Monday, January 28, 2013

window treatments

Window treatments were big on my to-do list last year. I bought curtains for Shanley's room and my family room. I made curtains for my bedroom. That just left the dining room. I was stalled. I finally decided what I wanted and bought the fabric but then Christmas hit and I saw this cute Pinterest project:
and, yep, the window treatment was stalled again.

Then, New Year's Day hit and it was time to take down Christmas decor. That also meant it was time to get serious about my dining room window treatment. So...

A fabric faux Roman shade. It took several hours of my Saturday and lots of repins but I am really happy with the result!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Rory's Reading List

I loved The Gilmore Girls! I didn't watch it when it was actually on TV but discovered it later in re-runs. Loved the episodes I saw, got addicted, and ended up checking the entire series out of the library and watching every single episode - some more than once. So, when I came across this list of every book Rory ever mentioned on the series I thought it would be fun to see how many I've read.
  1984 by George Orwell read
 The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain - read
Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll – read
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier &
Clay by Michael Chabon
 An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
 Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy Anne Frank:
The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank - read
Archidamian War by Donald Kagan
The Art of Fiction by Henry James
The Art of War by Sun Tzu
As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner - read
Atonement by Ian McEwan
Autobiography of a Face by Lucy Grealy
 The Awakening by Kate Chopin
 Babe by Dick King-Smith
 Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women by Susan Faludi Balzac 
the Little Chinese Seamstress by Dai Sijie
 Bel Canto by Ann Patchett - read
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath – read
Beloved by Toni Morrison
Beowulf: A New Verse Translation by Seamus Heaney
The Bhagava Gita The Bielski Brothers: The True Story of Three Men Who Defied the Nazis, Built a Village in the Forest, and Saved 1,200 Jews by Peter Duffy
 Bitch in Praise of Difficult Women by Elizabeth Wurtzel
A Bolt from the Blue and Other Essays by Mary McCarthy
 Brave New World by Aldous Huxley - read
 Brick Lane by Monica Ali
 Bridgadoon by Alan Jay Lerner
Candide by Voltaire
The Canterbury Tales by Chaucer
 Carrie by Stephen King
 Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger – read
 Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White - read
The Children’s Hour by Lillian Hellman
Christine by Stephen King
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens – read
A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
The Code of the Woosters by P.G. Wodehouse
The Collected Short Stories by Eudora Welty
  A Comedy of Errors by William Shakespeare
 Complete Novels by Dawn Powell
 The Complete Poems by Anne Sexton
 Complete Stories by Dorothy Parker
A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas père - read
 Cousin Bette by Honor’e de Balzac
 Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
The Crimson Petal and the White by Michel Faber
The Crucible by Arthur Miller
Cujo by Stephen King
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
Daisy Miller by Henry James
 Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende David
 Lisa by Dr Theodore Issac Rubin M.D
David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
The Da Vinci -Code by Dan Brown – read
 Dead Souls by Nikolai Gogol
Demons by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
Deenie by Judy Blume - read
The Devil in the White City:
Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America by Erik Larson
The Dirt: Confessions of the World’s Most Notorious Rock Band by Tommy Lee, Vince Neil, Mick Mars and Nikki Sixx
The Divine Comedy by Dante
The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells - read
Don Quijote by Cervantes - read
 Driving Miss Daisy by Alfred Uhrv
 Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson - read
Edgar Allan Poe: Complete Tales & Poems by Edgar Allan Poe - read
 Eleanor Roosevelt by Blanche Wiesen Cook
The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe
 Ella Minnow Pea: A Novel in Letters by Mark Dunn - read
 Eloise by Kay Thompson Emily
the Strange by Roger Reger
 Emma by Jane Austen – read
Empire Falls by Richard Russo
 Encyclopedia Brown: Boy Detective by Donald J. Sobol - read
 Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton - read
 Ethics by Spinoza
Europe through the Back Door, 2003 by Rick Steves
 Eva Luna by Isabel Allende
Everything Is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran
Foer Extravagance by Gary Krist
 Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury – read
 Fahrenheit 9/11 by Michael Moore
The Fall of the Athenian Empire by Donald Kagan
 Fat Land: How Americans Became the Fattest People in the World by Greg Critser
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson
The Fellowship of the Ring: Book 1 of The Lord of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien (TBR) – read Fiddler on the Roof by Joseph Stein
The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom – read
Finnegan’s Wake by James Joyce
Fletch by Gregory McDonald
 Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes - read
The Fortress of Solitude by Jonathan Lethem
The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
 Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Franny and Zooey by J. D. Salinger
 Freaky Friday by Mary Rodgers - read
 Galapagos by Kurt Vonnegut
 Gender Trouble by Judith Butler
 George W. Bushism: The Slate Book of the Accidental Wit and Wisdom of our 43rd President by Jacob Weisberg
 Gidget by Fredrick Kohner
 Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen
The Gnostic Gospels by Elaine Pagels
The Godfather: Book 1 by Mario Puzo
The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
Goldilocks and the Three Bears by Alvin Granowsky
Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell – read
The Good Soldier by Ford Maddox Ford
The Gospel According to Judy Bloom
The Graduate by Charles Webb
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald – read
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
The Group by Mary McCarthy
 Hamlet by William Shakespeare - read
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling – read
 Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J. K. Rowling – read
 A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers
 Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad 
Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders by Vincent Bugliosi and Curt Gentry
 Henry IV, part I by William Shakespeare
 Henry IV, part II by William Shakespeare
 Henry V by William Shakespeare
High Fidelity by Nick Hornby
The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon
 Holidays on Ice: Stories by David Sedaris
The Holy Barbarians by Lawrence Lipton
House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III (Lpr)
 The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende
 How to Breathe Underwater by Julie Orringer
How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss - read
 How the Light Gets in by M. J. Hyland
Howl by Allen Gingsburg
 The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo
The Iliad by Homer - read
 I’m with the Band by Pamela des Barres
 In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
 Inherit the Wind by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee
 Iron Weed by William J. Kennedy
It Takes a Village by Hillary Clinton
 Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë – read
 The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan - read
Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare - read
 The Jumping Frog by Mark Twain
The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
Just a Couple of Days by Tony Vigorito
The Kitchen Boy: A Novel of the Last Tsar by Robert Alexander
The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini - read
Lady Chatterleys’ Lover by D. H. Lawrence
The Last Empire: Essays 1992-2000 by Gore Vidal
Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
 The Legend of Bagger Vance by Steven Pressfield - read
 Less Than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis
 Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke
 Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them by Al Franken
 Life of Pi by Yann Martel - read
The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis - read
 Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens
The Little Locksmith by Katharine Butler Hathaway
The Little Match Girl by Hans Christian Andersen - read
 Little Women by Louisa May Alcott – read
 Living History by Hillary Rodham Clinton
Lord of the Flies by William Golding - read
 The Lottery: And Other Stories by Shirley Jackson
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold – read
The Love Story by Erich Segal - read
Macbeth by William Shakespeare – read
Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
The Manticore by Robertson Davies
 Marathon Man by William Goldman
The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov
Memoirs of a Dutiful Daughter by Simone de Beauvoir
 Memoirs of General W. T. Sherman by William Tecumseh Sherman
 Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris - read
The Meaning of Consuelo by Judith Ortiz Cofer
Mencken’s Chrestomathy by H. R. Mencken
The Merry Wives of Windsor by William Shakespeare
 The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
 Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
The Miracle Worker by William Gibson - read
Moby Dick by Herman Melville - read
The Mojo Collection: The Ultimate Music Companion by Jim Irvin
Moliere: A Biography by Hobart Chatfield Taylor
A Monetary History of the United States by Milton Friedman
Monsieur Proust by Celeste Albaret
 A Month Of Sundays: Searching For The Spirit And My Sister by Julie Mars
 A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway
Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
Mutiny on the Bounty by Charles Nordhoff and James Norman Hall
My Lai 4: A Report on the Massacre and It’s Aftermath by Seymour M. Hersh
My Life as Author and Editor by H. R. Mencken
 My Life in Orange: Growing Up with the Guru by Tim Guest
My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult – read
The Naked and the Dead by Norman Mailer
The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
The Nanny Diaries by Emma McLaughlin - read
Nervous System: Or, Losing My Mind in Literature by Jan Lars Jensen
New Poems of Emily Dickinson by Emily Dickinson
The New Way Things Work by David Macaulay
Nickel and Dimed by Barbara Ehrenreich
Night by Elie Wiesel - read
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen – read
The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism by William E. Cain, Laurie A. Finke, Barbara E. Johnson, John P. McGowan
Novels 1930-1942: Dance Night/Come Back to Sorrento, Turn, Magic Wheel/Angels on Toast/A Time to be Born by Dawn Powell
Notes of a Dirty Old Man by Charles Bukowski
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck - read
 Old School by Tobias Wolff
Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens - read
 On the Road by Jack Kerouac
 One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovitch by Alexander Solzhenitsyn
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez - read
The Opposite of Fate: Memories of a Writing Life by Amy Tan
Oracle Night by Paul Auster
Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
Othello by Shakespeare
Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens
The Outbreak of the Peloponnesian War by Donald Kagan
Out of Africa by Isac Dineson - read
The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton - read
A Passage to India by E.M. Forster
 The Peace of Nicias and the Sicilian Expedition by Donald Kagan
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky - read
 Peyton Place by Grace Metalious
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
 Pigs at the Trough by Arianna Huffington
 Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi - read
 Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk Legs McNeil and Gillian McCain
The Polysyllabic Spree by Nick Hornby
 The Portable Dorothy Parker by Dorothy Parker
The Portable Nietzche by Fredrich Nietzche
The Price of Loyalty: George W. Bush, the White House, and the Education of Paul O’Neill by Ron Suskind
 Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen – read
Property by Valerie Martin
Pushkin: A Biography by T. J. Binyon
Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw
 Quattrocento by James Mckean
A Quiet Storm by Rachel Howzell Hall
 Rapunzel by Grimm Brothers – read
 The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe - read
The Razor’s Edge by W. Somerset Maugham
Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books by Azar Nafisi
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier – read
 Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm by Kate Douglas Wiggin
 The Red Tent by Anita Diamant - started but could not finish
 Rescuing Patty Hearst: Memories From a Decade Gone Mad by Virginia Holman
 The Return of the King: The Lord of the Rings Book 3 by J. R. R. Tolkien  – read
R Is for Ricochet by Sue Grafton
Rita Hayworth by Stephen King
 Robert’s Rules of Order by Henry Robert
 Roman Fever by Edith Wharton
Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare - read
 A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf
 A Room with a View by E. M. Forster - read
Rosemary’s Baby by Ira Levin
 Sacred Time by Ursula Hegi
 Sanctuary by William Faulkner
Savage Beauty: The Life of Edna St. Vincent Millay by Nancy Milford
 The Scarecrow of Oz by Frank L. Baum
 The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne – read
 Seabiscuit: An American Legend by Laura Hillenbrand - read
The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir
 The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd – read
 Secrets of the Flesh: A Life of Colette by Judith Thurman
 Selected Letters of Dawn Powell: 1913-1965 by Dawn Powell
 Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen – read
 A Separate Peace by John Knowles
 Several Biographies of Winston Churchill
 Sexus by Henry Miller
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Shane by Jack Shaefer
The Shining by Stephen King
 Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
S Is for Silence by Sue Grafton
Slaughter-house Five by Kurt Vonnegut
Small Island by Andrea Levy
Snows of Kilimanjaro by Ernest Hemingway
Snow White and Rose Red by Grimm Brothers – read
 Social Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy: Lord and Peasant in the Making of the Modern World by Barrington Moore
The Song of Names by Norman Lebrecht
 Song of the Simple Truth: The Complete Poems of Julia de Burgos by Julia de Burgos
The Song Reader by Lisa Tucker
Songbook by Nick Hornby
 The Sonnets by William Shakespeare
Sonnets from the Portuegese by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Sophie’s Choice by William Styron
The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
Speak, Memory by Vladimir Nabokov
Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach
The Story of My Life by Helen Keller
A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams
Stuart Little by E. B. White - read
 Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
 Swann’s Way by Marcel Proust
 Swimming with Giants: My Encounters with Whales, Dolphins and Seals by Anne Collett
 Sybil by Flora Rheta  Schreiber - read
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens - read
Tender Is The Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Term of Endearment by Larry McMurtry
Time and Again by Jack Finney
 The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger – read
To Have and Have Not by Ernest Hemingway
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee – read
The Tragedy of Richard III by William Shakespeare
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith - read
The Trial by Franz Kafka
The True and Outstanding Adventures of the Hunt Sisters by Elisabeth Robinson
Truth & Beauty: A Friendship by Ann Patchett
Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom – read
Ulysses by James Joyce - read
The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath 1950-1962 by Sylvia Plath
 Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe – read
Unless by Carol Shields
Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann
The Vanishing Newspaper by Philip Meyers
Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray – read
Velvet Underground’s The Velvet Underground and Nico (Thirty Three and a Third series) by Joe Harvard
 The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides
Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett
Walden by Henry David Thoreau - read
 Walt Disney’s Bambi by Felix Salten
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
We Owe You Nothing – Punk Planet: The Collected Interviews edited by Daniel Sinker
What Colour is Your Parachute? 2005 by Richard Nelson Bolles
What Happened to Baby Jane by Henry Farrell
When the Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka
Who Moved My Cheese? Spencer Johnson
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf by Edward Albee
Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire
The Wizard of Oz by Frank L. Baum - read
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë - read
The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion

I don't think I will take the challenge to read all of them but it was fun to see how many I have read - 87! This is due partly to the fact that I read a lot and due partly to the fact that I took every lit class offered in my high school.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Paris - Overall

Some of our observations of Paris:

  • no one drives a truck
  • everyone wears a scarf
  • forget bars, metros are the "pick-up" spots (as noted by my experience the first day on the train and the fact that some guy kept whispering in Shanley's ear and following her around on the metro the 3rd day)
  • banana/nutella crepes are to die for
  • Parisians don't believe in shoveling sidewalks (it snowed our 1st and 2nd nights there so we spent days 2 and 3 either wading through very wet slush or slipping on ice - not a single sidewalk anywhere was cleared!)
  • they are big believers in the Smart car there
  • they must be efficient (gas pumps are right on the side of the road (pull into a parking spot, gas up, and go)
  • there is a Patisserie on every corner
  • there appeared to be an unusually large number of carousels there
  • business class is definitely the way to travel overseas (all 3 of us got it on the way home and loved it!)

Friday, January 25, 2013

Paris - Day 3

It is really a bummer but I have almost no pictures from our last day in Paris. My camera's batteries died. Dang it! We spent a lot of time on the Metro. We used it to get almost everywhere. We did take the bus to/from the Eiffel Tower at the suggestion of the information center guide but the Metro was just so much easier to navigate.

On Sunday we took the Metro/Train to the Chateau de Versailles. The palace was just as awe-inspiring as most of the sights we'd seen so far - gorgeous architecture and lavish furnishings.

This is the bedchamber of King Louis XVI (husband of Marie Antoinette).

I truly wish I could've taken more pictures. As much as I loved the palace, the grounds were even more impressive. I'd love to see them in the spring, but, even snow-covered, you could see the fountains, walkways, mazes of bushes, etc. Wow! I think McKayla could do all of her cross-country training there and never get bored of the view. The grounds are extremely extensive with so many gardens and fountains and paths. After the palace, we went to the Pantheon - former church turned civic temple. Once more, the architecture was jaw-dropping. We finished off our day with a trip to an aquarium. It boasted of sharks but they were tiny - about 2 feet. The crocodiles were impressive though and there were lots of pretty or unique fish. Then it was back to the last of our souvenirgift shopping and then back to the hotel.

Paris - Day 2 (part 2)

Who could go to Paris without visiting the Louvre? I had no idea it was so immense!

This pyramid is actually the center of the underground system that links all of these buildings together.
I liked the statues!

I also liked the Royal Apartments (guess I am not much into paintings)

I did have to take a picture of the Mona Lisa. While I have never cared for the painting, it is THE MONA LISA. There was something magical in seeing such a famous painting in peson although the girls didn't agree. They just think it's an ugly picture.
The Arc de Triomphe was incredible. It is an arc from all 4 sides and is so intricately carved. Once more the weather restrained us from being able to go to the top. The Arc is in the center of a round-about and I can't imagine trying to drive there. The traffic was crazy - about 6 lanes (sort of - there is no lines) of cars merging and veering and cutting off other traffic. It was total chaos to me and I'm glad that both times we navigated it the girls and I were on a bus letting the bus driver have the stress.

This is Paris' Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. My girls' comment was that they were far more impressed with the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Washington, D.C.

Picture from inside the Arc de Triomphe.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Paris - Day Two (part 1)

Paris is great for the under 18 set! Most of the museums are free. So, I paid 39 Euros to buy me a 2-day pass and we went at it! Saturday morning we started at La Conciergerie - a former royal estate turned prison. Marie Antoinette was imprisoned there.

Next was Saint Chapelle. The stained glass windows on the 2nd floor were amazing! We did laugh, however, at the signs on the first floor asking for silence because it is a church but then it was filled with kiosks selling stuff. I guess in a church you need to be quiet when purchasing.
Then we were off to Notre Dame. It is gorgeous - I loved the architecture! We happened to be there during a funeral for a cardinal.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Paris - Day One (Part 2)

The views from the Eiffel Tower were amazing!

Then we took a cruise down the Seine River on this boat. We were grateful it was enclosed since it was snowing.

We passed a bunch of notable sites like the Louvre and Notre Dame. McKayla and I absolutely loved the architecture in Paris - stunning! Shanley just thought it was a bunch of old buildings. McKayla and I loved this one.
It's the National Assembly.
We also liked the Musee d'Orsay. We had planned to go there on our trip but the line was super long and the girls and I weren't really that enthusiastic about seeing a ton of impressionist paintings anyway.

I liked the Pont de Neuf bridge. It is pretty and historical. It is the oldest bridge in Paris and that is saying a lot because there is a ton of bridges! I have to admit I think I liked it a bit for another reason as well - I remember reading about it in The Bourne Identity.

Near the Pont de Neuf bridge there are a bunch of green stands. They are attached to the wall along the river. They contain books and booksellers just open them up and you can browse and buy. After all this fun we did a bit of souvenir shopping and then we ate dinner and hit the hotel early. We had only gotten a couple hours during the flight so we were tired. We officially checked into the hotel and were not pleasantly surprised. The lobby and breakfast area were great. The elevator said it would hold 5 people but they would have had to have been very tiny people. The room was dingy - rusty bathroom, holes in the bedspreads, etc. I could live with dingy but it was noisy - I think anytime someone peed in the hotel we could hear it. If someone was talking out on the street, we could hear it. It wasn't great for getting restful sleep. Also, the curtains didn't keep out the light really well so it was too light for me. Oh well. It seemed clean and the bedding was warm and I can stand anything for a few nights. Paris was totally worth a not-so-great hotel.

Paris - Day One (part one)

The girls and I spent a long weekend in Paris! (Have I mentioned lately how much I love the perks of my husband's being a pilot?) We decided fairly last minute to go so it was all a bit of a whirlwind. McKayla has wanted to go to Paris for years and time opened up so we took advantage.

We flew out last Thursday morning. We flew to Chicago. McKayla slept the entire 3 hour flight prompting her seatmate to say she was the perfect travel companinion. Then we boarded our flight for Charles de Gaulle airport. I was lucky and got a seat in business class (girls - not so lucky). Loved business class - real pillows and blankets; goody bag containing chapstick, lotion, toothbrush and toothpaste, eye mask, ear plugs, and socks; seats that recline, and my choice of free movies. I watched "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" and "Trouble with the Curve" and even got some sleep. The meals were wonderful - shrimp, pumpkin bisque, mixed green salad, steak, real mashed potatoes with garlic, snap peas, and chocolate cheesecake. They even had menus I got to select off of. For breakfast I had egg crepes with sausage.

It was 8:30 am when we arrived in Paris. Our first stop was the airport bathroom which we liked. I know - we go all the way to Paris and we're struck by the bathrooms.

It took us a bit at the airport to get our bearings and determine how to get to our hotel. Finally we were on the metro/train headed to our hotel. I had an experience on the train that dispelled any notion that the French are not friendly. The girls were up several rows and I was sitting across from a man and a woman (who didn't know each other). There was also a man standing to my side. There was a problem with the train and we were delayed for about 20 minutes. These 3 people started discussing it. I, of course, could not join in since I do NOT speak French so I just smiled since I didn't want to appear rude. I guess the man standing next to me took my smile as an invitation because he moved to the seat beside me. I was fine with that because, after all, it was a long ride/delay and who would want to stand? Then his leg was up against mine. Still fine - maybe French don't quite have the same personal space issues we have - what do I know since I just arrived? Then his hand is between our legs ostensibly fiddling with the case he is carrying. A bit uncomfortable but... Next thing I know, he is rubbing my leg. As in his thumb is tracing circles on my thigh. Seriously. Excuse me. I am totally frozen. Do I laugh at the absurdity? Do I make a scene? Do I tell him off - wait, I can't speak French? I am such a huge chicken that I just kept inching away and staring out the other window. I was so relieved to get off that train. Then my girls and I had a good laugh about it. Wonder if that's how they do it in France or was this guy just some pervert? He looked nice enough - actually even cute until he creeped me out.

We left our bags at the hotel and went exploring. We were staying right near Sacred Heart Basilica so we headed there first.

It was beautiful. They were doing mass in Latin so we stayed for quite a bit. Then we wandered from there back to the metro station stopping in several gift shops/stores along the way. There was a chocolate store that had an impressive chocolate rendition of the Eiffel Tower.
We took a bus to the Eiffel Tower. As amazing as we thought the chocolate Eiffel Tower was, it didn't hold a candle to the real thing. It literally took our breath away - I guess because it is such a famous landmark but it really is amazing!

We couldn't go to the top of the tower. It was closed due to the weather but we paid to ride the lift up to the 2nd level. It was pretty dang high and the views from there were incredible.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Pinterest projects

I've been loving my recent Pinterest projects:
  • churro waffles
  • s'mores dip
  • Polar Express hot chocolate
  • Rosemary bread
  • fabric Roman blinds
  • "top-secret" Valentine's projects
  • homemade dishwasher detergent
  • Reese's brownies
  • jelly ribbon cookies
  • foil packet chicken

What did I ever do before Pinterest?  Come up with my own ideas?

Other than Pinterest projects, I've subbed 4 of the last 6 school days, had a pajama/game day with the kids, went sledding, etc.