Thursday, July 31, 2008

Due to the eminent deadline of a research paper/project

Blogs will continue to be sluggish.  However, you should check out my Facebook for more current updates.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

A Few Views From the Neighborhood

We are leaving for a weekend along the French Riviera in a few hours,  but I wanted to post a few photos of the neighborhood around the John Knox Center before we left.

The area is really a great place to spend three weeks.  It's a mix of very nice homes, hills, cow pastures, sunflower fields and stunning views of the Alps and Lake Geneva.   Sitting here right now, it's hard to imagine that the urban center of Geneva is less than a couple of miles away.  The World Health Organization (WHO) is about 1/4 mile away and the United Nations is about a half mile.  I often have to remind myself that so much is going on so closely, especially when I wake up to the sound of cow bells!

So, I want to share some of that with you.  I didn't have as much time as I thought I would to take photos today, but I did snap a couple.  Sorry for the spot on some of the pics.  I had a spec of dust on the imager of my camera.  I think it's finally cleared off.

Time to pack and sleep for a few hours.  Talk to you Monday!

A nearby chateau

Small restaurant in Pregny

One of our regular running routes

I'll take this one, but the one above is nice, too!

The big white on in the middle is Mont Blanc.  This view is about 1/2 mile away.

The view as you approach the John Knox Center

Welcome to Le Centre!

The road out in front of the Centre

Nearby home

Even the donkeys wear bells

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Quickie Update

I wanted to post a quick update before I get back to my research paper and thesis project.

We returned on Sunday to Geneva from Paris. The 7:11 runners ran/walked on Monday, 3 miles on Tuesday, 6 miles today, and we'll do another 2 tomorrow. The hills are killer and I must have forgotten how tough they were from last year. The John Knox Center is at the top of a hill, so the first couple of miles are always easy, but I know that the last will always be uphill.

Our group has been putting in a lot of time after class to do some technology updates on our website, create promotional materials and support literature, etc. That's in addition to our research!

I''m hoping to take a walking tour of our "neighborhood" and snap some photos for you to check out tonight or tomorrow morning. This Friday, the seven of us are headed to Nice on the French Riviera for a weekend on the beach. Can't wait!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Paris in Photos

The Arc di Triomphe on a cloudy day

Monument Louis XV in Place de la Concorde

Jennie looking tres chic

The 7-11 ladies taking a break

J&B outside the Louvre

A intricate rose window inside Notre Dame

Row of candles near the same window

One of the two original metro entrances in Paris

A jazz band entertains the crowd

More stairs, a favorite of ours

The first view of Sacre Couer

The views as we climb the stairs to the dome


Jennie and I atop Sacre Coeur

La Hopital des Invalides

An ornate clock on L'Ecole Militaire

Karyn at "La Tour"

So, where is the tower anyway?  (haha)


Bruce takes a load off his feet and admires the view

Eiffel close-up

Eiffel closer-up

Some of the 12,000 pieces

The Eiffel Tower on a grey day

Eiffel in her evening gown

Bruce waiting for the show

"1024 colors" painting at the Pompidou Center

"Starry Night" by Vincent VanGogh


Where did this come from?

B&J by Monet

The gang (minus Tony)

Paris 2.0

I'm sitting in "Salle 6" at the John Knox Center right now.  It's amazing how a few minutes back in familiar surroundings makes it feel like you never left a place.  It's been almost a year since we left the John Knox Center, but tonight, we're back home with our U of M family.

Our first weekend trip (this time pre-class) was to Paris with six of the seven 7:11 Runners.  Robert was already committed to traveling with his wife and friends, so he couldn't make the trip.  For the rest of us, it was a great time, even for someone like me who's been lucky enough to have already visited this great city 3 or 4 times.

It was hard to get up the day after we arrived in Geneva to catch our train to Paris.  Coming to Europe is much more difficult than coming home.  Typically, it's a red-eye flight which arrives in the morning here, which is overnight at home.  You can either spend an entire day sleeping, or try to stay awake for hours.  Most of us stayed up and  got bed early.

We woke up early Thursday to catch the TGV.  The TGV is a very fast train to Paris.  It took about 3 and 1/2 hours to go from Geneva to Paris since the train travels at 200 miles per hour!  When we arrived, we were able to get right into our hotel and drop our things off.  Then, the walking began...

We walked from our hotel in Plaza St. Augustin to the Arc di Triomphe, down the Champs Elysses, around the Place de la Concorde, through the Jardin des Tuilieries , around the Louvre, onto the Ile de la Cite, and into Notre Dame.  In all, I'd say we put in 4 miles.  The evening was spent enjoying

Friday, we headed to Sacre Coeur, the church atop Montmartre.  

On our third day we, well, slept in a bit and then tackled the Louvre.  By the time we reached the Musee d'Orsay, they had stopped letting people in.  So, we headed to the Pompidou Center, Paris' modern art Mecca, for a change of pace.

Today, we visited the Musee d'Orsay before heading back.  Classes start tomorrow bright and early, so I'm off to bed.  Hope to post more soon...

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Return to Geneva...Return to Blogging

As I sit in the dining room here at the John Knox Center, it's a little surreal to think I'm back here for another summer residency.  I'm extremely happy to be back here.  In some ways it's becoming like a second home, sort of.  It was all very familiar:  getting on the plane in Detroit, then Newark, then Geneva, then the cab to the John Knox Center, and finally our room "Chambre 1" at the back of the property.  We've got our bus pass and we're ready to paint the town red.  Only this time, we have the added benefit of actually knowing where we are going.

So far, everything been going according to plan.  Except when we lost Tony.  His connecting flight from Detroit to Newark was delayed and he missed our flight to Geneva.  Rumor has it that he caught a flight to Paris and will be in a little later today.  Hurry up Tony, we miss you!

Karyn, Meghan, Joachim and I all met up at Newark International Airport and headed over together.  We arrived in Geneva around 8am GMT +1, which is about 2am EST.  I got a little sleep on the plane and plan on staying up all day to help me adjust to the new time.

We have a busy week coming up.  Tomorrow, six of the 7:11 runners are heading to Paris for 4 days.  Jennie and I will serve as tour guides, since we've both been there before (last summer, in fact.)  Jennie and I need to continue our training for the Chicago Marathon, so we need to run 10 miles in Paris this Saturday.  I can think of worse places to do so (like 10 times around the Attica Township Park, for example.)

So, I am aware that my blog has been lackluster at best for many months.  I promise that if you stop by and visit, I'll keep the posts coming!  But for now, I need to unpack and meet Jennie at the airport.

Au Revoir