Friday, December 26, 2008


Update: Click on the image above to link to David's Flickr set of all the Christmas pics.

We’re just settling back to our pre-visitor routine after about 10 days of various guests and an assortment of maladies. In the days leading up to Christmas, we were treated to many delicious dinners courtesy of Tasia’s friend David (from now on referred to as David A. to avoid confusion with my David). Our consumption of the trifecta of fat (croissants, fromage, and cookies) hit an all time high (really, I didn’t even know it could get any higher!), and we managed a few outings, including two that were child-free.

The pre-Christmas highlight for me was definitely getting a few girl-hours to shop for dresses in town with Tasia. She found 3 that are true Tas (short, tight, flirty as hell), and I found one that I love, love, love (not quite so short, but the other adjectives certainly apply :-).

Christmas Eve day Anna made cookies for Santa, which she later put out with vin chaud (what, you expected milk? Americans!). Going to sleep that night she kept saying “I’m so excited,” and it was just so sweet. (Side note: a few days before Christmas we saw “Santa” riding in a horse-drawn carriage around Rouen. Anna and I chased the carriage for a block or so with Anna beaming and yelling “I’m so happy!!!” the whole time. It was definitely one of my favorite moments of this trip.)

Christmas itself was lovely, filled with the enthusiasm that only a 3-year-old can manage, as well a champagne (the real kind), and the usual goodies. We had agreed to limit gift-giving to stocking stuffers, the sillier the better. There were a few exceptions, most notably the gorgeous necklace David bought me. I had spotted it one day racing through Printemps (sort of the French Macy’s) in search of gloves (I managed to lose one each of mine and Anna’s in the first week here). He remembered and has now created a big problem, as there are 4 showrooms for the jewelry line in Paris!

Christmas dinner was the brunch we never got around to earlier, followed by the first 3 episodes of Season 1 of Californication and the finalé of season 4 of Weeds (perhaps not the expected choice for Christmas—unless you know the crowd that was present!). This is actually one of the interesting things about this trip—the dichotomy between the very old architecture, roads, etc., and the technology we have access to. Because we brought a laptop and WiFi base station, we have access to the world. Pair that with the big screen and video projector in the house and we can download and watch most anything we want. The most surreal example of this has been sitting in this funky, old, French house projecting Barack Obama in HD and larger than life onto the screen to watch his podcasts. Surreal because of what I mentioned above, but also because we are so hopeful and encouraged by who he is and what he has to say. And we just can’t believe that this man is our President, that for the first time in 8 years, we are willing to call someone our President. (Sorry for the political tangent!)

As much as we loved having our friends here to help us celebrate, I am enjoying the quiet (ok, relative quiet) that comes from just being our little family. We have time for a few more adventures and then it’ll be time to head home. Nine more days left—hard to believe.

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