Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Sorry, the last few days ended up being somewhat of a blur......we went back to places already visited and discovered the "nightlife" in Istanbul. So the blog took a backseat....We got 1 hr of sleep on our last night and after about 15 hours on the plane yesterday, we ended up in Chicago, we had a big dinner out planned, but cancelled and fell asleep at 6pm. Arrived home safe and sound. Had a great time, lots of laugh and great memories!!!!
Thursday, April 7, 2011
Sorry about yesterday, Wednesday, all the days seem to run together now. So we went to the Grand Bazaar, what a trip that was, everyone wants to sell you something. There are over 4000 little shops, you could spend days in there and not see everything. Lots of junk but some little treasures as well. In the evening there was a "sunset" cruise, too bad it was rainy and foggy. Had a great time anyway. Have met some great people!!! Interesting stories... Today, Thurs. we had an historical tour and I have to say we are falling in love with this place!! The culture and the history is amazing. We visited a few mosques today, the sultans palace- WOW!!! That guy was livin' large!! Beautiful building. So much learned today, hard to remember it all. When we get home, we are going to get some books and study up on the muslim religion, we are facinated!! I think they get a bad wrap! Not that there aren't bad apples in every culture.....Had the Ritz Chairman Circle gala tonight, man, this company knows how to throw a party!!! 5 star everything.......Wish I would have gotten started with the company when I was younger. Oh well, in my next life I guess. Anyway so happy there is nothing planned tomorrow and we are going to sleep in!! its well deserved, then will probably go back to the bazaar and have fun bargining with the Turkish men :0) They like to act like they don't speak english, but they know! Good night for now......
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
OMFG, what a day.....starting off with trying to recover the luggage at customs. I will spar the ugly details, but I will say, today were the James Bond's of Istanbul and after 6 hrs we got the luggage. After arriving back at the hotel, thinking we had some time to refresh, we were told the buses were leaving for the cocktail party in 5 min. So off we go on these huge party buses, cocktail flowin'!! We went to an underground disco that was built in 300 A.D. BEAUTIFUL building. There was on opera singer on a swing hanging from the ceiling, cocktail and appetizers being passes, meet and greet sort of thing. Then we had a wonderful dinner with very exotic foods, great desserts and a live band with dancing. We didn't stay too long after the dancing started, way to tired from our day, back at the hotel, having tea and getting ready for bed. Off to the Grand Bazaar tomorrow, can't wait to shop!! Good night.....
Monday, April 4, 2011
Got up early today, went for one last stroll in our cute Paris neighborhood. We stopped and had tea and crossaint at a cute cafe around the corner and watched all the street venders set up, facinating!! Then it was off to the airport for our 3 1/2 hr flight to Istanbul, not the best situation for only 2 hrs of sleep......Upon arrival, we tried to go to DHL and locate my, still missing luggage that I shipped a week ago, after lots of Turkish mumbo jumbo, we determined that I have to call tomorrow and they will deliver to the hotel. When we arrived at the hotel we were pleasantly surprised by a security scan, luggage screening and metal detector, better safe than sorry. A lovely gentleman offered us a cup of apple tea and warm hand cloth. We got all checked in and came up to our unbelieveable room, GORGEOUS!! We had dinner reservations, but decided to go check out the spa, which we have reservations for later in the week and order some room service and call it a day. We are close to burnout so we figure we better take it easy tonight. Will let you know what tomorrow brings, good night......
Sunday, April 3, 2011
Well, we woke up at noon today, not on purpose, but much needed. We had a snack at a cute little cafe around the corner and people watched, it was wonderful. We took the metro to the neighborhood where the old Opera House is and very high end hotels and stores. We walked around for a while, popping into different places to check them out, most stores are closed on Sunday. Then we went over to the Ritz Carlton for high tea. 2 1/2 hours later, we were invited for a private tour of the kitchen and private pool area, thanks to Patricia's wonderful friend Jacques. The kitchen was the most AMAZING I have ever seen, we chatted with one of the chef's, very friendly guy from Australia. The hotel is so beautiful with so much history. We hopped in the metro back to the hotel to unload our goodies we bought in the hotel gift shop and were off to the Eiffel Tower. There were not many people in line so it was perfect. The sun was setting and the view was amazing!!! But VERY HIGH!!! We went to a great little place my dad suggested, where the meal consists of salad, Rib Eye steak and the best french fries I have ever had. That is it, no other options. We had a little bottle of wine and it was a perfect ending to a perfect day. On the way home, we needed to find some packing tape to send a box home and our cab driver laughed when we asked for a pharmacy open at 11pm. We found one and to make a long story short., we got what we needed, in a store with only medicine and beauty products, somehow, for free, from the ONLY nice, polite frenchmen we have met the whole time here. Now its time for bed, we are off to Istanbul in the morning. Can't wait to see what is in store for us!!
Saturday, April 2, 2011
WOW! Amazing day we've had. Started off early, had breakfast and headed off for our 8 hr. tour. First there was Hotel des Invalides, Napeleons tomb, but it was to early, then it was off to Sainte-Chapelle, called the " gateway to heave " it is the most beautiful view. It's the highest point in Paris. Next stop was Cimetier du Pere Lachaise aka, " huge cemetery ", Jim Morrison is buried there and so is Chopin, it took some searching on the map, but we found them. Next stop, Notre-Dame, by far, the most beautiful church I have ever seen, undiscribable!!! Then it was lunch in the Latin Quarter at a cute little French restaurant. Last stop, Musee' du Louve, the worlds largest museum, and that NO joke! We did the speedy version, took some great photos, but we were exhausted. Then it was time to head back to the hotel to get ready for our dinner cruise on the Seine River. Amazing views, great food and cocktails. I even tried Foie GRAS, that was for Jason and my moms benefit. Don't say I never tried anything. :0). Now it's time for bed, last day tomorrow, I'm sure we will be busy....good night.
Friday, April 1, 2011
We decided to walk to to the Eiffel Tower, not as close as it looks! Then we walked to check out the shops on the Champs Élysées, amazing windows, Chanel, Versace, Louis Vitton, etc.....we wondered into the Dorchester Hotel, beautiful! High tea was going on, so we kept our snooping short. :0) we then walked to the Arc de Triomphe, again looked closer than it was. All in all, we walked about 7 miles today. So we are now back at the hotel, snacking on the warm bread and deli meats we bought to snack on. Going to take an ambiem and recharge for tomorrow's long day, 8 hr tour, then dinner on the river boat. Bonsai for now......
Bon Jour.......Arrived in Paris at 8:45 local time. 11:45pm California time. Haven't slept since Weds night, too excited I guess. Had a long ride from the airport in rush hour traffic, but got to take it all in. It's beautiful here! After checking into our hotel we decided to walk around. They have the most wonderful little markets, fruit and vegetable stands, flower market, fresh fish, fresh meats and cheeses. Everything looked so beautiful. It is hard to find cafes with Internet so most of my computer time will be in the hotel. Off to grab some lunch so I will write later after we get back to the hotel.