Sunday, July 27, 2014

Manchester, England: All the Duncans

We went to Manchester for a quick visit last weekend.  I had not been in 5 years exactly, Alex and JD were last there in April 2012.  We stayed at our favorite Arora Hotel on Princess Street in the city.  Of course there were fish 'n chips, mushy peas, and beer.  We got to spend time with Duncan, Callum, Tiernan, and some other folks from MUST - Paul, Mark, Ian - that Vincent called "all the Duncans".

Flybe to Manchester, arriving our favorite Arora Hotel, walking around, lunch, tram to meet Duncan and everyone at the new MUST offices by Old Trafford,  a walk around Old Trafford, and dinner with everyone at Croma.  We were lucky it was a warm and sunny day, very unlike Manchester.  Alex loved riding backwards in the taxis, and Alex and Vincent both loved the trams, and the hotel, of course!

JD's Birthday!  MUST AGM meeting while it rained, lunch at The Bishop Blaize (with pancakes on the dessert menu), a walk around Chorlton with Duncan, stopping for tapas, and then beers (note the menu - there is a hot dog craze in Manchester), and dinner with Allie, Duncan, Callum and Tiernan. Then we crashed a 50 year olds birthday party where Vincent danced and we watched the slugs come out of the garden.  Sadly, no pictures of the last part.  And no pictures of the "urban fox" we saw, which was really just a fox with mange.

A walk around the City Center and visit to the new National Football Museum.  A long lunch at The Alchemist them back to Paris.

Taking a walk by Alex and Vincent's school 8 blocks from our house, the park, investigating the new shopping mall in our town with a "hypermarche" (=Costco), eating at the "Happy Days Diner", bath, L'Anjou, running by L'Anjou(it was hot, 90°F), dinner at our favorite sushi restaurant.

Vincent is enjoying his trains, more park, trying out some Mexican food with grocery store ingrediants, getting Lincoln his food and a scratch pad.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

a few more - last of the US

Finally downloaded some more pictures from right before we left the US.  The lens was blurry because I dropped hummus on it, oops.

JD saying goodbye to Carrie at Parthenon, swimming at Carrie's pool, eating, playing, making faces, U-Haul to Goodwill and the dump, lunch with Grannie's friend Mabel at her apartment, and having a delicious meal at Black Market Bistro in Garrett Park.

Arriving at CDG Roissy July 5th.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Settling in - Paris again

Pictures from the first week, getting settled in the apartment.  The weather was gray and cool and rainy the first week.  Little did we know there was a heat wave coming!

New apartment, cooking, eating, putting together Alex's bunk bed.

Eating at L'Anjou, seeing the jets practive for Bastille Day, buying vacuum cleaner, dinner at L'Anjou.

More apartment - playing, reading, eating, new vacuum.

First full Saturday in Paris and the sun eventually came out.  We went into town and walked a bit through the Tuileries and across the Seine into the 6th arrondissement for lunch.

Sunday lunch from the market, a walk around our town after some rain, walking over to the river to see the set up for pre-Bastille day celebrations.

Bastille Day
We walked over to the Arc de Triomphe to see the end of the military parade.

more Bastille Day
More helicopters and tanks.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

July - Bonjour Paris!

Greetings from Paris!  We are settled in our new apartment and love being back in France.  The last few weeks of June were VERY hectic - travel for work(JD), packing, end of school, getting out of the Lund Place rental house, donating a ton of our furniture, staying with Grannie, saying goodbye, and flying out of Dulles on July 4th!

Some things that have changed since we left 2 years ago:  Paris now has self-checkout at some stores, more loyalty cards and coupons, the food truck craze is going full swing as is the hamburger craze, and sadly, more Starbucks, and bagels everywhere.   Also sad and very disturbing - the trend of putting locks on the bridges across the Seine has expanded to more bridges than the Pont des Arts.  The Roma vendors even sells the locks on the bridge.  Not only is this very ugly, but the bridge walls are starting to collapse under the weight.  See BBC article "'Lovelocks' collapse Paris bridge rail".

end of June
Lunch at Parthenon with Carrie, Alex's last day of school (that's Alex with his teacher Mme Harrington), dentist, playing.

July 4th
Leaving Grannie's for Dulles, Air France lounge, A380 to Charles de Gaulle.

July 5th
Arriving, hotel for two days, jet lag, lunch at the L'Anjou (our friends are still there!), new park and updated playground at Parc de la Planchette, checking out the empty apartment. 

July 6th
More hotel, mopping the apartment, dinner at La Piazzetta (which is much better than when we left), view of Eiffel Tower from our hotel (not apartment).

July 7th
Moving day!  In through the American 4th floor window (it's only the 3rd floor here) of our apartment.

moving men push car that is in the way
I just can't imagine them doing this in the US.

Vincent Potter: