British Airways to France

Monday, Oct 8 – Tuesday, Oct 9

Another church in Lyon. There seems to be one on every corner.

I’m trying to blog every day but it’s been difficult. Every time I sit down, I want to take a nap. Actually, the jet lag over to Europe is not nearly as bad as coming back. The last time we flew back from Europe was from London many years ago and it took me about two weeks to get my body rhythms in sync again.

We flew on British Airways. It’s my second time to fly with them and they are great! If you have a chance to fly British Airways, I highly recommend it. The flight attendants actually seem to enjoy their job; they’re very accommodating and the seats are roomy and comfortable. The seats lean back a little more making sleeping easier. There were two crying babies in our section and I didn’t pack ear plugs. I asked if they had some and she said she’d check. She came back with a pair and didn’t even charge me. The food is better than other airline food, too.

Lyon is a big, fairly easy to navigate, city with an Old Town, a shopping area with a lot of stores offering discounts, and the Basilica.

One thing has changed as far as traveling goes. I have used my beloved Canon 40D camera with an excellent lens for years. It’s gone with me to Mexico and, last year, through the Panama Canal. But the pain from the arthritis in my hands has doubled and tripled this year and I found that, at 3+ pounds, I couldn’t pick it up anymore, let alone take photos. So I purchased a new Olympus EM-5 OM-D that weighs half the amount. I think I like my new camera although I received the lens three days before we left so I only know how to “point and shoot.” I have it set at fully automatic for now so I don’t need to figure out the various settings. I think it takes very nice photos, though.

The food is pretty good. Our first night the three of us – Emily, her co-worker Linda who we met up with in London, and I ate at the restaurant in the hotel. We were just too tired to venture out. They only had menus in French so we asked the waiter to translate. When he got to “tete du veau [veal’s head] served in a nice veal broth with … ” I tuned out. That was after a whole day of flying and, I don’t know, chewing on the head of a baby calf just before bedtime didn’t seem like the best way to go. I settled on a cup of vegetable soup.

I passed out before Emily had time to turn the lights out.

Until next time,

Susan L Stewart

We’re off to France!

To all,

A Paris apartment house. Notice the graffiti.

On Monday, October 8, our daughter, Emily, and I got on a British Airways plane to France. Emily is a medical editor for a company that puts on medical conferences. She, and a writer, Linda, are covering ECTRIMS, a large, international, conference on Multiple Sclerosis in Lyon, France.

When the conference is over, she and I are going to take the train to Paris where Tom (father/husband) will be joining us. We’ll spend time in Paris exploring as many of the things the city offers as we will have the energy for. Emily flies home on the 19th and Tom and I are taking the train down to Avignon, Provence for a few days.

In addition to loving to travel and seeing new places, I’m a full-time artist and I think France and Italy are two of the countries every artist should visit. While I haven’t been to Italy yet, I’m very excited to experience France. While Emily is working, I plan to sit in an outdoor café and sketch. I’m also going to visit all of the museums I can find.

Emily and Tom will gladly go with me to a museum but I never feel comfortable sitting and sketching while they’re sitting there, bored. Vincent Van Gogh is my favorite artist and he spent a large part of his short life (he died at age 37) in Paris and Provence. I feel like I’m on an artist’s pilgrimage. There are many places in France that were meaningful to Van Gogh that I want to see. So, for now I am organizing my life, trying to figure out what to take for a 2-1/2 week vacation while keeping in mind that the international flight baggage weight is limited to 51 pounds. I’m also taking a sketchbook, watercolors and watercolor paper. When I recover from jet lag, I’m looking forward to exploring museum after museum.

Until next time,

Susan L Stewart