pink pearl

Favorite pie:
Key Lime

First record I ever bought:
Joan Baez

Current perfume used:
Opium (rarely)

Do you have any trophies or awards:
I placed third in a Field Day race in grammar school!

Worst day of your life:
Husband leaving

Do you cuss or swear:
Sometimes

Celebrity crush you would get a hall pass for?
George Clooney

What is the new reward if it isn't food anymore?
Sense of well-being

What is your Zodiac Sign?
Sagittarius - you and I share the same birthday

What is your goal weight..
175

Do you think you are a giver or a taker:
Both

Beach house or mountain cabin:
Beach house on Nantucket

If you monogrammed your towels:
SHL

Someone offers you free plastic surgery, what do you do?
Arm lift - maybe

I might be tempted to time travel back to:
1890 - 1910

Nick name in high school:
None



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MILLEDGE2 7/8/2014 9:35AM

    Love this and may steal it from you! I was NOT surprised that we have so many things in common, although I'm on the other end of the height spectrum, being only 5'1". Glad your worst day is so far in the past! emoticon

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SIOL55 7/7/2014 9:04PM

  emoticon

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WILDASTER 7/7/2014 8:36PM

    Dear Claire,
Thank you for sharing, I was happy to see your special qualities. I didn't know you were a piano player! And you are right a giraffe is a very lovely and graceful animal, just like you. I did know your monogram, and even though we have had bad days I hope the good ones stay in the front of our memories instead.

One of my most happy memories is the day we brought Bella home from the hospital! Pure joy.

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KATESCAPE 7/7/2014 7:57PM

    Neat blog~

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SLOWDETERMINED 7/7/2014 3:10PM

    Wow, amazing blog and comments! emoticon Enjoyed reading your blog, thanks! emoticon

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JANET552 7/7/2014 2:20PM

    I loved your blog fellow Sagittarian!

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CJOHNSTON2001 7/7/2014 12:45PM

  I really enjoyed reading your blog,was so interesting,good story emoticon emoticon

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CUDDLYPOLARBEAR 7/7/2014 12:44PM

    another excellent blog

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SHAKESALOT 7/7/2014 10:10AM

    emoticon Will answer later.... short on time. Happy day!!!!

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BEWELL48 7/7/2014 9:19AM

    You give everything such style! Thank you! Love the perfume bottle! Have a little collection myself but none so pretty as that!

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SASSYTHING52 7/7/2014 12:50AM

    thanks for sharing

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KEELYDEUS 7/6/2014 8:37PM

    I enjoyed reading this! Thanks for sharing!

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SHOAPIE 7/6/2014 8:21PM

    emoticon

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MAPFARMS 7/6/2014 3:13PM

    This is fun.

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DAWNDMOORE40 7/6/2014 2:31PM

    emoticon for sharing! It's great to know more about my emoticon You did an amazing job with your blog! Have a emoticon day! emoticon emoticon

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GLOBEE77 7/6/2014 2:18PM

    I really enjoyed the blog.

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BELLAMITZI 7/6/2014 2:06PM

    Go to chewing gum flavor:
Do not chew gum

Best time of the year:
Spring

If you were a toenail polish what color would you be:
Red

Favorite pie:
Apple

First record I ever bought:
Elton John, Yellow Brick Road

Current perfume used:
Stella

Do you have any trophies or awards:
I have a few from my job :)

Worst day of your life:
Losing the love of my life

Do you cuss or swear:
Sometimes :(

Celebrity crush you would get a hall pass for?
Hmmm .. can't remember his name LOL

What is the new reward if it isn't food anymore?
The feeling on achievement ...

What is your Zodiac Sign?
Sagittarius but I don't ever believe in that stuff

What is your goal weight..
165

Do you think you are a giver or a taker:
Giver. I enjoy doing for others.

Beach house or mountain cabin:
Beach house at Navarre Beach, Florida

If you monogrammed your towels:
LJM

Someone offers you free plastic surgery, what do you do?
Get excess skin cut off

I might be tempted to time travel back to:
Depends how long I have to stay there :)

Nick name in high school:
None

Keep Sparking everyone!
emoticon


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KATIEWILL5 7/6/2014 12:00PM

    Sorry I did not cut a paste beautiful picture and the questions were cool I think it is neat that you do not have a celebrity crush alot of them are so plastic anyway The one i like alot died before I was born Garry Cooper . My latest award was 1000 hours excercise in June I thnk I did better than that so far in July alread I havent posted it I like this green you picked

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JEB03253 7/6/2014 11:14AM

    emoticon

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NORASPAT 7/6/2014 8:57AM

    That was fun to read.
HUGS Pat in Maine. I loved it. Alas just before this my recipe timed out after 45 minutes of attempting to compose it. I am done, have to move and start my day.

BEAUTIFUL BLOG, LADY and all Spark Friends emoticon emoticon PAT.

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MUSOLF6 7/6/2014 6:40AM

    emoticon

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PEAR-170 7/6/2014 1:23AM

    emoticon

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BLUEJEAN99 7/6/2014 1:04AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JILLAJ 7/6/2014 12:39AM

    emoticon

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JILLAJ 7/6/2014 12:38AM

    emoticon

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ROXYCARIN 7/6/2014 12:09AM

  emoticon

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BELLENGLISH 7/5/2014 11:06PM

    emoticon Thanks for sharing


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AJB121299 7/5/2014 10:21PM

    nice

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KKLENNERT809 7/5/2014 10:07PM

    I sure love your topics and find them fun to read!

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RENATA144 7/5/2014 10:01PM

  Bon jour Claire !!! emoticon For letting us get to know you. You are so beautiful inside & out !!!
Since I was about 9 years old I, along with my parents performed shows of international folk songs & folk dances. We used our own handmade puppets to tell folk tales. We worked in every type of facility from nursery schools to nursing home, museums, churches even street corners when we were The Puppet Mobile for The New York City Department of Parks & Recreation. For them we performed 2 shows a day. It was very exciting to never know what kind of neighborhood that we were going to. We would tailor each show to the audience. Ie - if it was an Italian we would sing lots of Italian songs, etc.

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DARLENEK04 7/5/2014 9:40PM

  Go to chewing gum flavor:
None....can't chew it...hurts my teeth, even sugarless....

Best time of the year:
I enjoy all the seasons, but probably spring, then fall, winter, summer...each
one is special for different reasons.

If you were a toenail polish what color would you be:
Pink

Favorite pie:
Hmmmmnn, probably Cherry, or Pumpkin, or Pecan, (laughing here)

First record I ever bought:
Love Me Tender by Elvis Presley

Current perfume used:
Chance by Chanel(Red by Georgio is my all time fave)

Do you have any trophies or awards:
Not unless you count awards from my former job(walmart)

Worst day of your life:
When my Dad died

Do you cuss or swear:
No

Celebrity crush you would get a hall pass for?
gee, can't think of anybody at the moment.

What is the new reward if it isn't food anymore?
Shopping for clothes

What is your Zodiac Sign?
Taurus but I don't ever believe in that stuff

What is your goal weight..
130

Do you think you are a giver or a taker:
Giver. I enjoy doing for others.

Beach house or mountain cabin:
Mountain cabin over looking the lake/river/ocean

If you monogrammed your towels:
DK

Someone offers you free plastic surgery, what do you do?
Several things.

I might be tempted to time travel back to:
Someplace in history

Nick name in high school:
none

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DIGIT00 7/5/2014 8:18PM

  emoticon

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DOILIEQUEEN 7/5/2014 7:49PM

    Your go to chewing gum flavour…
Something fruity, but usually don't chew gum often.

Best time of the year…
Spring or fall. Live in Colorado, and I really don't like the snow. I can tolerate the cold most days.

If you were a toe nail polish what color would you be…
Light pink

Favorite pie…
Lemon meranguine or Dutch Apple.

First record you ever bought…
I think it was some Michael Jackson album.

Current perfume you use…
Ananis Ananis

Do you have any trophies or awards…
One or two from high school and those on here.

Worst day of your life…
When my dad passed away.

Do you cuss and swear…
Yes, especially when talking to my best friend. Trying to quit though.

Celebrity crush you would get a hall pass for…
Shemar Moore.

What is the new reward if it isn’t food anymore…
Buying a purse

What makes you the Zodiac sign you are…
Virgo, but I'm not into the Zodiac

What is your goal weight...
150

Do you think you are a giver or a taker…
Giver. Although I just got back from a mission trip, I feel I received more than I gave.

Beach house or Mountain cabin…
Mountain Cabin

If you monogrammed your towels...
MMC

Someone offers you free plastic surgery, what do you do…
Tummy tuck. And get the girls lifted.

I might be tempted to time travel back to…


Nick name in high school…
I didn't have one.




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LADYGSC 7/5/2014 6:13PM

    emoticon

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CORONILLE 7/5/2014 6:11PM

  Bravo! emoticon

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VEG954 7/5/2014 4:42PM

  Wow...
You gave this blog lots of time and consideration.
I enjoyed it to the fullest.
You touched my heart.
Thanks

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Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

A couple of nice walks – and some news

Monday, June 30, 2014

Hello dear Sparkfriends,

I am finally home! I always love that moment. These last 11 days in the Netherlands have been busy to say the least and it really is good to be home!



On Friday evening, to celebrate the fact that the most difficult meetings were over, I finally took the time to go for a walk on the beach near the hotel (to answer one of your questions, yes, it was the North Sea coast).









I walked in the water until I saw some jelly fish! There were actually many of them.



Then I decided I needed a break from the same hotel food, and ate some lovely salmon in a nice little restaurant.



I was in a very good mood and thinking how nice it is to have a job where I can travel when I checked my text messages. My father was telling me that my mother had been taken to the hospital and might need some emergency surgery. This is one of the things I dread when I travel… I called him and I could hear my mother next to him in ER saying: “I am not feeling very well…” It broke my heart.



Thank you so much for all your encouragement and kind messages when I shared how I was feeling that evening. It helped so much! I didn’t sleep much that night and it wasn’t easy to follow the meetings the next morning. But at lunch time, my father said my mother didn't need the surgery and had been taken back to the nursing home. PHEW. I was able to follow the meetings a bit better then!



After one last meeting on Sunday morning, I was able to visit a couple of very nice villages in the afternoon.



The first one, Giethoorn, is seen as a little Venice according to the people I was with. It is true that canals are absolutely everywhere, and all the houses are built by the water.



Hello! emoticon Do you like my new red suede shoes? emoticon





The houses, which were built in bricks, were mostly from the 19th and the first part of the 20th century I think. All the gardens were delightful!

















It felt great to be a tourist for a few hours! We visited a pottery…



… and then had a drink by the lake, watching the boats.





We were back on time for the football/soccer match between the Netherlands and Mexico! Netherlands won and I decided to go for another walk around the village where I was staying to see if people were out and celebrating.



Apart from some youth who were listening to some music and drinking beer, the village was very quiet, but I enjoyed my walk.





Some of you have asked me how things are going in the new nursing home we moved my mother to, about three weeks ago. Well, I am VERY glad to say things are going well there. The difference with the previous nursing home is like night and day! The staff is competent, patient, and always kind to her and to other residents. My father actually enjoys his daily visits there! Now that my mother is back at the nursing home after the hospital scare, she is recovering and much less agitated and sad than she used to be in the previous nursing home.
The lesson for me is that it was well worth moving her, despite the fact that my father was scared of the trauma another move would cause her (changes are bad for Alzheimer patients). Since she moved, he has never stopped saying how glad he is we took that decision! A BIG thank you again for all your support through these terrible months when I was lost, terribly worried, and didn’t know what to do.



And now, please excuse me, I must unpack and get ready for a busy day at work tomorrow! Many thanks for reading the end of my ‘adventures’ in the Netherlands!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MAYBER 7/26/2014 9:40PM

    emoticon emoticon

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KAREN91 7/23/2014 12:59AM

    I loved your pictures and I'm glad your mother is in a good nursing home. I'm also glad that she didn't need surgery. emoticon

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KRILL14 7/21/2014 7:11PM

    This was deja-vu for me as I have also given in to hiking when it was too hot out. I wish I could say that I wouldn't do that again but sometimes the urge to hike is just too much!

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GRACEOMALLEY 7/21/2014 7:00PM

    Bonjour, Claire.
I can't believe I missed this, either. I loved your pictures and I am so very pleased at the news about your mother. You obviously did the right things. I am so happy for you and your father - and your mother - that you were able to move her to this new place. Take good care of yourself, too.

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SARAWALKS 7/18/2014 11:51AM

    Bonjour, Claire, je suis très heureuse de lire ces bonnes nouvelles de ta mère! Oui, il vaudrait de la peine de lui déménager. Et j'aime bien tes nouvelles chaussures rouges! Je dois bientôt t'écrire un long email...enfin la décalage horaire s'est passée et j'ai établi une routine...
Bonne journée, je t'embrasse,
Sara
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WHITEANGEL4 7/8/2014 10:24AM

    Thank you for sharing. Such a lovely and delightful place. Would love to visit one day when we have time to store the rat race and travel. Hopefully soon

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BEWELL48 7/7/2014 9:32AM

    I think I mentioned that we had to place my 94 yo mother in a nursing home this past spring. So difficult! Over the weekend she was transported to the hospital for dehydration and possible stoke. Sounds like you made a good decision to transfer your mother to a different facility. These times are truly filled with emotions but guess this is the heart and soul of life!
Sending well wishes and hugs.....
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AURIANNE67 7/6/2014 12:36PM

    emoticon
Thanks so much for sharing! It is good to hear that you found a better care facility for your mother, some years ago before she passed away my mother was in a care home where she was neglected and mistreated. It is so sad when places ignore the needs of the people they are supposed to be caring for because, due to altered mental status, their patients do not have the means to speak up.

Apart from the brief scare about your mother, and the endless meetings of course, your trip seems fantastic!

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QTEALADY20031 7/5/2014 12:30PM

    Claire, I don't know how I missed this blog but I did. Netherland looks beautiful. I love the canals and enjoyed looking at your pictures in the villages. The homes look like something out of a picture....yours! The walk on the beach I would have thoroughly enjoyed. Claire, I am so glad to read that you moved your mother to the new nursing home and that she is being cared for by a loving and caring staff, as she should be. I am sure it makes your father happy that you both made the decision to move your mom. Thank you again for sharing your journey.
emoticon June

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WARRIORFIT1 7/4/2014 10:45PM

    Beautiful blog... I don't know how I missed this one before! Gorgeous!

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WILDASTER 7/4/2014 9:45AM

    My dear Claire,
I just saw this today, I don't know how I missed it! I was so uplifted by your beautiful pictures and your news at the end about your dear Mother. I am so happy that she is finally somewhere good and that the staff is kind. That is what it should be everywhere but unfortuately it is not that way. I'm sure that your visits now are more relaxed and joyful if she is more comfortable! I hope you will take more pictures with her in the new place, make some good memories.

How lovely the Netherlands are, your walk on the beach looked refreshing and the salmon dinner looks so very good. I also loved the canal trip, the houses were lovely and all very different. The one with the red shutters I really liked. I love your red shoes too! I have a story for you about red shoes...A great lady we knew always wore red shoes, she was in her late 80's. Her name was Rose Totino, and she and her husband owned a pizza parlor for decades. She was such a joy, I will send you a message later telling telling you why she wore Red shoes!

Have a great weekend my friend,
Annette

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SHAKESALOT 7/4/2014 8:51AM

    Very nice blog! glad to hear your mom doing well. Beautiful pics..... welcome back!!

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CORNERKICK 7/4/2014 1:22AM

  Beautiful pics

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MARYJEANSL 7/4/2014 12:57AM

  I am so happy that your mother is happy and treated well in her new nursing home! And that she didn't need surgery. Thank you, as usual, for the lovely pictures.

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KEEPITUP62 7/4/2014 12:43AM

    Loved your pictures and so pleased to see your mother in a nursing home that is up to par.

I visited Denmark Sweden and Finland a few years ago and your pics brought back some very fond memories with my family. Thank you for sharing.

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CHUBBY_MOM 7/4/2014 12:34AM

    The pictures are beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing them!

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MELNJAY3 7/3/2014 9:57PM

    Beautiful pictures

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JUSGETTENBY42 7/3/2014 9:25PM

    Wonderful

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LIVELYGIRL2 7/3/2014 9:02PM

  Oh Claire, you get to go to the most lovely places. Loved the pictures.

I'm also thrilled your Mom is in a better home, and glad she's settling down.

I didn't realize your Dad was in the picture. That is also very good.

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NONNAOF2 7/3/2014 8:55PM

  I love the red shoes! :-) Once again thank you for the wonderful pictures, I most certainly always feel as though I am on a mini-vacation! I'm so glad that things worked out well for your mother, especially now that she doesn't need surgery and it seems that she is happy in her new surroundings. God bless you and your family! :-)

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RUNNINGYOGINIRE 7/3/2014 7:43PM

  Good to hear your mom is in a better home - that is such a stressful process to see our parents living in a bad place.

Great pictures. thanks for sharing them.

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AMBER461 7/3/2014 7:41PM

  Thanks for sharing your remainder of the journey with us. Your trip to the Netherland I was very interesting I appreciate the pictures very much and your shoes really look great

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BONIFIANT 7/3/2014 6:00PM

    Yes, Claire, I love your new shoes. Enjoy wearing them.

Thank you for the update on you precious mom. I am so glad that things are so noticeably better for you and that both you and your dad can be encouraged about her care.

I don't know what you believe about prayer but I have been and will keep on praying for her and your family. I cared for my mom for ten years and miss her still but don't regret a single moment spent caring for her.
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TORTISE110 7/3/2014 5:31PM

    You have such an eye for beauty! Thank you.

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COOLRAIN 7/3/2014 3:50PM

    Thank you again for sharing your beautiful blog posts with us. I look forward to them.

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DWHATABOUTB 7/3/2014 1:21PM

    Thank you for taking us along on your walk. It's it's so beautiful and green and it's nice to learn a little bit about other cultures.

Amazing there was a pig walking around without a fence. It's so nice that you thought of us and wanted to bring us along with you.

Please don't forget us on your next walk. As soon as I figure out how to upload pictures and such, I will share my walks with you.

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VAINVT 7/3/2014 1:20PM

  Thank you for the beautiful pictures. I love to travel and your blog was like a lovely trip for me.

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JUNETTA2002 7/3/2014 12:50PM

    Fantastic pictures. Thanks for showing me something I will never see in person.

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LSIG14 7/3/2014 12:38PM

  Absolutely awesome photos - such a great way to combine work with vacation. I am envious! Glad to hear the new nursing home is better for your Mom.

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LINDERVEE 7/3/2014 12:16PM

    What a blessing to have the opportunity to visit such a peaceful and beautiful place. Glad to hear your mom is doing better.

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Comment edited on: 7/3/2014 12:17:13 PM

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LAINYC 7/3/2014 12:07PM

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PENOWOK 7/3/2014 11:29AM

    So glad you made it home. How frightening for you that your mom was ill while you were gone. I am across the country (US) from my dad and will visit for a very short visit this month. He doesn't tolerate longer visits, so it's difficult to fly for such a short visit. It sounds as though your time, busy was good. I love the photos, of course!!

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SHOAPIE 7/3/2014 10:38AM

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STEVIEBEE569 7/3/2014 10:26AM

    Nice pics

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JERICHO1991 7/3/2014 9:45AM

    Thanks. I always enjoy reading about, and seeing pictures of, your adventures.

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SHARONCAPPS 7/3/2014 9:44AM

  Pictures were beautiful and glad that Mom is doing well in the new home. Thank you for sharing

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GLORYB2014 7/3/2014 9:04AM

    I LOVE your new red suede shoes! emoticon

Really interesting blog with beautiful pictures, it was like being there with you!

I'm glad the nursing home is working out well for your mother, it can be worrisome when you're uneasy about a home your parent is in. Happy it's working out for you all!
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TIMEHASCOME56 7/3/2014 8:42AM

    Those pictures are beautiful. Now I want to go emoticon My prayers are for you and your mother.

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GARDENCHRIS 7/3/2014 7:23AM

    I am so happy your mom did not need surgery emoticon I know how all the worrying is not good to be doing, God is still in control.

AND emoticon for the lovely visit to the Netherlands! I just love the house with all the hydrangeas in front! Such pretty gardens.

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KASIUNIA_1 7/3/2014 7:21AM

  The photos are beautiful!
Glad to hear your mother is doing better emoticon

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SHERYLP461 7/3/2014 7:18AM

    You are blessed to have a job that allows you to do so much traveling. I am so happy to hear your mothers new nursing home is so much better than the last, a weight off your shoulders.

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CHERYLHURT 7/3/2014 7:04AM

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WALNUTT1961 7/2/2014 10:31PM

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful adventure! So glad your mother is doing well and you and your father are satisfied with the care she is receiving. That is such a blessing for you both!

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PATRICIA-CR 7/2/2014 6:19PM

    So happy to hear your mother is stable now, and the new nursing home is doing its job greatly. Glad you're also back home.

The photos are to die for. Thanks a lot!

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DOILIEQUEEN 7/2/2014 5:59PM

    emoticon Glad your mother didn't have to have surgery. Love your pictures.

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RENATA144 7/2/2014 5:45PM

  Bon jour Sweet Claire !!! First of all - Thank God that your Mama is better & in a better nursing home with such a caring staff, ( like my hubby's). I'm so sorry that you had such a terrible scare but I'm so Happy that it's better now. Blessings to you & your Family emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Thank you for showing us how exquisite The Netherlands are. Absolutely Enchanting !!! You must one say publish a book of your wonderful travelogues.
Al of my best wishes emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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REGINAROLLINS 7/2/2014 3:02PM

  Sounds like a wonderful experience!!!!

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KANSASROSE67 7/2/2014 2:03PM

    Dearest Claire,

Another beautiful blog!

I am SO happy things are so much better for your mother at the new home. What a blessing.

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LANCER1984 7/2/2014 12:59PM

    Hi Claire, your pictures are just beautiful! I wish I had the ability to travel but money does not allow for it. I know from experience how hard it is to find a good, competent nursing home. Sometimes I wonder why some people got into the helping profession. I'm glad she and your dad are now happy. It will make things easier for you to handle. Wishes for more great days ahead. Karin

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OPALMOON 7/2/2014 12:42PM

    Dear Claire,
This is such a beautiful blog! I just love all these magnificent photos. THe scenery and buildings all look so gorgeous...I imagine all those walks would be memorable ones for you.
Thank goodness your mother did not need surgery and is back in the nursing home - and that the care is so much better and she is so much happier there. This must be a huge relief for you and your father. I hope you are having a good week back in Paris!
Blessings and hugs, Nattacia

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Voted Popular Blog Post: View All Popular Posts

My Sunday in the Netherlands

Monday, June 23, 2014

Hello dear Sparkfriends,

I don’t know about you, but I had a wonderful Sunday! I am in the Netherlands for countless meetings (or so it feels… I am not a ‘meeting’ kind of person!) for over 10 days. Yesterday was my one day off, and my Dutch friend, Cora, picked me up at the hotel on the morning so that we could spend the day together, enjoying some catching up, sightseeing, walking, cycling...



Cora and I have known each other for almost 28 years and I am so glad we managed to keep in touch! We see each other every few years. Here we are on the boat taking us from Volendam to Marken yesterday:



So we travelled to a little village called Volendam, which used to be by the sea, and is now by a lake as the sea has been ‘locked’. Here is what I mean: at the North, you can see there is a dam, on which a road has been built, making this area which used to be the sea a lake.



It was a pretty village, made even prettier by lots of flowers everywhere!











Then we took the boat to the nearby island of Marken, with the bikes that Cora had brought from home for us to use. This is the view of Volendam’s harbor as we left it:



I hadn’t been on a boat for a while and really enjoyed the short crossing!





Marken was so incredibly pretty! A former fishermen village like Volendam, it is touristy but with a lovely, peaceful atmosphere.



Like everywhere I have been in the Netherlands, it was very green and canals were never far away (as well as the lake of course).







Now I am feeling slightly ashamed of myself, but the ‘cycling’ part of our day didn’t take place! We were supposed to cycle back to Volendam by a dam. This would have been a 20 kilometers distance.



But… Cora’s bicycle was slightly too tall for me, and, not having cycled for several years, I really didn’t feel safe! On several occasions I almost fell from the bike, and almost collided with a poor pedestrian who wondered what was happening to him! Crazy French drivers (cyclists!) I tell you!!! :)



So we walked around the island instead, and returned by boat again afterwards. It was still lovely, with all the dark wooden houses to look at!







I enjoyed the little details that made the houses special, like a painting with birds, or the name of the owner, or baskets with flowers…







Marken is a small village, so it was surrounded both by the lake and lots of fields and pastures. My kind of place! : ) We had our picnic lunch facing a pasture, far away from the tourists.





Then we visited the small clogs museum.





Look at these gorgeous carved clogs! Apparently they were made for weddings.



After another failed attempt at cycling -- this is when I almost collided with the poor man on the side of the path, who said (kind soul!) “Please don’t fall!” --, we caught the boat back to Volendam, and then drove to Cora’s home to have dinner with her family. That was the highlight of the day, as I hadn’t seen them for a couple of years and her daughters had grown so much!





We had dinner outside in the garden, which for me, living in an apartment, is just bliss!





Before Cora took me back to the hotel and a full week of meetings, we had a little walk in their neighborhood. See by yourself how lovely it is…



You know me… I was all ‘Awwwwwwww’ when I saw this duck and its ducklings!!!





Thank you so much Cora for a great Dutch Sunday!
And thank you dear Sparkfriends for 'sharing' our day! I hope you enjoyed it. I am now posting this in between meetings and very much hoping I can have a few hours to explore the Netherlands again before I leave. I have visited this country a number of times in the past, and always enjoy it tremendously.



Thank you for reading! Have an awesome week! emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GRACEOMALLEY 7/21/2014 7:12PM

    I know I am late at reading this all the way through and late at commenting, but THANK YOU for posting all these lovely pictures and your friend Cora and her lovely family and the story of your outing with the bikes. My brother and his wife lived in Harrlem for much of the time for a few years when he was build-captain for a huge yacht being built at Feadship. Somehow, I never got over to visit when he was there. Seeing your pictures makes me more determined than ever to get there in the next several years. I am so glad you got to do something nice in between meetings.

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MAYBER 7/18/2014 11:26PM

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and pictures
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MRSRIGS1 7/18/2014 2:27PM

    Wow! What can I say?? So beautiful! Thank you for sharing!

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GODDREAMDIVA1 7/10/2014 11:17AM

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GODDREAMDIVA1 7/10/2014 11:16AM

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GODDREAMDIVA1 7/10/2014 11:15AM

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GODDREAMDIVA1 7/10/2014 11:15AM

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RUNNERRACHEL 7/5/2014 9:55AM

    Beautiful photos! Thank you for sharing!

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CORNERKICK 7/5/2014 3:19AM

  Great pics

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HYATTI1 7/2/2014 7:52PM

    I son spent two years there but unfortunately he had to come home he could not get a permit to work there and his money ran out. But, while there he loved the country and the people.



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LOVINGKATE 6/29/2014 4:00PM

  BEAUTIFUL photos. Thanks so much for sharing them with us all.

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CUDDLYPOLARBEAR 6/29/2014 7:59AM

    Beautiful photos

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QTEALADY20031 6/28/2014 9:53PM

    Claire, just a beautiful place, I love the houses, the scenery and yes even the duck with her ducklings. The clogs also were just beautiful. What a wonderful and joyful looking country. It was so nice you could visit with your friend and her family! What a wonderful day for you both! Thank you again Claire for sharing your journey. emoticon June

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2BDYNAMIC 6/28/2014 5:27PM

    Gorgeous pictures and thanks much for sharing! Loved them.

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OPALMOON 6/28/2014 11:26AM

    What an utterly beautiful part of the world. Thank you so much for sharing this amazing trip with us Claire...the scenery is just stunning, and it is wonderful that you were able to spend some time with your friend and see her family as well. I am sure it will always hold happy memories for you.

Big hugs, Nattacia

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TREYONE 6/28/2014 10:12AM

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TIHAITIEN 6/28/2014 12:04AM

    Lovely. thanks for sharing.

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JUDYAMK 6/27/2014 9:30PM

    Thank you so much for the walk in the Netherlands.What do you mean when you say the sea is locked? I never heard of that. The Netherlands looks beautiful, you are so blessed to see so much of our world, and to bring it to us,for that I thank you.

Judy

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LINDAKAY228 6/27/2014 4:35PM

    I thoroughly enjoyed it and so glad you got the chance to spend the day with your friend, even if the bike riding didn't exactly work! I tried riding several years ago and had trouble because I was using a mountain bike with way too many gears! I was on street in the town I lived in then and fell over once. Now because of the stroke my balance is way off and I'm afraid to try unless it's one of those 3 wheeled bikes. Someday maybe I'll get the chance to try one of those. At least I can't fall off. The flowers, the houses, everything is just so lovely! I'm glad you got to spend time with her family too!

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MOMMY445 6/27/2014 2:21PM

    how wonderful!

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AURIANNE67 6/27/2014 12:59PM

    emoticon
Thank you so much for sharing your lovely pictures and experiences!

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FRAN0426 6/27/2014 12:59PM

    Thanks for sharing your fun day in the Netherlands. Hope you do get another chance to see more of it before retuning home.

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MVKNET 6/27/2014 12:35PM

  Beautiful pictures. I love the Netherlands. Haven't been there in over 10 years. Glad you has a great time. Nothing like touring with a native. Blessings, Marsha

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JEB03253 6/27/2014 7:36AM

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ROXYCARIN 6/27/2014 2:50AM

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CICELY360 6/26/2014 11:32PM

  Nice pictures

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CORNERKICK 6/26/2014 11:22PM

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AMBER461 6/26/2014 8:19PM

  Thanks for your blog it is very interesting.

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CLAIREINPARIS 6/26/2014 5:02PM

    GEHRSC, I agree with you that Delft is gorgeous! I went there with my friends during a previous visit to the Netherlands and it was wonderful!

MOIMAGGIE, I am so glad I inspired you to be a 'tourist in your own town'! Enjoy!

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GEHRSC 6/26/2014 4:29PM

    Thanks for sharing. I was just in Markam & Voldenham at the end of May. Lovely area. Photos are beautiful. It was raining when we visited. Try to get to Delft sometime. It too is a lovely town. Happy wanderings!

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MOIMAGGIE 6/26/2014 2:31PM

    What a delightful day! Thank-you for sharing it. It's inspired me to spend a Sunday as a 'tourist in my own town'.

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LAINYC 6/26/2014 1:59PM

    emoticon emoticon

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LCRUMLEY81 6/26/2014 1:25PM

  Looks like fun

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SCOTMAMA 6/26/2014 10:54AM

    Now THAT is a Sunday outing that I envy tremendously! What a wonderful way to spend the day -- and I'm sure it offsets the boredom of having meetings all week. What a nice way to spend your week-end.



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DSHONEYC 6/26/2014 10:46AM

    What a blessing it is to have dear "old" friends, a day to explore and enjoy, and beauty to behold.
Just simply emoticon

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KLONG8 6/26/2014 9:59AM

    How gorgeous was your day off with a friend in the Netherlands. Beautiful and thanks for sharing!

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KENSEONT 6/26/2014 9:13AM

  I always enjoy reading your blogs! emoticon emoticon

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BIGDOG18 6/26/2014 8:46AM

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TCTHESHE 6/26/2014 8:18AM

    Wow! Such beautiful pictures on such a lovely day. Thank you for sharing your little adventure with us. I hope you get back on a bike soon to make up for lost time!

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Comment edited on: 6/26/2014 8:18:30 AM

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LAURANCE 6/26/2014 8:09AM

  Thanks again for a lovely way to start the day with your pictures!
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LJCANNON 6/26/2014 8:04AM

    emoticon Completely Beautiful. walk, and it sounds like you are making TONS of Memories in between those meetings. I LOVE reading your Blogs -- They are like personal, guided tours of a Beautiful Countryside.
emoticon Thank You so much for taking the time to share your Blessings with us!!

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WATERDIAMONDS 6/26/2014 7:45AM

    The clogs! The ducks! The houses.

Oh my word, you make me want to travel more than any documentary or sales brochure every could.

Thank you for bringing the beauty to all of us.

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RITASL 6/26/2014 7:38AM

    Awwwwwww! Claire!!!!!
You make my day. You know how to use your time and we benefit.
Love it, love it, love it.


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NYKIMMIE 6/26/2014 7:35AM

    Beautiful pics!


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TINY67 6/26/2014 7:23AM

    emoticon again.

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SHERYLP461 6/26/2014 7:10AM

    What a beautiful place and what lovely friends!

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SANDRA_E 6/26/2014 7:00AM

    Sounds amazing!

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MUSOLF6 6/26/2014 6:00AM

    emoticon emoticon

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SHELTER-PETS 6/26/2014 5:56AM

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