Saturday, July 2, 2011

yes, we're still in Europe...

Evan’s Entry #1

With apologies for the delayed entry… the Internet in Banyuls is thankfully the lowest priority… typed this on Saturday (Jun-25) & posting on Saturday (Jul-2)

Travel from home was gratefully uneventful – a mere 20 hours door-to-door from Carlsbad to our ‘cozy’ apartment in Paris Centre (best line from Jack: “Daddy, I’ve never had dinner on a plane before!”).  The only hitch was my intrepid idea to save money & time by taking a convenient train from the Paris airport.  A flawless plan until the brusque announcement at Gare du Nord that all passengers are to depart the train (still several stops from our desired station).  Must have been some construction or, more likely, chronic labor unrest – but regardless, we then upped the adventure by finding the Metro line & hauling our bags & kids (aka luggage with legs) down the Metro stairs & onto the crowded train to get to our stop.  So we still ended up saving money & time, and got some bonus cardio/strength training.  Anyway, now our kids are fully baptized city travelers!

The best part of Europe, apologies to the MSU Humanities dept., is the food… to wit my repast thus far:
-          Fagasse – a kind of French calzone stuffed with Gruyere & bacon
-          Onion Soup – no “French” prefix here; kids agape when their giant cheesy-hot-dogs arrive
-          Fondue – Beer & Emmenthal cheese
-          Comte & Dry Salami on baguette

-          Montmarte Les Progres (our new favorite) – Claudine’s Fish & Evan’s Chicken

-          Ham & Cheese Crepe (at 1 am!)
-          Cote de Provence Rose, Sancerre Blanc, St. Estephe Bordeaux

-          Éclair, Glacier Pistache, …
… and miraculously, the natives somehow fit into those little Smart-Cars

We’ve enjoyed a handful of family events during our four Paris days::
-          Notre Dame stroll during mass – our non-food senses excited by pipe organ, incense, & stained-glass… a candle placed in prayer for our friend Jan’s recovery
-          Luxembourg Garden playground – Jack staring at cute little girl speaking French to him…
-          Metro to Sacre Couer – one of many panoramas
-          hike up the Arc de Triomphe – Maggie counting out all 280 steps
-          River Seine boat trip – 10pm sunset; kids running around with friends Kaveh & Ayda; cramming through raucous La Fête de la Musique crowds in Latin Quarter on the way home
top of the Eiffel – best line from Maggie at the telescope “Daddy, I can’t see the Eiffel 
           Tower!” (her father’s silly humor)
-          languid Champs du Mars picnic (courtesy Rue Cler markets) & nap
-          60 min. in the Musee d’Orsay – Jack oddly transfixed by depiction of Dante’s Inferno

Typing this on the morning train to Perpignan in SW-France – the expansive wheat fields & white cattle rolling by evokes more baguettes & Gruyere awaiting.

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