Place de la République, Paris
My travels this summer were indeed the dream of a lifetime, over a month spent in France and England.  And with two of my favorite people in the world, France with my husband Ed — and England with blog partner Kristine. No one could ask for more, unless that both of them were along for the whole time.
As I write this, I am still rather jet-lagged, days and nights mixed up. Kristine reports she had a relapse of her cold and is bed-bound for a while.  Of course, one might never mention the condition of our feet — or leg muscles, backs, and overflowing brains, so I won’t.
Courtyard of Crown Plaza République
So while I try to re-enter the real world after this fabulous interlude of travel (sore feet notwithstanding), I will share a few pictures and thoughts from France.  Kristine and I intend to do quite a few posts on our Duke of Wellington Tour and our many other adventures in England, but for the moment, please join me near Paris.
Ed and I had several visits in mind to some of the lesser known museums and sites.  Paris in August is full of visitors, so we wanted to see what we could find just off the beaten track.  One of my personal goals was to visit the home of Josephine, who married then divorced Napoleon so that he could wed a younger woman and sire an heir.  Malmaison was her escape form the rigors of the Court, where she could relax and fill her garden with the roses for which she is so famous.
The house is lovely, and truly worth a visit.  The gardens overflow with flowers, though I suspect Josephine would have kept them a bit better.  It is said that after her death, and just before he was sent away to St. Helena in 1815, Napoleon returned to Malmaison to mourn his lost love, not to mention his empire.
La Defénse

On the way back from suburban Malmaison, we stopped to take a look at La Defénse, la Grand Arche, which is the western-most point of the axis of the Champs Élysées through the Arc de Triomphe.  Guidebooks report that the Arche is so large that the entire Notre Dame Cathedral could fit inside it.  It is certainly impressive, set in an esplanade among a huge number of sleek modern hi-rise buildings, but to me, it doesn’t say anything except concrete.  It has none of the beauty of the rest of Paris.

Église du Dôme, Hôtel des Invalides
On our stroll to the Musée Rodin, we passed nearby Invalides, where Napoleon is buried.  We decided to let him rest in peace, rather than whisper to his tomb about the victory of the Duke of Wellington almost 200 years ago at Waterloo.
The Thinker, Musée Rodin
The Musée Rodin in the Hôtel Biron is lovely, and as the weather cooperated, we spend a great deal of time in the beautiful garden where a convenient café beckoned.
the Garden from above

As you can see, we had sunny weather with clouds from time to time, warm temperatures — and so it was to be for our entire stay in France as well as almost to the first day of autumn in England.

I will continue meandering through Paris and Normandy intermixed with our posts on England, so stay tuned for more.  Adieu.


  1. One of my favorite musuems and gardens is Musee Rodin! I will have to go to Malmaison and see what it is all about, too. I hear the arch at La Defense has been closed for a long time and has lots of issues. Very sad. But I like how it is aligned with the Arc de Triomphe and the pyramid at the Louvre . . . Thanks for a lovely post, Vicky. MDC

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