Dame Folle

Friday, March 31, 2006

Paris: Day Three

Before we left Austin, I talked to another mother from Nicole’s school who was heading to Paris over most of the same days as our trip. We tried to meet up with them twice since our arrival and since we kept failing in that task, we decided to meet up with Monica, Gus and Cecelia Cosby at their hotel (and thanks to Stacy for her advice on taking the bus there…great views!). Coincidently enough, it was the same hotel Jay and I stayed in several years ago. After a visit to their spacious-by-Paris standards room/apartment we walked to the Arc de Triomphe. The kids seemed to get a kick out of the view from the top especially of the Eiffel Tower. Afterwards, we walked down the Champs Elysee and decided to eat at a very crowded McDonald’s. The food really tasted the same as that in the US…but it was interesting trying some of there French fry sauce, aka. mayonnaise. We stopped at the Gap while walking towards the Louvre in search of some shoes for Cecelia who has such narrow feet that it is difficult to find her shoes in the US. We persuaded Monica to bring the kids along to the Louvre and we saw, in rapic succession, the Venus de Milo, Winged Victory, the Mona Lisa and the Appollo Gallery that houses many beautiful royal serving pieces as well as several royal crowns and jewels. We were all amazed at the detail of each piece of service ware and the size of some of the precious jewels that adorned the royal crowns and brooches. Nicole and I left Alise to wander the halls of the Louvre alone while we went back to the hotel with the Cosby’s. After a snack of cheese, pistachios and fruit, Cecelia and Gus went down with little fanfaire for a nap while I had to coax Nicole into one. After she finally fell asleep, I visited with Monica and her husband Doug and had some yummy wine. When I realized it was 7:30 and I told Alise I would return around 7 or 8 I unfortunately had to wake Nicole from her nap and quickly dress her to return via metro to the Louvre. We were only about 15 minutes late and easily found Alise waiting for us in the pre-determined location in front of Information. For dinner we stopped at a local market and stocked up on some more goodies to have another picnic at Stacy’s apartment (see the pattern here?). We got some peas (Nic’s request), sliced turkey, sliced proscuito, sliced salmon, capers, grapes, bottle of some Haut Medoc red wine and blue cheese. It is fun to realize that Stacy and I have eaten meals like this in Austin, Barcelona, London and now Paris! No great photos for this day...hard to find one that compares to the art we saw in the Louvre.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Le Deuxieme Jour a Paris

We were determined to do a lot of walking because we knew we were going to be eating a lot of rich foods and personally it was the only exercise I would be able to get to be even a little prepared for the Capitol 10k which I am “running” (running being loosely applied to what I would be doing while others whiz by me around downtown) upon return to Austin. It is good that we wanted to do a lot of walking especially since we didn’t know our way around perfectly. We turned right instead of left when heading to the first museum. We had already walked several blocks in the wrong direction when we realized the Musee d’Orsay was in the opposite direction. We spent a decent amount of time looking at the Impressionist exhibits but we were unable to see the Cezanne/Pissarro special exhibition because so many of the other visitors had the same ‘novel’ idea in mind. Go figure! I was able to snap a picture of Nicole next to one of Degas’ sculpted ballerinas and she paid enough attention to my descriptions of light and color of Monet’s Rouen Cathedral paintings to warrant a compliment from another visitor. The other American was impressed with Nicole’s ability to 1) pay attention to what I was saying about how different colors make the picture seem to take place at different times of the day, 2) understand it and 3) seem to be interested. At one painting Nicole exclaimed while taking a breath in and holding her hand to her mouth, “That painting is soooooo beautiful!” She makes me so proud. Our next adventure was to the Musee Rodin but not after a quick lunch at a local bistro. Nicole made friends with the waiters at the restaurant near Musee Rodin and Les Invalides. The watiers were amused by her disposition and she was amused at their accents and the fact that they spoke French. Nicole was so happy to be able to get out of the stroller and run around the gardens and really seemed to delight in the sculptures. Alise and I had to laugh when Nicole exclaimed from time to time at one of the sculptures, “Look! He is nakey!” (Remember her current obsession is related to her bum and unclothed body in general as noted in post #1) After viewing the Rodins, we decided to forego Les Invalides (maybe the third time will be the charm for me and I will actually get inside this monument) because Nicole was getting restless and wanting to go see the Eiffel Tower. As with many things in Paris, it was a pretty short walk from one site to the other. We enjoyed the view from atop the tower, but decided the cold was enough and took our first metro ride of the trip back to Stacy’s abode. For dinner that night, we ate at a very unique restaurant, Aux Artistes. Alise, Stacy and Nicole started their meals with a yummy potage (soup) de vegetables while I voraciously ate my pate de campagne. For the main meal, both Stacy and Alise ate trout meuniere, I mistakenly ordered Nic a steak frite (better described as steak tough) and should have just shared my boeuf bourgignon (she ate some anyway). For dessert Nic and I had some yummy-whole-egg-heavy-cream ice cream. Mine was a rich almost dark chocolate and Nicole’s was like eating delicious but raw yellow cake batter. We had wanted to go to a restaurant I have been to several times before called the Polidor, but, thankfully, Stacy’s concierge dissuaded us from going to that part of town. When Stacy spoke with some friends who did go there we found out that the student demonstrators were in that part of town and that tear gas was in the streets and seeped its way into the restaurant…this would have been a bad thing for us especially with Nicole. Thanks goodness for a concierge who is a bit on the nosy side.

Day One & Two - Follies Paree

Now that I am finally over jetlag _and_ kinda caught up with work and home, I have decided to start posting about our trip to France.

We took off from Austin a little delayed, but we were gracious to the flight attendants for giving us the bulkhead seats. Nicole was very well behaved and actually spent most of the flight watching Wallace and Gromit, The Curse of the Were Rabbit. Since our flight to Chicago from Austin was pretty uneventful, the flight from Chicago to Paris had to have a few ‘speedbumps’. First, we weren't so lucky on obtaining bulkhead seats on the 8 hour flight _and_ we had a couple of rambunctious kids bordering on obnoxious sitting directly behind us. Their antics ran the gamit of troublesome behavior, including kicking the backs of our seats to screaming for what seemed like hours (Nicole on the other hand slept for at least 5 hours). Second, airplane food is airplane food, nothing to write home about. Finally, when we arrived at Charles De Gaulle, we had to endure the unfortunate situation of having to park the airplane quite a distance from the actual terminal. This meant that we had to deboard the plane onto a moveable stairway then onto a bus while trying to cart several carry-ons and a groggy three year old. Thank Goodness for Alise!

Places we visited on our first day:
We walked around with ‘tour guide extraordinaire', Stacy. (Alise and I decided she could do this for a living.) We started the tour from her apartment around St. Germain de Pres, Ile de la Cite, and the Notre Dame Cathedral. We ate lunch (Alise and I had croque madames or grilled ham and cheese with egg on top for you not so cultured readers ; ^ ) ) at Bistro Marguerite, rode a beautiful carousel, walked around the Louvre and then rested in the Tuilieries gardens where Nicole played with a petit bateau on the fountain waters. After that we walked back towards Stacy’s in search of food and a few household supplies. Alise and I ate a great picnic like dinner that included smoked salmon, toast, cornishons, olives, blue cheese and yummy wine. After getting both of us, meaning Nicole and I, (Alise took care of herself and Stacy was out) ready for bed, I was exhausted and fell asleep quickly to dream about pastries, foie gras and pate to come.

This is one of my favorite photos from the first day. I am not sure what Nic was up to although it has something to do with her latest obsession, her derriere.

Monday, March 13, 2006


Well, Nicole and I are off to France, so I may or I may not write anything for a little while...feel free to read previous posts which should take you all of ten minutes.

A Bientot!

Thursday, March 09, 2006


One of my favorite 'news' stories in the onion, http://www.theonion.com/content/index, is about a new Starbucks location opening in the men's room of an existing location.

You can read about it here:

I bring this up now because I was at Starbucks yesterday and the story often pops into my head as I stand in line to order my crack-laced coffee concoction that just feeds my addiction to Starbucks (I swear they lace there coffee with cocaine or something to keep the addiction strong). Another thought is that I wonder if anyone has ever done a study of the personalities of individuals and whether or not anyone can predict what type of person correlates to the coffee order. I figure that we study all sorts of things to determine someone's personality including numerology, horoscope, and birthdate so why not a coffee order?! My brother-in-law, Andy, says he orders hot chocolate...he believes that it signals a 'loner' type and I said it was showing how he hadn't matured (you know, because children drink hot chocolate). I wonder what this theory says about me. Lately, I have gotten into ordering a tall cinnamon latte, that is the easy part, but, it must be half decaf, blended milk (essentially 1/2 whole and 1/2 non-fat milk,) 1/2 the pumps and light whip. It either means one of two things, I am high maintenance like Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally or that I am trying to control my crack addiction (joke) and diminish my Starbucks habit. Damn you Starbucks!

Monday, March 06, 2006


I love reading Sunday Morning comic strips. Usually, if I buy a paper on Sunday morning, I read the Parade, leaf thru the ads and then read the funnies. One of my favorites is Baby Blues for obvious reasons...that being that as a mother, I can relate to the content. I also read BC. One time there was a short strip about golfing where in one of the male characters is trying to teach the female character how to golf. The female character says, "Let me get this straight. The object of this game is to get this little ball, into that little hole, hitting it the fewest possible times." "Yes! Yes!" exlaims the male homo sapien. "Then why do it at all?" she innocently asks. Fast forward to night, as drawn with the moon and stars out, and the man is repeating, "Why---do it---at all..." Which brings me to my point...why write a blog at all? This is a question I am constantly asking myself as well as who the hell cares what I have to write. Do I really think that one day I will get paid for it like www.dooce.com? I guess if I continue to post and even sometimes post funny commentary or just things about life that strike a chord with someone out there, then that is the point of writing.
More on this topic later....