Wednesday, September 15, 2010

This site have been moved

Please come to to see more recent updates.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Our new web site

Back in 1999, we bought the name and started a web site thinking that it would help us avoid writing postcards while we cruised on the canals of France for two years as planned. Well, plans are something that should always be flexible, and once we got a taste of how wonderful it was to cruise on the canals and rivers in France our two years turned into ten, and we still don't see the end of the tunnel for this adventure.

Along the way, we have become more and more accustomed to life on this side of the Atlantic Ocean, and we have also made many friends from around the world as our web site has grown and people interested in barging have found us on the Internet.

While we were living in Roanne and cruising every year from April to October, we posted updates pretty regularly, then in 2006, we came to spend one winter in Paris. Once here we didn't want to leave and by being in the right place at the right time and having had our name on the Paris waiting list since the year 2000, we were lucky enough to be given a mooring right smack dab in the middle of this beautiful city.

Since we were no longer cruising, we started a Paris blog and stopped updating our web site. Now, we have decided to merge the two back into one, and we hope that old friends and new will come back to to enjoy life with us on a barge in France, and all of the adventures that happen when you live on the Canal Saint-Martin in one of Paris' most interesting neighborhoods.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Ireland with 7 in a mini van. We couldn't have done it without Jim

When we heard that 5 assorted family members were going to Ireland we said, "We want to go too!" So plans were made to meet in Dublin.

We all arrived in Dublin on different days. Walking to meet the last to arrive and the mini van with a chauffeur who had picked them up at the airport, we heard a horn honking and looked up to find several hands and heads sticking out of the windows, waving and calling to us. Their plane had arrived early, so they were ahead of schedule and found us as we were walking toward our arranged meeting place. We stowed our bags in the back and piled into the van, trying to hug and kiss everyone over the seats. We were siblings, in-laws and cousins in a mini van with a singing, story telling retired Irish cop as our hired driver.

Now 7 different opinions of where to go and what to do could have been a problem, but we all recognized that very first day, on the drive from Dublin to Blarney, our first stop, that our driver Jim knew every little corner of the counties that we wanted to explore. Without even discussing it, we all turned the trip over to Jim and he never let us down.

Jim lead us to some great restaurants for delicious lunches after mornings of sightseeing, and he knew all of the best pubs to stop in for refreshments when our eyes were tired from seeing green rolling landscapes and stone castles. In one of the many small out of the way villages that we visited, he met someone he knew when we were walking down the street; a pub owner wouldn't you know. And when we had spent too much time visiting an old church and exploring the cemetery, he called the Jameson distillery to hold the last morning tour for us, so we could taste some of Jameson's finest before we went to lunch. After the second day, we started inviting him to have lunch with us, and by the end of the week we felt like old friends. When he dropped us back at our hotel in Dublin, we were all sorry to see him go. We are spoiled now, and the next time that we go on a trip we might call Jim and see if he wants to come along.

It was a memorable vacation. Our hotels were both wonderful, we never had a bad meal, and our traveling companions were family; what could be better than that.

Friday, February 20, 2009

New pontoons

The good news is that we are getting new pontoons in the port, and they are wonderful, but the bad news is that since our telephone lines run through the pontoons, we, the residents on the side of Boulevard Bourdon (the Boulevard de la Bastille side of the port went through this last fall), have lost our phones and Internet connections and won't have them back until............

It has already been 3 weeks and it seems like an eternity. No longer can we pick up the phone and call family and friends in other parts of the world without thinking about the cost. We still have our call back service, but it is not cheap on a cell phone, and we have been spoiled by the convenience of making long distance calls without charge. When you are paying for the call and you have to wait 20 minutes at long distance rates for a company in San Francisco to finally pull you out of the wait queue, it feels like torture.

When our pontoons went away, we had to leave too. For one week we lived in front of the captain's office on the other side of the port way down by the lock. It was like moving to a new neighborhood. Suddenly, we were no longer in the 4th arrondissement; we were in the 12th. The Bastille métro station and the shops that we frequent were much further away, and we had to add an extra 15 minutes to our estimate of how long a métro trip or a quick run to the bakery would take. Without our land telephone line, we had to go to the captain's office with our computers to check our email or do projects. While we whined about this at first, the captain and his team could not have been nicer, offering people who were there to use the Internet coffee or juice, and letting us use one of their desks when we had a big project to complete. People came and went, with and without their computers, and we saw neighbors from the other side of the port that we normally don't run into in the course of a day. So we realized that it was a fun place to hang out, and now that we are back in our Bourdon side mooring waiting for our phone line, we pack up the computers to make the trip all the way down to la capitainerie, just for the fun of it.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Our website

We decided that it was time to makeover our web site and to merge this blog back into the new, and improved site. It seemed like a project that we could complete in a couple of months, back in October when we started the work. We are still working on it, but life keeps getting in the way.

First it was our two month vacation back in the States, and then it was a computer virus, and now it is the fact that one day while we were sitting at the table in the wheel house, both of us working on different computers on different projects, we suddenly lost our Internet connection. After a little investigation, we found that workers preparing to change the port pontoons had chainsawed right through our telephone line. Merde!!

So, today the boats in our section must move to the other side of the port while the new pontoons are being put into place, and everyone is speculating about how long we will all be without our telephones. On verra!!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Winter in our port

Thursday, December 25, 2008