France Says Thank You!

Dad in France on VE Day

Dad in the Dordogne, VE Day 1998

Nineteen-year-old PFC Jim Rice landed on the beaches of Normandy on D-Day+20, just one of the nearly 1.5 million Allied soldiers who were part of Operation Overlord, the Allied assault on German-occupied Western Europe that began June 6, 1944.

He got an eight-month grand tour as a medic with the 22nd Infantry Division, a tour that ended just short of Prum, Germany, on Valentine’s Day 1945, when he couldn’t outrun the shrapnel from an exploding shell . He got Last Rites twice, one Purple Heart and two citations for his service. And this week, he and the rest of his generation got a thank you from the French, with the launch of the Paris Regional Tourist Board’s  “We are Free. Merci” campaign. Continue reading

Arabian Nights in Rhodes

We leave Santorini reluctantly. I’m a little worried about Rhodes and how it can match up.
It does.First, our hotel is straight out of Tales of Arabian Nights.

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Set in the warren of streets that is Rhodes Old Town, our cabbie drops us off and gestures toward a narrow cobblestoned alley. Later we learn that most taxis would have dropped us in front of our hotel. But I like arriving by pulling our wheeled bags through winding cobblestone alleys.

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Farewell Santorini

SantoriniDawn this morning; now on to Rhodes!

Walking along Oia’s ocean side cliffs, I watch the dawn and see garbage collection Oia-style; the garbage man here drives a donkey and loads garbage bags on the donkey’s back! No truck could handle these steep steps and twisting paths!!

And, on the road, I see two workmen riding their motor scooters one handed, the other hand balances pick axes. They’re getting ready for summer; construction and remodeling projects abound!