Monday, January 30, 2012

An Encouraging Thought For the Day!

Hey all,

Today's blog is about enjoying yourself.  That's right.  Letting go and just having fun.  We don't do enough of it--the pressures of the real world prevent us from embracing the joy all around us.  But I have to tell you, if I've learned anything in my years out and about in the world, it is to squeeze every bit of fun you can out of every day.  

Remember, you never get that time back.  Don't waste it.

On the way to meet Jonathon last night, I watched a child playing with friends in the street.  He had one of those weird scooters.  The ones you have to wiggle to make work.  He was swaying back and forth, shaking his little butt trying to get it going, but he was so very small.  His little wiggles just didn't have the go power of his larger counterparts all around him.

But he didn't give up.  Oh no!  He just kept wiggling and wiggling until one of his friends--I think his brother they looked so much alike--came over and gave him a little push.  That got him going and his little wiggles morphed into something that actually made the scooter sail along.

Life is like that.  Sometimes we are all just wiggling along, feeling as if we are not going anywhere.  We are discouraged and want to kick our scooter over and just sit down and cry.  But the cool thing is, if you keep going...keep on wiggling, usually something or someone will come along and you'll get the push you need to keep going.

The push can come from a friend, a stranger...hell, some of my most interesting pushes have come from people I didn't even like.  But you get pushed, none the less.  And you keep going.  Sometimes a little shakily at first, but after a while, like that little boy,  you are sailing along confidently.

I thought about all this as I watched the child enjoying himself.  Every day is such a treasure.  Whether you are at home with kids, working a job out of the house, fighting with your lover, or sick as a dog...we are given a finite number of days to experience and it's our job, and I believe our joy to make each day count.

It can be tough sometimes.  Believe me, after the year I just had, I'm an expert in tough days.  But no matter what happens, no matter how tired, discouraged, sick or angry we get, if we keep on wiggling, eventually, that little push WILL happen and things will change.  Instead of standing still, we begin to move again.

So, don't give up if you're having a bad day/week/month/year/life.  Embrace whatever it is you're experiencing.  Don't waste those seconds.  Because once you are moving again, I promise you, you will look back at that time of frustration.  And what will you see?

Will you think those days wasted?  Or a time of change, refining and learning?  A time to prepare you for the scooter journey ahead?

After all, don't they say it's the journey that makes life worthwhile?

See you on Wednesday!



Friday, January 27, 2012

The Lighter Side Goes Over to the Bark Side...

Hey all,

I found this awesome video and had to share. Someone had a lot of time on their hands. LOL But they are making a mint from it! This is supposed to be a Superbowl commercial..or at least a trailer.

I think it's great!

So...what do you think!

May the Farce...I mean Force be with you!!!


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Awesome, the Wierd and the Yummy

Hey all,

I think I said I was going to do this blog on Friday, but I meant today.  My bad.  LOL  On Friday I have another Lighter Side blog, a really great one, especially for you Star Wars fans. 

Today I thought I'd share three things we've enjoyed here in Barcelona over the last week.  I've mentioned a few of these in either my daily emails or this blog, but I thought I'd give you some pics and go into more detail about these specific adventures.

1)  The Corteo Barcelona Premiere...  Remember I told you all that Ian was our roommate?  Well, he's also the new kitchen manager for the show and as I said before, he's awesome!  He's revamped some of the way the kitchen is run, smoothing things out and making them more efficient.  He's also added new dishes and made the dining room so much more homey!  All this in less than six weeks.

He threw his first Premiere party this last weekend and I have to say, I've been to a lot of premieres in my life, but this...this was amazing.  

Now remember, this kitchen and dining room are made from semi trucks and tent sides.  And his kitchen isn't in some five star hotel in Paris.  But just look at the spread he put out for us all!!!!

Pretty awesome, right?  Seafood, fruit, cheeses, lamb, roast beast, ham, side dishes and desserts of all kinds.  And to top it all off, he commissioned that beautiful ice sculpture you see next to my sweet baboo!  Something NEVER before done at the show! 

But I told him he had a problem.  How was he going to top this?????  LOL

2)  One of the things I love most about traveling is discovering new things.  New museums, new scenery, new art or new people.  So you can imagine how I felt when I discovered all four of those wrapped into one.

Park Guell.  A spectacular failure as a real estate project, but the most uniquely weird park I have ever had the pleasure of exploring.  Designed by my new favorite artist, Antoni Guadi, this housing development that never got off the ground has been transformed into Barcelona's #1 place to see (depending on who you ask )  

It's a park, a meeting place, and a rabbit warren of odd buildings, caverns, roads and some things I'm not even sure what to call them.  LOL

The picture above is the entrance to the park, and as you can see it is something quite different from the norm.  Forget the rabbit warren, I immediately thought I'd wandered through the looking glass!!!

Check some of these pictures out.  And once you're done looking, google Park Guell.  It's amazing.  But I have to say, it's even weirder and awe inspiring in person.

 Above are some of the bases of the viaducts he built as roads.  Each is more amazing than the next.  Some are rounded, some are bent and some are curved and crooked.  NOTHING is straight!  LOL

This unique structure is what was supposed to be the town square.  Built on dozens of stone columns, it has a view of Barcelona that is beyond belief!

 On the square Jonathon sits on what is purported to be the longest bench in the world.  In the last pic you can see it stretching around the entire square.  But it's not straight.  Oh no!  That would be so un-Gaudi!

And this final pic is of underneath one of the areas.  As you can see it is NOT straight at all!  LOL  In fact, this is not a place where you want to walk after drinking a few beers.  You'd never be able to tell up from down!!! 

Like I said, make sure you go check out some of Gaudi's other work.  I'm going to be doing a tour of the city to see it and I can't wait!!!

3) I promised you pictures from our Tapas hopping experience and here they are.  Jonathon and I really enjoyed ourselves and while we won't make a habit of it (except on Sunday nights when football is on and we are drinking and nibbling) we really enjoyed this part of Spanish culture.

Now remember, Tapas are basically finger foods.  They can be just about anything you want--just very small portions--but the ones we saw the most of are... olives, sausage, cheeses, anchovies, fish dishes, toast and pick-a-food, and stuffed things, like pumpkin Parmesan and stuffed eggplant fritters.  The choices are endless and we enjoyed trying a few.  Like all of these!

There are so many different kinds, but my favorite was the pumpkin Parmesan we had at one place and the spinach and cream cheese on toast points we had at another.  It's a great way to graze all night and never get full!!!

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed all the pics.  I'm trying to organize everything, but I have to tell you, sometimes there are so many I just get lost!  LOL

Remember to google Guadi and have a great rest of your week!



Monday, January 23, 2012

A New Series For CJ

Hey all,

I thought I'd mix things up a bit and talk about what I'm going to be working on for the next few months.  Since it has a lot to do with where I am and where I've been, I thought it pertinent.  LOL

As you may know, my FREE READ is set in my old hometown of Macau.  It's an exciting story about love amidst the complicated world of Asian traditions, casinos and the world of dance.  Hustle into Love is my nod towards that great little island, and I had so much fun doing it, I thought I'd see if I should continue.

Well, the answer is YES!  I've gotten numerous emails asking me to keep doing stories about where I'm living or traveling.  And since I've been on every continent now except Africa (soon!) and Antarctica (working on it) I've got lots of memories to work with.

One of the requirements I already put on myself when I write a book is I MUST have visited the area I set it in.  Actually set my pretty little toes in the place.  San Francisco, California (Peacekeeper Chronicles), British Colombia, Canada (The Beasthuntress), Nashville, Tennessee (Second Chances Series) and Cocoa Beach, Florida (Luck Be a Lady) are just a few.  Every story has a new location to share.  

Even my fantasy stories, like Mylari: Eyes of Fire and More Than a Warrior follow this criteria.   For example Mylari's mystical world was based on the majestic redwoods of northern California.  And More Than a Warrior's high craggy peaks are taken from the memory of my time in the Austrian alps.

It's a beautiful world out there, so why not take advantage of all the marvelous things I've seen?  Yep!  I'll put them in a book!

But I wanted to do something even more special.  Something very much...ME!  And when Jonathon got the job with Cirque du Soleil, I found it.  A perfect way to highlight something so very important to me.  My love of traveling. 

Cirque goes from city to city to put on our show, Corteo.  Depending on the city, we can be there a few weeks to a few months.  But that's plenty of time for me to absorb the flavor of the city and let the wind blow my way whatever story it wants me to write.  

Let's take Paris for example.  I had no idea what story would be birthed out of the month I stayed there.  I didn't look for an idea.  Didn't need to.  I knew when the time came, whatever story the wind wanted me to have would just appear.  I'd know it when I saw it.

And that's exactly what happened.  I was walking through the Père Lachaise Cemetery oohing and aahing over the beautiful tombs there when BAMM, it hit me.  The story unfolded so quickly I stayed the rest of the day wandering the cemetery and dreaming it into existence.  (Now you know why I spent eight hours in the place!)

A handsome ghost from France's revolutionary times, a lovely photographer who's come to take pictures of all the unique and beautiful tombs.  Add a bit of special CJ magic and you have a story that promises to be hauntingly romantic. 

While I may not have time to write the story out when I'm in that city, I'll do all the research and get the outline done.  Then, if necessary, I'll write it in the next city.

And no, to answer your unasked question, I haven't been told the story about Barcelona yet.  The wind is still silent.  LOL

I've decided, unlike Hustle into Love which was a FREE READ, I'm going to publish the stories I write during my travels with Cirque du Soleil.  I'll choose a single publisher to have them and the series will be called something that emphasizes the traveling theme.  I have to think on the name a bit more.

Each story will be novella length which will give me time to write so many, plus I want it affordable for my readers.  If they want to know about where I've been, this will be a perfect way to get the flavor of each city.

So, there you have it!  My newest endeavor.  Of course, this won't stop me from working on other things.  I've got one new story nearly finished and the Mylari sequel is in it's final stages as well.  I'll be busy, but not too busy to continue enjoying the wonderful life God has given me.

After all, since I was born under a wandering star I might as well take advantage of it, right?

Hugs and see you next time!


Friday, January 20, 2012

On the Lighter Side...

Hey all,

Until I get my guest blogging schedule up and going again (if anyone wants to come play after last year's craziness) I've decided Friday will be my day to look at the lighter side of life.  You know what I mean...those things that you see and can't help but grin about.  Life's full of them, so why not celebrate and share the laughter?

That being said, you have to look at this video.  Now here is an example of someone grabbing the gusto out of life!  If for some reason it doesn't work (blogger won't let me check) go here to watch it instead...

Isn't that great!  I always knew crows were smart, but I didn't know they liked to play!  I can remember as a kid going to the Fresno fair and finding big pieces of cardboard behind the concession stands.  We'd snatch them up and take them to the far side of the arena where this was this big hill.  Then we'd slide down on the grass.

It drove my parents nuts.  They paid good money for us to ride the carnival rides, but we had more fun racing down the grassy hill than we ever did on the Zipper!  LOL  Seriously, I can't remember a single ride at that fair, but I have great memories of screaming with laughter as we all slid down the hill.

And it looks like this bird is having the same fun.  A jar lid, a snowy roof and who needs a crow's version of the Ferris Wheel or Octopus.  He's having a great time without those things.

Ahhh...the simpler things in life.  Makes me long for those days as a kid all over again. 

How about you?  What great fun memory do you have as a kid?  Something you wish you could do all over again if you had the chance.  Let us all know in the comments below.

Until next time, have a wonderful weekend.  I'll be back next week with some awesome news!!!


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

And We Were Swinging...Just a Swinging

Hey all,

No, I don't mean anything naughty by this blog's title.  LOL  If you know me at all you know I only write about committed relationships where two, and only two are involved.  But I love the song, Just a Swinging, by John Anderson, and when I decided to write about getting back into the swing of things, this is what came to mind.

Since I last blogged, that's exactly what I've been trying to do.  And it's been surprisingly easy to pick back up the writing, sight seeing, and making the house as I did before.  I expected to have trouble, but I haven't really.  When Jonathon goes into work, I am up and doing stuff like emails, blogging and such.  I exercise a little, then shower and really start my day.

My goal is to write a little every day, so I can slowly get back to my ten to fifteen page norm.  But I don't only write.  If something else comes up, I give myself the freedom to do that whether it's organizing pictures, cooking, doing a craft or just wandering around town.  I'm disciplined, but not so much I choke from it.

At least that's the goal.  LOL

Take this last weekend for example.  Jonathon and the crew are setting up the show here in Barcelona (it opens on the 20th) so his hours are kind of screwy.  I don't now when he'll be off, so I don't plan anything.  If we get together, great, if not, that's okay too.

On Friday I put my house together.  We have several items we carry from place to place to remind us of our lives together.  Amongst them we have a velvet poster from Singapore and a faerie wind chime from Ireland.  I have a Twining's tea box from England and a beautiful fan I used in Malaysia.  I have a quilted wall hanging from Amish country in the USA and wooden China dolls I bought on the Great Wall.  And don't forget our newest additions, my Gargoyle, Sebastian from Notre Dame and Jonathon's Knight in Shining Armour we found at Les Invalides (Paris' war museum and Napoleon's Tomb) Jonathon is my KISA after all!

Our stuffed animals, HC or Highland Cow and Bruce the Badger (he was in our Gretna Green wedding if you'll remember) sit at the end of our bed, and of vital importance is my can of LOVE... Spice for Living.  I was given this tin on my wedding day and it's gone everywhere with us.  I don't consider my house finished until it sits next to the stove in my kitchen.

Putting a little of ourselves up wherever we are truly makes it a home away from home.  I believe it is absolutely necessary to do this.  Otherwise you're just living in hotel rooms.  And part of my job and my joy is to make a home for my man.  Even if it is only a temporary one.

The weekend found me hard at work.  I wrote for several hours straight getting close to twelve pages done.  I did some blogging.  I tried to promote a little and I answered some emails.  (Still have a BUNCH of that to catch up on )  Then, when my imagination had waned, I went out and wandered.  

I spent one day down my the seaside enjoying the ocean air.  I wandered up and down the beach and filled my lungs with good fresh air.  Then I turned inland and explored the neighborhoods, finding fun places to sit and have a drink and Tapas. (more on those later)  Then next day I was told of a mall that had a big supermarket, so I strolled down to have a look.  I'd been told the store was like a big WalMart, but I have to say, three Wally Worlds wouldn't fill up this Alcampo hypersupermarket!  Two stories that took up one entire side of this gianormous mall!

I checked out the mall first, finding tons of restaurants, shops and even a movie theater (no English movies though unless you want to see Gato con Botas in Spanish.    Can you figure that out?

I found several inexpensive clothing stores that I'm going to head back to this next week to pick up a few necessary items, like slippers. (Bloody cold marble floors) and a sweater, plus some work shirts for Jonathon.  It was fun elbowing through the crowds trying to find a bargain, and I usually hate that type of thing! 

When Jonathon got off, we met and went and saw a movie.  No...not Gato con Botas, we'd already seen that one in the states.  We found a theater that did show English movies and went and saw Protocolo Fantasma, which in English is the newest Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol.  It was fun and while the size of the screen wasn't anything to write home about, it was better than some I've seen in the states, so we were content.  (It was a great movie.)  Next time we'll see the new Sherlock Holmes one.

And the double batch of both salty and sweet popcorn was AWESOME!!!  LOL

So, as you can see, I'm trying to do a little of everything.  Live, love, laugh.  Work, study and play.  And if I can keep doing this, you should see my FREE READ sail along swimmingly plus all those stories I've been working on will make their way to a publisher near you! 

Now I'm off to meet my sweet baboo and find some dinner.  I'm writing this on Sunday and here in Barcelona NOTHING but some restaurants are open.  So much for me running over to the gianormous hypersupermarket to get me some dinner.    I guess it's a Tapas and beer night.

Oh well...somebody's got to eat them. 

Hugs and see you next time,



Monday, January 16, 2012

Treasures Within a City - Barcelona

Hey all,

Thanks to those of you who took the few minutes to comment as requested.  It helped me figure out what was going on and what to do next.  I hope now that things are getting back to normal I can pick up the blog and the FREE READ and do them every week.  We'll see how it goes, but I'm going to be busier than ever with what I've got coming up.

More on that later.

Anyway the trip to Barcelona was easy.  I'd been told Orly Airport in Paris was a nightmare to get out of.  Horribly long lines for security checks, no organization and nasty mean employees.  But I am pleased to report we didn't run into any of that.  We gave ourselves extra time to get through but the lines were quite short, there were people directing traffic and all seemed quite pleasant, even though it was godawfull early in the morning.  The only complaint I had was their internet wasn't free.

A quick, uneventful flight and we flew above the sparkling water of the Mediterranean Sea and landed in sunny Barcelona.  At first glance the city is flat and unprepossessing.  In wintertime it looks like brown and gray squares from the air.  But later on, when we'd stowed our stuff and headed out to play we found something very different.  A veritable treasure trove of the different and unique.  

Now, as I've said before, this is a new country for me.  I've never had a chance to visit Spain and I was really looking forward to what we might find.  Jon didn't have to report for work until last Thursday, so it gave us a day and a half to look around and get our bearings.  And we had a great time doing so.

We didn't do anything in particular.  In fact, we really did nothing at all.  Whenever we go to a new town, we just pick a direction and walk.  And we see whatever it is we see.  We've found the most interesting things that way.

And so it was with Barcelona.  We first walked down to the beach, since we hadn't been to the Mediterranean before.  The ocean was so beautifully blue and clear and the beaches were clean and well taken care of.  They've got playgrounds with "toys" I've never seen before, plus some odd looking art and even surfers using paddle-boards to catch the small waves hitting the shore.

Seagulls swooped and screamed and we breathed in the salty smell and laughed with joy.  It had been a long time since we'd been able to walk on a beautiful beach and I have to admit, the only thing that would make it better would be if we were sipping on a fru-fru drink at the same time.  LOL

Then we turned inland and started wandering the streets.  We wound up in a area of town with tiny streets and even tinier alleys.  The architecture was jaw dropping and there was an air about the place.  You could just feel the age of the streets and sense the history as you walked through.  This is apparently an area of Barcelona where once upon a time medieval jousts were held.  I immediately fell in love with it.  We plan to spend A LOT of time there. 

Then we strolled down by the harbor front.  We grabbed a Starbucks coffee and watched the gulls swoop down on the fishermen.  We visited the Christopher Columbus memorial.  (Go HERE to find out what that's all about.)  And then we joined the crowd and walked up Las Rambles, the most famous street in Barcelona.

Las Rambles is a VERY touristy street.  Souvenir shops, cafes, bars and street performers.  I walked by a bronze statue of Will Rogers and wondered why they had a statue of one of our American heroes.  Then I did a double take and realized it wasn't a statue at all!  It was a guy painted bronze and so still he totally fooled me at first.  I was impressed.

We found a restaurant and ate seafood paella (OMG good), drank sangria (OMG good again), and enjoyed a yummy dessert of chocolate gelato (OMG the best!!!).  We love traveling just for the food and I think we'll do very well here!

So that was our first two days here in Barcelona.  We've still got almost a full two months more, so as you can imagine we've only scratched the surface of this delightful city.  Museums, parks, mountains, restaurants, and some of the most interesting architecture I've ever seen.  The artist/architect Gaudi has many different buildings here and his work--though unknown to me before now--is so unique and eye catching, I find myself drawn to discover more of what he's done.

So stick around and see what else I find here in Barcelona.  I'll blog about what I see, hear, discover, like and dislike and you can live vicariously through me.  I'll also be sharing some of what is coming up in my professional life.  I've got some new things going on and new stories being written...finally!  LOL

Check back with me next time and I'll show you another one of Barcelona's special attractions.  Until then I'll leave you with a picture of one of Gaudi's most interesting buildings!  Enjoy and catch you on the flip side!


Friday, January 13, 2012

Hola! Benvinguts a Barcelona!!!!!

Hey all,

I hope things are going well for everyone.  This won't be a long blog.  Just a quick note to say we made it to Barcelona and everything is going well.

Barcelona is a beautiful city and we're excited since we've never been in Spain before.  And it's on the Mediterranean which is one body of water we haven't dipped our toes in yet.   

I'll be back on Monday with a longer blog about the trip and the city thus far, but until then I have a favor to ask all of you.

As you may know, I've set this up so you may get an email alert about the blog if you've signed up for one, but since I was away from you all for awhile, I want to make sure the alert is still working and getting out properly.  

So, as a favor to me, everyone who reads this short blog, please in the comments below let me know if you are reading this because of the alert or if you got here another way.  

I've got over one hundred subscribers out there and it's important for me to know every one of you who wants too are getting the email alert.

So PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, let me know in the comments.

Thanks so very much!

CJ England

Monday, January 9, 2012

Did You Hear the One About the Toilet?

Hey all,

I can't help it, I’ve got a rant coming on.  I’m due.  I haven’t had one since we were in Macau.  And after the day we experienced, I just can’t help it.

As you all know, I’m still in Paris and we were all excited about being able to spend New Year’s Eve in the City of Lights.   I mean, what could be more romantic than locking lips with your honey at midnight, under the shimmering lights of the Eiffel Tower?  (And boy howdy, it was!)

So, we prepared. Jonathon got off work and met me in downtown Paris near Concorde (where King Louis XVI and Marie-Antionette were guillotined). We had all night to play so we closed our eyes, pointed a finger at a map and started to explore. We wandered all over. We strolled down the Seine and shopped at the green metal book stands that line the river. I dragged Jonathon back to Notre Dame…again…and we found Point Zero, considered the official centre of the city and where all the avenues in Paris are measured from.

We got lost in the Latin Quarter…where there are clubs, restaurants and enough atmosphere to keep you speaking French for years!

One of our favorite places to spend time in is Tuileries, which is a huge garden right downtown. It stretches along the river and is dotted with statues, fountains and beautiful gardens and mazes. It reaches all the way to the Louvre, the biggest museum in the world. (I spent parts of three different days there.  I LOVED it!!!) The view of the pyramid that sits outside the museum, (the one you see in the Tom Hanks movie, Da Vinci Code) is beautiful, especially at night.

I bet you’re wondering where the rant is. Well, wonder no longer. Here it comes…

Remember the blog I did a few days ago about the lack of bathrooms in Paris? Remember how I said after a while you learn where all the free toilets are? Fast food restaurants, museums, cemeteries (go figure), and public toilets. And then there are the oval boxes that sit along the streets and take an engineering degree to figure out. Just kidding. ☺ I honestly didn’t think the toilet problem could get any worse.

Well, I was wrong.

Jonathon had to go to the bathroom. So, we started our search. We weren’t worried. I knew the drill. But somehow, I couldn’t find a single toilet. We weren’t around any cemeteries, the museums were all closed, and none of the streets we were on had the oval facilities, so we headed to the nearest fast food restaurants. Which unfortunately for us were all on the street where the New Year’s street party was taking place. The famous Champs-Elysees. And there was where we ran into trouble.

We weren’t the only ones looking for a bathroom on New Year’s Eve.

Think about it. If you pack a gazillion people into a few blocks, and all of those people are drinking to excess, some of them are going to have to pee. It’s a scientific fact. But do the Paris PTBs think about that?


Do they provide porta-potties? NO!

Do they have the restaurants and cafés open their toilets for public use? NO!

Do they keep the public works dunnies open and not chain them up for the night? NO!

And if you think that’s bad, just wait. I kid you not, it gets worse.

Since the fast food places had all closed their bathrooms, (they had security guards, I swear to you) we had to find another place. We headed off the crazy-busy Champs-Elysees onto a side street. And there we were lucky enough to find not only a restaurant, but right across the street was one of the oval street bathrooms.

Luckily, we didn’t need one now since we were in a restaurant and could use theirs, but our outdoor table, set under a toasty warm heat lamp, was right across from the public one. Now we had entertainment with dinner.

So we ate and sipped our French wine, watched people and giggled over the ever-lengthening line at the public toilet. I even timed one poor person. It took them forty minutes for their turn in the bathroom. Seriously.

We decided that whoever designed the public toilets must have been on crack. I’m sure the design looked good on the drawing board, but in actual use, the toilet pretty much sucks. I mean, think it through. The whole process is ridiculous.

Once the door opens, you go in. The door shuts and you do your business. Obviously, how long that takes depends on the person, but on an average, let’s say it can take three minutes. So, you finish up, open the door and step out.

But the next person can’t go in. NOT YET. Now it has to clean itself. EVERY TIME!!!  (That's the ridiculous part) So the door closes and the sprayer comes on to spray away any nasties that might have come about from your time inside. That takes a couple minutes to finish.

So let’s do the math. One minute to get in, three to pee (and I’m being generous here), and two to clean. So each person will take at the minimum, six minutes to go to the bathroom. The line we watched had at least twenty people in it, so six times twenty equals one hundred twenty minutes. So if you are the twentieth person in line, it will take you two bloody hours to pee. Crazy, loony or what? But I’m not done. Guess what happens at 11:00pm?

They turn those automatic bathrooms off.

Lift your jaw off the floor.  I’m serious. After 11:00pm they shut them down, I’m assuming so the street people won’t hole up in them during the night. So here it is, New Year’s Eve, the streets are filled with drunks who desperately need to pee and all these people are in line and the ONLY bathrooms available shut down. Now, just whose bright idea was that?????

And God, did I feel sorry for that person who'd just waited two hours in line only to have the stupid toilet shut down on them before they could go inside! 

So here is my rant, you Paris Powers That Be.  Get a clue.  If you’re going to have a huge street party—DUH--don’t close the bathrooms.   In fact, be even smarter and put out a few porta-potties where the crowds are.  Maybe even more than a few.  Tourists will thank you.  Your own people with thank you.  And you know what? The trees, bushes and flowers that everyone peed on when they couldn’t find a toilet?

They’ll thank you too!!!!

****Just a note...  We're off to Barcelona, Spain on Tuesday, so I'll be offline for a few days.  As soon as I get my internet up and going again (please God, let it be so), I'll be back with another blog.

Hugs to all!