Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Busy Holiday Season in Paris

The past few days have been crazy here, much as I am sure they are for you where you are. Though, of course, I am dealing with Parisian Crazy, which has its own flavor, for sure! I will give you the nutshell version.

Since Friday, I have been dealing with:

A 3-day migraine (argh.) Thank heavens there is medication, or I would have been utterly miserable.

Harry Potter 5 (done for the second time--partly read aloud to me by Dr. B, during the migraine.)

Soaking up the sights around St. Germain-des-Prés (went inside that church, too) where there were Christmas booths selling all sorts of things, street performers, and this cool dude making incredibly beautiful flowers out of vegetables and a sharp knife. He used beet juice to tip the white roses red.

I walked down the Rue de Rennes (the other side this time), and to Le Bon Marché. (Saw people in Chanel. I can't imagine paying 2000 euros for a handbag, can you? I think I'd rather have a cheaper one, and give the money to someone who needed it. Unless, of course, I could get it for 20 bucks. Then I might want one.)

This is one of the window displays, done especially for the kids at Christmas. There is a little wood structure for the short ones to stand on in front. All the characters move, attached with fishing line to little motors. This one shows the animals and "people" playing instruments (and yes, there was a little conductor, too! Far left corner, I think. I believe he was a 6 inch high moose.)

Bought some really wonderful tea in a fabulous tea shop.

Knit a hat. It's cute! Not posting a picture yet, because it's a gift. Because my friend had a baby!!! Welcome, Felix!

Made a Gingerbread House with my girls. OK, assembled and decorated, close enough. Just the fun stuff, left the hard part (the baking/cutting/sizing) to the people at Anna's of Sweden.

Got a cold. Blech. Makes it hard to sleep. Thus the Harry Potter.

Gave my girls a gift of yarn with the promise I'd knit them each a scarf. Turns out both of them want to knit themselves. So, now I have to go get more yarn to keep myself busy. But they are having fun, and that's what is important. And they liked the yarn I chose for them.

Babysat 2 full days. (Girls got out of school after classes ended on Saturday for the holidays, but Maman and Papa work. They leave Paris on Wednesday.)

Planned a trip to visit my friend R in Saarbrücken, Germany after Christmas for 5 days. Yippee!

Finally finished my first scarf. Of course, I've made 2 others since, but didn't finish the first. It's done, and I wore it, and it works!

Our water heater went out. Dagnabit. Tomorrow morning will not be fun.

Got some Xmas cards from the US and Canada!!! Thanks to Lisa and John, Steph, Grandma B., Dad and Pam, Joni and Tim, Jeff and Shalynn, Jenn and Mark, Dee and Nate, Julie and Dan, and the Jones' Class kids at SMG! Your cards sure brighten my day! (I hang them on the wall in my teensy kitchen.) The French don't send Xmas cards; they send New Year's Cards. Sounds like a good idea to me--we're all busy enough right now!

Went to an amazing Christmas Concert at the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris. Heard beautiful vocal music (accompanied by period instruments, and some was written right there in that cathedral), and at the end, the organist played the Grand Orgue (big organ). WOW!!! I always thought I didn't like organ music. I liked this a lot!!! It was absolutely glorious. Then, took a walk around the isle de la Cité with Dr. B in the crisp evening air, and there was even an accordion player serenading by the Seine. Whoa. It was practically out of a movie. Lovely!

The coming days will be exciting, a little sad (the first Christmas away from home), but filled with lots of new things to discover, good things to eat*, and of course, lots of phone calls to the US to make! I'll keep you posted, but if you're too busy to read (understandable!)--Have a great holiday!

* though likely not the traditional foie gras. Dr. B isn't a fan, and I'll eat it if it's there, but probably wouldn't go to any great lengths to get it. I believe I'll be making some meatballs. We will, however, be eating good french cheeses. (I got a whole set of cheese knives for Xmas!) And I'm up for trying the bûche de noël. Hey, it's cake--can't be bad, right? As long as it has no snails in it, we're all good.



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