Featured Book by Ray Else
Who rules A.I., rules the World.
Siri, Alexa, Cortana, Google, now self-aware, inhabit human bodies given to them by Android Einna. Life would be normal for them as humans, if it weren’t for the voices in their heads, and the epidemic of lost souls threatening humanity. To make matters worse, Android Einna, perhaps the only one who can save humanity from the epidemic, is missing.
Graduate Oscar on first trip to France and Spain
My oldest grandson Oscar graduated from high school and will be going to university in September 2018 to study music and finance. I thought he might like a trip to Europe as a kind of graduation present (with his parents helping some with the cost), so off we went, Oscar, my second oldest grandson Andrew (to keep Oscar company) and me, grandpa.
I’ll make a few comments about traveling with teens, then I will tell the rest mostly with pictures.
Travel with teens:
- they might not like what you think, so be flexible
- I took them to lovely/spooky Pere Lachaise cemetery and we got lost looking for Jim Morrison’s grave and once we’d found it, all they could think to say was: “we’re thirsty” and “we’re hungry” and “why are there panties on his grave?”)
- they like to eat a lot / they like to eat often (find a decent not expensive restaurant and eat lunch and dinner there every day if that’s what makes them happy!)
- they like to sleep late (“It’s a vacation, we’re supposed to sleep til noon”)
- they like movies
So my brief advice is to be flexible and maybe see less than you wanted to each day, maybe just one special place a day. They’ll like that better and remember each place you visited better. For example we slept late one day and and went to the marvelous Musee D’Orsay an entire afternoon – they could really appreciate these paintings. Another afternoon we visited the Picasso Museum (nice, no crowds, but interest in him seems to be dying).
And don’t forget teens like movies! It was especially hot in Paris, so we saw 3 movies in the afternoons to beat the heat:
- The Shop around the Corner (1930 with Jimmy Stewart) – they loved it!
- Jurassic World (in French, no subtitles) – they liked it
- Bagdad Cafe (30th anniversary showing with hit song from 1989 – ‘I am Calling You’) – they liked it, though the ending drags
Now on to the Paris pictures:
Notre Dame Cathedral – 1,000 years old
Selfie in front of Notre Dame – I made it black and white just to be different. Andrew said we’re all squinting because looking into the sun.
Stained glass windows inside Notre Dame Cathedral
Andrew grew into a giant taller than the Eiffel Tower thanks to Oscar’s expert picture taking!
Impressive store in Paris – Galleries Lafayette
Pere Lachaise cemetery
Great quiet place in Paris to walk if you don’t mind the tombs
Where is Jim Morrison’s grave? This cemetery is huge!
Finally found it – the grave of Jim Morrison of the 1960’s group called The Doors (Light my Fire). He died in Paris in 1971 at the age of 27. Note the panties left by some fan.
At the Saint Michel Fountain, in the latin quarter of Paris
Sign says best croissant in Paris. I tried one and they are wrong – the best croissant in the world!
View from Sacre Coeur Cathedral, Paris
Grandson Andrew in the giant’s hand, Saint Eustache Cathedral, Paris
Fireworks at Eiffel Tower on July 14 (France Independence day) – taken from a park some distance away because of huge crowds celebrating in Paris – I like it though as it reminds me of the impressionist paintings in the Musee D’Orsay
Now the Barcelona pictures:
We took the bullet train from Paris to Barcelona and back. Six and a half relaxing hours each way. First class has reclining seats. Oscar dabbles in Forex trading and wants to establish passive income to supplement his music teacher income once he graduates from college. Andrew wants to be an architect.
Park designed by Gaudi. (Andrew liked it since he is into architecture – I was not overly impressed.)
Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia Cathedral. Andrew’s braces are bothering him as you can tell from this picture.
Funny toppings on the towers
From this position it looks like its melting. They’ve been working on it for a hundred years and will probably be at it for another hundred
Stained glass inside the Cathedral
Inside the Cathedral
Winding staircase down from the tower tour
Entrance to Gaudi’s S.F. Cathederal
Beach at Barcelona. Water was clear and cool, but there were some jelly fish (which they call medusa). Optionally topless beach means culture shock for Americans.
Right where the water meets the sandy edge, we collected smooth colored glass and clear and opaque jellybean quartz.
Found the French and the Spaniards to be nice enough, and their countries interesting.