Sunday, January 29, 2017

Condom....I kid you not.....Condom, France

When I was planning out our trip to Bordeaux, I noticed on the map, a little village called Condom.  What the heck!!  I most definitely want to pass through Condom.
The village was extremely quiet.  I suspect that it was just lunch time and the French take lunch seriously and have at least 2 hours of rest after and so a lot of places close for that time. Actually, they also take Sunday's off.  Rest days are to be taken seriously.  I agree with them.
So here are a few photos of Condom.

On our way to Bordeaux via Condom.  Are we there yet?

A quiet Condom street

City Center, Condom

City Center, Condom

Another quiet street in Condom

Condom, France

Inside a cathedral, Condom
This proves I was in Condom. 

Friday, January 27, 2017


We drove south to Carcassonne, a citadel that sits on top of a hill with lots of watchtowers and double wall protection.  It was first built in Gallo-Roman times.  It went into disrepair and in later centuries was rebuilt.  One part is a paid tour that explores the inner ramparts.  There are many shops, restaurants and a Best Western that makes up the city as well as a grand cathedral.  The only part we weren't able to figure out how to see was the amphitheater.  Because it's January, most of the shops, cafes and restaurants were closed.  At least the lines for the tour of the fort and getting seated in a restaurant were short and quick.
Entering Carcassonne.  I waited for the modern day truck to drive through the drawbridge.  Old meets new. 

It was very windy and very cold.

Ahhhh, lens flare.

View of the ramparts

Cathedral within the walls of Carcassonne
Gorgeous stained glass window inside the cathedral.

hahaha, a traffic light!!  How odd.  The roads are so narrow.

Pigeon hole POV
Piggy back time!!!
Upward and onward!!!
One of the slots in the watch tower that they'd fire arrows from back in the day while a gargoyle watches over.

On the way out, Dereck had this idea.....

Outside the city walls there's an above ground cemetery with a grounds keeper that has a cat!! 

Sunset behind the cemetery

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Albi, France

Our flight on Easy Jet from Amsterdam to Toulouse was flawless.  That's always a good thing.  We just walked around Toulouse the day we arrived and the next day we drove to Albi. 
If it wasn't for my mother asking if I could buy her some Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec prints, we would never have driven to Albi and seen what a gorgeous little town it is.  It took about an hour to drive there and as expected, lots of tiny streets and very old buildings.  It never gets old.  Albi is on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites.
The museum was fantastic.  The museum is the home of Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec's art.  He has different styles, but I love his sketches best. 

The river Tarn behind us in Albi

Reflections on the Tarn

More reflections.  Can't get enough of this sight.

A cool old cafe racer placed in the most picturesque spot.

Outside the Cathédrale Sainte-Cécile d'Albi.  The place is massive.

In the courtyard.   Musée Toulouse-Lautrec.  It used to be the bishop's palace.

A stone guard over looking the Tarn from the museum gardens.

Hey mum, I'm holding your prints!

Henri and I

The amazing garden of the museum.
This walkway is probably covered in a pretty flowering vine in the summer and it over looks the garden.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017


Dereck had work to do in Toulouse and so we flew there via Amsterdam, a place I have never been to before.  Even in winter, Amsterdam night scene is alive and busy.  The waft of weed that billows through the air is astounding.  I knew weed was legal, but never expected to smell it as much as cigarette smoke.  The stoners smoke from sunrise to well into the wee ours of the night. 
On Saturday, I wore my pussy hat to honor the women of America who participated in the women's march in Washington D.C.  If I wasn't visiting Amsterdam, I would have been in Washington with my fellow sisters marching for a good cause.
A fabulous display of tulips. 

Behind us is the crowd to see the tulips.  Wearing my pussy hat! A movement to stand up for women's rights.  A movement to stand up against Trump's misogynistic ways. 

This is great!!  LOL!  This is in the window of a condom shop.

Typical Amsterdam scene.  A bicycle parked by a canal.

Outside Rijksmuseum by the iamsterdam sign.  This is where the women's march was earlier.

Part of the night time canal tour called Watercolors.  A few different artists created designs with lights.  This one was a beautiful lace design with fairy lights.  So delicate and pretty.

Sunrise over the city as we leave Amsterdam for Toulouse.  Goodbye Amsterdam, see you another time!

One of the exhibitions in Rijks.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Happy New Year!

We usually take a family photo every year, or at least a photo of the boys, but Dereck was hardly at home leading up to the close of 2016 and the boys were always super busy.  I took this quick snap while we were on our way to lunch on the last day of 2016.
Cheers readers!!  I hope 2017 brings you the peace you deserve.
I hope to post more in this coming year.  I hope....... I will definitely try my best.
I have a few trips coming up soon and will be sure to share my photos here.  In the works is:  Amsterdam, Toulouse, Carcassonne and maybe Bordeaux.  I will be traveling to those places around end of January.  A great way to celebrate my birthday.  I can hardly wait.
Below are some photos from December.  Me and my girls got together for a dinner and a few laughs.

Roasted carrot and ginger soup

The soup was amazing.

Next up was roasted carnival squash filled with seasoned black beans sitting on a bed of rainbow quinoa and roasted Brussels sprouts.
Cutting the top off and gutting the carnival squash was hard work, but well worth it.

After dinner, we played Cards Against Humanity.

Our Christmas tree on Christmas morning.  So proud of my tree this year.  I changed up the tree and decorations.

December 29th, I had the pleasure of dining with Taylor and Frank.  I love hanging out with my kids sometimes and getting to know their friends.

This is Frank.