Tuesday, August 5, 2014

many steps

The plan for the day involved climbing the towers of Notre Dame, looking at the inside, the Crypts, Sainte-Chapelle and then possibly other things on or off the Ile de la Cité if we had time.

We got to Notre Dame pretty much when we intended - a bit before the towers opened.
This is half the line.
We decided to stand in line and reassess the plan after.

Monday, August 4, 2014

day off

We were starting to get pretty tired, our feet hurt, and my back problems (which had been giving me virtually no trouble for months!) started flaring up again, so we decided that instead of going to the Louvre on Monday and Versailles on Tuesday, we'd take the day off, skip Versailles on this trip, and move the Louvre to Wednesday (when they're open late anyway).  This was, after all, supposed to be vacation.

Lazy mornings are nice.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

many instruments

When I was last in Paris, as part of my university's orchestra tour celebrating Berlioz during the summer of 2003, we spent a day at the museum of music at the Cité de la Musique. I remember feeling like I hadn't had enough time there, and that it was really interesting, and wanted to go back.  So G (a nonmusician) indulged me, and we did.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

trees, cows and naked ladies

When we arrived at the Musée D'Orsay, about 20 minutes before opening, nobody was there yet. We decided to go around the corner to a café for something warm to drink and a croissant to fortify us for the morning of art. When we came back round the front of the museum at 9:30am for the opening, there was already a moderate line - but luckily we were still in time to not have to wait long.

Musée D'Orsay

Friday, August 1, 2014


We have arrived.
The train car which brought us from Toulouse to Paris was a sleeper car... it turns out that those uncomfortable sleeper car triple bunk beds can be converted to rather uncomfortable bench seats and a luggage rack. My back really didn't appreciate this, but luckily we only had 5 people in our cabin (the cabin seats six), and G and I had our bench to ourselves... so I spent almost the entire journey laying down with my Kindle.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

the indomitable tomato plant

The indomitable tomato
So you remember how I said a few weeks ago that we had a week of wind and one of the big tomato plants fell over and squished my tomato seedlings?

Or maybe I didn't and just posted on Facebook. Well, we had a week of hard wind, followed by a few days of reasonable weather, followed by almost a week of not quite as much wind... and one of my bigger tomato plants fell over and squished the seedlings I'd planted out just before the wind because the weather looked like it was going to hold.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

sad sage is sad

A few days ago, I noticed that my sage looked like it had some whitish spots on it, but didn't think much of it.

Today, it looked a lot worse, so I asked the internet. It looks like I've got a case of powdery mildew.  Apparently, I have inadvertently provided it good conditions: warmish days with cool nights, most watering done from overhead, allowing humidity within the plant, and not a ton of air circulation (it's gotten quite bushy and thick).

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

gyoza skins

I've been making, or helping my mother make, gyoza for years. She has an amazing filling recipe, and I've made it with great success a number of times.

The problem is, here in France, gyoza wrappers are a little more difficult to come by than the SF Bay Area. I've made them with wonton skins from the big Asian store, but it's a little bit of a hassle to get to the store.  A while back, I went to a gyoza party hosted by someone I met at my French language school, and he made the gyoza wrappers himself - opening my eyes to the idea this was possible.

Monday, April 14, 2014


A couple of years ago, I semi-successfully managed to have beans and tomatoes on the balcony. I intended to try again last year, but the weather was so weird for so long that it was May before I knew it, and too late to really try.