Here I am in Paris for the umpteenth time, and after having immersed myself for three weeks in the French countryside, I am ready to reconnect with friends and family back in the states. Nine months is a long time to be on the road solo, and I have done it four years in a row now. At this point, even I have to admit to being a little tired of my own company. I have stayed in more private rooms this year so that has made this year more solo than the usual.
Thankfully my solitude has been interrupted by two good roommates in succession who stayed in my two bed dorm at the OOPS! Hostel. Mauro, a super nice guy from Santiago, Chile was the first to arrive on the last two days of his European tour.
Mori, a very friendly young lady from Santiago, arrived after Mauro checked out. Both spoke mostly Spanish so I spent more time speaking Spanish than French on this particular visit.
I carry on a lot about Paris, and there are many visits on my blog that can attest to my enthusiasm, but I must take a moment to let you know about the friendliest big city on the planet. It is the cosmopolitan city of Santiago, Chile, and the people there are as nice as people you usually find in small towns.
If you want to check out Santiago, the pride of South America, it is in “March 2016” in the archives. The city has the most to offer of any South American metropolis, but it is the people of Santiago that are the best feature of the city.
MORI – Fresh off the plane from Santiago, I decided to start her off her dream vacation on the right foot. This is the charming L’Ilot Vache restaurant on the Isle Saint Louis. The resident chef has been here for the last 35 years. Here we are indulging ourselves with filet mignon with three sauces and potatoes Dauphinoise.
PONT NEUF – Mori and I also took a walk along the Seine and a river cruise with the Vedettes de Pont-Neuf where the boat is parked next to the world famous bridge.
We also managed to catch the glittering lights on the Eiffel Tower at 10pm.
Here you see the new golden paint job. The paint used to be reddish back in the day.
Here I am in JFK with my niece, Becky, who is preparing to leave on a three-year adventure in Tel Aviv, Israel. It was nice to be seeing someone else off for a change. Fortunately, they allowed for 150lbs. of her gear for the long haul. I spent the weekend at my brother Craig’s house in Long Island bidding farewell to Becky.
The time in New York with family was fun and relaxing. Becky’s Bon Voyage dinner at a fancy sushi restaurant was a nice touch not to mention the two trips to Carvel for their famous soft serve, and some quality New York pizza on the last night.
Finally, I prepared to leave for Austin, Texas for my travel writing/blogging convention. It’s called TravelCon and I will spend three days there rubbing elbows with a large contingent of fellow world travelers.