Welcome to the Paul and Vicki Terhorst Travel, Early Retirement, and Contemplation Page

             We are Paul and Vicki Terhorst. We retired young and are now perpetual travelers.
This page lets you know our whereabouts, how to contact us, and what's going on in our lives.

We updated this page from Tours, France, on July 14, 2015.
Happy Bastille Day!

                              Paul and  Vicki in Girona, Spain

To read articles by us in Live and Invest Overseas scroll down to TIMELESS .  
Find Vicki's Contemplation Photos at the very bottom of this page.


We continue our European travels with short stops here, there and everywhere, an unusual mode 
of travel for us. With flexible, in-the-moment decision making we stay away from
crowded tourist towns and visit 'plan B' and 
even 'plan C' cities. 
We spent June in Spain stopping first in Figueres, the hometown of Salvador Dali. We visited 
Dali's own flamboyant museum.  Dali has our respect for his outrageous genius. The top two photos 
below show Dali's museum from the outside and a Dali selfie. The bottom two photos, the same picture, show
 a collage of figures on the left (up close) but a portrait of Lincoln on the right (from a distance). 


Figueres offered more than just Dali. Here are some pictures:

In Figueres and the rest of Spain we adapted to eating a late lunch, Spanish style. Restaurants all over Spain offered reasonably priced (under US$15.00) three-course meals including wine.

After a few days in Figueres we traveled to Girona, just north of Barcelona. In the small history museum of Girona we came across an exhibit on travel with an intriguing spin: "Girona through the eyes of women travelers." Women traveling on their own a hundred years ago were intrepid pioneers.

Girona's historic district snuggles up against a hill; our legs got a workout on our daily walks. 



We took a scenic, super-fast train from Girona to Madrid. Our friend of many years from Argentina, Axel, picked us up at Madrid's train station.  We stayed several nights with him, Ana and their cheerful young son. We drove with the entire family to the majestic El Escorial, our first time there even though we've been to Madrid many times.


Axel also drove us into the mountains for a bit of nature and birding. Our lunch stop was in Rascafria, where our restaurant had an antique espresso machine tucked into the fireplace (left).  After lunch we visited a tiny park planted with trees from around the world.  At the entrance to the park was a quote from the park's founder: 
"We could spend our entire life contemplating a tree."

We picked up Paul's brother Phil and his wife Lynda at the airport in Madrid. They made excellent travel companions. We spent one week together visiting Valladolid, Bilbao, Vitoria-Gastiez and Zaragoza. 

Here are some fountains in Valladolid:


And here a walk in Bilbao to and around the Guggenheim Museum:


Vitoria-Gastiez, a plan-C city, surprised us with its charm, architecture, and murals.


After Zaragoza Phil and Lynda headed to Barcelona, and then Rome. We stayed behind in Zaragoza and took a breather. Our Zaragoza week included a magnificent basilica, Roman ruins, museums (including one dedicated to Goya and another to Pablo Gargallo, not to mention a unique Origami museum), exhibitions, and more. 



Zaragoza reflections: 




Our last stop in Spain was Mataro on the Costa Brava. The short stay was all about a visit with Argentinian friends who had flown in from Buenos Aires. We didn't take one photo.

Review of our Recent Past
We spent the merry month of May in France. Chilly. We started our sojourn with a two week stay in Paris. 

We savored our Paris stay...visiting with friends, walking around our favorite neighborhoods, drinking fine French wines, 
dropping in at a few extraordinary museum shows including the Bonnard exhibition at the Musee d'Orsay (click here to read the catalog highlights)  and Velasquez at the Grand Palais (here's a Wall Street Journal review of the mammoth Velasquez show) 
and eating more than our fare share of favorite French goodies - lucky we packed expandable clothes.

We strolled through the Montparnasse Cemetery.


Vicki celebrated her 66th birthday with champagne and scrumptious fare at the vegetarian-friendly Maceo restaurant.   (You can read a review here). And totally new in Paris - the recently inaugurated Louis Vuitton Foundation.  Frank Gehry designed the sculptural building. We will return to both Maceo and the Louis Vuitton Foundation in late July.

We left Paris on May 21st and traveled to Valence. We stayed in an AirBnB room-in-a-house with bath down the hall.  Yep - still can do. Our Valence stay included meanders, museums, markets, meals and...


...magnificence (Valence Cathedral of Saint-Apollinaire)


 Our next stop found us in the Roman/medieval village of Die (pronounce Dee) where our French friend Soaz took good care of us and introduced us to her favorite things in and around Die, including the bubbly Clairette de Die.
Next on the agenda was Nimes and all things Roman. 
The Roman Square house now has a reflection across the way - a modern art museum and public library designed by Norman Foster.  Nimes ancient  arena continues to be used today for concerts and, twice a year, ferias or what we call bullfights.

The oldest ruin in Nimes is the temple of Diana located in a park just outside of the historic district. 


Much to our surprise we learned that denim comes from Nimes.  And speaking of old, really old, we found another surprise in the Archaeology museum - several statue-menhirs dating from the late Neolithic and Chalcolithic Periods (ca. 3500–2500 B.C.). The position of the hands of the statue in the second photo caught our attention as Thai Buddha figures sometimes display the same mudra/hand position.  We did a bit of research and found that this mudra was probably used before the onset of Buddhism as a symbol of good intentions, proposing friendship when approaching strangers. 


We had an overnight stop in Uzes to see a friend before heading to Spain. After a morning hike we stopped for lunch and a coffee at a local's bar/cafe.  Summer has arrived. 

 (Figueres and Bilbao, Spain)


In July we're back in France and visiting Narbonne, Agen, Poitiers, Tours, Sable-sur-Sarthe,
Nantes, and Paris.  

In early August we fly from Paris to Seattle.


This photo, taken in the Valence Museum, shows what might be the earliest known calendar.  A 14,000-year-old bone displays markings that look like they show astronomical information. The bone was found in the Grotte du Thaïs (pronounced "tice") near Saint Nazaire en Royans/Vercors/Rhône Valley/France.

Click on TIMELESS to go to our Timeless page which has links to articles by Paul and a few by Vicki about our travels and reflections. These articles are available for free on the Live and Invest Overseas website.  

We wrote Cashing In on the American Dream, published by what is now Bantam Doubleday Dell, in 1988.  Even though the book is out of date and out of print, it is still considered a classic read for anyone considering early retirement.
Contemplation Photos



Thank you for visiting our page.
Our email address is paulvic@yahoo.com.