Peace out 2012

It’s been a year hasn’t it?  I won’t go into a list of resolutions (because I don’t have any) or  tell you about the happy, tragic, ridiculous things that have happened in the world this year.  You can google those.  But personally, for me and my fam, this year has been full of change. We leapt into high school, turned 40, let a teenager join Facebook, agreed to let a 9 year play football, saw the Eiffel tower, mended some broken fences (literally and figuratively), discovered gel manicures, skipped Fall Ball and did not feel guilty about it, and oh yeah – started a blog.

I  needed a hobby, something besides eating. Last year, around this time, I started thinking about WMEP.  In all honesty, I started the blog to write about event planning. After all, it’s what I do, it’s what I love. But then I began thinking about blog titles – and defining myself as just a planner didn’t fit. Something was off.  I read a few blogs on how to start blogs.  Then, like the true spaz that I am, I read blogs on how to blog successfully. What kind of blog did I want to be? Funny? Informative? Personal? Lots of pressure. I didn’t tell anyone about it at first, but eventually I owned up to my husband.  I told him that in order to make it interesting – I may have to put some personal family stuff out into the universe. With photos. Because I’m convinced people need a visual. Or is that just me? He told me to go for it (with a few caveats).  And so I did. It took me a few months to get my act together, to get back to writing, to do something that was literally just for me.  And I loved it. I love it.

In the beginning I wrote every day – or tried to. It’s been harder the last few months, work and stress and life seem to be taking up all my time. But it’s the start of a new year, I’ve been writing since last April. 178 posts. Over 16,000 views. Almost a 1,000 comments. I’m hooked!

So maybe I will make a resolution for 2013. I resolve to blog every day. Or at least every other day. Every week at the latest.

I resolve to write something in 2013 at some time.

See how tough I am?

We toasted the New Year in last night with shrimp and champagne. Hope you were toasted too.

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Paris to Brussels to Paris

You thought I was done talking about the trip? Silly.

We took a day trip to Belgium. ‘Cause that’s how we roll in Europe. Wanna go to England for tea, should we drive to Italy for the week end? Just normal Parisian stuff you think about when having your double espresso and chocolate crepe. Actually if you’re a real Parisian you have your espresso with a cigarette.

So we hopped a Metro, and then hopped a train, and got another stamp on our passport.  It’s what you do on a Wednesday. Sorry, got carried away.

We realized a few things quickly when we got to Brussels.

1st – everyone that lives there looks like they stepped out of a young, hip music video

2nd – all those Belgium left on the first train to Paris, no worries, plenty of Japanese tourists around to show us the way

3rd – it only takes 11.6 minutes to run smack into the Manneken Pis and grab a waffle

4th – even in its home country, I don’t like Belgium beer. zo en zo

Here’s a few more pics from our adventure. Tomorrow I’ll start talking about normal shit again. Maybe.

 

 

 

Back to life….back to reality

Back to work.

Back to errands.

Back to dishes, laundry, cooking, cleaning, homework, picking-up/dropping-off, conference calls, deadlines, bills.

Back to being behind on sending out birthday cards, birthday gifts, calling my mom, touching base with friends, making the kids practice piano, eating right, calling my mom, cleaning out my closet.

Back to fake butter, fake cream, the opposite of a flaky croissant, coffee without espresso, no crepes in sight.

I’m going to bed.

Here’s some pictures of my happy place.

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.

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