Thursday, November 16, 2017

Halloween in the USA

Vincent was able to experience a good ole American Halloween and he loved it!  Vincent put on his Harry Potter costume at 9 a.m. when the tree guy arrived and didn't take it off all day.  We had a nice lunch with Grannie, Claire and Mabel.  Vincent's first Sloppy Joe, yum.  We did a little Trick or Treating at neighbors, and Meagan and Steve's, then out to see Mrs. Mudd's fabulously decorated house and visit with Kathleen one more time before she headed back to Boston.  October 31 is also Mrs. Mudd's birthday.

last of the USA trip pictures
Exercise class with Grannie, Ruan Thai in Wheaton, naps, errands, packing...

Our last two days were filled with enjoying the beautiful Fall weather, visiting friends, running all sorts of errands, and then a traditional stop at Carrie's house before Dulles.  Carrie was so kind to pick us up in Kensington in the middle of the day to bring us around the Beltway.  Such a good friend.  Plus we got a little Natalie and Mitchell time, and a quick WaWa trip.  Then it was back to France.

Vincent was still wearing his Harry Potter scar on the airplane, and the French flight attendants loved it and the Captain even took him into the cockpit.  So cool.

a few pictures from Vincent's camera
He took a few from the end, leaving at Dulles.  I guess he was too busy otherwise.

A favorite picture of Vincent - jumping and throwing the zoysia grass at Grannie's:

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Toussaint school vacation - US trip (Vincent) and Futuroscope (Alex)

Paris to Washington DC
Vincent and I visited Grannie for 9 days during Toussaint school vacation. It's always a whirlwind trip, but this time even more so.  Stay tuned for the exciting news! Also, Vincent took the training wheels off his bike.

I saw lots of Carrie and most of her family which was really nice - David, Mitchell (16), Natalie (13), Rose, Beth, Barb...we missed Spencer by a week, he will be home from Marine Corps Base Hawaii before he ships out to Okinawa in December.

Kathleen was also in town from Boston so we were able to visit with her and Mrs. Mudd.  Good times.  Last time I saw Kathleen was Lisbon, Portugal in July.  Dropped by Lynn's also and Delia made us do a talent show.

Alex had fun while he stayed in France with JD.  He went on a overnight trip with the Pre-Teen Club (Club Pré-Ados) to  "Futuroscope, or Parc du Futuroscope is a French theme park based upon multimedia, cinematographic futuroscope and audio-visual techniques."  He took the TGV and they stayed in a hotel.

Air France Paris to Washington Mon Oct 23.  We took a later flight so there was no traffic to Grannie's, plus it was off season so customs was practically empty.  Lots of eating and bike riding and visiting Carrie where Vincent loved playing Natalie's ukulele, and Natalie made me a birthday cake.  Thank you Natalie!

Park, visit to KPSL, Continental Pizza, Halloween costume shopping, historic Kensington pictures, Vincent riding his bicycle without training wheels.

Saturday and Sunday
Busy weekend. Hit the ground running, met Carrie at Jamie's salon in Dupont Circle for haircuts.  Back to Kensington, to Costco with Carrie, lunch with Mrs. Mudd and Kathleen, over to Lynn's to visit where Delia organized a Talent Show. Sunday, around the Beltway with Carrie to meet Barb, Rose, and Beth at National Harbor where Barb was at a medical conference. Got to see Michelle also!  Snacks and drinks in the room, dinner at Old Hickory Steakhouse (thanks Barb, and for sharing your bottle of  La Crema with me).  Then catching up on some SNL videos.  So much fun.

more coming...

Monday, October 23, 2017

more October

pictures  Flowers, eating, Zuzanna's party at Kid Zone, sushi, making apple crumble.

buildings in Courbevoie
We had a nice walk around Courbevoie(next town over) while Vincent was at Zuzanna's birthday party.  Oh, and celebrating Halloween has arrived in France as shown by the merchandising.

funny France

Wednesday, October 18, 2017


mmm, meringues

The last of the fizzy apple cider, reading, Saturday night family dinner at Au Coin de la Rue (the green soup is watercress), Vincent ended up eating my duck, Vincent and his 1st crossword, a wonderful lunch at Cornelius (we haven't been in awhile but it was my birthday week and they had marrow bones), vaccine shots at our doctor, Alex arranging the cheese for Dad he got at the Farm (Neufchâtel), Vincent's Wednesday soccer practice.

Beautiful sunny warm (77+ degrees) weekend thanks to Hurricane Ophelia which dragged warm air from Africa up over France.  Lunch outside at Le Zinc, macarons from the bakery, a delicious Chinese food extravaganza after Talmud Torah on Sunday with my friend Mindy and her son Alex, warm sunny Sunday afternoon in the park, trying on Halloween costumes, and choir on Wednesday.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

birthday - Dior exhibit

DIOR exhibit
Amazing Christian Dior exhibit at the Musee des Arts Decoratifs.  Very popular with long lines even with advance purchase tickets, but worth it.  Lunch afterwards at Restaurant de La Cordonnerie, sitting at the chef table in the kitchen, very cool.

Then dental appointments for the children, dinner at home (duck, zuchinni, frites), and pastries from the bakery.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Friday, October 06, 2017

first week of October

cheers to sparkling apple cider (pomme petillant) from la ferme!
Hard to believe only 3 weeks of school left until our 2 week Toussaint vacation.  This week was somewhat normal, except JD is in Atlanta for a week of work.  Vincent had football practice and choir practice.

Alex continues to adjust to the life of a 6th grader, a different schedule everyday and more challenging studies.  Thursday his Science class had a field trip to a farm .  He said the farm stank of manure (duh), the cows were milked by machines so they could not do it, and they saw baby sheep!  He also arrived home with purchases from the farm - sparkling apple cider, cheese for JD, tomatoes, cookies, and yogurt.  It was very sweet how he shared the cider with Vincent.

Alex's schedule, not including archery on Tuesdays:

Friday, September 29, 2017

end of September - busy!

Hospitalier Franco-Britannique
Vincent in front of the hospital where he was born, we were waiting for the bus on Saturday and noticed, hey, that's where Vincent was born!  It's also around the corner from Alex's school.

We've been busy with school, holidays, sports, choir, reading, cheese, etc.  Take a look:

football (soccer) pictures
Vincent changed his practice to Tuesday so he can have Levallois chorus practice on Wednesday.


more pictures

Friday and Saturday, Yom Kippur. Vincent picked out his own outfit including the bow tie for Friday night.  Afterwards there had to be sushi for the kids who were starving.  Services in the 16th arrondissement.  A lovely break the fast at David and Willy's for the choir and their families.  A very late night.

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) first piece from Philippe our butcher,
second from the Kosher was from Poland - it was closer to brisket but not US brisket
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!
so, I'm just gonna say, and we have discussed this - Alex definitely has a Wright/Banyasz/Fauber head vs. a Deitch/Queller head, right?

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.

After reading the history of the region, my name for the weekend was "Brunehilde".  Just look it up, Brunehilde and Sigebert.  We had no idea of the history.  Fascinating.

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.  First time I had Wagyu beef.  Delicious.

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!