Home From France!


I have just returned home from one of the most wonderful travel experiences I have ever had.  It’s now 2:48 am and I’m suffering from a bad case of jet lag so I think this is a good opportunity to do a little writing about our adventure.  France is nine hours ahead of the Pacific Northwest  and it is lunch time there so it makes perfect sense that, after three weeks of adapting to French time, it will take me a little while to get back into my routine at home…and not want a meal in the middle of the night.  It usually takes me about a week to readjust… a long painful week.  

Viking Ship Europe

Viking River Cruises Photograph

My older daughter and I love Paris and have visited numerous times over the past few years and when we planned our 2013 trip we decided to add a river cruise to our itinerary. Neither of us had ever taken a cruise and wanted the experience so we signed up for an 8-day cruise on the Rhône and Saône Rivers. Viking’s “Portraits of Southern France” cruise took us from Avignon, through wine country, to Chalon-sur-Saône.  I have heard of people getting hooked on cruising and I have to admit that I have become one of them.  We are already talking about next time.


Reception Area and Stairway to Upper Cabins and Dining Room

Lounge and Dining Room

Lounge Area and Dining Room.  Meals were served in both areas.

At the end of the cruise we took the train to Paris where we rented an apartment in our favorite neighborhood, rue Cler.  I have posted many photographs of this area and will be sharing more in the next few weeks.  Rue Cler has many good restaurants, patisseries, boulangeries, cheese and wine shops and an outdoor market that are open every day except Mondays. Getting around on the Metro in Paris is fast and easy and we used it to go everywhere.  I wouldn’t even try to guess how many miles we walked in the three weeks of our vacation. My daughter and I were in Paris by ourselves for the first week and then were joined by my son and son-in-law for the remainder of our trip.  It was so much fun showing them the Paris we love.  They were able to enjoy the city after dark and got some fantastic photos of the lighted Eiffel Tower, Champ du Mars, and the city’s beautiful bridges. My one sadness on this trip was that my younger daughter wasn’t able to come with us.  I made all arrangements a year and a half ago when I was still working and not able to travel in the summer.  She is a middle school counselor and the end of the school year is a very busy time for her and she couldn’t get away.  There was just no way. There aren’t words for how much we missed her…BUT I’m now able to travel in the summer and as soon as possible we will plan another trip that she will enjoy…we are thinking Ireland.  I have never been there and know we would love it.


Lots more stories and pictures to come.  I hope you will stay tuned.
Have you taken a river cruise?  Where did you go?  Did you love it?


  1. Monique says

    Welcome back..Love YOUR Eiffel tower pic!!
    My neighbor raves about the Viking River Cruises they have been on 2 and I think tehy are on one now:)

    I am so glad you had so much fun..I hear you re your youngest daughter..our eldest is a teacher..same holiday issues..

    Can’t wait to read and see more about your trip..
    Monique recently posted..Petits Fours~My Profile

    • says

      I agree with your friends, Monique. The cruise was wonderful. I enjoyed exploring beautiful little towns in Provence and watching them pass by as the ship slowly cruised up the rivers. The pace was perfect.
      Cathy recently posted..Home From France!My Profile

  2. Lea Ann (Cooking On The Ranch) says

    Welcome back Kathy. I’ve never taken a cruise, but I would love to do a Viking River Cruise. Look forward to hearing more about your trip.
    Lea Ann (Cooking On The Ranch) recently posted..Macaroni and Cheese with Tomatoes, May SRCMy Profile

  3. Pondside says

    Welcome home! You were missed, but I look forward to lots of wonderful Paris posts! Good luck with the jet lag – it will pass…..

  4. Jeannie says

    Nice to see you back! Yes I have been on a short cruise in a ship and it was wonderful! Not surprised you are hooked!
    Jeannie recently posted..Rissoto with saffron and porcini mushroomsMy Profile

  5. The Café Sucre Farine says

    Welcome home, sounds just amazing, every bit! Beautiful photos, i know you will cherish them and relive your trip through them many times in the days ahead.
    The Café Sucre Farine recently posted..Quinoa Salad with Mango and Fresh Herb GremolataMy Profile

    • says

      That’s the wonderful thing about travel. I know my children and I will share our special memories for the rest of our lives. I loved talking to my mother about the trips we took together. that was something I always knew would make her smile.
      Cathy recently posted..Home From France!My Profile

  6. Susan says

    Welcome home, Cathy. In the last 3 weeks, I have thought about you and your trip as much as I thought about my children!! We have never taken a cruise or had a desire to take one. I would give in on a cruise along the Alaskan coast and a cruise around Greece in the Mediterranean. I was on a boat for a trip from Vienna to Budapest and the scenery was so enjoyable. Keep resting when you feel like it.
    Susan recently posted..Strawberry Buttermilk SherbetMy Profile

    • says

      Hi Susan –
      I have never taken an ocean cruise and don’t have any desire to do that. The scenery along the little rivers in Southern France was beautiful and gave us a vivid picture of what life was like centuries ago. Visiting the food markets in the small towns was a special treat. I know you would enjoy it.
      Cathy recently posted..Home From France!My Profile

  7. kathy says

    Welcome home – Oh I adore France and your pictures were so welcomed. Have never done a river cruise but one day I will. Might be in Paris in September and would love to know the apartment you would recommend on Rue Cler? Also would you go on a river cruise even if it had to be a shorter one? Thanks and hope you recover from jet lag soon but with such cherished memories.

  8. Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen says

    So glad you had a good time, but of course we all knew you would. Can’t wait to see more pictures. The Ru Cler neighborhood sounds wonderful. BTW, I just figured out how to follow you on Feedly and bloglovin’ and it’s so much better for me than email. Just wanted you to know I had not gone away. Sure don’t want to miss anything, especially France.
    Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen recently posted..Herb-Marinated Pork Tenderloin with a Greek Panzanella Salad from the Barefoot ContessaMy Profile

    • says

      Hi Sam – thanks for sticking with it and figuring out the Feedly thing. That’s on my “to-do” list. I’m very excited to share my photos too. My kids and I have the same camera so it was easy to share them to our ipads. Now I just have to put them into albums.
      Cathy recently posted..Home From France!My Profile

  9. Happier Than A Pig in Mud says

    Great pics Cathy! Sounds like you had an amazing time, welcome home:@)
    Happier Than A Pig in Mud recently posted..Great Grilling Accessories-Pig Alert!My Profile

  10. Karen (Back Road Journal) says

    Welcome home…I hope you went back to sleep after writing this. I’ll stop back after you have rested.
    Karen (Back Road Journal) recently posted..Apple Blossom Time In New EnglandMy Profile

  11. Marilyn says

    Welcome Home!
    We have talked of taking a river cruise, but have not. Your post is tempting me for sure and what a special place to take the cruise. I can’t wait to hear all about this wonderful trip.
    Marilyn recently posted..A Rose is a RoseMy Profile

  12. Lulu says

    I, too, have just returned from France and, like you, I’m suffering from jet lag. I know you had a wonderful time on the river cruise. We did one several years ago and loved it. I’m still carrying the extra weight from all the wonderful food!

  13. Velva says

    Cathy, way cool! Three weeks in Paris would be to die for! I know that you had an amazing time. I am looking forward to your future posts on Paris. Paris and NYC are my two favorites places in the world.

    Welcome home.

    Velva recently posted..New Ways to fill a Tortilla with Beef BarbacoaMy Profile

  14. Aimee says

    Welcome back Cathy! I am thrilled to hear you had a great time…and a cruise too! Looking forward to seeing and hearing more about your time in France soon.
    And Ireland sounds like a wonderful place to go. A former co-worker of mine went there and loved it! And, if I remember correctly, you have some Irish heritage so all the better:)

  15. Rettabug says

    Welcome home, Cathy!!!! I missed you!
    What a wonderful trip…I can’t wait to see all the photos you’ll share.
    Very elegant surroundings on your cruise. We’ve done a few cruises, but never on a river.
    You HAVE to go to Ireland…I cried when we landed & I cried again when we left & I swore I would be back someday. I hope to take Ms. C. with me when she is a little older.

    Warm Welcome Hugs,
    Go back to sleep,
    Rettabug recently posted..Mothers Day TableMy Profile

  16. JG says

    Welcome home, Cathy! Exploring the city with your family must have been FuN! Cannot wait to see more photos.
    JG recently posted..FuN DayMy Profile

  17. Susan says

    Welcome home, Cathy! I’m sure being back home is bittersweet after such a wonderful adventure. I’ve never been on a river cruise but have heard very good things. I’d certainly opt for that rather than one of those large cruise ships! Can’t wait to see more of your photos from France.
    Susan recently posted..Pears in Puff Pastry with Lemon Caramel SauceMy Profile

  18. Rhonda says

    I have never taken a river cruise, the boat looks super nice! I can’t wait to see more photos, hopefully with lots of food!
    Rhonda recently posted..The Person Behind The Plate #3My Profile

  19. Sue/the view from great island says

    This is the second glorious travel post I’ve read in a row…I’m getting very jealous :)
    My husband and I are thinking of taking a river cruise, and now after reading your post I am dying to go. I’m sure you’ve come back brimming with new recipe ideas…I’m looking forward to them!
    Sue/the view from great island recently posted..Birthday Cake DoughnutsMy Profile

  20. Amy Tong says

    How gorgeous, thanks for sharing these lovely pictures. I’m almost jealous that you get to travel to France. :) Honestly, I wouldn’t mind the jet lag if I get to stay there for 3 weeks….I get hungry and eat a full meal in the middle of the night here anyway! hahaha….I think I’ll adopt well with the French’s time zone.
    Amy Tong recently posted..Jasmine Tea Jelly 茉莉花茶果凍My Profile

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