parlez-vous anglais?

No. Most of the Parisians we ran into did not speak English. But who needs the international language of business and entertainment when you have this…

That is not a postcard – that is photo taken on my prehistoric iPhone.  Notre Dame. I swear to you that it was cloudy and rainy that day when we left our hotel. By the time we hoofed it to the cathedral the clouds opened up and the sun came out. On cue. That happened a lot there. Even the cloudy days seemed staged and moody.

We had heard all the cranky Parisian legends – “they hate Americans, they are completely unfriendly, etc.”

We didn’t get that. This may be because I’ve lived in NYC and my husband was raised there. People are busy. They live in a city overrun by tourists. Everyday they have to go to work, make a living, have a life, while we wander around the city with our cameras out asking for directions to the Louvre. Are  waiters super nice and helpful? No. So what. Once you realize that it’s not directed at you – it’s directed at everybody – you’re fine.

I’ve told you before that my husband isn’t exactly a social butterfly, so he felt right at home with the frowning faces. No one running over to you in a store, no one trying to make small talk with you in the hotel lobby – it was like his dream country. Leave them alone. They leave you alone.

Don’t get me wrong, we met plenty of friendly people, most of them traveling to Paris like us.

But who needs chit chat when you live in a place this beautiful?

Notre Dame, circa 9/23/12, it turns 850 years old next year. Doesn’t look a day over 721.

Shots from outside and around the Louvre – and we didn’t ask one single Parisian for directions.

The Mona Lisa madness I wrote about earlier…Sacré bleu! J’en ai marre!

Merci Paris

That was a fun 6 days. I’m sorry about the blog silence – but I was distracted.

It’s hard not to churn out clichés and cheesy narrative when you talk about Paris.  Every little street is picture worthy – every cafe looks like you’ve seen it in a movie.  We stayed at a small boutique hotel in the 6th district and took the Metro everywhere.  Sometimes having a husband who grew up with the New York City transit system really helps.  We did all the usual touristy things – went to all the museums, all the monuments (although every building looks like a monument) – we ate all the decadent food and drank some amazing wine.  I would kill for one of the corner shops that liters the city in my neighborhood – one that looks like a Bodega but sells fresh bread and cheap (but good) wine.

And the people. Oh the people. Everyone looks chic and sophisticated – even the kids. The people watching is well worth the transatlantic trip – and to my husband’s credit – he let me go crazy.

I can’t go through the whole trip in one post – so I’ll take a few days to let it all out.

Here’s some of the 780 (yikes) photos we took! Can you say “un touriste”.  Apologies for the A typical photos of the Eiffel Tower and the Arch – but in person, standing underneath them - it was a surreal, dream-like experience.

This was our district – our arrondissement – in St. Germain-des-Pres

On the Batobus (boat on the Seine) – hopping on and off to see the sites

Below needs no explanation – although it did need 300 pictures.  I’ll only share one with you. You’re welcome.

In the Metro (the 4) – pretending to be a Parisian (except for the constant photo taking)

Arch de Triumph at 7pm. We also have 7:15pm, 7:19pm, 7:22pm, etc.

To be continued….

Mona Lisa Madness

I didn’t get a picture of the Mona Lisa at The Louvre today.
I did see it, appreciate it, wow over it.. But a photo would have meant shoving 1,000 Japanese tourists away.
I’m not exaggerating. Not in the least. Also 1,000 Italians. And 1,000 Germans.
None of whom seemed to be interested in the actual painting- it was a race to the snapshot.
Not that we are any better. We’ve been doing everything but running into places yelling ooh la la!!
But it was sad to see the herds of people skipping past history to get a fuzzy shot 20 people deep.
Come on people – save that for zee Eiffel tour . Like we did.

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Vacation all I ever wanted

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This blog ran away to Paris.
This blog is trying not to smile like a lunatic as she walks around the arrondissements.
This blog has eaten croissants and crepes 24/7 since she landed.
This blog will weigh 300 pounds by the end of the week .
Maybe 400.
This blog is taking the metro and pretending she’s not lost.
This blog is sleeping in and having dinner at 10pm.
This blog is happy.

The point of this blog is?

When I sit down to write this blog – usually very late into the night or very early in the morning – I debate about the things I want to tell you.  Do I share my political and sociological views? Do I tell you an amusing (to me) story about my kiddies or husband? Do I use it as a pulpit to voice my very strong opinions on restaurants not buttering toast anymore (an outrage!)?

I do have stories of my semi-twisted childhood to share – and other stories of how I’m making a semi-twisted childhood for my own kids – but then something silly happens. And I need to let you know. Immediately.

Yesterday I went to go get the mail. And hilarity ensued. Not really.

We are very fortunate to have good neighbors – I’ve heard plenty of horror stories to know that.  As I’m getting the mail, I ran into our fantastic retired neighbor walking her dog. She stopped to chat – I have a ton in common with retired folks. Mentally I’m half way there.

As we chatted, I opened the mailbox.  The only thing we’d gotten is our Restoration Hardware Fall catalog.  She stopped talking.  “Is that a magazine?”, she asked.  Um. Nope. It’s a home good store…”I’ve never seen a catalog so thick. It’s like a dictionary!” She was horrified. “Isn’t that awful how they waste paper.” “I’m shocked that in this day and age of going green stores still waste their money on that.” I clutched the book harder and harder as she talked. I was nodding the whole time, giving her the appearance of solidarity.  We laughed about the craziness of it all and I told her I was just as shocked.

But inside. Deep inside. I loved the catalog. I wished it were twice as thick. Killing twice as many trees.

We said our goodbyes and I quickly went back inside to flip through every inch of that evil thing.

This is why I can’t write about national and global issues.  When I sit down and think about the things you need to know – stuff like this climbs right to the top.  I have very smart friends and family who tell me they could never write a blog – too much work. To them I say, behold. A post about…a very thick catalog.  I’m pretty sure a monkey could do this.

Here’s the culprit that derailed what would have been a very smart and intellectual post. Not.

*please note that the Ikea catalogs are thicker, but smaller in overall size.

 

 

 

 

 

Rasta memory

I was cleaning out some pictures last night and found this beauty. Had to share. I’m all about the share. This is from a trip we took to Jamaica over 8 years ago – my baby was 6 months, my girl was 5.

Let me set the scene.

It was day 3 into the trip.  Every time we went to the beach, really nice, really pushy women would ask to braid our hair. I’d always politely decline. My girl was desperate to get it done. She wanted those beads in her hair. She had visions of going home with a new, exotic look.

This particular day, we had already hit the beach and the pool and were taking an afternoon siesta (yes, I know, wrong country, wrong language).  The baby and I fell into a deep, vacation induced nap.  When I woke up there was a note from my husband,” went to grab a snack with Kera. Back soon.”

45 minutes and $100 US dollars later – this is who showed up at the hotel room.

Since I had just woken up from my vacation nap and was looking forward to a vacation cocktail before dinner – I ignored the fact that my husband had been completely bamboozled by both my girl and the nice ladies on the beach.  I had visions of the ladies back in their homes, laughing, hard.

I let it all go and grabbed my camera to take this picture of my little Jamaican cutie on our balcony.

5 minutes after this picture was taken she made us take out all the braids – they were too tight and itchy.  The end.

Happy Vacation mon!

You had me at cheesy story line

 

My favorite bad movie was on last night. Step Mom. I know. It’s awful. I love it. I had gotten home late from work – everyone was fed (sort of) and sleeping (playing with electronics illegally in their room).  My husband was in REM sleep by 10pm. I was all alone with the TV.

You know when you’re aimlessly hunting for something to watch and you hit the jackpot? No? You’re out living life and working out? Whatever.

Well I was thrilled to find it on. Have you seen the film? It’s about a woman who gets engaged to a man with 2 kids and becomes….you guessed it…..the Step Mom. Except – there’s a twist!  The actual mom gets cancer and the family is forced to get along – stale, predictable dialogue ensues. I loved every second of it.

Do you have movies that you have to watch when they are on? Movies that you just cannot turn off? Groundhog Dog? Pretty Woman? Jaws?

 

I heart Jap Rap

So the best thing about blogging is discovering other blogs. People are smart, sassy and hysterical. My personal favorite is Jap Rap. And not just because she raps about pizza and bagels – but it helps.  Check our her post below – and then go to her blog and read all her other great stuff!

Pizza, Bitch..

non sequitur sunday

Everyone’s got some sort of sneezy, snorty, itchy-eyed allergy ridden cold

School’s in full swing, 2 back-to-school nights down, reading logs are already being ignored. Back to normal.

My blogging hasn’t gotten enough love from me, cause I’m tired! Sorry. No more excuses. Back to the everyday blog – starting tomorrow.

Did I tell you that I’m leaving for Paris at the end of the week. The trip of my dreams. A present from my man for my 40th.  Did I also tell you that I realized my passport was expired during a random conversation in bed the other night.  It’s been fun. The only thing that is sustaining me is traveling to a place where my completely black wardrobe will fit right in. Wine. Cheese. Bread. Black clothes. I may never come back.

Kim Kardashian is always eating on “Keeping Up With The Kardashians”.

Boardwalk Empire starts tonight. I’m excited until I remember that Jimmy was killed off. What’s really left for me?

Am I the only one that gets bit by bugs the nano second I step outside?  I’ve been using more Calamine Lotion than moisturizer.

I have 22 almost rotten bananas in my freezer. I see my husband roll his eyes every time he opens the freezer.  How many more bananas will it take to drive him bananas? Which one will be the banana that broke his back? Is that a banana in your freezer or are you just nuts?

I saw the woman who does my pedicures in a shoe store – it was an awkward encounter, I don’t know why.

Tomorrow’s blog will be full of humor, intelligence and brilliance!  Just kiddin’ – it’ll be more of this shit.

 

Clue

I live with Hansel.

Every day, everywhere he goes, he leaves a clue. A crumb. A toy.

He marks his territory all day long. I’ve been here. This space is mine.

Darth Vadar is always our coffee table centerpiece.  Who needs Pottery Barn. On another note – that’s our favorite blanket in the back. We call it – the tiger blanket.  A future post is in the works.

At dinner we move the Nerf football, DS games and random picture of Superman to the side.

Some light(ning) reading in the kitchen?

Pictures of family AND Star Wars on Blue Ray – what could be better

Rubber band gun incase Ms. Tatyana gets out of line. And finally…

A Lego Cherokee miniature to keep you company in the bathroom.

I do make him put his stuff away – but it’s like holding back a dam.

The positive? At any given moment I can tell where he’s been and what he’s been doing.

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