Auburn Memorial Park

Am taking a break from Paris to honor our military. Thank you.

I pass this tribute on my walk to the library. Decided for Memorial Day it was time to stop and pay reverence with a prayer of thanks. The City of Auburn has done a handsome Park to honor their local brave heroes who gave everything.

World War II

World War I Memorial

Korean War

There are also small memorials to each war or conflict the United States has been involved in. Too many..

Let’s hope this spot remains vacant forever.

A Peek at the 18th Arrondissement Montmatre

As the Cemetery opened at 9 a.m. decided to explore the area around the cemetery prior to visit. It is quite a normal city area with shops, workers, and the usual city sounds. Let’s take a look in pictures.

A fancy ice cream shop. During my visit Paris was ablaze with beautiful flowers and the scents – shall we say magnifique!

View of the Church of Sacre Coeur from a city street. For those John Wick enthusiasts this is where John Wick took his final stand.

A children’s playground in a garden

A Garbage Truck.

And toilettes (bathrooms) are discretely placed in most of the parks and streets throughout the City. Bring change for entry.

Monmartre Cemetery

Visited this cemetery in the 18th Arrondissement of Paris. The Cemetery dates to the early 19th century according to Auntie Google, however, in reviewing the stones believe it to be earlier than that. Over 20,000 are interred here with many notables of French politics, society, and the arts. If a cemetery aficionado this cemetery should be on your radar for a visit. It is a must see. However, be aware that though there is a map it is difficult to locate the cemetery mausoleums and no signage is available to find the notables grave sites. And word to the wise – do not inquire of cemetery staff.

All that said let’s take a look.

The Cemetery entrance with maps. A major street lies on top of the cemetery.

View from the Bridge on top of the cemetery.

The Mausoleums

Never saw a mausoleum decorated with flowers like this. Several mausoleums were decorated like this in the cemetery.

And this mausoleum is the neighbor to the mausoleum I sought out.. Drum roll please…

The Degas Mausoleum

Note: Someone had left their ballet clippers at the mausoleum.

And a close up..

Intriguing to be in the presence of the spirit of greatness.

Jardins of Tuileries

Over the bridge from the Musee is the Jardins of Tuileries. This is a famous spot for Parisians to gather and chat. It is a very busy spot located between the Louvre and Place de la Concorde making it a strategic location available for all to visit.

Some of the gardens..

Never saw so much open kissing by couples as in Paris. Love must be in the air here.

Flowers waiting for planting.

Fountains under construction..

Muslim women chatting.. There is much cultural diversity in Paris, similar to New York City.

More fountains, statutes, and gardens..

The French do know how to relax..

Musee d’orsay Art

The Musee has so many unique collections of busts, bronzes, watercolors, religious art, and even a representation of Paris through a glass flooring. It is a Museum that is not to be missed.

The Busts and Statutes

So intricate, adored how the beads were included in this work.

What a graceful pose.

Loved the curly beard and fringe on his scarf. How intricate.

The History of Paris

In this exhibit much of Paris and its origins were viewed through painting, sculpture, and exhibits. As stated earlier look for the City represented through glass flooring if you visit, and here is a model of the Paris Opera House which I visited later in the week.

There was a vast Manet and Degas exhibit. At one point Degas and Manet feuded, yet, upon Manet’s premature death Degas did much to develop a museum collection in his honor. Degas’ work is not limited to ballerinas, of which he is famous for. Was interesting to see the diversity of his paintings.

Degas had family in the South and visited them during his lifetime. He contributed financially to his family as they lost their cotton wealth after the Civil War. The home of the Degas family is open to the public, and I have toured it. Believe it was in New Orleans, however, fact check me. Here are some of his works which were from loaned from museums throughout the world for this exhibit.

La Repasseuse, 1869 – Degas explored the working world in pastels.

And yet another 2 Degas departures from the ballet..

Madame Manet au piano, here Manet portrays his wife who was a talented musician.

And a few other notables..

Mary Cassatt – an American who found fame in France.

Jean Francois Millet

Whistler’s Mother – which I had drove hours to see in an earlier life.


And Starry, Starry, Night.. by Vincent van gogh. This 1888 view of the Arles sky with lovers in the foreground painted as Vincent was struggling with mental health issues.

What an amazing museum. So much to offer. A must see.

Day 1: Check in and Musee d’orsay

Arrived at Hotel de la Comete in the 18th Arrondissement, of Paris at 3 pm. There are 20 Arrondissements in Paris, (translation: Administrative Districts), and the 4th is the most prominent/visited as this is the area surrounding Notre Dame. That said, my hotel was not the 4th, but, an ideal location as when I stepped off the curb from the Metro station I crossed the street and was at the hotel. Entry to the hotel had many stairs which I found challenging throughout my stay. In the subways it is rare to find elevators, therefore travel light for this visit. So many stairs in Paris, Oh Mon Dieu!

I digress.. whenever I arrive at a hotel or hostel I get the directions for the remainder of my hotel stay. The hotel staff gave amazing directions for the following 2 days.. What a relief. I find the hotel staff is most attentive then, and receptive to questions as they want positive reviews. Reviews can make or break any vendor.

After receiving directions, written ones, I made my way to the room. It was clean with a bathroom, and a balcony. While the furnishings were older for the price $166./2 days, including tax, it was a deal. Once again Expedia came through, and I receive nothing for this endorsement. Shucks!

View from the hotel room balcony later that evening.

Musee d’orsay

This is the only museum I visited in Paris as in reading reviews it provides a cross section of everything in the art world. The building in and of itself is a work of art. On the left bank of the Seine, it was a former train station built between 1898 and 1900, then in 1986 it became an art gallery. Lines were long for entry as I did not realize reservations were still needed, however, a woman my age was selling tickets so took the risk and entered in 5 minutes for a 4 hour stay. And did I say the tickets were at a bargain price? 3.2 million visited in 2022 and can understand why. So much to see! What a delight.

Let’s check out the building architecture first and tomorrow, some of the art.

Not your typical train station. Replica of the Statute of Liberty in front of the clock.

The long hall awaits as you enter.

Bust of Victor Hugo by Rodin with the ceiling of Musee behind the bronze.

A Bronze Warrior among the Museum’s Beaux-Art structure.

Another exterior shot of the Museum.

The brooding Seine from the windows of the Museum. Luckily, I had cold but sunny weather my entire stay with rain in the evening, but always bring that umbrella- a small fold down one.. HA!HA!

More views from the Musee windows..

The red crane in this picture is associated with the Notre Dame repair with reopening expected in 2024.

Loved this shot as I exited the Musee..

One more final note – the sexiest man alive in my opinion, President Macron. He has a 70 year old wife and is 45. Something all us old dames can strive for. He went to school with his stepdaughter who is a cardiologist in France.

Arrival In France -Gare du Nord, Metro and Train Cues…

Once off the plane picked up luggage, traversed customs easily through a machine process, and was on my way to the hotel. There are several options to travel to Paris from Charles de Gaulle (CDG) Airport. A taxi is about 100 euros, so I selected the train – about $15. Once through customs Air France staff were present to assist and direct customers with this transition from Airport to Paris, as CDG is a bit of a jaunt from Paris.

As directed by Air France staff, I followed the signage to Gare du Nord to obtain tickets for this train journey into Paris. There is also a tourism office along this route, so stop for information. They are a great source and speak English. Here I found the museum I wished to visit had hours till 1 a.m. that night. It gave me time to take a quick nap after making my way from the airport to the hotel.

The “Brain” which lists train comings and goings.

At the ticket machine look for the gal with this hat as she assists tourists in their purchases. Also, keep these tickets away from your cell phone. The magnetic stripe is quite sensitive and I lost 2 tickets because of this, about 4.5 Euros.

As I was getting on to the train at Gare du Nord a young couple befriended me taking me through the train station passages. I don’t know if it was the time of the year, my increased age, or the effects from the Pandemic, but French folk were extremely helpful, and pleasant in guiding me throughout my entire visit. People would simply come up to me and say, “Can I help you?” It was like the stars were in alignment as Prince Harry said when he met Meghan, I digress. Actually, I think it was Di looking out for him, but for another time.. I recall she sent the weather on their wedding day, wow I really am disgressing..

The Gare du Nord Train

Upon reaching the Gare du Nord Station another ticket needs purchasing to use the Metro. These tickets are about 2 euros.

The Metro Map

The French Metro is reasonable, clean, well signed, and easy to use. Ask fellow patrons for directions, and they will inform you, and if they don’t know, they will tell you that as well.

Having internet on your phone is a must, as merely searching in Google will give the correct line, time of train, as well as the amount of time to walk to the train stop. If you follow me on my blogs you are aware I am a computer nincompoop. I purchased $75 of international time from Mint, and used that in 18 hours. Data usage/Data Roaming can be turned on and off, so do so, or you’ll loose $75 a day as well. The first day I was unaware of this, so only spent another $25 the rest of the stay. Also, in some parts of the City there is free internet and look for that. And then there is always a paper map, valuable Metro signs, and as I said earlier friendly Parisians.

Don’t you just love subway billboards.

Typical Metro Opening. How French..

Air France

Photo by Pixabay on

Was very impressed with the staff, plane, and overall operation of Air France on this 9 hour trip across the pond. Had a situation where I was to sit next to a grossly obese individual, and this was quickly handled with another seat found for me. Also, had this situation occur on my return flight from Detroit to Syracuse. I have nothing against obese people, but when they can’t fit in the seat and their body is laying on yours it triggers anyone’s PTSD. Think the airlines are going to need to make more plans for these situations as our population increases in its girth.

Photo by Andres Ayrton on

All that said let’s take a look at the Air France accommodations.

First class had the usual overnight berth with plenty of room and many technologies.

Tried not to get passenger faces in these shots, but didn’t succeed. Here is the second layer of accommodations on the plane. Nice.

Still a fairly comfortable ride.

And lastly, economy. Why they say economy when the flight is $1300. , I’ll never know.

The food on Air France was tasty with dinner having two selections – pasta and chicken. Wine was divine, and served with the meal if you choose. A cart of juices, soda, and water was available the entire flight – self serve which I deemed a nice touch and snagged 2 quart bottles to maintain hydration. The entertainment selection was mainly French with subtitles, but there were some outdated English flicks, and a terrible recent Jennifer Lopez rom-com about pirates capturing a wedding party.

Let’s end with another shot inside the plane.

Never able to sleep on the flight over – if anyone has any suggestions please let me know.

Maybe a little research and another blog??

Miami Airport

Don’t recall ever being here, but, Miami Airport definitely has an international feel. Maybe it’s because few people speak English, and the designer shops?

Photo by Guilherme Rossi on Pexel

Liked the wide windows looking out on enormous airplanes. Makes you wonder what keeps them from crashing through the windows? Gotta love and appreciate the staff guiding these giants.

Photo by David Brown on

Flew Air France from Miami and was impressed, but still angry at Delta for charging me $75. for suitcase transport from Orlando to Miami. They keep talking economy flight but gee I paid $1300. Is that economy? Bottom line gotta read the fine print. Guess I need to get glasses 🤓? Two months ago when I flew Delta was shocked to have a free bag but in the last 2 months the policy changed.

Gotta love those policy changes and maybe Delta stock will increase???? Let’s hope so.

Photo by on

Caveat: Writing this from Charles de Gaulle Airport on my I phone as I leave France. Trip was grand, and stay tuned. Hope to push out a few blogs before I return to work on the 25th.

Photo by Atypeek Dgn on

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