Posts

Showing posts from 2015

US trip Dec 17 - January 2

Image
This will go down as the warmest December visit to Washington DC ever.  Some years we were delayed by snow in Paris and arrived to two feet of snow and freezing cold.  Not this year!  "D.C. area forecast: Record-crushing warmth and humid; Wacky weather lasts through weekend".

Dec 17-18
Leaving Paris Thursday on Boeing 777.  Air France lounge for some food first.  8 1/2 hours and 4 movies each later, arriving Dulles.  No delays and we were the only plane in customs.  Rental car, quick visit to the Cahoon's, onward to Grannie's.

Weekend with Toots and Poppie
Trip to Delaware to visit Toots and Poppie.  Aunt Shana came too.  First we stopped at Fado to watch the Manchester United game.  Presents, making gingersnap cookies with Aunt Shana, toys and coloring in the basement, and a nice dinner.

Longwood Gardens
We only made it through the Conservatory the place is so big, but the decorations and flowers and plantings were beautiful and amazing.  Lunch at Harvest Seasonal, a …
Image
pictures
Hanukkah - I found some frozen potato pancakes at the store, they were eh (the Jewish store near us was all sold out!), presents, meal at Cornelius (check out that bone marrow), removal of Vincent's stitches, park, marche Noel in our town where Alex did the trampoline jump, Vincent and Alex did the big slide and electric cars and duck grab.

bone marrow appetizer at Cornelius -

goose for sale at the market

marché Noël (Christmas Market)

Image
pictures
A walk into Paris to purchase new shoes for Vincent.  There was a cool bike exhibit for the Climate Conference where you could generate electricity by peddling.  The we enjoyed the marché Noël on the Champs-Elysees - crepes, churros, vin chaud (mulled wine), champagne, hamburger with foie gras, choucroute Alsacienne, roasted mushroom.  Yum!  We also puchased some really good cheese from a vendor from Provence.

Berlin pictures
JD went to Berlin to see the Manchester United-Wolfsburg match with Duncan, Ian, etc.

pictures
Alex's track and field class including the high jump, lighting the Hanukkah candles and eating doughnuts, playdoh, art at school, park before piano.


and the French word for stitches is...

Image
...points de suture!

Vincent fell at school during recess Tues Dec 1 and cut his left eyebrow.  A quick visit to the emergency room in our town (81 euros total before insurance pays) and 2 stitches later, he's fine.  He was very brave and even received a "Courage Award" from the doctor.

stitches = points de suture
eyebrow = sourcil
scar = cicatrice


pictures









Thanksgiving meal in France

Image
We cooked our meal to celebrate US Thanksgiving on Saturday -
haute cuisse de dinde (turkey thigh)stuffing (French bread, leeks, fennel, turkey sausage, fresh herbs)brussel sprouts with balsamic glazeroasted carrots and parsnips with honey and fresh thymeapple tart, macarons, chocolate mousse (from the pâtisserie)
pictures

We did not purchase the 60 euro whole turkey with head and tail (nor the hanging piglet):

Alex's class picture

Image
October 2015 école élémentaire Jules Ferry CM1 (fourth grade) 9 1/2 years old Mme AMALRIC Levallois-Perret, France

Armistice Day

Image
pictures
Lincoln, Vincent, some good meals, a Chipotle opening in our town, park, some funny France pictures (a very tiny car parked, British granola, sauce L'Americaine), Vincent stacking pancakes.

pictures
Warhol exhibit at Museum of Modern Art in Paris, lunch at La Billebaude in the 7e, Vincent helping to make French toast and helping in the kitchen.

Armistice Day
Commemorations of November 11 in our town, then a nice lunch.

"Armistice Day (Armistice de la Première Guerre mondiale) in France remembers those who died or were injured in World War I and other wars."  Alex had a lesson in school on "Les Poilus",

= Poilu is an informal term for a French World War I infantryman, meaning, literally, hairy one. It is still widely used as a term of endearment for the French infantry of World War I. The word carries the sense of the infantryman's typically rustic, agricultural background. Beards and bushy moustaches were often worn. The poilu was particularly known…

3 days of mourning for les attentats du 13 novembre

Image
Outside Alex's school on Monday, November 16 -


Flag tied with black ribbon for 3 days of mourning, Ville de Levallois-Perret, France -


November 13
Friday, a normal day before the evening...JD and I went into Paris to run some errands, buy Alex's new piano books near the Gare St. Lazare, then some errands by the Grands Magasins which were starting to decorate their windows for Christmas.  We decided to try one of the new BBQ restaurants in Paris, Floyd's Bar and Grill in the 10th arrondissement.  The BBQ was good, but of course not as good or as large of a portion as in the US!  We walked most of the way back home.

Other happenings of the day - Alex lost a tooth and Vincent fell and smashed his face into a tree at recess.

On Saturday, Alex attended a birthday party for his friend Thomas at a Lasergame venue in Courbevoie.

November 22
Eating, Vincent, meal at Cornelius (duck and polenta), and JD's chorus concert.

November 30
Park, school, rain boots, displaying the French …

Halloween

Image
pictures
When we first moved to France 6 years ago, there was little to no Halloween celebration, decorations, or costumes.  The big costume holiday here was Mardi Gras.  Now there's slowly more and more Halloween decorations and celebrations.  The UK based department store Marks and Spencer has several stores in Paris, and English folks celebrate Halloween. No full trick-or-treating in Paris yet, but some people give out candy.  We went to the L'Anjou our corner cafe/bistro/bar to celebrate and Vincent had his face painted.
"Halloween, from All Hallows Eve (ie. the day before All Saints Day) – a festival which is seen in France as an ‘Anglo-Saxon’ import but which has been gaining in popularity. It is often said to have been grafted onto a Celtic autumn festival called Samhain. Toussaint (All Saints Day) is the Catholic Festival honouring all of the saints. It is often associated with Le Jour des Morts (All Souls Day), which is actually the following day (November 2) …

Basel and Alsace wine route

Image
JD, Gabby, Alex, Vincent, Kathleen and Carrie's big adventure Basel, Switzerland and Alsace Lorraine region of France October 27 - October 31, 2015 Colmar, France / Barr, France / Mount Saint Odile, France Strasbourg, France
Vacation to the Alsace Lorraine region of France, which straddles the border of Germany along the Rhine river and Vosges mountains.  Because the region has changed hands 4 times between Germany and France, and runs right next to the border of Germany, it feels and sounds like Germany with a bit of France.

A day in Basel, Switzerland to meet up with Kathleen who was in Basel for work and Carrie who flew over to join us for the adventure.

Lots of foie gras, duck, cured meat, pretzel bread, munster cheese, spätzle (egg noodles), and flammenkuchen (flat bread pizza with creme fraiche, onion, and lardons.  Yum.  Oh, and don't forget the Choucroute Alsatian which is sauerkraut served with sausage and cured meat all piled on top. Carrie dubbed this the "me…

Vincent's classroom

Image
pictures
A visit to Vincent's classroom (moyenne section 10) before vacation.  They've been working on their letters.  A walk into Paris, pizza for lunch, a fire in our town (a grease fire at a restaurant), reading.

pictures
Some more meals, a visit to the park, and a late night visit into Paris.

October birthday

Image
Enjoying October.  The children are into the school routine, just in time for the 2 week Toussaint vacation starting Oct 17.

pictures
Double yolk eggs, track and field, birthday lunch with our friend Marie, food fair, bounce slide, and a very large swordfish at the local fish market.

pictures
Champagne and birthday tarts, birthday lunch, Fall foliage.


end of September

Image
pictures
From the end of September - lunch at Au Coin de la Rue (we had not been in awhile), touring inside the Levallois-Perret town hall and Mayor's office for Heritage Days (when private spaces are open to the public), walking through the park and across town to the Ile de la Jatte and back, Indian for lunch, reading.

pictures
Walking to school,  Yom Kippur, park, Vincent's skelton costume, Alex's athletics class, scuba bath time.

pictures
Alex's "appareil dentaire" the orthodontist removed after 6 months, more pink wig fun, lunch, taking Lincoln to the vet in the stroller, perfumed blue toilet paper (only in France), play-doh, double yolk eggs, Parc Monceau and the merry-go-round.


The pink wig

Image

Alex got a Bravo! on his math homework

Image
Trying on the Halloween costume already - 





Rosh Hashanah

Image
Some sun before it turned cool and gray and rainy with the storms leftover from Hurricane Henri. Rosh Hashanah, school, and activities.

pictures
Endive salad, a sunny day at Canal St. Martin, Vincent and his cahier (notebook), Alex's desk and classroom, funny faces and dinner at the Anjou, Rosh Hashanah dinner with white wine braised leeks and sweet and sour fish.  Apples and honey and challah of course.  The French put sugar crystals on top of the round challah, and chocolate chips in another.

pictures
Rain, snacks in the park before Alex's first piano lesson, dinner second night (lamb, parsley potatoes and brussel sprouts), Alex's athletisme class, fresh fruit at the market, a vaccination for Vincent.

pictures Alex took:




September

Image
On the way to school.
pictures
Dinner with Shana's friends Alan and Amanda who live very close to us we just found out!  Haircut for Alex.  School, snacks, a heart-shaped pizza at La Trattoria, Saturday in Paris, Tuileries, lunch at La Palette in the 6th, park, Alex building a pool-table with his physics workshop set.

pictures
Vincent's classroom including "Crocodou" the class mascot, walking to school, Vincent walking up the stairs to his classroom all by himself, Alex's first Athletisme class (each Wednesday at the track).

Chantilly

Image
pictures
One more trip to Chantilly on the last hot weekend of August.  We had a delicious meal at Auberge du Jeu de Paume ($$$) and then rented a golf cart to tour all the gardens of Chantilly.  On previous visits we had just walked through the gardens on foot.  Then a nice long walk back to the train station.

pictures
Celebrating at the Anjou with champagne and fois gras for JD's last day of work before his new job starts.

pictures
Alex's impressive train and airport construction, sleeping, more trains, park.


La rentrée - Back to school

Image
Pictures
Tuesday Sept 1, 2015.
Back to school!  Alex (CM1 - 4th grade) and Vincent (moyenne section 4 yrs old).  Walking to school.  Gathering in the courtyard of Alex's school.

more pictures
Vincent sleeping, then back to school for Alex and Vincent.  Vincent found a friend Margot from his class last year in the courtyard of Alex's school, and they started running around and climbing the sports net.  Then it was off to Vincent's school.  His class is on the 2nd floor with a nice window facing the pedestrian alley in front of the school.  Vincent was excited to see some friends from last year's class - Joseph, Xavier, Houleye, Come, Basile. and more.  He was happy and very glad to be back at school.  He told us when we picked him up that "He was very good all day".

USA summer trip & Z's 70th Birthday - August 2015

Image
A whirlwind 17 days in the US, centered around celebrating Z's 70th birthday.  We hit the beach twice, putt-putt twice, and even ate King Crab legs three times!  It will take us another two weeks to recover.

Pictures
Packing and leaving Paris on an Air France A380 Thursday July 30th.  Hitting the Air France lounge for some food before the flight.  David picked us up at Dulles and we had a chance to visit briefly with David and Carrie.  Around the Beltway to Grannie's.

Pictures
First day at Grannie's.  We spent Friday getting over jet lag and running errands.  Vincent had Grannie around the block 3 times before lunch.  Testing out the Park Hyatt in DC before Z's party the following weekend.

Pictures
Lunch at our favorite Mexican restaurant Mi Rancho in Silver Spring where Alex ate 4 adult size chicken soft tacos.  Dinner at Carrie's.  Sunday - visit to Rose and Beth in Baltimore and lunch at The Harp.

Pictures
A day at Rehoboth Beach with Toots and Poppie.  Cold beer a…

July - Alex camp, a very hot summer

Image
A very hot summer - 102 degrees on July 1st!  80's and 90's most of the month instead of 60's and 70's.  After camp, Alex went to the Centre de Loisir for a week and half before we left for our US vacation.

Alex goes to camp
Alex was at camp for the first two weeks of July outside of Dijon.  We have some pictures.  He had a great time, he came back in one piece, tan, and singing camp songs.

pictures
Park, eating cherries, JD's birthday, Alex returns from camp,

pictures
Food, trains, bowling, pizza, champagne.

Champagne region

Image
view of Hautvillers, France
Three day vacation in the Champagne region of France, a two hour drive from Paris.  We visited Epernay in 2009 and loved it, more than the larger city of Reims in 2011, so we decided to stay in a small town outside of Epernay called Hautvillers.  Dom Perignon (the monk who discovered how to make champagne) is buried in the church in the town.  We found an amazing bed and breakfast we highly recommend, Le Clos Des Armoiries.  We drove through many small towns, a ton of vineyards, military cemeteries, the forest and mountains of Reims, and of course ate and drank as much as we could.  We literally started tasting champagne at Mercier at 10:30 a.m. on Friday and kept going all day! No headaches the next day either.  That's some good stuff.

Thursday
Leaving Paris, lunch at Auberge de l'Omois in Baulne-en-Brie where we were the only patrons, and the chef told us which neighbor supplied which ingredient for the meal.  It was probably the best meal we had. …