and Parc Bordelais
I don't usually write about the weekends...but this past weekend was in some ways ordinary and in other ways...pretty, what I would say French....just a reminder of where we live and how things are similar yet different.
I'll start back on Friday...I have to share these two wonderful delicacies...The first photo was my entree at a wonderful restaurant for lunch. I met a good friend at BU Baravin in centre-city Bordeaux. They are only open for lunches and have a limited but delicious daily menu. This little duo was chilled beet soup served with a chilled pumpkin puree. Everything there is made daily and fresh. I didn't take a picture of dessert - but the creme brulee with essence of lavender was heavenly! I felt like it was very French and also so yummy!! Need to find a recipe for this soup and try it at home.
After my lunch, as I was headed back to the tram, I decided to stop and get a wonderful treat for my girls. They miss American cupcakes and I just recently found a cute little cafe near the Hotel de Ville tram stop that sells - American cupcakes. They are actually made by Sophisticakes Bordeaux - 2 American women who have started a wonderful cupcake business. As they say on their website:
We are two American girls living, working and playing in Bordeaux. Coming from culinary backgrounds and being cupcakes biggest fans, starting a cupcake business in France just felt right. We bake using only fresh local all-natural products and have adapted this American classic to the French tastes. We find true inspiration in the kitchen and are always developing new recipes and flavor combinations that result in delightful-looking and mouth-watering treats. Currently we operate as a catering and delivery company, but we hope to welcome you to our shop very soon! *Quote taken from Sophisticakes Bordeaux website
So I picked up 3 Oreo-Cookies & Creme cupcakes and brought them home...all three cupcakes disappeared in a matter of seconds after the girls arrived home from school...I got one little nibble - and I would say between my lunch and these...it was a four star cuisine afternoon!!
On Saturday, my husband took my oldest daughter to get her pointe shoes. She was so excited! Now, she has danced for years, and two years ago, got her first pair of pre-pointe shoes as she started exercises to strengthen her ankles. But last year, due to our move in October, there was no room in the ballet (classique) class here at the local dance school. She was able to start modern jazz. So she restarted this year...and she gets to start right where she left off....on pointe..so off they went on Saturday, into Bordeaux to buy her pointe shoes. Have to say, she was a bit excited as the shoes came from a Parisian store that has a branch here in Bordeaux...how cool is that?
So after an hour of sewing - yes, for those of you who don't have dancers, one has to sew the elastic and the ribbons onto the shoe! Viola - French pointe shoes!!
and the American-French dancer who will be enjoying these beauties....
Now, I said earlier that my weekend was a bit ordinary...that part was the normal routine of laundry. With 5 of us in the house, it's a never ending job - just like back home...but there are a few differences here in France. First of all the French washing machines are smaller than one's in the States - and secondly, they take a long time to wash! About 2 hours or more depending on the cycle! Needless to say, it just means we are always doing laundry! Another difference is that my dryer is a steam dryer (like most of them) and also takes a long time to cycle through...therefore, we now tend to air dry most of our clothes on drying racks. (Very European!) When I first moved here, I used my dryer a bit more, but I was never happy with the results, with the exception of bath towels that were always nice and soft...so as they say if you can't beat them, join them...
So as I was hanging my laundry outside - I glanced over to look at my beautiful impatient plant which is still in FULL bloom. This plant was given to me last Mother's Day by my youngest from her school - it was just a wee bitty seedling...and just bloomed this summer into this gorgeous beauty. It just reminded me how warm it still is here...how even though the nights are beginning to cool off- the days are still hot....last week was in the eighties all week and this weekend - even though it was the first day of Autumn was 93! Have to say, I'm enjoying this French weather.
So on Sunday, in the spirit of being in France, and knowing everything is closed here on Sunday afternoons - I took two of my daughters to Parc Bordelais for a nice walk and ride...it was a beautiful afternoon to be out..and as you can tell from the photos...so was half of Bordeaux.
We enjoy this park a lot - there is lots of wildlife to look at - a few ponds, other animals, a snack bar , rides and a fun little train. All makes for a picturesque stroll on a Sunday afternoon.
Another reason I picked a big park to venture around was to give my almost 5 year old daughter a chance to practice riding her bike. She just learned at the beginning of the summer how to balance without training wheels but our driveway is a bit small. You can see below, she had lots of fun but definitely had to dodge the mobs of people...good practice! We had a few near misses but most people understood she was a new rider and gave way. Maybe it's the look on her face as she concentrates.
As here she is with her big sister leading us through the park...It turned out to be the perfect place to practice riding.
I wrote an earlier post about Parc Bordelais - You can read it here: Blog Post
This time I continued to be fascinated by all the unique things in the park - the trees, the wooden railings and of course, the flowers - still in bloom!! Also being a different time of year, it's nice to see the difference and similarities.