Our winter vacation
On January 11th, during one of the coldest winters that Paris has experienced for a long time, we put on our warmest coats, scarves, hats, and gloves, grabbed our suitcases, and went up to the street to meet our taxi. Two airline meals and four movies later, we landed in San Francisco.
It was overcast that day but not cold, and for the next few weeks, we enjoyed warm sunny days, and we loved walking out the door without dressing for winter.
We had a wonderful time visiting family and friends and fell in love with San Francisco all over again.
Back in Paris in mid-March, we found spring had arrived here too.
Soirée Moules "Chips"
Thanks to Gilles, the vice-president of our yacht club, 62 people enjoyed a great dinner together last night.
Gilles provided the idea for a Soirée Moules Chips (normally "Moules Frites," but cooking french fries was too complicated for our outdoor kitchen, so Gilles substituted potato chips).
Arnaud, another Yacht Club Paris Bastille board member, and his group provided the music. It was another magical port event. We felt like we were smack dab in the middle of a French film, and my little movie, taken on my iPhone, only gives a hint of what a super event it was.
Bravo Gilles. Bravo Arnaud.
Our Yacht Club Paris Bastille barbecues keep getting better. Held once a month, they draw a loyal crowd of regulars who live in the port and an ever-changing group of boaters who either stay for six months during the winter or pass through Paris for a week or two in the summer.
Our neighborhood is constantly changing, so there are always new neighbors to meet and new friendships to make. Last night a brass band called Les Gueules en Pente came to add a little spice to our barbecue.
Festival de l'Oh!
We have just returned to Paris after three delightful weeks on the Marne River. First, we spent some time in Meaux, enjoying the leisurely pace of a much smaller town than Paris. Then we moved further out into the countryside to Poincy, where our mooring on the river was so calm that the only sounds we heard were birds singing and fish jumping.
We read, rode our bikes, relaxed, and in between the rain, we repainted everything except the hull. It was a lovely vacation, and for the last week, we stayed in the very charming port at Neuilly-sur-Marne. Not only is our favorite guinguette, Chez Fifi, a few steps from the port, but we were lucky enough to be there last weekend for their Festival de l'Oh! It rained and stormed for a good portion of the day, but that didn't keep people from having fun. We enjoyed watching all of the water sports, especially the people bouncing around on the water in plastic bubbles.
Our Certificat Communautaire
Fifteen months after we went into the boatyard in Belgium to have our EU safety survey, now required for all barges over 20 meters, we finally received our Certificat Communautaire in the mail.
If you stop by for a drink on our back deck, we will tell you the story about how our barge passed its official inspection with flying colors only to have a missing number on our Belgian papers cause a catch-22 that "ping-ponged" our paperwork from civil servants' desks in Belgium to fonctionnaires' desks in France for more than a year.
Speaking of bureaucratic nightmares, click here for a link to the TRIWV regulations to see what we had to do to earn our certificate.
Be sure to scroll through the whole document. :-)
Our battle ended last week, so you can picture us with big smiles as we stand in our kitchen and gaze down at our certificate in all its stamped, bureaucratic beauty resting comfortably on our kitchen counter.
Eclaircie - SOLD
After 10,394 kilometers traveled on bucolic canals and lazy rivers
After passing through 2,589 locks, occasionally caressing the walls but without ever hanging up our lines.
After 3,360* dinners on our back deck, sometimes alone, sometimes with friends, and always with a great view (*Just a guesstimate)
After getting to know French wines and Champagnes the way a local would by "living" in those regions
After mooring in charming villages and beautiful cities long enough to get to know our way around their back streets
After years of riding bikes as our primary and preferred form of transportation
After meeting the most interesting people from all over the world and making lasting friendships
After wrestling the French language to the mat and declaring a tie
After living for the last six years right smack dab in the middle of Paris with delightful French neighbors
After twelve years of enjoying every day to its fullest on this side of the world, we have decided to tuck this chapter of our lives into our memories and return to our home in San Francisco
Home Port: Port de l’Arsenal on the Canal Saint-Martin at the Bastille in Paris, France
HULL IDENTIFICATION NUMBER: BR 37073 B
ENI (Unique European Vessel Identification Number): 06105285
Certificat Communautaire (European Certificate Number) - required for all boats over 20 meters: CA 773
LENGTH, BEAM, WATER DRAFT
22.40 meters x 4.79 meters x 1.04 meters
3.17m at front of wheelhouse
3.30m awning, down
3.50m awning, up