Saturday, December 26, 2009

I Lo ve Paris

Well...DUH. Who wouldn't.
I've probably put on 10pounds in 4 days and I don't even eat dairy...unless you hide the butter in a croissant...or chocolate...or that dressing on my salad tonight that may well have had a tablespoon of sour cream in the vinegar mix (but it was so good--well worth any eye infection I may get from eating too much dair).

The weather has been good with me, but Chris is cold. Pat is doing fine.

I got to interview Jim Haynes! He's great and gave a wonderful interview. Here's hoping it makes it through security. I hear they are clamping further down due to some sort of issue on a delta flight. Whatever. If I must get stuck due to security measures, I'll just have to live in Europe. Not a bad deal.

On Christmas day we started at the Montparnasse Cemetery (forgive misspellings, I'm on a weird netbook and don't have time for nonsense like spell check) visiting Simone de Beauvoir, Jean Paul Sartre, Marguerite Duras, the Pigeons (a couple who had a statue of themselves on the bed (not "in" as it were) done on their grave, Jean Seberg, and others. Very cool.

Today we started with the catacombs. I think we might have a death theme going.

Tomorrow we hope to hit a sort of Parisian version of a garage sale. Awesome.

The food has been FABULOUS. Pat canceled dinner reservations on Christmas so we could indulge in food at the street fair on the Champs Elysees before we rode a giant ferris wheel at sunset with a view of Paris but especially the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe. So cool.

We haven't hit museums yet, but I hit the big ones in 1984 when I was on exchange to France. I'm sure the Mona Lisa looks the same. I'd rather have a fresh crepe with nutella. So I did.

OK, must give the netbook back to Pat (Thanks for the loan Pat!)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Joyeux Noel and Haappy Neuw Yeor

Ok, the first bit is actual French because I'm spending Christmas in Paris. The second part is super bad fake Dutch because 1) I don't know real Dutch 2) I couldn't figure out how to put an umlaut over anything for a more realistic fake Dutch, and 3) I don't really know what would make something seem like fake Dutch.

I'm going to Paris for 5 days over Christmas and on to Amsterdam for 5 days over new years. And NO I'm not going to be smoking pot. Do people not have any other impression or information about Amsterdam? Anything about it being a major port since god was a boy? The amazing canal system? The Christmas traditions made quasi-famous by David Sedaris? ANYTHING? NO? Just the pot and the whores?
Both, by the way, getting less popular.

Amsterdam also has things like museums full of famous Dutch paintings (Rembrandt, Vermeer, whatnot), some viking history stuff, some canals...all over the place. It has been a port since god was a boy and of course the Dutch colonized Indonesia and much of that history is apparent in the local culture (e.g. lots of good Indonesian restaurants).
The downside for me is that the local food is dairy based. I'm sure I can muddle through!

In Paris my lovely Aunt Chris and Unca Pat are hosting me at the Le Meridien Montparnasse. The hotel is at the Gare Montparnasse (train station) for easy access and behind the hotel is the Montparnasse Cemetary. This may not sound uber cool to many of you, but it is to me. Simone de Beauvoir, Jean Paul Sartre, Jean Seberg, and many other super cool dead people are there. AND most graves seem to have a large chunk of art stuck on them. I'm sure there will be many photos upon my return.

This trip has been possible for a while, but the stupid jury duty was in the way. 2 weeks ago I got cleared of duty and am thusly going to gay Paris and (given the proximity to scandinavia I'm assuming) repressed Amsterdam.

In Amsterdam, Chris and Pat will be staying at the very posh Hotel Pulitzer and I will be renting a tiny tiny attic studio apartment called "Marnix Studio" about a 10 or 15 minute walk from their hotel. You can see a bit of the studio here:
and here:

I think the hotel and the apartment will be quite a switch from my usual crap trailer on the rez. And it will all be about 1 month from spending time in the cabin in Montana where we pooped in a hole in the ground (a very nice cement lined hole with a seat and lid and a little hut over it, but the basic technology is still crapping in a hole in the ground)

Then again...toilet technology in Europe is all over the map. Some very swanky and high tech, and some are squat type holes in the ground. So we'll see.

At any rate, it will be an awesome trip.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Cabin Campin' 'n Cookin'

Went camping in the cabin with Jeanne and the girls and the dogs for Thanksgiving. (Hi Jeanne and the girls and the dogs). It was lovely, though a tad warm for my taste. Almost 60 degrees the first day.

It's amazing how quiet is out there, even right next to a "highway" (which is closed in the winter a couple miles west of the cabin so only locals and hunters on it). We had fun cooking tons of stuff in the oven....chili-en-croute, pie, cinnamon rolls, and much much more. Not to mention the fudge factory in town. Lovely as usual, though I didn't get any fudge this time. I don't know why. It just didn't seem like fudge weather. We only had a few days and many things to cook so not much hiking got done, though a fine time was had by me. The others will have to speak for themselves.

I have photos, but I can't find my photo card reader so I can't download them. I need to dig a corner of the living room out so the landlord can take out the oil stove. Maybe it's in that pile of crap. If not, it's in a different pile of crap. One way or another, I'm sure crap is involved.