Sunday, March 10, 2013

A Palace and A Championship Title

Saturday night's dinner onboard was as good as Friday's meal had been, as have the breakfasts and lunches. The only reason I won't waddle off this ship at the end of the cruise is that there is a great deal of walking involved. Eat, walk, eat, walk--it all works for the good.

This Sunday morning dawned gray and chilly, even a bit of fog around. But off we went to tour the Palace of Versailles. We have regular city guides on these tours rather than our tour directors from the ship. They are always personable, well-versed people. This mort looked very fashionable. I've noticed that French women add scarves to many outfits, lovely scarves of all fabrics and hues. They add a lot to a plain sweater and pants.

This is only the beginning of the tourist season here so Elke told us it would not be as crowded. We had Elke as our guide, and like so many French women, she was dressed casually but looked so fashionable. We had receivers and ear pieces so could hear her dialogue quite well. We moved from one crowded elegant room to another, receiving explanations about the design, paintings, statues and crs usual. Even so,over 600 rooms but we saw maybe 25 and the piece de resistance--the Hall of Mirrors. The crowd at 9 a.m. was enormous! Elke said that, in season, you cannot faint inside as there is no place to fall!  To see this amazing room is awesome. Great balls were held in this spacious room filled with mirrors and exquisite chandeliers.
Elke pointed out the use of marble, gold, and the tapestries and embroidered hangings everywhere.

We were given an hour's free time, so Ken and I headed to the Tea Room in the palace. It was as might be expected, very gentile, quiet and relaxing with dark wood tables and upholstered chairs that looked right at home in the palace. I ordered a cafe au lait and Ken tried the hot chocolate. We added an order of 4 small macaroons in different flavors. The waiter brought my coffee cup, then set near it a lovely small pitcher filled with hot coffee and a smaller, matching pitcher of warmed milk. I would do the mixing to my liking. Ken's chocolate came with the chocolate in a similar pitcher and a tiny bowl of real whipped cream. The coffee was superb and the macaroons just the right addition. Ken asked for the bill and it was (as I expected) ridiculously expensive. But how often does one have coffee and macaroons in a palace? In the tea room, we felt relaxed, away from the crowds. Definitely a memorable experience.

Tonight, just before dinner, we sail away from Paris to Conflans. There are rumors of snow showers tomorrow. One of the hazards of this early spring travel.

Last night, we looked online for the K-State vs Oklahoma State game, Went to bed feeling so sad that our guys had lost the game. It meant that we were no longer tied for first place. Then, I had a thought. What if KU also lost? Nah, not likely I decided. What a great surprise when we checked this morning to see that is exactly what happened. We lost. KU lost. We are sharing being conference champions. Amazing!

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