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Friday, December 31, 2010

silver art clay jewelry - second creation

Here is my second art clay creation!  The product is Silver Art Clay ~ which is silver in the form of clay.  I molded it into a heart shape, waited till it was dry, filed and sanded it, fired it then polished it!  And voila jewelry!

I made this one in October for myself this time.  Lots more to come but they are Christmas Gifts and are top secret until they are opened!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

october 2010

I forgot to post some of the fun activities we did in here is a general post about the month.

It is FALL...leaves are turning.  We are wearing sweaters and occasionally coats!  I am not used to this kind of weather being from Florida.  It is also very gray everyday...

This month we went to the Aquarium at Trocadero (which is near the Eiffel Tower)...M loved it!  Even though he is still so small he loved seeing the fish and sharks.  It is VERY expensive 20 euros per person (babies under 2 are free).  But we had a buy one get one free ticket from  I think once he is about 5 years old he will love it.  They had tons of activities for older kiddos (touching pool, marionette theatre,  arts and crafts area (they were making headbands), fish themed movies etc...

We also met F's parents in Chantilly for lunch (they camp in the summers near there to get out of the city...much needed as I am figuring out!).  This time we took a tour of the castle and gardens.  It is very pretty and still green even for Fall ;-)

That's about it for our October - except for Halloween which was on another Post.

Happy Fall...Hopefully Happy Winter as well

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

a french halloween

the French do not celebrate Halloween...well not as widely as in the US or England.

We were invited to an international kid's party...the kids were all 2 and under so not too many costumes lasted very long (or not at all in some cases!). And no trick or treating was involved...not that M would understand at this age. But we will need to figure out something when he is about 4/5 years old.

Here are some pics of M in his Monkey Costume (The only way to get him to sit for the photo shoot was to bribe him with a real prop) ENJOY!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

london trip

Here is my review on London...

F was already in England for business so I took the train (Eurostar) by myself. I was a bit familiar with Gare du Nord (Paris Train Station) but just assumed their trains would be with the TGV (French High Speed Trains) but they weren't. After about 15 mins I figured out the check in/security was on a different level. It is similar to the airport minus all the liquid restrictions. I did have to speak to an immigration agent and explain why I was living in France and why I was going to London...The waiting area for Eurostar is very nice...shops, cafe's etc just like an airport. The train ride was nice and relaxing.

At first I thought that London's Underground aka "Tube" was easier and better than Paris's Metro...but after our trip I have changed my mind. The fares are so EXPENSIVE! 4 pounds for a single fare...yet a day pass is only 5 pounds 2o pence. Keep in mind this is POUNDS not Dollars or Euros. We were lucky since the Euro is very strong right now (not higher than the Pound but not too bad in comparison). Paris's metro single fare is at 1.80 euros but you can buy a Carnet of 10 tickets for 12 euros (that's 1.20 euros a fare - to use on the Bus/Metro/RER (within Paris's Zones). I think we also have passes for tourists as well but I don't know the costs. Also, the weekend we were there (a holiday weekend) 4 tube lines were completely closed as I guess they are working on them. This caused craziness on the other lines. Packed platforms and tube cars! I mean PACKED FULL to capacity. People smushed inside the trains. Also their platforms are very not very deep so they couldn't hold the capacity that was coming down to catch a train. I noticed that the employees had to close the entries because there were too many people already on the platform. People were not happy.

The weather was terrible...but basically the same in Paris this time of the year so we dealt with it.

We stayed in Victoria because it is in walking distance to Westminster and short train rides to the big attractions. We stayed at Premier Inn which was super clean and well situated (close to Victoria Station and bars/restaurants). It was moderately priced compared to the other hotels in the areas we were looking at (Mayfair, Chelsea, Victoria and Westminster). Before going I thought it would be like the US chain Holiday Inn or Best Western but it was nice (basic but nice). More like a Double Tree (minus the shampoo/coffee etc...).

Our first day we walked around Westminster. We saw Buckingham Palace first and was fortunate enough to witness the changing of the guards. We got some really great photos since this time of the year there aren't as many tourists. But they also aren't wearing their red coats since it was so cold :-(

 Then we headed to Westminster Abbey. It was Armistice Day (aka Veteran's Day in the US) so they were having a service. And Prince Phillip (the Queen's husband) was there! We got to see him. My pic below he is hidden of course (man to the very left with the uniform on). I have read that in the past The Queen herself has been in attendance at Westminster for Armistice Day but not this year :-( She must have been at another event.

After Westminster we walked by Big Ben and Parliament. It is a really beautiful building. F thought it was a bit depressing looking. But I like it! Afterward we went on The London Eye which is a slow (extremely slow) moving Ferris Wheel. It was nice to see London from up high and to get great photos!

 For lunch we stopped at Sherlock Holmes Pub for the best Fish and Chips we had all weekend (tried 3 different places btw ;-). I had read online somewhere (Frommer's I think) that they had good F&C but it was just random that we decided to go in. Since we were soaking wet from the rainstorm that had just blown by (see pic below haha!).

Then we finished the day off with a walk through the National Gallery (which is FREE btw!). They had some great pieces (Ruben's, Titian's, Van Gogh's, Renoir's, Cezanne's, Seurat's, Rembrant's and the list could go on...).

It was a long day but we still had reservations at a fancy Indian restaurant that a friend recommended. Tamaraind - it was the BEST Indian food I have ever tasted we really indulged F even got a Cognac :-)

The next day we went to Notting Hill (long tube ride since some lines were closed). We walked around and looked around some stores and made our way to Hyde Park. Notting Hill is so quite and peaceful part of town. We ended up in Mayfair and did some window shopping since we only found high end shops on New/Old Bond Street. We decided it wasn't worth buying expensive things we could get in France or the US minus the exchange rate and fees. So if there was something British that we could only find in Britain then ok. That night we had reservations at a nice French Restaurant...but not a normal French Resto. They had more Fresh products and cooking. We both had Fish that was so good! Everything was excellent. Restaurant's name is Cheyene Walk Brasserie btw.

Saturday our last day/night in London we went to The Tower of London. We LOVED it! We took the mini tour which is a part of the entry fee. It was so great to hear the stories of the Tower. The Castle is still a working Castle. Below is a picture of our guide (aka Yeoman Warder) he actually lives here in the castle with his family. All of the Yeoman's do! At midnight (like in the old days) they would lock the main gate. No one can come in or out without the Byward (password). The byward is only given out by the Queen! For good reason since The Family Jewels are housed/guarded here! I tried to take a photo inside where the Jewels are and I was threatened "Put away that camera unless you would like to lose that pretty head of yours" I immediately put it away haha!

The Jewels are so indescribably beautiful. I can't even begin to imagine how much they are valued at. And F and I were so amazed that someone "attempted" to steal them only ONCE! He was caught before leaving the Tower. Someo get away how he was pardoned by the King and also awarded a pension of 500 pounds every year until he died...not sure what kind of dirt he had on the King to get away with that one.

Also we saw where Queen Anne Boleyn and others lost their heads as The Tower of London was a Prison and execution site.

It was very interesting morning and we are so glad we decided to do it!

That afternoon we went shopping near Harrod's and picked up a few things for ourselves. Harrod's was crazy busy. It was an interesting looking department store. But interesting doesn't make for an organized store. Def just another touristy place not a place locals go for their daily shopping (at least this is what I think).

The final night was our Theatre night! We headed over to Piccadilly Circus (aka London's Time Square!). And saw The 39 Steps at Criterion Theatre. It was an awesome play - there were only 4 actors total and about 20 characters! It was funny to see them change characters it was a part of the bit. The play is based on a movie by Alfred Hitchcock...I didn't know he made comedies but we will have to check out the movie now after seeing the play!

The next morning we were up bright and early. Taxi driver came at 7am to take us to the train station. And BOOM! When trying to get down the stairs I missed one step and fell on my right ankle and then in an effort of catching myself fell on both sides of my left ankle! I could move my ankles and hobbled into the Taxi so I knew they weren't broken (or at least I hoped so). I really wanted to get home so we decided to take our train back to Paris and then go to the hospital. The ride was ok. I was not in any pain unless I walked so I was good. F's dad picked us up and took us to the Hospital. After 4 hours in the ER (it was Sunday which is common for most ER's on a Sunday). I left with 2 sprained ankles (left more severe than the right - yes the one I fell on while trying to not fall!). I now have to wear braces on my ankles (left 1 month/right 3 weeks), inject myself everyday (for 30 days) with anticoagulant, give blood 2x's a week and start PT after 3 weeks for 15 sessions! Big ordeal but at least it happened at the END of our trip to London :-)

It has been almost 2 months I feel much better...after 3 weeks I was able to walk without my canes.  And after about 5 weeks without my braces.  PT is done now I still don't feel 100% but getting there!


I will be posting our London Trip has been almost 2 months since our trip. the end of the post and you will see why it took me so long to get caught up!


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

london here we come...

F and I will be in London for 4 nights without little M. We are excited to have some alone time and explore a new city!

Full report when we get back

Friday, November 5, 2010

did you know...

Did you know...

That the time has changed here (Daylight Savings has ended) last weekend?!? We are only 5 hours different than the US but it is only until Sunday at 2am EST. We (European Union) change 1 week earlier than the US. Not sure is truly confusing but it's only for 1 week ;-)

Friday, October 29, 2010

asleep at the wheel

Funny pic to lift your spirits