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Adventures with Josh

Adventures with Josh and some without.

Sticky Stuff

I have been craving Rice Crispy Treats.  Craving is putting it mildly, so tonight I figured that I would make some.

Josh continues to amaze me with the things he doesn't know...(I had to remind him tonight that Africa is a continent not a country) I have made Rice Crispy Treats many times since we have been married, most of the time the peanut butter kind that you don't have to have marshmallows to make, but Josh is still in disbelief that this gooey treat can be made in one's kitchen.

Tonight he decided to watch.  First, there was the amazement with how big marshmallows get in the microwave, and then the let down of how small they get when they are completely melted.  This was followed by the disbelief that there are really only 3 ingredients in Rice Crispy Treats and that it is really simple to make (he was ready to turn on the oven at one point.)  Then came the most suprising "discovery" of them all....they are sticky and apparently Josh doesn't like sticky.  I witness him running around the kitchen shaking his hands and jumping saying, "Oh...they are so sticky, don't touch me."  He couldn't watch me scrape the bowl because he was so turned off by the stickiness of it all.

Now as I type he is sitting beside me, digging into the pan of warm Rice Crispy Treats with a plastic fork because gooey stuff doesn't stick to plastic.  Then he asks, "Don't they ever get less sticky."  Yes they do if you can wait for them to cool.

I think I should make him make them the next time.....I bet they wouldn't even make it out of the bowl!

Fiddle-dee-dee

Back to "normal" life.  Which is depressingly unspectacular compared to galavanting in Paris for a week.

This little trip across the pond has definitely sparked a new interest in traveling to different countries.  I have this desire to get more and more stamps in my passport.  I've even read that there are some traveling crazies that have to request more pages be added to their passports because they completely filled theirs.  I want to need extra pages.  Right now my 2 little stamps are seeming very pathetic.  I can be in Canada in 5 hours according to Google maps.  I'm not sure what there is to see in Windsor Canada, seeing as it is beside Detroit it can't be that fabulous, but it would be another set of stamps.  Isn't that sad!

In other blog related news that isn't me complaining about being home from vacation, I need a new blog title.  I put this one out there in one of my first posts and only had suggestions from my dad, so I thought that I would use this poll button that I see when I make my posts to create my first poll.  So please vote on what you think should be the new title for my blog.  Maybe if it is something you came up with I will bake you something.  Just a thought.

Au Revoir Paris

I will miss you.   We will be back!!! Pictures will come soon.

Next Drupalcon is in San Francisco.....I hope we can go!

My Feet in Paris

These are my feet thus far in Paris.  I have some more pictures on the camera, but I'm at Drupalcon Nerdland and I don't have the card reader.

Today I visited Notre Dame again and climbed the tower.  What they don't tell you is that you really climb 2 towers.  You go up one side, across the front, and then up the tower on the other side.  There is also a little tiny door that you can go into the bell tower.  I was in there by myself so I totally pretended to be the hunchback!  The bells in the towers are almost twice as tall as me!

My timing was perfect to go up because after I got down a front came through bringing massive amounts of wind and rain.  Since the day turned south, I decided to check out Centre Pompidou.  By the time I figured out the metros to get there the sun was out again, but since I found the museum I went ahead and went inside.  It was most interesting.  I'm not much of an art person and I definatly didn't get some of the art that was in the museum.  What I found the most interesting was that they recongnized different things as art.  I have seen furniture in art museums before but nothing like the furniture at this one.  They also had video, documentary type stuff, as art.  Other rooms had speakers that were playing sounds or chanting of some kind.  The building itself is a work of modern art.  It was kind of strange to see such a colorful, big structure among the neat rows of Paris houses.

More feet to come...more Paris reporting to come!

I Hate the Louvre

Well, not really but the person that thought through the layout of the place didn't think very much.

Maybe I'm just a very tired grumpy tourist, but I don't enjoy backtracking. Especially when my feet hurt so much that I fear they will fall off and I will just be left with little stumps to tour this massive museum. Maybe it was that we were trying to see as much as we could see in two hours in a museum that could take two months to visit, if you really cared about art. Maybe it was that I had already been to the Palace of Versaille for 6 hours that day and my feet were already shot and they were revolting against touring the museum. I don't know, but there was very little of the museum that left a fond memory in my mind.

We saw the must sees...Mona Lisa (much smaller than I thought) and Venus de Milo. Those were easy because they have signs and mass quantities of people around them trying to take pictures. Josh and I were doing the same thing. Venus de Milo was more impressive because of where she was situated. She had her own domed room with dark marble walls. The domed room is at the end of a long corridor of other beautiful, but very much second fiddle statues. The view from the far end of the hall down to Venus de Milo was most impressive.

My other favorite part of the Louvre (so maybe I liked some of it) was the medieval castle ruins that are left from what was there before they decided to build the Louvre. The huge stone walls and turetts seemed huge until you looked at the information (in French...there isn't a single English sign in the place) and saw that the entire castle would fit in one tiny square of the whole museum. Impressive.

Then we got lost trying to use an elevator that went between 2 half floors. The Louvre looks like it only has 3 floors but what they don't tell you is that each of those floors has about 3 levels that are included on that floor. We were stuck somewhere between level 0 and -.06. I say that because the other fantastic thing about the French is that the ground floor is 0, so when you think that something is on the first floor and you won't have to climb any stairs....you are wrong because you are on floor 0. The French love their stairs!

Versaille is amazing. I recommend it to anyone that will be traveling to France. The palace is nice, but the real fun is the gardens, fountains, retreat palace, petite palace,the grotto (good luck finding it) and Marie Antoinette's village complete with sunflowers and chickens. Another tip is to rent the golf cart or bike because you can cover much more ground.

The day here in Paris has turned rather nice after threatening to rain all morning. We are hoping to make it up to the top of the Eiffel Tower tonight!!! Finally.

I would love to post more feet pictures but our internet service hasn't been the most reliable. It is hard enough to get a connection to update this, let alone load pictures. I promise you that there are lots of feet pictures, even a new creative idea of a foot picture. I will share them as soon as I can!

Paris...Day Two

Drupalcon begins. Rather than taking off completely on my own (which would be fine) I met up with the "Drupalgangers" which are the significant others of the drupal world. All of the rain put a damper on some of the plans to do a walking tour of some parks so the group divided and part went to the Catacombs while the rest went shopping. I found myself in the catacomb group with wonderful people from fun places like Cyprus and Ireland. If you are ever in Paris, be sure to see the catacombs...all the stairs are worth it....promise. After lunch with the crew, I took off for the Musee d'Orsay. I was a little sad because the water lily exhibit was closed for renovation until 2010, but then I thought this just means we will have to come back! It is always fun to see art in real life that you see pictures of. Then I thought it was funny because I was looking at the real thing and then taking pictures of them. I've already seen pictures of them, why am I taking more pictures of them? But that is what the masses were doing so I guess I just wanted to fit in. The plan was for Josh to meet me at the museum at 6. Josh thought the plan was for me to meet him at Drupalcon at 6. The down side of text messaging being the cheapest form of communication. Josh agreed to go ahead and meet me at the museum. I must say that I am very proud of him. He managed the metro in a different language and made it to the right place. We ended our day with a long walk through the Tuileries (a garden) and up the Champs Elysees (we at at McDonalds but it was still a cross cultural experience) and finally the Arch de Triomphe.....FAVORITE! It is HUGE. The first thing in Paris to be bigger than I expected. When we first came out on to the top we could see the Eiffel Tower, which had all of the lights sparkling because it was at the top of the hour. We spent and entire hour on the top enjoying the cool, breezy, rain free evening. I must be off to bed now as it is after midnight. I hope to send the post cards that are all written out tomorrow! Hopefully!

Where to begin?

We are exhausted! I don't even know where to begin!!! We are in France, not just France but Paris France. We keep looking at each other and say..."We're in France." Despite both of us being very jet lagged we couldn't rest when we got to our hotel. Today we tackled... The Paris metro...not the fancy trains you would think of but more like long underground buses....(they even have wheels and doors that only close automatically....you still have to open them....and NO air conditioning) We then walked some of the Quais of Paris...Low wide paths next to the Seine. I say some because.... Notre Dame caught our attention. Then we took a boat ride on the Seine that made both of us realize how tired we were. But we caught sites such as the Louvre , Musee de Orsay, St. Chappell and of course.....the Eiffel Tower. We are back to the hotel for the night. I'm falling asleep as I'm typing, Josh is already asleep. Night all.

Let the culture shock begin!

Josh called Paris today. Specifically he called our hotel. We found the hotel on the internet, looked at pictures, read reviews, and booked the room without ever talking to an actual person tied to the establishment. Had this been a normal Hampton Inn type establishment I would have called it done but I started to get nervous a few days ago. I began picturing Josh and I shivering on park benches in the Tuileries.

So I asked Josh to call Paris. I have no idea what this will do to our cell phone bill next month but I have the peace of mind that Jérôme seemed very nice on the phone, very helpful, and very much not a native English speaker. This seemed to surprise Josh.

Everything that Jérôme said directly to Josh was in very polite English.

Everything Jérôme said to himself while trying to figure out our reservation was spoken in French. But all is in order, they know we are coming and they are very excited that we are staying with them. Huge relief for me.

In other news, today I was also excited to find that there is a whole group of non Drupal people that are doing non Drupal things together. I looked at the schedule of some of their events and some looked like things that I wanted to see while others were not so interesting. I like the idea of being able to meet up with people and having some familiar faces but I also like the idea of setting off on my own adventure. I have signed up to do some of the touring on the first day with the group. I figured that it would be good to learn the metro system and basic city navigation with a group.

I also signed up for a Parisian cooking class!!!! I am so going to burst into the door and say Bon Appitie! in my best Julia Child voice. I'm super excited about learning how to cook an authenic French meal so I can bring that skill home and share it with everyone....I just hope that we don't cook snails or something else weird.

I had better get back to packing....is it really here?

It is almost here!

We are in full final prep mode.  It is hard to believe how quickly time has passed.  Josh says that I have read more than 3 books' worth of information planning this adventure.  What can I say?  I'm a planner.

In fact I was thrilled when I found a Numbers template for organizing a trip. (Numbers is like Excel for Mac without the need to drop kick your computer to get it to work) I have spent a lot of time typing in flight numbers, hotel confirmations, emergency contacts and packing lists.  The packing lists are my favorite part, because it has a column for check boxes.  Josh thinks I'm crazy, but I didn't see him complain when I asked him to add information.

I think that we have made the last trip to the store to get all our needed supplies.  The most difficult thing to find where plug converters.  We purchased (dad purchased for us) the voltage converter online but we figured we could get the outlet converter anywhere.   After looking at 2 stores that were completely sold out of all types of plug converters, Josh was wondering why so many people were buying them.  Purdue.  They are back and a huge number of international students with a need to plug in their international electronics.  Grrrr college town.  In the end Meijer pulled through for us and we bought the last 2 they had in stock!

I'm signing off for now.  We still have massive amounts of laundry to finish before leaving.  It seems that it takes a week trip for us to be motivated enough to do laundry.  :-)

Picking Flowers in Paris

Not really.  But really going to the bathroom in Paris.  My cousin Bonny raised the question in my head when she said to stick your foot in the door to save money when you go to the bathroom.  What?  Pay to do something that is a normal body function of every human being?  I guess that it is normal and thanks to the internet and Google, it is widely discussed topic for people that have never been to Europe.  Hmmm.  You learn something everyday.  Here are a few of the articles that I have enjoyed reading to prepare myself for what is sure to be one of the more interesting aspects of culture shock!

 

http://tinyurl.com/nrpubv

http://www.slowtrav.com/france/paris/rl_restrooms.htm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=77PTpgNE02I

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