Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Paris Bits And Pieces

Here are a few bits and pieces (10 of them) from our Paris trip:

1. At MacDonald's in Paris you can get beer with your combos! They have cans of 1664. Also, the offer "Deluxe Potato" Wedges! as an optional substitute to regular fires. Oh, and the quarter pounder is called the Royal.

2. At the modern art exhibit in the Pompidou Centre we saw a braille edition of Playboy. I guess some people do read it for the articles.

3. A painting of Zombie Jesus at the Louvre!

4. We walked past this truly ginormous door on the street.

5. There are a lot of carefully manicured trees everywhere. And a lot of them are shaped into cubes

6. Doorman dressed in RCMP uniform outside of Crazy Horse.

7. OS Ad wars on the Metro!

8. The courtesy computers at the hotels had these crazy, French, barely usable Mac keyboards that messed up my typing the whole week. It makes sense to have special characters be the number row default, requiring you to shift to get numbers. I mean, French uses a lot of special characters compared to English, and there's always the side number pad. But why no qwerty? Look where the 'M' is! And why is the period the shift of the semi-colon key?! Weirdness.

9. Softdrinks. Fanta without bubbles?! And "Cowboy" and "Indian" flavoured Orangina?

10. Halloween is apparently not big there. But we brought costumes anyway. There was a club that offered free entry with a costume. French people get seriously drunk. There were girls passing out in the middle of the dance floor and a girl sitting on the floor of the washroom. Also, all up and down the streets we saw more and more evidence of seriously trashed young people. It was like spring break of Frosh week or something, except it was just a Saturday night in October! They party hard...harder than they can handle.

There you have it.

Posing at Museums

While travelling around the various museums in Paris, we started to have a little fun with things. We really loved the L'Orangerie Museum, which houses some of Monet's Water Lilies. Beautiful!

Anyhow, my wife took a few photos of me with them and suggested I pose:

She told me to be a frog.

She asked me to climb the tree.

She suggested I go for a swim.

We may have gotten a few strange looks. Later we hit the Rodin Museum and decided to emulate a few of the sculptures:

We definitely got stares here. And a little bit of cut-eye. I guess people thought we were mocking the art, but we were connecting with it.

And finally me inside the Arc de Triomphe:

One Month (Plus Honeymoon!)

I've been married for one month today! People keep asking me how it's been and how different things are now. Well, it's been great, and it hasn't really been different. I mean, we've been living together for a few years now and planned to married quite a few years ago, so none of this is a shock or surprise. There are little differences like having a ring on my finger (never worn rings often before), but that doesn't really change our relationship. But, it's been amazing!

The honeymoon in Paris was amazing. It was nice to relax together after the months of wedding planning coupled with work/school. We really enjoyed Paris. It's a beautiful city. The architecture is so nice, and such a difference from Toronto. I had read about the city style and layout, particularly Haussmann's redesign in my 19th century history class, so it was nice to actually see the sites.

We stayed at Novotel Paris, which was only a 15 minute walk from the Eiffel Tower. It was near two Metro stations and we really had no issues getting anywhere we wanted quickly.

We had a few relaxing days, and a few jam-packed days. We packed A LOT into those days. Places we went:
  • Disneyland Paris
  • Eiffel Tower
  • Louvre
  • Arc de Triomphe
  • Crazy Horse
  • Notre Dame
  • Pompidou Centre
  • Basilique du Sacre-Coeur
  • Tuileries Garden
  • L'Orangerie Museum
  • Église de la Madeleine
  • Versailles
  • Musee d'Orsay
  • The War Museum
  • Rodin Museum
  • Salvador Dali Museum
  • Museum of Wine
  • And a Spongebob Squarepants art exhibit
Here are a couple of photos. I have a few albums online of all the rest (we took a lot of photos), so just pop me an email for the link if you'd like to see them.

The only way to pose in front of a huge golden gate.

Church of Mary Magdalene is done up like a ancient Greek temple. Complete with pedimental sculpture. Jesus looks pretty fierce.

Monday, November 16, 2009

2009 Santa Claus Parade

The Santa Claus parade was yesterday!

This year I was given a Skunk costume. My wife was one of the Greeter Clowns in the section (and looked super cute doing it!). The skunks are a big hit with the crowds. Lots of spectators yell Pee-ew and such at us, and we have fun pretending to spray them and stuff. My co-skunks this year got really into it. Perhaps a little too much. They would run up to all the police officers along the route and dance around them and stuff, but they were a little over the top at times and some of the cops were not so amused. One of the skunks also nearly fell onto spectators while pretending to spray the crowd.

Anyhow, thanks to the wonders of the internets (google and flickr!), I've found a couple pictures of the parade with us in them. The first is a shot of the skunks and clowns. I'm the skunk on the far right, and my wife is the clown just behind (not sure why we're both looking at the ground).
The second is a very nice closeup of me.

Thanks to both these people who posted to flickr. It's always nice to see yourself in the parade.

UPDATE: I found two more photos of me. Skunks with attitude! And this.