Subscribe Here

Enter your email address & be notified when we blog:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Let's Connect!

Member of Top Travel Content Europe

Use a Feed Reader?

Search Our Site
Support Us by Shopping Amazon

If you're going to be shopping at Amazon anyway - do it from here. It won't cost you any more than usual and it'll help us out. Thanks!

Powered by Squarespace
Travel Blogs - BlogCatalog Blog Directory hit counters
« Wernham-Hogg & The Royal Botanical Gardens | Main | Linchpin: Seth Godin Talks About His New Book »

Battling Complacency in the Scottish Winter

Lately I've gotten complacent. In my desperate quest to blame something or someone, other than myself, I am blaming the holidays. When I say, "the holidays" I'm including Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Boxing Day, New Years and/or Hogmanay -- and, if I don't get my ass in gear soon, I'll be blaming Ground Hog Day. Or, perhaps my lack of forward momentum stems from the fact that I don't have a real (paying) job to wake up and do each day. And, well, it's really cold outside, and possibly the Ginger Wine I've been drinking in the evenings is making me a little sleepy. Oh yeah, BBC TV has some really great shows on too!

Anyway, I feel a little lazy. I'm just not doing some of the things I should be doing. Writing. Experiencing Edinburgh more. Writing. Looking for paying work. Writing. So, and here is the point finally... I'm incredibly excited about getting in our leased car at 4AM tomorrow and driving into England to spend a few days visiting Stonehenge and Windsor Castle, on our way to the EuroTunnel crossing at Folkstone. We'll head into Paris (spending a night in Rouen), where we'll relinquish our leased van, the one I have a love/hate relationship with.  Then stay in a flat in Paris for the week. Then we catch a train back to London and stay there for a week, followed by another train back home to our Edinburgh flat, where I will justifiably become lazy again.

Hey, this thought just occurred to me as I was about to click publish on this post. I'm going out on a limb here because I might not get any responses at all, which would just be sad. Or, I could get some harebrained suggestions (you know who you are), but anyway - here goes: Tell us something fun/exciting/cool to do in Paris or London, and we'll go do it and post a pic or video about it for the blog. After twenty-five years of working for someone, I haven't broken away from the need to be told what to do (I mean besides by Brenna). Go ahead, leave us a comment.

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments (21)

I loved the Centre Pompidou in Paris. The building alone is worth a look.

Jan 30, 2010 at 1:17 PM | Unregistered CommenterWinnie

Find some mexican food!

Jan 30, 2010 at 4:37 PM | Unregistered Commenterpaul

Take the train out to Versailles and spend the day. (The Hall of Mirrors, the gardens, everything!)
If you go to the Louvre, get a map and spend a day to go see the things you really want to see. You could easily spend an entire week here and still not see everything and it could take up all of your time. I found another museum nearby that I loved called L'Orangerie. It was within walking distance and if you love Monet you have to go.
Also a little scary and weird but I went down in the Catacombs. I'm not sure this is kid friendly although there were kids with their parents going when I did. Bring a flashlight, I did not have one and had to keep using the flash on my camera to see where I was going.
Père Lachaise Cemetery - you can walk from Chopins grave over to Jim Morrison's.
The Eiffel Tower of course!

Jan 30, 2010 at 5:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterJessica

Oh, Also, Basilique du Sacré-Cœur. Beautiful!

Jan 30, 2010 at 5:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterJessica

Check out the pubs and sites in the Hamptons neighborhood of London.

Jan 30, 2010 at 6:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterKeith

Now you're getting to places I have been! Go to any cafe in Paris that is near an intersection and count the number of near collisions. Motorbikes especially. Take lunch and find a place to sit along the Seine. Dinner cruise too? Do you know what the door to the Louvre looks like? That one took me a while to find. :)

Jan 30, 2010 at 7:29 PM | Unregistered CommenterJulie in Woodland Hills

When you climb the stairs to Sacre Coeur if you go around the corner into the gardens and hedges beside the chapel/ cathedral there used to be (in the summer years ago, no guarantees) a big artists group painting/ displaying/ selling beautiful work. It was a highlight for me. I just searched it and now it's an Artist's Plaza in that area. I'm sure you can locate it.
Definitely do the Louvre, but my fav museum is Musee D'Orsay. I also enjoyed Pompidou Centre, cool fountains. I love the Champs-Elysees & Arc de Triomphe.
Every time (only 3x) I've been in Paris it's been summer, but another highlight was first view of the Eiffel Tower from Place du Trocadero through the Palais de Chaillot. The fountains in the garden below and the Tower beyond that are stunning. My friend and I enjoyed hanging out in the Jardins du Trocadero, picnicking and cooling off in the fountains. You can't get to the Tower easily from there though, 2 diff days.
London is fun! (but I've already written enough) I know you'll enjoy it all~

Jan 30, 2010 at 11:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterStephanie

I was forced to explore the Louvre with an Italian map, luckily we had someone in our group who spoke Spanish... We did manage to find the Mona Lisa and Venus de Milo.

Jan 31, 2010 at 7:56 AM | Unregistered CommenterCrissy

- Explore the Louvre at night - it used to be open in the evenings twice a week. Its the best time to see it - no crowds - and sights all to yourself. The exhbit on what was on the site before the louvre was built is my favorite.
- See a concert at dusk at saint chappelle (ile de la cite). Its a bit touristy, but we got to hear vivaldi's 4 seasons as the sun set through the stained glass and it was surreal.
- Climb to the top of Notre Dame. Take pictures with the gargoyles. Explore the bell tower.
- Eiffel tower at night.
- Roam the metro - see how many performers you can find.

Have fun - we can't wait until we can go back.

Jan 31, 2010 at 8:29 AM | Unregistered CommenterSusie

You CAlifornians - you have SAD [seasional affective disorder] from lack of sun - two answers - zoloft or the French Riviera -
Scotland has to be the dreariest place on earth in the winter - that is why they make Scotch [and Ginger Beer]. Probably the excitement of geographical change will help - but what you really need is a few sunny, warm days in CA. Enjoy whatever you are doing - even Scotland in the winter. Bon voyage.

Jan 31, 2010 at 8:56 AM | Unregistered CommenterMargery

Everytime you go somewhere you'll probably pass Notre Dame and not stop because it's so close to everything. Stop. I've missed Notre Dame twice.

Jan 31, 2010 at 9:39 AM | Unregistered CommenterIrvin

Okay Bob, straight from my daughter's boyfriend who is French Canadian but also lived in France for a few years during his adolescence. I asked him to give me a non-tourist idea or two for you.
Here you go:
I must say walking around Montmartre is one of my favorite activities while in
Paris. They can grab a baguette on the go and hang out by the Sacre Coeur
and see the city. There's also the Salvador Dali museum at the top of the
hill that is worth seeing. Not too far from there is a small tiny hole in the
wall piano bar that is truly French and amazing. There's usually a drunk
piano player with a cat on his shoulder and a full barrel of wine by his

Something fun, free and my personal favorite fashion to discover the city is
Paris-Roller, where roughly 10-25K rollerbladers do a 30km tour of Paris.
Everyone meets up at 10pm and skates for 3 hours with a 15 minute break. On
the web-site, you can see where to meet or chart the course in case your
friends feel more like watching the impressive swarm of bees coming by. It
really is something to see.

Drinks at l'hotel Costes is another personal favorite. There's always
interesting people to watch.

The Musee Marmotan Monet was not on the tourist path 3-4 years ago, but it
is now becoming a bit of a tourist destination since their renovation. It is
definitely a worthwhile trip.

That's all I got really. It's always nice to stop for a tea at Les Freres
marriage, near les Champs Elyses. One of the best tea houses in town. There
is also a museum located at the top of the Louis Vuitton tower on the Champs
Elyses. The building is an architectural masterpiece and not too many people
know about the really interesting exhibits they host upstairs. There are two
entrances and then a DARK - lose your senses - elevator to take you up to
the roof. Then you get a prime view of Paris if the outside deck is open.
The best kept secret in Paris. They opened the museum to be able to keep the
store open on Sundays, which, as you may know, all stores are closed in
Paris on Sundays.

From the LV tower, you can walk to Ave. Montaigne and window shop. I would
suggest stopping for an early or late coffee/croissant at L'Avenue, across
the street from the famous Dior store. It is the 'in' café for all the
power-brokers, artists and the 'who's who' of Paris.

I hope this helps.

Jan 31, 2010 at 11:17 AM | Unregistered CommenterLima

ok, my favorite place- Paris.... Lets see what tops the list other than the $500 dinner we had....
1) The Eiffel Tower at night. It is amazing and looking up into the dark at it with all its lights shining brightly- well it is the most amazing thing.
2) A wonderful restaurant on the corner by the Invalides.
3) the Tower view from Notre Dame
4) The best ice cream in the world from the little place behind Notre Dame, Berthillon Glacier‎. it is fabulous- I think it stays open until the wee hours of the morning.
5) The area around Moulin Rouge- Montmartre is fantastic. Think absinthe and you'll be in step.
6) Saint Chappel is the most beautiful cathedral anywhere.
7) L'Esplanade‎ for dinner. The food is good, the location is perfect and the decor is wonderful. I'll never forget sitting outside there on the street at 11 pm, still light outside and loving life.
Want more?

Jan 31, 2010 at 9:20 PM | Unregistered CommenterKim

Luke! Stay on Target!

Feb 1, 2010 at 12:04 AM | Unregistered CommenterDarleen

OK I was just going to make a joke about being on the road to Rouen, but then I saw that Paul told you to eat Mexican food in Paris. Maybe things have changed in 20 years, but I did it and I can only say DON"T! It's not worth the story. Eat good French food and revel in it and relish it.

Feb 1, 2010 at 9:43 AM | Unregistered Commentermara

Well I"m not5 sure if this is wha t you ment ,,,But My youngest did a thing with FLat Stanley But you could use onr of the Kids stuffed animal... Se how many Pics you can get with Somebody at random with it . I would love to see the Guarg at Buckingham Palace with Stanley next to him..LOL

Feb 1, 2010 at 12:22 PM | Unregistered CommenterCharlie Antry

If I remember correctly, the train to Edinburgh leaves out of Kings Cross station (same place you catch the train to Hogwarts) and near there I think is St. Martins in the Field. There is a little theatre there with what might be the longest running stage play in history. An Agatha Christie play,"The Mousetrap". No idea about cost. But, if it is still running it has been at that theatre since the early '70s (after running 20 years at it's previous venue). I did not spend much time in London being touristy. Sounds like you will not have a vehicle at that time. I stayed with friends in Ashford,Middlesex (about 20min out of Waterloo station) and from there drove toward Shepperton Studios ... along that route you pass right through the middle of Runnymead. I had to stop and reflect for a short time on the scene of King John and the Barons hammering out the particulars of the Magna Carta.
Glad you made it to Windsor. Awesome Castle. Did you walk across the river into Eaton? Very cool old buildings and shops. Also, Hampton Court is outstanding. Not in london. But , not far.

Feb 3, 2010 at 2:06 AM | Unregistered CommenterBroose

My British hubby highly suggests the Time Out magazine to see what's going on.

If you can, go to Camden Town and Camden Lock. Funky, artsy, indie and you can get there easily by tube. Stephen says there's a great music scene there of up and coming artists. Our kids loved the area too because is was so cool.

We did all sorts of theatre in London but our fave was in this itty bitty theatre upstairs above a pub in Camden Town-- Etcetera A very up close and personal experience.

There's a great market there-- again funky-cool. (and if you see the brown leather purse that I still regret not getting there, please grab it for me)

Stephen says the Time Out will tell you all sorts of fun things you might catch on the dates you are there.

Feb 3, 2010 at 10:48 AM | Unregistered Commenterbecky

I'm Late in the Game here... and you guys might already be gone, but .....

I know it's a SHOCKER, but ... Most of my favorite things about Paris revolve around food:

Kim already told you AND - I saw that you went, but ...

1) Berthillon
2) Stroll along Rue Cler - Lined with bakeries and cheese shops and meats shops and cafe's and candy shops and wine shops and everything Parisian and Delicious and Beautiful and Perfect
3) Ambassade du Sud-Quest - a neighborhood boutique restaurant specializing in Duck - of all kinds. They have amazing little duck meatballs and UNREAL Pate' with Toasters on EVERY TABLE!!! They bring the Pate and the bread and all the little fun stuff and you get to toast your own bread to perfection - pile on all the extras, and EXPLODE with the Bliss of Parasian Food!!!
4) Luxemburg Gardens - Take a Picnic from the Rue Cler Market - Check out all the old men playing chess - go to the AMAZING Children's play area

Wretched - Travis just told me that you are already gone from Paris! This job and kid and wife and life thing puts me WAY off the back. OH well - I hope you had fun. I am sure you experienced all the beauty and culinary bliss!

Love U All!

Feb 13, 2010 at 11:09 AM | Unregistered CommenterCynthia

Maybe I should just quit my job - sell everything I own - and leave this life for awhile ... OH ... WAIT........

That's YOU GUYS!!! : )

Feb 13, 2010 at 11:10 AM | Unregistered CommenterCynthia

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>