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Monday, June 13, 2022

Full and Overflowing dinner/art night

I've always had an inner nudge to gather women.  I think it's a response to my own struggle with occasional loneliness.  We live pretty isolated.  And I'm a creative that works alone most of the time.  I think the biggest hindrance to my productivity is working up the mojo to start. For years I've dreamt of having a circle of friends paint with me.  Like-minded women who find themselves yearning for community.  A place to reflect, dream, be inspired, and create something out of nothing.  That's my heart.  To me, painting, cuffing, writing, an act of worship.  A bond with my Creator that touches my soul deeply.  

When we bought this property I knew it wasn't really mine.  It was a place to be shared.  I've had a secret prayer request for all those years... Lord bring me the people to help me do this thing You've laid on my heart.  I can't do it on my own.  Slowly one by one He brought them...Tracy, Meg, Julie, Maria, Rebecca, my sweet family.  I can't really thank them enough.  It takes a team! It's taken a very long time to get here...6 years to be exact.  But we're moving into the season of embracing the uncomfortable;)  The gate has been opened, the table set, and the art supplies laid out!!  

In April we had our very first dinner/art night.  I knew it was to be called "Full and Overflowing." We feasted!  We worshiped.  We painted.  I don't really even have the words to describe what took place because for me it was an act of obedience and the very first step into a calling that quite honestly terrifies me.  Hosting doesn't come naturally.  Peopling is absolutely exhausting...and yet I know it's the next right thing. Love on people. See them. Share beauty. Make beauty!  AH!!!  God is so good!

Our next dinner's theme is "Night of Splendor," and will be held Friday, July 29.  There's a waitlist.  If you want to add your name, sign up at  The waitlist closes on 6/15 when I'll hide the shop and send an email with a password to those who are on the list.  After the shop is open to the waitlist any remaining seats will be announced on Instagram on Friday 6/18.  Hope to see you there!!  

Here are the recipes from Tracy Steigler!  

*I always use organic ingredients wherever possible but I have found most of these ingredients come organically!

Salad Dressing:
1 Shallot, minced
2T dijon mustard
1 lemon, juiced
1C extra virgin olive oil
1t salt
1/2t pepper

Mix until emulsified.  Ok to serve immediately but better the longer that it sits.  
Is best with every salad - also good as a marinade for chicken!
(Dressed a bed of arugula topped with roasted beets, slivers of tangerines, quartered burrata, and pistachios)

Rustic Mashed Potatoes:
3lb Yukon gold
8oz cream cheese
1c heavy whipping cream
1/2c sour cream
1 1/2t salt
1/2t pepper
1t onion powder
1t garlic powder

Wash & add potatoes to a pot of highly salted water. Bring to a boil, and simmer(about 15-20min).  While the potatoes are cooking, in a separate pan, combine the rest of the ingredients on medium-low until simmering and combined.  Simmer 5min, turn off the heat, and keep on the burner.  Drain potatoes and add back to hot pot.  Add cream mixture to the pot and mash with a hand masher until incorporated and desired consistency. 
 **I like it rustic with the peels on
and big chunks of potatoes.

Roasted Chicken: 
(recipe for 1, so it is easily multiplied for your desired amount)
Bone-in, skin-on chicken breast
Shallot, rough chop
Garlic clove smashed but left whole
1/4 lemon, thinly sliced
1t salt, 1/2t pepper
Extra Virgin Olive Oil

4-24hrs before cooking, place chicken in a ziplock bag with shallot, garlic, and lemon.  Top with seasoning and olive oil.  Remove air from the bag and place it in the fridge until 20min before ready to cook.  
Preheat the oven to 400*.  On a cookie sheet place the chicken breasts so they’re breast side up and the thickest part is facing the edge of the pan.  Place the shallots, garlic, and lemon around the chicken and top with whatever juices and oil are in the ziplock.  Bake 45minutes, until juices run clear.  Let rest for 10minutes.  Serve.
**I like to add veggies to the bottom of the chicken sometimes, I’ve used carrots, onions, parsnips, and potatoes - makes an easy sheet-pan meal.  Make sure to season and oil the veg before topping with the raw chicken.

Amuse Bouche: (can be served before the meal, on a charcuterie tray, or after dinner with a cheese course)
Almond Butter Crackers (Trader Joes)
Point Reyes Blue Cheese or Roquefort
Dried Mission Figs
Highest quality honey 

The crackers are very delicate….so gently place them on a tray.  Top with a thin slice of blue cheese, fig, and a drizzle of honey.  Enjoy!

You are so loved!

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Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Our C*vid Story

My story:

I used to feel so proud... We had made it to the two-year mark without getting the dreaded C, and now here I am feeling compelled more than ever to write about this touchy topic.  It feels like a war story.  I’m only putting it out there, so maybe someone else’s life will be saved. Having to research and advocate is just a whole extra layer of stress that you don't want to encounter when you're sick.  I pray this helps someone. *DISCLAIMER... I’m not a medical professional and this is all testimony and personal experience.

On December 17th, I got sick.  My symptoms began as a two-day migraine, that morphed into body aches, and then four days of an unrelenting sore throat.  The sore throat made me go to the doctor because I thought I had strep and we were leaving soon for a vacation to Arizona.  Antibiotics might be needed. Of course, they wanted to test me for C*vid.  I really didn’t think I had it, it was cold and flu symptoms.  I could still taste and smell etc… this was 6 days in…I lost them later.  I tested negative for strep and flu, and positive for C*vid.

My girls and husband (never tested) apparently had a mild case of it and gave it to me.  On the seventh day, I arranged to have a concierge doctor come to the house and administer an IV vitamin infusion.  Which was WONDERFUL.  Up until that point, I was just taking over-the-counter Dayquil and Ibuprofen.  The vitamin boost made my energy perk up and I thought for a fleeting second, I was completely over it.  The next day it came back…the body aches, low energy, etc.  We were scheduled to fly to AZ on Christmas morning.  I just knew once I got into that desert air everything would be fine.  I was past the contagious point, so it was just a matter of getting there.

Instead, what happened is the night before we were to leave, I got a fever and woke up vomiting.  In spite of how I felt I rallied and made it to the car.  I threw up once more on the way and STILL pushed on… determined to make our vacation work:/  Once we got to the airport, I absolutely couldn’t move from the car.  And from there it spiraled fast, by the time we got to the end of our driveway I had completely blacked out, I was choking on my vomit and I had lost all bodily functions if you know what I mean.  I came to, half out of the car with my girls sobbing, Brian hysterical. They finally got me back in the car and got us up to the house.  

I spent the rest of the day in bed sick in every way with Brian cleaning up after me.  Too weak to make it to the bathroom.  Uncontrollable chills.  The whole bit.  I later found out this crazy weird dramatic episode is called a “cyto storm”.  Your body’s inflammation response goes on hyperdrive and more or less attacks itself.  Early on many died because their organs shut down!  I had no idea! That one day took me another week of complete weakness to recover from.  **Also, this is a good place to point out that, over the counter, Zyrtec and Pepcid are used to prevent this from happening.  So, if you suspect you have C…start that regime immediately.

During that last week of sickness, I finally reached out to a pharmacy and asked them if they had the Ivermectin everyone was talking about.  They did, but wouldn’t give it without a doctor’s prescription.  I promptly called my urgent care where I was tested and they said they wouldn’t give it.  So, I called the pharmacy again and they told me someone who would.  I arranged a video call with that doctor the next day and got my C*vid protocol going once and for all.  On day 18 my strength slowly returned.  And two days later we were in a car heading to Illinois because my momma was admitted to the hospital with pneumonia.

My Momma Dixie's story:

I know that I know that my strength returned just in time to advocate for my momma.  I got a phone call from her doctor saying her oxygen levels were down to 78.  She was sure she had pneumonia and thought (because she was coughing up blood) she might have a blood clot. I lost it on the phone, basically begging the doctor not to send her to the hospital.  We had heard one story after the next of friends and family being admitted and never coming out alive.  All the warning signs were going off.  The doctor assured me if it was her mom she’d do the same, and so after praying over my momma they escorted her by ambulance to the ER.  The only reason I conceded was the possible blood clot.

I was still super weak from my own sickness, but this urgency to get to her wouldn’t let up.  We packed our bags and within an hour we were on our way to Illinois. Her tests results came back that she had pneumonia, but no blood clot.  In my mind, I was like okay then let’s get her on some meds, oxygen and get her home!  After watching this video about a woman who lost her dad in the hospital, and then her using this protocol to save her father-in-law, I was educated enough to know she had to say no IMMEDIATELY to the ventilator and to the Remdesiver drug.  Remdesiver is known to cause renal failure and a VERY HIGH % of people who go on ventilators DIE!  While the hospitals get $39,000 for each person they get on one of those machines.  Here's a video about that!  WHY?  While we were driving mom calls me barely able to get the words out, and says “that drug you told me to say off of… it starts with an R??  They’re trying to talk me into it right now!”  And as soon as she said no to it, they were trying to get her on another high-risk drug.

All the while they never gave her any of the C*vid protocol that has been proven to work.  They didn’t give her any vitamins, or get her up moving.  They wouldn’t let her use a nebulizer with the Budesonide that has been PROVEN to heal the lungs of patients with pneumonia.  Why?  “Because it spreads the germs in the mist.”  Lies!

The worst part of all is that absolutely no one is allowed on the C*vid floor.  So, they are completely isolated and often times too weak or not educated enough to advocate for themselves. I tried to talk to the nurse and she refused.  

I would call mom in the morning and she was so distraught.  No one had checked on her during the night.  Her call button wasn’t working and her cord was too short to make it to the bathroom.  Drenched in sweat, blood pressure soaring, oxygen levels low…the on-call nurse finally made it into her room the next morning and in a panic to get her levels up jacked up her oxygen from 7ML to 15ML.  Did you know too much oxygen is just as bad as not enough?!! We knew we had to get her out, but her primary care doctor said her oxygen needs were way too high to have her at home. Another misinformation... Here's where you can arrange to get more oxygen.

The night before her discharge I had posted something about going to war and getting her home and a precious soul reached out to me on Instagram and said her husband could help me.  I immediately called him and he put me on a conference call with a Frontline doctor.  I was taking notes as fast as I could.  He told me, precisely, all the excuses they were saying when we mentioned the nebulizer and oxygen at home.  Then he directed me to this website that tells you exactly what to say back when they tell you no. He mentioned review boards and filing a complaint etc… He told me that the hospitals basically don’t care if they die.  And to be honest I believed him.  The stats are horrific.  The “care” isn’t caring.

The next morning we were prepared for battle.  Feeling completely unqualified to advocate for something we didn’t understand, I had mom call me when the doctor came into the room.  Only this time, it was a new doctor, and he started the call by saying “I’m hoping to discharge your mom today!”  I was like WHAT!!!  The questions, rebuttals, and rebukes were all on the tip of my tongue and I didn’t have to say a word!  You know in the Bible when it says the Lord goes before us?  I never in my life felt that more than in that precise moment.  We were ready to fight and He was like…no, I’ve got this.  Let me show you My Glory!  Let me show you what only I can do!!!

We were witnessing a MIRACLE!  Apparently, the Doctor had come into my mom’s room…took one look at her treatment board, and said angrily... “why do they have your oxygen so high?”  Then he took it off her nose and had her sit there and talk to him.  Watching her levels… it stayed consistent.  He said as long as she could pass her walking test (without oxygen) she would be discharged!! I came and busted her out that DAY!

For the next two days every time she closed her eyes, she started having a conversation.  Not mumbled talking in her sleep, but a conversation with sentences.  It was SO weird.  Apparently, that can be a side effect of too much oxygen. We had a couple of days of wobbly walking, low pulse dips, and disorientation at times. But within a few days of being home, she started waking up.  Her body started responding to our own protocol…  Lots of vitamins, tons of water, a cool-mist vaporizer, healthy meals, Budesonide (I brought mine from home when I was sick) nebulizer treatments, Dexamethasone steroids for her lungs, antibiotics (doxycycline and cephalexin for her blood infection), and lots of walks!!  Whether she wanted to get up or not, we got her moving.  I also had her lean forward, like she was picking something up off the floor, and I cupped (gently patted) her back.  This would make her cough stuff up!  

If you need an online consultation for meds this website will give you a consult for $73.  You put in your weight for the correct dosage.  It gets shipped right to your door.

My mom is 79 – overweight, diabetic, has high blood pressure and asthma!  Oh, and the day after she was released from the hospital they called and diagnosed her with sepsis!  A blood bacterial infection…And SHE LIVED!  Despite the scary nature of this illness, if you know what to do… And I believe preparing ahead of time with “what not to do” knowledge, front line doctors, prescriptions that work, known protocols, and LOWER YOUR INFLAMMATION through diet and exercise! The recovery rates are HIGH! It can be scary and some people don't make it, but MOST DO!  

This illness, from the pit of hell, is pure evil.  There’s no doubt about it, but God!  Read Psalms 91 out loud.  Command your angels charge over you.  Plead the blood of JESUS!!!  Get your prayer warriors fighting.  Stand on His promises.  Speak life over yourself and your loved ones.  Don't utter a word that is negative to HEALTH. It’s not easy when you are feeling discouraged.  And believe me, this illness is very mental…the enemy loves to whisper fear… people die from this.  You might never be the same.  You should have gotten the jab etc… But we have the ability to choose our thoughts and take them captive, and that means resisting the temptation to listen to the lies!  I have so much more empathy now after walking through it!  

Anyway, that’s my story (we all have different ones)…  I hope it helps you, whoever you are. I did turn off comments to avoid too much noise.  Feel free to message me if you have any more questions...

Here's my post on the v*x if you want to know where we stand there:)

 Just know you are so so LOVED!!

The protocol my doctor sent me:

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Friday, June 15, 2018

The gift of possibility... A mother - daughter trip to Paris


Never in a million years did I think I'd travel to Europe without my husband.  Honestly, the thought didn't even crossed my mind until it did... Brian's my security guard when we travel.  He does the thinking.  He fixes things, leads the way. But here I am on the other side of one of the most incredible trips of my lifetime, and I can say without hesitation DO IT if you can!  It's a real self confidence independence boost to travel alone (or without your significant other;)) and it made me feel like anything was possible.  The world is tangible! It's available to see EVEN FOR ME! So let me just begin by telling you how this came about, some tips that were helpful, and some fun things we did along the way.

I came upon this trip through Instagram.  I follow the amazing artist Emily Leonard (@emilyleonardstudio) and always loved her work, so when I saw she was planning an art retreat in the South of France I was like uh that sounds incredible! My heart raced at the thought.  I felt this urgency to GO, but quickly shoved it down because it was FRANCE.  It was expensive and unnecessary etc...  So I did nothing. I said nothing. And looking back that was probably good, because when she announced she only had two spots left the urgency was there and my honey was more open to it;)  Enter in the sweet persuasion.  Enter in God softening my honey's heart and him saying YES!!  Enter in my Maggie!  She was getting ready to graduate high school, attending art school in the fall and the pieces just seemed to fit.  I would take her on a mother and daughter trip!!  It would be the gift of possibility, the know how to travel the world, and hopefully the satisfying of some of her wanderlust, "see everything" mentality:)  We would explore the most arsty city in the world and then study art together in one of the most beautiful settings in the world...the South of France!! EEEEP!  

I quickly booked the trip, extending it to include a few days in Paris, and then almost immediately the panic set in.  The "what in the world was I thinking. I don't speak French. I know nothing about flying internationally or where to go in Paris. It's dangerous there right?" mantra on repeat.  To combat that I went into full research mode. Checking out books at the library. Buying guide books online. Asking friends about their trips. Pinning every little thing related to Paris. I was ON IT, and it turns out it was all really helpful. I typed out my itinerary. Pinned all my must see spots on Google Maps. I downloaded the Google Translate app that translates English to French and vice versa. I learned a few words in French and it was enough. Preparation set me up for success and calmed my nerves for sure.

So here are my tips 
and this applies to almost any destination:

Do your research! Start reading about Paris and you'll figure out what you want to see. Don't get overwhelmed by how much there is to do. You won't be able to see it all.  Just accept that fact and do what you can.

Use Google maps and pin all your must sees before you go. Make a folder in your "saved places".  You'll have all the addresses in one place and will be able to see on a map what's close to you. That's kind of how we planned our days...proximity.

Skip the passes.  Everyone will say it's the best value, but unless you are there for many days and are seeing gobs of things a day it doesn't add up. I did the math. And honestly, don't try to see gobs of places in one day.  You will crash and burn fast. Amble a bit. Go down roads you didn't plan on and see things like the locals do:)

Use the app Tiqets. We were able to buy our tickets to Sainte Chapelle and skip the line.

Book an airbnb.  Here's the link to ours:) You'll get the true Parisian experience and it's usually quite a bit cheaper.  We stayed here and LOVED IT.  Best location EVER! Every kind of restaurant you could imagine just steps from our door and a grocery across the street. Make sure to read all the reviews thoroughly.  Our place had ancient stairs that was nice to know about before we got there.  If I was traveling alone it might not have been possible to get my luggage up them.

Sign up for your phone company's international plan. It's like $10 a day, but you'll be able to keep in touch with the world. I wouldn't have it any other way.

Contact your credit card company before you go so they know it's you and won't shut down your cards.

Get euros before you go so you don't have to do an ATM there. And make sure you always have enough on you.  There's a daily limit and most taxis and a lot of shops only accept cash.

Make a copy of your passport and keep it on you.  Leave the actual passport in your room. You don't want that to get stolen.

Wear comfortable shoes.  We walked 11 miles our first day...on cobblestone.  Even though my shoes were comfortable my feet and hips still hurt.  I love Birkenstocks and Sketchers.  Those are great options.

Book before June to beat the big time crowds and heat.  Most places do not have air conditioning and it's something for Americans to get used to, at least it was for me.  It was in the high 70s and I was HOT at times, so keep that in mind. Also, DO NOT book in August.  Most places will be closed for holiday.

Expect to take your time.  There's no rushing around at a cafe.  Enjoy the people watching:)

He was such a flirt and let Maggie make her own.  It was right down our street on Rue Mouffetard... One of the oldest streets in Paris.

Say BONJOUR to everyone you meet.  It's what they do and it's good manners.  We had great interactions with all the French people we encountered.  I'd always heard they hated Americans and were rude, but in my experience it was just the opposite.  A lot of them knew English and at least attempted to communicate.  Merci is thank you.  Bonjour, merci, oui (yes), and combien (how much?) were the words we said the most. Poulet is chicken. Frites is fries. Definitely look up the food names. We almost ordered raw beef once:/

Tipping isn't necessary in restaurants.  Apparently they are paid very well.  You can round up for cab rides. Try to have small bills. Some street vendors and cab drivers did not give us change back, and I didn't know how it ask for it.

Make sure to plan for extra time at the CDG airport.  It's a mad house.  Think thousands of stressed out tired travelers.  It's completely unorganized. Signs in French only. Our baggage got lost for four days of our trip.  I wasn't surprised at all.  It took almost 2 hours for us to check it and get through security. Also, American sized carry-ons are never carried on.  They will want you to check it. They made us go all the way back to check-in versus just checking it at the gate.  So not cool. Thank God we were early.

We didn't take the metro because it was out of my comfort zone. Others have used it and had great success... I chose other options because I'd heard that it was a pickpocket magnet, lots of people and you are mostly underground. None of that appealed to me.  We used taxis a few times, the Batobus and WALKED everywhere.  Which is a great way to see the city and burn off all those croissants at the same time:)  My advice is to definitely take the Batobus if your feet need a break.  It's a taxi boat. It's inexpensive and you get to ride on the Seine River.  Best money we spent. *FYI a taxi should run around 50 euros from the CDG to Paris city central. Confirm this before you get in.  Some have minimums and don't go by a meter. And be careful with Uber (who is supposedly cheaper).  They upcharged us on our way back to the airport by 25 euros.  We got a text 5 minutes before our scheduled pick up time that said due to "high demand" the rate was more.  At that point we were on a tight schedule and couldn't shop around.  

Unlike Italy there are porta-potty type things on most busy streets.  This is awesome because in Italy it was nearly impossible to find a toilet.  We never used one on the street because we preferred to stop into a cafe for a drink and then used their restroom. Definitely go when you can.

Tabac shops have stamps.  They run about 2 euros each. I made a list of people I wanted to send postcards to before we left and got them filled in and mailed out within the first couple of days.  This time they actually came before we made it home.  Love that!  Pharmacies have signs that are neon green crosses.

Grocery stores (monoprix) are a great place for gifts.  They have cosmetics, soaps, and lotions without boutique prices.  Also, they have a grapefruit drink that I'm still obsessing over called BADOIT pamplemousse.  It's a sparkling drink with grapefruit and lemon on the front. Please drink one for me!

Think about if you really want to bring a camera.  I brought mine, but rarely carried it.  A phone is lighter and more convenient.  It takes great pics, and I didn't want to stand out as a tourist or risk it getting stolen.

Buy this:
We bought Travelon's anti-theft hobo bag in pewter before we left.  Loved it!  Pickpocketing is a real THING there. Keep your bag in front of you and zipped at all time. I also used a travel wallet that I put around my neck and under my clothes when I didn't want to carry a purse.

Anything written by Rick Steves and Eyewitness Paris are both great guide books.

Good shoes - my favs are Sketchers and Birkenstocks.

Things we loved:

We didn't go in the Louvre...

We chose the d'Orsay! Loved the size and the collection. Good choice for those short on time.

We wanted to see a museum and had heard the Louvre was very overwhelming, so we opted for the d'Orsay.  It was the perfect size, had great art (Monet's Chrysanthemums was my favorite) and THE BEST MEAL WE HAD IN PARIS.  Get the filet mignon in the restaurant with the bright chairs.  You'll feel like you are Queen Marie Antoinette:) By the way we watched that movie on our flight home and I'm kicking myself that we didn't squeeze in Versaille.  I'm fascinated with Marie Antoinette now;)  MUST GO BACK!

Drink a hot chocolate at the Le Cafe Marly!!  It's a little cafe looking at the glass pyramid at the Louvre. It's like drinking a chocolate bar.  You'll moan... pinky swear.

Spend a few hours at the Luxembourg Gardens. It's free and the people watching is AMAZING. We sat by the pond and sketched the palace. So lovely.  There's also a toilet nearby:)

We didn't tour it. But got lots of shots out front... and people watching:)

Sainte-Chapelle and Notre Dam are really close to each other. Sainte Chapelle was unbelievable.  If you love stained glass windows you'll be in AWE.  Even if you don't you'll be in awe;)  There's an ice cream shop between the two churches called the Berthillon that's highly rated.  I thought it was just okay:) Make sure to visit Au Vieux Paris D'Arcole.  It's an adorable little coffee shop that's an instagrammers dream. 

Close to this area along the Seine was some street vendors.  This is where we got some original art and old postcards.  And just down the street was Maggie's favorite place I think on the whole trip, the famous Shakespeare and Company, arguably the most famous independent bookstore in the world!! It was super crowded, hot and claustrophic to me, but my girl could have spend the ENTIRE day in a corner reading:/  Make sure to buy a book. They stamp the inside. Oh and snap a pic out the second floor window...I took one, but you need to go yourself:) It's a great shot of Notre Dame...just don't get caught. Pics are forbidden. 

Just around the corner past the book store was a charming little store that sold music boxes.  We got a sweet souvenir for Felicity that played La vie en Rose.

The Touilleries were pretty and there was an ice cream vendor that did ice cream in the shape of a flower.  That was fun. Maggie dropped hers, but it was so good she picked it up and scrapped off the icky parts and finished it!!  So that says something;)  If we would have kept walking straight we would have hit the Champs-Elysees (think Rodeo drive) and the famous Triomphe.

But we got off the path making a bee line straight for the Eiffel Tower.  Which, if Brian was there, we would have seen at night. That's supposed to be amazing! It lights up every hour on the hour, but it didn't get dark in Paris until after 10 pm and it was reallllly far from our airbnb, so that was a safety call. If I could do that over again I would have just taken pics of it at the Triomphe and skipped getting close. Lots of sketchy people there and it was one of the places we were approached.

Our one misstep was not seeing La Basilique du Sacré Cœur de Montmartre to the fullest.  We took a cab ride to the steps and it was so busy that we kind of wandered off and didn't stick around exploring.  Apparently there's a lot of artists doing portraits and it's really charming, but we totally missed exploring it fully. UGH! Instead we ended up wandering down some side street and then got into kind of a shady area that had big bins of discount clothing, and then that turned into a red light area with sex shops and finally Moulin Rouge. It's just not my scene.  So a redo is in order some day.  Some other things we didn't have time for was the Le Marais district (fun district with lots of boutiques), the Galeries Lafayette (giant shopping mall), Versailles (the royal palace about an hour train ride from Paris), Mosque and the Palace Jardin.  Actually there were about a million things we didn't have time for. Many of them are still pinned in my Google Maps folder.  Ahhhhh next time!

Eyes open:)

Keep your head up and pay attention.  There were some creepy men that eyeballed us.  Just be alert. I bought mace, but chickened out bringing it because the airlines prohibited it. I think you can get it there.  It would be a nice thing to have if you were alone.

Keep your phone in your hand or zipped in your purse.  It's a common thing to have it snatched, so don't lay it down on a table, put it in your pocket or use it on the metro. We got insurance on our phones before we left.

Don't fall for scams... random people coming up to you asking if you speak English.  I said no we do not and kept moving along.  It felt really rude, but unless I initiated a conversation I didn't speak to strangers.  It only happened a few times.

Take away... 

WE ADORED PARIS! It was so much more than what we thought.  It felt pretty safe because I was alert. It was fairly easy to navigate. The people were kind. The food was amazing. The sights unbelievable.  I loved how it felt slow and leisurely. People were very engaged with each other.  Lots of eye contact and meaningful conversations. I didn't see a lot of phones in hand.  Maybe I noticed that more because my phone never left mine;) True confessions of a snap-aholic.  Bottom line we can't wait to go back someday. Now that I have an idea of what to do it will be so much fun playing tour guide for Felicity and Brian.

Thanks for coming with us:)
Emily Leonard's South of France art retreat up NEXT!!

Have a blessed day!

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