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From Here To Paris - Get laid off. Buy a barge in France. Take it to Paris

From Here To Paris - Get laid off. Buy a barge in France. Take it to Paris [Kindle Edition]

Cris Hammond
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product Description

Product Description

The perky young Vice President of Human Resources touched me on the shoulder and said, “Have a nice life.”
That moment, standing in the parking lot with my personal possessions in a cardboard box and my severance papers stuffed in my pocket, I thought, “Why the hell not?”
The anarchist inside me was urging me back into the building to play carelessly with matches, but instead I went to Starbuck’s. Sitting in the sun, sipping a cappuccino, it occurred to me that sometimes your life falls apart just enough to allow you to put it back together in an entirely different way.
So I did the most logical thing. I bought a barge in France. Then my wife and I set out to fulfill a lifetime dream of living in the shadow of Notre Dame on the Seine in Paris.
From Here to Paris is the story of how we climbed out of our well-worn corporate trench and, together, set to work creating our dream life, alternating between our cozy Victorian art studio in Sausalito California and our 56 foot, 1925 Dutch barge, Phaedra, cruising the canals and rivers of France, inching toward our ultimate goal, the Seine and Paris.
This is a story of facing up to the emotional and ego hooks so deeply embedded in the trappings and symbols that define “success.” Of selling the over sized house, shredding the credit cards and abandoning the mind-numbing commute in favor of a joyful struggle toward a fresh life. One lived in jeans and filled with long, leisurely afternoons floating along glass-still canals, through medieval villages and rolling vineyards in the heart of Burgundy.
It’s also the story of realtors, moose horns, a mysterious black boat, catastrophic engine failures and how your life can pass before your eyes when you put those tons of iron into reverse and it keeps going forward. It’s about learning the proper gender of things in French, cheating at Trivial Pursuit, cajoling France’s sexiest boat mechanic and why real men don’t do yoga. It’s about realizing that getting to Paris can take years, so you better enjoy the journey.

About the Author

Since 2005, Cris and Linda Hammond have been spending half of each year on their 56 foot Dutch barge Phaedra, exploring the canals and rivers of France, cooking, writing, painting and resetting their body clocks to a much slower pace. The rest of their time they are at home in Sausalito, California, in their little Victorian studio by San Francisco Bay where he sells his paintings and she dotes on their new grandson. Cris is a nationally known artist, cartoonist and entrepreneur. His comic strip, “Speed Walker, Private Eye” was seen daily in over 150 newspapers across the country. His paintings of ships and the sea have appeared in galleries in Sausalito, San Francisco, Tiburon, and Carmel California. He led special effects teams to Academy Awards in motion pictures including Star Trek IV, Innerspace and The Abyss, among others. In 1994 he founded Workforce Logic, a company that specializes in defining the legal and tax liabilities associated with the contingent workforce. In late 2001, after growing it to revenues in excess of $100 million a year, he left the company and created PaparazziH2O, a web enabled, on-the-water yacht photography business. After winning international attention for his innovative use of new, and not so new, technologies, Cris sold the business in 2004 so he’d have time to see how much trouble he could get into on that barge in France. To that end, since 2005, Cris and Linda have meandered through more that 850 kilometers of canals and rivers and negotiated more that 1100 locks in their travels from the Rhone wine region, through Burgundy to Chablis and on to the Seine and into Paris. With Phaedra as their floating home base in Europe, they’ve struck out by car and train to explore Brittany, Provence, the Alsace, Northern Spain, Venice, Tuscany, Germany and the UK. And they're still at it.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2778 KB
  • Print Length: 365 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0615918581
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Davenator Press (2 Dec 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00H055PNU
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #252,747 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A great memoir set on the French waterways 25 Jun 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
From the beginning I very much enjoyed this book, the scene was succinctly set, I liked the writing style and it moved at a good pace. When life presents obstacles some people see it as a sign and have the courage to change direction and grasp something completely different. Cris and Linda are two such people and their something different is an old, forgotten Dutch barge in a boatyard in Burgundy that they plan to take to Paris.

This book glides effortlessly along, just like their barge on the Burgundian canals, pausing every so often for snippets of their life back in the US. There is a good mix of croissants, idyllic vineyards, pretty towns and markets plus the many hiccups and woes that no matter where you live will dampen the spirits. Cris’s good humour helps bring in the smiles even when their plans go a little off course and his description of their waterside community often had me laughing. There are times when the dream of living in Paris seems a long way off, but they are not the giving up types. This book has everything I'm looking for in a good memoir set in France.

Don’t miss the little language extras at the end of the book – Cris is a funny man!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.6 out of 5 stars  54 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Sometimes your life falls apart just enough to allow you to put it back together in an entirely different way." So true. 4 Dec 2013
By Todd Crawshaw - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
From Here to Paris is an adventure and a funny read. I loved it! This three-part story is relatable, hysterical and heartfelt.

Hammond's talent as an illustrator and cartoonist comes across in his writing, especially in the characters he introduces. For example (cartoon included), "Bouda was the acknowledged bon vivant and 'sexy guy' of the Water Company atelier crew. It was his responsibility to keep up the reputation for lechery that the Water Company team had worked so hard to achieve. No matter how cold it got in the winter, no matter how many layers of fleece, wool and down the day called for, most of Bouda's chest hair would be on prominent display to warm women's hearts and drive them wild. He knew that his gift of sexiness was not his alone to covet or conceal."

His sharp insights, wit and sense of humor adds great luster and dimension to the telling of this tale.

Get Laid Off: "Until the day that I sat down at my computer, punched in my password and discovered I'd been locked out, there'd been no pressing reason to start questioning my odds of survival."

Buy a Barge in France: "That awful noise came rumbling through the boat until suddenly there was a CLUNK and BANG and a sound I hadn't heard since the time in high school when, on a dare, I threw my dad's car into "Park" on the Bayshore freeway."

Take it to Paris: "Parisians had created a city that is a work of art. Not untouchable art to be placed on a wall or a pedestal, but art to be lived in, accessible to all who walked its streets. I'd finally found a place where art was essential. Here, everything from the lamp-posts to the Louvre, revealed an artist's heart. It was the first time I could believe that being an artist was worthwhile, and that caring about art, just for the joy it gave, was good enough."

This memoir is a work of art. A great read.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars from here to Paris 9 May 2014
By JB - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is an excellent account of the barging experience in France. The author/captain does not gloss over problems encountered during the voyages, but his descriptions of old country towns and villages fill one with nostalgia. Fresh croissants and coffee in the morning, tasty meals in out of the way small restaurants in the evening, what nostalgia it evokes in anyone who has travelled in France. An excellent book for the armchair traveller too.
5.0 out of 5 stars I love this book!!! 20 July 2014
By Nancy Joyce Koenig - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
My husband and I went to France in January of 2000 and bought a barge from H2O in Saint-Jean-de-Losne. We had planned to cruise on the French canals for two, maybe three years, but ended up staying for 12 years. It was the time of our life.

This is the best book I have ever read on the subject of living on a barge in France, and I have read them all. It is funny. It is charming. It is true. What a fun read!

I discovered this book today quite by accident when I was searching the Kindle store for novels written in French. Cris's book was somehow on the list, and I tried a sample and after just a few pages bought the book.

My dog didn't get a walk today, instead I relived our French adventures through Cris and Linda's stories. What a perfect way to spend a sunny day in my back yard.

We returned home to San Francisco in 2012, but our website, although not active, is still up and running, and if you are interested in reading more about barging in France and living on a barge in the center of Paris, you may want to take a peek.
5.0 out of 5 stars Lots of fun and adventure 16 July 2014
By NTLady - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I thoroughly enjoyed the adventure. Having lived in Europe I particularly enjoyed his cultural observations, some of them made me laugh out loud. His story about going to the bakery and not getting the genres correct was a perfect example. Also the frustrations of getting things done in a reasonable amount of time and in a different language, I could also relate too. I was sad for the adventure to end.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 12 July 2014
By Mary Tierney - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
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