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Europe 2007:

Yes another trip abroad.  This time no class, but of course there was glass.  This was a very special trip, as it was with my mom who had never been further east then the Mississippi River, and she had only been that far when she was a very small girl some 55+ years ago. 


I am a planner and had our whole trip mapped out to the minute.  Mom couldn't get off work as long as I could so I went to London to stay with a very special friend.  Francesca Cerreta of Sirio Designs - www.Siriodesigns.comFrancesca was so sweet to invite me to stay with her and her wonderful family, Martin, her husband, their two sons Lorenzo & Tancedi, plus Maricel the nanny. Francesca is Italian, Martin is English, and Maricel is Pilipino, so it is a very international house indeed.  The hospitality that was extended to me was no less then any five star hotel. 

Transportation is so simple in London, trains and the underground get you most places and the underground is just as easy as punch.  Even being there during the underground strike it wasn't super bad as long as you knew where to go.  The English are so helpful and everyone that I meet was more then willing to help out a stranger.  The food is great and the sights are like none other, being a history buff I wanted to see all the sights I could.  Gardens are another love of mine, so Kew Gardens was a must.  Here are a few pictures from London and Kew.


Stone on Westminster   Greenwich, London   Kew Gardens
Tower Bridge   Giant Water Lilies
Kew Garden   Ruined Arch, Kew Garden   Pond in Kew Garden
Kew Garden



Big Ben

Brussels - I took the EuroStar (train) from London to Brussels.  I spent the day wandering the city and seeing some of the historical sites. The pulpit pictured below is all hand carved oak, and depicts Adam & Eve in the Garden of Eden. That evening I went to what is said to be the best restaurant in all of Belgium, for a seven course French dinner.  It was wonderful and worth every penny.  Comme Chez Soi, I recommend it highly and reservations are needed well in advance.  I picked up my mother the next morning and gave her a brief recap of my tour the day before, which of course included a chocolate shop.


Oak Pulpit

  Brussel's Street

Grand Place


Comme Chez Soi

France - After our whirlwind tour of Brussels we we drove though the Belgium and French countryside  purposely staying off  freeways on our way to Sars-Poteries, France, which is about an hour and a half south of Brussels and about two hours northeast of Paris.    

Sars-Poteries is a tiny little French village with a population of just under 1,600 and it is home to both a Glass School and Glass Musee.  The Musee  hosted the exhibit "Bulles de Perles" from July 2007 through October 2007.  This was the reason for my journey as  I was honored to be selected as an exhibitor at this showing.   My piece is pictured below along with some other pieces from the exhibit.  The exhibit was highlighted by the "La Journee de la Perle de Verre".  This is a Bi-Annual event that consists of one day of demos and another day with both demos and a bead show.  It is my hope to return to this event in 2009 with some of my friends from the states.  On the first day there was also a reception at the Musee, to celebrate the contributions of the 65 international artist that were being shown.  It was a lovely event with very cool food a drinks, the French know how to throw a party.  After the reception was a banquet that was in another small town not to far away, but it was a journey literal through the woods and farmers fields.  Everyone treated my mom and I like royalty and it was defiantly a night to remember.  Thank you to all that made it possible.  The evening was extra special because I was able to met for the first time, a long time email friend, PEtra Janssen and her husband Bernd, I can't wait to get back over to spend more time with them, they are both just a HOOT! 

We had to leave Sars-Poteries fairly early the next morning as we had 4 full days planned in Giverny and Paris.  So we said our good bye to our old and new friends while they were setting up for the bead show. 



Musse du Verre

Entrance to show Air & Water the theme of the exhibit
Exhibit floor Display case (mine is in the lower left corner)
The other side of display case There were four display cases like this one. Sharon Peters- Smart Ass Glass



PEtra Janssen - Beadnik -www.beadnik.de 


Francesca Cerreta - Sirio Designs   www.Siriodesigns.com

United Kingdom

Diana East


United Kingdom

Anne Londez - Anne Designs




This is mine

Close up of my shell A section of one of the reception tables One of the two hotels in town
The town community center where the demos and show were held Setting up for the Bead Show Sars-Poteries town center


More of the town center

Laon, France -  My maternal grandfather fought in WWI, and spent his duty in the areas between Paris and Sar-Poteries.  We are not sure exactly where he was in these areas, but our drive from Sar-Poteries took us through the small township of Laon.  Laon was a strategic position in many of the wars in France including both of the World Wars, as it is perched high on a hill.  Laon has the one of if not the oldest surviving Gothic church in all of France.  It was a Sunday when we were there, so we didn't get to go into the Cathedral.  But the exterior was very special, especially the goats on the bell towers.  We had to climb a million stairs to get to the center of the village but it was well worth it.  Even though my grandfather died five years before I was born, I felt a strange connection to him while I was visiting this very beautiful place.  Maybe he was here some 90 years before us, but I am sure he did not enjoy it as much as I did.

If you are into WWI or WWII history this is a great drive to take you through the heart of some of where it happened.  Of course the drive long the French coast is also one that would be a must, and I plan on getting to Normandy the next trip.


The view from the top of Laon

The Abby

Laon Cathedral

Village Center


OOPs someone go down the hill to fast

Bell Towers

Giverny, France.  After a very short stay in Laon we drove off for Giverny, the home of Monet.  I fell in love with the beauty of the garden's in this very small village, and can see why Monet spent his final years here.  Here are just a tiny selection of the photos I took in both Monet's Garden and the Musee de Art Americain Garden.  It truly is an artists dream.

  My Mom!!!  
Paris, France.  Famous museums, great food, spectacular shopping, history abound and the perfect place to end a vacation.  We walked the streets of the city for two and a half days (14 miles of walking), and saw everything we possible could squeeze in.  From Sacré-Cœur Basilica,  L'église Sainte-Marie-Madeleine, Notre Dame de Paris, Musée d'Orsay, Palais du Louvre, Opera Garnier, Palais & Jardin Royal, Jardin de Tuileries, Île de la Cité, Tour Eiffel to a river cruise on the Seine, we saw those and much more.  The special treat of our stay was a beautiful lunch at a top Paris restaurant (actually at the time one of the top 68 in the world) in the Palais Royal on the Jardin (garden). La Grand-VefourThis wonderful restaurant has served the likes of Louis XV, Napoleon and his wife Josephine, as well as writers Victor Hugo, Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Colette and Andre Malraux.  The history in the small rooms of this establishment is vast and just sitting in such a place eating an outstanding meal was truly a joy for both my mother and I.  Our last morning we had breakfast sitting in the Trileries Jardin just after sunrise, it was a prefect morning, and made for a lasting memory of our last hours in Paris.


Sacré-Cœur Basilica Eiffle Tower from Sacré-Cœur Opera Garnier
The Alter at L'église Sainte-Marie-Madeleine

West Bank- Latin District


Notre Dame de Paris

and the view from both

the roof


the bell level


Hôtel de Ville A typical window in Paris Onyx & Bronze in Musée d'Orsay


The view from the Eiffel Tower




Jardin de Palais Royal



Palais du Louvre & Jardin de Tuileries,


  Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel  


I. M. Pei - Louvre Pyramid

So that brings me to the end of our journey.  I hope you enjoyed a sampling of this wonderful trip, and I know you are glad I didn't post all two thousand pictures.

Au Revoir till the journey.



Last updated:  Saturday March 15, 2008