Monday, October 24, 2005

Time Off

The girls are on a school vacation for the next 9 days, so I have a week and a half off from work. I don't quite know what I am going to do with myself. Today, I began the traditional way one begins a vacation. I slept in really, really late.

Yesterday, met with the new bunch of friends for the movie "Corpse Bride". It was OK. Good, but frankly not great. I guess I was expecting more somehow. I suppose I should have known when, in the first few minutes of the movie, Victor plays the piano and presses all the wrong keys for what is coming out. Irritating. Anyway, it was good to see our friends again. We had a party with the bunch on Friday night (who made super-human efforts to see that we made it there [despite all of the french RATP--metro-- and SNCF--trains-- plotting against us], and had a great time--thanks, guys!) Tried out the new Paris Noctilien bus service, which makes life a lot easier and less expensive if you are out late (no need to take a cab.)

Saturday, Dr. B and I headed over to the Cour St. Emilion for dog food, because they have an Animalis pet store there. The CSE is a lovely little shopping area--sort of an outdoor mall kind of thing. I think it is made from an old train station. We browsed in fancy home stores, a boring museum store, an outdoor-clothing store [Dr. B loved, me not so much], and checked out the menus at the various cafés. We decided to stop for a snack at Hippopotamus (a french chain of restaurants), mainly because the girls' Mom had told me she likes it, and because they weren't charging 9 euros for a dessert.

We went in, and found it much like an American chain restaurant. Lots of pictures of the hippo all over, similar style menu (though the food was very French), and cheerful waitstaff in matching outfits. Then we went to order. This is where I really threw the waitress when I asked for ice cream and coffee, AT THE SAME TIME. She was very confused. The french have their coffee after their meal, as a seperate course. Never with. And never with only a snack. But, she rolled with the punches and brought me my espresso just before she came out with my 3 scoops of coffee, chocolate and vanilla ice cream. Yum! (French translation: Miam!)

We then got Lucy's food (15 kilo bags are much cheaper--though still way more expensive than in the US--but I needed Dr. B to carry it on the metro for me), a brush for her and some dog cookies and headed home on the packed metro.

OK, not the most exciting weekend, and quite un-French, but very needed and necessary for the nouveau-expats who are just adjusting to life on the other side of the globe. Now we are ready to tackle another week in Paris.



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