Monday, September 6, 2010

Nola's 9th Birthday

Today is Nola's birthday, but because it is a school day, we celebrated yesterday. For her outing, she wanted to go to Double Fond, in our neighborhood, which is like a comedy club, but it's for magic. Only beverages are served. We read that the magicians make the drinks disappear. Nola's plan was to drink her beverage super fast so as not to miss out on one drop before this happens. She then wanted to eat at a cafe across the street from the outdoor market that we frequent in le Marais. Last week she scoped out the menus of competing corner cafes just to be sure she was choosing a winner. The day before her birthday outing, Double Fond called to say they had to cancel Sunday's magic show and we would need to reschedule. We wondered if, like the teachers here, the magicians were also going on strike? We awoke on Sunday morning and broke the news to Nola. She was disappointed, but happy to have the opportunity on such a fine day to celebrate with a bike ride in Bois de Boulogne, on the edge of the 16th arrondissement of Paris, one of the largest green areas in any city. We had rented bikes there 2 weeks ago and Nola enjoyed it so much that she has been pestering us, almost daily, to do it again. It is a gorgeous park with lakes and streams and lots of meadows. We ate lunch at the casual outdoor cafe near the lake. It was very crowded and while Soren was at the counter ordering our lunch I had to stake out our table and hover over other diners as they were finishing so as to nab their table. Then, in French, I had to protect our four chairs from being taken from other would-be sitters. Shadowing Soren all this time, I've learned how to say, "I need..." so I simply told those who tried to steal our chairs, "I need four." Simple. At the time, I could not recall the French word for chair, but oh well. They got the point. After fending off many yellow jackets during our meal, we pedaled off for more exploration of the park. One highlight for me, which I happened to catch on video, was when Nola and Raelyn were discussing school and Nola said, "I can't wait for you to come to school with me on Monday Rae-Rae. I love eating in the cafeteria!" For those of you who know Nola well, she has tended to be a picky eater, and a slow one too. Her finicky ways have been improving with age, but her languishing over her food has not. Having two hours for lunch and playtime must be heaven for her, she can take what must feel like all the time in the world to finish her last bite! By the way, we did not see any protesting magicians picketing the streets of Paris on Sunday so they must have canceled their magic show for some other reason.


  1. Bonjour! Et bon anniversaire Nola et Raelyn!! Holli--another alternative to the Bois de Boulogne is the Bois de Vincennes adjacent to the Chateau de Vincennes. It is the last stop on the Metro Line 1. It is 10 km of beautiful parkland with things for kids to do and where a lot of Parisians go to ride bikes and jog--not as big as the "other" Bois. They also often have special exhibits in the halls there, so it can be worth a trip. The castle is also rather interesting--not big; but interesting. And not far from where you are. Check it out on the internet.

  2. Oh! Forgot to mention that the Bois de Vincennes contains the Paris Zoo--and it is quite nice. It also has a butterfly gardon with over 40 varieties of "papillons" among other things. There are things for kids from 6-14 to do. You go to the Porte Doree metro station on the Metro Line 1 (I believe).