Friday, December 9, 2011

oh, christmas tree

On Monday, Naud started his new job.  I decided to rise at the crack of dawn and run before he left for the day.  It was a good call.  I spent most of my run in Jardin de Tuileries, near the Louvre, and bade good morning to a sleepy Eiffel Tower.  I passed many male runners and only one woman.  I felt safe but wondered where all the women were. 

After a failed attempt to visit Jardin de Luxembourg, which closes at 4:30 pm, in December, Annabelle and I made our way to Le Bon Marche.  I had read about the place in a number of books.  Unlike the practical catchall of everyday items I imagined, it turned out to be an overpriced department store. 

The purpose of our visit was to find ornaments and lights for the world’s smallest Christmas tree, purchased earlier in the day.  For a small fortune, we found just what we needed.  Remember that scene in Charlie Brown’s Christmas when they transform his pathetic tree into something glorious?  I have often chuckled at the preposterous idea that a spindly little tree could take on a new life when properly adorned.  It wasn’t until we bedecked our own little tree that this notion rang true.

On our way home, we picked up sandwiches, intended as a snack but soon declared sufficient as dinner for three jetlagged folk.  We called it a day soon after.

The following day, we visited Annabelle’s school and promptly fell in love.  The school was highly recommended to us by the same family whom we met at the park four years ago.  It is a wonderful place with warm and welcoming staff, adorable, sweet children and plenty of English spoken.  Several children are American or British and the delightful staff speak very good English.  We had no idea what to expect and were more than pleasantly surprised.  The teachers speak very little English but are kind and nurturing and the English-speaking children serve as translators.  Annabelle adores her new school!

Unlike the touristy area where we are living, the school is located in a true Parisian neighborhood, with a butcher (boucher), baker (boulangerie) and so forth.  There is a wonderful cheese shop (fromagerie) with an extensive selection, an out of this world chocolate shop (chocolatier) and a decadent dessert shop (patisserie), to name a few.  There is also a lovely produce stand where there is no such thing as a bruised piece of fruit and they hand select each item with care.

DSC_5893 dinner is served

After Annabelle spent the afternoon at her new school, we stopped by the nearby cheese shop and selected a few cheeses for dinner.  Especially enthralling was the tiny cupboard-like door which led to a cellar below the shop.  In addition, I picked up a bottle of wine, Poilane bread and salad fixings.  Happiness is French cheese for dinner by the light of our tiny tree.


  1. Yes, a lot of fancy dept stores downtown. I loved La Samaritaine last year, their Christmas tree was knockout big. I bet you loved the shop windows!

    Glad you're blogging, will be fun to read about your integration.


  2. Sarah, how wonderful that you are sharing your adventure. I look forward to hearing all about it. We just returned from a week in St. Germain de Pres and had a lovely time . . . although I think we liked it MUCH more than our children. Julie

  3. hi dana- thank you for writing and sorry it's taken me so long to get back to you! it has been fun to shop the windows, although we haven't made it to the big department stores yet... i'm hoping the displays will still be up this weekend... happy new year!

  4. Hi Julie,

    Thank you for writing- I will have to look for the parking garage on Rue Mazarine... thanks for the heads up! Happy New Year! Sarah