19 September 2012

Squash or Stomp?

The French say *squash. We say stomp. Sounds about right; stomp seems to have violent undertones (in my opinion). Anyway, get this - a couple of weeks ago in Paris, the grape harvesting party of Mélac was held in the 11th arrondissement. And I do mean party! The restaurant set up 500 tables - c'est beaucoup! Food was plentiful, and the wine festally flowed. Besides sausage, ham, and cheese, seems that Parisians are quite keen on Aligot (ah-lee-go)which is made from mashed potatoes blended with butter, crème fraiche, crushed garlic, and melted cheese. After reading recipes, I'm quite keen on it aussi, and just might attempt to make it. I even found one for Aligot and Bacon Pizza! Back to the party. Kids get to squash the newly harvested grapes into giant buckets. I suppose adults can squash, as well. Wonder if the trottoirs (sidewalks) of Paris are covered in purple footprints...

photo by Eric Tennin  http://www.parisdailyphoto.com

photo by Eric Tennin  http://www.parisdailyphoto.com

In Austin, Water 2 Wine, a local winery, will be the place to be for a grape stompin' good time this weekend! I wonder if I can find anyone to go with me.. I shall be in the mood to smash some grapes come Friday. There will be merry music, awesome appetizers, and wonderful wine of course. The stomp and 2 t-shirts are free if you buy a batch of their premier wine. Batch? Is that the proper term? Doesn't really sound very wine-like to me. You can even put your footprints on the t-shirts!  Ooh! Les t-shirts avec mes empreintes pourpre (purple footprints) will make fantastic Christmas gifts.


Do you see what I see in the background?

* Squash it is.
écrase - crush, smash, mash, squash, run over
rembarrer - squash
se serrer - squeeze, squash, pack
s'empiler - squash
réussir à faire rentrer - squash


10 September 2012

What's Your Idea of Romance?

Let’s see, what is the most romantic thing to do in Austin ? I don't have romance on my mind too much these days, alas, I am très single. Also, I think one tends to take things for granted in the city in which they live. Personally, watching the bats emerge from the Congress Ave. Bridge, flying down the bank of the river at dusk is terribly romantic.

Elegance and romance, a combination magnifique!
The Driskill Hotel was built in 1886, and is quite romantic. And it's haunted!  Seems the older the building, the more romantic, d'accordThere are some who believe that the Driskill is among the most haunted hotels in the United States. The ghost stories about the hotel include the story of a young girl playing with a ball, a jilted bride and the cigar smoking original owner. I know what you're thinking, when is she going to talk about Paris? In two more pictures...

I like that the Driskill sits smack dab in the middle of downtown Austin.

There are many different room styles, all romantic, but this one speaks to me.
Now for Paris - how in the world can I narrow it down? I could go on for days, but I shan't.

You could be standing almost anywhere in Paris, and romance would ooze from the cobblestones. There is always a spectacular view of something magnificent. Imagine you're strolling along the Seine in the evening, the full moon's reflection on the water and the only sounds you hear are of the booksellers packing up for the night. Wait til you see what follows, I hit the jackpot when I stumbled across this romantical jewel.
Are your romantic ideas coming up short? Then you must check out this Paris based company http://www.justfortwo.fr/fr/29-nouveautes . They specialize in romantic (seriously romantic) getaways, among other things, for couples in love.

Paris Under the Stars
Is this the dreamiest hotel room you've ever seen?  Talk about seventh heaven!. I would certainly have a hard time checking out of this floating universe. Maybe that's the idea. So much for stashing the room service guy under the bed.

Just For Two doesn't just book you a room, the suite is just one of the components. There are many surprises included, such as best seats in the Secret Square Cabaret, aphrodisiac dinner or pleasure game kit (all that if you want to get into details)....

Route 66
Now to make your dreams come true. For Parisians dreaming of visiting Texas, check out "Route 66". It is a part of a bigger idea "Just your Dream" (cute video). In this concept, the couple describes their dreams and desired experiences and the Just For Two private concierge organizes it all for them. It can be a fully customized trip to the States, from the Northeast to the Southwest, taking a historical "Mother Road". You can have a Cadillac, a private driver, you can stop in each state, and they can even organize the activities in each of the places you stop. It is a long journey, but it gives an opportunity to experience the "American Dream" and visit many places at once. Remember, it is a fully customized experience, so you can imagine it however you want and voila - your dream becomes a reality.
J'adore cette piscine de rêve. I adore this swimming pool. Imagine the view of Paris from here!
Midnight Swim

vive la romance!