Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Why Reed should always do the blogging

Because I am simply TOO attached to the photos to make decisions about which ones go and which ones stay. It'd be easier to pick a favorite sibling (Jayden). Okay just kidding. Anyways...We have some catching up to do before going to the Romantic city of Rome this weekend so I am going to do a quick (quick for a french person at least) round-up of our most recent adventures.

4th of July
In honor of our beloved USA, we had a barbecue! Oh and don't you worry America, we ate really juicy hamburgers for your birthday party, not just these wimpy vegetables in the picture.

And here is a picture of a thumb. Don't know how we stumbled upon this or what the heck it means but how many people have pictures of the Parisian thumb? Ya, not many.

14th of July
To be fair to the French (the French are all about fairness), we also celebrated the French, independence/revolution/prison break/they don't actually know what they are celebrating, National Holiday. We had a great time going with some of our French friends from Evreux to see the Fireworks in Paris.

Julien, Allen, Martin and Reed

Cathedrale de Chartres
On our way to La Vallee de Loire to see all the Chateaux last weekend, we decided to stop and see this beautiful Cathedral we had heard about. It did not disappoint (though it was unfortunately too dark to really see anything inside). Reed made me run out there so he could sneak a picture with the priests in it.
We are not sure why, but statues at Cathedrals are always standing on something (humans, animals etc.) and I tried looking it up but couldn't find any information.
Cute husband by a cute french apartment complex
View from the Cathedral
Not sure what this means either but they have the same pathway carved on the inside of the church and people were walking on it so it must have some religious significance.
Bahaha I just love Reed's poses

Château de Chambord
This Chateau was definitely the most impressive. It is HUGE.

I love this shot of Reed. My husband is hott.
I felt right at home at the castle. Reed says I probably was supposed to be a queen back then but I protested against it when I found out I wouldn't have running water and air conditioning. Sounds about right ;-).

Château de Chenonceau
This is supposedly the most popular chateau for tourists so we felt really cheated when we saw they were doing construction on it! But the inside was still cool.
We found out that the beds were usually shorter back then because people slept sitting up!! Apparently they thought the lying down position was reserved for the dead. Crazy.

Yes, Reed is using his tour guide book as a prop to pretend to be a butcher :-).
Bed chamber of the 5 queens

Reed was really excited to do the "Labyrinth" in the gardens but it was too easy cause he could see over the hedge haha. So he decided to pretend to get lost anyways.

Château de Villandry
We didn't go into this castle because we heard it wasn't worth the time but the gardens were absolutely breathtaking. There were many gardens including an herb garden, vegetable garden, sun garden, water garden, flower garden and ornament garden.

Château de Cheverny
This was the smallest chateau we visited but the grounds were huge. The chateau itself was very quaint and even recently lived in so it was very interesting to see the inside. The grounds are also home to around 100 hunting dogs! Here they are all waiting for feeding time. It was REALLY neat to see when they opened the gates to feed the dogs, they were jumping and running all over each other.

This next picture was probably my favorite and most interesting discoveries during the whole trip. I have always been baffled when I look at paintings of women through the middle ages/renaissance etc, because they all look the same! And it's not really a look I had ever seen in women today so I thought painters just didn't paint women very well back then (ok, let's admit it, the women in these paintings are not very attractive). Then I saw this photo on the wall of the family who just moved out. They inherited this home through a long line of royal descendants of those who built the castles. And look at these young royal girls!! They look just like those old paintings (a little more attractive of course)! But really, the painters got it right! Same face shape, same eyes, same foreheads. Seriously...It all makes sense now. The woman all look alike in the old portraits because only royals could afford to be painted and the royals all looked alike cause they married each other. Okay...maybe no one else finds this as enlightening as me but I love it. All my life I have wondered why these famous painters didn't know how to paint women.

Château de Versailles
The famous Chateau de Versailles. We went here to see their nighttime firework and water show, it was great walking around the lit up gardens with all their little fountains and statues. Really a beautiful area.

They had something blowing bubbles all over the place when we first arrived, it was neat.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Some more Paris pics

A week or so ago I picked up Natali from work and we were able to see a few things in Paris. We found a couple of cool buildings. From what I understood this building with Natali is where the President stays so it is kind of like the French White House.

This building was just down the road from the other building.

We found this cool bridge that Natali could have stayed at for hours taking pictures of it.


We also took a trip to Paris with the Family on a Saturday. We went and saw Notre Dame. Below is the family: Thomas and Christine are the parents, and from left to right Ines (7), Clemence (10), and Julien (4). It was fun to go with the family somewhere and see them running around and playing.

We finally went and saw the real Arc de Triomphe so that I wouldn't call every single arched building the wrong thing. It had a lot of detailed statues around it that were really big and cool to see.

The kids are finally out of school and I watched them for a week before the family all took off for vacation. They come back on Sunday so I will have my hands full again soon. The family has this inflatable pool that we filled up and we went "swimming" about every day when they were here. I'll have to take a picture of the pool later.

Natali has also introduced me to some musical culture. Since we have been here we have seen 2 musical shows: The Lion King, and Les Miserables. The Lion King had amazing costumes and stage scenes. The lions would do this weird sideways claw thing when they got mad that I am trying to immitate. It was in French so it was hard to get all of the jokes and details of what they were talking about but it followed the movie so I knew what was going on most of the time.

Les Miserables was really good and had some really good singers in it. Natali loved this one and we had better seats than for the Lion King so that helped. Natali got emotional a few times during the play because they had some really talented people. This one was in English so I could understand it.