Wednesday, March 18, 2009


So, I had a great time. The wedding was exciting, and I did get half a day to do some very rushed shopping in. I've been to India several times before, twice for 3-4 months each, so I'm familiar with the area, and know what shopping to do. (It's like when I go back to London, where my family lived for three years when I was in high school -- it's a shopping trip, not so much a sightseeing one, although, with London as with India (to a greater extent, as changes are more massive), it's also a "look how much things have changed!" trip.) Photos to come, when I get around to retrieving the camera.

Paris was a blast -- the Michelin guide my parents picked up on their honeymoon was printed in 1976, before the Louvre had pyramids and when the Orsay was still an abandoned train station, but it's really excellent. (I took a Let's Go guide (I won't get Lonely Planet, as they're Let's Go's main rival, and Let's Go is written by my old classmates) for things like modern opening times, etc.) It has a guide to how you can do all of Paris really fast in four days. I thought, "Great, we'll skip Montparnasse and Montmartre, and add in the Musee d'Orsay, and moving quickly we should be able to make it in three days."

That's until Himself says, wistfully (he's never been to Paris; I have, twice -- once with family, doing the full tour, and once on a one-day hit-the-Orsay-and-the-Eiffel-and-the-restaurant airplane layover), "can we go see Versailles?"

Ok, so we skip the Champs d'Elysses, as well (it's just the view down to the Arc de Triomphe, really -- we saw that in the shuttle back to the airport and while walking through Tuileries, anyhow), and do Michelin's Paris in Four Days, adding in the Orsay, in two days! And spend a day at Versailles, which was actually quite fun -- since I went (in 1995), they've added audioguides, which were most informative; and, we got to go out to see Marie Antoinette's fake hamlet where she could pretend to be a peasant, which I hadn't seen before.

We've walked about 8 miles (by Michelin's approximations) a day for two days, after several days of standing up barefoot for several hours in India, and spent a day doing a lot of walking at Versailles, and we get back and are sitting under the Eiffel Tower (it sparkles now -- didn't do that back in 1995 either!), having french fries and hot spiced wine (that's the good stuff), when I finally feel completely miserable and give in to miserableness. I've been coughing (in India, you can see the little black particles dancing around in the air -- never a good sign), and my throat hurts, and my feet hurt, and I'm finally losing my voice ... and then I get chills and am just feeling awful. We walk back to our lovely hotel, Himself kindly having given up his lovely and so-sweet idea of getting wine and cheese from little shops along the way and having an in-room picnic, where I try to check out with my French (Rosetta Stone was good -- helped a ton, and especially made me confident), with no voice, and feeling like I'm burning up -- turns out I have fever, too.

The next morning at the airport we get some cough syrup ... on the plane home, I feel like I'm dying -- turns out codeine's over the counter in France, and it's the only medicine I'm allergic to. So we didn't think to check the bottle... that's one miserable flight! After two days home from work sick in bed, I go back to work, just coughing a ton and feeling so tired, but not really thinking much of it (the pollution in India has had me cough for six months once before -- although then it may actually have been pertussis, I've since learned). My mother finally made me go to the doctor today ... turns out I have pneumonia! So, that's why I haven't made a thing, haven't read anything except one mystery novel at the doctor's today, and haven't had the energy to post.

Not to make it picture-less, though, I'll put in a few of the Margaret Bag from Oh, Fransson! that I made for my sister at Christmas. She loved it, and Himself said I should quit work and just make bags :)

The outside fabric is scotty argyle, and the inside is little scotties on brown fabric. Very cute.

(My skinny sister ... used to be a model, eats like a horse, 5'10" and 117 pounds or so... she got the Irish side (including the red hair), and I got the stocky German side!)

Didn't it turn out nicely?

Now back to resting... I'll be doing a lot of that for the time being!