Wednesday, June 30, 2010

At Liliane's

July 28th
Arthur, Liliane, and Francois (31/2 year old grandson) met me at the airport.  It was wonderful to see them.  We drove the scenic route back to La Ciotat, stopping to purchase fruit at a beautiful little farmer's market.  Liliane said we could taste anything, so I did!  Delicious cherries, apricots, peaches.........
Their house was a true picture of a French farm house.  It was built approximately 100 years ago, three stories, with my charming room at the very top.  We ate supper outside at 8:30 in the evening............first course---shrimp dipped in mayonnaise, then salad and a potato/cod pancake, with cheese and fruit as dessert.  Arthur was very determined that Francoise eat his meal.  They teach French children that it is very rude to leave food on your plate.  Francoise wasn’t very interested.

It was wonderful to go to bed and wake up refreshed and ready for coffee!

July 29th
I woke up this morning dreaming of coffee.  We are going to the beach!
The French people love the beach as you can see from this picture.  

Francoise, Arthur, and Liliane

This afternoon we went to visit Liliane's sweet parents.  I remember going to visit them when they were first building their country house.  

Francoise did not want his picture taken.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Journey

Overnight:  Thoughts on overseas airplane travel
  • I’m glad I was on the aisle
  • If we crash in the ocean, only first class passengers have a life vest--what’s with that?
  • Individual TV screens--cool 
  • Avatar--amazing even on a tiny screen
  • Meal on board--not too good
  • Sleep on board--terrible
  • Getting to Europe in 8 hours--amazing
At Rome airport:
  • No idea where I was in the airport
  • Departure screen--so many cities kept popping up and where the heck was Marseille? 
  • Finally saw it--B14, hope that’s right since it shows take-off in military time
  • Followed the crowd--still no idea where I was
  • Get off of tram--still following crowd
  • Everything’s in Italian, uh oh, I’m in trouble, go the opposite of exit
  • Find the main terminal and the B concourse and B14--Marseille!, so happy
  • Might need Euros, so I look for an ATM machine, put my debit card in nervously, (that’s my only source of money), but it works! Got 500 Euros, have no idea how much I just exchanged.
  • Back to check in and the lady sends me upstairs to get my boarding pass.
  • Load a bus to go get on the airplane.
  • Reluctantly, give my carryon with my laptop and camera to the luggage crew to load somewhere else on airplane--not happy about that.
  • One last thought--these Italians and French must enjoy reading the news because every single one of them was reading a newspaper on the airplane.

Sunday, June 27, 2010


We got up at 3:45 this morning to get to the airport.  Ruby was not too happy about having to get out of bed!  When we got to the Delta counter, I held my breath as Preston plopped the suitcase on top of the scale.  It wavered from 48 to 49 pounds..whew.  Almost had a mix up when I checked in.  The lady tagged my bag only to Detroit because my itinerary confused her.  Luckily, another agent came by and straightened everything out.  My bag is safely (I hope) on its way to Marseille.

Arrived in Detroit and walked through this really cool tunnel.  For some reason I felt like I was in George Orwell's 1984.

So, only have 51/2 hours to wait . . . . . . . . checking out my stylish socks and sandals.  I know they look dorky, but I really hate walking through security in my bare feet, and once I got through that..well they just felt good and no one really cares. So there.

OK, only two more hours and I'm on the plane.  The airport was shut down for a short while this afternoon because of bad weather (tornado warning), but it looks like all is well and good to go.

Friday, June 25, 2010


In the summer of 1967, I spent six weeks in Europe visiting England, France, and Amsterdam.  Part of the trip was spent with a group of Methodist youth, but the majority of my trip was leaving the group and traveling to Marseille to be with Liliane and her family.  Liliane stayed with my family as an exchange student, graduating with me in 1966.  At the age of 19, I was very sheltered and naive. This trip was kind of a coming of age story for me.   As I travel back for the first time in 43 years, I thought it would be fun to blog my trip and revisit that journey so many years ago. Some of the entries in this blog will come from that trip 43 years ago.
n 1967, I took my first trip to Marseille, France. There was no cell phone or calling home, of course. There was no "mapquesting" or "GPSing"......just good old fashioned maps. It really never occurred to me to worry about getting lost. The only way to communicate with my parents was by snail mail. They had my itinerary, but really no idea where I was from day to day. It was an incredible journey for me at the age of 19. It was fun to go back and read my "blog".
July 12, 1967
My friend left this morning.  In a way I was glad, but it was kind of scary being alone in Paris.   I was determined to make the most of it, so I ordered my breakfast--delicious.  Then to steady my nerves, I wrote to my friend, Pat.  At 12:00, I had to check out of the hotel, but left my bags in the lobby.  I started off toward the Palais Royal, but I found nothing of interest there, so I decided to take off for the Eiffel Tower, quite a distance away.  It was very hot, and when I got there, I did not feel like going up in it.  I sat a while in the shade and two guys on their way to work stopped to talk.  I left the Eiffel Tower and set off for the Museum of Modern Art.  There were some real characters hanging around there.  I left the museum and headed for the  Champs-Élysées and the Arc de Triomphe  It was magnificient.  The Champs-Élysées was lined with flags in preparation for Bastille Day.  I talked to a Morocco guy who was studying medicine in Paris.  He was really very nice, but left because it was too hot in the sun.  I killed time some more and finally walked back to the hotel.  
The bus boy got a taxi for me to Nord station.  When we arrived at the station the taxi driver said, "London?"  I said, "No, Marseille."  He got real excited and said, "Oh, no train to Marseille--Lyon is the train station!"  Well, that kind of shook me up.  So I showed him my couchette ticket, and he left to go inside and check.  All this was kind of half sign language and half French/English.  So, he came back and said, "One train to Marseille!"  He was very proud of himself.  I thanked him, paid the fare, and started to give him a tip.  He said, "For Americans, yes, for you Mademoiselle, no!"