Saturday, March 30, 2013

glamorous giveaway

{best phone number ever}
Today I woke up in The Husband's old bedroom, with his old stuffed animals, six hours north of The LPV, in Auvergne. Auvergne isn't the most glamorous place in the world (especially not right this second as it's raining buckets), but it is a very beautiful and tranquil one (lots of lush green grass from all of that rain). But back in the day, it was super glamorous. French Nana's Bar, is located in the old Metropole Hotel, and like a hundred years ago or something, it was called Bar Chiquita, and an Egyptian Princess used to swan around sipping Champagne there. It was the epitome of glamour, but now, glamour gone. Now you can find me, glass of red wine in one hand, hunk of bleu d'Auvergne in the other, sitting in my muddy, rain soaked wellies with Fifty at my feet. See... glamour gone.

As I'm away for a few days, celebrating Easter with my belle-mere, I thought I'd leave you with a giveaway!


Charles Ayres of Impossibly Glamorous fame (you may recall him from this time when he interviewed me) has kindly given me a copy of his book, Impossibly Glamorous, so that I may pass on the glamour to you (actually he gave me two, one for me, and one for you... glamorous and generous, that's a winning combination).

{buy me}
Originally titled, L'Enfant Terrible (I always wanted to be referred to as L'Enfant Terrible but I don't think I could pull it off), Impossibly Glamorous is the story of Charles' life, and his journey from growing up in Kansas, to Japanese media darling. It makes for interesting and entertaining reading I assure you.

For your chance to win a copy of this impossibly glamorous tale, check out the Rafflecopter below. Contest closes next Saturday the 6th. May the glamorous force be with you.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, March 28, 2013

The Return of Honey Jr.

{last summer}
Yesterday was Honey Jr's 30th birthday, and as such, I thought today was the perfect day for this post. (Obviously yesterday would have been more perfect, but I was busy yesterday. Oh and get this... La Poste managed to deliver the birthday card we sent Honey Jr, yesterday, like on his actual birthday. Gold star for you La Poste.)

I'm sure some of you may have been questioning the absence of Honey Jr lately, and I understand completely. The last time he was mentioned was Gatz's Raclette party in November. That's pure poppycock, I know. But here's the thing, the day after Gatz's Raclette, Honey Jr and Honey's Honey left for almost four weeks in Thailand, and when they returned, it was Christmas, and that's always hectic. January is for hibernating, and in February it was my birthday (which meant a weekend in Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Avignon) and I went to Dublin too, and then voila... it was March. Plus (and you're going to like this), Honey's Honey has been down south in Bee School. That's right... Bee School.

Anyway, we've all been busy but of course we've been in touch. So a couple of Saturday's ago, we met in the all new Le Petit Bar for a pre-lunch apéro. We were having so much fun catching up over our drinks, that Honey's Honey invited us around for lunch.

Honey Jr ordered a poulet rôti from Big Man (on the weekends, Le Petit Bar now sells rotisserie chickens... Big Man is pretty much the opposite of The Parisian and I love him for that), I popped into l'épicerie and grabbed a bottle of Rasteau, and with the bacon and leek pie (tarte aux poireaux et aux lardons) that Honey Jr had already made we were all set. (How great is it that Honey Jr bakes? I wish The Husband would bake. Actually, I take that back. I do not wish The Husband would bake. The mess would be too much for me to bare.)

It felt like old times and I was sad when we left. I was sad that when we walked out their door, we weren't walking through our old one, right next door, and we didn't share that wall anymore and the back garden that we had knocked the fence down of so we could all have one big shared one, instead of two separate little ones. I miss that. But as sad as I was, it was nothing compared to how sad Fifty was when when we got home and told him where we had been.

He didn't talk to us for the rest of the day.


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

pâté day

Pâté making is one of those things I never thought I would do, like ever. Except maybe if I was enrolled in a cooking class or something with my girlfriends, but that would never happen because I'm not really a joiner. So before I moved to Le Petit Village, pâté was only something that I ate, not made. But since Papa and Brother-in-Law's are hunters, and something has to happen to the boar (le sanglier) after all of the good cuts of it are gone (waste not want not), pâté is the answer. It's the sanglier's final frontier if you will.

The last time I helped with the pâté was three years ago. I'm not sure where I was in 2011 and 2012,  but this year we got roped in again, along with Brother-in-Law and Child Bride. It was an 'all hands on deck' kind of day (or more accurately, an 'all hands in the bucket of boar goo' kind of day).

Pâté making day happens on a Sunday. And since The Husband's Uncle and Aunt drive over from their home in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, we do the whole Sunday lunch thing as well. But this year, instead of doing the gooey, gross work before lunch, we did it after, which I preferred because pâté making doesn't leave me with the greatest of appetites, and since The Husband's Aunt had brought a huge pot of her bourride with her (bourride is a mouth wateringly delicious Mediterranean seafood stew), I wanted my appetite in tact. But after lunch it was time to pay for that scrumptious stew and get down to business.

I found that the more photos I took, the less involved in the actual work I had to be. Plus, with a documentary about The Dream Team on, that happened to be in English, I had another legitimate distraction. (Can we talk about the fact that the whole Dream Team thing seems like yesterday? When did 1992 become history? I swear 1992 was not that long ago. Also, Child Bride has no recollection of the Dream Team. Want to know why... because she was born in 1992. BORN! File that under things that freak me right out.)


Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Village Idiot

Would you like to know how I know that I'm a moron and on the verge of being elected the Village Idiot? Like how I know for sure, for sure? Because these three things happened within the last forty-eight hours.

1. For my birthday, Papa's Wife gave me a pretty pyjama set and some cushiony Isotoner slippers. While I have yet to wear the pyjama set yet because it is more summer like and we're barely into spring, the slippers are getting worn to death (I can't help it, they're like pillows wrapped around my tootsies). Because of my non-stop slipper wearing, I thought it would be a good idea to go ahead and toss them in the washing machine, so I planned on throwing them in for a wash Friday morning with the bath mat (I like to plan these things), only I didn't. Instead, I ended up washing them in a load before. Fine, right? Wrong. Because somehow I had completely forgotten that I had already washed them and laid them out to dry.

So when I finally washed the bath mat and opened up the washing machine to pull it out, I expected to pull out my slippers too, but they weren't in there (of course they weren't in there), and that's when the biggest freak out in months occurred. You know how dryers like to steal a sock or two on occasion, well I became convinced that my washing machine ate my slippers. Like totally convinced. I kept sticking my head in it and looking around and marvelling at how such a thing could happen. I was on the verge of calling Papa to have him come over to take apart the washing machine and find not only my slippers, but everything else that has ever gone missing in my life. And that's when I glanced over to the clothes rack, and saw my slippers drying on top of it. Moron.

2. There's this whole brouhaha at the moment about Google dumping Google Reader. It's throwing us bloggers into quite the tizzy since Google Reader is how some people keep track of our blogs. One solution is to get the Google Readers on over to Bloglovin, so we're falling all over ourselves making sure that we're signed up and getting our Bloglovin buttons onto our sidebars. Well I've been signed up with Bloglovin for ages, like practically since I started this blog, but I never use it. So the other day, I clicked onto my Bloglovin account, copied the HTML code for the Bloglovin button, and added it to my sidebar. Only I didn't like how it looked. I decided to email my go-to blog design girl, Alyx, and ask her if she would mind whipping me up a button that looked like my other social media buttons. She replied that of course she could, and she would, but why would I want her to since I already have one. Yep, my Bloglovin button is over there on the right in between the feedburner and twitter buttons (feel free to click on it now, or any of the other buttons for that matter). That was embarrassing.

3. You know how Daylight Savings Time was two weeks ago in the U.S.? Well it wasn't here. Here it's next weekend (emphasis on the 'next'). Except somehow I got it into my head that it was this weekend (Mom - you can go ahead and take responsibility for your part in this). So last night before going to bed, I reminded The Husband that the clocks were going forward and went ahead and changed the time on my cell phone. And that's how I found myself typing away on my laptop at 6:30 on a Sunday morning, thinking that it was 7:30, and wondering why it was still so dark out.

Feel free to mock me in the comments, I can take it. 


Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Backstory {chapitre trois}

(This is the third installment in my very own, 'How I Met Your Mother' episode, except it's father, not mother,and actually only husband, not father yet, unless I'm telling this story to Fifty, in which case I guess this is, 'How I Met Your Father'. You can find part one here, followed by part two here)

There I was, coat and purse slung over my arm, frazzled, irritated, and trying to make my way out of the crowded nightclub. And there he was, tall, blonde, tanned, broad shouldered, definitely not Irish, and walking straight for me.

We stopped about foot away and stared at each other for a few seconds. Then, in heavily accented English, he spoke. "I am Gregory" he said except it sounded like, "I am Gwegowy." I smiled and nodded and asked him where he was from. "I am Fwench." OK. I asked him if he wanted to go to the bar and get a drink, but due to the loud music and Gregory only knowing how to say about two things in English (I am Gregory. I am French), there was a great deal of miming and pointing involved. Eventually he copped on.

sidebar: I'm inserting this sidebar now after writing the rest of the post because I think that it is important to note a couple of things... First, from the moment I met Gregory, I knew he was 'it'. It's not like there were shooting stars and stuff, it was a feeling, like a feeling of calm, and just knowing. It was as if I had been waiting to exhale for a very long time and finally could. And second, I always thought that that moment when we walked towards each other was the first time Gregory had seen me (it was the first time I had seen him) but I found out after moving to France, that he had spotted me a few times earlier that night. So I'm pretty sure (although he refuses to admit it) that he saw me leaving, and finally took his chance. Stalker.  

It didn't take us long to figure out that trying to have a conversation was basically impossible, so I left my coat and purse with my coworkers (lots of smiling and winking from their end), and we moved to the dance floor. This is when I found out that Gregory is a horrible dancer. I tried to find away to talk instead (anything to make the dancing stop). It turned out that some of his French friends were on the dance floor also, and could speak English, so Gregory recruited Alex as our translator.

I found out that Gregory had only arrived three days before and had come to Ireland to learn English. I was pretty sure that I could help him with that so I put my number in his phone and asked Alex to tell him that I was going to head home, but if he ever wanted to go for a bite to eat or a drink or something he should text me (a phone call would have been damn near impossible at this point... in fact, we were dating about six weeks before we had our first actual phone conversation). Alex told Gregory what I said, he looked at me, said OK and followed me out of the club. I didn't mean go out for a bite to eat right at that moment, but it didn't really matter (the first of many, many lost in translation moments).

So that's how we found ourselves on our first date, eating burgers and fries at a little place around the corner at 1AM, about an hour after we met. And then two days shy of ten months later, I was on a plane bound for France and my new life in Le Petit Village.

And that's the story of how this American girl,
met her French husband in a nightclub in Dublin.

Questions, comments, concerns?


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Backstory {chapitre deux}

So when we last left our story (in case you're only joining us now, the story is the story of how I met The Husband), I had left my coworkers at Dicey Reilly's and was headed over to my brother's apartment to have a drink with his girlfriend.

We had a glass of wine, chatted and contemplated going out. The more she thought about it, the more she was adamant that she was staying put for the night. But the more I thought about it, the more of a niggling feeling about returning to the work party I had left behind crept up on me. (I don't why. It's not like I was under any obligation to be there, except for the fingers-crossed promise I had made). My mind was set though, I was going back.

sidebar: I don't think I can emphasize enough how odd this behavior was for me. I had left a works drink thing behind (a works drink thing that I never really intended to go to in the first place), taken a five minute taxi over to my brother's apartment, where I was curled up all cozy like on a comfy couch, sipping wine and indulging in some great girl chatter, and yet I had decided to leave and return to the works drink thing. That is definitely some out of character behavior for Sara Louise.

When I got back to the bar, I found that my coworkers had moved from the upstairs beer garden, to the downstairs nightclub, Krystle. Krystle was not, and is not, my cup of tea so as soon as I arrived, I figured one drink, maybe two, and them home to my bed.

There I was, trying to be social and chatty, which meant shouting over the loud thumping music, smiling and nodding, and pretending that I could hear whatever conversation was being screamed into my ear. Long story short, I wasn't having a good time, and was regretting leaving the comfy couch at my brother's apartment. And when some drunk girl knocked over my drink, splashing it all over my jeans, and then didn't bother apologising or offer to replace it, I knew it was time to go.

And that's when it happened.

I was walking towards the door, my head bent down, trying to make my way through the crowd, when I looked up and saw him. He was headed straight for me.

I think that's a good place to stop for today.

We'll pick up where we left off next time. 


Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Backstory {chapitre un}

Today is my third wedding anniversary and as it is, I feel like the time has finally come to tell you the story of how The Husband became The Husband, as in, how I met a French boy named Gregory and followed him back to France. I need to warn you though, this won't be any wham, bam, thank you ma'am kind of post. This is going to be a long one, because how we met was kismet, and since you can't rush kismet, I have to tell you all of it, all of the itty bitty gritty details, because the kismet was in the details. So this will be part one, of an as yet to be determined number of parts.

It was Friday the 28th of November, 2008. Because it was a Friday I was working, but because I had a butt load of vacation days left to take before the end of the year, I took a half day to do some Christmas shopping. As I was walking out of the office, my coworkers reminded me that there was a drink thing that night at Dicey's (there was always an after work drinks thing). I told them that I would see them there, but inside I was pretty sure I wouldn't. The last thing I wanted to do after an afternoon of shopping would be to turn around and head right back into town. No, it was definitely a Chinese takeaway/ DVD/ bottle of wine kind of night.

So why then a little after 7PM did I find myself sitting in traffic heading back into town? The answer is kismet. Here's the thing, not only was I headed back into town, which was basically something I never did (if I was already out that was one thing, but to go home after work and then go back out, no way. That's what Saturdays were for) plus, it was raining. All signs normally pointed to staying in. Clearly Mr. Destiny had other ideas because unbeknownst to me at the time, there was a French boy who had moved to Dublin only three days before, just waiting to meet me. Only he didn't know it yet either.

I arrived at Dicey Reilly's beer garden and met up with everybody. They were already two hours into pints and Jägerbombs... not the best for conversation and it didn't take me long to remember why I didn't really enjoy these things. And then I got a text. It was from my brother's girlfriend. She was asking me if I wanted to pop over for a drink. Me being on Harcourt Street and her being not too far away at their apartment on Pembroke, I decided to abandon my coworkers, and skedaddled on over to Ballsbridge (that's where Pembroke Road is).

But here's the thing... as I was leaving, everyone was asking me why I was going, and made me promise that I would return. So I promised, but with my fingers crossed. Because why oh why would I leave a bar, only to return to it a couple of hours later. Because it was kismet.

And that's where our story leaves off for today.
Stay tuned for part two of our backstory. 


Friday, March 15, 2013

this weekend

{blossoming spring}
Bonjour tout le monde! How are we today?

Our Friday morning started off with a bang. Gregory (aka The Husband... for some reason I'm in the mood to use his actual name today) took Fifty for his morning walk and they crossed paths with a German Shepherd also out for his morning walk, except sans owner. Well the German Shepherd must not have liked the look of Fifty or something because he lunged for him, and a Friday morning rumble ensued. Gregory was able to break it up after a couple of minutes but has a nice bite on the back of his thigh to show for it. Never a dull moment in The LPV. Even when it's dull, it's never dull, dull. You know what I mean?

It's our wedding anniversary this weekend (three years on Sunday... my how time flies!) and we had been planning on going to Marseille for the weekend, but while we were twiddling our thumbs, our favorite hotel sold out. But that's fine, plenty we can do around here...

Tonight we're having an at home date night. We're making sushi (and by sushi I mean California Rolls). I've never made sushi before, and Gregory hasn't either and I'm pretty sure it's going to be a glorious disaster. Let me rephrase that... I'm pretty sure his side of the kitchen is going to be a glorious disaster. I'll let you know.

Saturday night is France's last match in this year's Six Nations tournament. Normally, we'd make sure and watch it, but France's new coach, Philippe Saint-André, has made such a mess of things, I can't bare to see another catastrophe, so instead of continuing our anniversary celebrations by watching Scotland embarrass France, we'll be going out to dinner instead. (Hey Philippe Saint-André... step into my office... you're effing fired!)

And as for Sunday, our actual anniversary, which also happens to be St. Patrick's Day, well I'm not sure yet. I'm taking suggestions if any of you have any ideas (please feel free to leave them in the comment section below).

Oh, and I almost forgot! My weekend will also include a trip to La Poste, I have to put a Le Petit Village t-shirt in the mail. Congratulations to Ashley, the winner of the giveaway!

So that's what's happening around these parts, 
what's happening around yours? 


Wednesday, March 13, 2013


++ Spring is breathing down our neck here in the warmest of sunny ways and I couldn't be more delighted. Sunny, spring days mean the end to this, the most dull and boring time in The LPV (nothing is happening people, nothing at all, it's very boring). It's like everyone is hibernating, resting for BBQ season. Well not me, I'm preparing... preparing by buying these sparkly pink pumps.
{forever 21}
++ And with that declaration of spring's imminent arrival, how the in the name of St. Patrick is it the middle of March already?! I feel like December was only yesterday and I was waiting for my mother to arrive for Christmas. Now the holidays are but a distant memory and La Petite's birthday and my wedding anniversary are right around the corner.

++ With birthdays and anniversaries only a few days away, time is going to do that super speedy up thing, when one booked weekend flows into the next and we blink and it's summer. Mark my words, with upcoming trips to Auvergne (to visit French Nana), Marseille (for a very important Rugby match), Dublin (for another very important rugby match and some family and friend fun time), and the Gypsy's Pilgrimage in Les Saintes Maries de la Mer (my gypsy dreams are finally coming true), in a couple of months time, I'll be back here going on and on about how I can't believe it's almost summer time. Because yeah, I'm that predictable.

++ To combat the incredible dullness that has been life in Le Petit Village lately, I've journeyed back in time to the late 90's with Felicity marathons. For reasons unknown to me, I didn't watch Felicity back in the day (there must have been something I liked more on at the same time), so I'm enjoying catching up on Felicity effing up her love life, episode after episode and basking in the pre-21st century nostalgia. Well I was anyway, until I let my curiosity get the better of me and I googled the series overview and found out about that time travel malarkey that happens in the end. WHAT IS THAT ALL ABOUT?! So now my Felicity marathons are on hiatus, but that's OK, because I'm getting my Keri Russell fix via The Americans.

++ Speaking of Russia... my friend Gayle sent me an American care package for my birthday which included a Starbucks mug from Alaska to add to my collection. (If you're wondering how I got from The Americans to this, it's because The Americans is about Russians, and Russia is next to Alaska, and that's how my brain works). I think my Alaska mug is my most random Starbucks mug yet, next to my Bucharest one anyway, and it's kind of cool, because Alaska and Bucharest are two places that are so far apart, they end up being not that far apart. Get it? Please just go with me on this one.

++ Mrs. London's mother's precious cat, Salem, passed away last weekend and my heart is breaking for her. Saying goodbye to a friend (furry friends are no less friends than non-furry ones) is not an easy task. In an attempt to cheer her up, I've offered to send over Fifty or even The Husband as a distraction. But thinking about it now, I should send over one of the cats that hang out behind my house instead. (It's where they like to wage their cat gang war. It's like the Bloods and Crips back there.)

{Pick one Maggie}
++ Nothing to do with cats whatsoever, but did you know that I have a giveaway going on at the moment? Well I do and it's awesome. Contest closes when the clock strikes midnight tonight, click here to enter.


Monday, March 11, 2013

A Split Second In Dublin

{Trinity Campus}
My trip to Dublin was a last minute surprise. One second I was unpacking and trying to recover from our weekend in Avignon, and the next, I was packing again and off to Nice Airport. And since it was such a surprise, and I was only there for a few days, I didn't even tell my friends I was coming (bad Sara, I know). But it had been fourteen months since I had last visited, so I needed to soak up as much family time as possible. Because I was only there for a hot second, I didn't really take any photos either, so please, try to forgive me and make do with this photo taken on the Trinity College campus forever and a day ago. 

And that last minute birthday surprise from The Husband was how I found myself arriving at my Auntie's house on the afternoon of my birthday. Whenever I go back, it feels like going home. I don't have a family home anymore. The house I grew up in New York was sold when I was 18, and the other house in Texas was sold almost ten years ago. My mother has a new house back in Texas now that I love, but it's not my house, it's her house. I've vacationed there, but I've never lived there. So the little house on Glenmaroon Road that my Aunt and Uncle have lived in for fifty years (50!!!) is kind of like home base. 

When I was a kid, I loved pulling up in front of it's gate early in the morning (my flight from the U.S. always arrived early in the A.M.). I'd step out of my Uncle's car as my Auntie would open the door. She'd stand there in her bathrobe, her arms hugging her body, protecting herself from the cold as she'd wave me inside. She'd hug me and usher me onto the couch in the living room in front of the turf fire. And then we'd go to the kitchen for my full Irish and pot of tea. She'd then insist that I go for a lie down (whether I wanted to or not) to get over my jet lag, and up the stairs I'd go to a bed warmed by an electric blanket. She still puts the electric blanket on for me even though a flight from France leaves me jet lag-free. It's the little things, you know. 

So there I was on my birthday, blowing out my candles with my little monkeys (Nephew, Niece, and Little Niece). It was surreal, but comforting, and I forgot how much I missed their little faces and catching up on all of the latest elementary school gossip. And it was nice to see how far Niece has come in ballet. Only ten and on her toes already. 

The next morning, I headed into town for a quick stop in Penneys (or Primark as it's known in the UK... and fyi fellow French dwellers, one is coming our way soon too), and I was so overwhelmed by the huge selection, I got all flustered, almost hyperventilated, and didn't buy anything. You know that scene in Moscow on the Hudson, when Robin William's character has a freak out right there in the grocery store because there were just too many choices and he couldn't deal. Well that was me in Penneys. It wasn't pretty.

I fled to Toddy's for a Bloody Mary and a sit down with the Irish Independent to calm my frazzled nerves. And after lunch with one of my Uncles (fish & chips for him, club sandwich for me), I was all set. Living in The LPV has clearly destroyed my shopping prowess. I am not impressed. My faith needed to be restored, and what better place to restore faith, than church.

Nephew and Niece were making their Confirmation so on a Wednesday morning, we found ourselves squeezed into freezing cold church pews (somebody forgot to turn on the heating). See that one bit in the program below... that a losa, a losa... bit, yeah, well that's Irish. As if dealing with French isn't enough of a headache. Luckily, I had a stash of hidden gummy bears in my purse to keep me distracted. 

But I tried not to fill up on the gummy bears too much, because we were going to lunch at the Unicorn to celebrate. The Unicorn is pretty much the best place for celebratory lunches. It's swanky, but not too swanky in that 'I don't think I'm posh enough to be here' kind of way, and the food is perfection. Plus Sean didn't order Chilean Red as he normally does (I hate, hate, hate Chilean Red) but went for a nice Tuscan one instead, so I was happy as Larry and pretty much set for the afternoon.

So that was basically my trip. I hung out with my little monkeys, had pints in the pub, drank wine and caught up on East Enders with my main homegirl Claire, and that was that. It was quick, but just what I needed, and pretty much the best birthday surprise this girl could ask for.


P.S. Don't forget to enter my LPV t-shirt giveaway. Contest closes Thursday the 14th at midnight, Le Petit Village time.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

giveaway: your very own LPV t-shirt

Check out my t-shirt! Do you like it? This company, T Shirt Printing, contacted me and asked if I would like a Le Petit Village t-shirt and I was like, um... yeah I would. And then I was like, hey, how about you give me two, so I can give one to one of you guys, so now I'm giving away the shirt off my back! OK, not really the one off of my back, but the other one that looks just like it.

You have to excuse the photos, I had to take them myself and I suck at it. The Husband lacks the requisite patience to do it for me and while Fifty has the patience, he lacks the thumbs, so then I tried to do it with the PhotoBooth on my Mac, but duh, the photo is backwards so the t-shirt came out weird, like so...

Since I had PhotoBooth open, I let Fifty take one of himself. It came out cute. I should have just put the t-shirt on him and called it a day. Oh well, live and learn. 

Now back to the task at hand.

I'm giving away this authentic Le Petit Village merchandise. It's a ladies small, 90% cotton/ 10% Poly and super cute to boot (THANKS T SHIRT PRINTING). Enter below to win. Contest open to everyone, no matter where you live (I'm an equal opportunity shipper).

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The All New Le Petit Bar

It's happened! Remember weeks ago when I told you that Le Petit Bar had been bought by Big Man, and in February it would be fully opened, not only for drinks, but for food too? Well it has and it is. It's like a miracle of epic proportions.

That rock wall up there is Brother-in-Law's handiwork. Before it was ugly and blah, but then Big Man asked Brother-in-Law and his B-team to fix it and make it prettier, and now it is. A rock wall is very Provençal you know (half of my living room is a rock wall). Plus, there are actual bottles of things to drink up there, with actual liquid in them. When The Parisian owned Le Petit Bar, that wasn't always the case. Sure there might have been bottles stocked on the shelves, but they didn't necessarily have anything in them. True story.

Besides the new rock bar, the kitchen has been updated as well, and Big Man's wife is back there cooking food (unlike The Parisian, who at times could be found in the kitchen sprawled out on the counter, napping). I know it might be difficult to appreciate the enormity of this situation, but after being held hostage by The Parisian for over two years, having someone actually making food in that kitchen, is a very big deal. So on the Sunday after I returned from Dublin (a week after Avignon - just trying to give you a timeline of where we're at), Big Man's wife was making Moules Frites, and Brother-in-Law kindly hosted a birthday lunch for me (yes, we're still talking about my birthday).

Brother-in-Law, Child Bride, La Petite, Angel, Honey Jr, and Honey's Honey all joined The Husband and me for bowl after bowl of steaming mussels, and heaping plates of homemade french fries. 

Because we can't pass a day without something bizarre happening in The LPV (because that wouldn't be any fun at all) this is what happened on this day of moules and frites... well Big Cheese (you may remember him from the Fête des Lumières disaster of 2011), who had been drinking in the bar, left briefly and returned with a necktie on over his t-shirt (as you do). He walked to the middle of the dining room, and proceeded to clap his hands loudly, while shouting, "Attention Mesdames et Messieurs, Attention Mesdames et Messieurs", until we all stopped eating, and gave him our attention. He then congratulated Big Man and his wife on the opening of the bar and presented them with a jar of The Honey's honey, as a gift. It was quite the hullaballoo I assure you.

But we didn't let Big Cheese's bizarre hullaballoo damper our day. It was too wonderful. We were in Le Petit Bar, eating and drinking, and Big Man didn't run out of anything, or ask us how much our tab was, or kick us out because he was tired.

It was so good, we went back again twice last weekend. Twice. And it was opened both times.


Saturday, March 2, 2013

Avignon, The Last Bit

After the wasabi debacle, beer was needed to wash away all of that burning pain, so we headed to the pub and let the guys set up camp (setting up camp involves trying out three different tables before finally settling on 'the table'). The Six Nations was kicking off that afternoon, first with Ireland vs. Wales and then, England vs. Scotland and we settled in for a long afternoon of rugby fun.

Two hours of rugby fun was plenty for Mrs. London and me, so after Ireland beat Wales (thanks for the birthday present guys), we popped around the corner to get our hair done for dinner.

We had dinner at Le Bain Marie. It was far too elegant and grown-up for The Husband and Mr. London, and I begged them to be on their best behavior (which amazingly they were for the most part

And when we asked them to play nicely with each other (that means no stabbing each other with forks, no pulling out chairs or attempting atomic wedgies), that photo above is what happened (there were two couples at our table that night, just not the two you would think). 

Dessert came and the waiter surprised me with Happy Birthday sparklers, which the two guys decided to fashion into love hearts. Well Mr. London's looked like a heart, The Husband's looked more like a strawberry, but A+ for effort, and the mini art project kept them busy and their mischievous little hands out of trouble (mental note: remember to bring activity packs for outings with The Husband and Mr. London; crayons, coloring books, toy cars...)

The next morning, we were on the road out of Avignon and bidding adieu to my birthday weekend. Since it was early, and why not, we popped by Gordes on the way home. We had some time to kill before the France vs. Italy match (oh what a disaster that was) and the Superbowl much later that night. 

Mr. London was sure that the 49ers would win, but The Husband said it would be the Ravens (not because he's a fan, or he knows anything about American football, but because the Ravens are the team that the kid from the Blind Side plays for and The Husband is a sucker for a happy ending) so naturally, all of the bickering back and forth, resulted in a bet. Whoever's team lost, would have to give the other a pedicure. A pedicure! (I really don't know what goes through their heads. I mean really, whatever happened to betting €20 or something). 

Well we all know how that bet turned out and I for one cannot wait for The Husband to have pretty, pedicured tootsies. And of course I will be documenting it for posterity (that really means for you guys).


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