Bonjour, mes amis! I’m writing to you from the heart of Paris. I’d hoped to provide an update of my vacation last weekend, but couldn’t find a computer. (I left my wireless keyboard on the train from Rome to Paris, and wasn’t about to compose an entire blog entry using the built-in iPad keyboard.)

Kris and I are continuing to have a great time exploring the history of the Old World. Since I last checked in, we’ve seen a lot. For example, we spent a day exploring the ruins of ancient Rome, including the Colosseum:

Colosseum - Rome

After four days in Rome, we took the night train to Paris (and, as I mentioned, I left my wireless keyboard behind, which is not very frugal). We spent three days exploring Paris on our own. Of course, we climbed the towers of Notre Dame:

The new hunchback of Notre Dame

We also climbed the steps of the Arc de Triomphe to view Paris at night:

Eiffel Tower at night

But perhaps the highlight of our trip so far was the afternoon we spent at Versailles, the mind-boggling palace built by Louis XIV. It’s impossible to take a photograph that does the place (and its gardens) justice. We were fortunate enough to catch the fountains in action. They were like fireworks with water. This photo can’t even begin to convey what the display was like:

Mirror Fountain - Versailles

For the past week, we’ve been on a river cruise from Paris to Normandy (and back again). This was okay, but not worth the cost to me. (Live and learn, right?) Still, it was an efficient way to see a lot of history, including Omaha Beach and the American Cemetery, as well as the Bayeux Tapestry, which I’ve waited over twenty years to see (since my “history of the English language” course in college):

The Bayeux Tapestry

As you might expect, over three weeks of travel, we’ve eaten a lot of good food:

Patisserie - Paris

But I’ve also tried to squeeze in some exercise!

Double-unders by the Eiffel Tower
J.D. jumping rope in front of the Eiffel Tower

As great as the trip has been, Kris and I are both itching to return home. Twenty-four days on the road is too many. We know that now. In the future, we’ll budget for maybe 14-17 days of travel at once. (Or maybe we can find a way to bring our cats with us, which would help ease the homesickness.) We still have three days in Paris (which may be complicated because we’re both sick!), but then we’ll fly home to relieve the housesitter.

Most of all, I’m itching to write again. I’ve been writing in my travel journal every day, and I’ve even written some about personal finance, but it’s not the same as sitting in my office and pursuing my passion, you know? I miss interacting with you folks; I miss the conversations at Get Rich Slowly. Left to my own devices, I’d sit at this computer for the next three hours and write, but there are other hotel guests waiting to use it. For Africa, I’m taking my laptop.

If you want to see more photos from our trip, you can check out my Flickr photostream. Otherwise, I’ll check in again next weekend, and I’ll be back here full time on the 25th!

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