Day #140 in lockdown Mumbai, India hotel…More photos from Paris in 2014…The continuation of the river cruise…


Our second Eiffel Tower nighttime light show after our dinner cruise on the River Seine.

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Today’s photos are from the post from August 10, 2014, while in Paris, France. See the link here for more photos.
The Assemblee Nationale, the French National Assembly. The interior of many of these buildings is worth seeing by clicking on the links included here.

Today was a late start in working on the post. After not getting out of bed until 8:30 am and out the door for my first walk until almost 9:00 am, not returning until 20 minutes later, our breakfast had arrived.

After breakfast, I’d promised myself I’d get hold of FedEx to find out the status of the overnight letter containing our replacement credit card after it was discovered to be used fraudulently. 

The Palais de Justice, the French Palace of Justice.

Also, I wanted to check on our supplies package, which hasn’t been moving at FedEx for days, stuck in customs. I started calling several phone FedEx numbers I found online but couldn’t get through on any of them using Skype.

I was unable to use Skype to call India while in India, even using my VPN. Frustrated, I tried using the expensive room phone, but there again, I was on hold for so long, I finally gave up.

The scenery along the river was enhanced by the reflection of lights.

Then, I used my cell phone to call, which also is pricey, but after 20 minutes on hold, I gave up figuring the best method was to email an inquiry when after entering the tracking number, a message popped up that said:

“A specialized statement is required for clearance from the recipient. Call FedEx.”

Tom’s photos of me are always blurry to some extent. That explains why I take most of the photos.

Frustration was setting in, and finally, I sent an email after finding a good email address for customer service in India. I sent a clear and concise email outlining precisely what had transpired, requesting they email me the specified form to complete the delivery requirement.

In that same email, I also inquired about our package sitting in customs for the past week and what they needed from us at this point. No reference had been made to the customs fees, which we usually could pay online, most likely since they’d yet to inspect the contents. Who knows how long it will be until that process is completed?

We were nearing the end of the cruise when I took this outdoor photo of Tom.

Most likely, these delays are a result of COVID-19. When I called a few of the online FedEx India phone numbers, people answered with TV sounds in the background, causing me to assume some of their employees were working from home. Calling became pointless with no response.

Last month I sent an email asking if they were servicing this postal code in India and received a positive response a few days later. We’ll see how it rolls out. I can only hope they’ll reply to the email. Hopefully, they’ll be as timely in their response to today’s inquiry.

The moon was peeking out of a cloudy sky, the green lights, the reflections on the water…nice.

Now, well after 12:30 pm, I’m still working on today’s post, hoping to upload it in the next hour to return to my usual daily routine. Yesterday, we signed up for CBS All Access (first month free) to stream the newest Big Brother All-Stars series, which is mindless drivel, but entertaining and the latest Survivor series, again a fun distraction.

On another note, our friends, Lea Ann and Chuck, a lovely couple whom we met on a cruise in April 2017, from Sydney to Seattle who began traveling the world, at times, asking us for suggestions and sources we’ve used, wrote that they are ending their world travels in light of COVID-19.

We loved this shot of the Eiffel Tower and the Statue of Liberty.

They’ve purchased a home in Florida and will stay put, traveling from time to time as the world situation allows. One might think this might have inspired us to do the same. But, until we get out there again, flying, booking holiday homes, and living in other countries, we have no idea what the future holds regarding continuing to travel. 

This was my veal filet. I don’t usually eat veal. However, in Paris, one must try new things. I was served a delicious plate of less common sautéed vegetables.

Certainly, the option of living in three or four different countries (depending on visas) may continue to be an option for us in the future. Being unable to cruise may undoubtedly have an impact on our options in the future. 

My lovely dessert, two creamy French slices of cheese.

In some ways, it might make our travels easier when we’re not manipulating our schedule to comply with cruise embarkation and debarkation locations. 

Tom’s dessert #1, a strawberry mousse. The pink appearance is due to the red LED lights in the boat after dark.

We can only guess at this point. And, right now, our priority is when and how we’ll be able to leave India when borders open here and in another country that we’re allowed to visit in the future.

Tom’s dessert #2, a layered chocolate torte embellished with a strand of delicious French chocolate.

Have a fulfilling and safe day!

Photo from one year ago today, August 10, 2019:

We’d wished we could have posted the identity of all of these great highlights in Amsterdam. But, it wasn’t possible as the boat moved along quickly. It rained off and on, but we were grateful for what we were able to see. For more photos, please click here.

Day #139 in lockdown Mumbai, India hotel…More photos from Paris in 2014…Gourmet dinner cruise on the River Seine…

  1. Tom was carrying his dress shoes in a bag when the dress code on the dinner cruise stipulated no sports shoes were allowed. However, on a rainy night, they made exceptions when most of the passengers were wearing sports shoes.

    Note: To all of our readers visiting our site via a smartphone, please click the “View web version” tab under the word “Home” at the bottom of the page to access the web version enabling you to access all of our archives on the right side of the page. We’ll be updating our site shortly, making these extra steps unnecessary. Thank you. 

    Today’s photos are from the post from August 9, 2014, while in Paris, France. See the link here for more photos.
    As we walked down a few flights of stairs to the boardwalk along the River Seine, searching for the dinner cruise boat we’d booked, the Bataueux Parisiennes.

    Today, we’re sharing photos from Part 1 of our exquisite dinner cruise on the River Seine six years ago. Tomorrow, we’ll share photos from Part 2 of the dinner cruise with more photos. 

    As soon as we were seated, we were served these little French pastries and champagne. Tom ate all four of these pastries plus three of the white buns. I didn’t try the buns but took a few sips of the delicious champagne. 

    Our story for the first of the two posts may be found here, and thus, I won’t reiterate what transpired on that fun, although rainy night in Paris. Due to the rain, most of our photos were taken through the tinted glass of the windows on the boat, let alone at dusk and finally in the dark. We did our best.

    Dark clouds were looming over the city for days as it rained heavily off and on. 

    Instead, I can’t help but focus on the “year ago photo” at the bottom of today’s post, taken on our first of two days and nights we spent in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, while we awaited a much-anticipated cruise Baltic cruise, we’d longed to experience for years.

    Most of the photos shown here today and tomorrow were taken through the blue glass dining enclosure on the boat. 

    Once we arrived in Amsterdam, flying from Dublin after a three-month stay, we found ourselves in a lovely boutique hotel overlooking a canal. We were in awe and overtaken by the beauty and uniqueness of this unique city. 

    We passed under one of many ornamental bridges.

    Chomping at the bit to get outside and walk the narrow sidewalks and streets, a wave of disappointment washed over me as I faced the reality of my situation. It had been almost six months since my open-heart surgery, and I could barely walk more than a few meters without feeling a need to stop and rest.

    This foie gras appetizer was terrific. I savored every morsel along with the single perfectly cooked cold asparagus spear, lying atop a line of what tasted to be an anchovy paste.

    Having been on many heart-related drugs with serious side effects, including the FDA’s designated  “black box” drug Amiodarone and two others, my legs didn’t work well enough for me to embark on long walks. 

    Tom’s appetizer of grilled prawns and vegetables. He doesn’t usually care for shrimp. After sharing a few prawns with me, he said, “There was nothing offensive about this.” Nice.

    By the time we reached Amsterdam, I had weaned off all of the drugs. However, I was left with weakness and leg pain exacerbated by walking, which I still suffer from today, and cardiovascular disease, contributing to leg pain when standing or walking for long periods.

    Some of the spires of Notre Dame.

    Subsequently, my memories of Amsterdam center around the struggle to walk when there was no other way to get around the city than on foot or by boat. Not one to complain, I forged ahead while Tom patiently waited every five minutes or less for me to rest long enough to continue.

    As the boat continued on the River Seine. The 2½ hour cruise eventually turned around to go back the way we’d come enabling us to see the other side.

    In any case, we saw a lot in those two days, probably not a lot less than we would have under better circumstances. While walking during those few days, my mind was filled with concern over how I’d walk when we were scheduled for several walking tours at various ports of call during the upcoming cruise.

    At this point, we were nearing the turnaround spot.

    We’d signed up for a few small group tours before the heart surgery, and we were committed to our share of the costs. All we could do was forge ahead to the best of my ability. I refused to cancel it all.

    Many dinner cruise boats on the River Seine for considerably lower prices, as low as US $51, EU $39 per person, which were less luxurious with standard fare. We’d researched extensively to decide on the Bateaux Parisiennes, which was highly rated on various websites.

    As it turned out, we only had to cancel one of the two-day tours in St. Petersburg. There was no way I could keep up with the group on a second all-day walking tour. This was very disappointing, not only in losing the money, which was non-refundable but also missing the second day. 

    There were many day tour boats along the river.

    I felt terrible for Tom when he had so much anticipated this particular cruise, but he never complained or seemed frustrated with me. Instead, he held me up during the long walks on each tour as I hung onto his arm. 

    The sight of all the well-lit boats on the river at night was captivating.

    Somehow, we made it through the remaining ports of call on that cruise resulting in many beautiful experiences and photos along the way. It’s hard to believe it was only one year ago. I still struggle to walk without pain, but my current 5 miles, 8 km daily walks have been instrumental in improving my ability to walk for longer distances.

    Tom was undoubtedly enjoying the included two bottles of wine plus two glasses of champagne served when we were seated.  He prefers white over red.

    No matter where we end up after we leave India, I will continue to walk if safe outdoors and indoors. If I walk every hour for 12 minutes each, I could manage to get in the necessary steps to maintain this current goal by the end of any day.

    Photo from one year ago today, August 9, 2019:

    Arriving in Amsterdam for a two-night stay before our upcoming cruise, we looked forward to a boat ride on the canals. For more, please click here.