Thursday, December 20, 2007

Xmas in France, part trois

Now that Idris is refreshing ultimatetalk, these France blog entries will probably get me kicked off syndication, but oh well. Um, something about Worlds in Vancouver in 2008, Turkey Bowl in 2007, blah, blah, blah. Alright, back to Paris.

Today was walking day. Paris is a GREAT city to walk in, although this is the first time I've been here in December and I was older than 10. It is DEFINITELY cold here, not making it much out of the low 30's every day. This is atypically cold for this time of year, so the one benefit is that almost every day the sky has been completely blue, with not a cloud to be seen. If you have been to Paris, you know what I'm talking about, especially in the winter. This place is typically grimy, overcast, moist, etc. To have 5 straight cloudless days is a rarity, and has resulted in some great photo opportunities. The fact that the sun is low in the sky most of the day (much high latitude than Boston) helps to get good photo light for a good chunk of the morning and the afternoon. It is definitely weird to have it pretty dark out at 8AM in the morning, although it helps as I'm crashing on a couch, so I don't wake up to the sun until 8:30 or so (and I have those Bucky eye shades just in case).

So roused at 8:30 this morning, showered, and then headed south for Ile de la Cite, where Notre Dame resides. I walked the whole way down the Rue St. Denis, which is packed with XXX shops, peep shows, and one section had at least 7 prostitutes hanging out by doorways. Pretty funny. I had forgotten about the prostitutes from the last time I was hear in 2005. Stopped by Les Halles for some pictures, then off to Notre Dame whose front face was in shadow, but I hurried around to the other side to get the good light, and then off to Ile Saint Louis to do a quick walkaround. I had never been there before, and it was a little 'island' of calm in the midst of Paris.

Back across the bridge, and I stopped by the Sainte Chapelle to see the gorgeous stained glass windows and hopefully get a good shot. Unfortunately, part of the windows had catwalks up (doing work on them) AND the line was really long, so I punted. I went to BHV, a department store, continuing my quest for a little espresso maker that would do single servings. This place was even worse, as the smallest size they had was 6 servings. I'm not normally a coffee drinker, but you get in the habit when you are in Europe, and I'm thinking of trying to drink a little more when I'm back in the states. Jury is out on the health benefits of coffee, although since I'm fortunately reasonably healthy (knock on wood), I think the positives will outweigh the negatives.

Failing at BHV (second major department store to ice me), I headed back to the apartment to drop off some stuff, including a bunch of Asterix that I had purchased, and then off to Rue de Rocher near Gare St. Lazare to meet a female cousin of mine for lunch. This was the first time that I had ever met with one of my cousins one on one. Typically we see each other en famille, or at reunions with a bunch of family, so it was very cool to just hang out alone and talk about stuff. She took me to a roofdeck restaurant on top of the Printemps store where we noshed on seriously expensive food (even without the crappy dollar exchange rate, the stuff was way expensive) and caught up. After that, we went and did some errands, checking out Fnac for my espresso machine, they still had nada, so I finally broke down and bought a 3 serving size one. Meanwhile, she was looking for a unicycle for her 10-yr-old son, who apparently is loving them right now. She failed in that quest. Back to her apartment for some coffee, then she had to head out to pick up her remaining children at school around 4:30. So we said goodbye, two-cheek kiss, and then said a bientot to tomorrow night, as we will be meeting at her parents place for the weekend. Back to the apartment to pick up my 'library' kit of laptop and transformer, and here I am. Tonight my brother, his girlfriend, and my parents are all having dinner at a restaurant, Le Troquet. I will be treating, although I imagine it will be a battle with my parents... I may end up having to let them buy the wine, of which I imagine we will imbibe a good chunk. I just realized I don't have my camera for today's pictures, but I'll see if I can find a couple of good ones from yesterday.

I thought this one was clever. It was some bistro/bar on the Champs-Elysées.



And of course, now that I had somebody else around (my parents in this case, after lunch at my grandmothers), I set up my Dad to take this picture from her roofdeck.


Just to prove that I'm here... There is a good chance this is my last internet until I get home, and I'm sure you're all thrilled to see these end, but I figure I'll have at least one more probably when I get back, just to wrap things up. Until then. Oh yeah, insert something ultimate related here.

5 Comments:

Blogger Vector said...

Alex,

I believe bloggers get a free pass to write whatever they want in the year immediately following a UPA championship. After a Master's Championship, it's not even required to make sense.

Surly #5

2:38 PM, December 20, 2007  
Blogger Alex de Frondeville said...

Genius!

4:02 AM, December 21, 2007  
Blogger luke said...

i thought of several posibillities...

1) the green jacket. the holy grail of blogonauts, can only be won by winning nationals, or by being on a podcast with people who have.

or

2) this is a frisbee blog?

8:08 PM, December 21, 2007  
Blogger Alex de Frondeville said...

Luke, for 2) that's the pot calling the kettle black, isn't it?

11:15 AM, December 22, 2007  
Blogger luke said...

yes, yes... i was for sure referring to my own questionable inclusion in the hallowed halls of cooperstown... or probably mooneyville is more appropriate!... you should see the comments i get periodically every so often...

6:30 PM, December 22, 2007  

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