I woke to rain. But, I was very excited for my run this morning. I try to go a different way each day, and see what I find. Today I found an estuary that is damned by locks to make the most wonderful stream that goes for MILES. On one side is a paved bike path, on the other a single track running path; soft dirt and grass for as far as the eye can see. But, better than that was the clearness of the water. I nearly fell in 10 times because as I was running I kept looking for fish. But, this run reminded me why I used to love, and still do love running. Just experiencing nature in the most elemental way. If I had come to La Rochelle and not gone for a run, I would have never found this. As a good friend of mine Chuck Amital once told me, “I’ve never felt worse after coming home from a run.” Truer words have never been spoken.

I thought a lot about what I wrote about yesterday. I am so lucky that my dad and mom introduced me to so many things. Some of them turned out not to be that important to me, but others have become so integral to who I am that it seems impossible to separate my own affinity for the thing from the importance my parents instilled within me.

So I came up with couple things that are the most important to me:

  1. Art
  2. Spearfishing
  3. Running
  4. Gymnastics
  5. Family and Loved Ones

Some of you might be interested in following some of Chaz’s adventures in Peru. If you want her blog regarding her work down there is found here:

http://chazgirl4change.blogspot.com/

I also had a good lesson today. I paid $90 through RailEurope.com to get from Paris to La Rochelle online. Today, I went directly to the rail station to book the rest of my train travel around France. I leave tomorrow for Bordeaux, then on to Lyon, Avignon, and then back to Paris and Versailles. I booked all that travel for only $190!!! Live and learn I guess, but what a scam!!! I also found this local hotel chain that is about $50 a night called B&B Hotel. They are like a Best Western. I will stay with them in Bordeaux, if they are nice I will use them for the rest of my trip.

In Bordeaux I of course will go and see the Musee des Beaux Arts, and then I plan to take a wine country tour. BTW I forgot to mention that La Rochelle is the Cognac capital. You can get every possible variety of Cognac here. I wish my suitcase was bigger, and bottles were lighter. J

In Lyon, I will take in the Musee there as well, and well, we’ll see what happens. Then in Avignon I will stay with a family from the gym who has a house there. I’m sure some cliff jumping will be involved. I just hope the kids take it easy on this old man.

Lastly, having not got my fix of that painting by Bouguereau. I went back to that church again today, and stared over the gate at the painting. After about 20 min., the custodian who let me in yesterday saw me and just laughed. He said, “Back again?” I told him that I didn’t get good enough picture yesterday. I forgot to mention that yesterday I begged him to let me behind the gate so I could get the pictures I did because you can’t really see the painting from behind the gate because of glare. Yesterday, he let me in for about a minute. Today, he just shut the gate behind me, and said take as long as I needed. 🙂 SWEET!!! So, 150 pictures later, I left thanking him profusely.

All in all it was a pretty good day. OK, one last thing, there are these awesome sandwiches here. They are made from baguettes that aren’t cooked all the way. They then have all different ingredients (traditional sandwich material meats, cheeses, vegetables) but they grill them in a panini press until they are hot and squished very thin. It is like a really big hot pocket, but absolutely fresh! I think I might just eat nothing but them for the rest of my trip!

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