Amada Irma Perez, Connelles, France, La Residence Normandie, Latina writer, Normandy, Paris, Seine, Travel, Writing

Writers in Connelles, Normandy, France Day 1

Amada Cafe St. Lazare, Paris
It took a plane, bus, train, and taxi but we made it to Connelles, Upper Normandy, France 18 hours after departing LAX. Our first stop, Cafe St. Lazare, with mon ami Amada. 

the pit Paris, Fr. 

The bathrooms in old buildings require strong thighs and an overwhelming urgency to go.
I decided to wait until we walked to Gare St. Lazare Train Station. The .50 E worth it. Talked with very nice people in cafe and station, very helpful teenagers helped with luggage-just because. It helps so much to know some French.

We arrived at the village of Connelles 1 hr. 30 minutes later. La Residence Normandie sits among meadows, corn fields, forest and the River Seine. 

La Residence Normandie, Connelle, FR-MFrazier
After we got our bearings, unpacked and rested we found out there are no grocery stores for 5 miles, no shuttles, no village buses. 

The reception lobby has a grocery store, behind a counter, where one orders Cote d’Rhone or Burgundy wine; Camembert, for 2.30 E, daily bread: pain du chocolat, baguettes, croissants .92 E. 

first French dinner in Connelle AlvardoFrazier

We enjoyed our first dinner, Spagetti 
Bolognaise and haricorts verts (green beans) immensely before we dropped into our beds for a rest before getting our second wind.

A stroll across the bridge, journals in hand. Enjoyed the sights, sounds, and smells. The perfect bench awaited us.

our perfect writing spot Connelles, Fr. AlvaradoFrazier

Ah, to take time to explore around our new surroundings to walk over across the unassuming bridge, over the deep dark waters of the Seine, traveling beneath us. Mona and I stopping just long enough to take pictures. Our only neighbor the restaurant next door that looks like a castle with pink geranium boxes.

Turning on all of our senses… sitting down to let the beauty and serenity reach way down- soul deep. Stopping to sit on a bench which seems to be placed here just for us, a perfect place to be the writers we are and live the writing life we’ve chosen or has chosen us. Oh, this place, this day, is the perfect beginning to our writing retreat. Amada Irma Perez.

Buzzing bees, curious flies, soft coos of mourning doves. Birds twitter in Morse code, two visitors approach. Dancing iridescent blue dragonflies chase one another over the deep green of the Seine. A bevy of geese glide over the glassy surface. White butterflies flit over fuchsia sweet peas.

 Mulberry trees, Willows, Blue Spruce sway in the cool breeze, signaling the nose to take a deep breath.

sunset over Seine Connelles, FR AlvaradoFrazier

Who sat on this wooden bench before me?  Did they photograph their moments in their mind. MAlvaradoFrazier

What do you see? 

Normandy, Paris, Planning to Travel, Travel

52 Days to France

52 days and a wake-up (that’s prison slang for 53 days) until my France adventure.

Have you ever wanted to do something for most of your life and now that something is within reach and you kind of don’t believe it? That’s how I feel about going to France for a month.

Why France? Awe inspiring museums, bookstores, buildings, bridges, food-to name a few. I’ve been there once, for the vacationer’s  8 day fling with my sisters, mom, and daughter five years ago. We visited 7 of the top 10 sites to see in Paris, but didn’t get a chance to ‘feel’ Paris. Time constraints and people one travels with can do that to a vacation. 

After that trip, which was enjoyable, except for a very rude, bi*chy Frenchwoman at the train station (must admit we cursed each other in our own languages (French, me: Spanglish and English), I determined that I must go back to France for a longer period of time. One surly woman don’t stop no show. 

My preparation so far is to buy my airfare and find my passport. 

Musee d’orsay 
The only list I’ve made is the one in my head. It’s the sites I want to see. I missed D’Orsay last time because my mom “got lost” in the Louvre and we were there for 2 hours more than scheduled (but she enjoyed it). Besides D’Orsay:

Rodin Museum , Sorbonne, Petite Palais, Shakespeare’s & Co. Bookshop, the inside of the Paris Opera house, and probably 20  other sites. (I really should make a list).    

This is totally not me. I’m the planner with 2 or 3 guidebooks in hand, maps, itinerary, and reservations 90 days in advance, etc. I think I’m so nonchalant because I’m not organizing the trip for my family. It’s just me and my friend Amada (who lucky for me is fluent in French and has visited France 5 times). Or perhaps I’m not preparing as usual because I don’t believe I’m really going for a month. 
I’ve talked to my kids about my plan for a year. They are all young adults, 19-26, who live with me. They will cover the mortgage for the month of September, buy their own groceries, and water the plants. We’ll see how that goes. 

First place we’re going is to the Normandy region. Again, lucky for me, my friend has an international timeshare and there was an opening. We’ll rent an apartment for the 3 weeks in Paris.

I want to do that now, Amada says lets book a hotel for 4 days and then find an apartment once we’re there. That’s living on the dangerous side of the block so we compromised and will look for a place 30 days before we leave.

I hope we don’t end up in a hostel because there’s no room at the inn. 
via Tripadvisor

Now, where are those French CD’s Amada lent me a month ago?