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Sunday, April 3, 2011

......I forgot a picture last time!

I had this great picture to accompany my last post when I was writing about the dogs and the barking, but I forgot to include it!  I still think it makes a great comedic addition to the blog, so I am going to post it now.  (Please take time to review my last entry if you missed it to know why I think this is funny! and shame on you if you didn't read my last post!)  When I take the dogs out for their walks, we pass the bank of mailboxes which have the residents names on them and I noticed this one........

Maybe this is the neighbor
who complained!!

So onto more current topics......we have another week of Paris living under our belts (which Patrick is having to tighten as he is down a pants size with all the walking!) and are still amazed daily with things we see and learn.  

Before we moved, we heard horror stories about worker strikes.  The trains would stop running on transit strikes or trash would pile up if sanitation workers decided they needed better coffee on their breaks.........  We have been lucky though since we have been here as everyone seems to be happy with their jobs right now!  No strikes!  **fingers crossed**

Something interesting about Paris is that trash is picked up daily (except Sunday) and about twice a month you see these guys.
Outside my kitchen window
See the guy in yellow?










Two guys on each side of the street come down welding huge hoses like firemen slowly followed by a truck with a tank of water.  They move down the streets spraying the trash, leaves, and anything else is in way (dog poop), into the center of the road.  Then after they are done, another truck comes by and "vacuums" up all the stuff.  You see this all over the city in residential areas as well as commercial.  This is in addition to my guy in yellow who wanders the street daily picking up trash.  This is nice, however they seem to have an aversion to actually bending over and picking things up.  I watched one guy spray a car battery that has been sitting against this wall since we moved in for about 3 minutes and when it refused to move down with the stream of water, he walked on......leaving the battery.  So far the battery has survived all subsequent attacks and is still sitting there looking smug!

When we moved here we thought that we would see if we could get buy without a car.  Well, due to some unforeseen circumstances, i.e. kids going to school across town not down the road and dogs not being allowed to run in the fenced area, we made the decision to lease a car.  I had thoughts of getting a call that one of the kids was sick and needed to come home from school and I would have to take a taxi to get to school and to get them home.  I really didn't relish the thought of putting a vomiting kid in a taxi. Also, I wanted to be able to take the dogs to the many parks around here and let them run and get good and tired so they will sleep more and maybe bark less!  Patrick will still be taking public transport to work except for days he may need to get somewhere, so the car will be with me most of the time.  Since parking is a problem in the city, I think that we will still take public transport much of the time, but for exploring areas outside of Paris and for emergencies, it will be nice to have a car.

It seemed apropos that we decided to do this yesterday, our 13th anniversary.  When we got married in Colorado Springs, instead of taking a honeymoon, we bought a Dodge Durango.  So yesterday we went to the Honda showroom and leased a Honda Jazz for the next 3 years.
ours will be black
It has room for all four of us as well as room in way back for Morgan.  Einstein usually rides in between the kids.  We wanted to do our part and get the Hybrid model, but would have had to wait until August to get the car.  As it is, buying/leasing a car here is VERY different than in the U.S.  First of all there is the whole language thing......  After establishing some form of "Frenglish"(I walked out of the VW showroom when I was told, rather rudely, that "No" no one there spoke English) the lady we leased from spoke minimal English, but with our minimal French, we got it done (and at times quite comically with hand gestures). Then there are no car lots in Paris.  You go to a showroom and they might have 6 cars parked inside to look at.  No sales person comes up to you and immediately befriends you.  You have to go looking for them. Then they want to know if you have all forms of I.D. and your first born child (thankfully we had Max with us! **wink**) ready to turn over to them. It seems that first the paperwork portion must be submitted and approved, then you can talk car.  There is also no test drive.  You just look and I guess, imagine, driving.  Thankfully, because it is a Honda, we felt comfortable committing to this car without driving it.  You also don't leave with a car when your done....  We should expect delivery in about 10 days and then we will have to travel about 25 minutes to a different place to get it.  But all in all, very happy about our decision.

In my adventures to look at different car showrooms, I saw some more of Paris and only got lost once or twice.  I'm getting better at rectifying these times thanks to the fact that I am starting to recognize places and my handy I-Phone app, Google Maps!!
Storm coming over steeple in downtown
Saint Cloud

Yep, that's the Statue of Liberty with the Eiffel Tower

We also received news from family in Seattle that our extended family has increased by one!  My cousin, Sheryl, and her husband, Jeremy, had a little girl!  
Welcome to Maya Lynn Grater!
You have some cool parents!
















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