Sunday, March 17, 2024

Pueo Rescue!!

 I was coming home from church today, when I saw this bird fly across the highway (50 mph) and drop into the bushes on the side of the road. I was 2 cars behind, so I pulled off the road and put on my emergency flashers and got out, carefully.

When I got to the bird, another person from my church stopped too. He didn't have a bag, but I found one in my trunk that had my groceries. It is a very soft, nice bag with handles, so I dumped out the groceries and went back to the bird. My co-rescuer said it flew off across the road while I was gone. Yay! It could still fly!

So I watched traffic and was able to cross. Poor thing was down in the weeds on the opposite side of the road. It watched me with its yellow eyes. It didn't squeek or anything, just kept looking up at me.

My other pal, who had also stopped, said, just put the bag over it! Which I did. We were able to get it carefully into the bag. It never tried to bite or claw at all.

So I drove to the Waimea Fire Station, praying all the way7. The gents there were able to put it in the Shearwater box. It was still alive, but quiet, when I left! The Save Our Shearwaters worker said they would have a tech there soon and hopefully it will be ok.

Save our native Hawaiian Birds! I'm just glad I was on the scene immediately and able to help.

Friday, January 5, 2024

Bits and pieces

  I am looking at notes taken so I could remember what we did when. It surprised me how hard that is to do. When you are on the move, stopping to note down what happened is hard.

So bear with me, as I recount the happenings as we flew, trained, walked and trudged through France and England. 

Walking off the plane at Charles deGaulle airport, we were surprised to notice snowflakes! Yes, not a super surprise in December, but for us folks from Hawaii, it's a startling sight. Didn't particularly impact us, as we were training off to Lyon for a few days. 

In our Lyon hotel, the bartender, who didn't speak a lot of English, didn't know what a shot glass was! And truthfully, I'm not sure what it is in French, so I wasn't much help. But it did give me a chance to use some French. I got Alex some Aberlour and I snagged a glass of red. It is amazing that red wine is so good in France! Even at the grocery store, one is rarely faced with plonk.

What also still astonishes me is how many really, truly nice people we bumped into. In Lyon airport,  a very nice young woman from Barcelona sat, awaiting a plane, with us. We had a great conversation. Turns out she is a nurse, awaiting her plane calmly. I took great comfort in her attitude. Although the delay lengthened her arrival at home, she was still very calm.

Once we did get into our Lyon hotel, the next day we visited the Basilica. Very beautiful. And a great spot for lunch. Saucisson brioche and a big glass of beer for Alex. 

Our hotel also had a fire alarm test while we were there. Yay. That turned out to be the 1st of 3 we endured. Not complaining. Much better to test than not know what to do in the event of a real emergency. The sad thing is that while we were on the street, we were surrounded by smokers. I still think badly of folks who must push their smoke on others. This is far too prevalent in Europe. We saw smoking in many places and unfortunately, the smokers have to sit outside the restaurants, so if you want to sit outside, this is foisted on you.

I will say the produce is excellent! We had great raspberries and wonderful juicy pears. Yum.

I am surprised to report that we often had breakfast in our hotel. Travel commentators will tell you to go out and about to eat breakfast, but ours was often free and very good. Eggs, wonderful pastries, endless coffee. Wonderful.

And many nice folks helped me with my bag. Alex can only carry so much. One man actually picked up my bag and deposited it on the pavement for me, waving off my thanks.

And in a grocery store, I asked a lady, in French, if she had Poire. She took me to the fruits section! I smilingly told her I was looking for the LIQUOR Poire. We both smiled, as she pointed to a shop down the street that had that beverage.

I almost lost my debit card at the pastry shop PAUL at an airport. Take a word from your cards! I had mistakenly left it in the machine, as the clerk and I were talking during our transaction. Luckily, when I realized it was not in my wallet, I returned to the store. The nice lady had put it in a secure drawer, she knew I'd be back. I will forever be grateful for her kindness and honesty. Shop at Paul!

We also met a nice older gentleman on the funicular. He found out we were from Hawaii, so he tried to discuss Hawaii with me. I found on this trip that there are many areas in which my French is less than stellar: like laundry.

We love shopping at Galeries Lafayette and L'Epicerie. There is nothing they are lacking and it's fun to wander around, even if you aren't buying anything. But it's hard not to. So much great wine, spices, pastas, cookies, pastries. The mind boggles.

There is just something about the French ladies. So Chic. Black everything: hose, boots, dress, jackets, hats. You just know they took care with their appearance.

The merchants at the Christmas markets were often tri-lingual in Colmar: French, English, German. They had to be!

I had the experience of visiting a pharmacie twice during our trip: once for Runner's Toes (where your toes get black and blue from hitting the inside of your shoes..I do not recommend it) and to get anti-vertigo medication. Pharmacy staff is much more like a doctor in France. I was glad of that because I had no doctor! Both people helped me a lot.

We also very often had just 1 chair on our one of us sat on the bed. Disconcerting, but we managed.

I had my first French Avocado toast. Very good. Microgreens, pomegranates, fennel, nice bread, lots of avocado and even bacon with the poached egg.

I have to dig about Strasbourg airport: 4 toilets for a long line of customers!!! Really?! aka Bah Humbug!!

A word of warning: take care that you can use your phone in Europe. I paid for Orange and then discovered my phone was locked and I could make only emergency calls. I am trying to calm down before I contact my cell provider. 

Alex enjoyed his favorite dessert only twice: Creme Brulee. But he found a chocolate bar here in Hawaii that also has that flavor. 

I'll leave you with a bathroom story: waking up in the middle of the night only to find that the toilet paper roll escaped its holder and rolled across the bathroom floor. It required turning on the light to find it again.

More later. Thanks for reading!

Thursday, January 4, 2024

Unless lightning strikes, this could be it!

 Thanks for hanging in there with my pix. Unless I strike unfound paydirt, this could be the final post from our European vacation.

Somehow, all the beer glasses were big in restaurants!
We really enjoyed our visit to Portsmouth. Alex because he is a boat guy and me because they were amazing..and those being reconstructed, because they were awesome in the way they were constructed.
Big boats and little ones. It really gives you perspective on how mammoth these big ships really were.

Another church in Cambridge.
The Golden Hinde. Note the little golden deer on the bow.
I included this photo because it shows how thorough Alex was in finding our way. He is the chief naviguesser. 
More amazing cathedrals.

Alex in his cold weather gear.

And almost all of them had work being done on them.

We didn't try haggis, but were afraid of it!  The Brits do eat some strange things..
I had no idea one needs to change priorities with a sign. Thankfully, were were NOT driving in Britain, so most signs just passed us by.
I can't tell you which train station this was, but we were in a LOT of them! Alex is pulling on his face protector. So cold!
Nicely situated cathedral. We walked all around it and were finally able to find a spot to take care of our personal business. It's amazing how some big places had very few bathrooms.

The view from one of our hotel rooms. I didn't mind being put in the back: it meant we could get into our room sooner. Which meant we didn't have to lug our heavy baggage all around town.
I included this shot to show my wrist brace. I am once again thankful for my husband's willingness to carry the heavy bags. It was hard enough to get on the train with basically one hand, let alone with the luggage!
I watched a documentary about Stephen Hawking yesterday. What an amazing mind! And he didn't give up, even when faced with amazing physical challenges. He is credited with discovering black holes.
Once we returned, we were very late in trying to get a Christmas tree. So the nice people at our local grocery store had made rosemary trees! Which I immediately covered with my French baguette ornament. So adorable.

This is the hairbrush I got from Pylones. Isn't she cute? And the pieces of my current Valentine's day puzzle. All you lovers out there, enjoy each other!

And for now, that's all I have. 

Wednesday, January 3, 2024

Lihue airport and France...eventually


From the terminal window at Lihue airport. I had a very nice conversation with the lady who worked at the restaurant. She was worried about upcoming radiation treatment. I was able to pray with her.

This was an attempt to remember the wine I liked. I think it was the 
Chateau de la Bonnetiere.

Cheese and pears and pastries. What could be wrong with that?!
These pears were incredibly juicy and sweet.
We were leaving the hotel the next day. Luckily, I was able to find a half bottle of a nice French wine. Well, they probably all were, but I didn't try them all. We were only there 3 weeks!
At Colmar, I was able to find some gingerbread men sox. hahahaha. Much needed as it was cold in Alsace!
One of my stylish "I just got up" hairdos.
Alex had fondue. This is the burner they bring to your table. I think this was Les 2 Savoies. Our Fave.
Of course, fondue requires beer.
And wine. I ate something else, as the cheese, not surprisingly, was slowing down my system. So sad! In France, yet!
Here is the English Bible I found in Paris. See how fat it is?
A sign on the train. Glad for the warning.
A catchy slogan to remind people to dispose of their ciggies in the appropriate bins.
They had treats at one hotel for the dogs.
I think this was Southwark Cathedral.
All the cranes lit up for Christmas. Or safety.
One of the lovely ornaments at the train station.

These buildings are so huge and impressive.

One of the buildings on Cambridge campus.
Everyone was working on their buildings.

I was happy to visit this welcoming church.

Another avocado toast! The French do try to include salads in the meals.
The just woke up hair competition.

I had heard about Ely Cathedral, but this is a nearby church. I took a photo because there are still not a lot of women in charge.

Best ginger ale ever! Totally worth bar prices.
We had visited The Eye on a previous trip. It was cold and rainy, so we went to the Aquarium instead.
This helped keep him warm.
Note the wrist brace. I had it on to help keep the loose bone in my wrist stable. You can imagine how much fun it was to get on and off the train with half your hands in a brace!
Another great ginger ale. 
And we were able to also find chips, wine and those small radishes.

A nice store near our hotel, called Pret, had amazing sandwiches.

I found Stephen Hawking's book. A noted atheist, I was interested in his opinion. 
And that big Bible.
Inside an airport. Nice octopus.

My Christmas slippers were too small. So sad.
Octopus coaster.
I laughed so hard when we got back home! Alex loves the Axolotl and we were able to see some in the live in Portsmouth Aquarium.
Santa hat
Another entry in the how weird can my hair get category.

It will not surprise you to hear that some of my photos went astray, so I am now playing catch up.