Viva la France - Long Live France
Just the mention of Paris and think what comes to our minds.; the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triumph, the Louvre, Notre Dame, artist, romance, Napoleon, and the French Foreign Legion are just a few. I do not speak French, but the language sounds beautiful - sophisticated. The French are very proud of their language; while we were there it seemed they expected us to make an attempt to communicate as much as we could in French. We kept our French phrase book in close reach.
Most people in Europe speak at least two languages, many know several. We Americans must seem dull, because most of us only speak one.
Beth and I were privileged to visit Paris in the summer of 1973. Our daughter Michelle visited there over Christmas and New Years of 2000/2001.
We have included some of our pictures from 1973 on this page; as well as one of her articles. There are 16 articles in all. This will give you a flavor for how they are written. She wrote them in a manner where she hopes that you will feel like you are along with her on the trip.
Our Hotel with Beth looking out our bedroom window onto the Pantheon
Beth adjusting her camera
Beth and I had a wonderful time there. We walked a lot and rode the Metro. Beth laughed when she looked at the pictures; she had on her thin white sandals and made the comment " I had my young feet on back then!" We spent the nights at the Hotel Pantheon above, in fact our balcony window looked out on the columned entrance to the Pantheon. We wonder if the hotel is still there after all these years passing by.
Please get ready to travel with us. Here is one of Michelle's articles at the first of her trip. To read more of her travels please click the link here. Michelle's France
By Michelle Holland
Now that I’ve had time to settle back into our time zone, I’m ready to tell the tales of my trip to Paris. I’m sorry to have kept you all waiting, but faxing back from our hotel in Paris was very expensive, our hotel in St. Malo didn’t even have a fax machine and our days were filled from sun-up to sundown, so I had no time for writing.
My parents and I left Henderson Wednesday morning, Dec. 27, to have plenty of time for me to check in my luggage and find the gate to my plane scheduled to leave at 6:45 p.m. I was so excited about Paris that I hadn’t thought much about the airport we drove toward, the George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston. Arriving at it was more thrilling than I had given it credit for, and it was enough to make me forget why I was there.
For those who fly frequently, I suppose airports are a part of life like a garage, but for a small-town girl who has only been to a few, it was enough to blow me away. This was one heck of an airport.
My dad has always loved airports, and I suddenly understood why. Standing in the parking lot, seeing planes continuously land and take off and watching people haul luggage in and out of the building, I felt like a part of something important. Here were planes going to the far reaches of the globe with people who each had a story to tell.
Before check-in time, my mom and I explored another terminal while my dad acted as guard for my luggage. Just after we came back, a Charles Stanley was paged over the intercom. I’m sure there’s more than one, but I like to believe that the well-known one was catching a plane, too.
To make things more interesting, on the way to the OBU group’s arriving gate, I saw a man who looked just like Anthony Edwards. Who knows?
Our trip to Paris almost didn’t happen. The group was originally scheduled to arrive at 5:58 p.m., but it had been delayed 10 minutes before take-off in Oklahoma City. A little after 6 p.m., my dad and I decided to try and meet the group on their way to the Paris gate.
We followed signs and more signs until we wondered if C27 really existed, but after about a mile, we found it. By this point it was 6:30 p.m., and we hadn’t found the group yet. Anxiety set in.
Luckily, we found the gate where the plane was unloading, but the OBU group was the last to get off, and the two carts that Dr. Chancellor had requested to meet them at the gate weren’t there. (Dr. Chancellor had suffered from polio as a child and walks with braces. We could have run to our gate, but if he wasn’t going to be on the plane, we knew that we didn’t want to be, either.)
Coming from a small town, I’m used to people waiting for you if you’re late, but planes don’t fall in this category. I had visions of my Paris column, ‘Paris is wonderful – so I’ve heard.’
By the time we located the carts, we had less than five minutes to make it back to our gate. Somehow we made it to the plane literally minutes before take-off. Talk about a sigh of relief.
Although the flight to Paris took nine hours, it went by quickly and pleasantly, except for a rude woman seated in front of me. (She objected to any bumping of her seat. I can understand this, but when you have to get up to go to the bathroom in an object moving 500+ miles an hour in the air, you have to hold on to something. Finally, I learned a straddling maneuver that helped although I’m sure I looked ridiculous.)
We had a flight attendant with a wonderful sense of humor who noticed this and joked with us about it the rest of the flight.
Halfway through the flight every-one settled down, and the lights were turned off. I tried to sleep, but I just couldn’t find a comfortable position.
However, after just a few hours, lights were turned on, and breakfast was served.
We arrived at Charles de Gaulle Intercontinental Airport at 11 a.m. Paris time, 3 a.m. Henderson time. Immediately, I could tell a difference. Gone were the smiling faces I had witnessed in the Bush airport.
After we collected our luggage, we climbed into a charter bus and made our way to Paris. The airport is in the outskirts of the city, so we had the chance to a bit of the countryside before we came to the heart of Paris.
One of my favorite Andrea Bocelli songs played at one point on the bus’s radio, and I welcomed this familiarity. I was a far cry from listening to in in my room.
Our hotel was in a perfect position – by the Seine and across the river from Notre Dame. I was relieved that our room looked like an American one.
By the time we dropped off our luggage, it was well after lunchtime, and everyone was starved. We practically ran to the café across the street and had our first French meal.
This was a rather comical event. I immediately came in touch with a part of French culture – taking up as little space as possible. Nearly 20 of us squeezed into a booth that only half that many would attempt to sit at in America. If someone had an itch, too bad.
When our food came on two plates per person, they wouldn’t even all fit on the table. We had to either combine plates or put one in our lap.
The view was worth every lost ounce of oxygen, though. To the right we could spot Notre Dame and bridges crossing the Seine. To the left was Plaza St. Michel, a famous spot in Paris.
After our meal, we set out on a waking tour of the neighborhood. We visited the Pantheon, some nearby cathedrals and a few shops.
Christmas in France doesn’t officially end until Jan, 6, The Day of Epiphany (celebrating the end of the 12 days of Christmas), so we had the opportunity to enjoy the Christmas decorations that embellished the streets.
After dinner and more shopping, we collapsed in our hotel room and took numbers for the shower. Needless to say, I had little trouble falling asleep.
Mike outside the Arc de Triomphe
Beth on top looking towards the beautiful church Scare Coeur above and towards the Eiffel Tower below.
Beth resting her sandals
Mike in front of Nortre Dame
The Seine River from the top of Nortre Dame
One of the many beautiful Stained Glass windows in Nortre Dame above
Jesus Christ dying on the Cross to rescue us from the penalty of our sins below
The Crucifixion by Nicolas Tournier 1635 Louvre Museum
1 Cor 15: 1-4
Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.