Thursday, December 29, 2011

Le Réveillon

New Year's Eve ( or Le Réveillon as it is known in French) is celebrated much differently here in Paris than it is in the US. Here, closed parties are held at restaurants and tickets must be purchased months in advance. In the US, the idea of buying tickets for a New Year's Eve party months in advance would be absurd. Especially since you could get stuck at a party that sucks. Americans like the freedom to move around on New Year's Eve. So, if you're planning to fly to Paris this weekend to party like it's 2012, it's unlikely you'll be able to get in anywhere. Although, there may be some availability at the Ritz. The menu, and info are below. PS: make sure you bring your Black Amex Card with you.

For New Year’s Eve, the Ritz Paris awaits you for a memorable and magical night. In a dream-like decor, L’Espadon proposes a prestigious and surprise-filled dinner to the sounds of a swing orchestra and its vocalist.

Beluga caviar with vodka pearls
Marinated Brittany scallops with black truffles
Blue lobster Thermidor
Grilled mushrooms and tarragon Cristalline
Line caught turbot with white Alba truffles
Venison medallions in Grand Veneur style,
Mont d’Or cheese from Poligny region
Iced chocolate delight with Imperial gold tangerines
Champagne Grand Siècle par Laurent-Perrier
Sauternes Château d’Yquem 1er Cru supérieur 1996
Champagne Perrier Jouët Belle Epoque rosé 2002
Grand Cru Armagnac Ritz 1898

New Year’s Eve Dinner at the Espadon: 2012 € per person

Saturday, December 24, 2011

What to Leave Out for Santa

Living in France, the most difficult thing, by far, has been having to explain to our kids why Santa behaves so differently when visiting our house, than that of their little French friends. In France, children are encouraged to stay UP and wait for le Père Noël , while in the U.S. we tell our kids that if they are not in bed sleeping, Santa WON'T come. I have interrogated my French friends at length about this because I wondered how parents manage to sneak gifts under the tree while their children are engaged in a mini-stake out. The answers I received varied. Most said that they take the kids outside and distract them somehow (usually by looking up in the sky for unusual air traffic) while an accomplice puts the presents under the tree. Then, when the kids come back in, the person inside will say, “Oh you JUST missed le Père Noël!" Some friends reported that their parents went so far as to HIRE someone to dress up and pose as le Père Noël (although apparently you gotta be careful where you find your Père Noël 'cause one year my friend Sophie said she remembers the guy her parents hired showed up smelling strongly of gin).
What people leave OUT for Santa also varies widely in Europe. In the States it is your standard cookies and milk and maybe some carrots for the reindeer. In England and Australia, Santa’s treated to a glass of sherry with minced pie. While in Wales and Ireland, they leave out a pint of Guinness(because Guiness goes with everything) and cookies, mince pie or Christmas pudding, depending on the house. Santa gets a stiff drink to help him stay warm through the night in Sweden, Denmark and Norway. Sometimes a particular elf or gnome will get risgrynsgrot, a bowl of rice porridge made with cinnamon, sugar and milk. Personally, I'm shocked there hasn't been a history of airline disasters over Europe on Christmas Eve seeing that Santa is most likely driving drunk. I mean, even if he only had a small SIP at each house, he'd still be loaded by like, the twentieth house or so, right? Oh, wait, I forgot he's got a designated driver (Rudolph). Joyeux Noël à tous!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Elf on the Shelf

The tradition of hosting an elf in your home so he can report back to Santa started hundreds of years ago in the Scandinavian countries (Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Finland) but it wasn't until an American woman from Georgia co-wrote a book with her daughter in 2005, that the idea spread around the US like wildfire. After several years of begging me to buy and Elf on the Shelf, I can proudly say that our home still does NOT have one. And here's why: it's WICKED CREEPY. It’s one thing to say ‘Santa is watching you.’ It’s quite another to have a little midget spy in the house. Is there anything scarier than the idea of a toy coming to life and doing GOD knows WHAT while you sleep? Doesn't anyone remember the 1982 horror movie POLTERGEIST in which the little boy is terrified for the entire movie that the stuffed clown in his bedroom is going to come to life and attack him. And then, at the end of the movie THE CLOWN DOES JUST THAT! I will never purchase the Elf on the Shelf for my kids no matter how much the BEG ME TO because I can’t stop thinking that the Elf is going to kill me at night. Behind that impish smile I imagine he has two rows of sharp teeth and that he would stand over me while I sleep, whispering, “soon, soon….”

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Merry (Secular) Christmas

France has always touted itself as a secular nation, one in which the State and religion are kept separate. Thus, I was little more than a bit surprised when I walked into my daughters's classroom in early December to find a fully decorated Christmas tree on display. And, not only was her classroom decorated, but the entire school was covered with Christmas decor. Tinsel, garland, ornaments and lights hung from every banister. In addition, the students received a note from le Père Noël promising them something under the (school) tree if they were good. I asked the teacher if it was common practice in France to put up a Christmas tree. She assured me that it was. I then asked if any of the Muslim or Jewish families had any issue with it. "Mais, non," she responded, "why would then?" "Because they are not Christian and Christmas is a Christian holiday." She stared at me for a good five seconds, her brows furrowed, and then said, "Christmas trees are not religious symbols, Madame. And neither is le Père Noël." Turns out, she's right about Christmas trees not being religious symbols (they were actually a pagan ritual that began in Latvia in the 15th century) but Saint Nicholas, a SAINT, not a religous symbol? Now that was a good one. Surprisingly, all the families in my daughter's preschool class participated in the Christmas party and no one objected to Saint Nicholas showing up.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Little Orphan Harper

And speaking of expensive, ugly clothing......Bonpoint is THE place to buy chi chi clothing for your kids here in France but sadly their clothes are incredibly ugly. They only come in depressing colors like grey, brown and black. And for girls mauve is as exciting as it gets. Now, I'm not a person who believes little girls should be dressed in pink 24/7 but they should be wearing colors that are joyous NOT somber. As much as I wanted to LOVE the chic little girls Parisian clothing I just couldn't do it. I couldn't justify spending hundreds of euros on clothes that made my daughter look like Little Orphan Annie. However, it seems that celebrities are not as concerned about the way their kids look. Case in point, the picture included in this post of Posh Spice toting her four month old daughter, Harper. That kid is adorable but that dress is flat out ugly!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Not in Love with Lanvin

Those of you who read my blog regularly know that I LOVE fashion (which makes living in the Haute Couture capital of the world very exciting). However, there are some fashion houses here that I just don't get and Lanvin is one of them. The Lanvin boutique is located on the corner of Rue du Faubourg St. Honore and Rue Boissy d'Anglas (right on my way to the American Embassy). From the day I made my very first trip there, I stopped in front of the Lanvin boutique to stare at the heinous garments on display. At the time I remember thinking to myself that they were the wierdest, most unflattering looking clothes I had ever seen. Five years later, my opinion hasn't changed much. This makes me wonder why so many celebrities are in LOVE with Lanvin. What one person considers 'fashionable' is subjective, so I guess we can agree to disagree about how their clothes LOOK but one thing Lanvin fans can't disagree with me on is the QUALITY (or LACK thereof) of the clothes. To put it bluntly, they look like they've been sewn by a bunch of junior high schoolers in a Home Economics class. Just check out the pictures included in this post.
From a distance this shapeless, beige frock just looks, well, shapeless. But a close up of the same dress reveals exposed, rough seams and puckering fabric proving once again that, as far as celebrities are concerned, if its really, really expensive, it MUST be good.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Albert and Charlene Take Manhattan

Prince Albert and his new bride were briefly stateside this week to attend the 29th Gala of the Princess Grace Foundation. While there, they sat down for an interview with the Today Show's Matt Lauer. Kudos to Matt for not softballing the questions. He actually asked them point blank about the rumors of Charlene being a runaway bride (which she vehemently denied while erupting in FAKE laughter as her husband sat stoically beside her). Although, THE most telling portion of the interview came when Matt asked Prince Albert why, after so many years of bachelorhood, did he finally decide to tie the knot. His response? It was the ‘right thing to do.’ No profession of LOVE for his bride, no heartfelt confession that she is the ONE. Instead, he cited ‘timing’ and ‘feeling the pressure’ as his reasons for getting married. These two do not love each other in the least. During the interview, their chairs are next to each other but their bodies are a room apart. Charlene actually leans away from her beloved when talking about their wedding. They never touch each other. No simple, intimate gesture that most couples do without even realizing it. How can there be such a lack of warmth between two people when talking about the supposed most ‘wonderful’ day of their entire lives? Also, note the sneer that comes across Charlene’s face when Princess Grace is mentioned. And what the hell is up with her accent? She used to sound South African and now she sounds like she’s from British High Society. Also, I'd like to go on record that I predicted Fat Albert would start porking out again as soon as the wedding was overwith. I'm glad to see Charlene has already mastered the art of the fake laugh. That's gonna come in handy in the years to come as she laughs off her husband's continued infidelities.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Elvis's Birthday Party

So, our downstairs neighbor Diana (the only other American in our building) came to my door the other day asking for translation help. Her daughter, Natalie, got an invite to the birthday party of one of the kids in her class. His name is Elvis. Yes, you read that correctly, some French moron named their kid Elvis. But wait, it gets better. The kid’s last name is: Polanski. As in, he is the son of that famous director who fled the US in 1977 after pleading guilty to sodomizing a 13 year old girl. From the get go, Diana had no intention of allowing her daughter to attend the party (which was being held at the Polanski residence). She doesn’t even want her daughter in the same class as Elvis (lest the apple not fall far from the tree) and pleaded with the director of the school to move Natalie to another class the day she found out Elvis was in there. But the director of the school refused and thus, Natalie was now the recipient of a birthday invite to the child molester’s house. “Read what it says here,” Diana instructed me pointing to the very bottom of the invite. “Guests will enjoy a screening of Elvis’s father’s latest film in the private screening room. This is a children only party.” I could scarcely believe my eyes! Not only is this convicted sexual predator holding a kiddie birthday party at his home, he is strictly forbidding adults from attending! And the kicker? All the other snotty Parisian Mamans are sending their sons (and daughters!) to the party and cannot understand why Diana won't let Natalie attend.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

C'est une fille!

Madame Sarkozy has finally given birth, and c'est une fille. I was a little surpised to find out she did so at a public clinique rather than a more exclusive private hospital. According to Le Figaro Nicolas Sarkozy is the first sitting president to become a father in France's history. His advisors are hoping the excitement over the birth will give his approval ratings a boost (which are even further in the crapper than Obama's). And apparently, nobody is more excited that the pregnancy is over that Madame Sarkozy herself who recently confessed that she was anxious to 'get it over with' so she could have a drink and a cigarette. Spoken like a true femme française. The rumor swirling around online is that the kid has been named, believe it or not, Dahlia. Let's hope to hell that's not true.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Pépé Le Perp

Once DSK was back on home soil, the French wasted no time incorporating him into their famous “Les Guignols d’info” ( A satirical TV show that airs on Canal +). The latex puppet of Dominique Strauss-Kahn wears an expensive, leopard print silk robe, wide open to reveal masses of chest hair. His wife, former television journalist, Anne Sinclair is also depicted. An example of dialogue: DSK asks his wife what they are having for dinner, when she hesitates, he suggests they order pizza. Then we see DSK in the luxe kitchen of his Paris home dialing up various pizza places that deliver (including Pizza Hut and Dominos) asking the if they have ‘des livreuses.’ Nope, that’s not a kind of pizza, it’s French for ‘delivery woman.’ Finally, after calling five pizza places and being told they don’t have female delivery personnel, Anne Sinclair says, “Gimme that phone. At this rate we’ll never get our dinner.” Next, Anne walks in on her husband sitting in their living room next to a young, hot, blonde wearing a low cut top. She asks him who the woman is. He tells her it is “Rachelle, the babysitter.” Anne replies, “But our daughter is 26 years old!” DSK says, “Gosh, they grow up fast!” as he leers at the babysitter's rack. If you understand French and want to see some of these hilarious shorts for yourself simply google: DSK and les guignols. Of course, one of the downsides of DSK being freed is that Manhattan journalists will no longer have the opportunity to practice their high school French. Some of the nicknames they came up with were quite clever including, Pépé Le Perp and my personal fave: Le Frisky Frog

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Joyeux Anniversaire, Petite-Moi!

Seven years ago at this very moment I was speeding down Boulevard Haussman, screaming at the Parisians to get the f*** outta my way 'cause I was in labor.
Happy birthday to my mini-moi!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Italian Injustice

This whole Amanda Knox business is just another example of how Italy is being run by a bunch of dumbbells. As if Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s corruption and sex scandals were not enough, now the entire Italian justice system is slowly becoming the laughing stock of Europe (if not the world) as they continue to railroad an innocent college student because they are too stubborn to admit they were wrong.
Let’s review the facts, shall we?

1) The day the murder was discovered, Amanda Knox was taken into custody and interrogated all night without an attorney or translator present.

2) No reliable or credible evidence has ever placed Amanda Knox (and her supposed accomplice-her Italian boyfriend at the time-Raffaele Sollecito), at the scene of the crime.

3) The only physical evidence found on the murder victim’s body did not come from Knox or her boyfriend.

4) The Italian prosecutor in charge of the Knox case, Giuliano Mignini, has a history of railroading foreigners into false confessions AND is currently under indictment for misconduct.

Prosecutors maintain that Knox’s roommate was killed by her and her boyfriend ‘in a drug-fueled rage’. Since when has POT (the ‘drug’ in question) ever fueled anything but the MUNCHIES?

Her first conviction was a shocking miscarriage of justice. Let’s hope this time around the Italians get it right. This case should make every American student contemplating study abroad rethink their plans. Especially if you’re thinking of studying in Italy.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

What the DELF?

The DELF (Diplôme d'études en langue française) is a series of 4 independent certifications (A1, A2, B1, B2) designed for non-native speakers to demonstrate their level of knowledge in the French language. Each exam consists of suprisingly well designed sections on reading, writing, listening and speaking.

Here I paraphrase what each level means so you get an idea of what is being measured:

A1: One step above an Englishman. Able to recognize the language is French and fill in a simple questionnaire.

A2: Ability to order a carafe of house wine and dinner in a menu without pictures. Also able to unintentionally offend your French acquaintances who have invited you to a party.

B1: Able to write a beautiful apology letter to your French acquaintances for offending them when they invited you to their party and you drank too much wine, which led to mistaking the dog for the lady of the house.

B2: Able to successfully start a bar fight by expressing an eloquent opinion about the World Cup. Able to the explain the situation to the police prior to discharge from the hospital.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

An Open Letter to Christian Audigier

Dear Christian Audigier,
Please, stop making these heinous t-shirts. I realize that the cast of the Jersey Shore and Jon Gosselin are huge fans, but faux-celebrity endorsements don’t justify the creation of atrocious pieces of clothing. Using the same designs over and over again only works for fashion houses who employ simple and elegant designs. Not this crap.
And why, oh why, are all of your diaper bags adorned with the phrase "Love Kills Slowly?"For the love of all things sacred, no ONE wants to carry around their sweet babe while toting a diaper bag that says ‘LOVE KILLS SLOWLY. Not cool, Christian, not cool.

Monday, September 19, 2011

DSK has his say

The French are known for their FARCES and last night's interview with Dominique Strauss-Kahn certainly ranks up there as one of the most imaginative I've ever seen. His answers were obviously very well rehearsed (probably because the interviewer is a friend of his wife's which means he most likely had the questions in advance). He threw in lots of thoughtful pauses for reflection. And even though he seemed nervous at times (sweating like a hooker in church), he didn't seem 'contrite' or 'humbled' as Le Monde reported. He appeared defiant and arrogant. He even went so far as to suggest that the whole incident was some sort of plot by the Sofitel to 'trap' him. Although, the most heinous part of this whole incident is the picture included in this post. It's of DSK and his wife, Anne Sinclair, leaving the Manhattan court after all the charges were dropped against him. Note the GIANT, BROAD smiles on both of their faces. Now, I know why he's happy (he just avoided becoming some dude's French girlfriend at Rikers Island), but WHY oh WHY is the WIFE smiling? Oh, that's right, she just found out that instead of admitting to forcible RAPE he husband has instead admitted to CHEATING on her. With a hotel maid. And apparently, THAT is cause for celebration.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Merci, Jean-Louis B!

Thank God for Jean-Louis B is all I can say. Next time I’m at a party and I hear Frenchies complaining about how ridiculously litigious the United States is, I can cite this case: A 47 year old woman from Nice sued her husband for divorce (on the grounds that he failed to perform his ‘husbandly’ duties in the boudoir for several years) and WON! Not only that, she was awarded ten thousand Euros in punitive damages! However, more shocking that this judgement, was my discovery that a law referring to the ‘devoir conjugal’ (literally conjugal duties) of husbands and wives actually existed in France until its abolition in 1990. That’s right, there was actually a law on the books that specifically said that once married, you were required to have sex with your spouse. Although, no time frame or frequency of occurance was specified. I guess they left that up to each individual couple. How nice of them. In addition, you might be interested to know that there is currently an article of the French Civil Code (#212) that stipulates a spouse must 'respect and remain faithful' to their significant other during their marriage. Now, that one really makes me laugh.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

My September 11th Story

On the morning of September 11th, 2001 I was working as a French teacher at a Washington, DC area private school. I was in my office prepping for my first class when a wave of nausea hit me. I ran across the hall to the bathroom just in time to vomit up my entire breakfast. I was six weeks pregnant and the ‘morning sickness’ that I had heard about but had yet to experience had finally arrived. Ugh! I thought to myself as I rinsed my mouth with water from the hallway fountain, this is going to be a long day. I looked at my watch, it was 8:51. When I returned to my office, a colleague of mine said, very matter of factly; “a plane just hit the World Trade Center in New York city.” When I heard this, to be honest, my first reaction was not panic. I assumed that the plane was a small Cessna, flown by some moron who thought he was a pilot after taking ten flying lessons. It was a mistake. It had to be. There is no way an experienced pilot would ever make such a horrible miscalculation and fly into a huge skyscraper. It wasn’t until twelve minutes later, when the second plane hit, that I realized the crashes were intentional. Over the next forty minutes, I wandered in and out of the school library, watching the events unfold and questioning just what the hell was going on. Then, at 9:40 am, the events of September 11th reached out and grabbed hold of my heart, wrenched it, and nearly stopped it. The local news interrupted the broadcast to show a photo of the Pentagon in flames. They reported a plane had just crashed into it. I gasped. My husband, a Captain in the Airforce, had a meeting that very morning at the Pentagon. “Just wanna let you know,” he whispered in my ear, early that morning. “I won’t be in the office this morning. I have a meeting at the Pentagon.” I ran out of the library and back to my office where I picked up the phone and frantically dialed his number. I got a reorder signal. I tried his cell phone. No network. I felt woozy and grabbed hold of my desk for support. The next two hours were an unbelievable roller coaster ride of emotions which I hope to never experience again. There were unconfirmed reports of a bomb going off at the State Department and a second plane crashing into the Pentagon. I had no phone service but my email was working and I frantically responded to panicked inquiries by family and friends the world over asking if my husband was alright. I responded to all of them the same way. I don’t know. I just don’t know. Finally, the call came that I had been waiting for: my husband telling me he was okay. “It’s going to take me awhile to get home,” he informed me. “They have shut down the metro, so I’m gonna have to walk.” I waited anxiously on the steps of our townhome and was ecstatic to see his tall, lanky frame come into view as he walked across the street. As he approached me on the stairs, he dropped to his knees, lifted up my blouse and planted a kiss on my belly. “I’m glad you two are okay,” he said. “I love you,” I said. “I know,” he responded, Han Solo style. Always a joker, that man.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Piss Poor Behavior

So, you may have seen the story about French actor Gérard Depardieu's recent problem on a CityJet flight from Paris to Dublin. According to CityJet, the actor's plane was delayed just before takeoff and he was told he could not use the lavatory until they had reached crusing altitude. Depardieu then insisted he needed to piss immediately, but the flight crew refused to let him leave his seat. At this point he was passed an empty Evian bottle by his friend, fellow French actor Edouard Baer-(Hey, what are friends for?) which Gérard attempted to use--and this is my favorite part: 'as discreetly as possible.' {Cause nothing says discreet like whipping out your Johnson in public and trying to urinate into a plastic bottle!} Unfortunately, the bottle Edouard gave him was one of those little ones and Gérard's uhh....jet stream....overflowed onto the carpet. Mr. Baer insists his friend was 'stone cold sober' at the time and even offered to clean up the mess. I for one absolutely believe he was sober at the time. Gérard Depardieu is such a pompous ass that there's no need for him to be wasted to pull something like this. Seriously, those passengers should consider themselves lucky he didn't need to go #2.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

ATM Tips for Tourists

WARNING: ATMs in Paris do not operate the same as they do in the US.

Point #1: ATMs in Paris have a time limit (yes, you read that correctly a TIME LIMIT) associated with each transaction. So, if you need to pause for a few moments while you rack your brain trying to remember your pin, you are most likely going to run out of time at which point the machine will SUCK YOUR CARD BACK IN! In order to get it back, you need to go into the bank and present a picture ID. Pain in the ass? You bet! But imagine this. Imagine the bank is closed when this happens. Now you are without your card until the bank reopens (which could be anywhere from a couple of hours to couple of days, if you are in town during one of the many French holidays). Point #2 Paris ATMs are silent. They do NOT make that annoying beeping noise to remind you to take your card after you’re done, so your card just sticks out of the machine, waiting for a total stranger to yank it out and go on a shopping spree at Louis Vuitton. Before you stick your card in any ATM follow these three steps 1) make sure the bank is open and will continue to be open for the next hour at least. Parisians relish their TWO hour lunch and consider that time sacred. So, if you are going to make the bank manager late for his déjeuner to get you your card back, the staff will tell you to come back at three o'clock. 2) Familiarize yourself with the keys before you begin. Know exactly where the withdrawal key is in relation to the number pad. Also, try depressing all the keys. Do they all seem to work? If not, do NOT use that machine. My card was sucked into a London ATM because the #3 button did not work. Which reminds me of the most important point of all: DO NOT make a mistake when entering your PIN! The machine will automatically assume you are NOT the owner of the card and SUCK IT IN! You get only one SHOT at it, so don’t screw it up!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Baguette Vending Machine

Only in France, people, only in France. We just had to test this machine out to see if the bread was any good. It was actually quite tasty although it was delivered to us hot (and we all know baguettes taste best when they are piping hot). We still prefer bread from EK but in a pinch, it'll do. If this guy was smart, he'd put these in cities all over France.

Friday, August 19, 2011

We love Paris in August

Each summer we take our vacation in July to ensure that we are around the entire month of August because we LOVE Paris in August. And do you know why? Because all the Parisians are GONE! They flee the city starting around the last week of July and don't return until the very last week of August and let me tell you, it is AWESOME! Parking is easy to find and there are loads of smiling, happy people on the métro (those would be the tourists). But my absolute favorite part of Paris in August has to be the silence. It is so quiet on Sunday morning as we walk to the park that the only sound we hear is the chirping of the birds in the trees. It's almost like living in a ghost town. Paris takes on a whole new beauty when experienced in the silence of August. Although, this post would not be complete without mentioning the signs. It is tradition to put up a sign in your shop window informing the general public the dates you are closed. Most of them are handwritten and small. Some are so small in fact that you have to get within inches of the glass to read them. I'm fascinated by the fact that, most of the time, the French live in the 21st century like the rest of us. But when it comes to vacation, they live in 1955 when you would close your business for an entire month.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Faking out the Swiss Guard

For the Assumption Day holiday, Dear Hubby and I decided to take off for an adults only quickie trip to Rome. I faxed the Vatican offices several months before our trip in an effort to secure tickets to tour the famed Vatican Gardens but never heard back from them. When we headed into Vatican City this morning I decided I was getting in those gardens one way or another. Armed with the original fax I marched right up to the Swiss guards that were blocking the entrance to the Vatican offices. “Buongiorno, Signora,” they said to me in heavily Italian accented English, “how can we help you?” My first instinct, in any foreign country, is to speak the only foreign language I know: French. So, I started explaining to the Swiss guards how I sent my request months ago and never heard back but I thought I should still be allowed into the office to see if tickets were waiting there for me. Both of them looked at me dumfounded, as IF they had NO idea what I was saying. How could this be? since Switzerland is known the world over for having not one, but THREE national languages: French, Italian and German. Well, these Swiss guards must have been from the Italian only section of the country because they did not appear to speak or understand a word of French. I then decided to use this fact to my advantage. As Dear Hubby stood silently by, I berated these guys non-stop in French, pointing at and waving my fax (which was also in French) in front of their faces until they finally gave up trying to communicate with me and simply waved us inside the gates! I felt like Lois Lane in the second Superman movie. The one where she distracts the gendarme with her French phrase book and then slips right into the crime scene undetected. Unfortunately, for me the folks that worked inside the Vatican offices were not nearly as monolingual as the guards. They had several French speaking Italians working there who quickly ascertained we had neither tickets nor clearance to be where we were, and promptly kicked our asses back out into St. Peter’s Square. So, the moral of the story is if you are ever stopped by the Swiss guard in Vatican City speak French, it may not save you completely, but it should buy you some time to formulate a plan.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Flying the French Skies

Our return trip to Paris was much more pleasant, due mainly to the fact that we flew Air France. Of course, we had to go through the American security molestation exercise but once on board it was like entering a different world. The crew was very pleasant and respectful (and they were all Parisians! Imagine that! Parisians besting Americans on manners, I never thought I'd see that day). No one tried to restrict passenger movement on the plane (except during takeoff and landing, of course) and upon hearing my daughter's frantic pleas of 'pee pee, pee pee!' the person waiting to use the lavatory in front of us insisted we go in front of them. Add to this the fact that the food was good and plentiful and a bottle of FREE wine came standard with every meal, well I can safely say we'll never fly home on any other carrier. Merci, Air France!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Flying the Unfriendly Skies

So, it's been three years since I took an international flight to the US and boy, what a difference three years makes. Not only have passengers gotten ruder, but the flight crews have, too. Case in point: Our recent trip home. We flew on an American owned and operated air carrier whose name I won't divulge. Let's just call them Detinu Airlines. Anyways, after waiting for an hour to use the restroom (because you are not allowed to form a line to use the can)and never finding an opening I finally ventured out of my seat with my four year old while the 'fasten seatbelt' sign was illuminated. As we approached the vacant lavatory, a female flight attendant got right in my face, effectively blocking our entrance to the bathroom and said, "Ma'am the fasten seatbelt sign is on. You need to return to your seat!" I very calmly informed her that my four year old had been waiting an HOUR for the on board lavatories, ANY on board lavatory, to be vacant and we had no luck. Every time we tried to make a break for an empty bathroom, someone else go there before us, thus my daughter's bladder was near the breaking point. "Well," said the nasty flight attendant, "you are risking serious injury by being out of your seats." This comment not only scared my child, but sent me over the edge. "Look," I said, "either she goes in the potty or she goes in her seat, your choice." At this point, the Nasty flight attendant, moved out of our way and sat back in her jump seat (all the while muttering nasty comments under her breath to the other rude flight attendants seated next to her). Seriously, is THIS what air travel has come to? I am willing to comply with all the new and ridiculous rules of air travel, but where oh where has common sense gone? Frisking my four year old? Trying to keep passengers prisoner in their seats for a TEN hour flight? And what about those Air Marshalls that were supposed to be on every flight over three hours long? Aren't they there to keep everyone safe? Surely with them onboard there is no reason to restrict passenger movement? It is too bad that safety comes at the expense of common sense.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Vacay in the USA

We are returning to the USA for the next two weeks to repatriate our kids and enjoy a little R&R. I just wanted to let all my peeps know why this blog won't be updated until after August 5th. We are staying at my Dad's house a man who doesn't believe in paying 'extra' for a fast internet connection and thus he still has what I like to call 'Dino Dial Up' (the internet connection that is still hooked up to his phone). I refuse to blog via Dino Dial Up. Also, DH just informed me that you're not supposed to tell anyone when you go on vacation, because they'll come and rob your house. And to that I say, bienvenue and bonne chance. See, we live in a building that has not one but TWO coded security doors. On top of that, the door to our apartment is as thick as a bank vault. Really. The exterior is all lovely embossed wood, but once you open it, it is 18 inches of thick, heavy, steel. Donc, mes amis, see you in aout.

Friday, July 22, 2011

French Language a Hoax

Back a few months ago, around the time that Wacko from Wikileaks published all that embarassing stuff he had on the US and other governments, an online British paper called the News Biscuit published a story saying that French President Nicholas Sarkozy had admitted that the French language was a 1,000 year old hoax. The story drove my Parisian friends nuts! I adore the everlasting love/hate relationship the French have with the Brits. It makes life here so much more interesting watching and listening to them interact. But, I digress. If you haven't read the complete article, here it is:
"After yesterday’s Wikileaks revelations, Nicolas Sarkozy has today confirmed that the “French language” is indeed a one thousand year old hoax. The president of France revealed that what purported to be his native tongue was in fact complete gibberish, admitting the French really speak English, except in the presence of the British. This comes as Wikileaks published cables sent by French diplomats to countries such as Spain, China and Russia which were all found to be written in English. During a speech given in received pronunciation, the French President came clean, stating that it all started off as a joke during William the Conquerer’s invasion to make the aggressors seem a bit more exotic. “What was initially a prank snowballed and after a few years we realised we’d look silly revealing the truth, so we had to keep up the façade,” said the Premier. “In the company of any Brits we would try to make convincingly “French” sounds, a mixture of guttural grunts and rapid-fire syllables.But as soon as we were on our own we’d all heave a huge sigh of relief and revert to English. We developed a heavy reliance on hand gestures to cover up when we ran out of likely noises, and the shrug was a particular boon if inspiration dried up. In the end we became quite the raconteurs, with an impressive array of supposed vocabulary. So what began as a game for the élites, became a hobby across all levels of society, and it shocked us that the Brits were so naïve as to not see through the charade.”

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Huit à Huit

Just down the block from me is a little convenience store, it’s called the huit à huit (the eight to eight) because it is open, as you can imagine, from 8 am until 8 pm. It’s also the only thing open on Sunday (which is usually when we run out of milk). Imagine a 7-11 without the prepared food and combined with a liquor store, all of which fits neatly into a large walk-in closet. My new hobby is playing "where the hell are you from" with the owner. He doesn't know what my nationality is, and it seems to be driving him slowly mad. I have never, EVER, spoken anything but French to him, but he has decided I am not French and is intent on figuring out what country I am from. He has already guessed Canada and Belgium, to which I said ‘non’. Tonight he guessed Switzerland. I simply smiled,said ‘non monsieur’ and waved goodbye as I left.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Ticket Price Discrimination

We came to London for a couple of days and to humor my older daughter who was intent on seeing the final Harry Potter film in the country of Harry’s birth (it was awesome by the way!). We knew London was expensive and thus expected to pay more for movie tickets here, but never before had we encountered the employment of price discrimination based on where your seats are in the theater. Seats closer to the screen cost more, while the ones furthest from the screen cost a lot less. We paid NINE pounds per person (that’s nearly 18 US dollars) for a ‘standard view’ (which wasn’t even in the first tier of seats). And get this, in order to make sure that people don’t buy tickets for the ‘cheap seats’ and then sit in the more expensive seats once inside the darkened theater, a bunch of theater employees stand in each section of the theater for the ENTIRE film, surveying the crowd to make sure no one moves. I can’t imagine it is cost effective for the theater to pay an employee to stand around watching a bunch of people watch a movie. I bet if they stopped paying all those extra employees to monitor the crowd they’d save enough money to employ a single ticket pricing schedule. Thank god the French don’t do this because we’d never go to the movies.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Today's Language Tip

Seeing that it is the summer season and France is full of tourists, it's time for a handy tip from Madame Language Person.
When looking at a French menu, you might see the following:

steak à cheval
steak de cheval

There's a BIG difference between the two! Steak à cheval means 'an egg riding horseback--on top of--a steak' while 'steak de cheval' IS a horse steak.

It's amazing, isn't it, the difference one little preposition can make?

Bon Appétit!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Runaway (Princess) Bride, Part Deux

According to the British Newspaper, The Mirror, Charlene Wittstock tried to bolt, not once but THRICE before her nuptials to Fat Albert III. The first time was in early May when she travelled to Paris for a fitting of her wedding gown. The paper says she ‘took refuge’ in the South African Embassy for an undisclosed period of time. The second took place later that month when she tried to flee during the Monaco Grand Prix. The third and final attempt was made last week, just days before the three day nuptials were set to begin. The reason for all these escape attempts? News that her dear fiancé was facing not one, but TWO more claims of illegitimate children: one already born, one still in utero. According to The Mirror, Prince Fat Albert and his bride came to an ‘agreement’ so the wedding could go on as planned.

Although, for such a happy occasion, the bride looked rather tense. She spent most of the time looking down at the ground, even as she walked down the aisle with her father. At one point she even burst into tears as Fat Albert looked on, passively. But the real temperature gauge of this marriage are those kisses. Just check out the two photos included in this post.

In this one, taken just after the civil ceremony on July 1st, Fat Albert is kissing his new wife who looks as if she just threw up in her mouth a little bit. (Although, I can’t blame her since I would also throw up in my mouth if I was forced to kiss him).

In this one, taken at the conclusion of the religious ceremony, he appears to kiss her, but clearly she isn’t kissing him back.

Although, to be honest, I’m having a hard time feeling sorry for Princess Charlène. Fat Albert’s reputation as a Man Whore has been VERY well known for years by the entire world, so if she was surprised to learn he was screwing around while they were together, well, then she is thick as a brick. So, Charlene, honey, here is some free advice: lay still, produce a legitimate heir, then live the rest of your life in luxury. That's the job you signed up to do, so STOP trying to run away!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Runaway (Princess) Bride

First Hef, now Prince Albert. What is the world coming to?

L’Express online reported yesterday that Prince Albert’s fiancée, Charlene Wittstock tried to flee the principality over the weekend hours after learning that Albert had not been leading the exemplary life she thought. L'Express claimed that a distraught Wittstock was eventually stopped at the Nice airport, where officials were acting on a request from the royal palace and that it required 'infinite persuasion' by the Prince and members of his entourage to convince her to stay. Christiane Stahl, chief advisor to Prince Albert, vehemently denied the story. She also suggested that the rumors stemmed 'from utter jealousy.'

Yeah, because every gal dreams of marrying a fat, balding Man Whore. Charlene, honey, you are a high school dropout and a mediocre athlete, this is the BEST deal you’re ever gonna get. Go through with the wedding, fill up that suitcase with Royal Cash, then skip town.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Shopping and Eating

Summer is now officially upon us and that means my inbox is filling up daily with emails like this:

Hey Alison!
I'm coming to Paris in a few weeks with my
and was wondering if you could give us some
advice about what to do/see while we are
in town.
Signed: A person you haven't heard from in months

I don't respond to these emails anymore and it's not because I don't want to be helpful. It's because I DO want to be helpful. See, the thing is, unless you are my
genetic twin I doubt that what interests me will interest you. My two favorite things to do in Paris are shopping and eating. If those are your top two interests as well, then I may have some suggestions for you. However, if those are NOT your top two interests then you should probably figure out your own intinerary. I mean, if I tell you what to do and you have a crappy time, then you'll blame me. And the worst, the absolute worst, are people who attach a time frame to their request. For example, "We'll be in Paris for only 48 hours. Any advice on what we shouldn't miss?" Talk about pressure! I'm pretty sure there are a multitude of guidebooks out there on Paris that contain sections called just that(What to see in Paris if you only have 48 hours).

So, to sum up, please don't send me any emails asking for advice about what to do in Paris on your vacation this summer. Unless, of course, you are someone who was MEAN to me in high school. In that case, I DO have a few suggestions for you. First, you MUST visit the Paris Sewers. It is a museum run by the City of Paris that is not only inexpensive but always waiting in line to get in...ever! After that you should get on the metro and take the thirteen line all the way to the end and exit at Saint Denis. Upon exiting the metro you should yell, "America rocks!" as loud as you can for at least five minutes.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


In honor of La Fête de la Musique , this post is dedicated to my favorite French band of all time: Tryo. I saw them live in Bordeaux in 2006 during their 10 year anniversary tour and it is a concert I will never forget. My favorite album is "Grain de Sable" but they are all good. Download a few songs to your ipod and check 'em out. They have such a unique sound.

Tryo is a French language 'unplugged' reggae acoustic band, popular in Europe and in Quebec, with three French guitarists, a percussionist, and a producer: Guizmo, Christophe Mali, Manu Eveno, Daniel "Danielito" Bravo and Bibou. They are popular in France partly due to their politically charged lyrics, whilst also showing a fun side with a range of humorous songs, especially in live performances.They take a left wing stance, criticising French politicians and world leaders alike. They have sold 900,000 albums. They had their 10 year anniversary in 2006, followed by a nationwide tour. Tryo have four studio albums, a double CD live album and two live DVDs.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Suppository City

I've come to the conclusion that French people really enjoy shoving stuff up their behinds. The reason I say this is the French medical community just LOVES prescribing suppositories. They prescribe them even when they are not warranted. We, in the US, have a healthy distaste for shoving stuff up our behinds and will ONLY do so as a last resort. Not so in France. Medicines are routinely manufactured ONLY in suppository form. I did not fully realize their obsession with suppositories until after the fifth or sixth time my daughter's medication was given to me in suppository form. At this point I decided to address the issue with the pharmacist.

Me: Can I have the other form of this medication?

Pharmacien: What other form?

Me: daughter is old enough to swallow pills and she's not vomitting or anything so....

Pharmacien: (looking confused) I'm afraid I don't understand, Madame.

Me: Can't I have this medication in pill form, you know, the kind that goes in your mouth?

Pharmacien: Ca n'existe pas.

Me: (looking confused) So, YOU don't have any here, or there isn't any to be found anywhere in Paris?

Pharmacien: CA N'EXISTE PAS!

Me: Ah...bon.

So, if you are a person who enjoys shoving stuff up your behind, you should move to France. And then get sick. Alot.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

I Refuse To Be Brad Pitt's Nanny

Not that he’s asked me but, if he did, I’d say no way and here’s why: him and Angelina are apparently overly indulgent parents. Several quotes that he gave to an American publication about their parenting style have now made it into the international media and oh my gravy are they scary. First, about his kids, he told Us Magazine, and this is a direct quote, “Listen, I just want them to do whatever makes them happy. I don’t want to encumber them in any way.” He also admitted to Parade Magazine that “It’s chaos at our house from morning until the lights go out and sometimes after that.” Now, I’m all about kids being ‘unencumbered.’ I believe that the majority of American parents over schedule their kids with all kinds of lessons and activities and that most children do not get enough time to just play. However, you cannot raise children without discipline and rules or else your kids grow up to be spoiled brats. Now, imagine we added millions of dollars into the mix. So, to recap, Brad and Angie’s kids are being raised in an environment where there are very few rules AND they have access to a large amount of cashola. I cannot wait to see how this turns out.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Rooming With God

This past weekend, my husband John, participated in a handball tournament outside of Paris. Team handball, as it is more accurately called, is not the game played by hitting a small rubber ball off the wall with your palm. It is a sport played on a basketball court with a ball the size of a volleyball. It is relatively unknown in the US but is very popular in Europe and thus, as soon as we moved here, John signed up to play with a recreational league. His teammates come from all over the world and one of them just happens to be an Egyptian guy named Allah. I find the idea of naming a kid God even more amusing than the Hispanic tradition of naming a kid Jesus and thus I insist on referring to Allah by the English translation of his name. Seeing that the tournament was being held an hour outside of Paris and since my husband is both the team captain and main organizer, he decided it would be best if the team spent the night in a modest hotel near the arena. To save money, all team members were expected to share a room and my lucky husband got God as his roommate.

“You get to room with God?!” I asked incredulously. “How cool will that be?”

“I wish you wouldn’t call him that,” John admonished me. “It’s inflammatory.”

“How can calling someone by their name be inflammatory?”

I could hear him sigh wearily into the phone, a signal that he was not interested in discussing it further (probably because he knew I would win the argument).

“Are you coming down with the girls tomorrow?” he asked.

“Absolutely, we’ll be there by nine.”

“Okay, then, see you tomorrow, honey,” he said, and hung up.

When we arrived at the arena the next morning, I made a beeline for my husband who was sitting down stretching out on the sidelines. I just had to find out how God was as a roommate. Turns out, God is messy. And he snores. Who knew? But the real surprise came during the second half of the match. God was benched for talking trash to the refs, but even that did not keep him from getting riled up. God continued to berate the refs from the sidelines and he even started to swear at them. Loudly. And not just any swear word. Nope. God used the F word. Three times! At this point the head ref came over and told my husband either God had to leave the arena or he was gonna stop the game and call it for the other side. Boy, was John mad. He personally escorted God outside and told him to stay there. Their team won the game, but just barely. After it was over, John informed God that if he didn’t behave from here on out, he was gonna bench him for the rest of the season.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Albert et Charlene

So, the big news here in Paris this weekend is the highly anticipated airing of an interview TF1 did with Prince Albert II of Monaco and his fiancée, Charlene Wittstock about their upcoming nuptials. A two minute clip of the interview has been available online for the past week. What strikes me most about this interview is the fact that, despite being Al's girlfriend for SIX years, Charlene apparently does not speak passable French (since her answers are all in English). She also has no reaction to what the interviewer is asking so apparently she doesn't understand French, either. The Parisians are very hard on those who don't speak their language and I'm guessing that the Super Rich Super Snotty Monegasques are even more so. I can't wait to see the rest of this interview. Bonne Chance, Charlene. You're gonna need it.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Reverse Tiger Mom

It was only a matter of time before this happened. In a weird twist, these people are the reverse of that overbearing Yale law professor who bereats her kids in Chinese. Both Kathy Witterick and her husband, David Stocker, lamented the fact that parents make 'so many choices for their children, it's obnoxious' Thus, they decided to give the latest addition to their family an ambiguous name (Storm) and not reveal the baby's gender to anyone. I was a bit surprised to read that these folks hailed from Toronto. I felt sure they made their home in California--specifically Freak Central (Venice Beach). Although I wonder why they even chose a name for the kid at all. Why not call them 'you' or 'it' until the child can decide what they want their name to be? Furthermore, why communicate with them using English? Isn't that making a choice for the child as well? Why not let them choose which language they want to communicate in when they grow up? Until then you can communicate with them using grunts, just like the cavemen used to do (which would be perfect for these folks 'cause clearly they are neanderthals).

Monday, May 23, 2011

Rebecca and the Prince of Egypt

Last summer I flew my second cousin’s 13 year old daughter, Rebecca, here to be our ‘fille au pair.’ Basically her job entailed taking the girls out to the park for few hours each day. She had every afternoon off to explore the city, although not speaking a word of French my husband wondered how she’d get along all alone in a foreign capital. He need not have worried. Rebecca, who is not only bright but also very beautiful, already had a friend in the City of Lights. His name was Raphael. She met him at the prestigious Phillips Exeter Academy Prep School in early June where they both were taking an accelerated math class. Raphael was three years older than Rebecca and thus, I was constantly quizzing her on where they went and what they did while hanging out with his friends. She would regale me with stories of eating at fancy restaurants all over Paris and going to see American movies in French. All of which was paid for by the very wealthy, Raphael. Then one day she said something very interesting. She informed me that Raphael had told her he was the grandson of the last King of Egypt, thus making him, the last Prince of Egypt. I found this more than a bit amusing since she had also told me that Raphael’s family was Jewish and I’m pretty sure there had never been a Jewish King of Egypt. It was shortly thereafter that I had to put the brakes on Rebecca’s relationship with the Prince of Egypt. Raphael had asked her to fly with him to his family’s house in Cannes for the weekend.
“Can I go?” she asked anxiously
“Are you serious? Of course not!”
“Why not?”
“Why won’t I let you accompany a 16 year old stranger of the opposite sex to his family’s home 600 miles away?” I asked her sarcastically. “Come on, Rebecca, you know why you can’t go.”
“That sucks!” she said and stormed off to her room.
Luckily, Raphael’s request came at the end of July and just a week later his family left Paris for the month of August, like all Parisians do. By the time they returned in September, Rebecca was safely back in the US. Nearly a year later, his ardor for her clearly hasn’t waned one bit. I know this because I got a call on my cell phone the other day from Raphael. He had my number because I had given my phone to Rebecca while she was here so I could always get in touch with her.
“Bonjour! This is Raphael.”
“Who?” I asked.
“Raphael, Madame,” he said all politesse. “Rebecca’s friend.”
“Ah, oui,” I said. “What can I do for you, Raphael?”
“Please, Madame, will Rebecca be returning to you this summer.”
Unbelieveable! The little horn dog was calling to see if his escaped conquest would be back!
“Non!” I said forcefully and hung up.
And that was the last I ever heard from the Prince of Egypt.

Monday, May 16, 2011

There is no FUN in French

You can tell that having fun is not natural to the French because they do not even have a word for it. That's right FUN does not exist en français. They had to steal our word (but with their accent it comes out sounding like 'UN'). They seem so serious all the time you wonder if they would even know FUN if it came up and bit them on the derrière. Even for French children there seems to be very little FUN allowed. At birthday parties they don't even play games like pin the tail on the donkey or musical chairs. They just let the kids run around unsupervised until their parents return to pick them up. I've tried to educate my French friends by introducing them to traditional American ideas of fun. For example last year I hosted a Toga Party on my birthday and while all our American friends got it, the French did not. Instead of coming dressed in sheets they bought sheets, wrapped them up and gave them to me as a gift. Oh, well. C'est la vie!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

You must have proof!

One of the more interesting lessons I learned after moving here is that if you have to send anything by mail, you must send it registered mail. Otherwise, the person won't get it. Well, they will get it, of course, but they'll SAY they didn't, thereby buying themselves more time to do nothing about it. Take for example, our letter of cancellation of cable services. We wanted to sever our ties with one internet provided and hire another. Our first cable company, Noos, said we had to send them a letter stating our desire to end our contract with them. Fine. I typed it up and sent it off the next day. Although the following month I noticed our bank statement said we were still being billed for their services. I called them up to ask what gives and was informed they never received my letter of cancellation. So, like a dummy I sent them the same letter, again. And the following month, we again were billed for their services, even though our cable had been switched 2 months ago to another company. Finally, a Parisian friend clued me in to what was happening. By not sending the cancellation letter registered mail, I had no proof I asked them to cancel our service, thus allowing them to bill us for two months of internet use we never received. At that point, I decided to go to the post office to find out exactly what was going on. I shouldn't have even bothered because they are in on it, too. They told me to get lost unless I could produce proof. So, bottom line? Don't send anything more important than a postcard without that little, yellow, registered mail sticker on it.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Getting to the Bottom of Things

The first time I went to Paris with my husband he was insistent that we visit Le Musée des Égouts de Paris. Even though I had been to Paris several times before, I had never heard of this particular museum and thus agreed to go because #1 it was cheap (about 4 euros per person) and #2 there was little or no wait time to get in. Once inside, however, I quickly discovered why it was so cheap and empty: this is an active sewer. The stench was almost unbearable. There is literally CRAP floating by you as you travel along the walkways. Luckily, I had a small vial of perfume in my purse and I rubbed the scent under my nose so I could make it to the exit without vomiting. My husband, an engineer AND a history buff, was fascinated by it all and insisted on reading every single sign posted on the wall. I met back up with him in the museum gift shop which featured (and I swear I am not making this up) postcards with a picture of a rat on the front. I bought several of them and sent them to my in-laws with “wish you were here” written on the back. Of course, the best souvenir of all is free: the stench that stays on your clothes for hours after you’ve left!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Le Métro

Paris' Métro (underground train system) is an excellent means of getting around. Unless you are pushing a baby stroller. See, the métro is full of these irritating things called steps which are a real pain in the derrière to navigate. Especially while pushing a tiny human being in a four wheeled device. If you have a baby, then don't even attempt le métro. Just stay home. Another handy tip to remember is that the underground walkways linking stations together double as public toilets in a pinch. Just look for the big "M" signs all over the city. Oh, and don't worry if you end up in a McDonald's by mistake. They're also only good for urinating in.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter at the Embassy

Every year the Embassy hosts an annual egg hunt for all the children on the spacious lawn behind the Ambassador’s residence. There are cookies and milk on offer and even the Easter bunny makes an appearance. They get one of the marines to wear a giant bunny costume and go around hugging the kids and taking photos with them. Carole is happy to see the Easter Bunny, but he scares the heck out of Evelyn and I have to agree. The costume they got is NOT a cute and cuddly looking Easter bunny. It is an EVIL looking Easter Bunny. If the villain from the ‘Scream’ movies was reincarnated as a giant bunny this is what he would look like. And this year’s version is actually slightly improved upon from last year when his tongue was bright, blood red. They painted it pink this year in the hopes of softening his look a bit. It didn’t work. I had to spend the entire morning shuttling Evelyn from one end of the giant backyard to the other in an effort to stay AWAY from Evil Easter Bunny. If he was ANYwhere in her peripheral vision, she would start screaming bloody murder. Oh, well, until next year. Joyeuses Pâques!