Saturday, December 5, 2015

Season of Visitations - a report abridged

Fall 2015 was the season to be filled with visitations.  Here's a brief run-down on who came through town and what we did together.

Visitation One - The wonderful Miz Kitty alerted us that friends of her's were coming over for a visit.  We shared contact information and when Dina and Bill showed up we were ready share with them a little of Our World.  They were to start off our Season of Visitations.

We were happy that le Cafe du Commerce was serving decent food, and we ate and drank our way through lunch all the while making new friends.  After catching up on the latest news from the Old Country, they wanted to see the Eiffel Tower.  So we went for a nice walk up the street and around the corner to the Champs de Mars.  Bill could take photos (he's a camera nut, too).  By the end Dina promised to send Jude a few Rincola cough drops as a thank you for our hospitality.

Visitation Two - Daniel, Jude's son, and his partner were here for a 9 day visit.  It was a Whirl Wind visit to everything they could take in.  It was crazy nuts good.

We took the Cars Rouge (they're called something else now) to share an oversight of the city.  We visited the Musee Cluny, the Louvre, and went on a shopping trip through Little Sri Lanka while on our way to visit the Romanesque church that sits up on Montmartre.  We were in Chartres to see the labyrinth and the next day we were off to la porte de Vanves and the marche de puce before going to lunch in our favorite cafe up on rue du Commerce.

The trip was entirely too short.  It was good to see Dan and to get to know his partner better.  We'll be heading back to the States later next year.  Dan proposed marriage under the Eiffel Tower.  How romantic is that???

Visitation Three - Back in the Old Country I have a photographer friend who asked if I'd like to participate in a group of Fellow Nutters.  From there I met many wonderful artists, any of whom remain friends to this day.  Well, they were on their way back to France and were interested in getting together.

Patrick and MaryJo had been visiting places around France and were spending the last of their vacation here in Paris.  So it was easy, we'd meet over lunch and talk about how things are from their perspective back home.  Before lunch we shared with them the beautiful Square Saint-Lambert.

In all we covered a lot of ground in our conversations, shared another wonderful meal, and enjoyed being with people of like mind and similar spirit.

Visitation Four - In the Old Country I was hired several times by an engineering manager at various times in my career as a software engineer and program manager.  Creig Smith is a Prince of a Man and we share a surprisingly deep history of work and business travel together.  He took me to India, which led to my many year involvement with an engineering center in Bangalore.  He took me to Tokyo, which led to a several year involvement with an engineering center there, too.  He and I worked to develop, plan, and then execute several far-reaching software initiatives, one of which led to the direct contribution to the bottom line of $3billion over a 10 year period.

When Creig said he was coming to town for a business meeting, I knew I'd finally have a chance to thank him for all he did for me.

Back to the favored lunch spot we went.  All around town we visited.  Talk.  Talk.  Talk.  It was wonderful to catch up on old time and to remember we have more than a few deep relationships of meaning and value.

Visitation Five - My brother and father were in Spain and Jude and I made arrangements to see them in Madrid while they were on their homeward leg of their journey.  I'd not seen my family in over a year, so this was a good and important trip to make.

To take in a museum we hadn't seen the first time we were in Madrid Jude and I showed up a day early.  But with this came the incredible adventure (previously recounted here) and with this, start of our visit under less than the Best of Circumstances.

Still, we were able to visit the surprisingly good naval history museum (near the Prado museum) and to visit the incredible Palace.  Everyone seemed to enjoy everything we took in.  It was an incredibly short two days, and we knew we were headed back into a War Zone.

Mystery Solved - For several weeks we received telephone calls telling us we had a package to pick up, but I could never write the telephone number down fast enough.  I never knew when a call would come in, either.  We had enough solicitors calling to keep things really mixed up.  I could never anticipate the weird "you have a package" call.

Just this week we received a ring on our entry door buzzer and it was our facture/postman.  He had a package for us.  I went down to collect it and he was apologetic about the lateness of the delivery.  He said "we've been trying to call you."

Ah ha!  You're the ones who've been bugging me.  This is great!  Well, what's in the package?  It was Jude's Rincola cough drops and a nicely framed photograph of Jude and I.  Dina had been as good as her word.  What a wonderful surprise!

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