24 October 2010

finally, the french apartment

apt01the foyer was great. but what you wanted more than anything was your own kitchen. in an apartment. and this year, you’re making that wish come true!

apt02it might be bare, but with a maximum limit of two suitcases, there isn’t much choice.

apt03yes. baby bears on the wall. not by choice, as the previous tenant left it there… but hey, it could be worse, couldn’t it?

apt04what you love about this place is the light. lots of large windows. lots of light. exactly what you need.

apt05again, the decor is thanks to the previous tenant who did a nice job, except for the excessive love of stickers.

apt06currently the living room is empty. couches, tables, and chairs will be arriving next week. so there’s a lot of sitting on the ground.

evreuxsunrisehere is what you and your roommate look forward to the morning. hot tea + this view = the only you can happily get out of your warm bed.

apt07here we are in the kitchen. there isn’t a stove… yet. end of the month. but there is still lots of cooking and baking going on!

apt14meals are served on cardboard boxes. which doesn’t affect the taste at all. in fact, it makes all the dinner parties a lot more fun!

apt15and of course: a good stinky and melty cheese is really all you need to make your french apartment feel perfect.

22 October 2010

a little breather

evreuxwalk08recently it has been beautiful here. very cold. but at least the sky is blue.

evreuxwalk01moving. working. organizing. cleaning. busy.

but when the sun comes up and the weather is perfect, there is nothing to do but drop everything and walk. with a camera, of course.

evreuxwalk02autumn is all about transition.

evreuxwalk03and crispness as well. crisp leaves, crisp weather.

evreuxwalk04and the colors. reds. oranges. yellows. in texas, the transition doesn’t really happen! but here in evreux you are able to savor the gradual change.

evreuxwalk05you stumble upon a postcard perfect photo.

evreuxwalk06leaves leaves leaves. can’t get enough of them.

evreuxwalk07you technically left evreux and wandered into gravigny.

evreuxwalk09french houses = adorable.

evreuxwalk10a peak into the countryside.

evreuxwalk13random tidbit: did you know that the rooster, or le coq, is the official symbol of france? just like the bald eagle is for america, the rooster is the same for france. so here is a watering can rooster to finish up the walk.

21 October 2010

small gripe

gripei’m sure i’ve mentioned this before. evreux is home to some beautiful sunsets. unfortunately, evreux also has lots of trees. i am not that tall. even when i climb up a hill, there are still trees on the hill.

gripe02but i’m going to work on that. i won’t be defeated by tall trees! i’m going to find the perfect spot that faces west with no tree or building blockage. i have a feeling it will require a bike. if i had a car it would be easy, but that is not happening. so me + bike + perfect spot will be happening. i’m sure of it.

(sunrises + east is not a problem. i found the perfect spot for that. just sunsets and west which i’ve got trouble with.)

paris

film02one of your best friends comes home.

but there is a catch. she’s only back for about 5 days before she moves far away. again.

so what do you do?

go to paris.

film04paris, texas that is. spontaneous trips to paris, france are unfortunately not financially possible. but paris, texas? jump into the car, and hop, you’re off!

film05on your drive there you spot something that makes you pull over because you don’t believe it. sheep. in 100F+ degree weather. in texas. really? you thought texas was too hot for sheep! but no. you blink and rub your eyes, and… they’re still there. napping under the shade, of course.

film07and you make it. hello, paris!

film08you browse an antique shop that is closed. it is sunday, after all.

film09but in small texan towns, people are a lot more trusting. and friendlier as well.

film11 since it is sunday and most everything is closed, you just walk around and admire the architecture.film12really not too much to see…

film13but better to see something than nothing, don’t you agree?

film14and you find the eiffel tower. texas style, of course with a nice red cowboy hat.

film15and on your way back to dallas you stop at dairy queen for a snack, which is a staple in any small texan town. or rather. your friend makes you stop, because you don’t like any form of fast food chains. but you’re happy to do anything, as long as it’s good quality time spent together.

20 October 2010

new orleans

la42new orleans starts with a cookie. a peanut butter cookie. and some iced tea.

a coffee shop. a real coffee shop that isn’t called starbucks. already you’re in happy mode.

la44you soak it in. and then you’re soaked as well. not rain, but sweat. humidity galore! so you do become a bit lazy with the camera.

la45it’s a city with a sense of humor, as this sign shows. (sorry. closed on monday’s. PS: today is monday)

la46you walk around the neighborhoods and admire the houses. and honestly, not one house resembles another.

la47you enjoy a free dinner.

la48of course listening to a jazz group is a must.

la49as well as having a daquiri.

la50the next morning. obligatory beignets at cafe du monde. no tourist camera will be missing a photo of these fried pieces of dough dusted in sugar.

la52no shortage of puffy clouds here.

la54you search out the farmer’s market. and just like the butter in france, your life changes.

because you taste a grape. a real grape. no words can describe it, the only thing to do is hop in a plane or in a car to new orleans and buy yourself a basket of these grapes. because after one, you’ll never be able to go back to supermarket grapes.

la55a very sensitive topic came up. how does one visit the 9th ward ethically? driving up in a car and taking photos lacks respect. so you ask around and learn about the house of dance and feathers. a museum that started in the backyard of ronald w. lewis after the destruction of katrina. and here it is not dedicated to just katrina, but instead to the culture of the people that he loves so much. and not just that, but he is more than happy to talk and share all the stories he has in life. a place to definitely not miss in new orleans.

la56and you end your trip like that. you head back to houston. then austin. then dallas. then again to houston for your visa. and again to austin to see some friends. then of course dallas. and then… france!

next journal stop: paris. but oh no, not paris, france. paris, texas. you’ll understand soon enough.

19 October 2010

baton rouge - slightly

la28and then you’re off to baton rouge. for just a moment, anyway.

because as soon as you arrive you’re invited to a shrimp and petro festival in morgan city. odd sounding at first until you realize that the festival has been going on for years before the oil spill.

la29and you make the driver pull over so you can take a closer look at one of the many swamps. louisiana is one state where you don’t want to drive sloppily, because you might be alligator dinner if you accidently drive off the road.

la30you pop into a school auditorium for a gospel concert.

la31 time for food. and not just any food, but festival  food.

la32as much as you’d like to explain what exactly you ate… you can’t remember. of course you listen when people explain things, but you don’t write anything down. you eat. food journalism is just not your thing, because when you find something delicious, eating is the only thing on your mind. but you do remember two names: etouffee and boudin balls!

la33 and you have no shortage of choice for sauces.

la34you hang out by one of the many bridges.

la36 and do some jumping around.

la39off to a concert. with a sunset. end of morgan city, and back to baton rouge.

la40and you visit the LSU campus to visit the home of mike the tiger, who is sleeping when you try to say hello.

la41one more breakfast joint, then off to your final stop: new orleans!