Thursday, January 26, 2012

A chateau and a prostitute

Do not go too far, my boys.  
This past weekend we visited Fontainbleau and for those of you who have not been, it does not disappoint.  Room after room of tapestries, gold leaf, embroidered fabrics, and beautifully painted walls and ceilings.  It's like the Renaissance puked over the whole place.  Over the top.

Chateau "cheese!"

I can only imagine what it must have been like to live there!  There are also 130 acres of gardens and woods.  It was cold and windy when we went but still nice to get out of Paris and stretch the ol' legs.

The throne looks kind of small. 
That's the ceiling, um over the top much?
As we started our drive back, the hubs and I both noticed at a pullover spot about 5 minutes away from the chateau, a women get out of a car do a little dance (it must have been the "I just got paid, ya ya! dance) and the driver pull away leaving her there.  Hmm, this is strange.  Then we noticed a few more women chillin' at these pullover spots.  Of course I didn't get a picture! The hubs asked his colleague at work as he always does when we need Frenchy info.  He confirmed that they were prostitutes and that in most wooded areas like the Bois de Boulogne for example it was common knowledge that is where you could locate the "working women"  or men?  They are not allowed to solicit people, but they are allowed to sit on the side of the road, and if someone happens to stop... Don't you feel more informed now?  I sure do.

That's a shoe rack and yet another use for duct take.
Marbles = Billes en francais
I am home with both Luke and Theo today.  Luke chipped his tooth, he says from eating a carrot but this is not confirmed.  His school has a very strict policy with taking him out for doctors' appointments.  Basically if you take him out, he can't come back.  So I figured it would be easier to just keep him at home.

I had been hoarding paper towel tubes because honestly you never know when you are going to need a extra cardboard tube, am I right?  Today was that day!  It occupied them for at least an hour!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

An earful of wishes and who needs some Vitamin D

Can we fast forward through January, please?
It took me a week or so to realize that the standard, "Happy New Year!" does just not cut it here.  It goes something like this: "Happy New Year, best wishes, good health, I hope you receive lots of money, best to your children (re-inhale), best wishes to your great aunt Fifi, may you win the lottery, stay young and love life.  The first few times I entered into conversation with a good ol' Bonne Annee I was not expecting the long list of well wishing and was in transit, probably running late to pick up Luke from school.  I tried to politely cut it short.  Once I clued into the tradition I allowed an extra ten minutes for the inevitable run-in with the gardienne or neighbors.  That only lasted a week or so, I'll have to remember that for next year.

Unfortunately blogging has taken a back seat while I try to accomplish all the "foreigner living in France" paperwork fun that I have put off.  I've made progress but still have to renew my titre de sejour in the next few weeks.  I have procrastinated the most with that because it requires me to have the highest level of interaction in French.  Really procrastinating.  I polished my shoes the other day after organizing my socks if that's any indication.

Feeling a little bummed out lately, not gonna lie.  This city is cold, gray, and rainy, and there is still a sh*t load of dog sh*t on the streets and this really bothers me.  I really miss nature.  I booked us a trip to Barcelona in February.  That will be a nice break.

Since we have returned from Christmas, our main living space pictured on the left has been transformed into Theo's train den, and when you approach, you best be ready to play!  He's very demanding!  I always get to be James, the red train.  Red and pink are MY colors.  Every time we walk to Luke's ecole there is a pink scooter parked on the street and Theo will stop every time like he's never seen it and claim it as "mommy's scooter."  Such a thoughtful little guy :-)

Friday, January 6, 2012

Cut it SHORT

I actually love this workout.  It kicks my behind.
In light of recent events, i.e. Luke's new do, I am managing my expectations of my New Year's Resolutions.  No more lofty goals such as exercise five times a week, no no.  I'm thinking more like, shower, breath, eat...I feel better already!  Awhile ago I heard that the people of Denmark were the happiest in part because they did not have high expectations.  For now I'm running with it.  "Hey, I didn't step in dog crap today!  This is the best day ever!"

Look at that s.e.g.
The boy cut his hair.  SHORT.  Another nap time incident.  The hubs had been cutting some tags off some new clothes and left the scissors on the night table, innocent enough.  About ten minutes into nap time, Luke appears magically at the door to show off his new coif.  Oh la la la la!  He complained of his bangs (he doesn't have any) bothering him and took matters into his own hands.  He looked like one of those Asian warriors with the front of his head shaved, or Britney Spears when she went loco and shaved her head.

He went to school as is, I thought maybe that would put the nail in the coffin to him ever trying to do it again.  Wrong.  He thrived off the attention and thinks it was a great idea.  The hair stylist did a great job cutting his hair short but not buzzing it all off.

That lady behind him doesn't think it's funny.
Oh yea, I didn't mention that the day prior to this he cracked his head open and oblivious walked around leaving a trail of blood and a nice size gash in his head.  I rushed him to the pharmacy, someone told me they are kind of like doctors here so I use them as a starting point for consultations.  We dodged the stitches bullet this time.

Looking forward to an uneventful weekend!

Hey I finished a blog post!  This is the best day ever!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Christmas in Connecticut and Driving me crazy

Christmas Eve sunset, ahhhh.

Well hello there!  Did that week go by fast or what!  Christmas was a smashing success back in Connecticut.  It was quite a momentous occasion since we were all present - parents, my two sisters and their significant others.  This hasn't happened in four years!  Since we had so much to celebrate my dad did not hesitate to break out the big guns like this double magnum among many others.  Now all wine tastes like crap after being spoiled for a week.  I guess I'll have to switch to drinking champagne or something totally crazy like that.

You are large and delicious.  

After deciding that going to Midnight Mass was not the best plan with that double magnum et al. , we scrambled for any warm clothes we could find including an Indiana Jones hat and a fur coat and strolled through the neighborhood singing Christmas carols.  We stayed on the road and did not actually approach any houses, which meant we had to sing extra loud.

This is the best day ever.

I thought it was very thoughtful that my mom carefully remembered that a few years ago, when we all had the stomach virus, the hubs had barfed his guts out after eating cinnamon rolls, and she made a point of not having those for Christmas morning.  Thanks Mom!  Luckily we were all healthy this time around.

Water boarding would have been a piece of cake compared to this.

On Friday we had a car service drive us to JFK.  I should have known this driver was suspect when he was packing the trunk with our bags and tried to squeeze our bags in by sheer force.  We were filled to the brim with liquids of all kind: barbecue sauce, maple syrup, shampoo, ect.  Thankfully I can report there was no leakage.  This guy drove 40 mph on the highway, almost the whole way.  He was acting like it was his hobby to pick up folks and torture them by driving painfully slow.  I did speak up and say something like, "errr, when is the cut-off for checking bags, we need to get to the airport."  Well then he put the pedal to the medal at 50mph.  My heart was racing, palms sweaty, eyes like laser beams thinking I could will the car to move faster.  As we finally approached the airport with just over an hour before our flight.  He says casually, "yup, that's a two hour trip."  How many times have I done that trip??  It's a one frickin' hour trip buddy!  Anyhoo, we did make our flight.  As a bonus, our bags came out first after probably being put on last, and we were home, from plane to door in about an hour!  Always a silver lining!