Sunday, October 23, 2011


It's been a while since my last post, which is due entirely to our first family visit.  That would be my family - my dad, stepmom, three brothers, one pregnant sister and her husband - who were in town for the past 10 days.  The funny thing is, I didn't even really feel like I lived in Paris during their visit - it was more like I was on vacation here as well.  So I neglected the blog, even though my brothers were constantly asking when I would write more, and whether whatever hijinks they had come up with were "blog-worthy." 

So let me recap some of the highlights.  We went to Angelina - I hadn't yet actually sat down in the cafe, and I'd heard great things about both the hot chocolate and their famous dessert, the Mont Blanc.  Well, all I can say is - cafe FAIL.  The hot chocolate was, as my brothers put it, liquid chocolate - and more like liquid baking chocolate at that.  And the Mont Blanc is not for those who do not love chestnut paste.  Which, it turns out, none of us do.
The Mont Blanc

Not only was this disappointing, but I also began to worry about whether I'd be able to live up to this blog in terms of showcasing Paris delicious-ness.  Things perked up last Saturday when we attended a festival in the Place de Stalingrad, over where the 11th meets the 19th.  The festival featured foods and wines from all the different regions of France. Except nothing was clearly labeled so while we enjoyed some delicious treats, I don't think I could tell you which region any of it was from.  But the overall impression was certainly that France = yum. 
Giant pan of lard and onions - smelled awesome
big cheese

pot o' praline deliciousness

Another lesson I learned is that getting a group of 6 adults, 3 children, and a baby around takes a long time.  Also, with one vegetarian, 7 kosher eaters, and 1 lactose intolerant, finding something for everyone to eat can be a challenge.  But since I'm pretty sure I gained several pounds in the last 10 days, I think we conquered that obstacle.  With a lot of bread and cheese.  And chocolate. And pastry. And pizza. And bread and cheese. A few macarons as well.

My favorite Paris activity that I hadn't already done was definitely our visit to L'Orangerie, which is a small museum in the Tuileries where Monet's famous water lily paintings hang.  Monet himself imagined the design for this gallery in the aftermath of World War I - he wanted a peaceful place for people to come and take their minds off of war, and all the terrible things that come along with war.  So the first room you enter is simply all white - no paintings, no nothing.  You are supposed to use this moment to clear your mind, and then you walk into the next room, which is the first of two oval-shaped rooms each displaying four large-scale water lily paintings. Baby Oil's favorite part was standing up by holding onto the benches. 

The Paris part of the visit was fairly stressful for me, because I think I was spending too much time worrying about whether everyone else was having a good time.  Also worrying about naptime and lunchtime and diapers and all that stuff.  Once we all left Paris for our four day trip to Normandy (more on that in my next post), I actually felt more relaxed.  Some might contest this statement, but I'm sticking to it.