Thursday, September 27, 2007

trip to la defense

I am on a super health kick these days. I always eat pretty healthy, get my fruits and veggies, few processed foods, etc. But now I am going organic. Good thing I have a bio (organic) store two minutes walk from my apartment. And their prices are really good. I am not spending that much more by shopping there. True, the fresh stuff can be priced a little more, but this is not always the case. At least not at this place.

Do they have these in the US? Here they are called Physalis. It's a fruit that has the look and texture of an orange cherry tomato but has the flavor kind of like a mango. Really delicious. I grow my own sprouts, too, usually bean sprouts. They are the easiest and fastest to grow and sooooo tasty. I try to eat broccoli sprouts weekly (for the past three weeks) since they are one of the healthiest foods for you. But today, I was rather naughty.
We went to the mall at La Defense to try to find a Halloween costume for mon petit fee. I checked Toys R Us and Auchan, but nothing for toddlers. Auchan didn't have any Halloween stuff and Toys R Us had slim pickins. Halloween is an American holiday, so I have to start planning farther ahead to get any supplies as decorations/costumes are hard to find. One day I would like for mon petit fee to have a good old fashioned American Halloween. I personally didn't like the holiday too much as it always ended as a big disappointment. My ex-step dad would eat all our candy, or at least the very best stuff, at the end of the evening and all my excitement for having gotten such a good loot was so quickly turned into frustration, anger and sadness. But now I get to enjoy every Halloween though these days with organic chocolate (which is REALLY good by the way)! Bye bye mars bars. Ok, maybe I will cheat on Halloween if I feel like it just because I can.
Anyway, we were so hungry and I didn't bring any lunch for mon petit fee assuming that we would get a sandwich there. We ended up at McDonalds of all places! The last time I ate at one was over a year ago. Oh well. And what's worse, I actually enjoyed my double cheeseburger (one patty, two slices of cheese - is a double cheeseburger in the US two slices of cheese and two patties? not that it really matters)! Am I that desperate for Amerian cuisine? I suppose I made up for it by having some slices of beets and a tomato/sprout salad as a snack later in the day.
After eating on the steps at La Defense by the Grande Arc, we came home to a very smelly apartment. They had just sprayed for mice in the cave and it filtered up to my ground floor apartment. (A cave is basically underground storage where people typically store wine as it has the right humidity and temperature. But we and many others use it for storage since there are no closets or storage space in these old apartments). So I turned up the heat, opened the windows and blasted the air purifier. And now the air just outside my apartment is warm and clean.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

new beginnings

Yesterday, mon petit fee, the tooter and I went to the Bois de Boulogne to pick some chestnuts. They are delicious baked and as a soup. It was going to be a long day for me since the porcellino had to work late. So the three of us let out some energy at the bois, I took in a cafe (espresso) at the little cafe there, and then we headed home. I tried roasting the chestnuts, but I think that these were the non-edible kind! Great! Oh well. They didn't look or smell how they were supposed to, and I know it wasn't from the roasting.

Today we went to a new playgroup by Concorde (the metro stop near the Louvre). And I met a new best friend today! That may seem a little presumptious, but either you connect with someone, or you don't. One of my very favorite people moved from Paris just a few weeks ago. I've been feeling quite down because of it. She was an American nanny to two sweet French kids. One of whom was the same age as mon petit fee. They played really great together. But she left Paris for the Hague and I really miss her. But the good news is that I met a really wonderful lady today at a playgroup. She is from Sengal, Africa. When I walked into the room, I immediately spotted her with her gentle and warm smile. She just sat there and played with the little boy she was caring for and eventually I made my way over to see her. She is the middle of five children, all of whom are four or five years apart. She lives in Paris with one of her brothers and one of her sisters and tries to make it back to Africa every two years or so to see the rest of her family. I feel like I know so much about her already, except for her name! But even in such a short time, I feel so connected to her. Really looking forward to Tuesdays!

Monday, September 17, 2007


I don't know anything that can give such thrills, evoke the deepest emotions and embrace the soul like music does. Maybe because I just listened to Joni Mitchell's Both Sides Now CD that I am feeling a bit, well, heartbroken, but over what???

Anyway, in a couple of weeks we'll head up to the fete des vendanges in Montmartre, the 18th arrondisement of Paris. We lived in this area for two years and loved it. It's so culturally diverse it made me feel like I was in the twilight zone when we moved to the northern end of Boulogne-Billancourt aka whitesville. The above are the Sacre Coeur in Montmartre and below is the view from our apartment when we lived there. Also a link to the fete des vendanges.