Monday, November 24, 2008

Stuck in France - the pictures

As my previous post said, my 8 day business trip to Toulouse, France turned into a 19 day trip. So I had 2 weekends to play with and Armistice Day (Nov 11). I tried to take advantage of it all. The first weekend I went shopping in Toulouse and to a wine festival. Armistice Day I got to tag along on a road trip to a little village near Bordeaux. The fall colors are beautiful. The leaves on the vines have all turned beautiful colors and the trees are brilliant as well.
An incredible view down the road into the village.
That night, back in Toulouse, I attended a chamber orchestra concert. It was a violin virtuoso accompanied by 4 violins, 1 viola and 1 cello. It was at St. Sernin Basilica. This is the year of baroque music. It was amazing to hear music played in the venue it was created for. I've never heard a more stirring rendition of Ave Maria. They ended the concert with selections from Vivaldi's Four Season.

My last weekend in France, I took a road trip up to Limoges. It's a town famous for it's porcelain. I don't recommend this town as a must see - only if you have money to spend on expensive dinner ware. Unfortunately the porcelain museum is closed until April for renovation. This is the inset of Limoges' Hotel DeVille - the French national slogan - Liberty, Equality, Fraternity.

I walked around the botanical gardens and took a self-portrait.

St. Etienne Cathedral is next to the botanical gardens.
The drive was the best part of this trip. This is a poor attempt to capture how beautiful it was.

Look, it's shake & bake and I helped! Well, it's an Boeing 777 nacelle and I did the analysis on portions of the thrust reverser. I got to fly a 777 on my trip over and had a perfect seat for seeing my handiwork. It always kinda freaks the person sitting next to me out when I fly one and mention that I had a hand in it. That was 3 years of my career.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Stuck in France

I flew over here for a week for a business meeting and 4 hours before it was to happen, it was cancelled and rescheduled 11 days out. It's cheaper for me to stay here then fly home & back, so I'm stuck in France. I realize there are worse places to be stuck. I am trying to make the most of it. I had to go shopping to buy a coat & some sweaters as I did not pack warm enough or enough for 2.5 weeks. I have had the opportunity to get to know our on-site team better and explore Toulouse more. I went to a wine festival on Sunday and tried a lot of good wine. Unfortunately I don't have the space to bring much home with me.
Nov 11 is Armistice Day. It is interesting to be on this side of the world for such a momentus occasion in celebrating history. I will go to a chamber orchestra concert at a cathedral downtown that night. It reminds me of how thankful we need to be to those who fought for our freedom.
I did not bring my camera card reader with me as I was only going to be gone a week. So you'll have to wait for pictures until I return home.