Fun Times In Paris

This past year has really felt more like a dream state.  I find myself walking around and wondering, “Where am I really?”  The feeling is strange, but it is a good one.  This time last year, we were just finding out about the Paris opportunity and it seemed so far-fetched and so far away, but here we are in the present, living it.  Let’s catch up on the last few months of adventures since I am really terrible about writing in the near present time.

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Back in October, my friend, Ellen, visited.  She was on an art tour and one of the stops was Paris!  It was really good to see her.  I met Ellen when I volunteered for the bat walks in Orange County.  I took Ellen out to dinner at Frame so she could meet Andrew.  It was an excellent dinner as always (I am a little biased though).

Ellen visit

Ellen brought us a little taste of California – how sweet of her!

sidecar and see's candy

I also visited Île de Bercy and lac Daumesnil in Bois de Vincennes with Katia.  Such a beautiful park!  I really need to bring Andrew down here soon.

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After our walk in the park, we had to have a delicious dessert.  I don’t even remember what this was exactly, but I remember liking it very much.

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Near the end of October, Andrew, Feriel, and I headed to Disneyland Paris!

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We all had a good time, but man was that place crowded.  That will teach us for going on a school holiday  🙂

Disneyland Paris

I really liked this sign on the tram ride.  Please sit and hold hands.  Do not even think about getting up and having a party!  Woo hoo!

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Feriel does not like the rides, but she toughed it out for us.

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I loved this castle.

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In November, I took Katia to Rue Mouffetard for the Sunday music and dancing.

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I knew that they were going to be filming for something that day (still not sure what exactly), so I had intended to just be a spectator.  It was really very silly of me for thinking that.  One of the guys recognized me from coming before (and maybe he remembered that I was friends with France – one of the regulars), and drug me out onto the dance floor.  He is a very good dancer and leader, but I fear that I was not my best (possibly due to the camera and my nerves).  Hopefully I didn’t look as silly as I felt.  I had fun, but I hope to never see that video ha ha.

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We also spotted these musicians playing along Rue Mouffetard.  Their group is called The Don LaRue Combo.  They were pretty good, and the guy on the bass cello reminds me of the dude from Breaking Bad (Jonathan Banks) – okay maybe not a dead ringer, but that is who came to my mind.

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My French class took a small field trip to Île de la Cité.  We visited locations all over the island, but I only took one picture and that was of this clock.  “Tour de l’horloge” is the oldest public clock in Paris.  The first clock installed here around 1370.  This current clock dates from 1535 (or so I found on the internets).

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Later in November, I received free tickets to the Pinder Circus.  Katia and I decided to check it out.  It was a lot of fun and I got some barbe a papa 🙂

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The circus is sexier than I remember – no pictures to prove it though.  I’m not sure if a lot has changed since the last time I saw it as kid (maybe I just don’t remember) or it is just sexier in Europe.

Andrew and I finally checked out one of the nicer restaurants (La Véraison) in our neighborhood.  It was such a small cute place!  I loved that the kitchen was right there as you walk in – the chef says hello as you come in and goodbye to you as you leave.  The meal was pretty good!

La Véraison

The next few pictures are random tidbits that don’t really fit into stories, but I want to include them anyway.

I bought this cute pig for Andrew…and we ate him.

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Feriel’s cat was givng me the evil eye and I deserved it…a little.

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Welcome to Frame!

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I am in love with this kettle and tea cups.  I will have something like that when we get a big kid home eventually.

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One day we found this sticker on the metro.  To my understanding, they are using the bunny that you usually see warning you to watch your fingers in the door and other things, to send everyone a message about too many advertisements in the metro.  The first sticker of this kind appeared in 2007 and they still keep popping up today.  This is the only one of this kind that we have seen – I kind of feel lucky to have seen it.  Now watch, I will probably go out and see it everywhere since I have said that.

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Katia had free tickets to the Wine Expo at Porte de Versailles, so we attended.  So much wine!

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It is now December 1st!  It is starting to get a little colder now.  Damn you California for making me softer!

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I finally checked out Sugarplum Cake Shop with Feriel.  Such a cute shop and love the carrot cake!

Sugerplum Cake Shop

Paris wasn’t that festive for Christmas decorations, but I felt that the street near us (Rue du Commerce) was one of the cutest.

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We also bought a meringue Père Noël (Santa) and ate him.  It was too much sugar for me, but you have to do it at least once right?

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Our friend, Lili, celebrated her “13th birthday” and invited us over.  It was a fun party and she makes a good guacamole 🙂

Lili Rock Bday

Matt and Kristin revealed that they are having a baby girl in April!  This event technically took place in Missouri, but we attended via Google Hangout in Paris.  So excited!  Sorry that I put a mustache on you, Kristin.

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We received the most awesome card in the mail with a French Zombie!

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I really like this door knocker – it is on one of the buildings across from where our rental agency is located.

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On New Year’s Eve, I stayed in for most of the night because I’m not much of a partier for New Year’s.  However, I made my way up to Frame a little bit before midnight to steal a kiss from Andrew.

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I decided to just wait around until he got off so we could walk home together.  As I waited, one of his cooks sent me over some scallops – so delicious!

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A bartender that used to work at Frame took a new job at Death by Burrito.  Andrew wanted to check it out, so I made a reservation.  The food was pretty good, but they focus mainly on their tequila bar.  And don’t let the name fool you, there will be no burritos served there.

Death by Burrito...oddly no burritos

We also made it over to She’s Cake to try her “she’s burger.”  It was good – I think it had foie gras on it?

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On January 7th, there was an attack in Paris at Charlie Hebdo (a satirical weekly newspaper).  There were 12 people killed, including 2 police officers.  The next day, a female police officer was shot while directing traffic by another assailant.  That same assailant took hostages at a Jewish Deli the next day, killing 4 of the hostages.  All 3 assailants were eventually found and killed by the police.  I do not know all of the details to any of these situations, so hopefully what I have written here is correct.  One small note, it seems that the media in other countries painted a very different picture of what occurred in Paris.  They made it seem like we were in a war zone and that this was a dangerous city.  That was not at all the case for us – not much seemed to have changed.  It is very interesting and I will take the media with an even less grain of salt from now on (in any country).  This was and is a sad time for many in Paris and I just wish the violence would end everywhere in the world.

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That following Sunday, we hosted a small brunch at our apartment.  We only invited a few people this time; hopefully we can have more at the next one.  Andrew made eggs benedict!

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We also got a galette!  Andrew is cutting it up and I am under the table ready to tell him who to give which piece.

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Whoever finds the prize is the king (roi) or queen (reine) for the day!  Martin was the lucky winner!

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Also, Martin and I wore pretty much the same shirt so we had to take a picture.

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It was a fun day!

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A couple months ago we found a bar where we can watch American Football.  The place is called The Moose – it is a Canadian bar.  It is a nice place to go and watch a game.   However, with that being said, whenever I watch the Cowboys play it seems that they never win.  Am I bad luck or is it just a coincidence?  Regardless, go and enjoy a game and have some poutine.

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Our 8 year anniversary of our first date was coming up on January 23rd.  Andrew had the day off so I booked a free walking tour.  The walking tour ended up being in the Montmartre area of Paris.

Moulin Rouge!

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The entrance to Metro Abbesses is one of only two original glass-covered Guimard entrances left in Paris.  This one here actually used to be located at Hôtel de Ville, but was transferred to its current location in 1974.

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Le mur des je t’aime (the I Love You Wall).  This is a work of art conceived by Frédéric Baron and Claire Kito.  “I love you” is written 311 times in 250 languages.

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Location featured in Amélie!  We also walked by the café where she works in the movie.

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One of the original windmills (Moulin de la Galette) also known as Blute-fin was built in 1622.

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“Le Paisse-Muraille”  or “The Man Who Could Walk Through Walls” statue.  Our guide recited to us the story behind the statue – it was pretty interesting (you can read about it here:   http://www.tor.com/blogs/2009/04/my-encounter-with-qthe-man-who-could-walk-through-wallsq).  The statue had some graffiti on it, most likely in reference to the attacks earlier in the month, but I’m not sure.

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There is Sacré-Cœur in the distance!

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I love this door.

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Here is Place du Tertre, otherwise known as the artist’s square.

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La statue du Chevalier de la Barre.  In 1766, the Chevalier de la Barre was beheaded and burnt at the stake for refusing to remove his hat in front of a religious procession.  This statue is situated right next to Sacré-Cœur.  Over the years, many have quarreled about this statue and its location.  There have also been a few versions because some statues were melted down during times of war.

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Here is one of the stairways leading up to Sacré-Cœur.

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Sacré-Cœur in the flesh!  Yes it is still pretty busy even on a very cold Friday morning in January.

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Another shot of Sacré-Cœur in the distance.

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Next we have the statue of Saint Denis.  Saint Denis is the patron of France and Headaches.  His number of conversions led to his arrest and he was executed, martyred, by beheading. As the story goes, after he was beheaded he rose and carried his head off in his hand to the summit of Mont Mars (now Montmartre), the angels singing hymns along the way.  Pretty interesting since he is the patron of Headaches, huh?

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For dinner on our 8 year anniversary, we decided to prepare an 8-course meal together, themed after our 8 years together.  I won’t bore you with the details of the 8 years, but look at that food!  We did a pretty good job in that small kitchen.  I have to give most of the credit to Andrew though; I was more like a prep cook.

8 courses + wine for 8 years!

Oh, one last random piece of information to tell.  I gave someone directions completely in French a couple weeks ago!  I’m happy because I knew exactly where she was looking to go and I knew what to say.  I know that I could have given the directions a little bit better, but there is always next time, right?  Hopefully she made it to her destination.

Whew, I think we are finally all caught up for now.  What have you been up to?

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