Friday, March 21, 2008

Oh La Vache!

I am so very sorry that things have been quiet here at Chicken Fried Therapy. I’ve just returned from a fabulous whirlwind trip to Paris & London with my mother and daughter, and re-entry has been brutal.

The last time I was in Paris it was 1999 I was ginormously pregnant. So it was beyond surreal to be back with Little Chick in tow. This trip was so fantastic I can’t possibly condense it into one post, so pardon my reckless literary abandon as I ramble over the next few days. I’ll start with Paris…

Seven Unforgettable Highlights of our time in Paris:

1. Seeing the look on Little Chick’s face when she first saw the Eiffel Tower. We landed in Paris around 2 pm, checked into the hotel, unpacked for 45 minutes, and grabbed the Metro straight to see the Eiffel tower. We were on the train when it popped into view. Her smile was priceless.

2. Eating at Chez Andre. My parents ate there in 1972. I ate there on my very first trip to Paris in 1980 at the age of ten. I tried escargot and fell in love. We had high hopes that picky picky picky Little Chickie would expand her horizons and do the same for nostalgia’s sake. And technically, she did, eventually, try a miniscule crumb of escargot. But not without drama and tears and hemming and hawing.

To be clear, she received zero pressure from us! She really wanted to do it. But was upset with herself when she chickened out. So I wrapped a teeny speck of escargot in gobs of butter and bread. She closed her eyes and choked it down. Literally, she started choking. I had to jump up and stick my hand in her mouth and extract the half eaten snail-bread-butter mass.

With a restaurant full of French eyes glaring at me.

She snuck another small snail crumblette in a teeny piece of bread, we paid the bill and quickly hauled ass. Hopefully if we wait another decade or so we can go back to Chez Andre and keep the family tradition alive. But it may take awhile for the waitstaff to forget the little scene we caused.

3. Little Chick desperately wants to be a fashion designer and lives and breathes for Coco Chanel. Her whole life is about researching Coco Chanel. She even dressed as Chanel last Halloween. So we made a wonderful pilgrimage to the original boutique on the Rue Cambon. The sales associates were quite smitten with Little Chick and spent an inordinate amount of time showing her around while she asked them pressing questions about why Chanel loved tweed and camellias and was buried in Switzerland instead of France.

4. Seeing the Mona Lisa. And singing Nat King Cole’s “Mona Lisa….Mona Lisa…” in the crowd until Little Chick became so embarrassed she wouldn’t stand near me any longer.

5. Climbing the dome at Sacre Couer with Little Chick
. I’ll tell you what…I’m glad I’ve been working out! Sheesh, those were some steep and winding steps. Little Chick was a little frightened as we neared the top. She kept saying, “Ooh, we’re going to die! Ooh, we’re going to die!”

Imagine our alarm when we started to actually hear the angels sing.

Inside the church the nuns choir began to sing acapella and it was amplified in the stairwell near the top of the dome. It really did feel like we were ascending to heaven with angels greeting us.

6. Crepes. Crepes. Nutella Crepes. I actually had convinced myself that Nutella wasn’t chocolate so much as a valuable source of protein. It has the word ‘nut’ in the title. It has to be good for you, right?

Hell I practically had myself believing it counted as a leafy green vegetable. Damn that stuff is so good. And what is it about those simple crepes that are so delish?

7. The only phrase I remember from 10th grade French class is “Oh La Vache!” I’m not sure but I think it’s meant to be used kinda like Oh My Heavens or Holy Cow. But quite literally it translates to Oh The Cow.

Which I think is hysterical.

I’ve been waiting and waiting for decades, but lo these many years the situation just hasn’t presented itself. Until one day near the Tuileries. Little Chick was picking through trinkets in a very cramped little souvenir shop. Some woman accidentally knocked over an entire display of miniature Eiffel Tower key chains (thank the Lord it wasn’t one of us) and they went crashing all over the floor. I looked at the shopkeeper, pressed my hands to my cheeks with wide eyes, and exclaimed “Oh La Vache!” Ooh, it felt so good.

Then we helped pick them up.

The trip was sublime, but oh la vache I am happy to be home and connect with all of you! Oh la vache. Enjoy the slideshow and stay tuned. The next post will be London. Oh la vache.


Amy said...

WOW!! What an amazing experience for you gals!! Great pics and I want to go so bad!

Ashley said...

WOW sounds like so much fun!

josey said...

how totally wonderfully awesome. what an experience! well, except LC and the escargot...ahahha!!! hilarious. and the photo of LC as Chanel? LOVE IT!

and of course i thoroughly enjoyed the slideshow. one of my fave pix was the one of your mom and LC, arms around each other, looking at the tower. memories!

you might be interested in the adventures of a few friends of mine who quit their jobs to travel in france, other parts of europe and africa...they just left a week ago! oh la vache! hehehe!!!

i'm lookin forward to hearing about london :D

Kimmylyn said...

I did not want the montage to end.. you took beautiful pictures and you all looked like you were having the time of your life!!

I did miss you tons though. I kept stalking your page..

Glad your home and that you had such and awesome time with baby girl!!

Karen MEG said...

What a lovely trip, and those pictures were fab (your little girl is the cutest, no wonder they were fawning over her at Chanel!).

I so want to go to Paris again, last time I was there it was just before I got pregnant with the girlie. Bought myself some cute T shirts that I never got to wear because of the belly!

Can't wait to see more pix of this great trip!

Welcome home, and have a happy Easter!

Nola said...

Sounds like a great trip. Love that it was with your mother AND daughter!!

April said...

Little Chick has impeccable fashion sense!

Blog Hoppin',
Balancing Hops

Stacey @Real World Mom said...

Welcome home! Can't wait to hear about your trip!

Olga, the Traveling Bra said...

How COOL! I am in London/Paris right NOW! (Photos on the way)...looks like you had a FABULOUS time & your tres' adorable!

BusyDad said...

Oh awesome pics!! My favorite is Little Chick's double thumbs up. I think that says it all :) WELCOME BACK!!

Tara R. said...

How cool to take this trip with your Mom and daughter. Chanel and Nutella... just doesnt't get any better.

piper of love said...

I lol'd so much, reading you is like listening to you, which is fabulous!!

What an amazing, amazing trip! You probably couldn't have written a better post about it, even if you had tried!

Glad you had fun, but sooooooo glad you're back!

Love!! xo

A Man Among Mommies said...

Paris is wonderful... Proposed to the wife in Paris...

Would LOVE to go back...

Great Picks...

Blog Hopping Daddy...

Cheffie-Mom said...

Oh wow! I love your blog. I am actually about to go Saint Tropez, France with my daughter in a few months! Actually, my daughter lives in Austin also. Well, I can't wait to read more posts. Hope you have a great weekend.