Tag Archives: Travel

Bonjour, Mon Ami

Todays post will include some more pictures from our trip to Paris in March.  I know it is the middle of May, but the month of April was super busy and I’m still dealing with some new adventures that have and are occurring in the Cork household.  I did share pictures of Notre Dame after it caught fire   I want to note first off, that I was unable to go inside of the Louvre.  It is a source of contention for me and something that my husband has promised me that we will do the next time we go.  Don’t know when that will be, but I’m going to hold him to it.  I am not a professional photographer and my pictures are taken with my Olympus Pen E camera that was bought because it can fit in my carry-on bag and purse (in the camera case of course) easily and still give me great pictures.  I do not use my cell phone for too many of my major pictures, I’m a photo purest like that and I suppose I will get better with time; until then, I do my best.  Ok, now on to the photos.  I hope you enjoy.

The first place we chanced upon was the Arc de Triomphe.

P3230077

P3230078

After leaving the Arc and having an awesome lunch – my initial encounter with the citron tart that had me looking for the same awesomeness similar to the high a drug addict says they are always trying to achieve – we began walking through the city.  I took pictures of everything that seemed to be historically beautiful.  I soon realized the city is historically beautiful and full of architecture that is everyday to them but something to behold for us.

20190323_165851

This was someone’s residence.  Look at the doors on that place.  I can just imagine what the inside looks like.

P3230081

A random statue in a round-about.

P3230083P3230085

We were walking through the city and looked over to this wonderful site.  So we headed that way.  It was great to just “chance” upon places we planned to visit anyway.

20190323_172500

P3230090

20190323_17515720190323_175906P3230097P3230098P3230100

 20190323_173533

More pictures to come.  Have a great weekend everyone.  It’s my Babydolls birthday weekend.  I can’t believe God blessed me with that human being 15 years ago.  She truly is a blessing and one of my favorite people.  

signature_thumb

Leave a comment

Filed under Just Living

Notre Dame….without the destruction

With the recent destruction and devastation that occurred in Paris last week, I thought I would share my photos of our visit to Notre Dame Cathedral.  I had planned to share this photos anyway, but I had planned to post in the order of the things that we did each day.  Notre Dame was one of the last places that we went to during the trip.  But alas, I’m going to the pictures share sooner and I will show the others in future post.

20190326_13301720190326_133021

The outside of the cathedral was beautiful.  The detail even around the doors.  There are “faces” of all types of saints molded into the arcs.  It was so beautiful.

P3260127P3260128P3260129P3260130

There were several statues of different saints inside the cathedral; I decided to take pictures of two that I knew: Mother Teresa and Joan of Arc.

20190326_134647

20190326_134505P3260148

There was this long display of all of the times that Jesus appeared doing His works.

20190326_135207

P3260152P3260153P3260154

This is the cross that they were able to salvage from the fires.  I was sitting in the pews when I took that photo. 

20190326_141650

Other shots from the congregation area.

P3260173P3260176P3260175

The stained glass in this place was amazing.  I wish I had of taken more pictures. 

20190326_134547

20190326_141701

P3260142P3260143P3260155

There was an opportunity to go into a treasure room.  I don’t know if there are more than one of those rooms, but we were in this one.  There were so many treasures inside, and I attempted to read/interpret as much as I could; but I just took pictures of things that looked interesting.  I hope all of this survived the fire.

P3260156P3260157P3260158P3260161

This picture was really interesting.  I can’t remember exactly, but this was a statue made after a priest was persecuted and eventually killed because of his believes.  This is him holding his head symbolizing like him not being separated from the church.   There are other things on all sides at the top, but I can’t remember what they are and the glare is keeping me from seeing.  I apologize for that, but I do remember how “tripped out” I was upon reading the story.

P3260164P3260167P3260166P3260168

Of course there were tons of other statues, confessionals, and places where you could light a candle and pray for someone/something.

P3260169P3260141P3260170P3260145P3260171

Leaving the cathedral, we were amazed at how massive it looked even being close to a block away from the entrance.  There is also the spire that was seen collapsing on news reports.

20190326_14230620190326_142309 I have more photos, but I figured I needed to end this post at some point.  Babydoll and I were talking about it last week.  We said when they rebuild; we hope they are able to convey the history – with it being new, hopefully it won’t look new. 

Until next post, which will probably be about the desserts that I make for Easter dinner – I’m hosting dinner for my family.

signature_thumb

Leave a comment

Filed under Just Living

Bonjour, Mon Amie!

Yep, we did it, we went to Paris.  It was something that we had been wanting to do for awhile, and my husband found out that our city recently started having direct flights to Paris that aren’t terribly expensive.  So last year around Christmas he announced that we were going to Paris for Spring Break. 

I would like to point out that although our city now has direct flights to Paris, we did not get one of those direct flights.  This may have been because my husband has a habit of waiting until a couple of weeks before we are going to make a trip before he actually books the trip.  I cannot seem to get him to move any faster than that on vacation plans and after over 20 years together, I don’t trip on it anymore.  I just wait for the confirmation email so that I can know what date and time we are leaving.

Before we left, there were all sorts of opinions shared about the city, the most prevalent ones were that the city is dirty, the people are rude, and there are pick-pockets everywhere so be on the look-out. I’d like to talk about them.

Lets address the first – the city is dirty.  The city was no more dirty than any other major city throughout the US.  It was not different than New York or Chicago, Los Angeles, or San Francisco. Unless you consider the beautiful old buildings and cobblestone streets that speak to the history of the country as dirty, then I’d say that is an inaccurate statement.

 20190325_172329

The second thing that was said was that the people are rude. I speak a little bit of French, and understand a little bit more.  Babydoll is currently in her third year of French; and I had seven years of French, (but if you don’t use something you really do lose it) I can piece together what to say and what is being said; but we aren’t fluent by any means.  Having said that, we never encountered any rude Parisians.  Once they figured out that we were not fluent if they could speak English, they were all too happy to converse with us.  My husband insisted that we use Uber to get around if we couldn’t walk.  If our drivers did not know English it was usually a quite ride, but they were never rude.  We even had one driver use a Google app to allow us to converse with her and she with us.  Keep in mind it is a busy metropolitan city and it’s fast paced, not unlike New York or Chicago; so there was no stopping on the street for a friendly chat and they just walked past you to get to where they were going.  Although occasionally you would run across some elderly people strolling down the street having discussions and enjoying the day or walking their dog.

20190324_144633

20190324_144634

Pickpockets…..we didn’t encounter them.  I can’t said that I could attribute that to use or the lack thereof; but we didn’t run into anyone shady.  My husband and I both grew up in the inner-city what we call “the hood”, and because of that we are very mindful and watchful of our surroundings all the time.  Between the two of us and what we have tried to instill in Babydoll, you gotta be really good to get one over on us.  It may happen one day, but as of my 46 years on this earth, it has not happened yet. 

20190323_173044

There were tons of street vendors around the Eiffel Tower, but even while we were in awe of the magnificence of the structure , we weren’t messed with.  They wanted you to buy, buy, buy as you were coming and leaving and that was about it. 

I loved the city and I wish I had of had more time there; and I’m totally looking forward to going back.  I can’t wait to share more pictures and stories in the upcoming weeks.  Until next week,

signature_thumb

2 Comments

Filed under Just Living

How I’ve learned to travel

It has been a very busy time in the Cork household. The month of June has consisted of nothing but travel (especially for me). I have not been home one weekend the entire month. With all of the travelling I’ve been doing I have finally figured out the best way to take the things that I consider essential to having a wonderful commute and keeping everything organized. So today, I am going to tell you some of the things that I feel are necessities.

1) The bag. It took me until the very last trip to figure this out. Up until my trip to NYC, I was taking two bags on the plane with me – my purse and my bag of electronics and camera. I finally realized that I need to consolidate these bags and save my self so grief. I decided to pack my purse with my other bags in the suitcase and put the essentials like my wallet, lotion, and makeup bags in my carryon bag. The key with this consolidation is finding the bag that is the right size and organizing it to a “T”. This is the bags that I have found worked for me.

452

2) Organization. Once you have the bag you need to have a place for everything. This is when it is important to have specific places/containers so that you can find what you need at a moment’s notice. I have read about using sandwich/snack bags to place your cords for your electronic devices. I have rubber banded them and placed them in the pockets of my bag and that seemed to work for a while, but I recently found this nifty package that has become my best friend.

455

I now keep it in my bag that I take to work. I love it. I purchased one for Babydoll also. I wanted to get one for Stan, but he insisted that he doesn’t need it and I should not waste my money. Any other person would buy it anyway and show him how misguided he is in his thinking; but after 16 years of marriage I have a few new things recently. 1 is that I do not need to buy my husband technology if he doesn’t specifically ask for it and even if he ask, I need to consider it carefully because he really will not use it if he doesn’t want it. I also have purchased a couple of smaller cosmetic bags that I use in my purse and my travel bag to keep things like my lipsticks (yes, I carry ALL of my lipsticks with me because I may decide the color I have on isn’t working so I need to change it), liners, mirror, blot powder, mints, etc.

453

3) Neck Pillow. Have you ever had to fly an early/late flight? I have. As a matter of fact our flight to California this year was at 5am. We did not go to sleep so that we could make sure we didn’t miss our flight; so when I got on the plane, I went to sleep so fast, I don’t remember hearing the initial flight attendant safety speech. This peaceful sleep would not have been possible without my neck pillow. I know this because I forgot my pillow on our NYC trip (this happened because Stan was rushing me, I also forgot my iPod; it was a very tense 45 minutes before I was able to let it go). On the return trip home I was trying to catch up on sleep on the train from NYC to Jersey and my head was rolling and bobbing around worse than a bobble head doll. Also I think I might have had the head back open mouthed sleep on the plane. That only happens when I don’t have my neck pillow. Go to Walmart and grab you one for about $10.

451

4) I think it is vital to have a good set of headphones and music for any type of plane/train ride. For me, it allows me to drown out all of the outside/surrounding traveling noise that is inevitable. I love my music and have a very eclectic music palate. I have gospel, new and old R&B, old school Hip Hop, some new school Hip Hop, Pop, I think one Country, and I don’t know what to call some of the others, I just like them. Having said that I have a great pair of headphones by Sol Republic that conceal all outside noise that allows me to go into my peace filled zone. No crying babies (I’ve traveled with a baby so I know the plane is going to bother their ears; I don’t like when parents aren’t considerate and don’t provide a bottle, Sippy cup, pacifier so that their ears can pop), no coughing/hacking passengers (that way I can pretend that I don’t hear them coughing without covering their mouths and getting a plane full of people sick), no engine noise – just peace and great music. I can read and not be distracted/disgusted.

454

5) A snack. Be it a bag of nuts, apple slices, chips, a bagel, or graham crackers; having a snack will keep you from making poor airport decisions. The snacks that they provide on the plane usually only are enough to make you want more. I haven’t flown Internationally so I cannot vouch for the quality of those snacks, but Domestic peanuts or pretzels just don’t cut it. The fact that you are traveling is putting your body into a small amount of stress/shock; trying to keep your diet as normal as possible is key. So, bring something that can tide you over until you reach your destination. Your digestive system will thank you for it later.

6) Finally, a tablet/electronic reader or something of that nature. Even if you are not a reader like me, a tablet will come in handy because you can have movies, music, magazines, games, and/or books in one small device. Unless you are sleeping the entire flight or it’s a short flight (30 minutes) you are going to want something to occupy you. You could be like my husband and insist that your travelling companion talk to you; but if they have item 4 then they can block you out like I do him. So be kind to your fellow riders that may not want to converse with you on the plane/train and bring something to distract you in case they don’t want to entertain you.

456

457

That’s my list for no hassle travel. I still have not figured out the best way to carry my camera, so I’m currently wrapping it up and carrying it with my on the plane because I don’t want to risk damage in my luggage. I’m still struggling to find the perfect camera bag (and neck strap). I have made them in the past, but I not satisfied after three or four years. I don’t want the typical black bags and neck straps because they’re not reflective of my feminine personality. I’ve seen some of the nicer bags that would be awesome to use once I arrive at my destination but they will not be sufficient for the actual trip. If anyone has any suggestions, I am open to them. What are your travel essential suggestions? Is there something that you feel is essential that I may have forgotten?

Signature

Leave a comment

Filed under Just Living

Cork Vaca: Final Days

This is my last tidbits from our family vacation.  The last couple of days of our vacation were really laid back.  We hung out on the beach both days (I didn’t take my camera because I really wanted to chill-laxe.) and headed to the room for showers and our other outings around 4 or 5pm.  The first night we had dinner and then headed to one of the many Putt Putt golf courses.  Stan and the babydoll have played golf on many occasions so they went in with a so-called “advantage” over me. 

003

Half-way through our 18 holes we realized that playing golf and putt-putt are two different things (I was in the lead by several putts). Smile with tongue out  My babydoll was really taking the game seriously through most of the game

005  

until the last couple of holes and then she announced she had to go tinkle.  At that point she decided that she would stop using her putter and use her hand as a putter. Smile  The 18th hole was my downfall and allowed my hubby to snatch victory from me by 4 putts (yes four…my ball kept going around the hole but not going in.).  Here’s his victory pose…

009

luckily he is a genius with computers and not providing for his family on the runway.

You may be wondering why we had on sweaters and long-sleeves while in Myrtle Beach during the summer….it’s because it was downright chilly there.  I think the warmest it got was 85 during the hottest part of the day and that was when we were leaving.  We were extremely happy about the mild weather (and glad we weren’t home because it was averaging 100 degrees) it allowed us to be able to hang out at the beach and not feel like we were going to melt into the sand. 

For our night in SC we went to see the movie “Brave” – which was excellent – then spent some time at the boardwalk amusement park down the street from our hotel.  My babydoll spent a week asking for a bow & arrow and horse so that she could be Merida.  We didn’t respond to the request and we are happy to say that the request have died away. 

We awoke early (when I say we I mean me) and finished packing up everything, cleaned up the kitchen, and straightened up so that we could head out by 7am.  I wish I could say that the drive back was uneventful but that would be a total untruth.  We were delayed by 3 hours due to multiple accidents on the highway.  We couldn’t figure out why there were so many, but there were.

We finally walked into the house at 10:30-ish to the smell of doggy vomit.  YES, you read correctly I said doggy vomit.  My pup had been a little sick from the extreme heat and had the worst case of upset stomach that lasted for nearly a week.  My brother had reported that she had been a little sick a couple of times; but he said that she seemed to be doing well when he had left her that afternoon.  When we got home it was not the case….I ended up giving my pretty girl a bath at 11pm and rinsing out her crate in the dark.  The extreme heat had her messed up until last weekend. 

All-in-all our family vaca was really good.  We relaxed, visited a new place, had some good family bonding time, I worked on my camera skills, and most importantly…I was able to read three books and my family didn’t feel like I had ignored them to do it.

Now with school starting soon (the beginning of August for us) and the summer winding down soon, tell me about your vacations – planned or already spent.

Signature

Leave a comment

Filed under Family, Just Living

Cork Vaca Day 4

On the fourth day of our vacation, we decided to chill out on the beach. We I arose bright and early at 6:30 am to spend some time with God on the patio overlooking the beach.  It was so sunny and beautiful and was giving promises that it was going to be a beautiful day.  Mr. Stan came out a little later to wish me Happy Anniversary (it’s been 14 years y’all) and we chillaxed with a few minutes of chatter less time from the babydoll. 

After breakfast, we changed to swimwear, grabbed our beach haul, and headed off.  The sun was mighty bright so we decided to rent an umbrella (it was only $15 for the day; I don’t know why we haven’t rented one in the past).

085

Now I’ve said multiple times that the babydoll is a water baby; but for whatever reason the ocean intimidates her.  Do you think it’s the sight of the vastness of the ocean?  Don’t get me wrong, she plays in the water and digs for shells, rocks, and crabs a lot, but there is a limit to how far and deep she will go.  Now that I think of it, it may be the taste of the salt water that she doesn’t like, so if there is a possibility to it getting in her mouth she heads in (I just had that epiphany…my own “lightbulb moment”).  Having said this I feel like I won an Olympic event when I convinced her to jump a few waves with me.  We didn’t go as far out as some people, but it made it to her waist people.

I forgot to check the exposure before Mr. Stan started taking pics so they were a little over-exposed.

We got Mr. Stan to come out with us and she was really able to jump, because we were kind of helping her out.

107

The craziest part of the day for us was when the tide came in.  As many times as we have spent on the beach we have never witnessed this. 

106

The waves got REALLY high and soon passing the line where everyone was chilling out under their umbrellas.  You would be playing in the water and then you would see your shoes floating by from being grabbed by the  receding tide. Surprised smile  At one point I was scrambling to get my camera bag and beach bag – my beloved Nook and camera were in jeopardy of being damaged.  It was supposed to end soon (someone was telling us that it would end around 2:15 pm) but the waves were still pretty high and coming in when we headed back to the room around 5pm.

As stated it was my anniversary and we wanted to go to someplace nice for dinner.  We are not buffet people…we had gone to one the second night we were here because we were told it was the “normal” place to go around here; but we weren’t making that mistake twice – especially not on our anniversary.  The front desk recommended the “Flying Fish”. 

142

It’s in the Barefoot area – a off the water that has quant shops and restaurants.  It reminded me a lot of an area we went to while in Seattle.  The food was good and we had a great time as a family.  Babydoll took a few pictures of us so that I could have one of me and hubby.

133

(Excuse the lipstick at the bottom of my chin, it was right after eating and I didn’t realize the corn on the cob had caused the smearage.)

When we were walking back to the car, we noticed some young gentlemen with HUGE animal crates.  As we got closer I said, those are baby tigers.  They had the cutest faces. Smile  We were told the adults were in another location around the corner and to check them out.  I took several shots, but it was dark and they were moving around a lot (playing with each other)and I was shooting through glass, so none of the shots came out worth squat (If anyone has any advice, it would be greatly appreciated  – keep in mind I’m in Manual mode on my camera). 

148

150

All in all it was a great family day.  When I woke up that morning I was thinking about my anniversary and reflecting on our 14 years…thinking about what it will be like after 40 years.  Mr. Stan is my friend…even when he makes my butt itch as my husband, he’s still my friend and he still “pops my panties” when I look at him so I think we’ll be good.

Signature

Leave a comment

Filed under Family

Cork Vaca 2012, Day 2 & 3

With me being sick on my birthday, I felt like the next day should be a do over.  We got up and had a nice family breakfast (this is why we always try to get a room with a full kitchen…who wants to have to rush getting up just so you can find someplace to have breakfast?  we want to lay around a bit..it’s vacation after all.).  Then we headed to the beach.  The weather here has been very mild, not too hot at all; so we have been able to chill out without feeling like we are going to pass out from the heat or have to gussle tons of water to keep us from suffering from heat exhaustion. 

044

After around 3-4 hours on the beach we came inside had a snack of meat, cheese, and crackers along with some grapes, everyone hit the showers and we headed out.  I really wanted to get to Bath and Body Works because they are having their Semi-Annual sale and this is the only time I can get my favorite body wash – Dancing Waters- that I take with me on all my trips. The babydoll had picked up a $5 off coupon for Build-A-Bear and that was her requirement for the day.  We found an outlet mall and I found some items at Old Navy while trying to find a light sweater for my babydoll (I can’t believe I let her leave without checking that she had a sweater of some kind).  I walked out with stuff for her, but no sweater.  We spent some time in the Adidas store, cause I love shoes and I’ve really wanted some shell-toes in pink and white every since I saw a pair at the mall in Natchez, MS when we were in the South for my grandmothers funeral.  I didn’t find the shoes there.  And can you believe it…there was no Bath and Bodyworks to be found in the outlet mall.  We headed to another mall, Boardwalk on the Beach, to get the bear.  We walked away with Myrtle Beach (yes that is the name of this bear Smile with tongue out)

063

and some fabulous earrings, because I have short hair and must have my dangly earrings to emphasis I’m a girl (like my hips and backside don’t emphasis that enough) and I love, love, love my accessories; (I found this accessories store, Bijuju, be still my over beating heart)

071

068

but I still found no Bath and Bodyworks. 

We went to dinner at Captain George’s Seafood Buffet (there are a lot of seafood buffets around here) and came home for some more of the wonderful ice cream cake.  It was a better day than the previous, so I couldn’t complain.

The next day was a beach and pool day.  Two hours at the pool and another three/four hours on the beach.  It was another cool day (it was actually a little chilly) and Stan and I didn’t feel any burning desire to get in the water.  My babydoll spent a lot of time finding shells and and attempting to find a crab. 

045

052

We encouraged her to search without us being right beside her.  She got so comfortable and distracted that my little one had walked away from us and hadn’t noticed.  I had to go get her.  On the walk back we came across a baby stingray.  Of course I didn’t have my camera…can you imagine my angst to miss that photo opportunity. Sad smile

We had Mexican for dinner.  And I was finally able to get to Bath and Bodyworks to get my shower gel.  They didn’t have the creamy version, but I have gel no-the-less.  As much as we wanted to walk down Ocean Blvd to look at some to the night attractions, as I stated earlier it was too chilly.  We wanted to get to the room to warm up.  Maybe tonight we can do some nighttime sight seeing…the day promises to be a warm one.

Signature

Leave a comment

Filed under Family