ooh la la, paris!

I mentioned this on my twitter/FB, but somehow I neglected to mention it here :: I'm going to Paris in 6 weeks! Oh my gosh, I'm so excited! I've never been to Europe, and wasn't expecting to go until next year (for our 10-year anniversary trip to, hopefully, Portugal).

The trip came together rather suddenly and quickly, thanks to my in-laws. They've invited me + Ian for a 6-day stay in Paris with my sister-in-law + her boyfriend. Which means Rupert + Maya are staying home. Yes, you heard read me right :: I'm vacationing sans husband + daughter ... to Paris ... during my birthday!

In preparation for the trip I'm going to put together a travel scrapbook with all the necessary information plus space for journaling, ephemera + photos (I'm making a simpler one for Ian too). I've opted to decorate the journal with pages from picture books (I have in my library) that take place in Paris :: Madeline (by Ludwig Bemelmans), Hugo & Miles in I've Painted Everything: an Adventure in Paris (by Scott Magoon), Crepes by Suzette (by Monica Wellington), and This is Paris (by Miroslav Sasek). I'll post pictures of it as soon as I assemble it.

I'm also poring over the guidebooks I have, trying to decide what I want to see, what Ian wants to see, what wouldn't be good for Ian (i.e., twenty million museums in a row), possible daytrips outside the city, what I want to eat (very important!), and potential shops to visit (particularly food/cooking shops, stationery stores, and antique stores/stands). I found a few guidebooks from the library but they're all at least ten years old, so I'm only going to rely on those for sightseeing. I own a couple of new guidebooks (with maps, which I love) and checked out Clotilde's Edible Adventures in Paris (by Clotilde Dusoulier). One book I've especially enjoyed is French Milk (by Lucy Knisley), which is an art/comics journal about Lucy's four-week stay in Paris with her mother.

We're staying at the Hotel Pont Royal in Saint Germain des Pres, which is a great location. I imagine walking to the d'Orsay, the Louvre + along the Left Bank (while browsing the many bouquinistes) to Notre Dame and then to Ile Saint-Louis for ice cream at Berthillon. Lots of idyllic walking and exploring of the city. But I'm sure what will happen is mostly crazy, rushed sightseeing, and a lot of crowds + waiting in lines. But it's nice to dream while I can. ;)


My Google map for the trip

Book Stores ::
Cooking Supplies ::
Museums ::
  • d'Orsay
  • Louvre
  • Picasso
Stationery Stores ::


ack! already?!

the other day, one of ian's best friends came over to play. as they're sitting at the table waiting for dinner to be served, i hear them playing "truth or dare."
A :: truth or dare?
I :: truth.
A :: who do you like?
I :: like, kiss-kiss like?
A :: yeah.
I :: um, my mom.
A :: no. it can't be someone you're blood-related to.
I :: uh ... uh. i don't know. no one.
A :: c'mon. someone.
I :: i don't like anyone.
and so the conversation continues; A is very persistent with his question. clearly he likes a girl (and he freely shares who his crush is), but ian is so not into girls yet.

but hearing that A likes a girl makes me truly realize that it won't be long before ian develops a crush. i hope it starts off as a sweet puppy-love kind of crush, because i can't even begin to imagine the craziness that goes with teenage hormone-induced crushes. yikes!

43 months.

project365 :: 06.07.2009
maya @ 43 months :: june 4, 2009
  • participated in her first "talent show," two dances for parents' night at her preschool. she danced to "99 red balloons" by blondie + "rollercoaster of love" by the ohio players. when rupert found a youtube video of "99 red balloons" afterwards, maya stopped what she was doing and immediately started dancing to the music.
  • slept through her first semi-major earthquake. she experiences the second one (a couple of days later) at school; she got a nice lesson on dropping and crawling under a table. the earthquake doesn't seem to phase her much.
  • no longer pretends to be a cat. instead, she crawls around on all fours barking. i wonder what animal she'll be next?
  • caught her saying "jesus!" when she made an exciting discovery. (i can't remember her exact wording, but it was something akin to, "jesus! i like those stickers!") i had to somehow explain to her that it wasn't a bad word to use, but it wasn't the right word to use either. i blame rupert because i would never take the lord's name in vain, even though i'm not christian.
  • opens the fridge in hopes of reaching the bottle of "pori pori" (probiotic pills).
  • her drawings of people now have eyeballs and torsos are becoming an option.
  • caught her first real cold (i.e., lasting longer than 24 hours).

chinatown randomness

project365 :: 05.16.2009

this past weekend we met up with my best friend from kindergarten, J, and her family in chinatown to have dim sum. afterwards we decided to wander the kitschy part of chinatown, half a block from the restaurant. as we were leaving we hear jazz music coming down the street.

sure enough it's a new orleans-style jazz band playing in a funeral procession. kinda strange + random but we stop to watch and listen. the band is playing boisterously and we wonder who the deceased is (the funeral car procession looks long). finally, the convertible classic car with a photo of the deceased slowly rolls by. i have to giggle because it's a photo of a chinese dude in a cowboy hat! okaaay.

the funeral procession continues to slowly go down the street, including a whole line of classic cars driven by heavily tattooed guys in wife beaters. i'm confused as to whether they are part of the funeral procession or they're a classic car club that just happened to get stuck in the middle of the procession.

all the while, a homeless lady not 10 steps away from us is spewing profanities about killing someone's family.

it was completely surreal; you can't make this stuff up.


what i made for dinner :: edamame corn chowder

project365 :: 05.18.2009

this is really a story for another day, but rupert + i were kinda annoyed at each other this past weekend because we're having a difference of opinion on our roles at home. (or maybe i'm just annoyed and he's not? who knows with him ... i'll have to ask.) anyway, because of that, i wanted to spite him and show him that i'm capable of being super-mom. and what better way than to try out a new recipe, which i haven't done in quite some time.

luckily, a new recipe from everyday food appeared in my inbox and it seemed just the dish to make for a cool evening after freezing our butts off at ian's baseball game :: edamame corn chowder. [and, as an aside, please stop pronouncing it "eda-mommy" -- it's "eda-mamé".]

the ingredient list is simple and it's easy to assemble. but, like most soups, you need to give it some time on the stove to really simmer so the veggies can soften. i also found that, for a corn chowder, it's not super corn-y. my personal preference would be to add another can of creamed corn or fresh corn kernels, but rupert said he could taste the corn as is. the key to this dish, though, is the bacon. don't omit the bacon! in fact, i cooked up twice the amount of bacon it called for, and i recommend that you do the same. the soup greatly benefits (as most dishes do) from the saltiness and crispness of the bacon.

i served the soup with a salad and multigrain rustic bread. it was the perfect almost-meatless meal.