Thursday, March 14, 2013

Coucou from France!

Me voici... 
I have been in France for a week and have finally made it to a computer... with a French keyboard which means that the keys are all scrmbled up and I am reduced to hunting and pecking and probably misspelling!  C,est normale ici, je suppose.  the accents are somewhere but I am lucky to even find punctuation marks like the . and the !

Paris was as beautiful as ever.  Last Saturday was sunny and warm.  Then the snow started.  Yes, just like in January, dear readers of my blog. That begs the ? (I finally found thae question mark! and parentheses)-- am I the bringer of snow? 

We couldn,t get to the D-Day landing sites on Monday.  We got as far as Rouen and decided to stop there.  I was very happy to do that because I had never visited this beautiful city.  I wish I could post a photo.  I promise to do that when I return and have my photos organized. (Right now they are on my camera, iPad and phone... in other words, a mess!) 
(Back now and finally getting around to adding photos... they are still a mess, though!)

I saw the very spot where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake in the 1400's and I felt her presence in the very modern church that was built next to the site.

 I actually got to meet Tatiana de Rosnay, an author I love. 

She wrote the novel Sarah's Key, a book I have written about before.  It is about the Vel d'Hiv round-up of Jewish families in July of 1942 in Paris.  Mme de Rosnay was taking part in an all-woman motorcycle rally in Paris on Sunday that started while my kids were ice skating in front of the Hotel de Ville.  I followed her to her moto and told her how much I loved her book and she graciously posed for a photo with me. 

I just finished her novel The House I Loved two days ago.  It is about Napoleon III's and Baron Haussman's destruction of old Paris to build the grand boulevards and avenues.  Rose, the main character, fights the destruction of her family home. I found more of Mme de Rosnay's (perhaps next time we met I can call het Tatiana!) novels at a bookstore and will read them in French.  I can't wait.

The Best Guide in Paris was wonderful and took great care of us and stayed with us until our train pulled out of the Gare de Lyon yesterday.

My old friend M. Mistral met me at the station in Avignon and very nearly blew me away.  No kidding on that.  "He" is the wind that blows through this part of the world without a moment's notice and who is said to drive people crazy.  The gusts are around 50 mph right now, I think.  I wore a dress to school since we were officially welcomed to the area by mayors, the local press, and school officials, but M. Mistral didn't care about making my legs (clad only in tights) cold or messing up my hair.

We spent today at school, visiting classes.  Tomorrow we will visit the Palais des Papes, the famous bridge of Avignon, and the town of Villeneuve-lez-Avignon.  I sincerely hope that M. Mistral takes a long nap in a nice little borie somewhere tomorrow (and for the rest of our stay).  Otherwise one of my little girlies might get blown into the Rhone river.  That might be a bit difficult to explain to the parents, n'est-ce pas?

Mme P is working late tonight, having her conseil de classe meeting and I have managed to spend almost an hour writing just this little bit.  C'est vrai malheureusement.

Bon appétit (I just found the é!), mes amis! 

Food adventures soon!  Let me just close with the memory of the warm fondant au caramel that I had for dessert at Le Bistro d'en Face in Paris...  I will learn to make this little cake that oozes warm caramel when you cut into it with your spoon.

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