Thursday, August 29, 2013

Grafitti in my neighborhood...

To know how to SAY NO is to respect your time and to value to your life & priorities.  And so also to yourself.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Route des Vins in Alsace

Does it sound like I am on vacation all of the time?  I feel like that is all we talk about.  Or I mean, all I talk AT you about. Because let's be frank:  You don't call me in the middle of the night  OR bring me flowers anymore.  And I try not to be a downer. 

And so here I am on another mini-vacation.  But this was a girl's weekend.  More like an American ladies road trip! 
B said "4 hours from Paris is too much for a weekend".
I said "If I thought like that I would have never gotten my tramp stamp in Vegas"! 
And who would have wanted to miss that.
Or this...
because every trip involves a cathedral

Strasbourg Cathedral at night.
miles and miles of green vineyards.


Market time

Cathedral: check. Ch√Ęteau: check. 



Front page May 8, 1945

Mini Statues of Liberty everywhere since the designer is from Colmar.


Enguisheim



Looking back on the city of Munster.  And of COURSE we ate the cheese in 8 different ways.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A Franco-Roman Wedding

We have been to about 15 weddings in the last 3 years, this last one was in Rome.
Yes, please torture me, make me go to Italy for a wedding.

I had to re-learn about weddings.  Where I grew up a wedding meant going to a reception at the local church house for fruit punch and cake.  And being home by 10p.m.
Now I go to weddings that begin at 2pm with a 1 hour mass,  4-9pm.heavy hors d'oeuvres & cocktails, 9h30 to midnight dinner, and then dancing until 4a.m. Bring back-up shoes.  And DO NOT wear a fitted dress.

So for Italy our friends rented a villa.  Yes an entire 4 story house.  We were puni (punished) and got stuck in the dark and damp maids room on the basement level.
the marble staircase

Our new dog.  Who leaves their dog with their rental guests?!
 
our rooftop terrace
Luckily I saw this bathroom at the end.  Or I would have put up more of a fight!



And the wedding...



Fried Zucchini Blossoms at the cocktail
Italy being its beautiful self. 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Back to the hot box

We are back in Paris.
The weather was perfect and it was sad to leave.  But we did.
B pouted.
Yes, grown men pout.  And they are not just French.
If you think you are all grown up and above having temper tantrums, you are wrong.
If you think you don't get cranky when you don't eat, or when you don't get enough sleep, or when you don't get any physical exercise - you are wrong.  You're little body did not change its needs as it got bigger and taller.
Be kind to your body and give it what it needs so it can serve you back.  


You're Welcome.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The Beach


8 hours before the formerly porcelain-colored backside of my thighs turned tomato-red
and were so fiery-hot that we cooked eggs on them.

And I again remembered the joys of my childhood 
before sun block.
(you know back in the day your teenage sister would cover herself in Johnson & Johnson's baby oil)

Mind you we were only out for 2 hours.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Acquired taste


acquired taste (as defined by Wikipedia): a food or beverage that is unlikely to be enjoyed by a person who has not had substantial exposure to it.
i.e.  Eat this thing you don't like 50 times and in multiple forms until you hate one less than than the others.  And then stick to that. 

So far, in the last 5 years I could apply this to wine, cheese, miscellaneous meat products, and fish.

Cheese I was always willing to try.  Meat too.  Though now there are few things I just outright refuse. (I am talking to you, andouillette.)
But now fish

I ate it in the beginning because it was such a big deal when I was a kid and my sister brought salmon home from Alaska.
And then people ooohd and aaaaahd over lobster and crab.

And then B's mom made white fish in a heavy tomato sauce for my first lunch with them.
So I took seconds, of course.

And then we come to the island and its ALL FISH AND SEAFOOD ALL OF THE TIME.
And I have given up entirely even thinking I could stick to the one I hate less than the others.  
I used to think I was a good eater.  My mother encouraged us to try everything once.  But now it is just:


 Yes, mini fish with scales and bones in oil are great.

No, cold sea snails with mayonnaise are fine.

Yes, please tell me about the length of the pouce-pieds' penis (poose pee-ay) before I eat it.



 Pouce-pied for dinner anyone?

Monday, August 12, 2013

and we cooked Mexican.


It might be a crying shame that I can make NO French dishes. 
Never was I so American as when I moved to France. 
I had never made hamburgers or wore a baseball cap before I came to France.
I never ate at McDonalds before I moved to France (sidenote: France is second to the U.S. in McDonald's consumption). 
But really, why would I make French food for French people coming to my house.  Why would I prepare them a dish they have eaten over and over again?  Why wouldn't I show them the delights of Thanksgiving and 4th of July BBQ and Halloween.   Who loves food as much as we do?  The French do.

Speaking of American food, we made dinner last night to say thank you to B's parents.  We made tex mex. 

This recipe is my go-to for Fish Tacos with some slight changes (cooking in advance and putting the lime/orange/onion/parsley mix in with the fish aftewards, flour tacos, and you can add rice).  
We have to put the marinade after because BBQd fish looks like this:

 
WHOLE fish are not easy to marinate.  


These fish tacos are TASTY.

Mine don't look exactly like this. 


But they do taste like this.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Matching buildings

I caved and became a member of the white pants club

so now I live in constant fear of colored food. 

What do you think?  Well dressed?  Or assimilated by the Borg?

Friday, August 9, 2013

Magazines

As a side note, my guilty pleasure when I travel, is magazines.  I buy at least 4 while in transit.

Vanity Fair just launched in France and I couldn't resist. 
PS Did you notice the prices?  Glamour 1,50€ and Vanity Fair 2€  This is standard.  The excessively long-winded-in-written-word nature of the French has devalued print.  Everybody writes. A lot.
Evidence no. 2:  Average book price? 5€  

Did you also know there is a magazines about Royals?  It is called Point de Vue.  B's grandma reads it. 

Metro, Train, Bus, Boat and a lot of magazine

So we've gone on vacation.  REAL vacation.  Like when you are 10 years old and your only worry is what fun thing you are going to do next. We are on the island of god.  Ok, not really, we are on the Island of Yeu at B's parents summer home.
Where they make every meal and we just ride bikes and go to the beach.
I feel a bit spoiled.  And a bit guilty.
My parents never did this.  They raised us to be independant. But this is a BIG difference in the parenting over here. 

And now I have learned to be a guest.  To sit at the table and wait to be served.  To do no dishes and eat for 4 hours at a time.  And now I do it for others at my own home. So I shut my guilt up with food. 
And the fact that B's mom can't wait to take care of him and iron his shirts and buy his favorite yogurt helps too.   

So we are on the laziest vacation of the year. We had to take a meto, train, a bus, boat and a really old car to get to our destination.  But it's totally worth it. 


boat clothes


 
Juice anyone?

Thursday, August 1, 2013

That heat...


I have to admit that I am kind of loving the insufferable heat.
I don't love the sluggishness.  But I love that ice cream tastes so good. 
I love not having to wear long sleeve shirts or jeans in the summer,
      and wearing dresses and white clothes.
I love sleeping with the windows open
    And waking up before the sun comes up to feel the last of the cooled night air.

Staying up late. 
And the feeling that everyone is having a good time.

Evening standing in the metro at midnight,  sweating out of every pore, is ok with me.