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September 2016 - USA, France

France | Paris | Port de l'Arsenal-La Bastille | Artemis in final wintering berth

September 30, 2016

All Depp arrived tonight finally so we are tied alongside her now for the winter. Unfortunately she didn't arrive yesterday afternoon as we were told. It was a beautiful afternoon and we spent it waiting for her to arrive. Tuesday and Wednesday we worked on the starboard teak toe rail and it looks pretty good! We wanted it done before All Depp arrived because it is now shaded most of the day and it would be harder to dry. Now we'll have to look for a nice two day weather window and do the port toe rail. Yesterday we went on a 6 mile hike around town. We went to a fantastic piano recital at Espace George Bernanos near Gare Lazare. Great walking through these neighborhoods again. Some wonderful selection of music based on folksongs and dances by Chopin and Lizet. We went to the Louvre and renewed our membership so now we are ready for our many visits. Nice walk back to the boat.

France | Paris | Port de l'Arsenal - La Bastille | Artemis along the quay and park

France | Paris | Notre Dame Cathedral

September 27, 2016

Al finished up the teak decks today with teak sealer. Next touching up the teak rail and eyebrow. Yesterday we worked in the morning and then went for a picnic lunch in gardens at Notre Dame Cathedral. We like to pick up a fresh baguette and brings ham, cheese, tomato and fruit to enjoy outside with this lovely weather. Enjoyed the street musician as we ate.

France | Paris | the Pantheon

France | Paris | Luxembourg Gardens and Luxembourg Palace

France | Paris | Luxembourg Gardens

France | Paris | Hotel de Ville

We then crossed the river and went by the Pantheon on our way to Luxembourg Gardens. We went inside last year. Pantheon is the crypt for well known French figures Victor Hugo, Marie Curie, Alexander Dumas... Perfect Fall weather. We people watched for an hour or so in the gardens. No little sailboats today. The flowers are still gorgeous and the palm trees and other summer decorative shrubs are still in place. I suppose they'll be moving them inside soon for the winter. Lovely evening so we grilled some chicken pieces.

France | Paris | Promenade Plantee - walkway above Avenue Daumesnil

After morning work today we ran some errands. First I went to the grocery store and had to come back home for some money! Hmmmm guess I always have Al along to pay. Then after lunch we decided to walk the Promenade Plantee and go to the hardware store. I had to go back after the camera and then nearly to the Promenade Al remembered he hadn't switched over his wallet. So back to the boat Al went while I waited. Half hour later he still hadn't returned. Turns out the marina was moving a boat alongside us and fortunately Al showed up to protect Artemis. One way to get our extra steps in. We were a bit disappointed with the Promenade Plantee as last Spring there were so many flowering shrubs, trees and flowers. It's still a lovely shaded walkway above the streets along the old railway bed but few flowers this time of year. . Lots of people walking, jogging or stopping to eat lunch on one of the many benches along the way. We plan to grill again tonight. Just love this sunny warm weather!

September 25, 2016

Fun to be back in Paris. We went to mass at St. Josephs Church near the Arc de Triomphe this morning. We were surprised to see no traffic on Champs Elysees. Evidently in was a Europe wide Day without Cars event to reduce smog. We enjoyed the quiet walk down the avenue to Concorde. We stopped in Tuileries Garden for an apple snack enjoying the birds. Unfortunately is started to sprinkle so we thought it best to head back to the boat. We walked through the Louvre courtyards and made it to Hotel de Ville before we called it quits and hopped on a train. Who would have thought those beautiful morning skies would bring rain! So no umbrellas or raincoats.

France | Paris | Arc du Triompe

France | Paris | Tuileries Garden

France| Paris | Tuileries Garden | starlings

France | Paris | Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel

France | Paris | Louvre Museum

France | Paris | Place de Concorde fountain

France | Paris | Louvre Pyramid

September 24, 2016

Another beautiful morning. We were out on the river by 0715. Very interesting traveling along St. Denis Island as very large and some very decrepit looking live aboard barge boats are rafted 3 and 4 deep. Kind of like a "shanty town" At one point Al wasn't sure if we could make it through. Obviously the normal river traffic went down the other side of the island.

France | River Seine | Paris | Suresnes Locks| Artemis exit locks La Defense behind

France | River Seine | Paris | La Defense | skyscrapers of Paris

We reached our final river lock at Suresnes just after La Defense, Paris about 1030. Now comes the fun part of the trip traveling through Paris. Lots of choppy waves because of river traffic and areas busy with sailing, rowing, kayaking, and water skiers on this beautiful Saturday morning. So Al was busy dodging crazy frenchmen out having fun while I snapped away at the sights.

France | River Seine | Paris | Artemis Statue of Liberty and Eiffel Tower

France | River Seine | Paris | d'Orsay Museum

France | River Seine | Paris | Louvre Museum

France | River Seine| Paris | Ile de la Cite | Notre Dame Cathedral

France | River Seine | Paris | Ile de la Cite | Notre Dame Cathedral

France | River Seine | Paris | Entrance off river to locks for Port de l'Arsenal-Bastille

First the Statue of Liberty, Eiffel Tower, museums awesome bridges, Notre Dame and then finally the entrance and lock to our marina Port Paris-de l'Arsenal- La Bastille.

France | River Seine | Port de l'Arsenal-La Bastille | Crack bottle of champagne

France | River Seine | Paris | Port de l'Arsenal-La Bastille | Toast Arrival

We arrived about 12:15 and are alongside the quay until All Depp the boat we were moored alongside last winter returns. Out came the champagne (gift from Bob and Janice) and we toasted the end of our 11th cruising season living aboard Artemis and to our future adventures.

France | River Seine | Chatou Locks

Sept. 23, 2016

Finally a no fog morning and we got an early start up river about 0720, We didn't have to wait for the Andresy lock which was great! But our next lock at Bougival was another story. We kept calling the lock keeper but no answer and the double red lights indicated he wasn't preparing a lock for us. Finally we decided to take an alternate channel to Chatou locks 4km further. We had to wait 15min for lock to open. We got situated and a long barge came in opposite us and another pleasure boat behind. Then the lockmaster told us to move 30m ahead as a Cruise boat was coming! Not fun and now we were situated in the front of the lock where most of the surging waves occurs as the lock fills.

France | River Seine | Rueil-Malmaison | Artemis overnight pontoon

France | River Seine | Rueil | fountain above the pontoon

Oh well finally out and on our way only now we had to travel 4km down the island then 4km back up the other side to the island to get to our stopping place for the night at Rueil-Malmaison. Beautiful pontoon and lovely evening. We grilled steaks and plan to head 45km to our final destination in Paris Port de Paris-l'Arsenal tomorrow.

September 22, 2016

France | River Seine | Vernon | Artemis in Fog leaving for 5km bike ride to Giverny

Again we woke to dense fog but we were in no hurry as the museum in Giverny didn't open until 0930. Was interesting watching the big river cruise boats pull away from the quay behind us heading out into the fog. We left the boat in fog on our bicycles but before we reached Giverny the fog had lifted and the sun came out.

We have enjoyed Claude Monet's art especially his garden and lily pond pictures at the Orangerie and d'Orsay Museums in Paris. So moving to walk the paths and sit beside his pond and think of him working there. We arrived early and being later in the season we were fortunate to actually take pictures without a million tourists in them. His house was interesting which was part of our garden ticket. We paid extra for the museum but very little of Monet's work was on display there.

France | River Seine | Giverny | Claude Monet's Lily Pond

France | River Seine | Giverny | looking through willows at Monet's Lily Pond

France | River Seine | Giverny | Monet's Garden

France | River Seine | Giverny | rowboats behind Mone's Lily Pond bridge

France | River Seine | Giverny | another view of the Lily Ponds

France | River Seine | Giverny | streams and walkways around Lily Pond

France | River Seine | Giverny | walkway bridge over streams into Monet's Lily Pond

France | River Seine | Giverny | Museum Garden and haystacks

We left Vernon around noon headed for Port de Plaisance de L'Ilon. The locks at Mericourt are difficult because instead of poured concrete walls they are wide spaced steel pilings. We could have used a fender board here or fenders tied together but we made do fending off with our boat hooks.

We have stayed at Port d'Ilon both last Fall and this Spring. It's a beautiful place but rather a scary entrance the first time you come in. The entrance off the river is narrow and enters a small pool, turn left and trust that up ahead to the right we'll find the marina.

France | River Seine | Port de L'Ilon | entrance off the river

Actually when you turn right you only see a low narrow bridge that appears too low for Artemis to travel under then after the bridge it opens into quite a large basin.

France | River Seine | Mericourt Locks -Port de L'Ilon | little port sign before bridge

The marina is busy making new floating pontoons to replace the very short narrow wobbly ones that exist now. It should be quite nice but then I'm sure the price will go up. Al thought about checking the zincs but worried about going into the water and stray electricity. We took advantage of free electricity and I made an over 4 pound turkey leg/thigh in the pressure cooker. Yummy and lots of leftovers for sandwiches and another couple of suppers!

France | River Seine | Port de Plaisance de L'Ilon

September 21, 2016

France | River Seine | Poses | Busy spiders overnight dense fog

France | River Seine | Poses | Fog lifted but settled back in for good 2 hours

Very dense fog this morning and so still at 0700. It finally appeared to be lifting about 0930 so we left heading up river. Unfortunately the fog set right back in and didn't break until around noon as we came through Les Andelys. Very stressful traveling along the river without radar (no mast no radar). We would keep an eye on AIS for ships and the trees along the banks to know where we were. The chart plotter would tell us when the bends in the river were about to happen.

France | Seine River | Notre Dame de la Garenne Locks

France | River Seine | Vernon | Artemis on quay

It turned into a gorgeous day! Notre Dame de la Garenne Locks had wide spaced bollards too so we used a wall ladder on the stern and bollard on the bow. Glad I had a second bow line prepared as I needed to move the line as the water came up in the lock. We decided to stop in Vernon for the night. We draw too much depth for the small marina across the river in Vernonnet so we pulled into the quay ahead of two river cruise boats rafted in front of Vernon. We talked to the boat captain and also asked at Tourist Information and we were told it was okay to moor there. Yay because we'd been by this town twice and it looked interesting but hadn't stopped. Also Giverny the home of Claude Monet and his famous gardens was just a 5km bike ride away.

France | River Seine | Vernon | Pont de Vernon overlooking Vernonnet

France | River Seine | Vernon | La Collegiale Notre Dame

France | River Seine | Vernonnet | Vieux moulin - Old Mill

France | River Seine | Veronnet | Chateau des Tourelles

We walked about town and crossed the river to take pictures at the Old mill in Vernonnet. We had a nice dinner at Le Bistro des Fleurs. We saw beautiful salads being served that wasn't on the menu so we talked to our waiter that we'd like a salad to share for our starter. Lovely salad with tiny bits of many things...leafy lettuce, avocado, radish, purple onion, tiny grapes, thin pear slices, tiny cherry tomato, and feta. Nice glass of wine. Al's veal was served with fettuccini noodles and my steak with fries. Planning to visit Giverny in the morning before heading up river.

France | River Seine | Amfreville-Poses Locks | moved lines 3 times

France | River Seine | Poses | Artemis overnight landing in front Tourist Information

September 20, 2016

Woke to a foggy morning in Rouen. Fortunately the fog lifted by noon and we departed Port Plaisance de Rouen, Gervais basin at low tide 1400. The tide was still against us for the first half hour but switched and we made it to our first set of locks on the Seine at Amfreville-Poses about 1745. The locks are a little more difficult when locking up river as the wall bollards are spaced too far apart for pleasure boats. But we did fine and Al ran the engine to keep us even in our space. We tied up in front of Tourist Information in Poses as we had been there last Spring. We did see the next day there is a nice pontoon further along the side canal that we could have tied too. We didn't notice it las Spring as other boats were tied there. We had a beautiful quiet evening and grilled burgers with a nice salad.

France | River Seine | Rouen | Le P'tit Auberge Restaurant | Seafood starter

France | River Seine | Rouen | Notre Dame Rouen Cathedral

France | River Seine| Rouen | Eglise St. Maclou at night

Sept. 19, 2016

Had a nice last weekend in Rouen. We made dinner reservations at Le P'tit Auburge near the Cathedral on recommendation from our friends Jim and Kathy on s/y Maggie. Fantastic meal and a wonderful evening out. We had planned to see the light show at the cathedral but enjoyed our meal so much we missed it. We had an excellent seafood platter and escargot for our starters with a bottle of wine. Beautiful and enough seafood for dinner rather than a starter! We followed that with Al's veal filet and my peppercorn steak and bowl of fries to share. Next our waiter came to the table with a huge platter of cheeses and we could each choose 3. If only I could remember the names as they were all excellent. This was followed by a chocolate cake and pear tarte for Al and finally coffee. It was a good thing we had a 45min walk back to the boat! We enjoyed the walk through the city at night and then along the well lit river Seine.

Sunday we rode our bikes in to mass and tried to visit the metal museum but it was closed until 1500. Our friends Bob and Janice arrived in Rouen. They'll be taking their mast down on Friday. We plan to start heading up river to Paris tomorrow.

Sept. 16, 2016

Nice flight back to Paris and bus ride to Rouen. We were back aboard Artemis around 1300 Thursday. She was looking good. Dinner time we decided to walk to Sports Cafe on the river for a pizza as we had no grocerries on board. Friday we were up early preparing Artemis to have the masts pulled. We were glad to have that job done.

France | River Seine | Rouen | timbered buildings near Eglise Jean d'Arc

France | River Seine | Rouen | Church of Jean d'Arc | beautiful stained glass

France | River Seine | Rouen | Beaux Arts Museum

We could now enjoy just being in Rouen. After mass we visited the Beaux Arts Museum and the Impressionist Portrait exhibit. Beautiful park and museum...wonderful exhibit. Stopped at Chez Paul for a coffee and dessert. Did some odd jobs on the boat and got her cleaned up. Al had to spend an hour or so wrapping the spreaders and taking off the furlers for winter storage.

France | River Seine | Rouen | Office of Historic Buildings | ornate copper metalwork

France | River Seine | Rouen | Tower Jean d'Arc

France | River Seine | Rouen | Palace of Justice

France | River Seine | Rouen | lunch Le P'tit Bec Restaurant

Wednesday we explored the train station area and Tower Joan D'Arc. Some beautiful old buildings in that area. We went to our favorite lunch restaurant Le P'tit Bec. Always pleased with our food there and they have a reasonable lunch menu.

France | River Seine | Rouen | 360 Panorama

Thursday, Finally visited 360 Panorama in Rouen. This is our 4th visit to Rouen and we've walked and ridden our bikes by it many times. What an unexpected delight. Artist Asisi created this 3000 sq. meters of painting that is hung in the rotunda. The tower in the center of the Panorama allowed us to view 3 different levels, 6m, 12m and 15m. Asisi shows Rouen in 1431 during the time of Joan of Arc's arrival there. Amazing work of Art and biggest panorama in the world!

Sept. 6, 2016

USA | Chicago | Water Park near The Bean and Milliniam Park

USA | Chicago | Jenis for ice cream

We flew back to Chicago Sunday Sept. 4. Labor Day weekend so we had some play time with Justin and Chris as well as Sara and Lucy this time. Sunday we went downtown to the water park near the Bean in Millennum Park and ate dinner at Nando's Restaurant (Portuguese chicken restaurant out of South Africa we discovered in UK) We finished off the evening at favorite Southport ice cream shop Jenis.

USA | Chicago | Lake Michigan Labor Day beach fun

USA | Chicago | Beach Hats Sara and Lucy

On Monday we went to the beach and had a picnic breakfast. Then we went out to lunch at a favorite Mexican restaurant. Grilled traditional burgers and corn on the cob for dinner.

USA | Illinois | Chicago | Custard shop Grandma, Grandpa, Sara, Lucy and Chelsea

Then of course a walk to the Custard shop this time. Tuesday we had another play day with the girls. We all ate all our supper so we had Great Grandpa Pribyl traditional Root Beer Floats. Flying back to Paris, Fr tomorrow and bus to Rouen and Artemis.