Monday, February 14, 2011

The Trip that Almost Wasn't

First off, Happy Valentine's Day!  I hope got to indulge in a little bit of Chocolate today - I had mine early and in Paris, nonetheless.

I went there with my sweet husband to take a peek at the needlework show that was taking place - it was a blast. But this whole trip almost did not happen because my youngest child Olivia was doing her annual ( it always seems to be in Feb/March) medical mystery/emergency thing.  She started having pains that migrated from her lower right back to her mid right abdomen.  After taking her to the doc, with nothing conclusive, he said to come in for a follow-up two days later - at which point in time he saw things in her urine which were of concern to him.  Another trip to the lab the following day, and the doc sent her to the local children's hospital.  They were as stumped as he was since everything they looked at was normal except her urine and her pain, and she got sent home since there was no sign of infection in her blood - her urine was still a concern.  The following day they called us back to the hospital and took a look at her kidney ( she already has 2 sonograms and one CT scan by that time), but still nothing conclusive - however, her values in her urine now made them nervous, and they sent us over to the pediatric surgeon.  He took a look ( and by that I mean poked and prodded her) and  took the usual blood and sent her up to have another sono to see if they could locate the appendix.  It did look suspiciously like appendicitis , except that she was missing the fever and the elevated white blood cells in her blood - but no appendix to be found - they scanned the rest of the abdomen, really studied her CT, made calls to admit her for some laproscopic exploratory surgery pending results of her bloodwork which was ....normal! So, home we went, where my poor child stayed in bed and was miserable.  She did have some good painkillers, but they did not give her much relief.  After a weekend of pain and boredom, she went to school for 3 days - with visits to the lab to check on her urine, which showed improvement.  I had already changed my train reservation to Paris to leave two days ( Friday) later, in hopes that she would be well.  On Thursday she woke up in a great deal of pain, and I hustled her back to the children's hospital where they sonogrammed her abodomen from top to bottom and finally found a rather large ovarian cyst.  Jimmeny Cricket - what a two week freak-out  I had.  The cyst should resolve itself, thank goodness.  My friend Margit kept an eye on Liv, and I decided it would be safe to hop the train to Paris.

Our first order of Business on Friday was to visit the American Embassy - my husband has a connection there, so he got us in - what fun.  No pictures though because its not allowed.  Here we are  standing right on the corner of the Place de la Concorde where the embassy is located.

We checked into our hotel - a French Officer's hotel with nice rooms and reasonable Paris room rates.

Our room was on the top floor - last window on the right in the dome part - our view was fantastic.

The last two were taken Sunday morning around 8:30 a.m. - Paris is super quiet at that time - the only real activity comes from tourists trying to squeeze as many attractions in as possible.  

Back to where I left off - Friday night there was an event at the AVAS store, which I had signed up for - my main goal was to see the store and buy my floss for Jane Atkinson.  I hopped the Metro - which at that time was belly buttons to behinds full.  I emerged onto the street and went off in search of the store.  Being the well-trained American I was looking for a nice bright store sign, but leave it to the French to be understated...


Into the entry hall

 up the winding stairs,

and through the door into silk heaven.

Just FYI - I blurred the two ladies in the photograph because I received an e-mail from one of these ladies, stating that I had broken French law by even taking this picture, and since it showed nothing of interest anyway she asked that I remove it from my blog.  I think this is a good compromise - I get to keep my non- interesting photo and she is just a non-recognizable blur.

The next day we ( yes my husband came along) went off to Aiguilles en Fete.  We came out of the Metro, crossed the plaza and voila - the Grande Hall where all sorts of delights awaited the needleworker!

Rob and his new friends....

Yup, it was THAT big!!

One of the first booths I got to was Reflets de Soie... wow, her stuff is fantastically beautiful.

Here are a few more pics at random.

So, if you are still reading, I want to reward you!  Since it is Valentine's Day and I have just returned from Paris, I want to giveaway the current issue of Mains & Merveilles, which features 5 Red Samplers by Isabelle Mazabraud-Kerlan of Reflets de Soie.  I will, of course, add plenty of chocolate goodies to go with this.  Just mention in your comment that you want to be in this giveaway.  I know it sneaky adding this to the end, but I want to reward those who actually take the time to read all that I write.  I will draw a winner on Friday.

I will write more on Paris in my next post - this one is very long as it is, and I will show you guys what I brought home as well.  

Until then,



  1. I am in love of that one photo of the Eiffel Tower (the second one). In.Love. And wow - AVAS, what a lovely shop. However did you leave there without one of every color (or maybe you didn't)? The show looks like it was overwhelming and fantastic - what fun. I am so glad you were able to go, and glad that your sweet girl is doing a bit better. What a scare! You know I love red samplers - I'm such a sucker for them - so count me in for the giveaway!

  2. Well I was going to say -- what about what you bought?! lol! Glad to hear you will post more on that later! So glad to hear the scare with Olivia is more or less over -- hope she's feeling better by now. Who knew an ovarian cyst could do that? I love all the pics of Paris! It's so cool that your DH went with you to the big festival! That AVAS -- OMG, to die for! I so wish I could go there someday! I loved all the pics of the festival -- my eye went straight to those wood scissor boxes with the scissors in them. lol! Everything is so spectacular! I'm so jealous that you got to go and I probably never will! Thanks for the giveaway btw! Are you kidding? Of course I want to be entered! :D :D You're a sweetie for thinking of us while you were having fun! Happy Valentine's Day!

  3. Thank heavens your daughter was finally diagnosed and you were able to make this trip! What a delight! And what a trooper is your husband-please include me in your drawing!

  4. Ohhhh my are so green with envy...PARIS!!! My dream is to go to Paris and shop for all things stitching related. Your pictures are so wonderful. Please enter me in your contest. Reflets de Soie is one of my favorite designers and I was just at Isabelle's blog reading about this magazine.
    Hugs and please more pictures.

  5. Isn't Paris wonderful and the needlework show looks absolutely fantabulous :-)!!!! Glad you didn't have to cancel your trip!

    Your poor daughter, hope she's feeling much, much better. How's your son doing? I bet he's not enjoying that daily regimen of antibiotics but hopefully they are doing their job!

    Can't wait for more pictures :-).

  6. Soooooooooooooooooooo jealous!! What a lovely, one-of-a-kind trip!! Thanks so much for sharing all these pictures. They are wonderful. :)

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  8. Wow - your pictures are so wonderful! I love them. Thanks so much for sharing them with those of us who might never get there. I hope your daughter is feeling better by now.

    Please enter me for a chance to win - that magazine looks lovely.


  9. Oh my, I hope your daughter is feeling better. What a scare! But what a wonderful trip too. I love the pictures. How great to be able to see the AVAS shop in person and the needlework show. All the pictures are amazing!

  10. Thank you so much for posting all of these photos of Paris and the needlework show. I can't wait to read you next post and see what goodies you brought home with you.
    I'm so sorry that your daughter has been feeling so poorly, but glad you finally have the answer to what was causing so much pain.
    I'd love to be included in the giveaway. Thanks!

  11. I worked in the Pediatric health care for many years, A LOT of females have ovarian cysts, that for most of the time cause no problems. Glad you have a diagnosis that is known.
    I would love the M&M, but the pics and story were great. I am so envious.

  12. Oh my goodness! I'm so happy for you! I have goosebumps and seeing all your lovely photos has brought back many fond memories ofnour trip for two weeks in 2000 to Paris. Ie never seen such beautiful things! Love that huge pile of fringe/ passemetrie! Id have to keep my hands in my pockets to restrain myself. Soooo happy for you... Xo

  13. Great pictures! Glad you had a good time, but sorry to hear about your daughter. I hope she's feeling better soon.

  14. I'm envious - wish I could go to the show. Please enter me in the contest, I love red work samplers. Thanks

  15. WOW - that is the way to spend a weekend (except the "illegal picture" - wth?) I would so love to see something like that someday, I just can't imagine it :) When I was in the USAF a long time ago and stationed in the UK, we weren't allowed to go to France - no tourist visas were being issued to American GIs :( To see all the Reflets de Soie AND AVAS in person - wow!

  16. Leave it to you, Sylvia, to nearly cause an international incident with your picture taking! What wonderful pics! Did you nearly have a sensory overload meltdown when you walked into the needlework show? And did I perhaps see a hint of knitting yarn here and there? Bliss! Hope Livvy is feeling better, she's way too young to start having trouble with her lady parts! No fair! Enter me in the drawing for the magazine please, it's probably as close as I'll ever come to Paris!

  17. Glad you made it to Paris, and I hope your daughter recovers soon. Great pics of your trip! Can you believe I never got one tiniest glimpse of Eiffel this time (except on cross stitch designs, lol)? Plenty more to see though. I'd love to be entered in your draw, please, and look forward to pics of your new stash.

  18. i love all your photos and i love Paris. i can't wait to go back some day soon. thanks for sharing and of course i would love to win.

  19. Hope Olivia is better now.
    You made with your husband a beautiful travel in France. We were in the same land !!
    Good day from France.

  20. Glad to hear that they finally managed to diagnose your daughter. Hope she's feeling better. Love those gorgeous photos. Thank you for sharing. I'm sooooo drooling at everything here.

  21. Oh poor Livvy! She is such a trooper but i feel so bad for what she had to go through. Hope she is feeling much better by now and maybe a little bit of french chocolates wouldhelp her mend!

    Can't wait to see more pics of your trip- I am soooo jealous! Love the little embroidery pouch with the stripped fabric and the scissor boxes and the Reflets de Soie. I would probably have to sell a kidney to get all the things I loved in these few pictures. So amazing.

    Thanks for sharing and maybe my luck will change and I can win a little bit of Paris for myself with your giveaway! You are so sweet to offer such a prize.

    Can wait to see the haul you brought home. I am going to start Jane Atkinson too! But only have the chart and fabric.


  22. Paris!! How wonderful! I'm sorry that I missed your giveaway but I'm very glad that I didn't miss your photos. That needlework show is incredible!! I even recognized Jardin Prive's booth. Next time take me with you. Please???!

  23. I've been always asked to visit this gorgeous show by my friends in Paris, but keep telling them I won't go to the freezin cold country in February! Actually, one of my friens was working at the show to help her friend's booth. It looks sooooo tempting though...

  24. Sylvia! That photograph of all the scissors just sent me right to the moon!!!!! I LOVE-LOVE scissors! Also, the silks...yummy!!!!!!!! Thanks for sharing! I thoroughly enjoyed it!!!!!

  25. Amazing!!!!!! That looks like it was the place to be on Planet Earth on that day in time. Wow. If I ever get a chance to go to Paris I hope that it will coincide with that show. Loved going up the stairs to the AVAS shop with you!!!!!! And those booths!!! Thanks!!!

  26. Super visite.
    J'ai presque fait la même.