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Saturday, April 23, 2011

I know I'm in Paris when I see........

Today we decided to start the day by going down to the Eiffel Tower and perhaps taking a ride to the top.  The kids have been wanting to do this since we got here.  So we took the Metro, because there is absolutely NO parking down there, and were greeted by throngs of people already in line at 10:00 a.m.  I mean this line was crazy long!  Worse than any line I have seen at Disney or major concert!  I mean this thing wound around like a snake for about a mile.  So the kids said "we'll pass and come back, maybe on a weekday".  Whew!
See the people on the second tier?
It's a 45 minute wait for the elevator from this point to go to the top!

As we walked under and away from the Eiffel, we heard a dog barking very excitedly.  We came up on an area where there were about 6 or 7 dogs having a "play date".  The barker was a golden retriever closely following his owner who was occasionally throwing a tennis ball for him.  He would bring it back to her and start the process all over again.  This dog was excited about something so we kept an eye on him and his owner and since were walking in the same direction, saw what this puppy was so excited about.
Following his tennis ball!

Dogs swimming in a fountain in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower
There were about 4 or 5 dogs just wading around like little kids!  The edges were a little steep so owners would occasionally have to help their dogs out, but they all just kept jumping back in!

We walked on in search of some lunch.  On our walk we passed a lot of markets.  These are common sites and one of the things I will never get tired of seeing.  It's amazing that they set these up and break them down daily.  

Seafood sounds so much better in French
fruits de mer
(literally "fruits of the sea"

Then there are the flowers.......

Then there is stuff......
Need some shoes?

On our walk to lunch we saw carriages getting ready for the afternoon.  There was one carriage that stood out......
Going to the ball?

We found a nice place to eat on a corner.  Great people watching!  Since the weather has changed and Spring has arrived, every restaurant that has sidewalk space has outdoor seating, which we took advantage of.  The kids were thrilled because they had burgers and fries.  It was a little pricey, but everything within walking distance of the Eiffel tends to be.  Also in France, there is no such thing as free refills and Coke is an imported product!  So we have had to tell the kids "only on drink per meal and then it's water" because......

My wine 4,15 Euros
Samantha's Coke 5,00 Euros 

Patrick's 1/2 liter beer - 8,50 Euros
Max's 10 oz Sprite - 5,00 Euros
After lunch we walked around a little more, then jumped the Metro back home.  Tomorrow is Easter and we are supposed to attend an Easter Egg Hunt sponsored by a group I joined of English speakers.  Has been cloudy and a little rainy this afternoon, but hoping that it clears up by tomorrow afternoon.

Friday, April 22, 2011

I paid $4.19 for a box of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese

.....and $7.15 for a jar of dill pickle chips!  But I didn't break down and buy the Pop Tarts for $8.50!!  No, I was not on a game show.......just shopping for what qualified as "imports" here in Paris.

Patrick took today off for a long Easter weekend and we decided to make the rounds of the stores in the area that specialize in carrying the imported American products.  It was so nice to just see the shelves filled with familiar names and products.  I never thought I would "ooh and aah" over a can of baked beans.....or a tub of Betty Crocker frosting for at whopping $12.87.  Needless to say, I passed on the frosting!  Thank goodness my Mom taught me how to make frosting!

We treated the kids at the first store with a Nerds Rope for Max and an A&W root beer for Samantha.  I got myself a box of brown sugar ~ and was damn happy!  I ran into the other store by myself 'cause parking was nonexistent around the store.  Again, the shelves looked like home.  I just had to pick up a little something for everyone waiting in the car.  I got Samantha the Mac and Cheese, Max got the pickles and I picked up a jar of jalapenos for Patrick ($10.00!).  On impulse, I grabbed a can of Dr. Pepper and a can of Mountain Dew from the cooler!  Fantastic!
Worth $4.19 to me!

Mmm, mmmm, good

Of course with a French touch!
On a baguette!
Max's favorite sandwich
B.L.P. (bacon, lettuce, pickles)

Since it is a long weekend, I'll keep this short as I am sure we will have more to report later.  Hope everyone is having a wonderful start to their holiday weekend.

Monday, April 18, 2011

I got a little behind on my posting.

This weekend we did some fun stuff.....got a car......took the dogs to the Parc de Saint Cloud......went to Ikea (again!!) 'cause we had to return something.....

But last weekend, we had some fun too!  We live right down the road from a beautiful pedestrian bridge that leads into the a huge green space know as Bois de Boulogne.  But I had been told that if you take a sharp turn off the bridge, you can walk along the Seine on a trail that goes along by the houseboats and few people know about it and therefore it is less populated.  We found the path without problem and walked for awhile.  We came upon a area that was open field and turned the girls loose!
Happy, Happy!

Nice dog....looking pretty!
Einstein doing her fox impression

Flower Girl

As we crossed the bridge, we could see houseboats along the banks of the Seine.  They came in many shape and sizes.  Some done up nicely; others you kinda had to wonder how they were still afloat.  But one really stood out.  
Is that a gator!
Concrete alligator chained to the roof of a houseboat.
Gotta love someone with a sense of humor!

As I walk around the neighborhood, I am seeing lots of flowers and plants.  I think I may have discovered a patch of blackberries (no fruit yet) by the Tram station.  

I am seeing these flowers in decorative beds all over.  Anyone know what they are?  They are about two feet tall and the blooms hang upside down!  The bloom colors I have seen have been yellow and orange/red.
This is what they look like looking up into the bloom

Love how the blooms hang down.

 I think these are lilacs....  They grow wild here (kinda like honeysuckle in N.C.) and you see them all over.

This is a beautiful blooming tree in the park where I take the dogs for their walks.  There are pink ones and white ones.  Now that the blooms are falling off, it looks like colorful snow around the trees and on the walkways.

Pink snow

That's all for now....sorry it's a short post!  Kids are out for another week on Spring Break and Patrick is taking Friday off to make a four day weekend over Easter, so I am sure I will have more tales to tell and pictures to share.