My name is Daniel and I am currently 2(August 6,2007) years old. I live in Northern California in a wonderful old 2 story English Tudor Revival home with my 2 Dads, Dan, who I call Papa and am named after and Julio who I call Daddy. I have a great pet name Cocco who is a red hair Chow Chow that I love. I also have several stuffed animal companions, however, 2 that I always love to take with me on outside adventures. George, the monkey and Sheep. I hope you will join me during my travels and journey through life
A photo of me with my pre-school classmates. Diane(standing left)is my teacher. In the middle is Nancy who runs the school. On the right of Nancy is Lupe who is responsible for our healthy snacks and meals. To my right is my best friend Logan.
Bonjour! I am the little American. I am currently 2 years old(born 8/6/07).
My parents thought since this is my first trip to Paris, it is appropriate that I share my experience on my Dad's blog. I begin with my excitement getting on the overnight hotel's park 'n fly shuttle service to the San Francisco International Airport. You'll notice throughout my trip, I'm dressed almost exclusively in black. My Dads are so obsessed about blending in with the locals so they are convinced that our entire wardrobe of black clothing would help do the trick. My only carry on responsibility was my backpack on wheels containing my favorite bedtime story books and some Thomas trains with one of my 2 travel companions George the monkey. That's George, the one I'm choke holding.
After arriving at the airport and passing through security, I had over an hour before my flight took off, so I decided to unwind with Dad's laptop to watch one of my favorite PBS show, Caillou. I can watch that kid all day if parents let me.
Okay, I just learned our flight is delayed by an hour. There aren't enough snacks and sandwiches in the waiting lounge to contain my impatience if I hear about any further delays.....
This was taken about 4 hours into our flight. As you can see, I was not too thrilled about retiring so soon. However, I was out voted 2 to 1 so I begrudgingly capitulated. There was also cheering with a round of a applause in the cabin as I laid my head down. I'm not sure what that was about.
Finally... five hours into the flight, I gave in and decided perhaps a beauty nap would be best before my arrival in Paris...so, Sheep, my closest traveling companion, and I doze off.
"Garcon! I just arrived in Paris after a 15 hour travel day and I want my hot chocolate now!..si vous plait"
Before we retired to our apartment, I perused the scrumptious looking baked goods at a nearby Boulangerie Patisserie to find a treat to satiate my sweet tooth after dinner.
Alas, we arrive at our beautiful Paris Perfect's Cotes Du Rhone apartment, which is even more beautiful then the images on the website. My Dad promises more images and details on this lovely apartment to follow.
That's me on the sofa with Sheep, unwinding from a little jetlag, enjoying a French cartoon in the apartment while my Dads fight in the other room about whose fault it was for not predicting there would be a flight delay which created chaos in their scripted travel plans.
Here is the view from one of our living room windows, which all look out to beautiful buildings. From this one, we can see Princess Caroline's apartment with the Eiffel Tower behind it. Hopefully, the Princess will look over one evening and raise a toast in welcoming me to Paris. Stay tuned for more photos and interesting observations on my trip to the city of lights.
The Little American
Wow! My first exciting day around Paris and I just can't stop looking up at all the tall monuments.
Both Daddy(Julio) & Papa(Dan) were still trying to adjust to the 9 hour time difference from California. I guess they should have taking their own advice about going to sleep early on the plane. So, they decided we should just stroll around our area for a nearby exhibit. As we walked along the Seine river, we were captivated by the vibrant gold statues atop these enormous pillars that crowned what appeared to be an important bridge.
We just had to get a closeup of the bridge.
It turned out this is the Alexander III bridge built at the turn of the last century to commemorate a peace treaty between France and Russia.
Anchoring one side of the beautiful bridge was this wonderful metal and glass top building. It really caught Papa's eye and he just had to get a look inside.
Well, this is what we found; an interesting display by Christian Boltanski of rows of coats laid on the floor in rectangles between 4 rusted iron poles. The entire expanse of this huge atrium was filled with the sound of the human heartbeat. Papa thought the piles of clothes reminded him of a World War II Concentration camp. The artist's stated intent was to create a work of "...social, religious and humanistic exploration of life, memory and the irreducible individuality of each and every human existence=together with the presence of death, the dehumanization of the body.." Well, whatever that means...Papa read it to me from the program.
Just off the distance, there was a pyramid of coats
I was truly amazed at how all these coats could make a tall hill. Papa told us that the entire exhibit is suppose to project the enormity of how much our society has amassed in creating the human shell. Daddy says Papa and I create a very similar sculpture at home every 3 days.
After only 10 minutes here, Papa & Daddy were already set to leave but not me, I really enjoyed watching the big red claw coming down and digging into the pile then going all the way up and dropping back in...weeeee! yeah! do it again! Wait Daddy, a few more times... please? Oh, by the way, this building is the Grand Palais built for the 1900 World's Fair.
Okay, now we're off with our rolling grocery bag to the open market on the Rue Cler for a few items for tonight's dinner.
The Rue Cler market is a very popular location with many of the locals for their daily fresh foods like produce,fish,meat and baked goods.
Ah! we are at the Rue Cler.
Hmm, where is a good place to start?
Well, I like what I see to the right but I see Papa ahead with my stroller looking at the produce section.
Hmmm...French grapes look just like grapes back home.
I am not sure what these are, but when Papa wasn't looking I grabbed one and popped it in my mouth. I quickly spit it out because I did not like it at all.
Okay, my bag is filled with tonight's dinner; French grapes, baguettes, French cheese (which I did not like) and some French spread in a jar that both Papa & Daddy swear is delicious but told me not to mention it on the blog or to just tell everyone they bought some vegetable pate. I could have sworn I heard the shop keeper talking about a goose when he sold it to them?
That's all for today...au revoir for now!
Bonjour! I just got in trouble for sticking my head and hands over the rail. Anyway, this morning Daddy & Papa thought I would enjoy riding the double decker hop on and off tour bus around the city. We will hop off at the famous Notre Dame Cathedral and then walk through the Les Marais district which is their favorite area on the right bank of the Seine. Then, we wills stop for lunch at the Place Des Vosges.
Onward, our bus heads through the Place de Concorde toward the Rue Royale.
Here, we passed the Les Invalides. This building was ordered built by King Louis XIV in the late 1600s and is still used to house and provide medical care for retired and injured French soldiers.
A very famous French soldier named Napolean Bonaparte's tomb is in this building. We are going to see the inside later this week.
Pardon moi monsieur? Can you believe Papa just told me we still have several blocks to go until the next bus stop? I hope someone is prepared to carry me for some of those blocks.
Yes, I'm actually in front of the Notre Dame cathedral which, beside its historical significance, is the back drop for Esmerelda and the Hunchback!
This colorful and whimsical 2 story carousel was in front of the Hotel De Ville which Daddy says really isn't a hotel. It's actually where the mayor of Paris works. Well, I just had to jump on the carousel when I saw this horse that reminded me of my favorite story book," Little Black, a Pony". I know George & Sheep would have loved this ride. Daddy refuses to let me bring Sheep along because he says Sheep is too dirty and doesn't coordinate with my outfit. However, I am allowed to bring George so long as I don't make Daddy or Papa carry him the entire time.
We arrived at the Place Des Voges which is one of Papa's favorite sites in Paris. It reminds him of his first trip to Paris when he and Daddy stumbled upon it by accident while just strolling around. The buildings look nice but all seemed the same to me. Papa told me they were made to look the same on purpose and used to be the homes of the aristocrats which are usually rich and important people. I really really liked the park in the center which had a playground. There were even kids playing kick ball. I wanted to join in the fun but my parents said we would go but only after we had lunch.
Oh please oh please hurry up and bring my pomme frittes so I can finish them and play with the kids at the park.
After lunch, we went to the park as promised, I couldn't believe that even the French pigeons look just like the ones in America. I'm discovering that we have quite a few of the same things back home as they have in France. Well, I just had to get a closer look to make sure....come here little pigeon come!
As I continued to chase the little pigeon back and forth around the lawn, a couple of French ladies with upset looks were waving at me to come toward them. I wasn't sure what they wanted so I kept chasing the little pigeon.
Oh yay! The kids were still playing kick ball. One of them came over and started speaking French to me. Neither Daddy or I understood him but Daddy suspected that the young man was asking me if I wanted to join them. I was so happy to be asked to play.
It was great fun. The kids were so nice to me and made me feel welcome.
Even though I was smaller and younger, they played with me. They were nicer than the big kids at my play ground back home.
After kick ball, we strolled through the Marais district. It was crowed, but I had Papa's hand to help me through the crowd.
Daddy says the Le Marais area is one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city of Paris.
Many of the streets in this neighborhood are very narrow with cobblestone allowing only a single vehicle to move through cautiously. Les Marais was not part of Paris' urban redevelopment in the 19th century, which explains the narrow the tight spaces.
Papa and Daddy were reminiscing about how much fun they had in this building when they visited in the past. They both looked at each other then looked at me and started getting all mushy telling me how much they love me and how I am so worth missing out on whatever it was they were doing in this place.
This hotel is the place where Daddy and Papa stayed on their very first trip to Paris. They really like this hotel because its right in the heart of the Marais district.
We stumbled upon this kid's clothing boutique and Papa wanted to look around at the "Soldes" which is the French word for Sales. I went in to join him in looking around.
Bonjour petite mannequin. Nice necklace.
But I think it will look better on the little American.
We're finally back in our neighborhood, next to the Eiffel tower behind me. We went up the tower earlier but I was little scared when looking down. I made Daddy stay with me away from the edge. The day was coming to an end so we went back to apartment for a bath and dinner.
After my fun filled day on the streets of Paris, I retired to my bedroom to read my favorite book by Walter Farley. It is all about Little Black, who is the pony I thought about on the carousel. Papa is so proud that I love this story because this actual book was his when he was a child. Grammy saved all his toys, clothes and books. Daddy loves when I wear Papa's clothes because they were all handmade by my great grandma. My only complaint is that their made with really itchy wool.
Bonne nuit à partir de la jeune Américaine