About Me

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I received teaching and engineering degrees and have traveled extensively, living ten years outside the US. I moved from the big city of Houston to a small sleepy community in North Carolina, which has been a tremendous change and a great inspiration for my novels, full of the local color. My time has been filled with writing and helping to physically construct three additions to our former farmhouse. I have a great view of the mountains ten miles away across the broad valley and the sunsets are breathtaking. I am an avid reader of all kinds of mystery and contemporary fiction.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Remember Paris

Remembering Paris

This past week I have been reminded of the wonderful times I had when living overseas, especially of the times I had visited France. I was fortunate to work and live overseas and to travel to Paris dozens of times. No other foreign city has held such a fascination, except pre-Chinese controlled Hong Kong.

One of the items I received in my email box this week was one from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) on their Pressure Vessels and Piping Conference in Paris. As an extra, they are offering a tour of the Museum d'Orsay and a city tour. When in Paris, why take a tour? Probably because of the shortage of time. It is so each to see the city on your own. Also, if it were up to me, I would rather see the Louvre or take a dinner cruise on the Seine. That reminds me of the time we stayed at a hotel on the outskirts of Paris and took the train to the city. The proprietress made the arrangements for the cruise and ended up giving us the "key to the castle" because we would return after she had gone to bed.

The ASME conference is staying at the Paris Marriott Rive Gauche, a place I have never stayed. When touring Paris or any other world city, I try to avoid the American chains. I have stayed at the Meridien near the Arc de Triomphe, the Plaza Athenee and the Crillon. I had a bad experience with a cheaper hotel on the Left Bank and refuse to go there again. One time, when taking a barge trip on the canals in France, we stayed at the Meurice, close to the Louvre. The room was the same price as the Marriott, but they upgraded us and we ended up in a suite which normally costs ten times as much. Talk about sticker shock. It was good we weren't paying that much.

I can't think of Paris without the food popping into my mind or my mouth watering. At one time, when we ate at the Guy Savoy, I was given a sampling of all the desserts. After my fourth sample, the waiter looked at my companion and asked if he was interested in dessert.

Also, the French people are friendly and courteous. I lost my umbrella on the Champs Elysseus and a Frenchmen ran up to us and asked if I had dropped it. He gave me the umbrella and turned around and retraced his steps. Another time, when I was on a barge trip, the owner of a mill had her husband go to the house and bring me a scarf because she thought I was cold.

Aah! What wonderful memories and many more. If the dates were different for that conference, I would give serious consideration to going to it.

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