Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Bonjour, et joyeux septembre!
Back to school is around the corner, the family cottage is closed until next summer and I snuck in a week-long getaway to France with our twelve year old son!  Two years ago I took our daughter to Paris for a week and we visited many museums, cultural monuments and rented a postage stamp size apartment on Ile-St-Louis.  For my son's trip, the focus was much more "masculine": Vimy, Juno Beach, Dieppe and numerous German bunkers on the Normandy coast and in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region.  We did manage to visit a few non-military places including Bayeux, Honfleur and Mont-St-Michel.  Maybe it was the maturaty factor kicking in, or the ambience of being in France but my son was a more adventuresome eater: sole in brown butter, skate, soupe de poisson, magret de canard, bulots - sea snails, confit de canard and his new favorite food - fois gras!  
We managed to pack in a two-night stay in Paris and did more "masculine" visits: the Catacombs, Musée de l'Armée with Napoléon 1er's tomb, and the Concièrgerie - the prison where Marie-Antoinette was incarcerated prior to being guillotined in Place de la Concorde. 
While walking up the Champs-Elysée towards l'Arc de Triomphe, we popped into La Durée - aka Mecca for macarons.  The shop is truly beautiful. I once read that they produce and sell more than ten thousand per week, and the flavours are very diverse - including..... foie gras!  The line up was enormous and we already had dinner plans with Parisian friends, so we moved on and crossed the street. We happened upon a McDonald's restaurant - which years ago when it opened caused a huge uproar amongst the French population.  It seems as though even Rotten Ronnie's is adapting to being on the prestigious boulevard, they now have a McCafé section of their restaurant and serve veritable baked goods including McMacarons!  

Really, is nothing sacred?