Friday, February 29, 2008

Impossibly Good

Woo hoo! I found the Flat Earth chips at Target! Made by Frito Lay company, they are a chip like snack made from potatoes, rice and either fruits or veggies. They have: 1/2 serving of real fruit or veggies in every ounce, naturally baked, a good source of Vitamin C, 0 grams of trans fat, low in sodium and no artificial flavors or preservatives. Someone in my hubby's office brought them in for a taste test and they are really good! We couldn't decide which one we liked best, they were all that good. I tried looking at the grocery stores, but they don't have them yet. So was thrilled to find them at Target! And here's a coupon for a free bag!
On a side note--the grandkids are gone, but not without leaving their mark! Since my kitchen is torn up and only the subflooring is down, I told them I wanted them to draw me a picture and sign their name. I told them it will be like our hidden secret because when they put the new floor down, no one will be able to see it anymore, but we'll know it's there!

Miss K's drawings got partially covered by the ceiling paint already. I love the way Mr. K (the 5 year old) spells his name. So innocent. And he drew a special picture for his mommy..And now back to sewing! I got 3 quilts quilted this week! I now have to do the bindings (they are machine sewn on the top--needs hand sewn on the back) and I'll post pictures as soon as those are done.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

I've been tagged!

It appears as if I've been tagged by Vickie. So you may move on if you like! LOL

THE RULES:1. Once you are tagged, link back to the person who tagged you.

2. Post THE RULES on your blog.

3. Post 7 weird or random facts about yourself on your blog.

4. Tag 7 people and link to them.

5. Comment on their blog to let them know they have been tagged.

1. I hate mushrooms. Most people that know me, like to sit next to me while eating pizza or something that is usually loaded with mushrooms because then they get to share my castoffs! I will eat mushroom soup though--IF the mushrooms are itty bitty!

2. I do NOT like cold cheese, of any kind. But IF you melt it, I will eat it. Why is that? Who knows and go figure!

3. I am deathly afraid of electric and being shocked. I've got a great story about me trying to plug something in while standing in water..someday I'll share!

4. I do not like shoes--I do not like shopping for shoes, I do not like wearing shoes at home, I do not like wearing shoes while driving, I do not like wearing shoes while sewing, I do not like GREEN EGGS and HAM! What does that have to do with it? nothing--but that's what it was beginning to sound like! LOL

5. I do LOVE purses! In every size, color, shape, etc. I love shopping for them and making them!

6. I had braces twice! Once as a young teenager and again as an adult (and pregnant with my third child)

7. I LOVE fabric--oh wait, that's not a secret or weird fact! But I do and always have. I remember the first 4-H meeting I went to and learned we could make all our our own clothes. I've been excited about sewing (not so much with clothes anymore) since then.

And now I'm going to tag....Laurie,Pam, Teresa, Beth, Marne, Mary, and everyone else! If you haven't done one in a while--why not do one now? It's kind of fun to get to know fellow bloggers like this.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Quilts get done regardless of what's going on!

My kitchen is still a mess--although I do have a fridge, microwave, oven and a temporary sink so I guess I could cook if I wanted! I have had the grandkids since last Friday night and they are here until Wed. night. So getting out to quilt is a bit trickier! Plus the fact I'm really tired at night! I'm glad I'm a Nana now and no longer a Mom! AND my hubby left for an extended business trip (around the world--literally--China, Vietnam, Dubai, India, Germany, Switzerland, Paris and London in 26 days), so I've been promoted to taxi driver for my daughter again--2 hours/day back and forth. You know what, now that I think about it--I got all my stuff done before all this happened! I guess next week's report won't be so good! LOL
I was able to finish two more quilts this past week and one more UFO to the flimsy state. My personal goal is to finish two to the flimsy state and get two quilted, not necessarily the same ones. My UFO list is going down, but my flimsy list is growing! It was so scary to think that if I quilted just two per week, it would take me at least 4 months to get caught up--and that doesn't include finishing other tops! My poor Zoe is going to be worn out. But I like the fact that I am sticking to my guns so far (okay--it's just been a month so far, hahaha) and not even looking at anything new!

This is a quilt top, Holiday Lights, that I had ALMOST done for about 5 years--geez or even more! I made the piano key borders and somehow must not have done them quite right, because they would not miter properly, so I put it away. Got it out again a few years ago, got frustrated and put it away. Got it out again a few weeks ago and gee--I whacked off the ends, added plain black corners and whaddya know? It's done! I promised myself I would not meander every quilt I got done and I was going to force myself to start challenging myself on the quilting. (I'm still on a learning curve on a mid-arm machine). So for this quilt, I tried some of the rulers--hmm, not so good yet, but I did get the straight ruler going for the zigzag in the inner border, did some free hand stuff in the 4patch/sq. in square block--not bad and then smaller stippling behind the light bulbs to make them pop--great, and free handed a ribbon-y vine with holly leaves in the outer border--not bad. The best thing is that it's done and I'm fairly proud of it. :)The next one is my Hopscotchin' with Friends, another Challenge quilt and it's the first time that I ever used a pantograph. I had a little trouble figuring out the placement--and remembered AGAIN how hard it is to follow an exact line with a laser! But I knew that if I just kept my movements fluid and if I swung out too far on a leaf or whatever, no one would know. So--all in all--not too bad! I think it's hard to see my quilting--I use So Fine on the top (it really blends in well--less prone to showing mistakes! LOL) and Bottom Line in the bobbin

I also finished my Kaffe Fassett Stepping Stones--and for crying out loud--all it needed was the outside border! It's loaded on Zoe right now and I hope to get out there tonight or tomorrow and do that one. I'm trying another panto--thanks to Mary for sharing all her resources on the pantos she uses.

Stashbusting Sunday, albeit late!

I can't quite seem to manage the Sunday report on time! LOL I'm pooped at the end of the week and I had my grandkids all weekend and still do. I really do forget how much they wear you out. Another good week of using stash and getting UFO's done.

Stash used: 6 yards for backings and bindings
Stash bought: 0

Stash used for year: 37 yards
Stash bought for year: 0

Avoiding all quilt shops in person and online really helps! Plus, I'm staying off the computer and spending most my time in the studio working on finishing things is helping. :)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

retreat continued...

This is "I Think I Can" baby quilt that I donated. It was quick and easy to do except for the lousy stretchy minkee type border. But some baby will like the soft edges and not notice that they 'wave' a bit! LOLWoven Triple Irish Chain--this was using Lakehouse fabric (I love their stuff!) and designed by Mark Lipinski. I just loved it when I saw it in a magazine (McCall's??) and when I got the fabric, I realized that the picture made it look MUCH larger than it was. I had wanted it for a double bed, so had to make it much larger. 2480 little 1" squares's done!

Gratitude is finally done! My students quilted it on Zoe for practice and I got the binding finished and label on at the retreat. and the backing is comprised of what yardage I had of 30's prints and I used some of the FQ's that were in the bundle that I didn't use in the challenge. and I was one tired puppy on Sunday night! I went to bed early--like 9:30--unheard of for me! But I only had about 6-7 hours sleep all weekend. Sewing until 3 AM and then I had breakfast duty on Saturday morning didn't help! Sew much fun!!

Quilt Retreat is productive!

First of all--for all those that were interested in the Bright Bull's Eye pattern....I wrote to you individually, but I thought more might be interested also. It's a variation of a Bull's Eye (made with circles--that are layered on top of one another, each circle is a bit smaller). But the difference is that I used a hexagon shape. I started with a 10" background square, and then cut hexagons at 8", 6" and 4". I sewed them on one at a time and then cut out the background. I stitched them on 1/4" away from the raw edge. You are supposed to cut them in quarters when you are done and then mix and match them, but I thought it was busy enough as it was, plus I spent a lot of time making up the sets and I liked them like that! Easy as pie and a great way to use up more scraps!!

I spent last weekend with my small quilt group at our semi-annual quilt retreat. I took 13 projects that either needed finished to completion or just to the flimsy stage. And I got 8 of the 13 done as far as I wanted! Woo hoo!! Some I wondered why I waited so long as I was almost done! I finished three quilts completely, even the labels. We each made a charity quilt to donate to our local women's shelter and I was able to get a 2nd one (a small baby one) done as well. Although now I have a LOT more for my flimsy list! Zoe is going to have to work double and triple time to make a dent in them! LOL
Since I switched my UFO's to the Flimsy list, I added more UFO's to the list. And added more to my finishes list. Think I'll ever get done?'s always a work in progress. I wonder what I'd do if I ever got caught up? My friend did this weekend--she's the one with NO stash, little scraps and finished up the 3 that she was working on. I can't EVEN imagine being in that position! She's just not normal! LOL

I often wonder when to post pictures of my quilts--when the top is done? when it's quilted? both? I hate to keep showing the same quilts--but each step feels like such an accomplishment, I want to share. So, if I post them too often, sorry! But it might be a while when it gets posted again, if you get my drift..hahahaha.... So, here's what I got done this weekend...This is the Tulip Wreath--I bought the pattern because the sample had beautiful machine quilting and I thought it would be a good one to practice on. Hahaha Now I'm quilting on a mid-arm machine, so I guess it still is a good practice piece! At least I still like it! I had two panels that I had to blanket stitch the flowers and then assemble the top. Took me about 2 hours.

This is Twinkling Stars and it's from a McCall's magazine from 1997! I made the kit from fabric from my stash a long time ago and even made the blocks. So all I had to do was assemble the top. Just a few hours and it was done! I think I'll put this in our Bible Study group's Annual Auction.

This is one of 3 Psalms of Comfort tops that I had left to do. I made one for my daughter, this was mine and still have two more to go. I had all the pieces cut, the HST done. I had to assemble the rows and then the top. About 3 hours and I was done.

Finally--this little project has to be at least 12 years old! My friend and I got together and swapped pink fabrics from our stash to make this cute little Easter wallhanging. I had the squares cut and that was it. She got hers done (the one with no UFO's--now you know why! LOL) and mine just aged and aged. Now was the time to get it done. And again, only 2 hours and the top is done.

Since Blogger won't let me post be continued.....

Stash Busting Sunday-late!

I'm a bit late on my Stashbusting Sunday report. I was at my quilt groups' semi-annual retreat. I did bust some stash for backings (I was short on the one quilt backing last week--I even had it on the leaders ready for my machine when I realized I was way short--like 2 yards worth! LOL) I wondered how I got that fabric to go so far! Anyway, I used the stash for backings, bindings and a few borders.

Fabric USED this week: 5 3/4 yards
Fabric BOUGHT this week: 0

Fabric USED to date: 32
Fabric BOUGHT to date: 0

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

A good day

Great day today! I started by cleaning out 3 cupboards, all the island cupboards and my Hoosier. We are remodeling our kitchen and the cupboards are supposed to be here by Friday. We had an Amish man make them and I can't wait to see them. In the meantime, I'm living in quite the mess! I have been cooking all week, knowing that it's going to slim pickin's once they really get going on the kitchen. They re-did all our lights and re-hung the ceiling and I've been living with a single bare light bulb in there for two weeks. I hope they work fast--kitchen re-do's are so hard to live through. It's a good thing I have my quilting to keep me occupied!
And I was occupied with quilting today! After cleaning out my cupboards, I went back to attempt to quilt using Rainbows by Superior Threads. I spent about 1 1/2 hours the night before fiddling with it. I have used it in my Pfaff with no problems, but this was the first time in 'Zoe'. I put in a new needle, oiled it and started quilting. The thread just kept shredding.I adjusted the needle, re-threaded, loosened the tension, and could only quilt about 20 inches without it shredding to the breaking point. So I went to the computer and went to their website and started searching for answers. I figure if the big guys can use it, then so can I!! :) I think my problem was the needle--I used a 16 and it really likes an 18. Tried it and it worked! I quilted the rest of the quilt with no shredding or breaking! It's funny how a little thing like that could make all the difference in the world! I just wished I quit sooner to check it out. But at least I perservered...I was real tempted to go back to my old standard threads. I like King Tut for showy quilting and So Fine for obscure quilting.

I have the binding sewn on the top and now it needs sewn on the back by hand. I also have the label pinned on so I can stitch it down while I'm doing my binding.

I prepared class handouts for a class tonight (Irish Chain) and cleaned my sewing room. Ya need to stop and re-group sometime! LOL I also made one of my favorite dinners....Ham Sandwiches, Cheesy Potatoes, Vegetable Salad and Angel Food Cake with strawberries. The ham sandwiches are SO good and I hardly ever make them and when I do, I wonder why I waited so long! LOL

Ham Sandwiches:

12 Hamburger buns

12 thick slices ham (I used leftovers from a Spiral Honey Baked Ham)

Cheese Whiz, spread on the bottom half of the hamburger bun


In a bowl, mix: 1/8 cup finely chopped onion, 1/4 c. yellow mustard, 1 TBSP. poppy seed, 1/2 cup butter, softened. Spread on both sides of the top half of the hamburger bun. Place all sandwiches in a cake pan, cover with foil. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.


Woo hoo! Some finishes!!

Man, I've been putting my nose to the grindstone and working on getting some things done. After going through my UFO's and lists, I decided to really buckle down. Real life is going to get in the way soon though, so I hope I can continue knocking these out. This is what I finished yesterday. The Leaf Challenge: Although it meant a challenge to work One Hour a Day, per Judy, this quilt was one of the more challenging to me. NO--it wasn't hard--I made MORE mistakes on this quilt, due to inattention and being in a hurry and not double checking my measurements than I have made on any OTHER quilt! LOL When I started this quilt, I thought is was so serindiputious (I know that's not how you spell it, but my spell checker is on break!)that I found all these maple blocks in the right size from another project I had put away. Piece of cake I thought! And I had all these bonus triangles! Woo hoo! I plotted it all out in EQ6 and away I went. I thought I would add an applique leaf in the plain squares. Nah, not that good at applique. I'll photo copy leaves from my yard! Great idea--put the block fabric behind the leaf, so it looks like the leaf just fell on the quilt. Great in theory--oh, the leaves looked fine, but my color printer depicted the background fabric a bit differently. Oh well, good enough. But OOPS! I did NOT know that the June Taylor printer fabric shrinks 1" after washing! And guess what? I planned on the whole width of the fabric sheet. Now what? I had to dig in the trash, pull out the trimmings and sew them on two sides of my block to make it work. Not a great start. But I fixed it and moved on. Things are moving along until the nezxt to last border...why doesn't it fit? Oh look--I made one of the borders narrower than I planned and now my pieced triangles dont' fit. Of course, there wasn't an even amount of triangles that I could easily hide an insert. But what else is a girl to do? Fast forward to last week...okay, time to get her quilted. Oops! I do think I have a piece in there backwards! Dagnabbit! I tried to justify it as my humilty block..but I have had enough humble experiences with this quilt, I don't need a glaring mistake on top of it. Take it out, put it back in correctly. Now to piece the back...oh good, here are the measurements. Even though I had to piece the back with two different pieces,looks good. Stitch them to the leaders for my HQ16. Hmm, do it again (backwards doesn't work!) Load the quilt and then the backing and hey--what's wrong? I don't know where I got my measurements, but they sure weren't for this quilt!!! I had to take the leaders off, find more fabric and make the back larger--now it looks really wierd! I almost was afraid to quilt it knowing that the history of this quilt meant more mistakes were to come. But no problems and now it's done! Yee HAW!
My little Snowmen in Trees is an OLD, old top. Kind of simple but fun. I thought it would be a perfect piece to practice using my rulers and special gadgets to outline things. Wow, it's a good thing this isn't an important quilt! Do NOT, I repeat, DO NOT enlarge this picture!

Let's just say that I need a little more work! My hats are off to the longarmers who make their quilts look SO good! I USED to be pretty good on my regular sewing machine, but this is another whole ball game!

My last quilt, Stained Glass Iris (a class sample using bias tape) is a wallhanging that was ALMOST done, except for the border corners. I used my own hand dyed fabric for the flower and borders and was trying to figure out how to eek out enough to make a 9 patch in each corner so it looked like it was woven. I had used too much of my fabric and it wouldn't work. So I put it away--10 minutes from being done! Silly me! I finished it, quilted it, bound it, labeled it and took a picture. Geez, what's wrong with me sometimes? Do you ever do that? Get something SO close to being done and then put it away. And then when you finally do get it out and finish it, you wonder what your problem was? LOL I know that sometimes 'obstacles' in our way are discouraging and bringing it out another day, with a clear head, helps us overcome those obstacles and we can bring closure!

And how was YOUR day?

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Congrats to my oldest daughter, "T"

I just had to do a little bragging here..but we just celebrated with her the honor of being the youngest person to ever be nominated and inducted into Cleveland State University Hall of Fame this past weekend. She was an outstanding softball and volleyball player while there, and still holds quite a few records. As a senior--she held 5 out of 9 softball records and was 2nd in the other 4 and was named the conference's Player of the Year. She went to play professionally for one year with the Carolina Diamonds. She now is the mother of 3 of my adorable grandchildren, her proudest accomplishments yet!
With her former coach, who flew up from Mississippi to present her award to her.
Congratulations Tenille--we love you!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Stashbusting Sunday

Okay--how many were in their sewing rooms today, trying to do something to add to their report? LOL--I sure was, actually I did some earlier this week too. I know I'm doing a lot right now, I hope I can keep it up!

Here's what I busted from the stash this week:

3 yards--backing for Snowman Rail Fence

1 yard-backing for Cross My Heart

4 yards--backing for Bright Bull's Eye

4 yards--backing for Holiday Lights (a ridiculously old quilt that has been languishing in a bin because the borders were just not making the miters right--easy fix, cut them down, add corner blocks and it's a flimsy! Geez, only about 1/2 hour and it waited so many years!! LOL)

3 yards--Leaf Challenge

Total: 15 YARDS and no new fabric bought! Yippee!!
Besides graduating my Holiday Light's to the flimsy stage, I also advanced the Bright Bull's Eye as well. There are several in line about ready to graduate to the next level (there are several that just need borders)--and you ought to hear the buzz in my room! ROFLOL
I also now 3 completed quilts in my 2008 folder (I have this elaborate Excel spreadsheet going so I know what stage all my projects are in. Believe me, I need it! There are way too many to even begin to remember!) and one more has to have the binding sewn on the back, and label (it's done though) and it gets to move into that elite folder as well!

Friday, February 08, 2008

On a mission!

Wow--I knew I had a lot of UFO's and flimsies--but when I went through and resorted the other night--I almost had a heart attack! Geez--what am I thinking? LOL So, I purged some projects I really don't care for (LOL--well, only 5 got the boot!) and added the several that never even got on my list. I got two done last week and quilted two this week so far. One is complete with binding and label and the other still needs the binding sewn on the back and a label. I basted another one and am marking yet another. I WILL get these done! That's my new mission this year. Last year, I worked with scraps a LOT and now I just need to re-focus on finishing projects.

Remember my Scotties? I had it almost done last summer, except the binding on the back. I even had the label on it that I got it done last Aug!!!! I finally finished it and had to change the label. Now THAT is ridiculous! LOLThis snowman rail fence is SO old, I can't even remember how old it is! Our quilt group is having a retreat next weekend and we are supposed to either bring blocks or fabric to assemble some charity quilts. I decided to go ahead and finish this and I'll be done!This isn't that old (only a couple of years!), and this is one that I allowed my students to practice on learning to quilt on my HQ16. They did a good job and now it's done too! This was a free pattern here. I just completed this quilt last night. I am sewing samples for a friend who just opened a quilt shop (Quilter's Cottage) up in Garden City, SC. (south of Myrtle Beach). Don't you love it? She sent me the fabric, that are stamped batiks from Island Batik. Here's what Designer's Quarters magazine (Summer 2007) says about the fabric, "Thanks to Island Batik's stamped printing process, each piece of Batik Wheel gives the fabric lover control without sacrificing the gorgeous visual texture of true batiks." I tell ya, I could hardly tell the difference from the front and back of the fabric. And oh, so yummy they were! The pattern is in the Designer's Quarters magazine and used special templates (you could make your own though) It was a bit tedious at times, but it turned out beautiful. It does shrink though!! All the circles before assembled filled up almost my entire design wall (8' x 8') and finished at 45" x 56"!

I used Superior Threads, Rainbows, on the top stitching on the circles, although it doesn't really show in this picture. I used a gray thread on the back and now am wishing I would have used the Rainbow in the bobbin as well--it would have made a nice design.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Stash Busting and Delft shoes

I know I'm a day late this week--but finally have time to start joining the countdown on our stashes! In January, I was able to bust almost 5 yards of background fabric for these adorable little embroideries. I meant to make them for my friend and me for Christmas and didn't get them to her until later. The collection was called Holiday Redwork by The Stitch Connection. I LOVE their CD's, I have several of them, including the Snowman Collector one. Yes--done on a machine--but they look darn good! This is just a sampling of what I did--there were 37 blocks total x 2 (I did a set for each of us).
5 yards for January, 0 yards bought

Next, last week I had two classes on how to use Zoe, my HQ16. I plan on renting her out--does that make me a quilting pimp? Eww--no--I am 'sharing' her with other quilters to get their quilts done! :) Which meant that I had to have quilt tops and backings ready for them to practice on! So--the first class quilted my Puzzle Pieces top for me--requiring about 4 yards for the backing. The second class quilted Gratitude for me and I pieced 6 yards of fabric for the backing! I also marked a small quilt and cut the backing which was 1 1/4 yards.

February to date: 11 1/4 yards busted, 0 yards added (**see note below)

I had to show you these shoes--aren't they perfect for a Dutch girl like me? They are rubber clogs, done in Delft style and are perfect for my LONG walk to my studio. LOL(picture taken from the side door of the garage of my house--looks kind of dreary this time of year) Crocs don't get it when there is snow on the ground! It goes in the holes!

**Okay--I forgot that my friend (same friend who I surprised with the embroideries) surprised me with a birthday gift of some fabric--a couple of yards and a jelly roll (plus a needle minder, a handmade card and the cutest sun catcher in my favorite--flip flops in MY colors to boot--perfect, I tell ya!) do you count that for stash? If we don't buy it, it doesn't count? Or--ANY new additions, no matter how they join, is still stash?

Paris--lost hats,quilt shops & Eiffel Tower

Looking back at our trip to Paris---the last night we were in the Netherlands, we loaded up 3 double decker buses and a luggage trailer! My husband and I were the last ones to get our suitcases loaded, so they'd be the first ones off. So..we trek the 6 hours to Paris, arriving after 1:00 AM. Since the buses were so large and the Paris streets are SO narrow, we had to unload from rue de Rivoli--a major street! So, we told everyone to just grab as many bags as they could and trek the 2 1/2 blocks to the hotel and we'd sort them out there. Not an easy task with 165 people and over 400 bags! Everyone finally got checked in about 2 AM and I started searching for my bags. Found all of them except for the zippered Tyvec shopping bag filled with my precious hats, other souveneirs and my planner! I panicked a bit and tried very hard to fight back the tears as I searched the lobby over and over. I had a whole crew helping me to no avail. It was obviously not in the lobby. My only hope was the someone accidentally took it to their room. I didn't hold onto that hope much because it wasn't like it was a black backpack or suitcase. This was definitely a shopping bag. I realized that they were just 'things' and no one's life was at stake, but it was irreplaceable. Praying about it seemed a little childish and materialistic, but I was just sure that since the Lord had a hand in me finding these hats to start with, I was SURE that He would have wanted me to have them for more than a week! And IF I did find it--I wouldn't even LOOK at purses (my weakness!). I know--like bargaining with God works! LOL I was sure that it wasn't left on the bus, because it was the last thing loaded. I thought that maybe the group of young men watching all this activity going on probably could have very well casually walked by and picked it up, since it looked like a shopping bag and not a suitcase full of dirty clothes. To make a long story short--heehee--we called the bus company on the chance it was on the bus--and it WAS!! The bus driver couldn't fit my bag in the luggage compartment and put it in his private compartment and forgot!! Yeah! He returned it that day--and so, I'm a happy camper again. :) Okay--'nuff about that--I visited (okay--tried to visit--it wasn't open until after lunch) Le Rouvray, a very well known quilt shop in Paris. Only a block away from the Notre Dame. They do carry American fabric, as well as French fabrics and from the looks of the window, several gifty items as well. It was just as well that it was closed, as my budget and stash do not need any more added to it! (PS..never mind the hair--cold, drizzly days don't do a thing for me! or my hair!)
We were lucky to have our granddaughter with us--she loved the Eiffel Tower and we were lucky enough to go to our favorite viewing spot at night and the twinkling lights were one! I think it's only on once per hour.
A wonderful, busy time in France. My favorite is always the Basillica at Sacre Couer, seeing the Palais de Versailles for the first time, the crepes (bananas and sugar--although Nutella ranks right up there too), seeing the Louvre at night, and all the little patesseries and brasseries (sp?) filled with people sitting outside enjoying friends and great coffee.

Au revoir!