Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Maya Visits Paris

Vingt dieux, la belle église!  When was the last time you received a thank you note from a visiting 12 year old niece?  Seems that her Finishing School tuition wasn't wasted.

Maya's thank you note is also today's guest post entitled, The Sacre Coeur Economy. It's an enlightened perspective of her first trip to Paris where she and her Mom zipped to by high speed train after visiting Uncle Jim and I in the south of France. 

Thank you sweetheart.  You can guest post for Auntie any time.

The Sacre Coeur Economy

Dear Auntie:
     I thank you enormously for your invitation to guest post, although I had some trouble deciding what to write about, I have come to a conclusion of writing about the Sacre Coeur, an enormous church and the area surrounding, because you were not there for it, and because it was my favourite place to drink cappuccinos at cafés and laugh at other stupid tourists. 

     Anyway, the Sacre Coeur was about ten blocks away from our hotel, and the area surrounding it is like what silly tourists get into their silly heads about Paris.  In truth, Paris is just like New York, only much better architecture, and everyone speaks French. 
The hotel was unusually coloured

So, on day two, we walk up the tiny, twisting pathways filled to the brim with busy, bustling people, and then suddenly half of the population spoke English.  We had reached what I like to call the Sacre Coeur Economy. 

     The streets were packed with mildly crazy tourists, and we found ourselves amidst a crowd, being helplessly shoved up the hill.  We pass two mimes and a lady with a cart covered from top to bottom in flowers, playing an accordion.

     Then, my Mom shouts, and I follow her finger to one of the most magnificent towers ever.  At this point, we were only a block away and were already gaping with mouths as wide as fishes.
The view of –and from- the magnificent Sacre Coeur

     So of course Mom wanted to go to the top.  Three hundred spiralling steps up, and three hundred spiralling steps down.   The view was stunning, and even through the pollution and clouds, I could make out the faint outline of the Eiffel Tower.

Another amazing thing about the Sacre Coeur Economy:  the shops

     I would also like to thank you for not only allowing me to write this, but for giving me no other option but to have a marvellous time – Uncle Jim, you too.
     I look forward to next time,

Love and hugs,

Two Nieces Visit Auntie

The Niece-ling visits the Auntie.  Let the spoiling begin!

It was a rare, "three generations under the same roof" week for Auntie and Uncle Jim, four if you count the fruit flies who arrived on some bananas a few days prior.

Our fabulous niece Tina and her equally fabulous daughter Maya jetted half way around the world to visit us at our seaside shack in the south of France.  Uncle Jim can count all of his relatives, both distant and close, on his fingers and toes so how lucky were we to have a thumb and pinkie to spoil at the same time? 

The last time niece Tina and niece-ling Maya visited was in 2002 when Maya was just a wee kitten.  Celine pointed to the kitchen doorway where almost 11 years ago to the day, Maya stood still just long enough for Auntie to mark her height on the door jamb.  I had completely forgotten about doing that.  She was under three feet tall at the time.

While we stood there, marvelling at the mark, a few things came to mind: boy, time sure flies, followed by, I'll have to have a word with the cleaning lady.

We made the most of our short time together.  I sent Maya up a tree or two to pick lemons and oranges, we baked a cake, she ate Moules and Crêpes Suzette and we haggled in French for souvenirs at a Vide Grenier or giant garage sale.

We had a "three country day" where after waking up and having breakfast in France, we drove through Italy and had lunch in The Principality of Seborga where niece-ling fearlessly ate wild boar and we met a little dog that was so adorable we plotted to kidnap it.

On the sunniest day, we all jumped in a helicopter, cameras in hand, and zoomed around in the sky, as one does on a sunny day, to get a new perspective on the world.

You make a diversion and I'll grab the dog

Bargain hunting for souvenirs at the Vide Grenier

Maya is an "up looker"

Time to say goodbye
Then, all of a sudden, we looked at Auntie's cat calendar and realized the party was over and it was time for them to leave.  Next stop, Paris on the high speed TGV train.

I asked Maya to write about her trip to Paris and she wrote a guest post for Auntie entitled, The Sacre Coeur Economy.

I foresee a brilliant and adventurous life for Maya and I hope she'll write more posts for The Auntie Times.

Thanks sweetheart. You can visit any time.

XO, Auntie