22 November 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Since it's the Thanksgiving holiday in the states, we're doing our part as 'Mericans to celebrate over here, too. Our poulet rôti (rotisserie chicken) from my favorite stall at the market smells delicious and is ready as a stand-in for the traditional turkey. Side dishes are prepped.  Glasses are filled and the fire is crackling.

We'll be going around the table saying reasons why we are thankful.  They are numerous. We have amazing friends and family.  We have our health. We are surrounded by love.  We have much and I am thankful that we have the ability to appreciate all that we have instead of focusing the opposite.  It's a skill that we hone here at the hibou+heron household and I am so glad that we do.  It makes our existence so much richer. I am thankful for a wonderful husband.  I am grateful for our beautiful, little boy and the wonder and joy he's brought into our lives.

I'm thankful that you read what I write and that it's enough to keep you coming back again.   Your support and readership mean so much. Thank you for that.

Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving or, if you don't observe the holiday, just a really great Thursday!

19 November 2012

thinking about holiday travel

the Alps as seen from our most recent flight to Nice

Will you be up in the friendly skies or out on the roads this holiday season? Clover and I will be heading to Seattle.  It's been years since I spent Christmas with my side of the family.  I am ecstatic, just buzzing with anticipation and I find it hard to concentrate on much else than thinking about our trip next month.  

It will just be Clover and me.  Félix will be working hard and studying harder amidst the holiday fêtes over here.  Needless to say my fear of flying still stands, especially since this time I'll be doing it solo. However, my trepidation has done nothing to overshadow the utter excitement for our stay in the states.  

I keep reminding myself of the quote above.  I find it applicable for this trip but also for making the most of the days until we are on our way and at cruising altitude high above the Atlantic.  I thought you might enjoy it, too?  

Wishing you safe travels, holiday or otherwise, wherever they take you and much happiness along the way. 

15 November 2012

a more somber side

Today, you can find me blogging at Little Village Life on Angloinfo.  I'm talking about November 11th and an image that changed my view of World War II.

I hope you will visit me there!

13 November 2012

afternoon at the park

We headed to the park an excuse to get out of the house and into the fresh air . It was one of those beautiful fall days, one that starts crisp and cold but quickly warms up, making heavy coats an unnecessary afterthought.

The fall leaves have tumbled from their high canopy into a think blanket covering the ground.  We spent some time picking them up, tossing them and watching as they drifted to the ground.  They crunched underfoot, their earthy smell heady and heavenly as we walked towards the pond.

With the the sun magically filtering through colorful leaves, only a few ducks remain hiding in the shadows of the still water.  The rest have already flown on towards warmer climates.

Clover has developed a new habit of walking with his hands in his pockets -- all the time. I find it adorable.  I don't know where this came from.  Except I am always afraid that he's going to fall and end up flat on his face.  But then again that kind of seems like the constant risk of an energetic toddler, regardless of where he puts his hands, doesn't it?

09 November 2012

a nice warm-up

Recently, Félix and I had our first hot chocolate of the season.  Is it obvious whose mug requires the most marshmallows?

It's mine. It's always mine.

It practically required blackmail to get that man to put a fluffy marshmallow in his cocoa. He's still not sold on the idea, which is wonderful news of course;  it leaves many, many more for me.

How are you warming-up these days?

04 November 2012

the best way to visit Paris on foot

Needing an easy excuse for a weekend in Paris I decided to sign up for the 20 kilometrès de Paris race a couple months back.  It was the perfect reason to get us to the city of lights for a quick 36 hours in October. Paris did not disappoint, we had the best weekend.  We packed in a lot and it made for so much fun. Clover got to stay with Felix's parents and sister and be spoiled with attention while Félix and I traipsed around the capital.

Our friends loaned us their lovely apartment as a homebase for the weekend since they were out of town.  Don't they have such  a gorgeous view of the Théatre de la Renaissance? Thank you so much,  A&A! We really wanted to stay for days and days!

It was wonderful to be in the city. We stopped for a leisurely coffee and hid out from a bit of rain until the weather cleared to make our wanderings a little less damp.  After doing our best of being tourists for a bit, we went to the Trocadero to get my bib number for the race.  After a bit of a hiccup with the mandatory doctor's note , mine only specified that I was allowed to run  20 kilometers and it had to specify either  run the 20 kilomètres de Paris or run in competition.  Very strict about that, good to know!  So I had to call my doctor on a Saturday morning and get a new note scanned and emailed to me and then find a shady copy shop to print it out. In the meantime, we didn't let my momentary inattention to detail get us down. We went to lunch in a little bistro on  Rue Montorgueil and did some good people watching.  I managed to wrangle Félix into doing a tiny bit of shopping before we went back to the race headquarters where I waved my very dear athletic clearance and  I was finally officially eligible to run.

We had heard good things about the Edward Hopper exhibit at the Grand Palais but upon our arrival we learned of a 2-hour wait  to get in.  It was too much for our impatient souls.  We went for a celebratory flute of champagne and then headed to a sold out performance of A la Française at the Théatre Marigny.  A work written, directed and starring one of our preferred french actors, Edouard Baer.  It was hilarious and light-hearted, heavy hitting and thoughtful.  He wonderfully poked fun at french culture but also gave a bit of an ode to it as well. Félix and I both left grinning. It was so easy to get carried away in the story, the humor, the moment.

The next morning we headed to the foot of the Eiffel Tower and I got ready to race. This was my first time running with so many people.  There were about 25,000 runners. The race took us out towards the Bois de Boulogne and back through the city and along the banks of the Seine before bringing us back to the Eiffel Tower.   I loved how flat the course was! Compared to where I was doing all my training runs in the hilly, high altitude of the Alps, it was a very welcome change.

There were groups playing music every few kilometers all along the course and people cheered encouragement along the race route.  It was a grey rainy day and it only got more grey and more rainy as the race went on.  It did nothing to dampen my spirits though, it was so fun to be running around Paris with the streets closed just for me... ahem, us, all of us runners.

There were so many people:  participants, supporters, organizers.  Félix and I lost each other until we met up at our pre-determined post-race spot overlooking the Eiffel Tower.   I was greeted with cheers from Félix and his cousin. I ran it in two hours, I was hoping to be faster than that but overall,  I am really happy with my run.  I had a lot of fun and would do it again in heartbeat.  And before we knew it was time to catch the train home and find our little Clover  so that we could cover him with kisses. Now, the only lingering question is what race to sign up for next.  Any ideas?

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