If Headstones Could Talk: Pondering at Paris’ Père-Lachaise Cemetery

I had long wanted to visit Paris’ storied Père-Lachaise Cemetery. However, during past jaunts to the ‘City of Lights,’ the Eiffel Tower, Champs Elysées, and Notre Dame had taken center stage on my itinerary.

During our most recent trip to Paris, our hotel in Paris’ 11th arrondissement was a short walk from the cemetery. With blue skies overhead and the ground just starting to be carpeted with crisp, autumn leaves, Shawn and I decided to embark on what we thought would be a short 30-minute stroll through the cemetery named after Père-Lachaise, Louis XIV’s confessor. Our walk ended up lasting a bit longer.

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Photo du Jour: The Gargoyles and Grotesques of Notre Dame

In the shadows of Notre Dame, we waited for just under an hour to ascend the 387 stairs of the cathedral’s north tower.

Once high above the rooftops of Paris, we strolled about the Galerie des Chimères marveling at the figures there. The statues gazing at La Tour Eiffel and Sacré Coeur are technically not gargoyles since they are spoutless. Also, these animal hybrids are not original to Notre Dame, since they were added during renovations in the nineteenth century.

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Buzzing About Bart: The “Bumble Bee” with a Fondness for German Gingerbread

When my husband, Shawn, moved to Germany last October, I welcomed him home with a traditional German indulgence – Lebkuchen, or gingerbread. It’s the kind of sweet treat that’s plentiful at Oktoberfest stands and German wine fests each fall. The messages piped onto this heart-shaped gingerbread range from mischievous phrases to sweet nothings. The heart I carefully chose for Shawn read, “Ich habe Dich Lieb,” or literally, “I have for you love.” The white letters in the message were finished off with a lavender-colored frosting border, flowers, and two Gummi bears.

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Flowers to Wish You a Happy Day

I’ve always thought that those who work at ice cream or florist shops must have perpetually happy days. There’s something about a golden cone overflowing with heaping scoops of ice cream, or paper brimming with beautiful flowers from the neighborhood Blumen shop that just puts one in a cheery mood.

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Photo du Jour: Geburtstag Greetings for Dad!

As they say in Germany, ‘Alles Gute zum Geburtstag.‘ Wishing you a Happy Birthday, Dad!

~With fond memories of birthdays past, especially the one where we whipped up QuarkSahne-Kuchen with fresh raspberries from your garden in Ansbach!

Mom was lacking letters for the cake, so its greeting was a mix of German and English – ‘Denglisch’. :-)

Happy Birthday Cake

Photo du Jour: Under the Rainbow – Heidelberg, Germany

Our visiting friends and family are both horrified and sympathetic when they learn that our circa 1762 apartment has 87 stairs, and dare I say, no elevator. I argue that the views of the Heidelberg Castle, church steeples and Königstuhl and Heiligenberg hills make the long ascent worthwhile.

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