Saturday, April 3, 2010

49 more days...

It seems like only yesterday!
A quick look back...

Well folks, we have reached another milestone. There are now less than 50 days left until this great adventure begins! This is a good time to take a look back at some of the highlights of the past 140 days.

CLICK HERE to see the slideshow Full Screen

As we all know, this has just been an appetizer, or some "coming attractions" of sorts.  Imagine what the real world will be like!  Thanks again Cruisemaster Ken and Cruisemistress Cindy!

49 more days!

Friday, April 2, 2010

50 more days...

Cruising with Cyn
Collection of useless information circuitous to the OPERATION: Poisson Rouge Adventure.

This 6 week installment of Cyn's Cinema, we will be exploring movies that have been filmed in the regions we will be visiting. Take some time off from your everyday life and watch a movie with scenes from Barcelona, Naples, Rome, Florence, Nice and Toulon.

Let us know if you've seen any of these movies and what your thoughts are.

TitleYearGenreIMDb RatingStaring
The Transporter2002Action, Crime, Thriller6.6Jason Statham,
Qi Shu
Synopsis:Ex-Special Forces operator Frank Martin lives what seems to be a quiet life along the French Mediterranean, hiring himself out as a mercenary "transporter" who moves goods - human or otherwise - from one place to another. No questions asked. Frank's newest transport seems no different from the countless ones he's done in the past. He has been hired by an American known only as "Wall Street" (see Rule Two) to make a delivery, but when Frank stops along route, he notices his "package" is moving. Violating his own personal rules, Frank looks inside the bag, finding its contents to be a beautiful, gagged woman. Written by Anonymous
  • Avenue de Saissy, Cannes, Alpes-Maritimes, France (Darren Bettencourt's mansion)
  • Cassis, Bouches-du-Rhône, France (Frank's home) (French Highway Scenes)
  • Eze Village, Alpes-Maritimes, France
  • Marseille, Bouches-du-Rhône, France (bus terminal) (Container Yard)
  • Nice, Alpes-Maritimes, France (opening car chase)
  • Paris, France (Opening Car Chase)
  • Rue Pierre et Marie Curie, Aix-en-Provence, Bouches-du-Rhône, France (opening car chase)
  • Saint-Tropez, Var, France (Frank's neighbour's home) (French seaside village)
  • Villefranche-sur-Mer, Alpes-Maritimes, France
Swordfish2001Action, Crime, Thriller6.3John Travolta, Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry,
Don Cheadle
Synopsis:A secretive renegade counter-terrorist co-opts the world's greatest hacker (who is trying to stay clean) to steal billions in US Government dirty money
Sightings:Various locations in the USA as well as Monte Carlo, Monaco and Nice, Alpes-Maritimes, France
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels1988Comedy, Crime7.1Steve Martin, Michael Caine
Synopsis:Lawrence and Freddie are con-men; big-time and small time respectively. They unsuccessfully attempt to work together only to find that this town (on the French Mediterranean coast) aint big enough for the two of them. They agree to a "loser leaves" bet. The bet brings out the best/worse in the two. Interesting twist at the end. Synopsis written by Rob Hartill
  • Alpes-Maritimes, France 
  • Antibes, Alpes-Maritimes, France  
  • Aéroport International, Cannes, Alpes-Maritimes, France (Beaumont-sur-Mer Airport) 
  • Beaulieu-sur-Mer, Alpes-Maritimes, France (Beaumont-sur-Mer) 
  • Cap Ferrat, Alpes-Maritimes, France  
  • Cap Ferrat, Gironde, France  
  • Cap d'Antibes, Antibes, Alpes-Maritimes, France  
  • Côte d'Azur, France  
  • Fondation Ephrussie de Rothschild, Villa Ile-de-Frances, Cap Ferrat, Alpes-Maritimes, France (Beaumont-sur-Mer art gallery) 
  • France  
  • French Riviera, Alpes-Maritimes, France 
  • Gers, France  
  • Gironde, France 
  • Grand-Hôtel, Cap-Ferrat, Alpes-Maritimes, France (Beaumont-sur-Mer Grand Hotel) 
  • Juan-les-Pins, Antibes, Alpes-Maritimes, France (Beaumont-sur-Mer harbour) 
  • Musée Rothschild, Cap Ferrat, Alpes-Maritimes, France  
  • Nice, Alpes-Maritimes, France  
  • Rotonde, Beaulieu-sur-Mer, Alpes-Maritimes, France (Beaumont-sur-Mer Casino) 
  • Studios de la Victorine - 16 avenue Edoard Grinda, Nice, Alpes-Maritimes, France  
  • Villa Hier, Cap d'Antibes, Antibes, Alpes-Maritimes, France (Lawrence Jamieson's luxurious digs)
  • Villa Ile-de-Frances, Cap Ferrat, Alpes-Maritimes, France
  • Villefranche, Alpes-Maritimes, France
  • Villefranche, Gers, France
  • Villefranche-sur-Mer, Alpes-Maritimes, France 
Thoughts:Big winner - look at all those sights
Never Say Never Again 1983Action, Adventure, Thriller6.0Sean Connery, Kim Basinger
Synopsis:A SPECTRE agent has stolen two American nuclear warheads, and James Bond must find their targets before they are detonated.
  • Alpes-Maritimes, France
  • Antibes, Alpes-Maritimes, France
  • Beaulieu-sur-Mer, Alpes-Maritimes, France
  • Cap Martin, Alpes-Maritimes, France
  • Casino Square, Monte Carlo, Monaco (casino scenes at the Casino Royale)
  • Casino de Monte Carlo, Monte Carlo, Monaco (casino scenes at the Casino Royale)
  • Côte d'Azur, France
  • England, UK
  • Fort Carré, Antibes, Alpes-Maritimes, France (Fortress - Palmyra Estate of Largo)
  • France
  • French Riviera, Alpes-Maritimes, France
  • French Rococo Room, Waddesdon Manor, Waddesdon, Buckinghamshire, England, UK (3-D Domination Video Game Battle)
  • Hotel de Paris, Place du Casino, Monte Carlo, Monaco casino scenes at the Casino Royale)
  • Luton Hoo Estate, Luton, Bedfordshire, England, UK (Shrublands health clinic)
  • Menton, Alpes-Maritimes, France
  • Monaco
  • Monte Carlo Bay, Monte Carlo, Monaco
  • Monte Carlo, Monaco
  • Musée Rothschild, Cap Ferrat, Alpes-Maritimes, France
  • Nice, Alpes-Maritimes, France
  • Roquebrune Cap Martin, Alpes-Maritimes, France
  • Route du Bord du Mer, Côte d'Azur, France
  • Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, Alpes-Maritimes, France
  • Shrubland Park, Coddenham, Suffolk, England, UK (as the gym in the Bond-Lippe fight scene)
  • Spain
  • UK
  • USA
  • Villa Rothschild, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, Alpes-Maritimes, France
  • Villefranche-sur-Mer, Alpes-Maritimes, France (fishing port - motorcycle chase)
  • Waddesdon Manor, Waddesdon, Buckinghamshire, England, UK
Thoughts:Many of the James Bond movies are shot in Europe.
The Return of the Pink Panther1975Comedy, Crime6.9Peter Sellers, Christopher Plummer
Synopsis:That famous jewel, The Pink Panther, has once again been stolen and Inspector Clouseau is called in to catch the thief. The Inspector is convinced that 'The Phantom' has returned and utilises all of his resources - himself and his oriental manservant - to reveal the true identity of 'The Phantom'. Synopsis written by Graeme Roy {}
  • Morocco
  • Nice, Alpes-Maritimes, France 
Day for Night1973Drama, Comedy8.0Jacqueline Bisset,
Valentina Cortese
Synopsis:A film company at work. Actors arrive and depart; liaisons develop. Julie, the beautiful but possibly unstable lead, is recovering from a breakdown, aided by an older physician, her new husband. Alphonse is insecure, he babbles. When his fiance exits with a stunt man, he threatens to quit. Julie must convince him to stay. Alexandre, a consummate pro on the set, runs back and forth to the airport hoping a certain young man will visit. Severine, no longer young, hits the bottle and covers blown lines with emotional outbursts. At the center is Ferrand, the writer director, who must make constant decisions, answer a stream of questions, and deliver the film on schedule. Synopsis written by {}
  • Alpes-Maritimes, France
  • Boscolo Hôtel Atlantic - 12 Boulevard Victor Hugo, Nice, Alpes-Maritimes, France
  • French Riviera, Alpes-Maritimes, France
  • Hôtel Windsor Nice - 11 rue Dalpozzo, Nice, Alpes-Maritimes, France (hotel: Atlantic Hotel)
  • Nice Côte d'Azur Airport, Nice, Alpes-Maritimes, France (press conference)
  • Nice, Alpes-Maritimes, France

Thursday, April 1, 2010

51 more days....

Poisson d'Avril!!

Today in France, those who are fooled on April 1 are called the “Poisson d’Avril” (the April Fish). A common prank (especially among school-aged children) is to place a paper fish on the back of an unsuspecting person. When the paper fish is discovered, the victim is declared a “Poisson d’Avril.”

So here are some 'poisson' for you to color, cut, and tape on to your friends.  Pour s'amuser!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

52 more days...


Tips for European Dining

A big part of any cruise vacation is the EATING part! It is important to remember that there will be many people sharing the dining experience with us and that we should be on our best behavior. (did I hear a collective sigh of disappointment?) This may not be as easy as it sounds since I have personally witnessed our family in action while dining out. I can recall napkins being fashioned into pirate hats, boisterous outbursts, helium munchkin singing, and, dare I say, howling while at a fine restaurant. (OK, in honor of Tootie, I suppose we could do a howl...softly!) Unfortunately, we will not have the luxury of having our own dining area where we can act like a bunch of uncivilized will need to practice some restraint and mind our table manners. After all, we don't want to be kicked off the ship!

European dining differs slightly from American style dining. The following video will help you to understand the differences and educate you in proper table etiquette.

I know we will all be well behaved and enjoy fine cuisine and conversation while on our Mediterranean cruise adventure...and if the rules of etiquette are too much to handle, there is always room service!

Cruise along and enjoy...^_~


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

53 more days...

Our Patron Saints

It's a big and busy world out there. Being that we are traveling to some of the more religious places on earth, it may be wise to brush up on our saints, just in case we need their help.

A little background...
Praying with the Saints

How many saints are there?
There are over 10,000 saints and beati named throughout history, including the Roman Martyology and Orthodox sources. But there is no definitive head-count.

How does the Church choose saints?
Canonization, the process the Church uses to name a saint, has only been used since the tenth century. For hundreds of years before that, starting with the first martyrs of the early Church, saints were chosen by public acclaim. Though this was a more democratic way to recognize saints, some saints' stories were distorted by legend and some never existed. Gradually, the bishops and finally the Vatican took over authority for approving saints.

In 1983, Pope John Paul II made sweeping changes in the canonization procedure. The process begins after the death of a Catholic whom people regard as holy. Often, the process starts many years after death in order give perspective on the candidate. The local bishop investigates the candidate's life and writings for heroic virtue (or martyrdom) and orthodoxy of doctrine. Then a panel of theologians at the Vatican evaluates the candidate. After approval by the panel and cardinals of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, the pope proclaims the candidate "venerable."

The next step, beatification, requires evidence of one or more miracles (except in the case of martyrs). Since miracles are considered proof that the person is in heaven and can intercede for us, the miracle must take place after the candidate's death and as a result of a specific petition to the candidate. When the pope proclaims the candidate beatified or "blessed," the person can be venerated by a particular region or group of people with whom the person holds special importance.

Only after one more miracle will the pope canonize the saint (this includes martyrs as well). The title of saint tells us that the person lived a holy life, is in heaven, and is to be honored by the universal Church. Canonization does not "make" a person a saint; it recognizes what God has already done.

When did the Church start honoring saints?
By the year 100 A.D., Christians were honoring other Christians who had died, and asking for their intercession. Many people think that honoring saints was something the Church set up later, but it was part of Christianity from the very beginning. As a matter of fact, this practice came from a long-standing tradition in the Jewish faith of honoring prophets and holy people with shrines. The first saints were martyrs, people who had given up their lives for the Faith in the persecution of Christians.

Do Catholics pray TO saints?
Catholics pray with saints, not to them. They ask saints to pray for them in times of trouble.

A quick rundown...
Saints by Country

Patron Saints of Spain
James the Greater
John of Avila
Our Lady of Guadalupe of Estremadura
Our Lady of Montserrat
Our Lady of Ransom
Our Lady of the Pillar of Saragossa Teresa of Avila

Patron Saints of Italy
Basillica of Saint Mary Major
Bernadine of Siena
Catherine of Siena
Francis of Assisi
Madonna of Saint Luke
Our Lady of Loreto
Our Lady of Perpetual Help
Our Lady of Pompeii
Our Lady of Tears
Our Lady of the Snow

Patron Saints of France:
Joan of Arc
Martin of Tours
Notre Dame Cathedral of Paris
Notre Dame of Chartres
Our Lady of LaSallette
Our Lady of Lourdes
Our Lady of Pontmain
Our Lady of the Assumption
Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal
Remigius (Pillars of the earth?!?!)
Therese of Liseux

Some special purpose saints...

The Patron Saint of Air Travel:
The Catholic Church recognizes more than 20 patron saints of travel, so they basically have us covered on this one. But a favorite has to be St Joseph of Cupertino, the Patron Saint of Safe Air Travel.

When in a heightened holy state, for example at Mass or during feast day parades, Joseph would suddenly begin to levitate and neither shouting or pinching or slapping would rouse him from his trance or cause him to land. This earned him a second nickname of "the Flying Friar" and many years after his death made him an obvious choice to be the Patron Saint of air travel. 

For more info on the Travel Saints, check out this great site!

A few more, just in case...
Patron Saint Against Bad Weather - Saint Médard
Patron Saint Against Oversleeping - Saint Vitus
Patron saint of taxi drivers - Saint Fiacre
Patron Saint of the Internet - Saint Isidore of Seville

Patron Saint of Unattractive People - Saint Drogo
Patron Saint of Hangovers - Bibiana
Patron Saint of Dogs - Saint Roch (Saint Rocco)

Patron Saint of Mad Dogs - Saint Hubert of Liege
St. Sebastian – Patron of Cranky Children

And finally, just in case you were wondering... Yes, there is a patron saint of patron saints! He is Saint Flairpool of San Seriffe, a fisherman who lived in the 11th Century.  A fisherman!  I bet that he could have used a fly tying mirror!

53 more days!

Monday, March 29, 2010

54 more days...

The Finance Report:
Lift Off!

We have a new leader, and her name is Mo!  The $US made huge gains this week, achieving a new high, and putting Mo in the lead for the first time in this contest.  At this point the $US is tracking 11.3% higher than it was when we started tracking it!  But let's not get too excited yet...  With 54 days to go, Nana or anyone else could still take the prize!

One more thought...  You know the money that I won from the old woman when the Yanks beat the Sillies, which she paid to me in Euro's?  Well, all of those Euro's plus $0.50 would probably buy me a fifty-cent cup of coffee right about now...  Thanks, Nana...

Mo "Index Card" Lang,
 leading the pack.

The winner of our contest (Grand Prize = 1 euro!) will be the one with the closest guess on May 21st, 2010. 

61 Countries...

Yep, it stalled.  I got nothing for ya.  Head back to camp. 

free counters

Nana on the Titanic:

Your ratings worked!!!  Nana has achieved 15,135 views on YouTube, as of Friday...  Who would ever have thunk it?  That's four to five times as many views as the entire Operation: Poisson Rouge blog!  (UPDATE: Those were friday's numbers...  As of Sunday night, Nana is up to 15,881!)

What must they think?
We can only wonder, unless of course they take the time to write and request a free postcard!


FREE Postcards!
What a segway...  Our offer remains open to anyone in the world who wants to receive a FREE postcard from the cast of Operation: Poisson Rouge during our European adventure.  Please click on the 'contact me' button below, and make your request.  There are 3 more postcards requests available, each to be filled free of charge!

Postcard #2: Pope Benedict 
Postcard #3 - #5: Still available

(Offer void to family, and friends...)

Sunday, March 28, 2010

55 more days...


Take a look....

Oh, but we'll be OK....we're taking bus tours....that should be safe, right?

As for pedestrians, no need to look both ways before you cross the's so much more exciting to just play chicken with the traffic....Ahhhh!


Cruise along and enjoy...^_~