Category Archives: Parc Monceau

Austin and Beyond

And we meet again, mes amis! I seem to be unable to manage more frequent posts at the moment, but I have no doubt that you all are finding plenty of ways to fill your time. For those of you who are paralyzed in front of your computer, frantically refreshing your inbox in hopes of a new post from me, I do apologize.

I mentioned last time that Mark and I spent a week in Isla Mujeres, Mexico in April. We go to Mexico frequently because it’s an easy direct flight from Houston, and because when we go we tend to look like this the whole time.

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We so happy!

Here are a few more shots of Isla, a Mexican beauty.

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I love the little shrine on the outside of this house.

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Although we haven’t yet had much time to relax and enjoy our return to Austin, we did have a fun weekend downtown during Mark’s 30th law school reunion. We stayed at a beautiful new Kimpton hotel named the Van Zandt, after the late Texas musician Townes Van Zandt. If you know only one of his songs, it’s probably “Pancho and Lefty”, which became a hit for Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard in 1983. The music theme is reflected throughout the hotel, from the light fixtures to the nightly performers in the hotel’s sleek restaurant, Geraldine’s.

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love this floor

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Our eighth floor corner room was a perfect blend of comfort, luxury, and view.

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Out the window

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Tub with a view.

This happened Sunday morning.

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I do love a good garnish.

If you want to treat yo-self in downtown Austin, the new Hotel Van Zandt is a pretty nice way to do it.

The weekend offered only one window of nice weather, and happily it was Friday night, which we spent on the gorgeous lawn of the Four Seasons Hotel, eating Mexican food and dancing to Bob Schneider. If you don’t know Bob, you should.

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I love you, Bob!

The Four Seasons bar is one of my favorite downtown spots for a cocktail on a summer evening. The hotel also has some of the best potted plants around.

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Just so you know, we don’t always stay in fancy hotels. We spent a night here recently and loved it.

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Well, we loved it until the thunder and lightning and rain hit about 3:00 in the morning. After that we didn’t like it so much and we left early – without any bloody marys or fancy French toast or even a shower. Some days are like that.

So that’s a glimpse of whats been happening around these parts. This time last year I took a beautiful walk in Parc Monceau. It seems like yesterday.

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See you soon, my friends!

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Filed under Austin, Parc Monceau, Uncategorized

And Now A Word From Our Sponsor

Paris has been much on my mind the last few days, probably because of the senseless tragedies that continue to be inflicted upon Europe. While missing Paris, I am also reminded that this time of year can be difficult there. You are sooooooo ready for spring (which according to Instagram has arrived in just about every other place in the world), and yet there you are, still wearing your tired sweaters and boots and hating them. It was also difficult to be so far away from home on Easter, and so I’m extra happy to be home to celebrate Easter with family this year. I’m making jambalaya for our Easter feast, because I am ready to swap out the ham tradition (never been a big ham fan, myself) and I think jambalaya could be up to the task of supplanting the pig in the middle of the table. I hope so, anyway.

So shall we lose ourselves in some Paris for a few minutes?

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See- don’t they look cold under that stunning tree?

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Yep- there was a reason those chairs were empty on April 4.

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Eventually the lighter scarves come out again!

Eventually the lighter scarves come out again!

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Wisteria!

Wisteria!

Ridonculous ranunculus.

Ridonculous ranunculus.

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OK. Enough of that. Don’t we all have grocery lists to make? Eggs to stuff? Jelly beans to eat*?

I know I do. Can’t wait to see myimage

*Just reminded me of the time one of my precious kids all dressed in Easter finery took my hand, opened it up, and spit a sticky mass of half-chewed black jelly bean pulp in my palm. I totally understood the impulse but ick.

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Filed under flowers, France, Parc Monceau, Paris, springtime in Paris, Tuileries, Uncategorized

No Ugly Here

This morning I kissed my friend “adieu” and waved her off to the airport, where she will soon be leaving a jet trail on her way back to Texas. This cool, crisp air will be a distant memory by the time she steps off the plane in Houston, which is predicted to be 90 degrees and 95% humidity. We will be suffering the same rude transition when we fly home a week from now. But this morning in Paris is heavenly, and I spent a delightful hour and a half at the park, savoring the spring sweetness while I can. Parc Monceau was unusually beautiful- almost heartbreakingly so.

The wisteria on the apartment building just outside the park is finally blooming. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to open the windows and allow that fragrance to waft in?

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I love this bush. Anyone know if we can grow it in Texas?

I love this bush. Anyone know if we can grow it in Texas?

close-up of sweet little bloom

close-up of sweet little bloom which looks like a bunch of baby birds waiting for breakfast!

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Thanks for stopping by, and y’all come back now- ya hear?

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Filed under Parc Monceau, Paris, springtime in Paris

Yesterday’s Walk In The Park

The weather in Paris has not been great since my return from vacation. Tuesday was unusually windy, and yesterday only slightly better. When the sun began teasing us in the afternoon I zipped up my jacket and walked around Parc Monceau. I had both my umbrella and my book in my purse, hoping to be prepared for whatever turn the weather took. Turned out I didn’t need the umbrella, but I wasn’t warm enough to sit on a bench with my book.

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I loved how her yellow shoes looked with the flowers.

I loved how her yellow shoes looked with the flowers.

It pains me to say that I have not seen our two old friends at the park in a long time. I never stop looking for them, though. We have seen this couple before. Do you remember them? They always walk like this.

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This plane tree is over 200 years old. I just love it.

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The birds were so happy. They must know that spring is on its way.

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Filed under Parc Monceau, springtime in Paris

Meanwhile, Back At The Parc Monceau

Happy Tuesday, tout le monde! While my peeps in Texas are enjoying some stellar weather, it was another grey day in Paris. I’m not complaining. In fact, I spent a lovely hour in the park this afternoon, something I had not done in several weeks. The park was pretty bare of people and of blooms, although I did search for signs of spring.

These fancy pink trees are always first to the party. It’s kind of show-offy, really.

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This long purple bloom is pretty.

 

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That was about the extent of it- winter is sitting pretty still in Paris, although the days are definitely getting longer.

The little school in the park was having recess while I was there, and those kids had lots of spring in their steps! They were so cute- like a bed of ants in constant motion. They chased up and down the wide concrete path in the center of the park, slipping on gravel and occasionally falling down, only to pop back up and continue the game.

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This sweet little girl was thrilled with her balloon, which was almost bigger than she was.

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Let’s see- what else is new in Paris? Dominique Strauss-Kahn had no idea those women were prostitutes. He thought they were just very pretty and very friendly. Twas an easy mistake.

The cauliflower parm was delicious, and now I want to just fry up some cauliflower and dip it in something like chipotle sour cream, or sriracha and mayo. They would also be good on a bed of greens as a salad.

I keep thinking about a book I just finished called Department of Speculation. Such a big little book, and so fresh. It won’t be for everyone, but it was for me.

That’s all I got, mes amis. Enjoy your day!

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Filed under cooking, Parc Monceau, Paris

Paris With The Ladies

It’s hard to believe that I have been running around Paris with my mom and my aunt for almost two weeks and haven’t posted a single word or photo. Clearly, I can be Blogger or Tour Guide but not simultaneously.

The September weather has been perfect for sight seeing- hardly a drop of rain the whole month. I know The Ladies have walked more than they thought they could, each day encouraged by the “10,000 steps” signal of my Fit Bit. We have taken a cab only once, and the rest of the time have been on foot or on metro (which usually involves a lot of stairs).  No one has stepped out in front of a bicycle or a bus or even stumbled over the frequent obstacles on sidewalks and footpaths. My goal was to fly them home in a vertical position, and with one more day to go, we are almost there. Hip hip (no broken ones) !!

On their first full day we ventured to the Marais, where we ate falafel and enjoyed the photography exhibit of Occupied Paris at the Musee Carnavelet.

The Musee Carnavelet

The Musee Carnavelet

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Another day we visited the Camondo museum, which I have posted about many times. I wish they had a Frequent Flyer program there, because I would definitely have earned some drink tickets. Even though I can quote the audio guide by heart, I never tire of being in that beautiful house with the sad history.

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on the way there- looking toward Parc Monceau

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gate at the park

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I will be heading back to Texas on Wednesday, assuming that Air France has ended its longest pilots’ strike ever. That’s why we call it Air Chance!

Stay tuned for more Paris With The Ladies. But be patient. I am working at a slow pace here.

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Filed under art, Marais, Musee Carnavalet, Musee de Nissim de Camondo, Parc Monceau, Paris, Paris museum, Uncategorized

Parc Monceau

This little fairy (or is she a butterfly?) stole my heart at the park this week.

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