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California Adventure always begins and ends in Paris

So after being home from our Viking Riverboat Cruise for 4 ( YES 4 days) days, we were off to Paris getting ready to fly to Los Angeles. Not really part of the big plan when laying our our travel ideas for the year, but Jan’s mother had passed away a few months ago, cremated, but it seems June was the only time to gather all the family members from around the country and us from France. So TGV to Paris Montparnasse. The new train is really special, travels over 200 MPH, make no stops, and arrives within 2 hours and 6 minutes.

Zipping along, minutes after leaving the St. Jean Station.

So our trip as always begins with a TGV to Paris. Most recently we have been staying at Le Chambers de Marais, a very nice boutique hotel on the edge of the 3rd/4th ARR in Paris. A wonderful area that is not targeted by tourists, but still very close to all the major attractions (even if you have to use the Metro). One event we really enjoyed at the start of this trip was a digitized electric presentation of Van Gogh’s works. It was presented in a large open warehouse type of venue, seats in the middle, projections on every wall around you. Obviously, some folks did not get it and walked around in front of the “screens”, walls but in most cases everyone sat down and enjoyed the show. Presented in the Atelier des Lumieres.

One of the paintings from the Japanese portion of the exhibit
Interesting to see Van Gogh’s painting enlarged to see brush strokes.
Self Portrait

So our first stop upon arriving in LA, is to make it to the home of a life long friend. SNM have lived in Hermosa Beach for years. Today, the home they bought over 30 years ago, has been enlarged to have a second floor Master bedroom, office etc., Plus they have made a wonderful deck area over the rear bedroom. WE love these two people and look forward to our visits.

Original building dates back to 1925, Hermosa Beach
Just a great view from the rooftop deck.
Mike, Sandy and Jan at our favorite breakfast place. Mexican plus a beer

So after picking up our rental car, getting somewhat over the jet lag, we headed south to see Jan’s sister. Choose to get off the freeways and enjoy some of the coast. The Fashion Island center was the biggest surprise. Stores that had been there for years were gone and replaced by large “company” owned stores. The finest jeweler for years was gone and replaced by LULU Lemon. Hard to believe. Any trip down the coast HAS to include a meal at Lucy’s El Patio. This has been a family favorite place since the 60’s. Biggest change here, they now take credit cards.

Lucy’s had been open over 30 years before we discovered this place, today nearly 90 years old. Best ever.

Continuing south, back on the “5” we made our way to Charlie’s home. Always enjoy these visits, the two sisters really love each other. Nice to see this closeness. Had a great stay, saw Allie for the first time in years as she arrived from Orlando after a horrendous flight, and delays all the way.

Charlie and Gary’s place
Two best Friends
Allie, still great after a tough flight.

So the purpose of this trip was to bury Jennie’s ashes along with her husband Ben. We lost Ben years ago, and it was a blessing to have this service. After we all regrouped for lunch.

Notice it took 4 shots to get Ollie to “not” be playing with his device.
We were lucky enough to include a lunch with college roommate Bill, Trish and Jan taught school at the same school in Anaheim.

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