Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Off adventuring

I haven't been ignoring you.  I've been off adventuring and researching.  MIHH is a swell gal, but well, she's got a lot going on and doesn't always have her camera when my adventures happen.   I've climbed mountains, fought Nazi's, jumped off bridges and battled some really huge dinosaurs.  I could have sworn those were extinct. The kid has a way of finding interesting things for me.  He's got spunk.  I will be going on a grand adventure next month with the kid, MIHH and Mr. HH (I can't believe he hasn't gotten a new nick name yet).  We're going on a Mediterranean cruise and plan to explore such places as Tunisia, Malta, Corsica, Pompii and Rome.  Ah, it'll be good to get back to my old stomping grounds.  I hope I'll have something interesting for you before then, but well, I'm a busy man.  Must go, I hear there are some sort of space cowboy that looks a lot like me (lucky devil), hangs out with a tall furry dog like thing and  drives a ship called the Millennium Falcon.  I've got to investigate. 

Monday, February 1, 2010

Paris-The Eiffel Tower and Les Invalides

So after a very filling breakfast, we headed out in the snow toward the Eiffel Tower. I was so full I had to take a rest. I'm not as young as I used to be and all that food, just about did me in. It reminded me to get in better shape. Not that I'm a slacker or anything-you've seen my abs, but being an adventurer means I need to keep myself in shape. Since the trip I've been lifting weights daily (you know, cotton swabs-don't judge me, I'm 3.75 inches tall). Anyway, here I am sitting on a bench. Mr. HH was kind enough to clear the snow for me.

Here I am attempting to scale the Eiffel Tower. Ignore Mr. HH's hand. He's trying to hold me back. Trust me on this.

I really wanted to feed the pigeons like Indy, but MIHH was afraid one would try to carry me off. Like I couldn't take a pigeon. I've fought Thugees. Pigeons. Pffffttt!

The Eiffel Tower, which is the tallest building in Paris is the single most visited paid monument in the world; millions of people ascend it every year. Named after its designer, engineer Gustave Eiffel, the tower was built as the entrance arch for the 1889 World's Fair. The tower was met with much criticism from the public when it was built, with many calling it an eyesore. Newspapers of the day were filled with angry letters from the arts community of Paris. Eiffel had a permit for the tower to stand for 20 years, meaning it would have had to be dismantled in 1909, when its ownership would revert to the City of Paris. The City had planned to tear it down (part of the original contest rules for designing a tower was that it could be easily demolished) but as the tower proved valuable for communication purposes, it was allowed to remain after the expiration of the permit. The military used it to dispatch Parisian taxis to the front line during the First Battle of the Marne , and it therefore became a victory statue of that battle allowing it to stand. Can you imagine Paris without the Eiffel Tower?

After the Eiffel Tower we headed over to the Musée de l'Armée at Les Invalides. Les Invalides was started in 1670 by Louis XIV as a hospital for aging, wounded and unwell soldiers. The US could take a leaf from his book on this. Many military leaders, including most famously Napoleon Bonaparte (and a whole host of his relatives) are entombed in the chapel. In 1871, the museum, first called the Musée de l'Artillerie was formed. A Musée historique de l'Armée (Historical Museum of the Army) was created in 1896. It merged in 1905 with the Musée de l'Artillerie creating the current Museum. Today, it holds 500,000 artifacts, including weapons, armour, artillery, uniforms, emblems and paintings, exhibited in an area of 12,000 m². The permanent collections are organized into "historical collections", representing a chronological tour from ancient times through the end of WWII. Very interesting.

Hey look! It's a Belgian uniform, just like the one I wore in WWI, when I joined the Belgian Army.

Look, here I am with my good friend Remi in uniform. Looks just like the one in the case. Well, if you could see under the coat that is. Man, my hair was out of control. Check out those features though. Good looking kid. Stupid, but good looking.

HEY! See that guy? He owes me money.

Nazis. I hate those guys.

Especially this one.

Outside Les Invalides.

There's little Napoleon. There are 6 coffins inside the porphyre sarcophogus. The sarcophagus was put up on a green granite pedestal and contains a nest of six coffins: one made of soft iron, another of mahogany, two others of lead, one of ebony and finally the last one of oak. Napoleon is dressed in his Colonel's uniform (of the cavalry of the Guard) which bears his sash of the Légion d'Honneur. His hat rests on his legs.

Someone built a very scary snow bunny outside, but I had no fear. Thugees, giant ants and snakes. That's all I'm saying.

I hope you enjoyed our little trip and maybe learned a few things.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Breakfast in Paris

I'm not sure why MIHH thinks it's funny to take photos of me while I eat, but apparently it's hilarious. Maybe because I'm so small? Still, you don't see people taking photos of the Pygmies while they eat, do you? No, you do not. But I digress. MIHH took the pictures and I might at well show you. BTW, some Japanese tourists staying at our hotel thought I was dashing and amusing and asked if they could take my photos too. Of course I agreed. Who am I to turn away my adoring public? I wonder if I'm on some random Japanese blog?

One thing the French do well is bread. And we ate a lot of it. Mostly because that's what hotels serve you at breakfast. Look at those croissants. Golden brown and flakey. Delicious.

I sat down on to enjoy one.

And look, they have a French Laughing Cow! Tasty.

Noooooo! It's mine! You can't have it. I can completely eat it. Chocolate croissant goodness.

I told you I could eat it. Now, could someone roll me out of here?

Sheesh that was embarrassing. You'd think MIHH and Mr. HH would give me the respect I deserve as a scholar, teacher and archeologist, but no. No they do not. It's a good thing I like them.

Next time, we'll have a look at my adventures at La Tour Eiffel and Les Invilades. You do not want to miss that. And I promise, no more food pictures.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Ah, Paris!

If you're a true fan of mine, you know that I visited Paris many times when I was a child, traveling with my father (and mother before she died), and worked there as a Belgian Soldier during WWI under the assumed name of Henri Defense (which I admit was a terrible alias, but in my defense-no pun intended-I was only 16 and it seemed clever at the time), where I met and had a steamy affair with Mata Hari. Ah, what a woman.
When I found out MIHH, Mr. HH (who I think needs to lobby for a better nickname), Indy and O'Pa (MIHH's dad) were going to Paris, I was ready to go and troll all my old haunts. After our emotional visit to Utah Beach, I opted out of the trip to Omaha Beach and cemetery, and hung around the hotel making lecture notes and thinking about Paris. Ah, Paris. Here are a few snapshots of our trip.
I was "accidentally" left behind when we first arrived in Paris, so I missed the Arch de Triomph. When they came back to drop off the backpack, I made sure to crawl in Indy's pocket. This is Indy, me in his pocket and O'Pa getting in the elevator. Only the 3 of us would fit (it was about 3 x 3) so MIHH and Mr. H had to take the stairs.

We walked around the streets for a while, just looking at things and MIHH found some fantastic cafe's and bistros to eat at, but was outvoted and somehow we ended up at McDonald's. What is wrong with those boys? They need some serious culture. Since I didn't get a vote and was there anyway, I figured I should get into the spirit. I mean it was no Moules Provancal and fois gras, but you know, it was food, and I was hungry.

Carefully, carefully.

Okay, I'm up for the challenge. I think. It's pretty big.

Oh, yeah. I'm going in.

A gentleman always cleans up after a meal.

Well, I was satisfied, but seriously, McDonald's? MIHH was so not happy.

Afterward we walked around the streets. It was a really cold night, but I found something I found interesting (fortunately O'Pa took the kid back to the hotel ahead of us). Ooh, la, la!

Just, you know, doing some research.

I hope you enjoyed our evening stroll. Next time I'll show you our trip to the Eiffel Tower and a visit to the military museum where I saw some old friends and enemies.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Adventures in Normandy

I apologize for not posting earlier, but it's really up to Mom in High Heels, and while she's a doll face is pretty busy with that boy and hasn't had the time to type up my dictation. I've been pretty busy too, between my teaching and tracking down priceless artifacts. I appreciate your patience. All right, enough of this sappy stuff. Let's look at a few of my photos from Normandy.

Here I am in Bayeux on a premium German motorcycle I "relieved" a German officer of. I think I look pretty snazzy on it,don't you? And, I found a few vintage bottles of Riesling in the saddle bags, which was an added bonus. Those Germans know their stuff when it comes to Riesling.

Oh, here I am at Utah Beach. A lot of brave men came up this beach. I of course was flying air support during the war. You'll notice I still have "my" motorcycle.

Now this is Point Du Hoc. Amazing story about this place. MIHH says you should go read it for yourself. She says I'm a professor, not a dictionary.

I'm sure this wasn't as interesting as it could have been, but MIHH says she's really busy (she's watching a movie-and not even one of mine) and cut all my lecture notes down to the bare bones. Kids these days. Anyway, I know this wasn't great, but come back for soon because I've got all kinds of photos to show you from my trip to Paris. Oo, la, la indeed.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Welcome...Let the adventures begin.

Hello and welcome! Some of you may know me already, but for those of you who don't, please allow me to introduce myself. I'm Pocket Indy. Yes, yes, you're probably more familiar with my life size counterpart, Indiana Jones, but let me assure you I'm just as adventurous, intelligent, and handsome, but I'm more compact and easier to carry around. In fact, I can fit in your pocket. Hence the name, but you probably figured that out already.

I have an awesome family that help me in my adventures. There's Mom in High Heels (I'm sure you're familiar with her. She's amazing in her own right and pretty hot. If only she were 3.75 inches high. I'm just sayin.), Mr. HH (who can be a grump on our travels, but he's great at helping me get places, so he's cool, and of course my little namesake, Indy, who is always up for adventure and learning. You might see their hands occasionally in the photos. They make sure I get where I need to go. Not that I couldn't do it on my own, it's just far easier this way. And it makes them feel important. I've been doing a lot of traveling lately and while it was okay for me to show up over at MIHH's place every now and then, we chatted and decided that it would really be better for me to have my own blog. Once she explained to me what that meant, anyway. I have a lot to say and so here I am. I'll try to check in with you and post my adventures as often as I can, but remember, I lead a life of high adventure and can often be in remote places that have no access to this internet thing MIHH is so fond of. I've most recently been travelling through the French countryside and into Paris and I have much to show you, but for now I'm off to get some much needed rest and relaxation. I've recently discovered that Indy has a stash of stuff in his room, including a pocket sized Marion. I think I'll put her on the back of my bike and take her to see this Playmobil pyramid I see up on a high shelf.
Take care.