Category Archives: PBP2011

Jet Lag Sucks.

Dear Reader,

Jet lag really stinks.  I had this whole idea to have an awesome recap blog of my France trip ready for today, but I didn’t write it.  I tried, but it was hard to fit writing the blog in around the unshakable urge to stare vacantly at nothing.

I woke up around 3am on Sunday, unable to go back to sleep so I went grocery shopping at like 6am.  Yeah, me awake at 6am, it’s unreal!  Unfortunately that was the height of my productivity today.  It’s been downhill from there.  Here’s hoping Monday is better for me, and yours is better than mine.  I’ll get my act together and have something more interesting to say later this week.

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Paris Update!

Dear Reader,

So here’s a quick set of highlights about the Paris trip so far…

I spent an hour locked inside of an off hours train in the train yard, about a mile from the station.  I read a few chapters of my book and paced the train until a poor little maintenance man came by to let the stupid American out of the train.  He then escorted me to the correct train.  Stupid Americans!

This little chicka tried to con me by saying she found a man’s wedding ring on the ground and wanted to give it to me.  In exchange for accepting the ring she’d found I was supposed to pay her.

The police are out in force today, and I watched them snatch a pick pocket off his motorcycle right in front of my bus.  It was rather exciting.

Our usual waiter at the cafe closest to my hotel has claimed he is my boyfriend. I wouldn’t mind taking him home with me.

Mom’s doing okay on the cycling thing.  We did get some bad news though.  An American cyclist was hit and killed on the course.  We don’t know who it was yet.

I love hanging out at a cafe and reading for a stretch.  The shopping is fun.

While shopping, I had a Russian man approach me, speaking Russian.  I then admit that I’m only an American and he scolds me and tells me I look Russian, so I should be Russian. This isn’t the first time I’ve been told I was Russianish.

The end of the ride is close.  Tomorrow night – well, tonight when this posts – I want to go hang out around the finish line and cheer on the finishers.  For now though, I’m going to crash because tomorrow I plan on shopping and finishing off my open bus tour.


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Thursday Thirteen: 13 Days in Paris

Hopefully by now I’ve checked in, but anyways, I wanted to share thirteen days of traveling France with you.  Or at least what I’m planning on doing.  Things could always change!

Day 1 – This is a travel day.  *sigh*  We drive from my parents house to Houston and take a direct flight to Paris.

Day 2 – Arriving in the morning, settling our things and doing a few cycling maintenance things.  In the evening we’re going to Paris Disney to hopefully take a hot air balloon ride and go to the Wild West show.

Day 3 – Hitting Paris!  Check in with our boat tour, which has 8 stops along the river through Paris.  Stops include the sights or areas of: Jardins des Plantes, Notre-Dame, Hotel DeVille, Saint Germain, Louvre Museum, Orsay Museum, Champs Elysees, and the Eiffel Tower.  In the evening we’re meeting up with a bunch of other cyclists for a photo-op at the tower.

Day 4 – Taking the Bullet to London, where we’ll hit up Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, the TARDIS and the Globe Theater.  Overnight in London!

Day 5 – Take the Bullet back to Paris.  Head to Normandy Beach, check out Mont-Saint Michel and have a lovely picnic.

Day 6 – Bike inspection and bag drop day for my mom, which means I’ll be finding a cool cafe to hang out and do the pen monkey thing from.

Day 7 – Finding a new cafe to check out in the morning and afternoon.  At 6pm the cyclists head out in groups of 500.  Yes, I said 500.

Day 8 – The idea was to take the train out to a place along the route the cyclists will take and wave at them as they go by, but it might not be affordable.  So, if I don’t do that I might go hit up some of the chateaus and cathedrals.

Day 9 – Doing the Catacombs, Basilica de Sacre Coeur and the Paris Opera House!

Day 10 – Going back to spend the day at the art museums, the Louvre and Orsay.  I’m kind of hoping to find some sweet street artists selling paintings.

Day 11 – The cyclists have to finish by noon, so I’ll be hanging out at the finish line or a cafe, watching people go by.  In the evening there is a dinner with the other Texas cyclists.

Day 12 – A day of Versailles!  Since my mom will need to spend the day walking to shake out the kinks in her leg, covering the gardens, palace and the queen’s villa.

Day 13 – Time to head home.  Sad face.

So there you go.  Hopefully we get to do half this stuff.  Either way, it’s going to be awesome getting to go to France.


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Thursday Thirteen: I should be packing

So I think you guys might know by now, but Monday I leave for a two week trip to France.  As of today I have yet to do any real packing, which is a surprise considering how obsessive I am about this kind of thing normally, but this trip is different in a lot of ways.  So, here are thirteen things I need to do or pack before I leave – on Monday.

  1. Call my bank and let them know that when Money is being withdrawn in another country, it’s okay.  I haven’t been pick-pocketed.
  2. Call my insurance company to double-check the procedure for using my insurance in another country.
  3. Making a photocopy of all my important documents.  Making multiple copies so I can leave them in my luggage and with my father.
  4. Dig out my suitcase from the depths of my closet.
  5. Buy the books I want to read while on the plane and waiting for all the cycling stuff to happen.
  6. Get batteries, specifically the lithium ones because apparently you can’t take the others on the flight we’re taking.
  7. Charge all my electronics.
  8. Pack clothes.
  9. Don’t forget things like socks and things with sleeves since it’s going to be colder in France than in Texas.
  10. Adapters so I can charge things in Europe.
  11. Do more figuring out of what I want to see.
  12. Decide if we’re going to London or not and make reservations.
  13. Clean the apartment.


Filed under Blog Meme, In My Closet, PBP2011

Preping for Paris

Dear Reader,

Have I mentioned that I’m going to Paris in two weeks?

The trip has been eclipsed by the family health drama and my grandmother’s condition.  My mother and I realized Thursday that, holy cow, we were leaving in two weeks – and had nothing ready!

I’ve been looking forward to this trip since my mother bought the plane tickets.  I hadn’t allowed myself to get too excited because honestly, the whole trip could fall through at any time.  It’s a trip so that my mother can participate in Paris-Brest-Paris, the longest running organized cycling ride in the world. Something like 6,000 people participate in it ever four years.  It’s a big deal in the cycling community.  Everyone’s seen how the people turn out for the Tour de France, the same crowd – if not bigger – lines the roads for PBP.  And we’re going!

This trip will be unlike any other foreign trip I’ve taken.  I’ve always been responsible for others, going to do humanitarian things with the church or a non-profit but never.  Not this time!  I’m only responsible for my mother – and she’s not the type to throw a temper tantrum in the middle of a crowded airport.  Yes, it’s happened before to me.  I also will be alone for four or five days – meaning – I can do whatever I want to do.  If I want to go sight seeing, I can go!  If I want to hang out at a cafe and write, I can!  I get to be a real tourist for two weeks.

So in preparation I’m looking at places to see, things I want to do and starting to worry about luggage.  My mother is taking her bicycle case and a back pack *eye roll*.  She thinks she’s going to get all of her clothes and stuff into a back pack.  I have no illusion of packing light.  I’m taking a body bag and I’m fine with it!

One of the things we plan on doing that I’m super jazzed about is taking the bullet across to London and strolling around over there for a day, catching a show at the Globe Theater, over-nighting it there and going back to Paris the next day.

The one thing my mom wants to do is go walk Normandy Beach.  We’ve been warned that there isn’t anything to see except – a beach – but we’re going anyways.  I think a nice picnik by the ocean with freshly baked French bread would be very cool.

So are you envious yet?  I’m jealous of myself!

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Reality, sometimes it takes a while to set in.

Dear Reader,

Last year my mother asked if I would go with her to Paris-Brest-Paris in August.  I said sure!  I didn’t think we would really go.  I thought for sure she would decide it wasn’t worth it to go all the way to France.

Today I calculated when I might hear back from my submissions and I realized that according to the guidelines on one publisher’s site – I would hear back from them right before I left for France.  Which is about seven weeks away.

Oh my God, I’m going to France Next Month!  I need to buy some good shoes, break them in, and figure out what I want to see and do while I’m in France.  Okay, I’m going to go be excited and do stuff now.  Have a lazy Saturday!

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One Small Step for Me

Dear Reader,

I don’t talk about my writing because I don’t want to bore you.  Other people talk about writing and do it well.  Not me.  But today I’m going to share a few tidbits with you.

Yesterday I not only pitched to editors, I submitted a novella to a publisher.  In the big picture that doesn’t mean much but I’m working towards that publication goal.  I should hear back on the pitch this week but the submission will be almost into the fall before I hear back from them.

So, full power ahead!  I’m going to begin revisions on two other projects and then I’m giving myself a vacation.  Have I mentioned that I’m going to Paris?  Well I am!

…..This post was done and scheduled but before going to bed I checked my email and found a request from a pitch session I’d participated in.  I’m super jazzed, and wanted to ass this in, cuz it’s cool and worth celebrating.

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Filed under PBP2011, Pen Monkey