Monday, August 31, 2009


means consignment store. So you can imagine my delight when I discovered Paris has les depot-ventes d'enfants. Oui, oui! Enfants!

So here a are a few things I scored for a song just before La rentree (basically the term for back to school but it really means the "re-entering of life after vacance".)

Kick- ass PINK Docs!

A Bonpoint shirt for Sweet Pea....

A chocolate brown velvet Burberry blazer for Buddy.....

and a Petit Bateau rain jacket for Buddy.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Canal St. Martin and the Doomsday Machine....

When you look at this do you not hear the sinister laugh of the lunatic Dreyfus from the Pink Panther movies with Peter Sellers. (Steve Martin should be shot for trying to remake them.) It looks just like the Doomsday Machine he built to "demonstrate his awesome power" in his quest to kill Inspector Clouseau. Chief Inspector Clouseau.

"Everyday, in every way, I am getting better and better."
"Aha-aha, I must kill him."
"Francois, start the car!"
"Does your dog bite?"

Oh, I could go on forever but really that is not what this post is about. That silly structure was just on our way to Canal St. Martin where in the middle of Paris you can see working locks.

You can ride one of these boats from this part of town down to La Bastille and it takes about 2.5 hours with all the changing of the locks. We walked home to the Bastille in about 30 minutes and you don't get to see as much of the action if you are on the boat. The bridges and sidewalks provide the best vantage point for viewing the changing water levels. The kids were amazed at how these boats passed through. It was a lovely AND educational Sunday stroll through Paris.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Are we really that old?

cough. cough. ahem. 21 years? Really?

Luckily in the company of good people, conversation can pick up right where it left off after that much time. This is a friend of mine from camp I have not seen in over two decades. He lives in MN and I live on the East Coast but I guess it took Paris to bring us together again after so many years. Which is fitting since we went to a French language summer camp.
I hear you snickering- it was fun. and campy. just with baguette.

He is now married to a great woman whom I really could have spent much more time getting to know. Anyway, I am grateful they contacted me while they visited the City of Lights so we could catch up over a bottle of wine in the Tuilleries. I had a fabulous time. A tout a l'heure Justin!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Evening Stroll

What is nice about being so far north is that is stays light out well into the evening. Because of this, I have felt safe taking the kids out for walks after dinner alone while SJ is away on business trips. Here is one of our favorite strolls....

Walk down our road, Bd Beaumarchais, to Place de la Bastille and continue on Avenue Henri IV until you come to the Seine.

Then cross this bridge......

And don't forget to take in the view........

as the children are doing here....

Make a right once you cross half the bridge onto.....

This road......

And if you follow the road most of the way down, you'll find this treat on your right hand side. Best ice cream in the entire world!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Ahh....that's how they change those posters.
Ever noticed how the entire city is wallpapered in promotional posters?
Ever noticed how quickly they change?
It's like a garbage truck driving around the city- guys hop off and quickly change out posters and then they continue up the street.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

A walk in the parc

After yesterday's nice day trip to Reims, SJ and I spent the day with Nana and the kids out and about in Paris. The kids had seen a picture of this huge head so we had to find it. Luckily it was right near the kitchen equipment store Nana and I wanted to go to.

This is the park by Les Halles.

After climbing, lunching and shopping, we headed across the Pont Neuf for a photo op.

and then onto luxembourg gardens. As I have mentioned before the playground here is kick-ass.

We always meet lots of kids when we come here and today was no different. Except this little girl was half French and half American and had moved here permanently. Sweet Pea and she became fast friends even though this little girl was a whole 2 years older. They were inseparable for the entire time we were here and begged for les mamans to exchange info. Of course I am always eager to assist my children as they branch out and meet new people and was armed with pen and paper offering contact info. Unfortunately, you'd think that this child's half French came from her mother but no, she was also American, but had adopted French attitude about meeting new people. She was so reluctant to meet me and I even caught her rolling her eyes. Lovely. She made every excuse under the sun as to why a get-together for the girls wouldn't be possible and then offered to text me her email so the girls could write back and forth. Nothing ever came. Such a shame.

Friday, August 21, 2009


SJ took the day off and Nana took the kids so we had a grown-up day all to ourselves. While Nana was being dragged up the stairs of the Eiffel Tower, SJ and I took a train out to Reims for a day of cathedral gawking and champagne tasting.

The cathedral in Reims was the chosen location for the coronation of France's kings. It is a beautiful example of the gothic architecture.

After that we were off to an appointment at Taittinger for a history of this region's champagne making and a sample of their bubbly. It was a great tour - the better of the two we did that day. Their caves are natural salt caves and are quite beautiful.

The second tour we did was at Mumm. It might have been an okay tour if it hadn't been for the ill behaved children of a french couple who were entertaining American guests with a tour of a champagne house. Their obnoxius, over privilged and under admonished twits were running around twisting bottles (a big champs no no!), interrupting the guide, and generally creating such havoc that we could barely focus on anything we may or may not have been hearing.

Aside from les petits, Mumm was a bit less authentic than Tat. Veuve was booked so if you are going, make reservations in advance at Veuve and also go to Tat. That's my $.02.

The one interresting thing at Mumm was this room under lock and key- only available to the person resonsible for making sure each year's blend had the right taste and aroma. There are bottles here from every year of Mumm's production so if need be, old bottles can be opened to help make sure the current year's blend is consistent. The last time this was done was apparently in 2004.

Monday, August 17, 2009

On the banks of the Seine

Today we decided to figure out the bus system here in Paris. We took the #69 from Saint Paul which drove us down Rue de Rivoli, then across in front of the Louvre, along the left bank in front of the Musee D'Orsay, and then down to the Champ de Mars. At the CDM the driver turned off the engine and turned to us (sightseers on a RATP public bus) and said that it was the end of the line and we had to get off. Ah. okay. So we disembarked, walked across the street to the #69 stop going in the opposit direction and in 10 minutes time he started his engine and drove round to pick us up. We rode until the Musee D'Orsay stop so we could spend the afternoon checking out the impressionist work housed there. Unfortunately, after walking quite a ways and seeing much closer #69 stops to the Museum, we realized that while the bus stop was called Musee D'Orsay it was not really the best place to get off the bus for the museum. However, I did pass a store called Bonpoint fin de series. Hum? Bonpoint outlet???

So this little walk from the bus stop to the museum revealed that finally there was no long line outside the museum! yay!!! Then we realized the MDO is closed on Mondays. dang!

We walked back along the river and across one of its many bridges to pick up the final week of Paris Plages on the opposite bank. Dad met us there on his way home from work and we walked through Chatelet back to Saint Paul to do some shopping on the way home.

Nana arrives in 2 days!

Buddy hates having his picture taken and will make it painful for everyone to have to pose for one.