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Back from France - Mo's Journal
February 27th, 2007
03:46 pm

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Back from France
My lover, my daughters, and I spent last week in France and had a totally wonderful time. It was February vacation in the schools here and we went Saturday to Saturday, staying with a family in a very pretty suburb of Paris called La Garenne Colombe. Our hosts - French friends of C's - were just delightful and so very hospitable. I think it was a great experience for the kids in a way that visiting another country as tourists in a hotel just wouldn't be. We learned how to cook some traditional French foods; the girls got to play with some adorable little French kids; they had a view of daily life with a family. We went to the local town market which was great fun. We traveled everywhere by public transit - taking commuter trains and metros and tramways and busses.

We did tons of stuff - saw beautiful things in art museums and Notre Dame Cathedral and Versailles. We went to the top of the Tour Eiffel (which reminded me of going to the top of lots of other things :-) - CN Tower, Sears Tower, WTC, etc). We had a great time at the Musee de la Magie. We got to see friends of ours a couple of times (they live in Cambridge, MA but were visiting Paris at the same time and we hadn't yet met their new baby). We went on a night tour of Paris and saw the special illumination of the tower. We fulfilled Zara's goal of eating in "authentic French restaurants" and of ordering her own meal in French. We lost Kendra in Musee D'Orsay and she was the only one not worried ("Mom! It's a museum. I knew we'd find each other eventually.") I turned out to know much more French than I thought I did and really functioned in French everywhere (including describing Kendra to the guards at Musee D'Orsay as I flipped out). We came home with home-made jams and herbs from our hosts' garden.

It was C's umpteenth trip to France, Kendra's second and Zara's and my first. For Zara it was also her first trip overseas and she was very excited to get her passport stamped. All in all, a wonderful vacation.


I was offline the entire week and am unlikely to catch up on lj. But I have read the last couple of days of my f-list and am back in the lj swing of things. I don't have an appropriate French icon so I'm using Northstar, since he at least speaks the language.

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From:talktooloose
Date:February 27th, 2007 09:50 pm (UTC)
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Mais, non! 'e speaks de joual!

What a wonderful trip! Staying with locals makes all the difference. We have been (and probably will be again) members of a group called L/GHEI which is the Lesbian/Gay Hospitality Exchange International. We have had many L/GHEI guests and have stayed with members across America and in London and we've experienced places in a way tourists often don't.

Kendra a raison! You can't really get lost in a museum. All that human civilization and culture cradles you.

I'm glad you had this vacation. You've had a pretty tough year! Why didn't Doran go?
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From:mofic
Date:February 28th, 2007 03:06 pm (UTC)
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Mais, non! 'e speaks de joual!

LOL! I thought of that, but he's the closest I've got.

L/GHEI sounds wonderful! What a great idea.

When we first thought of this trip, Doran was in the Marines. Then when he came home, we assumed he'd be working when we went. I'd really really like him to be working.
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From:musamea
Date:February 27th, 2007 10:00 pm (UTC)
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Oh, I'm glad you guys had so much fun! Home stay with locals is definitely the way to get the "real" experience, I think. And the anecdotes about your kids' adventures are priceless!
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From:mofic
Date:February 28th, 2007 03:07 pm (UTC)
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Thanks for reading! My ex had planned to take the girls to India in December and backed out at the last minute, so I wanted to give them a foreign experience to make up a little bit for the disappointment. I can't do India, but this I could manage, and staying with French people did make it more authentic an experience, I think.
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From:libgirl
Date:February 28th, 2007 03:07 am (UTC)
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Welcome back! It sounds like you had a fantastic time!

It seems like you've been gone longer than a week--you must just have a very strong LJ presence ;).

~Jess
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From:mofic
Date:February 28th, 2007 03:08 pm (UTC)
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LOL! I don't know what I do to justify that strong presence - I don't post that much.
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From:libgirl
Date:March 1st, 2007 02:26 am (UTC)
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I think it's because you're someone that comments in my journal. I've gotten used to seeing a comment or post from you very regularly and since LJ is my life right now, I notice when people 'disappear' even if it *is* because they have a real life ;).

~hugs~
Jess
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From:mofic
Date:March 1st, 2007 11:53 am (UTC)
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Well, I enjoy commenting on your journal, so you can count on more now that I'm back.
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From:mofic
Date:February 28th, 2007 03:47 pm (UTC)
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I have always, always wanted to spend an entire night in a museum.

There's a new kids' movie called "Night in the Museum". It's quite charming.

I've never spent a night in a museum, but I have spent a night in a zoo, and it was great fun!
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From:mofic
Date:February 28th, 2007 07:28 pm (UTC)
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Sounds like an interesting book. And there's always Konigsberg's From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler about a brother and sister who run away from home and live (hide out) in the Metropolitan Museum. I loved it as a kid, but my kids loved it more because of knowing the museum.

I've spent the night in our local zoo for a parent-and-child sleepover program. I took Doran and Kendra (Zara was too little). It was great fun! You arrive at 7:00 pm and go straight to the education building. They do a couple of icebreaker exercises (one I remember is that you have an animal species name on your back and by asking other people yes or no questions you have to guess what animal you are) and then you go out into the zoo and do something in each section. We petted the baby capybaras, made sparks with wintergreen lifesavers in the prairie dog holes, etc. It's all these behind-the-scenes activities and it's just soooooo cool to be in a closed zoo. Then around 11:00 you have a snack and get into sleeping bags and there's a movie and the kids fall asleep one by one during it. In the morning there's breakfast and a couple more animal activities and then you go home.

Doran had done a similar one with a friend, but kids only, at Central Park Zoo when he was 9 or 10. Kendra was too young for it and absolutely green with envy. Which, of course, he made the most of ("It's too bad you're too little to come with me and Marissa. I sure do hope they still have zoo sleepovers when you're old enough for them.") So I promised her I'd sign her up for the first opportunity and then they had the parent-and-child one at our local zoo, with a younger cut off, so we did it.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:March 1st, 2007 03:50 am (UTC)

From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

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This is Ari, and this is my first comment ever on a LJ . We just finished reading this book, at your recommendation Dale. I was just going to email you and tell you that....How funny that you commented on it, in this note (what do you call these? emails, notes, messages, responses?)It was a good read, but so very dated, lol. I had to explain a million things to my son, that I didn't realize were dated, until he asked "what's that?"

Ari
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From:mofic
Date:March 1st, 2007 11:54 am (UTC)

Re: From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

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How funny, particularly considering it came up so tangentially. FWIW, I find explaining dated stuff is one of the really fun parts of reading books from my childhood to my kids.

Oh, and these are called "comments".
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From:momma_geek
Date:March 1st, 2007 12:25 am (UTC)
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Welcome back. It sounds like a wonderful trip!
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From:mofic
Date:March 1st, 2007 11:58 am (UTC)
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It really was. I'm grateful C. thought of it.
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From:cyked
Date:March 2nd, 2007 03:40 am (UTC)
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Welcome back! A week in France? So envious. I was there once, my senior year in high school, and had a great time. Would love to go back. The night tour sounds especially lovely.
Ann Marie
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From:mofic
Date:March 2nd, 2007 12:29 pm (UTC)
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It was a great time. Thanks for reading.
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