Monday, September 25, 2017

Rosh Hashanah

We made a delicious meal this year as usual.  JD chose paleron, chuck steak, from the butcher Philippe. Vincent helped with some breaks for reading in between.  Lincoln really wanted some meat.


boeuf (paleron = chuck steak)
white whine braised leeks (a yearly favorite)
parsley potatoes
challah, apples, honey, wine

...and then there were suits and ties, thank you Marjorie for the hand-me-downs!  Your 3 boys to my 2 boys. awesome.  Vincent, go stand next to your brother.  Ok, Mom!

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Vincent: back-to-school night

Back to school night for Vincent.
CPb = cours preparatoire = first grade, b = section

Vincent has a really nice classroom and teacher.  Monsieur Steevy DINOU.  The classroom is very serious - learning how to be a student.  Vincent is loving it.  Writing, reading, English, swimming, sport, counting, geometry - he already knows some of it and is thirsty for more.

The classroom is on the third floor (US) and faces the street.  I could not stop taking pictures of the cute label Vincent made for his coat rack.  And yes, he is 1 meter 30 cm tall, like an 8 year old French child as our Doctor told us.  Go for it Vincent!


this is Vincent's desk on the right:

Sunday, September 17, 2017

open house pre-teen club (Club Pre-Ados)

Now that Alex is in middle school, he can go afterschool and on Saturday to one of the two pre-teen clubs in our town, the Club Pre-Ados.  We toured the facility which has a nice set-up, games, books, video games, TV, a kitchen, plus they go on short trips and overnights, including a ski trip in February.  Cool.

Rest of last week - cheese, flowers, Vincent's teeth, homework, Saturday breakfast, Shri Ganesh Indian for lunch.  Alex ate, in addition to his butter chicken, 3 naan and 2 portions of rice.  Vincent kept up.  Nap, then tomato, feta cucumber salad.

More pictures - homework, bakery, Levallois Sports Club day in the Park, a walk home.

Look at these beautiful flowers in our town hall garden - of course they win awards every year, the most Floral Town in France.  So beautiful.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Vincent starts soccer

Vincent is taking soccer (football) this year and had his first practice yesterday.  It was raining but he didn't seem to care he was so excited.

Vincent is all the way on the right.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

more September - 40 days of cheese

This is a flower made from cheese!

We are all getting used to the new school routine.  The weather turned cool the minute September arrived, with some heavy rain this past Friday.

Vincent has been practicing his ecriture (writing) and learning his poesies (poems). JD is continuing his "40 days of cheese" blogpost  Alex and Vincent are enjoying their new electronic toothbrushes.  Saturday we did some errands, but Vincent was so tired afterwards he ate his Thai food and passed out asleep on the restaurant table!  Vincent also keeps trying on his soccer shoes and socks for his weekly soccer class that starts this coming Wednesday.

Monday, September 04, 2017

La rentrée - Back to school

Vincent CP/first grade          6 yrs old
Alex 6e/sixième, 6th grade  11 years old

Back to school, Alex and Vincent were very excited.  Vincent was first at 9 a.m.  He saw lots of his friends from his old school.  Then Alex's middle school (collège) started at 9:30, it's about a 15 minute walk from Vincent's school.  There was a 30 minute speech from the Directrice, then off to homeroom classes.  Alex's homeroom teacher is the math teacher we met at the Open House in May.

We spent the evening filling out paperwork and going over Alex's exciting schedule. So many classes!

more pictures 

Sunday, September 03, 2017


School starts tomorrow, September 4th.  A nice weekend although Friday was chilly.  Saturday we had a long walk, headed into town, walked along the Seine, stopped for dinner, and made our way back home.



Thursday, August 31, 2017

August in Paris

cheese anyone?

Enjoying the solitude.  Everyone, and I mean everyone, departs on vacation - bakeries close, restaurants shutter, streets are empty.  It's great!  We love this time in Paris.  We had a visitor from Maryland, Alex's friend since first grade who was in town for a month with his family to visit family.  It was cool and rainy but we went to the "Invader"exhibit again and then the Paris St. Germain store to get a shirt - the lines were out the door due to the new signing of Neimar.

Luckily two of our favorite places were open in August:  O'Fam, and the Anjou.  But our sushi place is gone (sniff sniff) they changed menu direction and have gone fast Thai.  It was the best sushi and we went there at least once a week so we are very sad.  We've been trying new places in town to find a good sushi place.

a few pictures

Saturday and Sunday
A walk into town, new shoes for Vincent, lunch, a walk through Levallois to the cemetery where Gustave Eiffel is buried, Indian for lunch.

Vincent's day off, a hot sunny day in Paris, bus into town, a walk in the 7th, lunch at Fontain de Mars, cheese from Marie-Cantin, macarons.

Frank in Paris

success!  The Neimar shirt - PSG is basically printing money:

Monday, August 21, 2017

weekend in Metz, France

Three day weekend in Metz, France, a cool town Northeast of Paris near Luxembourg with many layers of history including Roman, Medieval, French and German.  Kaiser Wilhelm II ruled it in the late 1800's as part of Germany and built many large structures in varying styles of architecture - train station, post office, etc.  Metz also has a massive cathedral, lots of squares and art and plazas on 2 rivers.  Quiche Lorraine is from the region, and small yellow plums called "mirabelles".  We had a great time and would certainly go back.  A "hidden gem".  It was cool and rainy when we arrived, but warm and sunny by the time we left.  And the train was so fun, we even chose first class.

Paris to Metz (pronounced Mess) on the TGV, 2 hours via the Champagne region.  Walk into town, snack at McDo, check in at apartment where we were staying, lunch at Italian restaurant across the street, naps, then back into town past the cathedral.  Dinner outside at a cool meat restaurant.  Alex had the steak tartare, and Vincent cooked his meal on a hot stone and loved it.

A walk through the "Imperial District" with architecture from the reign of Kaiser Wilhelm II, through the train station to see the Pompidou Museum (extension of the Pompidou in Paris), back through a tunnel, coffee and Quiche Lorraine and mirabelle sorbet and waffles at a brasserie, a walk through gardens, past the Governor's Mansion, more ruins and gardens and fountains, a statue commemorating Lafeyette who was 19 and in Metz when he decided to leave and fight in the Revolutionary War, along the river, sushi for lunch, dinner near the cathedral, and back to the apartment.

Pastries, a walk into town, coffee and postcards in Place Saint-Louis, inside a very old church, a walk to see what is left of the "German gate", lunch at a nice brasserie in the Sofitel hotel which is inside the old arsenal building, cool drinks and playing cards outside at a cafe, back into town, to train station for TGV back to Paris.  Snacks and drawing on the train.

all the phone pictures

fun drawings on the train -

by Vincent and Alex

by Vincent - this was the apartment building we stayed in.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Vincent's new desk and more August

notice the Beatrix Potter artwork on the wall behind Vincent - Grannie Pauline made that for me and it was on my wall growing up, I loved Beatrix Potter, so does Vincent. full circle!

Vincent got a new desk so he's all ready for first grade (CP) on September 4th.  Alex busied himself with his chemistry set.

Most of the photos from our phones from July - random and perhaps not in order, but fun!

a collage Google made for me:

maquiallage at the Centre de Loisir for Vincent -

Sunday, July 30, 2017

4 days in Lisbon

FINALLY I downloaded all the pictures.  We had such a great time!  And ate lots of octopus and drank tons of vino verdhe.  yum.

Paris to Lisbon, checking into Sheraton.  Lunch at traditional Portuguese restaurant Rei Da Pescada. Back to hotel, naps, drinks at the restaurant rooftop bar, meeting Kathleen and Marek in Alfama, dinner in Fado restaurant.

Room service breakfast (Vincent needed pancakes), pool, more pancakes, pizza for a late lunch, a walk through town, touring the Carmo Convent ruins left after the 1755 earthquake.  Beware, there is a picture of two creepy mummy children in the museum.  We hustled Vincent past them quickly! More walking through the shopping district and Plaza, walking to Alfama area, wine and cheese bar, dinner outside.

Sunday and Monday
Pool, delicious meal at Descobre, a walk along the water, seafood platter for dinner.  Back to Paris on Monday after finding some sushi for lunch.

more pictures

tram video

We crashed Kathleen and Marek's 2 week Portugal vacation to meet them in Lisbon.  We've been to Lisbon before (2012) and loved it, and could not pass up a 2 hour plane ride to hang with friends in the warm Portugal sun.  It did not disappoint.

Kathleen and Marek stayed in the cool Alfama neighborhood by the water while we were a bit further North, but a cab ride was about 4 euros!  Marek's cousin and husband also came down from Poland.  So much fun....fresh seafood, really cheap and good wine including vino verdhe (green, young, sparkling wine).  And even though Kathleen and I have known each other for 43 years, there is not one good picture of us from the entire time, and we couldn't get one on this trip either.

We did some things this time we didn't the first trip - listen to Fado in a basement restaurant,

Vincent loved our hotel room, pancakes for breakfast from room service, the pool, the cool yellow trams, and seeing Kathleen and Marek.

The amazing rooftop bar - a proper sidecar and whiskey sour:

It's good to be the King and his son, the Dauphin I guess you would call Vincent.  And how about that proper Portuguese breakfast sausage?  yeah!

Friday, July 28, 2017

back from camp

Alex returned Thurs July 27th from camp, we went to pick him up at Gare Montparnasse he was on the TGV from Toulouse.  Vincent was overcome with emotion and would not stop hugging Alex. Then there was sushi for dinner, ASAP.


Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Alex at camp

Alex is still at camp in the South of France in Gaillac, he returns this Thurs July 27.  We have received email updates and pictures from the camp team, and we can see Alex in a few of the photos.
We spoke with him a few times.  He went kayaking in the Gorges de l'Aveyron and said it was amazing.

Alex chose the cinema workshop and they did a remake of "Jurassic Park" -

Thursday, July 20, 2017

JD's birthday, Tiernan visiting

A nice sunny day walking around Paris with Tiernan who was visiting from Manchester.  Bus into Paris, the scaffolding was being dismantled from the July 14th parade the day before.  Through the Tuileries, to the Louvre, over the Pont des Arts, past the booksellers and over the Pont Neuf bridge to Île de la Cité, past Notre Dame, on to Île Saint-Louis and past all those ridiculous lines for Berthillon ice cream, into the Marais, past Centre Pompidou, and metro back home.  Duck for dinner, and repackaging the sausages to freeze from our butcher who is going on vacation.

JD's birthday
Vincent blew the balloons up the night before.  A visit to the Rodin exhibit and Gardens exhibit at the Grand Palais.  Lunch at Mandalay in Levallois.  Chocolate birthday cake with lots of candles!

Friday, July 14, 2017

La fête nationale 14 Juillet (Bastille Day)

you can actually see "Armee de L'Air" written underneath the planes
Walked to watch the military planes fly over Paris for the annual Bastille Day parade (the French call it La fête nationale).  The parade is on the other side of the avenue down the Champs-Elysees.  Great weather, it never ceases to be exciting to see all those cool military airplanes flying directly overhead!

"President Donald Trump watched U.S. and French soldiers march together through the Paris sunshine on Friday in a double celebration marking 100 years since the United States entered World War One and France's annual Bastille Day holiday.

The Paris parade this year marked the centenary of the United States entering World War I in 1917 and featured 63 planes, 29 helicopters, 241 horses and 3,720 soldiers, including US troops dressed in the brown uniform and gaiters of the Great War.

By the end of the 1914-1918 war, more than a million U.S. troops were stationed in France alongside soldiers of French, British and other nationalities fighting Germany.

One marching group evoked another military landmark of Franco-American history, carrying a pennant marked "Fregate Lafayette", a frigate of the French navy named after the 18th century French aristocrat general Marquis de Lafayette, who helped in the American Revolutionary War against the British."

JD's really good pictures

underside of the US Thunderbird jets-

dropping the tri-colors movie
a bit wobbly at first it gets better


formation list

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Lee & Amy in Paris, JD sings in a basement

Lee & Amy pictures
Lee and Amy, good friends for a long time (JD met Lee in 1995 at PFCU) were in town with their daughters for the start of their grand France vacation.  We had a nice dinner at Vagenende where Vincent lost his first front tooth on the escargots.  Then we met up with Lee and the girls again on Sunday night for drinks at the Pont d'Alma, and an unplanned but fortuitous trip to the new Five Guys on the Champs-Elysees - 3 stories and they sell beer, I am used to the one in Maryland that does not sell alcohol.

A walk around the Arc de Triomphe, a metro ride back down to see the twinkling Eiffel Tower.  We had so much fun and were sad to say goodbye, no one more so than Vincent, who was sad for 3 days.  I know because he told me.

singing in basement pictures
JD's singing teacher participates in an amateur singing night at a Turkish restaurant Le Kibele in the 10th arrondissement in Paris.  JD was invited to join this month.  There were at 10 performers I don't have pictures of all.  Funny it occured on July 4th.  The Americans sang "The Star Spangled Banner" afterwards.  Restaurant is really good too.  We stayed to eat.  I mostly took a video so not that many pictures of JD.

JD singing 1

JD singing 2

Vincent was really taken with Nia and Caty -

Sunday, July 09, 2017

end of school, Alex off to camp!

last day of school
July 7th - It was hot!  After school we enjoyed some cool drinks and food outside at our new favorite spot around the corner, a tapas bar and restaurant some folks we know opened.

off to camp
Alex heads to camp.  Mahanetzer 4, two and a half weeks in the south of France in Gaillac, northeast of Toulouse.  We dropped him at the train station Sunday morning.  He was very excited to go, he went two years ago and had a great time.  Vincent was sad to say goodbye to his brother.

Then we headed back into town to the Jardin du Luxembourg for some fun at the playground, then lunch and back home.

swing video 1

swing video 2

swing video 3

swing video 4

swing video 5

cool swing in the Jardin du Luxembourg playground -

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

Vincent - parade at school

Vincent's class was the third class to come outside - it's an astronaut parade!

Annual end of school parade at Vincent's school (the maternelle).  His class made their astronaut costumes and were playing the drums.  They paraded around the block, through the park, and back through the elementary school next door where Alex was.  So cute!  Then we had sushi for lunch.

2 more days of Grand Section (kindergarten) for Vincent, then on to CP (first grade) at the elementary school next door.  And Alex is off to 6th grade at the "college", in another part of town.

parade video 1

parade video 2

parade video 3

JD pictures  finally!

This is Eva his "amoureuse".  He was sad she is going to another elementary school next year.

Sunday, July 02, 2017

Vincent 2nd front tooth gone!

It was the escargots at Vagenende during our dinner with Lee and Amy that did it!

Friday, June 30, 2017

Vincent school carnival, Space Book, chorus, Antoine party

Vincent as a French astronaut

Kermesse (Carnival) at Vincent's school Friday night.  Vincent enjoyed the water balloon toss with his teacher Silvi from petite section.  Then he showed us his space book and did Legos with Alex.

Vincent's space book
Vincent's class spent an entire trimester on the subject of outer space and the planets, solar system, and constellations.  Part of this was because the first French astronaut Thomas Pesquet was in space and just returned after 196 days on the International Space Station.

Sunday, Vincent attended Antoine's birthday party in the Jardin d'Acclimatation.  JD and I went to visit the cool new museum Fondation Louis Vuitton.  Vincent had a great time, the theme was superheroes and Antoine's mother made them all capes.  We walked all the way home.

more Antoine party pictures

Tuesday was orientation for CP (first grade) in the cafeteria of the elementary school and a visit to a CP classroom.

Vincent was also accepted into the Levallois Children's chorus after he auditioned on Weds!