Just a couple of pictures of Christmas in Paris that I took over the last couple of weeks! Right now I’m celebrating it with Jenni and her fam in England!
A late night visit to a Christmas Market by La Defense. Tartiflette and Vin Chaud :-)
Christmas trees for sale on Rue Cler.
Frost along the Seine on an early morning run.
Store windows and Christmas Lights! :-D
Christmas lights on the Champs Elysees!
Joyeux Noel!! Hope you have a Merry merry Christmas! :-)
… but ends in me walking down the street grinning like an idiot.
This all started with an innocent enough text to Jenni and the Frenchman on Saturday morning when I woke up around 11am (or maybe 11:30, nah 11) to see when post offices normally closed on Saturday. It was December 14th and in order to get my box of Christmas presents to the States in time I was determined to mail it out today. But not determined enough to wake up early. :-D
Their answers.. well it depends.
I wasn’t surprised.
And then a helpful text from the Frenchman with an app for the postal service. yay!
There were three post offices near me: One at the Eiffel Tower that closed at 1pm but put super cool Eiffel Tower stamps on every parcel, one down the street from the Eiffel tower that closed at 1pm as well, and another one at the opposite end of the Champ de Mars that closed at 5pm. Lots of options! And so little time, because well, because it’s me.
I’d been taking my time waking up and by the time I looked at the clock I had about 50 minutes to make it to the post office and… pick up a last minute gift request by Place de la Concorde.
12:10 – I caught the metro at Ecole Militaire.
12:20 – J’arrive a Concorde. Dashed into a shop and back on the metro by 12:30
12:40 – Back at my apartment to pick up the items for the box
12:55 – After a sprint down the entire length of the Champ de Mars (let’s say the equivalent of 3-4 big blocks) I made it to the post office right before it closed and was met with a not so helpful but trying to be helpful post office lady. There was a discussion about the stamps fitting on my cards in French and then we decided that we would try and see especially because I had been there a week ago and mailed the same cards just fine!
1:00 – After successfully mailing three letters, I realize there are no boxes to put the massive amount of things I’d brought to the post office to mail home.
1:02 – My postal app stops working but zut! I round a corner and see a friendly post office sign.
1:03 – Get nearer to the friendly, now hinging on teasing post office sign, to see the postal workers closing and locking the doors.
1:05 – A wide breath of a block to get back to where I started because I refuse to stop and turn around if I’m going the wrong direction by myself. No matter- I had now 4 hours to find the next post office and a general area that it was in.
Did I mention that I decided to wear heels? And that I was sore for three days after?
1:10 – My app starts working again. ah ha! It’s back at the end of the Champ de Mars. Blast.
1:20 – I’m starting to realize that all I have to do for exercise that day is hike to the top of the Champs again.
1:25 – I’m standing on the dot. Where is the post office? Two rounds of the block where it should be and no sign. I’m very glad that I decided not to wear a coat.
1:30 – Well! I decide that this will be happening on Monday. I give up French postal system! and grudgingly walk back to my apartment. Where I decide to take the stairs, up 7 flights. Why????
1:33 – Legs are screaming.
1:45 – I vow to try again. This is happening! I have three hours to mail this package and it will be in the system today!
1:50 – Decide to hit the possible postal location from another angle and notice a little sign.
ok maybe it wasn’t all that little, and it might have been bright yellow… but….!!
1:52 – I’m following the yellow brick uh hm arrows down an alley?
There’s an old lady I’m following that keeps looking back at me..
1:53 – I FOUND IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
1:54 – French French and more French. All day long and loving it. I find the box I need! I ask for the box! The nice postal worker finds the box but then he asks, if I want the one with the Christmas designs?! Yes! ok! I’ll look for it! An awesome box and a complete run down on the instructions and woohoo I’m feeling victorious! Like the lady on the box.
2:10 – I realize that my “detour” earlier will not fit in the box. I duct tape everything else into said box and stroll to the post office that I now know the location for. :-D
Shut your eyes family! It’s a surprise! ssh!
2:15 – Back at the post office. “No madame, you cannot tape the box shut.” Defeat! no! but then! “Don’t worry, I’ll take care of it,” the same postal worker that searched for a fun box then offered. Success!
2:16 – VICTORY!!!!!!! Commence grinning + walking.
Later that day, after recapping my story the Frenchman says- but Molly, it is easy to visit the post office! Ouais Ouais, c’est facil! mais It’s just getting there that’s a challenge! ;-) haha!
Now fingers crossed that it gets there by Christmas and isn’t held hostage by customs.
Just one last Thanksgiving installment this year! A couple of pictures from Thanksgiving back home. I beamed in from Paris via Skype and was set a place at the table. haha! Just like Sheldon in the Big Bang Theory as my mom said.
Yup and the pie to ratio person was equal! haha! Four pies: Pumpkin, Pecan, Apple, and Cherry this year!
It was sad not to be there in person, but definitely great to be able to join in the fun! :-)
Hope you had a Happy Thanksgiving!
I chatted with my mom over Skype a couple of days ago to interview her about our family’s dressing recipe that we have had every year for as long as I can remember. While I was talking to my mom they were preparing for a snowstorm which in Texas means about a centimeter of sleet or snow and that everyone will go bonkers and buy everything in the grocery stores. Well my mom the ever preparer for Thanksgiving (we’ll get into that later), had gone to the store that morning to get all necessities that could be bought before the mad rush later in the week. Well with the snowstorm, wait, “snowstorm”, everything was gone. I received a report of the sad state of what remained from the ingredients they wanted to buy: three moldy yellow onions, one last bunch of carrots, and soft oranges. It was very sad. A grave situation with Thanksgiving just a couple days away.
Preparations for Thanksgiving begin a month in advance in my family. There is a Thanksgiving recipe folder with years of meticulous magazine clippings and notes and a schedule to abide by. The table is decorated at the beginning of November with the sole purpose that then it can be enjoyed the whole month.
A couple weeks before the fridge/freezer/pantry are cleaned out to make room for the ingredients needed for the dinner. Staples (flour, sugar, butter, etc.) that can last several weeks are bought at the beginning of the month. A grocery list is made with all ingredients needed and then divided up by what can be bought in advance and what needs to be bought at the last minute. The stores are absolutely crazy the day before Thanksgiving so we try to go two days before for any fresh ingredients including the Turkey. Then we still have the day of for any of those last minute- yikes! I forgot cream moments. haha! Because let’s face it, I ALWAYS forget an ingredient. Just one. But an integral one. Thanks dad for running to the store. :-D
Why not buy the Turkey earlier? Because it takes up a lot of space in the fridge, and the grocery store can keep it at a cooler temperature.
So that gets us to two-three days before Thanksgiving. Pies are always made the day or two before. My fav, Mashed Sweet Potatoes, can actually be made even further in advance and frozen. I wrote down the recipe for y’all last year. :-D
The day before: Rolls are made and allowed to rise in the oven overnight. The turkey is brined. Cornbread and Biscuits for the stuffing are made and actually left out to dry out. Curious!
The day of: Turkey in the oven! Then we make the remaining recipes that weren’t made the days before! We usually eat about 4pm then take a little bit of a break and eat PIE! nom!
Happy Pre-Thanksgiving Prep Days! :-D
All pics are from last years Thanksgiving in Texas!