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Italy - France Journal
June 18 to July 4, 1998

Day Seventeen: Saturday, July 4, 1998
(U.S. Independence Day)

"…………God shed His grace on thee.
And crown thy good with brotherhood,
From sea to shining sea."

We left the hotel in our rental car at 8am. The drive to Orly was short, and the signage was good (albeit in French). We dropped off the rental car and were checked in by 8:45am. The Admirals Club at Orly is much nicer than at DFW, with food, drinks, magazines and newspapers galore. Our flight again was on time and the ten hours seemed to pass quickly with two large meals, two movies - "Titanic" on the main screen and "As Good As It Gets" on the personal video player - and various other assorted diversions. We landed early and were home before 3 p.m.

The trip has been deemed a smashing success in every way. We have learned more about cupolas, campaniles, carrousel pulpits, cat-infested Roman ruins, baptisteries, Gothic cathedrals, Renaissance art, Baroque fountains, trompe d'oiel ceilings, Byzantine mosaics, Moorish architecture, Greek temples, Etruscan tombs, frescoes, international soccer, and Ionic, Doric, and Corinthian columns than we thought possible. We were given a new perspective on the pleasures of France while still getting our "Paris fix."

Flora has her sights for next time set on Vienna and Prague, while Barry is interested in Switzerland and the south of France. In the meantime, we leave behind Julius Caesar, Michelangelo, Zidane and Louis XIV for 21st century Dallas, Texas -- a fair trade, I suppose.

Post Script -- Sunday, 12 July, 1998

Today, France beat Brazil 3-0 in the World Cup finals to take home the most coveted sports trophy in the world. One and one-half million people partied in Paris throughout the night and into the following day. We had to settle for watching the festivities from the sofa in front of the TV in our den. C'est la vie.

Le Louvre, Paris