Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Normandy last day

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Another beautiful sunny day.  Breakfast, more soccer in the field, driving back to the town of Vimoutiers for coffee, a walk around, and lunch, then driving back to Paris.  Drinks and dinner outside at the Anjou because it was still over 90 degrees!

JD pictures all

Mickey enjoyed his apple juice and trip to Normandy-

cool drink outside when we returned








Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Normandy Day 2 - William the Conqueror, D-Day beaches

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Breakfast at the cottage, then second breakfast outside.  A visit to William the Conqueror's castle in the town of Falaise, wonderfully restored with interactive displays.  Then lunch in town at Restaurant Le Jardin, easily our best meal of the trip with the tarte tatin flambeed with calvados (apple brandy).

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A drive north to Arromanches-les-Bains and one of the D-day beaches.  This was a quick visit since we already toured the area and the American cemetery in 2010 pictures here.   We even stopped for beer and onion soup the same place we ate 7 years ago!  Back to our country cottage, pizza for dinner in Livarot.

JD pictures Falaise and Arromanches

pizza, bath, evening pictures
And some sheep!




Monday, May 29, 2017

Normandy vacation - Day 1

Paris to Livarot
We love the Normandy region of France and keep returning to visit different areas.  We were lucky to have sunny and hot weather for the 4-day holiday weekend (Ascension).  Drove 2h 45 m west of Paris to stay just outside the cheese town of Livarot, renting a holiday cottage on a 16th c. cider farm.  The countryside was beautiful and the cottage was very rustic.  Lunch outside at a roadside restaurant with pâté, duck, apples (regional specialty), champagne, wine, and regional cheeses (camembert, livarot, pont l'eveque).

Onward to the farm, some soccer outside, a quick rest, then into the town of Vimoutiers for dinner with some artisinal flatbread pizzas, vegetable lasagna (Alex), and blackberry sorbet crumble.  We all slept very well!

cottage on cider farm where we stayed -

WW2 German Tiger tank: 
The Vimoutiers Tiger tank is a restored World War II German Tiger tank on outside display on the outskirts of Vimoutiers in the French departement of Orne, in Normandy, one of only 2 surviving in France.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Field trip Vincent's class - Space Invader street artist exhibit

Space Invader art exhibition

Today I was a chaperone with 2 other parents and Vincent's teacher Clement for a museum field trip (sortie) into Paris.  The children were well behaved and the weather was warm and sunny.

atelier (workshop)
Meeting at Vincent's school, bus from Levallois into Paris to Musee en Herbe, a children's museum with visiting exhibits.  Art workshop first with wax crayons and blue paint, based on the Space Invader artist's work on a underwater sculpture in Cancun, Mexico.

Space Invader exhibition
Upstairs to the museum and the Space Invader exhibition.  He is a famous, anonymous, Parisian street artist - "Invader is the pseudonym of a French urban artist, born in 1969, whose work is modeled on the crude pixellation of 1970s–1980s 8-bit video games".  He has installations all over the world, even on the International Space Station.  Invader also creates art with Rubik's cube (yes, invented by a Hungarian!), which, photographs as a picture that you actually cannot see when you are standing in front of it!  The, bus back to Levallois and a picnic lunch in the park near school.

look at the map - you have probably seen his work on a wall or near a street sign - he's very famous!



Saturday, May 20, 2017

Open house Collège Danton & Village Fermier, Jardin Bonheur Levallois

Nassim, Alex & Vincent - fun at middle school orientation

Alex will attend Collège Danton in the Fall, which equals middle school in the US (6th-7th-8th-9th grades).  Saturday was the open house and we received a nice tour of the school from a current student.  We went with Alex's friend Nassim and his mother Florence.  Vincent came too.  It's a very big school, 750 students, with nice classrooms and great gym facilities.  Everyone enjoyed the Science class (ok, maybe not the dissected sheep's heart) and Math class sessions.  Vincent knows all the planets too!

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I kept wondering when they attend "Health" class in France.  My experience in the US was 5th and 8th grade.  Well, in France, it seems to be all in 8th grade - (called 4e = quatrieme = 4th - they count backwards to the last year 6-5-4-3-2-1, then last, senior year)

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Annual Farmer's market and Garden show in our town.  The sun finally came out!

"Vincent, go stand by that tee-pee, we don't see this a lot in the US!" Ok Mom.

It's good to be Vincent:



Monday, May 15, 2017

May showers bring...

watching the sudden rain storm from JD's office - Vincent turned his chair around to watch

May - lots of holidays (May Day, Victory Day, Ascension, day after Ascension...) and rain, typical for Paris. We have had a few nice, sunny days but not continually.  And we have these brief rainstorms that pop up several times a day!  Who knows what the summer brings.

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Lunch at Au Coin de la Rue, a walk home after delivering a package to a friend of a US friend, a stop at the cheese store, Vietnamese pho soup around the corner (yum), a snail and the flowers in Parc d'Alsace, watching the rain, trying on new glass frames, another long Saturday lunch at Le Zinc in our town.

And don't forget the Presidential Election -