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Wednesday, December 28, 2005

So as things turned out I would end up alone this Christmas in Paris. However, upon telling this to a friend of mine she decided there was no way I could be left alone on Christmas and invited me to her parents house in the suburbs of Paris to celebrate Christmas with them. So this Christmas I had the opportunity to see a French Christmas. There are obviously a lot of similiarities but there are quite a few differences as well. First off, Christmas eve is the big day and they tend to do nothing on Christmas day. So I was there at her house on Christmas eve for the big dinner with the family and then the gift opening after our extremely long french dinner. Apparently french christmas dinners revolve around salmon, foie gras, oysters, and a dessert that is like a sponge cake log with icing called a buche. For our main dish we had deer and dad you'd be so proud as I actually tried it and ate a whole serving. I also tried the foie gras believe it or not, but did not finish that. As for the escargot and oysters, I'm still just not there yet.

The dinner was great, we were 13 in all, we had several courses and it lasted for hours. Afterwards everyone exchanged presents and they were even nice enough to have given me two boxes of chocolate. The entire night didn't end until almost 4 a.m. and that even included the grandparents!

One other difference I noticed is that they don't do stockings here. Kind of sad in my opinion, but oh well.

Well below are a few of the pics I managed to take. Unfortunately I didn't get any big group ones or anything.

Here I am with my friend and hostess Elodie.

The grandparents.

Here is Elodie with her tree that her mother and her decorated. I think it's still a relatively new thing to actually decorate the tree here in France.

Here is the star of the night, Elodie's nephew Ryan who is 4. We all watched him open all of his presents and then proclaim after each one that Santa made a mistake because he didn't ask for that. Then he put everyone to work on putting all of his toys together while he played with what he could. A little too demanding but he was cute nonetheless.

And well that was my Christmas this year. Can't wait to see where I find myself next year.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Snow Covered Paris Part Two!

Well today I was fortunate enough to see it snow in Paris yet again. For most of the day there was a constant light snow that was nice to look at but that wasn't settling on the streets. There were small patches on the roof of my building that I could see from my window at work but that was about it. However, once it got to be about 5 p.m. it started snowing a little heavier and it was sticking a lot more. Still not as much as I would have liked, but I'll take whatever snow I can get.

So naturally I got very excited seeing all the snow and went out after work on a mission to capture the snow in Paris. However, since it was dark and I don't have the best camera it was quite hard to capture. Also there really wasn't that much snow on stuff so it doesn't always look like snow. But here are a few pics I managed to get.

Here is my favorite picture I took. It's in the Tuileries (the big park in Paris) and you'll just have to trust me that's snow on the ground and not just how the ground always looks.

I took this one to try and prove that this was in fact snow since here you can see footprints through the snow.

Here are some snow covered cars just outside my office.

Monday, December 12, 2005

So British, So Crazy!

So Printemps (a large department store here in France) has launched this ad campaign this holiday season. They seem to have teamed up with Eurostar and are doing a whole English team and everything is either So British, So Crazy or So Noel, So Crazy. No big deal really, I'm used to off beat ad campaigns here in France, however once I came across the store windows for the Printemps men's section I became a little bothered by this particular campaign. All I have to say is thank goodness they're doing this to the Brits and not the Americans, although I'd hate to see what they'd do if they were to ever decide to do a campaign with Americans.

There are 9 different manequins placed in the windows at the Printemps men's section, all with the advertisement of So British, So Crazy, and coupled with various artifacts from England and images of England in the background. Below are my 4 favorites. I apologize for any window glares, I tried my hardest to avoid them but there's only so much you can do on a crowded street.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Chez Kristine

Here are some much overdue pics of my current apartment.

Here you can see my bathroom on the left and the hall that leads out to my front door on the right.

This is my infamous toilet. If you look closly on the left there you notice an outlet with a plug in it; that's right that's my toilet plugged into the wall, I have an electric toilet!

Here is my bedroom portion of the apartment. Look I finally have a real bed!

On the left is the kitchen portion of my apartment and on the right another shot of the bathroom. You can see the edge of my bed there to give you an idea of just how small my apartment actually is.

Hope you enjoyed your virtual visit of 2 Rue des Rosiers!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Tis The Season To Be Merry!

So not wanting this to be a completely depressing Christmas I decided to go in search of christmas tree. I have always prefered real ones so that was of course my first choice and if necessary I would go in search of a fake one. Fortunately for me I found a small real christmas tree that was actually pretty cheap fairly easily. I quickly bought it and brought it home monday night. I was a little concerned about getting it in my apt since my apt is teeny tiny, but I bought the smallest one they had and took a chance. It fit perfectly! I bought some lights and ribbons and made a few ornaments with the left over felt I had from the stocking I made myself a few days ago. Then with some Christmas music on I set out to decorate my tree and hang my stocking.

I have to say I am quite pleased with how it has all turned out and while my apt isn't as festive as I normally would make it, I'm still quite happy with it. Below are some pictures of my new tree.

Here is a picture of my tree in the dark showing off her beautiful lights.

Here you can see her decorations more clearly, you can also see the stocking I made for myself just above her.

Happy Holidays everyone!

p.s. if you've sent me a christmas card it's there under the tree waiting to be opened till Christmas day. I've received a couple so if you're curious to know if I got yours just ask. And thanks to those who have sent me one, I truly appreciate it.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Thanksgiving in Paris 2005

Since it's been a while since I've posted I'll be trying to catch up in the next few days.

So I spent my second Thanksgiving here in France just a few weeks ago. However, due to space issues/timing this years was much smaller. BUT we did manage to get a real full sized turkey this time. A few days before Thanksgiving I went to a butcher down the street from me and was able to order a turkey to be cooked for me (I don't have an oven)for Thanksgiving day. Then through the help of Diane, who brought me canned pumpkin and all the fixings for a real pumpkin pie, and my friend Arthur, who lent me use of his oven, I was able to make two lovely pies the night before Thanksgiving.

So then the big day came and we all headed over to Dave's place since he's the only one with a living room. The party simply consisted of Dave, George, Perrine, and myself. All Pepperdine people with the exception of Perrine who is our French buddy from Dave's school in Rouen. We had a great dinner and introduced Perrine to the tradition of Thanksgiving.

The next day I brought in my left over pumpkin pie to work so they could all try it because most were quite intrigued as to what exactly a pumpkin pie was. The reviews were mixed, some absolutely loved it and some found it a little strange. Most couldn't understand a pie with pumpkin since they usually only eat pumpkin soup or maybe a pumpkin puree. Nonetheless it was fun seeing them stare at it in curiousity as it's usually me doing that to what they bring in.

While it was a little strange being in France for my second consecutive Thanksgiving I had a great time with some good friends. Below are a few of the pictures we took, although most came out a little blurry.

Here's the spread!

Here I am with the dinner just before serving.

The star of the night!

Perrine and her French touch to the dinner.