Sunday, September 30, 2007

We returned from France yesterday, 9 hours later than scheduled and sans luggage...thank-you Air Canada, NOT!

And that's all I'll say about that. We had a spectacular time for two weeks in belle France and that is what I prefer to tell you about.

We are still suffering from jet lag so I'll ease into posting again over the next few days as I get back to a readjusted circadian rhythm.

There weren't too many chores awaiting our return, but a tour through the garden revealed scads of Roma tomatoes needing attention, which D. is currently cooking down into sauce. There was also a second crop of raspberries needing picking and D. did that also. No baggage yet so no laundry to do, it's on it's way and should be here The driver called from Ottawa to get exact directions to our home.

This is our fourth trip to France. Each trip is special in it's own unique way. Our first time was a three week vacation prompted by the fact that our no. 3 child was going to be living in Paris for a year while working for his French company. With free lodging, who could pass up that opportunity? In fact we went twice that year, once in the spring and again in the fall.

The third trip was special in that it was our first time on our own in a country where English was not the prominent language.

This trip was highlighted by the fact that we planned to meet two people whom we had met through online blogging, as well as revisit the "City of Light," Paris, and take in the South of France. When I say the South of France, I mean the Provence region as opposed to the Southwest of France, where we have visited twice before.

Meeting on-line friends in person is sort-of like going on a blind date. You're never sure how it's going to turn out. In this case it could not have turned out better. Not only did we meet two exceptionally wonderful people and there spouses, through each of them we met two other bloggers who were equally delightful people. I will introduce you to Di. and Melanie as I relay our excursion to you at the points at which we met them.

On Oct 3rd, 2006, I posted about an 1971 Erma Bombeck column
titled; I've Always Loved You Best. The feelings described therein apply to our experiences with France and the people who have befriended us there.

Each trip to France has offered something new to make it special. This trip created new friendships with wonderful people, each different in their way. Each, truly exceptional, down to earth (salt of the earth as the saying goes), folks who are all that they portray themselves to be on their blogs and so much more.

Stay tuned for pics and stories of our fulfilling journey:
I have a few metro tickets and some Euro in my pocket, I guess I'll have to go back to France next year!

I don't know how "they" found out when we'd be arriving in Paris, but find out they did and 10's of thousands of Paris teenagers greeted us shortly after we got to our hotel with a fantabulous "Techno" parade down the Blvd. Beaumarchais that lasted for a couple of hours and was thoroughly entertaining. The "bass" was a tad heavy and I put my arms over my heart to protect it! ;) This is a glimpse for Sasha.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Today, 14 Sept. 2007, is the long awaited day. Tonight we will depart Ottawa, Canada, fly to Montreal and from there fly direct to Paris France! Woohoo!!

We arrive in Paris at 1050 Saturday morning. A shuttle will take us to our hotel, Les Jardins du Marais. Once settled into our quarters, I suspect we may head for a favorite Cafe near the Arc de Triompe for our first glass of le vin rouge.

I'll phone "Paris Parfait" and let her know of our arrival and confirm our dinner date for the 18th. Perhaps Tara will be able to also show D. to some of her favorite Antiquaries. ;-)
We have no other firm plans other than to spent the week in Paris soaking up the ambiance, visit some museums, eat croissants, and drink cafe express, cafe au lait, and sip some red wine.

photo by rel

In a departure from our past trips, instead of traveling to the southwest of France, this time we will be visiting the Provence region. On 9/21/07 we will travel (undecided as yet whether to fly or go by rail) to the Chateau-de-Nans in from website
This locale is about a 30 minute drive north of Marseille. It is also only 1o min. from "Tongue in Cheek" and we have made arrangements to meet up with Corey and her family for dinner at her gracious invitation to share their table. Again plans are flexible, but are sure to include my favorite past time of visiting really old buildings, especially churches and strolling the rural byways of France. Oh, and of course, tasting the local vintage will be on the list of things to do.

On the 28th we will travel back to Paris and stay our last night with Tara and David, a wonderful and kind invitation to blog friends, before returning home on the 29th.

I anticipate that there will be no posts Under the Microscope from now until next month.

Au revoir and bonjournee
A votre sante,

photos by rel

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Adirondak 90 Mile Canoe Classic
Sept. 7,8,9, 2007

rel & glh #39

Securing the bindings for the 3 hour drive.

Starting area

The "wild" deer are like pets. You can't pet them, but they are quite comfortable around people

Attaching our number.

Getting set.


Sliding over the beaver dam after Brown's tract.

The finish of day one, at Blue Mountain lake.

All photos copyrighted to DAL (Diane LaRock)

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Inaugral Post

My Imaginary Life

I have no imaginary life. I have no imaginary life because I am an imaginary life. Some other being, who reveals himself to me rarely and obscurely lives out his fantasies through me; his alter ego, his dream-wish fulfiller.

Therefore at any given time I might be a professional snow shoveler, or a painter of houses who does such magnificent work every home owner in town is clamoring for my services. I'm a gardener and grass mower of extrodinary skill and a master of ecological compost pile is the envy of the gardening world. At various times I'm a peacemaker, a diplomat, or a statesman with the ultimate solution for a world peace. On the reverse I'm the ultimate warrior, able to wreak havoc and retribution on my enemies...those would be the pea brains who don't see things the way I do.

Sometimes I'm a hermit living in a wood, self sufficient and skilled in survivalist skills. Always hard working and tireless going about my chores; Cutting, splitting, and stacking a whole winters wood supply in a weeks time.

Whether I live in an exotic urban city or a rustic, pastorial village, I am always a writer. Often a poet and other times a memoirist. Lately HE has been trying to make my his novelist...I can't wait to see how he proceeds with this one.

On the subject of gender; I say he and his because I'm of the male gender when I catch my reflection in a looking glass, but for sure my imaginer could easily be a female who has created me to live out her male fantasies. But until s-he reveals the truth to me I'll be a male in his-er image.

Did I mention what a spectacular and exceptional photographer I am? Well let me tell you, Ansel adams has nothing on me.

Lastly, for now, what I ain't is rich and famous. Don't get me wrong, I have a full and rich life and I enjoy living out my muse's fantasies, but I'm going to have to talk to him about the rich and famous thing. I mean what harm can it do? I'll tell you this though, If he does make me rich and famous I'll indulge myself and create an alter ego to live out my fantasies.

Labels: ,

Monday, September 10, 2007

We're back; sore, blistered, fatigued and supremely satisfied that we did ourselves proud in finishing the "90".
The first day was a crusher: 35 miles in 90 degree F. temperatures. The second day was more moderate temperature wise but we were still recovering from Friday's exhaustion. The third day we were back in top form and even surprised ourselves at how fast we finished. The weather favored our good performance on day three be being cool and rainy for the whole course...just perfect for sustained endurance paddling!

I'll put up some photos and dialog after D. loads the pics on the computer.

Leigh and I are back to work today and were both on call!

Leave for France this upcoming weekend.
And now? To the shower.

39 Leigh Heiss/Bob LaRock Ogdensburg/Morristown 8:57:04 7:22:35 4:41:44 21:01:23

Thursday, September 06, 2007

A full color collage of pictures taken at the 2004 Adirondack Canoe Classic by Paul Slattery

September 7-9
Twenty Fifth Annual Adirondack Canoe Classic - 90 miles

The Adirondack Watershed Alliance, NYS DEC, the Central Adirondack Association, Franklin County Tourism, Old Forge and Long Lake Tourism will host the 25th annual Adirondack Canoe Classic. The "90 Miler" strikes a balance of both recreational and competitive pursuit among the 250 vessels and 500+ participants who enter the event. Paddlers travel the original "highways" of the Adirondacks from Old Forge to Saranac Lake paddling through the heart of the Adirondack mountain wilderness.

There are classes for open touring, tandem & solo recreational, stock and racing canoes. Men, Women and mixed. Recreation, Touring and Unlimited kayaks, Guideboats, C-4's, and War Canoes. Entry forms are sent out mid June. There is a 250-boat maximum. There is no day of race registration! Entry fee is $125 per paddler.

The 2005, The 90-Miler was recognized as the "Race of the Year" by the New York Marathon Canoe Race Association. We offer friendly competition and genuinely warm Adirondack hospitality. The Adirondack Canoe Classic Community is comprised of numerous small businesses, volunteers and supporters who make the event the highlight of the paddling year for the Adirondack Series.

90-Miler Race Course:
DAY 1: Start in Old Forge NY on Old Forge Pond; paddle and carry through the Fulton Chain of Lakes; continue on to Raquette Lake, the Marion River and the Eckford Chain of Lakes ending in Blue Mountain Lake. Distance: 35 miles with 4 carries totaling 3.5 miles
DAY 2: Start at Bissell's on Long Lake; paddle down Long Lake and into the Raquette River; carry around Raquette Falls; continue on the Raquette River to a finish at the NYS Raquette River Boat Launch ("The Crusher") on Rt. 3 & 30 (approx 5 miles east of Tupper Lake village. Distance: 30 miles with 1 carry of 1.25 miles.
DAY 3: Start at Fish Creek Campground; paddle down Upper Saranac Lake, carry to Middle Saranac Lake, across Middle Saranac and into the Saranac River; carry around the Upper State Locks. Continue on Lower Saranac Lake and another section of the Saranac River; carry around the Lower State Locks, continue across Oseetah Lake and Lake Flower to finish the race at Prescott Park in Saranac Lake Village. Distance: 25 miles with 3 carries totaling .5 mile.

photo courtesy of Joanne Kennedy