Showing posts from June, 2016

The Rest of Paris

Longer, more detailed posts later, but for now dying to remember all we did! Day 4: Our 10th anniversary! Got a late start due to a grumpy kid, but made it on the train to Versailles. Long wait in line, but got in and walked through. Incredibly ornate, though the Hall of Mirrors was as amazing as I remembered. I usually like big and fancy, but this was a bit much even for me. L-o-n-g hike through the gardens only to discover no place was really still serving lunch. Walked to the Petit Trianon, Marie Antoinette's village, the theatre, the gardens, and the Grand Trianon. While the Petit Trianon was a bit twee and the gardens extensive, the Grand Trianon was my absolute favorite. Finally caught a late lunch. Then the crowded rain back. Wanted to go to Le Coup Chou for a romantic dinner, but was afraid it would not be B's thing. Ate across the street at Le Petit Prince, which was chambering (and even a dog in a basket). Dessert at Gustine's on the way back

Nurses' Strike

For anyone wondering why I am standing with the nurses during the current strike (the short version): In Saint Paul, you are generally either a Regions family or a United family. We're United, and during the many times my mom was admitted there during her cancer, she had incredible nurses. All the times but one. In her last admission inDecember, 2016, I had gotten to her room a little late that morning because I was setting up a meeting with hospice staff. I figured I had missed the nurse's round and not had a chance to meet him. Mom and I talked for awhile, and both dozed off. When I woke up, I realized I had still not seen a nurse, and buzzed for someone. It took awhile, but her nurse on duty (a "traveler," so not that different than Allina's current "replacement staff") finally came in, took her vitals, and immediately called fro all the emergency staff (including the chaplain). He had not "gotten around" to checking her room o

Eternal Happiness

This book was a slow read, at the beginning but in general a very rewarding one. By the end, I found myself reaching for it more and more often I have heard the author (Rob Schmitz) a few times on Marketplace, and appreciate his tone. He realizes that, as a journalist, he impacts the situation he is in — but tries mainly to tell the story of those he interacts with. Thus, this book has very little about him and being an expat in China, and everything about a few people who live there, and their interwoven stories. Having experienced that part of China (though Shanghai has changed by 1000% since I was last there), these were not new stories to me. But they were well-told, and engaging, and extraordinarily well-written. I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for this review, but the opinions are all my own.

Paris Day 3

The quick summary of our time so far: Arrived in Paris Sunday morning, late due to mechanical issues. Yay, trains on strike. Taxi to AirBnB. AirBnB very cute but way way way smaller than expected. Also damp due to recent floods. Walked around, found a lovely patisserie, had lunch. So good. Beatrix was dying to try a macaron — and hated it. Shakespeare and Company bookstore — true pilgrimage. Went back and rested a little (heLLOOOO, jet lag). Notre Dame. Seine boat ride in the pouring rain. Great introduction, actually. Prix fixe dinner in what Beatrix called a very fancy dinner and was actually kind of a touristy place. Still, 10 euro dinner — mussels, omelet, creme caramel. A little more exploring, back, and to bed. Day 2: HeLLOOO, more jet lag. Walked to first patisserie for breakfast but closed. Walked back to another one and FINALLY got coffee (and chocolate croissant). Much more human. Saint Chapelle.  Amazing. Also, got a Paris museum pass. Brightest i

Art Girl

Beatrix has 3 pieces in the downtown Saint Paul Art Walk. They are over in the Riverfront Development Corporation window, which is on 6th Street next to Heime's Habadashery (between Wabasha and Saint Peter). They have actually been up almost a month, and are featured as part of the Art Walk in this week's International Children's Festival. Here she is looking at the pieces on the day that the Ordway held the "opening" for the event. It's also a day that her Norwegian dance group danced in the Festival of Nations (thus the bunad), and she had a circus performance!

Well, "Hate" is a Little Strong, But...

I got this book because I thought it might be a lot like Heads in Beds , which I really enjoyed. Not so much.... Honestly, by page 4 I hated the authors. By page 6 I found them so annoying that I couldn't even hate them. By page 12 I had thrown the book across the room. I get it. You want to be in theatre, but The Man demands a day job of you (because you can't make it on stage). So you are a concierge, and hate the people who ask you to do things for them, because that apparently makes you better than them. Oh, and did I mention that no one tips you enough? Ok, we get it. But we don't care. I received this book from Blogging for Books for my review.  Because someone had to.