Monday, December 26, 2011

Oysters for Christmas


Christmas Eve
On Christmas Eve, we went to my uncle’s house. There was my Tonton (uncle) Serge, Tonton Alain, and lots of other family people. When the first course was served, there were oysters—alive!—and the main thing about eating oysters is that you swallow the whole thing, except the shell. I didn’t do that.  Papa cut it into very little pieces so I could eat it. Obviously the oyster was dead now, and there was an adult there named Mikail who didn’t like oysters, and Papa served him a little piece to eat. What do you know? He leaned back because he was afraid to eat the oysters. So, Mama said that I was brave to eat it.

Mikail taught me how to juggle plastic tree ornaments, but I'm still not like one of those professionals who can juggle three balls. We stayed up until 4 o'clock in the morning!

We also ate lobster, duck, potato gratin dauphinois, a chocolate buchette (fancy “yule log roll”), and I had a raspberry macaroon. There was also lots and lots of wine, red, white and bubbly.

After a while, almost everyone was saying they heard a sound. One of the aunties asked me to look out the window to see if someone was there. A second later, we heard the doorbell. We opened the door inside the hall, and standing there was Pére Noel, or Santa Claus, who had four presents for me! Here’s a picture of one of them:

This is a Bobble Head Darth Vader.



On Christmas Day, I started getting really lucky because by then I’d gotten about a dozen things for Christmas.  I’m spoiled. This was in my stocking:

A flashlight/keychain/Lego Darth Vader.

I also made a Monopoly game of Star Wars. I’ll show it to you:

My favorite part of France is when I see my French uncles.

On Christmas Day, we took a walk in a really good park called Belleville Park.  There was the longest slide I’d ever seen, and I slid on my belly.  If you saw me, you’d have thought I was going 50 miles per hour!

French Words of the Day: Tonton and Tata (sweet names for Uncle and Aunt) like Tonton Serge and Tata Sylvie!

Fun Fact of the Day:
Instead of dollars, French people use Euros.  They are coins.  They still have paper money, for 50, 20, 10, and 5 Euros.

Merry Day-After Christmas! Only two more days of blogging.

Friday, December 23, 2011

The Day Before the Day Before Christmas

We went to the French Market again!  Remember earlier?  That French Market that had the panties next to oranges? Well, we went there, mainly because Maman was going to get me a toy.  But it didn't seem like their toys were that interesting. So we got some vegetables instead.

Then we went to a store nearby, and they had quite a lot of cool toys.  Some of the things they had were motorized dune-buggy-looking cars and motorcycles, but what I really wanted and picked was a common Battleship game. In France, they call it Sea Battle.


This may seem a bit short, but there's not much else we did. I'm not going to tell you every single second to make this longer, so have a happy day before the day before Christmas!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Busy Day

From yesterday morning until afternoon, we were locked in the apartment! This is what happened. We searched about the whole apartment for hours for the keys.  We have to use the keys to get OUT of the house, so basically, we were locked in. Imagine! Staying inside a house until 3 o'clock when Paris is waiting outside for you! (Then, in the afternoon, my Papa came home from work and said, "Oh, I'm terribly sorry!  I took both the keys with me!" He gave me a yummy yule log as a treat and kept apologizing to us.)

But before he came home, I felt puzzled.  I felt so sad because we were planning to go to the bakery and the Eiffel Tower. So after a while, we started to make ourselves a gingerbread house from a cottage kit because there was nothing else to do. It made us happy again. When the cottage kit was finished, this is what it looked like:

And did I tell you yet that one day this week, in Papa's sleep, in the middle of the night, Papa sang the beginning of a Wagner opera! It startled me awake, he was so loud. Then Mama and me started laughing our heads off.  And then Papa woke up and said, "Oh, I'm sorry!  I was singing in my sleep!" It makes me laugh so hard right now!

After we got the keys, we didn't go up the Eiffel Tower like we wanted to.  Unfortunately, the line was so long that it would probably take 45 minutes to get our tickets, which was crazy because there was about 151 people in the line. Instead, I got some hot chocloate and some cotton candy and we walked along some wonderful shops that were lit up for Christmas.  There were things like bubble blowers, some hats, hot chocolate, hot wine, rings, hats, and a lot more.

And today, we went to a different part of the city: the Louvre. Mainly, the best part you can see of it is the glass pyramid. (Maman is groaning at me now.)  The Louvre is so big, it would take two days to search the whole Louvre. We visited the Egyptian antiquities. After that, we fed the ducks and seabirds and pigeons in the Jardin des Tuilleries (a garden in front of the museum). Let me tell you, over one little crumb of food, they would try to poke each other's eyes out.  The amazing thing about those seabirds was that if you threw a crumb high in the air where they could see it, they could catch it in the air.

After, we walked through those shops again, but this time we were near the Champs Elysees. I got a type of food called a crepe (a thin pancake with chocolate and bananas wrapped up inside) and a hot chocolate.  Maman got vin chaud (hot wine). And here's the coolest part: we saw Pere Noel (Santa Claus) and some reindeer, including Rudolph.  They were up high in air in a sleigh hanging from a motorized cable tied to a really long line.  Of course, this Santa wasn't a real Santa--he was just one of those guys with a beard. He was talking a lot in French, so I couldn't understand him, but I think he said, "Merry Christmas" and to be good boys and girls.

That was pretty much all.  This day was pretty busy for us because we walked for miles to get through all those shops. Our feet were killing us.

Tomorrow, I'm going to sleep in. 

French word of the day: chocolat chaud (shock-oh-lah show), which means hot chocolate
French Fact of the Day: The Louvre isn't just a museum with a glass pyramid.  It used to be a castle, and the original stones of the castle are in the basement floor of the museum.

Monday, December 19, 2011

After two days

Since the blog didn't get shown up for two days, this post will be extra long.  But first, let me tell you about what happened in these two days.

First, I went in a train that lasted for about two hours.  When we finished, we took a car ride that lasted about an hour. When we were riding in the car, my mom's friend Amy pointed to a REAL medieval castle. It had quite a lot of turrets. And it was in the middle of a suburb!

When we got out of the car, we were in the French countryside!  We went into a somewhat abandoned-looking castle, but when we got inside, it looked like a regular beautiful house. This was Miss Amy's house. Miss Amy writes books.  She has a four and a half year old girl and a 6 year old boy. At first they opened up some toys that I gave them as presents. We ran around and played with swords (it was really fun). When I was safe, I did a dance and sang, "I am protected!" I could speak a little French and the kids could speak English a bit, so we could understand each other. Then, there was a little shed with a little trampoline inside. We jumped on that for a little while.  I haven't been on a trampoline for at least six months, so I quite enjoyed it. Then we played swords again and played on the computer.  

(We took pictures, but we forgot our computer cord, so we can't download the pictures from the camera.)

For dinner, we ate veal with Papa's sauce, some salads, and some things that I'm not sure what they were. But they were good. We had a tarteline for dessert.

We spent the night in the country.  That was Saturday.  Before I tell you about Sunday, let me tell you something pretty cool.  Me and my mom finally finished the Lego Millenium Falcon on Sunday morning. Here it is, my big Christmas present. (I opened it early because it wouldn't fit in a suitcase for the plane.)

Han Solo is driving

inside
On Sunday, back in Paris, we went to a very good friend of Papa's. Her name is Madame Francoise. She is a very very very lucky woman because in her apartment, you can see the Eiffel Tower. At night, it starts to glow with yellow light.  And then, every hour for a few minutes, the Eiffel Tower starts to sparkle like fireworks with bluish-white lights. Her daughter lives downstairs, and the coolest thing about her room is that she has a bookshelf, and that bookshelf is technically a secret doorway to another house that belongs to Madame Francoise's sister! I also saw Biscotte, the little lazy cat of the house. She's round, and she gets up only when she's hungry, pretty much.

We stayed there until midnight. There were 11 people for dinner in total.  The dinner lasted a very very long time.  Papa asked a 9 year old boy named Alexandre if he wanted to play checkers with me. (He doesn't really speak English.)  So we did, and guess who won?  (Me!)


French word of the day:  
cadeau (ca-doh) I gave cadeaux to Miss Amy's children.

French Fact of the Day: 
People shop for their fresh foods at a French market.  If you're thinking Tom Thumb or Walmart, they don't have that here! A French market sells things like sardines and bread and octopus and radishes and toothbrushes and toys and potatoes outside with a tent roof over it, and it only lasts for a few hours. It's pretty odd, but this is true: we saw all sorts of things for sale at the market, like panties for sale right next to oranges.

Well, I hope you enjoyed this extra long post.  And we won't forget to do another post tomorrow, so please show up and give me a comment!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Breakfast in Paris

It's 11:43, and I'm eating my breakfast!  I didn't sleep very well last night.  I was awake trying to get to sleep. Mama calls it "jetlag."

Here is my breakfast, French style:
Two dark chocolate cookies, yogurt with fruit, licorice tea, and orange juice.


This cookie will be the French phrase of the day. Here is a petit ecolier (puh-tea eh-coh-lee-eh), which means little schoolboy. We got two flavors: dark chocolate and noisette (hazelnut) chocolate
 Mmm.  French food makes me full.

Papa came home last night with a REAL tree!  I thought it was going to be from the ground to my waist. In fact, it's even taller than me! We used a purple bird instead of a star on top.
Today, we're going to see the movie Hugo, which I have never heard of.  We wanted to see The Adventures of Tintin because I LOVE reading those comic books, but it's not in the English version here.  Which means we wouldn't understand most of the words because I don't know French that well.

French fact of the day:
Usually when you're traveling to France, the first night you have trouble sleeping. So plan to stay in bed until noon, and try not to complain! It's vacation!

PS: Bonjour, Mrs. Micek and 3rd Grade!  Bonjour, Hayden and Josh!
PPS: This is a picture of TinTin
The letters are backwards! Silly camera!



Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas in Paris 2011

Well, I'm back in Paris!  And this time, I'm staying for two weeks, not one! I get to come here for Christmas because Papa is working. (Hi, Mrs. Micek! Hi, Third Graders!)


The trip started yesterday, and we're still awake. And here are some pictures we took while we were in the 8 and a half hour plane trip.  And let me tell you one thing: we were being silly.










Right now, I’m in a little house called an appartement (uh-part-uh-mont). We have a little back yard garden called a terrace (tare-ross), which is rare for homes in a big city like Paris.
Here is a picture of me in our appartement:



I have two bits of bad news:
1.  I forgot my favorite stuffed animal, who I love to take on my trips. I left him in a carry-on bag on the sofa at home. It made me feel horrible because I got Violet (my purple bear) when I was four years old, and I've slept with him every single night, even on trips. I practically had a heart-attack. 
2. My mom (not me!) forgot the cord that allows you to take pictures and send them from the camera to the computer for this blog. Unfortunately, it will be harder to download the pictures we take in France. We'll think of something . These pictures were taken from my mom's laptop. It's not like she can carry her laptop every single place we want to go and videotape me!  So maybe we'll just take pictures inside the appartement.

Here's the good news!
1. On the night before our trip, when all through the house, not a creature was stirring...wait, that isn't right! On the night before our trip, I opened up most of my Christmas presents because most of the presents were too humungous to fit in the luggage. My favorite was the Lego Star Wars Millenium Falcon.

2.  In one hour we're going to get a Charlie Brown Christmas Tree (a VERY teeny tiny tree).

3. We are in Paris!

Here is the French phrase of the day:
Je m'appelle _______.
(zhu ma pell...______)
This means, "My name is..."  Je m'appelle Julien!

If you'd all be kind enough to visit my blog tomorrow, I'll write another post about a really cool park nearby.

Fun Fact of the day:
When you're riding on the Metro (subway), sometimes all over trucks, buildings and walls, people spray paint pictures and words.  Mom says it's called graffiti. Some of it's not pretty, but sometimes they can be very pretty. 

Please leave a comment if you like my blog, and come back every day.  I'll write about what I see and what I learn every day.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Last post about my trip to France

I'm back in Texas now. I gave Mrs. Villalpando, my teacher, a souvenir.  It had pink sparkly hearts on it, and the color of the key chain itself was silver.
My favorite thing about my trip to France was visiting monuments and seeing my uncles again.

Thank you for reading this. It took me a long, long time to finish my blog.  I really liked my very first blog.

Love,
Julien Remy

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Saturday and Sunday

Saturday, I spent with my French family.  Sunday, I flew back to Texas. I'm too tired to write more about my trip tonight.  We were in the plane for a long time.  I'll write my last blog tomorrow.  Here are some pictures.
Saturday at the science museum:









Saturday night at with my two French uncles and my French cousins:

ton ton Alain and me


Papa and me

ton ton Serge and me




Papa, Serge, and Alain (they're brothers)


Saying au revoir to my ton ton Alain and cousine Anne Sophie

My last morning in Paris.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Friday

Today, we are a little late because we were all a little tired after our visit with ton ton Alain (Uncle Alain).


The Moulin Rouge is a red windmill and it lights up at night.  This is near our apartment.

We went to the Bateaux Mouches today.  These are boats, and they sail the Seine river under bridges near landmarks and monuments in Paris.  A monument is where someone or something is being celebrated with a building or statue.  A great example of a monument is the Eiffel Tower, La Tour Eiffel.


Guess what?  Four times, tourists from China and Japan asked if they could take pictures of me with them on the boat.  It's funny because I'm really a stranger to them, but they wanted to take pictures of me with them like I'm part of their family. (Papa says it's because I'm so beautiful. I think Papa's trying to brag about his son.)




I filmed the water in the river.
video

I have not seen Uncle Alain for just about three years, and today I saw him! I was so excited I forgot to take a picture of him.
 Here are some more pictures of our night.  We were at ta ta Francoise's house again.
This is tête de veau (veal head) and andouillettes (pork sausages)

This is a piece of beauty AND a water pitcher

Mmm mm.  Would you look at those cherries.

I'm out on Francoise's patio. Can you spot the Eiffel Tower?

Julie and Julien

I'm with Biscotte, la chatte (the lady cat)

Julien and ta ta Francoise

Bonjour la chatte
French Word of the Day:

Le chat (luh shah) is a boy cat. La chatte (lah shot) is a girl cat.

French fact of the day:
In the metro (subway), there's a little clock timer that says 4 min, 3 min, 2 min, or 1 min. When it reaches 0, you can see the metro train coming to you!

video

Thank you, merci!  See you soon!