Archive for February 25th, 2018

February 25, 2018

Some distant cities in the USA!

Ok on a Sunday evening, I kind of becoming nostalgic and try to remember places I have been in the USA but not lived. Well , if read my blog ,you know I lived in New Jersey and Florida for a total of 31 years…. yes.

However, I did went out to other areas and can’t believe very little pictures or memories that can be recall now. These areas were Boston, Washington DC ,Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Richmond/Midlothian, New York, and Omaha ,Nebraska, also Chicago. Then, from France, I did visit San Francisco for a week and again little pictures. These were older times before blogging and love of pictures.

I used to collect post cards and have still over 4000 of them from about 79 countries. Once, began to like photos ,stop collecting postcards. In the switch something go lost…

Maybe the kind readers of my blog can help me remember some of these places. Just let it all out !!!

I will start with Boston, I remember going to Brighton. It must have been many many years back, as one of my cousins was going to marry someone from there, (which eventually did not lol!!) We met the family,stayed in their home, and got a car tour of the city center, even to Harvard and MIT campuses. It is said that it was later had the area change to become Cambridge and the part of old Brighton became part of the city of Boston in 1874 as a neighborhood. Brighton/Allston (aka Brighton, MA and Allston, MA, 2 subdivisions of Boston proper) are known for their large population of students. Boston University and Boston College bookend the Brighton/Allston neighborhood. Found out here: https://www.bostonusa.com/about-boston/boston-neighborhoods/brighton-allston/

Then, it was Pittsburgh, I remember staying in the Hilton by the water point across from Three rivers stadium as 3 rivers do meet at the point (Allegheny,Monongahela,and Ohio). We went up in a group of friends up to Liberty avenue and had a good time indeed… the hotel was tops first time staying in a fancy hotel it was an experience. There was the Three Rivers Park and then the Point Park with lush looks over the rivers. I believe the hotel name has been change, do not recall been a Garden, just a plain Hilton back then in and around 1984 ::) I believe this was the hotel:  http://hiltongardeninn3.hilton.com/en/hotels/pennsylvania/hilton-garden-inn-pittsburgh-downtown-PITFAGI/index.html

I like to tell you about Omaha ,Nebraska. This was way back to around 1984/85 and believe me the city was pretty serious not much to do then watch an American football game, and of course go Cornhuskers! I remember was there trying to become an insurance salesperson right out of college, and the company well still there ,as of 2017, Mutual of Omaha holds the 367th rank on Fortune 500’s top companies !! but did not stayed with them lol! We stayed in a nice hotel ,can’t remember the name, and ate in fancy restaurant taken a taxi with a group of us but do not remember the restaurant name lol!  Ok got one picture of the training class, hope somebody remembers me not sorry.

Omaha

Class training MO Omaha I am on left

Chicago, went part of the same training class as Omaha, it was the first test and we were put in an hotel by the waterfront can’t even remember the name. WE were just in the hotel for about 3 days with all day testings. But again , I was there ::)  The class picture here:

Washington DC was even older, it was a high school trip to see the Smithsonian Institute complex of museums, very nice air museum there is all I can remember. It was a bus tour for a day, and all I know we had a great time on the bus !!! I came back later with my mother to do some paperwork but also a roundtrip in one day. just can say, I were here ! https://www.si.edu/museums

Going from high school in NJ to university in FL did by bar cheapest and awesome ride along the I-95. Well my car a Chevrolet Monte Carlo 1977 had break problem from the factory, and I was left without breaks near Richmond VA. The tow truck from the highway took me to Martin Chevrolet in downtown Richmond and there was taken care by Sales Manager Ray Palmer. The part needed to be ordered from Petersburg down south a bit so needed an overnight stay. The gracious Mr Palmer took me to his house!! his older son was hunting in the VA mountain and slept in his room! played Atari games with the younger son , got dinner and breakfast with the family, got my car fix at no cost, not even for the tow truck; and went on my way. Amazing good Samaritan gesture, and I kept in touch with uncle Ray for many years. Even from France, he was 81 and retired, now handling his farm of 100 cows near Midlothian west of Richmond, this was a couple years ago. I need to get back at him. Anyway I did not see much of Richmond other than the dealer. It was at Cowardin ave US301, and now I read is the Richmond Christian Center !!!

Back in around 1980, while in university got a tour of the Delta airlines facilities at Atlanta international airport and stayed at a Days Inn. The fun part was the bus and me waking up everybody at 6h when we needed to get out at 8h, I just fake the school guide voice over the phone and got everyone up earlier ,terrible feeling lol!! The Delta L-1011 airplane were cool. indeed. The hotel is shown with Wyndham webpage but I believe it was this one:  https://www.wyndhamhotels.com/days-inn/college-park-georgia/days-inn-and-suite-college-park-atlanta-airport-west/overview

Atlanta

Me ready to take off Delta L 1011 jet

Atlanta

people mover transport at Atlanta Hartsfield Inter Airport and me

Atlanta

bus trip rest stop and me indulging to Atlanta HIA

atlanta

breakfast at the Days Innn airport Atlanta with buddies me on right bottom maybe

Atlanta

hangar Delta L 1011 Atlanta HIA

I went several times with my father to Philadelphia as he had business there and I accompany him. We were on the road selling to grocery stores, discount,convenience stores and went in the city along Broad and Market Street that I can remember. I was still a teenager and later took my first car ride getting lost into the city, a State trooper police help me out get out lol! terrible times I know…..::) We never stayed in hotels ,these were just in and out same day trips.

Then, it was New York, well this was across the street I mean the Hudson river, and my first going trip just fresh from my driver’s license was to see Yankee Stadium in the Bronx! well on the way back read above the end in Philadelphia along the Garden State Parkway!! Here went also by bus to Shea Stadium in the Queens borough and had a train ride on the World Trade Center to see the Yankees again (of course unfortunately the old World Trade Center, it was destroyed by terrorists attacks). Then, went several time for dance clubs and just plain ride even by car on those crazy young days always lots of fun . Went to Madison Square Garden to see the NY Knicks basketball and NY Rangers ice hockey lol! great times. And waited New Year’s in time Square and skated in Rockefeller center , and did my walks in Central Park. I again help my father go into the meat market area around 14st and the Bronx Terminal Market for groceries for our store in NJ. This was tough wakeup at 4am all day work…but it help my future face to reality in the real world. Also, spent my high school senior class trip at the Rocky Horse Ranch in the mountains with horse rides and wild pool activities which cannot mention here lol! Which I see now is an all inclusive resort of world renown wow!! here is the webpage:  http://www.rockinghorseranch.com/

New York

Rocky Horse Ranch graduating class HS77 me on right cheap camera!

Of course, if I drove to college along I -95 I passed by many states, and several times stop for a night sleep at South Carolina or Georgia or Virginia. I passed from New Jersey to Delaware, Maryland, W DC, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. The trip took from 17-20 hrs depending on the driving ::) did that twice in the summer and twice at Christmas every year for 4 years! In Virginia I stopped around Emporia, South Carolina around Santee, and Georgia around Savannah or Brunswick.

While coming and going from college, I did rode with a college buddy to drop him off at Lancaster, PA on the I-83 to York and then the US30 to Lancaster. I continue on the D30 to Downingtown to connect with the I-95 home north of Philadelphia. Those were the roaring days on the road. Or put your pedal to the metal and rock !!!

I even did a post here in my blog on the trip to San Francisco but no photos. I spent a week there at the Hotel Nikko and got around to Pier 39, the Golden Gate bridge, and Union square area, several places;road the tramway trolley cars, and ate at Bastille Cafe, and John’s Grill where the Maltese Falcon movie was filmed part of it.

So sad, no wonder nowadays we keep things better with better technology, back them paper photos were shuffle in moves, and I do average one every 5 years ! so thinks gets lost or trip where a camera was not necessary as was thinking more postcards. Well you get the picture, any heads up on the places is appreciated for my memories of the good old days ::) Enjoy your week, mine is tomorrow yikes! Cheers!!!!

February 25, 2018

Vannes, it’s fortified history of the Middle Ages!

So here I am finally at home, and looking at the news oh well glacial cold is coming up to -15C in some parts, and preparations underway to face it. We have our heating up earlier because its beginning to be felt. Snow is forecast for Thursday too! as the whole week is going to be very cold. That is for France too ,mind you.

Anyway just a tidbit of information. I was yesterday and this morning with the family again by our glorious little Capital city Vannes. It always amazed me the multitude of towers and rampart wall from the middle ages while looking at it , they seems to be done yesterday.

From the magnificent tour du Connetable or Constable tower and the surrounding garden of the Garenne, the famous lavoir or laundry, the ruins of the old castle, the walls and the sights of history are just phenomenal.

The ramparts of Vannes were built in the 3-7C to protect the city founded by the Romans in the end of the 1C under the rule of Auguste. This first protection was the only one for the city for more than 1000 years!  At the times of duke John IV (Jean IV) at the end of the 14C, the city has extended to the south to protect its new districts. The duke came to have his residence here and wanted to have a stronghold to protect him in case of conflict.  The town had grown to double its size and the new fortress of the Hermine was added.

The spurs of the Garenne was the last defensive work built here in 1630. From 1670, king Louis XIV sell piece by piece the ramparts in order to raise money for his campaigns of war; the most important of which was in 1697 when the ruins of the Castle of Hermine, was used the stones to built the port and other buildings. By the 19C, many sections were also destroyed in the north and west. It took the turn of the porte Prison or prison gate partially destroyed in 1886 and one of the oldest access tot he town to make the people react to save the ramparts  and create and association in 1911 to do so. The works continues today, making it the key to the local heritage seen by tourists and locals alike; making the ramparts one of the rare urban fortifications still existing today in all of Brittany.

From the bell tower of the old Chapel now part of the middle/high school Jules Simon; to the Port area Porte Saint Vincent , you walk into another world, one that has remained intact since the Middle Ages and wooden houses as far back as the 14C still remaining.  Most of it encircled by the beltway road boulevard de la Paix and rue Thiers.

You have the wonderful laundry or lavoir with their long roof, raised along the creek La Marie in early 19C, can’t missed it by the Garenne river out of the Porte Poterne where you can even drive a car thru still, just did !

You get great views from the gardens garenne to the Cathedral St Peter and over afar to the St Patern Church (the oldest in Vannes), as well as the fortification walls and the towers, just a magical ensemble.

Vannes VAnnes Vannes Vannes Vannes

In French, the tourist office has a walk to guide you, if on short time. Here it is; http://www.tourisme-vannes.com/voir-faire/balades-et-randonnees/circuit-patrimoine/243972-balade-en-ville-les-fortifications

And if in town by June 2018, you can even do a running trail marathon around the ramparts too!  You need to sign up and have a medical certificate to run. More here in French http://www.trailvannes.fr/

And if you like gardening and the location of the Garenne garden with your back to the ramparts and towers , unique. See the event  Côté Jardin , on May 5-6 2018. More in French here: http://www.vannescotejardin.fr/

The city of Vannes has plenty on the remparts here in French, I believe you can translate with google. http://www.mairie-vannes.fr/vannesdecouverte/histoire-et-patrimoine/qr-patrimoine/les-remparts-en-detail/

Tourist office general view on Vannes in English: http://en.tourisme-vannes.com/discover/vannes

Tourist office in general by the department 56 Morbihan in English: http://www.morbihan-tourism.co.uk/home/discover/morbihan/the-main-destinations/vannes

Tourist office in general of the Region of Brittany in English: http://www.brittanytourism.com/discover-our-destinations/southern-brittany-morbihan-gulf/unmissable-sites/vannes

There you have it, another look at beautiful medieval small enough to hug and kiss Vannes. or GWENED in the Breton language ::) kenavo!

February 25, 2018

The shopping in Vannes, market and else!

I  have written several articles on market shopping especially in my new area of the Morbihan Breton. They never stop amazing my family, we just simply love them. We do most of our food shopping in them, and the misc extra in the supermarket.

Yesterday and today morning (Saturday and Sunday) we did some wonderful shopping in our capital city of Vannes; where most of the shopping is located, and I work just outside in a castle ruins (1504) complex.

We get up and go by 9h and always find parking at the parking République that for less than 3 euros a day will do nicely across the market.  Down across rue Thiers we head to rue Le Hellec into the place du Poids Public , a great space of delicious goodies. Also, many stores like bakeries, butcher, fish market and the wonderful Halle aux Poissons fish hall now under renovations. Right into the Place de la Poissonnerie/rue de la Poissonnerie. This goes back into rue Saint Vincent,now under renovation of the brick stones on the street.

Vannes

However, the best is to go up from Place du Poids Public into the Place des Lices; another wonderful square full of shops even Belgian chocolates, souvenirs of Brittany, and fish canning store,not to mention anything to outfit your family and house.  This continues into the Place Lucien Laroche with stands all over.

We got our mangos, avocados, raspberries, bananas, red/green peppers, clementine, dates, prunes, and next door to the stand a farmer’s hen roasted to perfection. Salads greens, sweet potatoes, and pumpkin.

In my opinion is the best market in Brittany and we have been to all if not most of them already. Very well can match our beloved market of Notre Dame in Versailles… and that is saying a lot ::) The market here in Vannes are held on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 8h to 13h30 ; the city page in French has better information for the open air market or “Marchés de plein air” ;  http://www.mairie-vannes.fr/vannesdecouverte/marches/

Vannes

And as the link above tells you in “Halles”, there is a wonderful covered market that is open every day with over 30 merchants inside. This is the Halles des Lices as it is right in the Place des Lices; the back street is the ramparts of the old town.  The hours here change with some holidays ,but usually they are open Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays (until 19h), and Sundays from  8h- 14h, closed Mondays.

We had here our oysters and shrimp on the Les Viviers des lices in the covered market Halles des Lices, nice folks, the oysters were open for us !!! Here they are in the webpage for the covered market under Poissonneries ; http://www.halles-des-lices.fr/   If you are staying in the area and need to buy already done even cook to order, the contacts are here:  David LANAU Tel mob +33 (0) 6 64 19 60 50; E-mail :lesviviersdeslices@orange.fr

We, also,got our breads au fournil Breton in the covered market slices to order with sesame seeds! and of course the baguette!

Vannes

Right behind the Cathedral St Pierre (St Peter) at 4 rue des Chanoines you have a wonderful store for home decorations and furniture  with 300 m2 of space of changing modes according to season, call simply NOX; more on the store here: https://noxdeco.com/vannes/

Another nice one we go and long time here is Olivier Desforges at 22 rue Saint Vincent right by the market.  The accessories for the house from towels to linen, all tops. More even in English here: https://en.olivierdesforges.fr/storelocator/vannes-14.html

Another for home deco we like is L’échoppe at 15 rue des Halles off the place des lices into a laberinth of middle ages wooden houses! lamps,sofas, furniture in general, table décor in an ali baba bazaar (their words). More here: http://www.lechoppevannes.fr/

We came back on way home to finish our shopping in our favorite hypermarket Carrefour at Avenue de la Marne, where we purchased the misc groceries like papers, cleaners, shampoos etc webpage here: http://www.carrefour.fr/magasin/vannes

And just recently with even a Facebook page lol!!! https://www.facebook.com/centrecommercialvannes/

Now ,we do eat most of the time out. We did stop to try a new place here for us. Columbus Café, I figure from the name it had an international feeling for it, but is a complete French chain. The one in Vannes is very nice , right on rue du Mené and right next to a couple usual stores for us , Monoprix department store !, and Bouchara (old eurodif stores) home deco stores. Their local links to follow.

https://www.bouchara.com/boutiques/vannes

https://www.monoprix.fr/mono-vannes-vannes-56000-s

vannes

More on Columbus Café; the service was very nice,and the products of high quality and reasonable price. We had our old time favorite pastrami bagel sandwich, a huge chuck of raspberry cheesecake and coca cola, we each had different menus, we end up with a huge mocha coffee all came to about 12.50€ per person. There are square tables by the counter area and then lounge low tables and seat on a side room all facing the street. We sat on a window facing the Monoprix store. Their official webpage is here: http://www.columbuscafe.com/columbus-cafe-vannes/

And,also, a good Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/columbuscafevannes/

Vannes

Some other nice places to eat I can tell you here are the Lecocq & Folks restaurant at 5 rue Saint Vincent ,almost at the foot of the gate or porte Saint Vincent to entered old town. This is a bistronomic style restaurant held by brother and sister! Here is their Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/LeComptoirVannes/

You have the Di’Vin, at 15 bis rue Noé right by the place du poids public in a wooden house  very fesh cuisines and great deco on the old town quaint place. http://www.restaurant-divin-vannes.fr/

Moulin du Roy at 14 place Gambetta ,just outside the Porte Saint Vincent facing the port marina , the Breton cuisine with burgers and chip and fish and great people watcher place ! http://www.lemoulinduroy.fr/

Next to it is the L’Atlantique, facing the  port marina Le Port, and a seafood lovers heaven !!!https://www.facebook.com/Restaurant-latlantique-vannes-345170025543195/

Anna & Paul, 23 place du Général de Gaulle, in the old town section too near the government building prefecture, this is a couple and the name is after their kids. very homey welcome and good food, most is made in house, and good prices for a gourmand dinner or lunch. http://annaetpaul.com/

Bibovino at 18 Emile Burgault right up in old town on the way to the Cathedral. Great combination of food and wines!  Wonderful planchas of seafood, and great wines choices. https://www.bibovino.fr/content/45-bibovino-vannes

And of course, if coming my homey way then come to the winner (recognize by TF1 French tv as one of the best deals) The Crêperie du Château in a castle yes Château de Rimaison right at the entrance to my town entrance by the 7 rue de Landaul, Pluvigner. Great galettes Breton, beers and cider of the country all especially chosen by the owners who are from Vannes ! http://lacreperieduchateau.blogspot.fr/

And the Chateau info here: http://chateauderimaison.blogspot.fr/

There you go, a wonderful day and is not over yet. Wishing you and yours a happy Sunday, happy travels and especially great health. Cheers!!

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