Thursday, July 31, 2008

Paris - Boston

The Paris to Boston flight was perfect .. 7 hr power nap ..
Arrived on time and made my hotel by 5:30pm.
Robbie is off for a couple of days diving on Santa Catalina Island,
26 mls off the So. Cal coast. She took the afternoon express out of Dana Point harbour to Avalon.

Just a few sail boats at Dana Point ..The Casino at the tip of Avalon bay. (Avalon at night)I'm in Billerica today (Thursday) we have our annual "Grilling on the River" party tonight, weather permitting.
Should arrive LAX; 10:35am Friday. A 7:35am flight out of Boston, so its another early start. (4:30ish)
BBQ this weekend with friends and family ...

Monday, July 28, 2008

Orleans; Loire Valley Geography

Short Geography orientation: Loire Valley - Orleans, about 130 km SW of Paris.
NB: spelling I see; Loir & Loiret -Loire is foremost usage.

View Larger Map
As you enter the city from the east, on the north bank of the Loire is the Fresh Produce Market. Alive with; Farmers – Market Gardeners and locals (route N152) narrow street next to river before the main bridge.

Weekend in the Loire Valley ....( Fini )

France in summer .. must have Sun-Flowers:.... One with a Bee in her bonnet:..... A The (tea) shope in Gien... Saturday 1/2 day closing and closed on Sunday. Cela est la vie.Boats on the river Loire, in Orleans

Pictures and video posted on:

Weekend in the Loire Valley, Chateauneuf s L

Saturday: .. RED Saturday, one of the worst travel days as 1000’s of holiday makers head south (on the main roads). Fortunately, I’m scooting along the rural roads, skirting the banks of the river Loire. A short drive from; Combreux to Chateauneuf-sur-Loire. I love this small town, great main street, just the right size. A little more than a village, a Chinese restaurant a big plus, but has only 17 Boulangerie (bakery store) ..
There is an old Law in France: any male over the age of 7, must, by Law, carry a minimum of: Deux Baguette (2 loafs of bread) when walking in public before Noon.

What a great place to lose track of time and "Slooooow down" ... 24/7 is not the only way ...

Friday, July 25, 2008

Weekend Plans

Home for the next 6 days; No. 10 at the: Aubrege de Combreux
This weekend (start of the Holiday Month in France) I plan to explore the Loire Valley, main town in the region is Orleans. From Combreux a short drive to: Chateauneuf-sur-Loire, sounds exotic .. translates to "Newcastle" on the Loire" Working my way up river to Orleans .. at least its a plan, lets see how it works out ....
A little after 9:30pm, as the lights come on ....
Saturday morning .. "Bonjour" .. "Bonjour" (Owner of the "Inn")

Boston to Paris

Flap your wings for 6 hrs. and you arrive Paris, 7:35am. I’m convinced that Charles De Gaulle Airport (Chuck or CDG) is some kind of twisted revenge for Waterloo .. not a user friendly airport.
Traffic is bad, just sign up for it and take your lumps as you crawl south of Paris. Starting to thin out now.

Picture perfect day: 9:34am and 77F ... GPS is a MUST have!
Now we hit some open road, A6 .. this is a toll road so be sure you have Cash (Euros) or European smart Credit Card!
Cruse at 130+ and before you know it .....
Open country and treelined roads ... France framland at its best.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

LAX - Boston - Paris

The weekend evaporated, into a faded memory as 4:00am Monday morning arrived. Pick up at 4:30am, next stop LAX and flight AA222 to Boston ... couple of days in town then off to Paris Wed. evening.
The price of the "Big Dig".... reminds me Singapore's Peoples Action Party (PAP) Pay And Pay Just as I exit the tunnel .. the heavens open ..The Sky's clear and I head over to Lowell .. not a great looking restaurant / take away, but great food .. a very pleasant surprise.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Beach Dive

Sunday morning, 6:00am: .. Robin (wife) and Bill (Evi's husband) headed of to Crescent in Laguna Beach .. for a Beach Entry Dive. (I made sure the couch didn't move while watching the "Tour De France")
Robin's just had 6 weeks of Boat Diving in Hawaii. On Thursday she made a boat dive at: Anacapa, the closest of Channel island,12 miles from Oxnard. (about 1 1/2 drive north from our home) Anacapa is famous for its Arch Rock. Robin reports GREAT diving and an abundance of sea life (yes COLD water).
Map image
Dive gear; cleaned and washed, drip drying ..bdgd1
This is an "OLD" 2nd Stage, I designed and built while working at US Divers. 20 years and sill going, a very easy breather.
The Old and the New; Robbie's new Dive Computer Console.
With the gear drying, and a long chat with our neighbors John & Peggy .. (John has a boat, so you can see where that's going) .. Now its Pu-Erh time ..

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Blog Surfing and Toy/Model Cars

Salut; fervent de voiture de jouet.... Spending some of my time in France coupled with spending more time in the US .. a few serendipitous events collided. Years back,1990 ish, the kids, a couple of friends and myself started building and racing 1:24 scale "Slot-Cars" .. that's about 2X Scalextric scale.( ) Track1
Our local (about a 45 min drive) Race track is: ( admittedly its been a few year since we were weekend race warriors. StorefrontWorlds2
"Googling" this week I came across this BLOG: ( ) a few e-mails with: Matthieu Carel, aka Attila .. got me energized to drag out the slots cars and post these pic's. It is amazing the world appeal of this fun hobby .. I pen-palled with a chap in Japan for a number years. He owned his own track/business and was a 1:1 enthusiast of British (Jaguar) cars, with quite a collection.
Pictures of his track and Slot Cars: ....
If your into spending a lot of money, on toys and tools this is the hobby for you. It looks fairly innocent, but it involves all the basic stuff: electrical, and electronics, painting, soldering, frame building, plastics shaping, traction control, aerodynamics, track doping, etc.
You need a Variable Power Source .. This is over the top .. but its a hobby not a justifiable expense.DSC04695  A portable tool kit for a day at the races ..... (one of two)
DSC04696 Custom built Car Transporter .. this carries 31 cars and few odds-&-ends
DSC04698 Small tech point.. Car power sources are small Magnetic motors .. paramount to use Wood/ Plastics for Transporters & tool boxes....
DSC04707 $$$ Reference for Scale. the size is stable but the Value is Low!
DSC04706 Some of the Cars ....
DSC04701 Dragsters are GREAT FUN ..
DSC04703 In Scale Minis are difficult on a road course, but FUN on a Drag Strip
DSC04702 Under the bonnet.. custom Wire Chassis
DSC04704 Commercial PARMA Chassis

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Diving Ni'ihau

Ni'ihau Island, about 25km SW off the west coast of Kauai. 

HAWAII_islandsRobbie managed Five dives at Ni'ihau .. with a life time experience diving with a 24 foot Whale Shark .. on two separate trips.

Heather Jean .. on board (she's been adopted by the crew)bloghjboatRobbie and Crew (her dive buddies)......blogdb1Jake gets a bite ....... blogjb Keyhole on Ni'ihau .....blognkholeDramatic end as Rock meets Surfblogndram