Saturday, December 31, 2011

More Holiday Fun

We wrapped up our holidays with dinner with good friends Gil and Linda. K and Linda are "two peas in a pod". They are both so artistic and creative. K thought that Linda's idea of having a Christmas goose instead of a tree was the best idea in the world.

 Cousin Harry was in town for a reunion with friends he has made over the years at Duke TIP camp.  We stole him for an evening and went out for dinner.  K had a friend with her who kept quizzing Harry about how someone could be nerdy and popular.  She was not buying the story at all.  Really!  He is!!  K loves Harry and doesn't care if he is nerdy or popular.  She just adores him.  

The Christmas goose in lieu of a tree

K, Linda and Gil

Harry and K

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Christmas 2011

Christmas was a blur this year. Maybe because we were in France for Thanksgiving or maybe because K did not get out of school until the 22nd.  We went to see a Christmas Carol and out for dinner with friends on the 23rd.  Spent out usual 3 hours at mass on Christmas eve and then off to Sheila and Elliot's Christmas Eve party.  Christmas we had dinner with our good friends and on the 26th we went to a boxing day party.  Dinner with friends tonight.  I hate that did not take many pictures.  K is in gymnastics camp this week and goes back to school next Tuesday.  Not a lot of relaxing going on around here.

K and the cats just before we left for mass on Christmas Eve.  

I love this picture of Bert underneath the tree.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Busy Weekend-Part 2

Part 2 of our busy weekend was brunch at the St. Regis with two of our favorite friends followed by ice skating and hot chocolate.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Busy Weekend

K and I had a busy weekend.  We started Saturday morning with breakfast at Parish with cousin Bill and his girlfriend Aparna.  It is hard to believe that next semester will be his last semester at Emory.  Then it was off to a glass blowing class at Janek Studios to learn to make hand blown glass Christmas ornaments.  At first I was a little unnerved because the class was all adults.  I was really worried that K might get burned.  The teachers were so helpful and I am always amazed at K's laser focus when when she working on a project.  One of the people in the class commented that she would not be able to make an ornament without the help of the teachers, K thought for a moment and said she could do it if she made herself a check list.  Our ornaments take several days to cool so we do not get to pick them up until Thursday.

These ovens are seriously hot so you have to wear a protective glove on the hand that is closest to the fire.

I don't have K's laser like focus.  I was getting a little frustrated with my ornaments!  That is not a knife in my hand, it is a giant pair of tweezer like things that you use to pull the glass to create shapes.  

Thursday, December 15, 2011

First D90 Photos

First photos with my new camera. A good friend suggested that I snuggle up with my camera manual.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Christmas Checklist

Tree, check.  My cousin and I were discussing the possibility of buying artificial trees.  She said that it would never fly around her house.  I realized it would never fly around around our house either.  I decided to skip the garland on the stairs in the entry and the garland and lights on our front steps.  When we finished decorating the tree, K gave me an odd look and asked why we didn't buy more garland when we bought the tree.  I guess an artificial tree will never not fly around here.

Gingerbread house, check. I had to resort to using super glue to get it to stick together.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

France for Thanksgiving

I was thrilled when I realized that K had an entire week off for Thanksgiving, actually enough time to take a long trip.  I love France at this time of year.  The weather is nice and it is not crowded.  The Christmas lights are beautiful and I love the charming little marche de noels.  We planned to leave on Thursday evening so K would miss a half day of school.  Our trip got off to a bumpy start.  The day we were leaving K woke up not feeling well so I let her stay home from school and she rested all day.  I figured with some benadryl and some sleep on the plane she would be just fine.  
As we backed down the driveway I heard a huge bump and realized that the back of the car was not closed and luggage was falling out.  I always keep my carry on with me because I keep my valuables in it (well that is a bit of an exaggeration, I don't have any valuables but I do always have my camera in my carry on) but this one time it was in the back of the car.  Camera destroyed.  LV carry on in pretty bad shape.  No problem, I have my new iPhone 4s so I can use it to take photos.  iPhone 4s died (completely died) half way through the trip.  Photos had not been backed up so not many photos of this trip-just the ones that K took with her iPhone.  
We had a layover in Stuttgart and had big plans to take a city tour but ended up having breakfast in the airport and dealing with ATM card problems and luggage issues.  Fortunately this was the end of our bumpy start.  We got to Paris and got on the TGV to Lyon and had a wonderful relaxing train ride. K was thrilled that they had Pringles on the train and I was thrilled that they had wine.  There is something so relaxing about watching the French countryside go by.  It is so bucolic and I like to fantasize about the people who live in the little villages.  
We stayed at a wonderful hotel in Lyon that is a Paul Bocuse training school.  K managed to stay awake for dinner (although her eyes were rolled back in her head).  We woke up the next morning and she was feeling much better.  Some French cold medicine and Disney Channel in French were all she needed.  We did some antiquing that day and had another Paul Bocuse dinner.  
The next day we picked up a car and drove to Isle Sur la Sorge.  K was a great sport about going in lots of antique stores.  The highlight of the day was watching a cat trying to catch some ducks in the Sorgue River.  I had some great photos.  Darn!  The next two nights we stayed in Avignon.
On Monday we went to the Palace of the Popes.  It is amazing how large it is and also amazing that as many times as I have been to Avignon that this was my first visit to the Palace of the Popes. We spent the rest of the day in Saint Remy.
We then headed up to Paris with another relaxing 3 hour train ride.  When we got to Paris we headed to the Bon Marche for a little shopping and then to the Eiffel Tower.  The line for the elevator was very long and because we had dinner reservations we decided to climb to the top.  I like to think I am in kind of good shape but it was pretty tiring but really worth the view.  We had dinner in an Italian restaurant that a friend had recommended.  Really good food and I think K was in need of a break from French food.  K was a great sport about the food the entire trip and was able to find something on every menu that she liked.
The next day we got up and went to the Musee D'Orsay.  K loves impressionism so this was one of her favorite parts of the trip.  We had a wonderful long lunch in the beautiful restaurant.  The room was incredible with beautiful chandeliers, gilded and painted ceilings.  We were seated by the window with a view of the Seine.  I would highly recommend having lunch at the Musee D'Orsay-it was one of the highlights of the trip.  The food was good-they actually have a children's menu so K had boiled ham, french fries and ice cream.  I had fois gras terrine and wine.  Then it was off to the Place de la Concorde to ride the Ferris wheel. The views were stunning and we had perfect weather, although a little foggy.  After that we walked up the Champs Elysee and checked out the darling marche de noel.  We ended the day with some shopping on Avenue Montaigne and dinner at L'Avenue.  We got a great table along the side walk and had a leisurely dinner.  I attributed the great table to my excellent French and the fact that we don't look very American.  K told me that my French is terrible!  L'Avenue has great people watching and kid friendly food.  K had egg rolls, one of her favorites.  
On Thanksgiving Day we started the day at the Orangerie.  A great museum for kids especially because it is not too big.  We then headed to Mariage Freres for lunch.  K was not feeling well so after lunch we took a cab (we are always  metro kind of a girls) back to the hotel.  Poor K threw up before we could make it into our room.  Poor baby slept all afternoon and was feeling fine by dinner.  We went to Rotisserie Beaujolais for dinner so we could have some Thanksgiving type food.  We had yummy roast chicken and the best mashed potatoes in Paris. The restaurant is owned by the same people who own Tour d'Argent and is right next door to Tour d'Argent.  K ate a ton of chicken which she normally will not eat.  And she was entertained all evening by the restaurant cat "Beaujolais."
The next day was more shopping and a late lunch at Laduree.  
On our final day K was a good sport and went to the market at Port de Vanves with me.  She had some early morning French fries which attracted a lot of attention.  We spent the rest of the day at the Paris Flea Market.  
We had a very early morning flight the next day with a very short connection in Zurich.  We have been a couple of jet lagged girls this week.  Blogging without photos is not so easy!

The restaurant at the Musee d'Orsay

K enjoying some wonderful weather

K's photo from the Ferris wheel, can you see the marche de Noel?  The little buildings look they are made from Lincoln Logs.  They sell French crafts, cheese, hot spiced wine, jewelry and lots of regional French gifts.

A photo that K took from our table while we were having lunch at the Musee d'Orsay

I think this is a great photo that K took of the Eiffel Tour from the Ferris wheel

K very early in the morning the day we left.  We had breakfast at this little restaurant named Bert's.  One of our cats is named Bert and we both realized how much were missing our pets.  We were on City Jet to Zurich which leaves from a very small remote terminal at CDG.  No detax.  Not good.  Need to plan another trip to France so I can get my tax refund!