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I am in Austin!!!


I will be adding photos and stories over the next couple of weeks , now that i have computer access and time. 


Loved it here.  But the money flows like the water here.  I have bought a lot of glass , masks and coffee.  by the way stopping for too much gelato shall hence forth be known as pulling a Sophie.  I agree with her that when you see a place with gelato you should stop cause the minute you decide you want one you cannot find them.  when we came into italy we were searched by the border dudes, they thought i had drugs.  i did not and all they found was dirty underwear and socks.  but they were pretty serious bout the whole thing.  first time i ever had that happen so it was a bit odd.  they kept asking if i had been in amsterdam and i kept saying ci last week.  i think they had short term memory loss.

Stephanie had a fun birthday i think, we had a great meal and when drinking with our waiter.  we went on a gondola ride with cute gondalier. almost got hit by a speed boat , went on a boat trip to the island where they make the glass, morano, and almost goit hit by a really big boat.  are you getting a theme here.....?

the city is cleaner than expected and only smells a little in some areas but not over all.  the food is really good.  the people pretty darn friendly.  we did have grumpy waiter dude the other night but i set him off by ordering a ciante in venice. apparently there is a territory competition thing.  my question is if you don't want me to order it take it off the menu...anyway all the guys running this place were arguing with each other and i think the are just grumpy dudes but they were still nice about it in their own way.

they put egg on the pizzas here, it is a little gross.

well we gotta find a train and a room in Florence , we go there today!

09/15/2004 ish......

I was able to meet Stephanie's friend Lyle.  Very nice guy, we hung out a little at the local pub where they usually go.  crowded due to football, but also a nice local spot.

I did not however get to see the elusive Thomas.  apparently he came out of his hole, saw his shadow and went back in. i am not sure but i think this means 6 more weeks of golf for switzerland.

we took the scenic glacier express to leave switzerland and come to italy, actually i think it was 4 trains total.  but the scenic one was great.  took a lot of pictures.

did you know the swiss make wine?  there is a reason you didn't , there is a reason they shouldn't.  great alps , bad wine.

i am liking the trains and getting better at figuring the stuff out, should be able to get back to paris ok.



Actually i am in Basil but this is about Amsterdam.

The train ride was good, I slept part of the way.  The stations are not hard to get around or figure out.

I had two good meals in amsterdam, the rest of the time I was not impressed. I do not think Stephanie was either.  do not go there to eat.  we partied a lot.  i am amazed that i did not get run over by a tram or a bike or a car or all 3.  i could not tell where to look for what.  that and i was pretty drunk a good deal of the time.

went to 3 museums.  the vangogh, 200 pieces, fabulous, amazing and they had a manet thing happening also. the rijks museum, all the dutch master works, also some very cool weapons, you how i like sharp pointy things.  and the anne frank house, the steepest stairs i have ever negotiated, and they are all pretty steep here.  all three are worth seeing.

on to the stuff you REALLY want to know about.....

the red light district is like a movie set, you are not in a real place anymore.  all up andf the the canals and side streets are these buildings with these big windows with this redish pink light glowing out of them.  when you look closer you see it has a woman inside, some in skanty little outfits, some dressed up like nurses or school girls, or business women.  the later have their rooms set up to match the outfit , the former pretty much just have a bed, and maybe a stool.  it is like some wierd spca.  as you walk by they start jumpimg around and yipping at you.  the women in the front street windows are for the most part pretty with good bodies of different types, the back streets women ...well....i don't think they were all women.  to go along with this scene you have all these men moving in packs....like upright walking sharks...circling...and snapping at each other eyes darting about like any minute their mom is going to pop up from behind a bush.  no pun intended...eventually you see one break away from the hurd and go negotiate. at one point we were walking down a street and a door opened, 3 or 4 guys walked out looking very relaxed and one was even whistling. so i guess the service is good.  it is just a weird human behavior thingy.  i did not see any windows with men , instead there were just can't afford these girls, or i need some weed money rode  hard looking fellows that make you offers as you pass.  the window women however seemed to be perfectly interrested in having other women for clients as men.

we also passed by the gay club area and i wish i had asked stephie to take my picture under the cock ring club sign.  it was pretty impressive . this is also something you gotta see to believe , stragest window shopping you will ever do.  i also want to get some of those light bulbs cause they are really flattering, and work well with glow in the dark underwear.

later that night nearly comatose in a cab i wondered how stephanie was going to get me up the front steps and up to our room.  as it turned out i managed to propel myself forward just long enough to get to my bed.  but it was a very near thing.

amsterdam kicked my ass.

then we took the night train to basil, i LOVED the night train!  we had a deluxe double, i slept up top.  we got a welcome drink, and then went to the club car and got some more drinks and hung out some of the time there and some of the time in the sleeper.  in the club car we met some folks from california and had a fun conversation with a swiss woman named Franziska.  she is a teacher and speaks really good english.  she was traveling with her fella, he is from holland.  we met some really nice folks in amsterdam as well.  so it has been a great trip for getting a glimps at how the world looks from another angle.

i slept like a rock on the train, must be from all that time sleeping on a boats growing up. in the morning we ate breakfast, hurried off the train and left my cane on it.  i might get it back but if i don't , i figure that is kinda what this trip is about so maybe it is fitting.  besides i have not needed it so far.  and i can get one here if that changes.  but i am walking a lot and other than sore feet and muscles i am doing great.


went to the De Orssay museum and it is way better than the louve.  but that might just be cause their collection was more my taste.  they have a lot of great stuff.  i will eventually have photos...

i have been very interrested in camile claudine, she was rodin's student and mistriss.  i was hoping to see some of her stuff and they had it at the orssey.  you should check out her story it really is heartbreaking.

saw the tower , i chickened out and only went to the 2nd level, it was too dang high.

the book store was fab, i also really liked the folks running it.

i also sun bathed on the quai, what fun!  freaks are very drawn to water i guess.


i am having fun, their keyboads are different , bah!  the louvre was fantastic pics later.  i am off to the tower and shakespeare and company today!  the quai is great and the weather is perfect.  i have walked a billion miles but i have had a lot of cafine so you kinda have to walk that off; miss you all:


too much fun.  i went out last night for dinner and got back this morning.hung out in the latin quarter. saw a tex mex place and had to know what they call tex mex, lets just say.....fajita soup!

wandering down the street there was a guy in his late 40s playing guitar.  it may just be the most beautiful music i have ever heard.sort of gypsy flaminco.

later i ended up at a greek bar ....plates were broken, tables were danced on and everyone was family.2 guys playing guitar and mandolyn, next thing you know its morning and i have a bus to catch to versaille!

the palace was great but the gardens were incredible.5 americans,2canadians,2arabs and we all had a good time with each other.

when we got back i decided to go hinut down dinner, as per the norm i got hopelessly turned around, even with my compass which has been the best buy of the trip.  then i looked down the street and saw the 2 golden retrievers from my neighborhood cafe.hazah!! i was saved. i followed the dogs and they led me to the cafe, familiar surroundings , familiar faces in the man and woman who own them and the cafe, and a nice glass of wine.  i stop there every night before my nap before heading out for music, we have a ritual started the first day. the man asks what madame would like , i hang my head and say i have no idea just bring me something red and winey, he tells me i am pathetic and gives me a glass of wine .  we have a laugh at my expense which is better each time, and then they ask where i have been, again i tell them i have no idea and i am laughed at again.  i have traded being amusing for not being snubbed. it works out, they are very nice, you get ignored a lot here but i think the places that do not ignore you are all the nicer for the rareness of it.  i have been fourtunate in finding good places with nice people cause even my bad french goes blank when the french start rapid fire talking to me.  when i told them the dogs saved me they howled, when i told them i was 1 block over at the time i got free wine.  i think when i leave they will miss me in the way you miss your favorite commic in the paper when they stop writing it.  i am not going to tell them when i am leaving or when i am coming back.  when i come back at the end of the month i am going to tell them i got lost and there were no dogs to save me, i may then tell them i was 2 blocks over.......



This was a favorite place of mine in Paris to have lunch or just stop for a coffee or glass of wine. It was right by my hotel in the Louvre gardens.