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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
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.
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!)
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.
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
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).
I found myself over at Galeries Lafayette the other day (one of the major department stores in Paris), and let out a squeal of excitement at the building, all lit up with bright lights and covered in christmas decorations.
I ooh-ed and ahh-ed for a while, then headed over to Lafayette Gourmet, the place where you can find pretty much anything you want to eat. For a price, of course.
But since when have they stopped carrying Cadbury? Or was I only imagining that they did?
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.
Yet another shot taken during my visit with Vivi in Champagne...
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
I'm not a big car fan, but even I was impressed by the Musée de l'Automobile in Mulhouse.
After all, I am a girl, and girls like shiny things.
As discussed in the k&k podcast episode 291.
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.
does this game look familiar to anyone?
puissance quatre = connect four
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.
When I was in Mulhouse, Alsace, a couple of weeks ago, I really didn't have much of an opportunity to see the city or the surrounding countryside. But I did manage to catch a brief glimpse of the Place de la Réunion, the central square of the city, with it's typically Alsacian brightly coloured façades and fascinatingly faux Mairie.
To fully appreciate these terrible shots, you must try to imagine me running through the square at sunset in heels, on my way to a réception at the Mairie, and trying to grab a couple of pictures with my iphone, just for you all reading this blog. I'm so classy.
I don't think Mulhouse is quite as pretty as other cities in Alsace, like Colmar or Strasbourg, but central Mulhouse does have a certain charm!
Mairie : Town Hall
Symphony and Kylie, doing pre-production before the shows yesterday.
I love that Symphony is using the desk as a chin-rest.
The best "welcome home" banner I've ever seen. Click to embiggen and see the excited expression on Alexis' face.
As discussed in episode 275.
Obviously, this is just before the Muffin Man and I ran through it.
The Segway. Safer than a vélib, where you're forced to share the roads with crazy Parisian drivers. Quicker than walking. I think I need to try this out.
This group of Segwayers consisted of about 20 people. It was hilarious to see them all scooting along on the sidewalk.
Either the balloon skirt is back or this lady has got a closet that magically transports her back to the eighties.
Fact : Not all Parisians know how to dress well.
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!
I'd never really associated sunflowers with the French countryside before, but apparently I was wrong. Most of our road up and back to Frog's parents house was lined with sunflowers. Fields upon fields of smiling, happy, sunny flowwers.
It made getting up to leave at 5 o'clock just a little bit easier.
tournesol = sunflower
A skull, in the catacombs beside Saint-Emilions hermit cave, just before entering the underground church.
As discussed in episode 256.
as seen on mini-break 2.3
Click on the image to see what's really happening!
At least from here I can't tell whether he's got a plumbers crack or not. Teehee.
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...
Dear lady on the train,
Are you comfortable? Can I get you anything? A cushion for your back? An iced tea? You look right at home there...
Next time I see your freaking feet on the seat, I'll throw your sudoku out the window and we'll see you huff and puff at me then.
Snuffly kitten kisses,
As discussed in episode 254.
question: there are three replicas of the statue of liberty in paris. where can they be found?
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.
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.
Whenever I had a party back home, one of the staple supplies was ice. Just before guests start pouring through the door we'd go and get a dozen bags of ice from the local service station, which would usually have enormous deep freezers filled to the brim with ice.
You just can't do that in France. First of all, hardly anyone in Paris drives, and therefore you can't just scoot down to the servo and pick up a few bags of ice, and secondly, they don't carry them anyway. So unless you call a special Ice Delivery Service, you have to plan days in advance and make your own glaçons (if you're lucky enough to have a freezer bigger than a loaf of bread, that is).
Imagine my surprise last year when I noticed my local Monoprix stocking bags of ice. I excitedly mentioned this to a few of my expat friends, who all looked at me disbelievingly. But the proof is nestled between boxes of ice cream cones...
So, when's the party?
servo = service station (Australian slang)
glaçons = ice cubes
did you see a squirrel before i suggested it?
no? i didn't either.
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.
The days are getting longer, and I love strolling through Paris at sunset. When the city is bathed in golden light, I understand why countless artists are inspired by her beauty.
Location : Pyramide du Louvre, courtyard of the Louvre museum, Paris
Walking along the rue d'Odessa at Montparnasse this weekend, I spied this intriguing sign at the end of a covered building entrance.
My curiosity got the better of me so I decided to ask the internets when I got home. My research tells me that the Bains d'Odessa is apparently one of the oldest bath houses in Paris, located in a 19th century building with a listed façade. It closed down for repairs and reopened as a gay sauna that caters primarily to mature men and those gentlemen known as "bears".
I guess I won't be able to get a guided tour.
Address : 5 rue Odessa, 75014 Paris
un bain = a bath
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.)