2014! 2014! 

New Years Eve in Europe is pretty low key. Which, on one hand, you wake up in a better state than most Americans…NYE is celebrated with family in Europe. Finland does fireworks; but Paris? Nope. They save their feu d’artifice for the 14th of July and Christmas celebrations. Christmas fireworks? Yep. I attended a wonderful (cold) ceremony to celebrate that Christmas was coming. The park was lite with hundreds of candles. It was a beautiful site. 

So, if you ever thought of ringing in the new year in Paris…unless your idea of a good time includes being packed in like sardines on the Champs-Élysées…try another town! 

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Holidays: The Joy of Drinking

Being entertained by a retired Soprano whose married to an orchestra director, means you are in for one gastronomical adventure. The feast incorporates her travels to Paris, Vienna, New York, Tokyo…the Finn’s mother is the Finnish version of Martha Stewart. Lunch and dinner has a minimum of 5-courses. Plus the bubbly is always flowing, the glögi is always brewing, and wine is always decanting .  She tells me from her musical studies / performances in France, she picked up their dining habits. It’s one French habit that I’ll gladly pick up. I hope everyone is enjoying their holidays, and taking time to enjoy good food with good company.  

Christmas Traditions. 

As I get older and creating my own life, I am starting to create my own traditions. I look forward to the massive Christmas tree at the Galeries Lafayette Haussmann.  Also, with my American family, December 25th was Christmas with dinner, presents 2nd or 3rd mass service, etc…but in Europe and with the Finn’s family, it’s all about the 24th! I don’t know how I feel about this tradition; but celebrating Christmas twice wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world! 

And we mustn’t forget about Christmas Peace. Of course. 
although it’s been said many times many ways Merry Christmas, Joyeux Noël, Hyvää Joulua, God Jol! 

Paris Printemps Polar Prada plus Paltrow

(wow look at that alliteration!)

There are SO many things about Christmas that I get excited about and look forward to; window displays are one of my favorite Christmas traditions in Paris.  This year, Printemps really stepped it up this year. They had Gwyneth Paltrow in a stunning Prada dress  unveil Prada’s window display on November 8th.  The different scenes of polar bears mezmoriezed me. Also, I would love to have my Christmas dinner table to have beautiful accessories from Prada or have little Prada elves help you get dressed! Wouldn’t you?   

Happy shopping! 

Going to the country!

I’m going to the freezing tundra today with all the delicacies of Paris! If you would like to see my Finland adventures follow me here. Or you can revisit my adventures last year as told by the hilarious Vern here

And remember, if you are traveling from France in the winter…NEVER take a French airline. 

Happy Christmas-ing wherever you will be this year! 

 

 

So many wineries, so little liver. 

Last month I went to the Salon des vins Vignerons Independent on business (business in France is fun).  This was the Olympics of wine tastings…seriously. A first, I was a bit overwhelmed and carried around my empty glass for about 15-minutes, not knowing where to start (until I found a Champagne stand).   

Here’s my list on how to have a successful trip to the salon:

 

  1. 1. Eat a carb-tastic lunch, about 45 minutes before you enter. You’ll be drinking a lot—don’t go on an empty stomach, whatever you do.
  2. 2. Pack snacks. After being there for 3 hours, your stomach will need more absorption. Unless you want to pay 7euros and up for a few pieces of (amazing) cheese/foie gras/saucisson/jambon and baguette, bring your goûter.
  3. 3. Take water, the wineries will have water to rinse your glass, but you should hydrate yourself between wineries.
  4. 4. Bring a suitcase or a chariot. Depending on the winery, some will offer a lower price if you buy in bulk; it’s a good idea to get a few cases…but always ask yourself this question, “can I carry this?”
  5.      a If you have answered no, then you should download the                 Uber app. And you and your wine should go home via taxi.

         5. It’s perfectly acceptable if you don’t finish your glass. You are not rude by doing so. That’s why there are multiple buckets per stand for you to discard your sample. Also, they know you have a lot to taste. Take it slow and appreciate what’s in your glass.

       6. Have a conversation with the owners, you’ll better understand their wine.    

      7. Pay close attention to the region that you are tasting (they are color coded). Each region has a distinct taste, color, and bouquet. 

 

I learned Joura and Corsica wines aren’t my favorite. Graves is a region new to me, which really caught my taste-buds’ attention…but more on that plus tard

I.Love.Christmas.

After Thanksgiving, something inside of me jumps for joy, because I know I can officially and morally start celebrating Christmas. This is the BEST time to be in France and especially in the capital.  I feel like it’s an apology for the French administration.  They have made it up to everyone by such a beautiful display on every street.  It puts me in the best mood. Christmas is truly the best season.  

And the winner is…..

Stephanie and Hana!  

Congratulations and I hope you will enjoy Paris Was Ours as much as I did!   
You can read their winning short-stories here.

Thank you for everyone who participated! I enjoyed reading all of your experiences, it was VERY hard to choose just two winners.  Thank you to Penelope Rowlands and for helping with the give-away!