Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Hello sun.. please stay forever!

The sun has been very good to us for the last few weeks. My walks to work in the mornings and evenings and all the wandering about I've been doing have allowed me to develop a nice relationship with our dear old sun. I am glad to say that I am starting to take in some color for my pasty skin. My friend, the sun, has been so kind enough to share with me a little preview of Paris under its rays- and my what a different city! The last few weeks have been quite pleasant and very beautiful to say the least. I am still at awe with this old village and all it has to offer.
The Palais Royal Garden

 On top of the Arc de Triomphe
 You can see the Sacre Coeur in the distance on top of that hill
(top) This is what the top of the Arc looks like

(top) The Champs Elysees
 Eiffel Tower

 Sacre Coeur again..
 I lost my arm!!

 In the distance, you can see the Louvre, and behind that, my building..

 Everything in Paris is in line with each other.. The Louvre is lined up with the Arc de Triomphe through the Concorde and Champs Elysees. This continues through to the Defense (what is known as the business district/skyscraper land in Paris) aligning with a white arc-shaped building. There are other alignments such as the Opera house aligning with the Louvre from another angle..
 I believe the picture above was on the Arc when it was first presented.. now it's in it.
On the Seine (pont neuf)
 I decided to take a walk yesterday after work and saw this captivating sight..

I am trying to take in as much Paris as possible, because the sun and I have an agreement.. Since I am relocating for the next two months to Chicago, Illinois, the sun will give me an early viewing of Paris. I, in turn, promised to take more walks to keep our lonely sun happy (he likes to shine upon peoples' faces for long periods of time- I sit directly under his rays during lunch- no hiding what-so-ever). The clouds are weakened because of our agreement! - See how everything works out if we all just attempt to get along? :-p
I'll give more details about Chicago once I know it's a sure thing.

Till the next,


Monday, March 14, 2011

Hi there... it's been a while!

I guess it is inevitable that days or weeks can go by that a blogger somehow forgets to type.. I don't want to make it to a month so I strive to remember the importance of this blog, and I apologize for the delay.

Much has happened since the 17th of February.

Weekend in Berlin with Manon
Lost my beloved grandma
Visted by my mom
Coreena stayed for a weekend
Visited the Loire Castles


My beloved grandmother passed away on the 23rd of February, 2011. Unfortunately, I was unable to stand by her side on her deathbed, but many were there until her last hour. They were with her till the end, my mother, my Aunt Rita, Aunt Lola, Uncle Farid, Uncle Maroun, their cousins Sarah and Mariam, and my cousins Gerges and Rizk. The moment she passed was said to have been one with their voices in prayer, together. There was a lot of tears in the room that evening. The sadness in our hearts was immense. She was a wonderful woman that set the foundations of each and every one of our spiritual lives. Her love was undying and her sacrifice unending. She piously prayed a few hours before she went to bed every night. Her prayers protected me my whole life. I survived living in three different cities all on my own, unharm because of her prayers and her influence on me.
Please remember my grandmother Nohad Karam in your prayers.. May her memory be eternal.

Some posts on facebook after her passing:

you taught me how to believe in god, you taught me how to pray, you taught me how to love and how to think positive! you taught me how to always smile and laugh! you raised me up this way! i love you teta, you're my idol! and i hope ill turn out to be just like you! i know you're watching me from above! rest in peace! ♥
ya seti ya khetyara ya zinet kil el 7ara hayde sete yali b7eba add el deniyi wil 7ara :D:D she is with you now jesus my lord.
الرب راعي فلا يعوزني شئ ، في مراع خصيبة يقودني ومياه الراحة يوردني، يرد نفسي ويهديني الى سبل البر من اجل اسمه... الله يرحمك عمتي...
ma ra7 ensa ya teta kell l salawet yalle 3almtine saliyoun ra7 saliyoun deyman w ente ra7 tkoune ma3e ra7 echta2lik ktir enta halla sorte maleke l 7eres i'll miss u for ever ....
chers amis (ies), j'ai ete tres touchee par vos chaleureux souhaits pr mon anniversaire. Quoique mon coeur est effondre par la perte de ma tante maternelle, vs lui avez ajoute une touche de consolation ! Je vs remercie infiniment ! Je vs aime ts! bisous.
You will always stay with us TETA Nohad , until we meet again in heaven, now I am sure that U are blessing us with the cross from above as u were doing it on earth .
Now it is your turn to watch for us , NOT from earth , BUT from HEAVEN
Habibet ALbna :)
Jesus, our Holy mother Mary now teta is with you plz take care of her
love u teta may u rest in peace
The world is a worse off place because you're gone. Allah yir7amik teta... Please remember my grandmother in your prayers...
I miss you my angel, my hero, my Teta... Allah yir7amik Teta Nohad. May you be with God now and may your soul rest in peace... I love you.
My heart is broken, Mom you are the reason but without your intentions. GOD wanted you back. REST IN PEACE MOM.... i miss you already but i know you are in a better place... I LOVE YOU...

After my mom left Lebanon, she headed over to visit me. I knew only 2 days before she arrived that she was coming. It was so nice to see her face, especially in this time of sadness. Her and I visited many churches and found much peace. My hope was that she would be better after she left, and Paris is notorious for making people feel better- whether through churches or food and a lot more!

A good friend since childhood, Coreena visited me the weekend after my mom left. We had much fun exploring the city.

Finally a weekend came by where I could explore more of France- and why not the castles!! Melda and I went to Cheverney, Château de Blois, Château de Chenonceau, and Château d'Amboise.

The road to the Loire river where many castles can be found..
Cheverny is a beautiful Mansion that they consider a Castle. Royalty never lived in it but it is a very luxurious home. The family who owns it still lives there but we didn't get to meet them. The picture of the hounds doesn't share the stench that I had to survive through to get the photo.. But the dogs are pure breed..

This castle is located in the town of Blois.. Very nice building but I didn't enjoy it as much as I enjoyed the castles I saw on the following day.

Chenonceau is BEAUTIFUL!! I am sure it is even more beautiful in the summer when all the flowers are blooming.. This castle is on the river..

This last castle we visited is in the town of Amboise.. It was breathtaking since it has its own private garden and overlooks the town and the Loire river.. I wouldn't have minded living in a castle like this...

This church holds the tomb of Leonardo da Vinci.. It was so exciting to go into this church knowing that. It is located in the garden of the castle..

Every castle we went to had a beautiful and grand Cedar of Lebanon in its garden. It was even listed like that in the maps of the castles (Cedar of Lebanon). I had to take a picture with one of them. I couldn't help but wonder what history the trees witnessed.. And why these trees are present near castles in France!?!

Till the next,