Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Doggie Hotel...

While we were in Greece we sent Charlie to a "Doggie Hotel".  I know, how posh!  A woman named Jilly looks after dogs in her home and we thought that was the perfect place for Charlie to spend his holiday, with other doggies.  Pension Milou.

Well, lucky for us Jilly is also a good photographer and shared some pics of Charlie on his vacation...

I should mention that Jilly is English.  The French aren't too interested in socializing their dogs and having doggy play-time.  I know, CRAZY!!  We miss the American doggie parks!

Thank you Jilly for giving Charlie such a great vacation!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

What Would Gordon Ramsey Do...

Or, Eggs 101.  What ever the title, it's just wrong.

I'm in Monaco, basically France.  Most people think the French make amazing food.  Well, this week I've learned differently.  Let's face it, I'm living in a bit of a touristy part of the world where you can find the tourist trap restaurants that make boring food just as much as the nice restaurants who make super food.

But, who messes up eggs????  And badly I must say.

So, the story goes...

Day One: Tuesday

I went to a nice French Bistro called Bouchon on Tuesday morning across from the Grimaldi Forum while the kids did an art workshop based on the Picasso exhibition there.  I asked for eggs, with runny yellows. (They had eggs on the menu so I didn't just order something out of the ordinary.)  I waited about fifteen minutes and was presented with a plate holding two hard boiled eggs in stands and some strips of sour dough bread. Ok, I didn't specify fried eggs, and I'm ok with soft boiled so I didn't say anything.  I grabbed the egg,'s cold, then proceeded to pop the top off and found it to be raw.  They served me two cold raw eggs right out of the fridge.  Now, I was a server in restaurants for waaaayyyyy longer that I care to say and know that things can get messed up and confusion happens, so I'm ok with mistakes.  I alerted the waiter and he took them back for a re-do.

Second plate is set before me and I crack into the egg.  Cooked this time, so far so good, but ooppps, it's HARD boiled.  I'm not a complainer, but I did want runny yellows even if it was a boiled egg.  So, once again I wave down my guy and he takes the plate back again.  Now, I do want to say that my waiter was very nice and not the typical rude French waiter you're probably picturing.  Now ten minutes later the plate returns.... third time was a charm.  Whewww!

Day Two: Thursday

I returned to the little Bistro thinking the same problem couldn't possibly happen again.  I mean it eggs for Christ's sake.  I sat down and my new waiter came over.  I asked again for two eggs, but made sure I said cracked and cooked in a pan with runny yellows.  He sort of got my drift and I hoped for the better.  Fifteen minutes later I was presented with a plate holding a bronze skillet holding two fried eggs with 3/4 runny yellows.  Well done.  At least from first sight.  But before the waiter left he did tell me that he was sorry it took so long, the first try wasn't right so they made them again.  What?  Who's in that kitchen?  It's just two fried eggs for goodness sake.  And they DO have them on the menu so one would presume someone knows how to make them.  Anyway, I'm rambling.  So, I get to work on eating my eggs and find that they have been seared right onto the skillet so I can really only eat the 2/3rds that I can peel off it.  They didn't use any oil or butter (which I thought they were pretty famous for).  Ah well.  I wish there was a West Egg Cafe here.

Day Three:  Friday

J advised me to steer clear of the eggs, so I braved the tartine order.  Since I'm sure they don't bake their own baguets I figured I was safe.  I was.  Except, the last two days my cafe latte came in a normal coffee cup and this time is came in a tall glass with straws.  Who drinks a hot drink through a straw???

Well, I guess the moral is.  When in France, or Monaco, don't order the eggs.
At least not at Bouchon.  :)

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Where Civilization Began...

Holy smokes, the last post I did was in MAY!!!  There actually has been a lot going on around here that I have tons of pictures for, just need to find the time.  I'll make sure to get a few posts together and fill you in on all the activities we've been up to.  Don't want you all to go through withdrawals.

But to's an inside look at our trip to Greece.

J and some of his friends from College decided to gather the families for a holiday and we decided on Greece.  Our family spent a couple days in Athens to show the kids where civilization began and some of Mommy's roots (I'm one quarter Greek), and to see some buildings that are older than they can possibly fathom at this age.  It's even hard for me!

Backstory...When J and I just started dating he decided that (at three months in) he needed to wow me with something big to keep me enamoured with him (not necessary but who am I to complain) and he planned a trip to Athens.  He said I should see where both my Greek roots and civilization originated.

Now eight years later it was great returning to the scene with our little family in tow.

Hangin' out in the Plaka District...

Yummmm, a little Starbucks break!

Just some odd ruins found under a building.

Heading up to the Acropolis...

The ancient Theater of Dionysus... 
Us in 2004...
Entering Acropolis...
And finally, the Parthenon. :)

The Erechtheion.
Close up of the Caryatides on the Erechtheion.
The Odeon of Herodes Atticus.
Theater Dionysus.
 Back in Athens, just outside Plaka...

Changing of the guard at the tomb of the unknown soldier.  If you get in the way of these guys,
they won't stop.  They'll actually walk over you without a look back!
The "Changing of the Guard dance".   

Personally I think a long weekend in Athens is enough.  Get your hotel in the Plaka Distict (their old town), hang out there, eat some amazing food, see the monuments that surround it, and you're good.  But upon saying that, it's so perfect you'll want to do it again, and maybe even again.

After our weekend in Athens we headed to Olympia in the Peloponnese and landed at the Olympia Golden Beach Resort and Spa.  Lovely.  We had a three apartment villa with it's own pool.  Perfect for the three families to spend time together and bond.  In addition to lounging in the sun, having massages, and swimming whenever we felt the desire (yes, a tough vacation), T turned seven and E kicked off the arm bands and swam for the first time on her very own.

E's first try at swimming.  She said the heck with arm bands, I'm gonna
swim!  Good job E!
The Prince and his Princesses.  T was one of seven kids, and the only boy!  Looks
 like a lucky one at that!!

This guy showed up on my lounger one morning and wouldn't leave.  I decided to rest with
him and then found he'd ventured onto my hand.  Finally I put him back in the bushes.
He wasn't at all bothered by my invasive photography!

Ahhh, this is the life!
Looks like some body's happy to be seven. 

Our one day at the beach.  T and E preferred the pool.   Hmmm, spoiled from
living so close to the sea???

T and his harem at the main pool. 

Needless to say the kids were very unhappy to leave paradise and return home, to paradise.  Do they know how good they have it??  When I was a kid we went to the Ozarks for a holiday!  Can't wait to go back, to Greece that is. :)
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