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Mt. Pulaski , Illinois
February 2, 2011     Times
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February 2, 2011

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February 5, 2011 Mt. Pulaski Times 13 Submitted By - Rebecca Drake I flew to Paris, France to meet up with one of my former foreign exchange students, Rosie Abbud Draime (1984). Rosie was in Paris to enroll two of her daughters at the Sorbonne, Jennifer in art and Stephanie in languages. Rosie and I also enjoyed a citywide open-air bus tour, seeing the Lourve, the Arc De'Triumph, the Champs Elysee', Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame on the Seine, and so much more on a beautiful day while the girls got settled into their school. Another day was spent at the Musee'D'Orsay, renown worldwide for its prestigious art collections. Musee'D'Orsay is much more manageable than he Lourve, for which you stand for hours in line. Besides the Mona Lisa, the Lourve is famous for the I. M. Pei designed glass pyramid entrance building, which played a key role in the book, The DaVinci Code. I also did some Christmas shopping at the Lafay- ette department store, which is owned by Dodi Fyaid's father, who also owned Harrod's in London. It is the largest department store in Paris with a dis- tinctive, colorful stained glass dome. Rosie and I flew down to Barcelona, Spain to meet up with friends there. Pernille Brauer, my foreign exchange student in 1978, also joined us. In Barcelona, we shopped on the Ramble, a pedestrian strip of venders with all kinds of enticements. We went to the open-air market, The Boque- ria, renown for its fresh fruits and veg- etables, fish, breads, spices, wines, meats and salamis, and small counters, serving up typical Spanish soups and lunches. Pemille and I attended a theatre production of tradi- Pernille and Rosie tional Spanish music and Flamenco danc- ing. We also experienced an open-air citywide bus tour of Barcelona, from the 1992 Olympic Village to the beacbfront on the Mediterranean Sea. We toured three famous Gaudi' landmarks, the Batllo' House, the Pedrada building and the Art Nouvou apartment within it, and the famous Sacrada Familia Cathe- dral. The Sacrada Farnilia Cathedral is still under construction, even though the architect, Antoni Gaudi' died in 1926. It is projected to be completed by 2025. We also took in art exhibits at the Salvador Dell' museum as well as the Pablo Picasso museum, viewing the artists' original works. Pernille returned to her home in Copenhagen while Rosie and I flew on to Florence, Italy. In Florence, I visited Rosie's villa, taking in the San Lorenzo marketplace, the Ponte Vecchio, Piazza Del Signoria, and all her other favorite Florentine sites. I struck out on my own, taking a train to Lucca, a medieval walled city near Florence. This beauti- ful little town is interesting to walk around, taking photos. The ancient walls (25 miles long) now provide a biking and walking park. The Piazza dell' Anfiteatro (Roman Amphitheater) provides a center for numerous shops and cafes. Wandering around the town ascends to the Catedrale di San Martino, a 13th Century cathedral consecrated by Pope Alex- ander II. The highlight of the outing was seeing the overwhelming art exhibited in the Museo Nazionale di Palazzo, one of Lucca's grandest palaces, includ- ing portraits of the Medici family and numerous popes and death scenes of saints. Paris was not named after Paris, the King of Troy's son who fell in love with Helen, and carted her home. Instead, it was named for the Parisii, a tribe of Gauls who settled on the lie de la Cite between 250 and 200 B.C. Chestnut L Fa'-mily Ilestaura00 Tuegday[ Fried Ohioke00 Friday Oatlish-Walleye l"ilapia 10% Your Next Purchase O Flr With This Ad (Expires 2/12/11) Sun., Mon., Wed., Thurs 6:00 to 2:00 Tues., Fri., Sat. 6:00 to 2:00 & 4:30 to 7:30 START RIGHT. START HERE." HARDWARE & GARDENS Full Service Hardware Store & Greenhouse Local Friendly Service Independently Owned & Operated Open 7 Days a Week Mon. - Fri. 7:30Arn - 6Prn Sat. 7:30Am - 5Prn Sun. lOAm - 3Pro 423 S. Washington St. - Mt. Pulaski 792-5911 An outing from Florence was a train trip to Arezzo, a city that was home of Petrarch (1304- 1374). Famous for its San Fran- cesco church, the basilica's fres- coes are magnificent. The city dates from pre-Etruscan times from 7th to 4th B.C. with small winding pedestrian streets. For lunch, I enjoyed gnocchi with Prosecco. Catching the train again, I headed to Cortona. This picturesque town is the setting for Francis Mayes' book, Under the Tuscan Sun. The city bus meets people at the train station in Camucia for the winding road up the hill to the center of Cortona. The Piazza SignorellL named for Luca Signorelli (1450-1523), holds many little cafes and shops for browsing. A ceramics shop sold the famous Cor- tone Ceramics with the distinctive green and yellow daisy pattern, only found in Cortona. The Museo dell'Accademia houses an interesting collection of Etruscan, Egyptian, and Geek artifacts. I stayed overnight in a B& B, managed by a San Franciscan (California), who has been in Cortona for 12 years. I took the EuroStar train to Venice for a long weekend before heading home. High tides pre- vented a tour of the Murano glass factories, but didn't prevent my buying a piece in a shop. I also toured the Guggenheim Museum of Contemporary Art, housed in the palatial home of Peggy Guggen- helm on the Grand Canal. Viewing early works of Klee, Calder, DeKoonig, Picasso, Kandinsky, and many other famous artists, was a real treat. Taking a private vaporetto (water taxi) to San Marco Airport, I caught a flight to Paris to con- nect with a flight to Copenhagen. In Copenhagen," I met Pernille Brauer for a lunch and visited with Pernille's family. Signe (age 15) and Soren (age 17) stayed home from school to see Pernille's "Ameri- can Mom"again. Her 80 year old father, Leif Brauer came to the house also. Pemille's husband, Bo Christensen, an environmental lawyer for the Danish government, was on a business trip. After Pemille took me back to the Copenhagen airport, it was time to fly back home after a wonder- ful trip. Cornland Fire 3l Annual C lay. Febr $6.00 Adults $4.00 for Children Dinner includes: ili or Soup, Dessert and Drink Carry Outs Available