Hey Peeps! It's that time of year again - July 14th is rapidly approaching and that means it's time for the :
5th Annual k&k Bastille Day Picnic!
What: 5th Annual K&K Bastille Day Picnic
When: July 14th, 2011
Time: 3:00pm - after the fireworks
Where: Esplanade des Invalides (See map below)
Why: To celebrate Bastille Day, make merry, and "Oooh" and "Ahhh" over fireworks.
Join us for an hour or two, or the whole afternoon/evening! Bring a bottle of two of wine, some water and whatever you want to nibble on. Glasses and napkins are a good idea, too. Maybe even a board game or deck of cards? Don't forget blankets to sit on and sunscreen for those that burn easily.
I, for one, am hoping for sun this year!
And Mother Nature is being contrary and it does rain, we'll be putting a contingency plan in place - ie. hanging out in a bar somewhere. We'll tweet and facebook about it all as usual if that happens! )
(click on map for larger view)
Leave a comment about this on the forum
Ate, Did, Drank, Franced, Met, Seen
Apparently educational field trips have become the name of the game in the Katia and Kyliemac Empire these days. A few weeks ago we had the opportunity to head over to a real French pastry shop with a real pastry chef : the delightful Camille!
Pain au chocolat ready to go into the ovens.
"Pain Choc" ready to be enjoyed!
Baby Choux for the Pièce Montée
This is harder than it looks.
This is made from...
...this. It takes a bit of skill. And practice.
It takes a while to construct one of these. It's definitely not a last minute undertaking.
Delicious goodies ready to be prepped.
Chocolates! This room smelled so delicious, it was hard to resist "sampling" one.
We watched these Mother's day treats get finished.
This view is one of the benefits of living in Paris.
Tarte aux fraises. Best when in season. Like now.
Obviously we couldn't go home empty handed, so we made a selection of four goodies to sample on the show. We thought four was very "sage" and not too gluttonous. It was a bit hard to narrow it down, however...
Here's what we chose:
"Symphonie" - obviously chosen since it shares the same name as our resident menace.
Fraisier - one that you will find in a lot of French pastry shops!
St. Honoré - another typical pastry you'll commonly find.
Karamba (hoped I spelled that right) - my favorite of the day, with caramel and pears!
If you want to
hear read more about Camille's adventures, you can head over to her blog at croquecamille.wordpress.com!
For our Easter adventure, we went down to St. Etienne to visit the Muffin Man's parents and it proved to be a very edifying visit. It always is!
Katia's in-laws arranged for us to go to a snail farm - a Snail Farm, people!! - where we learned all kinds of interesting snail stuffs which we talked about (in French!!) in Episode 432.5. But don't worry if you don't understand French, part of the episode is in English, too.
We asked some hard-hitting journalistic type questions like :
Just how does one choose the snail "studs*"?
And we also asked some other kinds of questions that may not have been so journalistically hard-hitting. Among them:
How fast does a snail go?
What do you call the cry of a snail?
Interested in the answers? You'll find the answers to all this and more in Ep 432.5.
Mme Fabbio gave us the grand tour of the snail farm and explained the whole process of snail raising to us. These are free-range snails!
Have you ever wonder what a snail playground looked like? No? Me either. But here's an example of one being prepped for this season's snails.
Mme Fabbio will plant the playground with all kinds of vegetables for the snails to feed on - there is even a little "electric fence" that keeps the snails in and slugs out. A "brumisateur" system is suspended over the park that sprays a mist on the little guys so that they don't dry out. They are delicate nocturnal creatures, after all.
Freaky fun fact : Apparently snails are both boys AND girls. But not (if I understood Mme Fabbio correctly) at the same time. (Yeah. Probably should have confirmed this one before posting this, eh?)
"Let me outta here!"
The underbelly of a snail. Slime-o-rama.
I'm ready for my close-up, Kyliemac!"
Snail eggs. Containing little itty bitty baby snails.
Freaky fun fact : The eggs can be eaten as caviar. (I suppose that this fact isn't really all that freaky, but I had never once thought about eating snail eggs before.)
Freaky fun fact : The snail reproductive system is found in their neck.
What is a snail farmer called in French?
Answer: A "héliciculteur" or, as in this case, a "hélicicultrice", which is a lot harder to say than "snail farmer". For me, anyway.
We had a lovely time visiting the snail farm and would love to go back in the Fall when it's in full swing and the garden play park is full of veggies (and snails) so that we can see the them (the snails, not the veggies)
running - crawling - sliming(?) around.
If you happen to be in her neck of woods, make sure to visit the snail farm de Mme Fabbio.
And tell her that Katia and Kyliemac sent you!
*stud (stallion) = un étalon
A couple of weeks ago, I was in the Disney store with a friend of mine, and we came across a little stuffed Winnie the Pooh. I knew that his name in French was "Winnie l'ourson" - ourson being the French word for a baby bear, but I realized I couldn't recall what any of the other characters were named, if I had ever known them at all.
Over the Christmas holiday, I asked a couple French people if they could fill in the missing names. They couldn't, but a quick look at wikipedia helped us out. Here's what we found :
Winnie-the-Pooh - Winnie l'ourson
Piglet - Porcinet (French word for "baby pig")
Tigger - Tigrou
Rabbit - Coco Lapin
Owl - Maître Hibou
Kanga - Grand Gourou or Maman Gourou (kangourou French for...well, kangaroo)
Roo - Petit Gourou
Christopher Robin (Named after the author's son) - Jean-Christophe
Hundred Acre Wood - Forêt des Rêves bleus
(Did you know that Winnie-the-Pooh has even been translated in LATIN?)
Les chiottes is French slang for les toilettes.
What will you find there? 46 photos showing, you guessed it, toilets from 31 different countries.
The exposition is free and open until October 20th on Boulevard de la Bastille in the 12th.
Want more info? Here's some in French : Click Here.
As listeners of the podcast know, I make no secret that September is my birthday month (Oh, and Frog's too). This year, since I have a year pass to Disney, I received a birthday treat from the folks at Disney - a free ticket to see Buffalo Bill's Wild West show! Huzzah!
The ticket was good for any day in September, provided I brought my Disney pass and some sort of (official) identification which shows my birthday. Which is the 4th of the month, in case anyone forgot (Oh, and Frog's too). I brought my passport.
Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show is in Disney Village, so it's not actually in the park, and you don't have to pay an additional fee to get into the park and THEN into the show.
Shows are at 6:30pm and 9:30pm everyday (save for Wednesday and Thursday, although there are some exceptions, so make sure to check the site) and lasts for an hour and a half. It's recommended to get there about half an hour before show time, since there is generally a line to get in. The food listed on the menu is heavy on the meat portion, but there is a vegetarian and a non-pork option available. Ask for that when you book your tickets or enter the show.
I got there plenty early and they opened the door at 6:00 pm on the dot. I heard a bunch of different accents and not all the attendees were small childrens with parents in tow.
Once you get in the doors, you file past the ticket takers who ask the number of your party and give you your tickets to get into the Arena - these tickets let the servers know what ranch you are on, what seating you have (category 1 or 2), and what kind of meal you will be having.
As we walked into the entrance area each of us received a cowboy hat that we got to keep. The audience is divided up into four different ranches with different entrances: the Gold Star, Red River, Blue Moon or Green Mountain Ranch. I was on the Green Mountain Ranch (although I wanted to be on the Gold Star ranch since a little bird (Janna) told me that Gold Star ranch usually wins).
While we waited in the "Saloon" for the Arena gates to open, there's a bar where you can buy drinks and a Photo Stand where you can have your photo taken with the Mouse himself. (I unfortunately forgot to pick up my photos after the show at a shop across the way).
The show is based on the actual Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show that was founded in 1883 by Colonel William Frederick "Buffalo Bill" Cody. I always thought it a bit strange that there was a Wild West show just outside of Disneyland, but it made more sense when I read that the original show was actually performed at the Champs de Mars attracting more than 3,000,000 spectators. Not a bad turn out for 1905!
There are posters and explanations (in several languages) as well as some displays to take a look at before they open the main doors to the arena...
...and a shop, just in case you need a 'coon skin cap or a sheriff's hat.
There was a bit of entertainment before they let us in to the arena. One of the cowboys came out to perform on a little stage in the saloon - quick draw and lasso tricks. Then a group of musicians and Goofy came out to perform a few tunes.
Finally they let us into the arena...
I ended up in Great Seats with my Category 1 ticket, although I have to say that there didn't really seem to be a bad seat in the house. The seats flip down, like the "strapotin" seats (jump seats) on the metro, and it's a little bit tight, but I've been seated closer to people (like at the Moulin Rouge, for example).
Here is the site that greets you :
This is what is before you...
I am ready to play the part...
The show is a blast, although not recommended if you have asthma as the animals do kick up a bit of dust. I was surprised that the majority of the show was in English - although there was a bit of French, particularly when explaining what was going to happen in the contests. The show includes the obligatory Cowboys & Indians, as well as Buffalo Bill - Annie Oakley also makes an appearance!
I found the show to be entertaining. I had a great time and sat next to a French family of five that had been enough times to have all the different cowboy hats a couple of times over. The kids were 5, 11 and 15 and the entire family loved it (obviously).
There is a bit of audience participation in the shooting matches & a several lucky adults got to ride in the Stagecoach. Not me. (Not that I'm bitter. Even though it was my birthday.)
The food wasn't the best ever, but it was pretty much what I expected for such a large group of people. I didn't leave hungry. When you first sit down, there is a basket of chips (you share with others) and a basket with some slices of bread and some cornbread. The first "course" is chili, followed by some ribs, chicken and a tiny sausage along with some potato wedges. Desert is an apple cobbler with vanilla ice cream. Finally there was coffee (or tea) and some sweet treats (although that may be only for Category 1). Finally, a chocolate coin finishes off the meal. (The kids also received a cowboy hat keychain. I didn't. Even though it was my birthday).
The theatre was only about half-full the day I was there (Sunday 6:30 show) and it looked like just about everybody had Category 1 seating - this surprised the French mother, as she told me the other times they had come the place was packed.
Tickets are rather expensive - 70€ a pop for Category 1 & 56€ (Category 2) for tickets purchased the day of (kids tickets are a bit cheaper - and I've read that reservations are Strongly suggested, especially for certain times of year. Rumor has it there are ways to get cheaper tickets - so that may be an option worth investigating. (I'm subscribed to Disneyland newsletter and occasionally will get deals - for example pre-purchased tickets to Buffalo Bill five days in advance for a significant discount.)
*For better pictures of the show here's a link to another blog review of the show.
*The actor who plays Colonel Cody in the show has a blog. It hasn't been updated in a while, but here's the link if you are interested : click here.
Is there a more civilized way to spend an evening than watching the sunset while sipping champagne? Well, maybe, but that ranks pretty high in my book.
This summer, while I was in the states for August, that is exactly what Peter Jon and I did. More or less.
First we had to assemble our ingredients for our cocktail of choice that afternoon which was called "Death in the Afternoon", a little cocktail I learned about on an outing with Kolenda*. So we bought our obligatory bottle of absinthe and bottle of champagne (chilled, of course) at this appropriately named Liquor Store:
Then we headed to the lakeshore where we rode the carousel which had some odd looking creatures....
We dawdled around a bit before heading to the beach. Then we prepped the goods.
Drinking from straws is the ultimate in cool.
And then we watched the sun set.
Then we got bit by a billion mosquitoes and got locked into the beach parking lot, but that's the boring part of the story...
* for more absinthe recipes, click here.
One of the exciting events of my trip back home this summer was getting to Holland, Michigan where I had the chance to meet up with one of the Empire, Gilbert.
Gilbert was kind enough to spend the afternoon with me and act as tour guide, indulging all of my whims, which included checking out the Gift Shops of Dutch Village.
The first shoppe we stumbled into was the Candlemaking shoppe. The process itself is pretty interesting - the inside of the candle is clear paraffin, so when the candle burns it also glows.
We stood watching the artists cut the candles for awhile - it looks easy, but it takes a year to learn the skills to do this properly. Then we traipsed off to look at all the other treasures :
Aren't they lovely?
Next we found the fashion area, and unfortunately, I didn't find anything in my size.
Well, this sort of fit. Of course, we had to look at the appropriate footwear.
Very fashionable footwear.
I kind of want these...
These shoes, however, were much too big.
After our Dutch Village adventure, Gilbert led me to downtown Holland where we ate at Froggy's.
Of COURSE this is where we ate. How could we resist?
Cheeseburgers, Fries and Root Beer! YAY!
I think we need one of these for the studio.
After we spent the rest of the afternoon roaming about downtown where they were having sidewalk sales. We *may* have stopped for ice cream at some point.
And we ended the day with a Spontaneous Wine Tasting.
A huge thanks to Gilbert for his tour guide skills and for a fantastic afternoon!
(And the coconut m&ms that he sent back with me!)
Last week I got a chance to finally meet up with Ali of AliThinks who helped me out with some proof-reading for #thepaper.
Since it was a very warm day, I proposed to head over to Berthillon to get some ice cream - my first of the summer.
She agreed so we headed over to Ile Saint Louis to get us some from the Berthillon shop itself which was rather crowded.
There are lots of flavors to choose from - and handily translated into English as well...
I waffled between the Mint (Menthe) and Pear (Poire), but pear won out!
since a picture is worth a thousand words, and the topic was art, i think i'll let them do the talking...
here is a sampling of what we saw:
if you are interested in a bit more info, Michelle put a link on the k&k forum - which you can find here.
we had such a great time on the tour, we may just have to do it again in the fall!
One of the stories she told us was her "investigation" of the Maison Victor Hugo and how Aimée could escape the museum in the novel Murder in the Marais.
So when I was there this past weekend with some friends, we decided to see the place of escape for ourselves...
Clearly someone has read the novel and taken care of this oversight...
as i was out and about the other day, i spotted this :
i see these guys all over the place, but this was one i had never tripped over before. (probably since i'm generally never out of my own neighborhood).
you can find these invaders all over paris. the artist even has a wiki page. ( i want a wiki page. and an oompa loompa!)
if you are interested in finding out the locations of these bad boys, you can purchase maps of the cities where they can be found, and now there are even invader shoes you can purchase (they are giving me ideas...)!
for more invader-y goodness you can head over to the site.
The other day I got a texto from the delightful Ksam telling me she had tickets to the Salon des Vins des Vignerons Indépendants, and asked if I was interested in going along. Was I interested? HA!
We met up and headed over to Espace Champerret and trundled ourselves inside. We waited in line and when she handed them our tickets, we were each given a tasting glass with the logo for the Vignerons Indépendants.
On Facebook, we'd both become Fans and had downloaded a game to play, which would give us an opportunity to win one of 50 bottles of wine. Obviously, answering the questions became our first task of the day. We decided to get that accomplished before we got into the serious tasting.
One of the great things about these salons, is you can try all sorts of stuff you could a) never afford or b) not want to buy a whole bottle of.
We tasted wine, pineau, eau de vie, crémant, champagne, calvados, but my favorite of the day was a jurançon moelleux.
As we were taking a pause to eat a little some to counteract the affects of all the stuff we were drinking, the delightful Ksam and I heard suddenly heard our names on the loud speaker.
We walked up to the stand, and they recognized us right away. Gee. I wonder how. They asked us where we were from, and when we responded "les États-Unis" they added another bottle each! Yay Us!
If you ever get a chance to go to one of these salons, I highly recommend it!
(And you get to keep the glasses.)
McMacaron on the left - La Durée on the right
In Episode 329, we had the delicious Rhino75 in the k&k boudoir for our taste test of the new McMacaron vs. La Durée. How did they stack up against each other? You'll have to listen to the episode to find out!
Share your opinions with us on the k&k forum!
How I spent my Thursday afternoon.
Here's some vocabulary for you:
Chess - Échecs
King          Roi - (lit.) King
Queen       Dame - (lit.) Lady
Bishop       Fou - (lit.) Madman
Knight       Cavalier - (lit.) Rider
Rook         Tour - (lit.) Tower
Pawn         Pion - (lit.) Pawn
I noted in the rule book that calling the "Dame" the "Reine" and the "Cavalier" the "Cheval" is technically incorrect. Though typically that wouldn't stop me. And it amused me that every time my opponent (age 8) moved his Knight he said - CA-VAL-I-ER . One syllable for each square to count how many places to move his piece. Adorable.
He took great joy in smacking my pieces down as he took them.
I won, though.
Think I need to be boning up on my chess playing skills.
Last time I didn't manage to get any photos on the blog before I inadvertently deleted them ALL, so this time I'm getting a couple of these photos up now, before I (inadvertently) do the same thing again.
We met early on Saturday, so thanks to all of you that braved the cold and managed to get up in time to make it. It was chilly on the riverbank, so it was actually a bit of a relief to get inside the sewers!
We had enough people to get the group rate (yay!) and had a tour guide all to ourselves. The visit took about an hour and we learned many very interesting factoids about how the sewers work.
FACT: Certain vaccines are mandatory for sewer workers.
FACT: The Paris Sewers have 2100 km of tunnels.
FACT: There are lots and lots and lots of rats in Paris. (And they don't cook.)
FACT: The sewers can be really smelly. However, some metro stops actually smell WORSE.
FACT: Streets aren't just labelled above ground, but below ground as well, to aid with navigating throughout the sewers.
FACT: Kyliemac can outrun a stationary Sewer cleaning ball. Take that, Indy!
We learned a lot more about how the sewers of Paris operate, but if you want to learn more, you'll either have to google it for yourself, or brave the sewer on your own. Although I suggest it with a guide!
LES EGOUTS DE PARIS
Open everyday except Thursday and Friday from 11am to 4 or 5pm depending on the season. (And it's closed in January every year for two weeks for maintenance. I suppose it smells less then.)
Metro: Alma-Marceau Station (Line 9) and cross the river.
RER: Pont de l'Alma station RER C
Since we know how people love to laugh at old photos of us, I thought I'd oblige with some New Year's photos that my loving father sent me from a New Year's Eve, a long, long time ago.
Once upon a time, Kylie Mac was a much younger creature than she is today (as most of us are), and didn't despise the cold as much as she does today.
These pictures are from the day that her internal thermostat broke.
Yes, Dear Reader, I went ice diving and spent my New Year's under the ice.
Do I recommend it?
In words of one syllable, Hell. No.
Unless you like shivering to death and hypothermia.
Don't I look happy?
Well, I'm not.
'Cause I've learned that I don't like shivering to death or hypothermia.
Diving = fun. Freezing = not.
You can't tell from the photo, obviously, but I'm shivering, very very hard.
I have NEVER been so cold In. My. Life. And I don't think I've ever fully recovered. To this very day. I've been scarred for life.
It didn't help that there was a leak in my dry suit. It's called a Dry Suit, people. Because it's supposed to be just that - DRY. And, if you can believe it, there are actually people who dive in Wet Suits in the freezing (as in ICE, hello) cold water ON PURPOSE. Insane-o people. Not that I'm going to mention any names.
My Dad, being the clearly insane creature that he is, has done a New Year's Eve Ice Dive, with his dive club (MUD Club - Michigan Underwater Divers) every year since before I was born. Which means that there are more crazy people out there than just him.
In Episode 309 of Katia and Kyliemac V.O., I talked about the Galette des Rois that the boys, Mamie and I dined upon.
The galette is a flaky pastry cake, generally filled with frangipane (almond), and is eaten in January to celebrate Epiphany - the day the three wise men visited the baby Jesus.
Mamie couldn't remember the name of all three of the magi, and I could only remember what they brought the baby Jesus, so I had to look them up. Thanks google! So if it's ever a trivia question for you, here is the answer: Gaspard, Balthazar and Melchior.
If you want a far more eloquent explanation, and that from a French person, head over to Clotilde's Chocolate and Zucchini blog (she actually makes one!!)
So the 8-year-old popped under the table, since he's the youngest, to decide who gets each piece. It's a part of the tradition. And, to my surprise, named me as the first galette slice receiver.
Now, I've eaten more than a few of these with the boys, as well as with others, and I have NEVER found the "fève" - which is a little porcelain figurine hidden inside the galette. This year I can no longer say that. For the first time in my galette-eating history, I found the fève.
This means that I got the crown, which, yes, I still have somewhere...
Awhile ago we met up with one of our listeners, PH, who brought us goodies from "The Great White North," aka Canada.
Amongst the treasures were Katia's Beaver that you've heard mention a time or two, and my lovely Moose that is now hanging off my bag.
Incidentally, when did hanging stuff off your purse/school bag/satchel become so popular? I don't remember doing that in my youth...
skyping with frog over the christmas holly-days.
this has got to be one of my favorite photos!
Apparently, the Mayor of Paris offers those Parisians of a "certain age" a box a chocolates at the end of the year.
This is the interesting fact I learned today.
Here is this year's box -
From what I understand, this is something that was started by a previous mayor as a way to encourage fuzzy feelings for reelection and has since become somewhat of a tradition. This is also something that perhaps the current mayor would like to "supprimer"* - which would not make him very popular and perhaps discourage his reelection. Hence, at least for the time being, it's still a line item in the budget...
*supprimer = delete or eliminate
After the booksigning, where I ran into Ksam, we headed over to the Marché de Noël on the Champs-Elysées, passing this little treasure on the way:
It's located right on the Place de la Concorde from November 20, 2009 to January 20, 2010 and is 10€ for the privilege to ride in one of the little gondolas (but a bit cheaper for the little childrens).
When I found out that Heather was making cookies to take to the book signing at Ô Chateau, it was just the hook i needed. I mean, who can resist homemade cookies?
(Hint: Not me.)
This was the door that told me I was in the right location, but the actual book signing/wine tasting was in the 'cave'. Which is where we found the authors-
And then there was Canadian author, Keith Spicer who has written Paris Passions.
A week or two ago, while wandering around St. Paul, I came across the following in the window of a little shop there:
To Students of the Schools
IT IS FORBIDDEN
1. To spit on the ground
2. To moisten your fingers in your mouth in order to turn the pages of your books and notebooks
3. To introduce into your ear the end of your pen or pencil
4. To wipe off the chalkboard by spitting on it or by placing your tongue on it
5. To hold in your mouth pens, pencils, coins, etc.;
Would you like to know now why these interdictions exist? Ask your 'masters' who will give you the necessary explanations.
Finally, remember that you must not only obey these rules yourselves, but you also have the duty to inform everybody of them.
I would personally like to thank one Mr. Saville for managing to bring from the states the PROPER stuff to put on pumpkin pies.
the proper stuff in my humble opinion, of course. i'm sure others will be scandalized.
Mr. Saville, i thank you.
special thanks goes to Ksam who took the photo since my batteries ran out.
Yet another shot taken during my visit with Vivi in Champagne...
Chambord, oh, Chambord! You delightful black raspberry liqueur you!
This bottle was discovered in the local grocery store in KylieMac's America. Note the $34.96 price tag. I mean, after all, this stuff is *imported*, you know.
This modern version was inspired by a raspberry liqueur which was produced in the Loire Valley during the late 17th century according to the website. Since it is claimed to have been "introduced" to Louis XIV during one of his visits to the Château de Chambord it must be known all over France? Right?
Just ask Katia, who called about 50 different wine shops in Paris trying to find a bottle. If I recall, only one or two of them had even HEARD of the stuff.
We did, however, manage to find some eventually on a mini-break to the Loire Valley.
One of the many surprising things in coming to France is that they don't WRITE the same here as they do in Kyliemac's America.
When I was teaching the little people, they had difficulty understanding my cursive writing, and I would have to resort to printing everything in order to make sure they understood it.
And don't even get me STARTED on the numbers business...
i play a lot of games with the boys - card games, board games, etc. etc, and sometimes it's rather funny to see them out of your own childhood context. at least for me...
anyone recognize this one?
jeux de société = board games
while i was in the states this past summer, i finally saw one of the mythical REDBOXes that we'd heard about from some of our listeners as discussed in episode 242.
this one was in the local grocery store, but i loved that fact that you could drop them off at any other REDBOX location - and the fact that the rental was only $1.
Alex Sanders has written this and about a zillion other french children's books about kings and queens (although le roi pipicaca is, in my humble opinion, by far the funniest of the bunch) - if you are interested in finding out more - check out this link!
does this game look familiar to anyone?
puissance quatre = connect four
un café gourmand was something i'd seen on a menu or two - i wasn't sure what it was, but assumed, using my stellar translation skills, that it was some kind of fancy coffee.
café = coffee
gourmand = gourmand
i was hopeful that it was something similar to an irish coffee.
a café gourmand is the normal little espresso which is a typical way of finishing off a meal in France - but in addition to the coffee, you also get a small selection of mini desserts - generally three or four. so it's a perfect way to end a meal if you want just a bit of something sweet - and don't want to feel like a glutton.
this is one that vivi enjoyed on my recent visit to see her in champagne - complete with some sort of delicious chocolate browning with "crème anglaise", mini magnum (ice cream), mini macaroon, and mini-creme brulée.
On my recent trip to the champagne region to visit the lovely vivi we spent part of the afternoon in Troyes wandering about this town that has existed since roman times.
This is one of the houses we saw -
These half-timbered houses are called 'maison à colombages' or 'maison à pans de bois' and you don't see many of these types of structures in Paris (although a few do remain) because eventually it was required that the buildings be plastered to protect against fire. They always make me think of Shakespearean England or Fantasyland at Disney.
one of the perks of doing the podcast is having the opportunity of meeting many of you guys when you come to Paris for a visit. and very often you bring us treasures.
warning: the katia and kyliemac empire strongly advise avoiding the dark pink bottlecaps, allegedly "cherry". the empire takes no responsibility for those listeners not heeding this recommendation. eat at your own risk.
lately i can't help but notice that Disney's "Snow White" has been remastered and can now be purchased on blu-ray. this information has inspired the following question:
can you name the seven dwarfs?
you have one minute. go.
try not to cheat, k?
now, can you do it in french?
as some of you heard on the show a week or two ago, we are doing another postcard exchange! there are twenty postcards waiting to be sent to twenty of you!
those of you who are in the right time zone to watch us record live got the jump on everybody else, but we just may have a few left...
so if YOU want to get a postcard from US - send an email with your postcard request and your address to katiaandkyliemac[at]gmail[dot]com and get the ball rolling. we'll pop your postcard in the mail after we receive yours, and don't forget to let us know when you have received it!
we are looking forward to plastering the walls of the Not-Coffee-Table-Studio (TM) with your postcards.
recently our good friend dani was in town and crashed at my place for a night before heading off to her rental apt for the rest of her stay.
as a thank you for crashing chez moi, she gave me this thank you gift, which i think is one of the coolest magnets ever.
i'm not sure if i should be concerned that a coroner's office has swag.
although it's giving me some ideas...
while i was home, my family went to a casino.
we got in the building and as i tried to walk onto the floor, i was stopped by a security guard who asked for my ID.
my mother laughed and said, "I think you are going to be surprised."
"Oh," he replied, "You'd be surprised at what I see."
He glanced at my ID and looked back at me.
Later that day, my sister and I left the floor for a few minutes, and upon trying to re-enter, I was stopped again to be carded.
"Geez," my younger sister said, jokingly, "They should just give you a wrist band or something..."
Which is exactly what they did.
and no, i didn't win any money, because if i did, i'd be blogging this from australia.
what we will be doing today:
and one of the things i'll be stocking up on while i'm home...
(thanks to intern noonan and all the others who have sent us these delicious goodies!)
canelés have no cinnamon in them.
i thought that they would when i first heard the word: canelé. since the word for cinnamon in french is cannelle, the confusion is understandable. frog's mum explained that it was the shape that gave them their name.
while on our mini-break we made some of our own - well, actually, frog's mum made them - but we all watched. and here are the results that made a tasty dessert (here exhibited with vanilla ice cream).
hennir = to neigh, to whinny
hennissement = neigh, whinnying (uncountable)
(special thanks to hachette & oxford for the definition)
checking the temperature.
qu'est-ce qu'elle est chaude!
it's important to know that not all macarons are alike - the ones you can find in paris at ladurée or pierre hermé are not at all like the ones we had in saint-emilion. but that doesn't make them wrong, just different.
introducing the macarons de saint-emilion.
the three things frog's dad taught us that a good macaron should be:
you can hear about our macaron adventures at 33 minutes of episode 256.
as seen on mini-break 2.3
one of the things that i'm constantly struck by in Paris is the architecture. the buildings. oftentimes, the outside of buildings are far more attractive than the inside. i need to remember to look up more.
although, looking down often is helpful in avoiding the little "presents" left by the omnipresent dog population...
question: there are three replicas of the statue of liberty in paris. where can they be found?
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Katia and Kyliemac
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normally, i spend part of my tuesday afternoons in a café with one of these...
now that schools over, i'm sure i'll find another way to spend my tuesday afternoon.
there are many things one hears about france.
and then one arrives here, spends some time here, and finds out that there are things that one has heard about France that are patently not true.
for example, i give you, Lies About France #6:
There are no bugs.
because, as the (very itchy) mosquito bites on my ankle can testify - there ARE.
which begs the question:
What do the French (well, most europeans for that matter) have against screens?
now please excuse me while i go to buy some mosquito netting tent thing to put over my bed before the soldes are over...
one of our faithful commenters (hi daniel!!!) mentioned another medieval treasure one can visit in france: Guédelon. if you head over to the website (which is in French, English, German, and Dutch), you can see what the castle looks like now.
katia has been to see it, and i had the opportunity to visit Guédelon too, thanks to the graciousness of the lovely vivi, in 2007.
this is what it looked like then:
this is an image of what it should look like when it is finished in 2023:
i want one.
...does NOT make you cool.
if you dine at the blue lagoon, the restaurant attached to the pirates of the caribbean ride at disneyland resort paris, make sure you get some of these light-up clip-on clochette and capitaine crochet.
of course, you'll have to look for them on the kiddie drink menu - but you can have them added to your own cocktails...
(of COURSE we asked!)
kathryn and i tripped over this little guy while walking down the boulevard st germain a week or two ago:
he kind of made me sad.
one of my favorite places to read the most recent Buffy comic is in the lovely medieval garden located to the northeast corner of the (as my friend andrew calls it) "george clooney museum*" which is just a hop, skip and jump from my "local" comic book store, Album.
the museum is worth a visit too, especially for those of you into "old stuff". as it's the "middle ages" museum, they have amongst their treasures: cool old keys, some old armor, stuff found in the seine, really old shoes, old church stuff, stained glass windows, a unicorn horn (actually a tooth of a narwhal), tapestries, and their crowning glory: The Lady and the Unicorn tapestries .
but anyway, today i went there to read - but somebody had beat me to it...
*also known as the "musée national du moyen âge" or the "cluny museum".
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did you see a squirrel before i suggested it?
no? i didn't either.
one of the things that isn't really obvious when taking the RER is that not all of the trains are the same length. this means that sometimes there will be a short train, and if you aren't at the right part of the platform, you'll be left behind.
so if you look up, you'll see handy signs like these that will tell you what "repere" the train covers - and make sure that is where you are on the platform. that is unless you LIKE running after the train...
personally, i don't. i only run when chased by zombies.
handy french vocab:
arrêt = stop
court = short
long = long
once upon a time, a long time ago, our intrepid podcasters, katia and kyliemac, went to the carnavalet museum. kyliemac, determined to find the guillotine blade that she KNEW was in this museum, made her poor podcast co-host traipse all over said museum not once but TWICE, in pursuit of viewing said blade. which they never found. you may, if you wish, hear all about it at about 13 minutes in episode 20 of katia and kyliemac V.O.
kyliemac would now like to present you with the photo of the blade that she was so desperately searching for.
that is located in the conciergerie.
*please note: nicolas is pronounced "knee-koe-lah" in french (rhyming with ricola), not "ni-co-las" as it is in the anglophone dialects. not that the author of this blog post would ever have made that mistake herself. ahem.
it just so happens that i'm the lucky soul to have absconded with the rest of the orange-y armagnac liqueur (which was one of the justin's entries in the mini-break challenge.) so here it be, folks, for those of you that care-
monluc - pousse rapière
simple à préparer l'apéritif POUSSE RAPIÈRE s'obtient avec:
1 Volume de Liqueur Pousse Rapière
6 Volumes de Vin Sauvage
Servir Très Frais
i'm not sure what "Savage Wine" is - but i vote we try this next time! of course, we'll have to have a new bottle, cause there won't be any of this one left...
i brought this drink as part of the mini-break challenge, KNOWING that i would probably lose.
which i did.
it was a unanimous "YUCK!"
despite the negative reception, i've been nosing around a little bit online, and SURPRISE! there are some people out there who actually LIKE it. maybe it's an acquired taste? (although i've never understood that, why would you KEEP eating or drinking something you didn't like to begin with?)
the site www.suze.com has got some suggestions for drinks you can make using this stuff.
which i may have to try.
since i got a WHOLE bottle of it here at home...
(dear kyliemac, next time there is a mini-break challenge, please submit something you at least like yourself. love, your tastebuds)
as seen on "it's a small world" - disneyland paris (the third happiest place on earth.)
one of the things i wanted to see in paris was this sculpture because, yes, i am that much of a geek.
those of you who are familiar with the "french in action" series will recognize this fountain. for those who aren't, you can read what our good friend kathryn wrote about it at spotted by locals.
what is that you ask? FREE museums, of course!
if you happen to be in the neighborhood and enjoy japanese art, then this place is worth a look. this "annex" of the Musée Guimet is at 16, ave Iéna (just ask frog how to pronounce it), right down the street from it's big brother (which is NOT free). in the back you'll find a lovely little japanese garden, which in warmer weather is a calm and tranquil place to pause for a moment and reflect (or pull out your map to find your next destination!) the actual Musée Guimet (6, place d'Iéna) is much larger and has works devoted to the religions of ancient egypt, classical antiquity, and asia.
upon exiting the metro, i saw a sign. i took a picture of it with my cell phone, but the picture is pretty much just glare, and i can't seem to get it to my computer anyway, so i'm just going to tell you about it...
the poster informed me that since april 4th, those of you lucky enough to be under 26 get to do something that i don't.
what is that you ask?
get into a bunch of museums for free, of course!
not that i'm bitter.
you can find a list of them in french at www.culture.gouv.fr
the only thing i'm NOT sure of is if this applies to ALL "yoots" or just those of the EU.
so if you head to one of these museums and get in for free, send us an email and let us know! i've been nosing around some forums, but there seems to be some debate about whether this applies to the rest of us that don't belong to the EU.
(UPDATE: apparently, those of us that do not have EU passports are still eligible for free entry as long as we have a 'carte de séjour' or 'titre de séjour' (indicating you are legally living in france) and b) you fall within the 18-under 26 age bracket. i'm not sure that this is actually the case, but it's worth a try! )
a couple of weeks ago, i went to the movies to see the movie Chéri with a friend. starring michelle pfeiffer and rupert friend (aka keira knightly's boyfriend), it's the story of a may-december romance between an aging courtesan and a spoiled young man. the story takes place in paris and is based on the novel by colette.
the exciting thing is (at least for me) the house they used for léa's residence is this beautiful art nouveau house in my neighborhood! i've actually been in the place and everytime they showed it in the movie, i hit my friend in the arm and said "i so know where that is!"
the house, hotel mezzara, was designed by hector guimard - a name you probably won't recognize, but he has done other work you probably have seen if you have travelled around paris by metro: he designed entrances for the metro as well as the typeface that we all see saying "metropolitain." two of the surviving ones can be seen at porte dauphine and abbesses.
(and i'd like to apologize for the bruises on your arm.)