Thursday, March 03, 2005

The Big Chill

I saw this article about the "Big Chill" in Europe and thought of you. It's still cold over here and it's been snowing all day long. Apparently, this morning, it was cold enough in Paris for Roissy and Orly airports to delay flights up to two hours due to the snow on the runways.

Yesterday it snowed so steadily that my son decided he didn't want to go to soccer in the afternoon. Today he decided that even though it was still snowing, even more today, he wanted to play soccer. We got there and realized that they weren't playing today.

We decided to hop on a bus and head to Notre Dame. My daughter had been asking to visit the Cathedral and since we could take the bus nearly all the way there, it seemed like a good idea. I convinced my son that it was a good idea because I knew he'd be able to buy a medallion of Notre Dame there. My kids have collected about 20 of these medallions from various monuments around France. The medallions all have some fun trip associated with each coin, at least for me. For example, we took trips to the Forteresse de Chinon (three years ago with my sisters), Mt St Michel (two years ago with the in-laws) and la Ferme aux Crocodiles (last summer with my son's best friend).

So we took the bus to the 6th arrondissement, got off and bought crepes, walked to Notre Dame (it was packed with people just sitting around trying to stay warm), bought our medallions, walked around the area, and then headed back to the bus pretty quick. The snow was coming down fast and we were all getting wet.

I took a couple of pictures while I was out, but you can't really see the snow falling and there was very little on the ground. I took this picture of Shakespeare and Company as we left Notre Dame. You can actually see the snow in this picture.

-- said Auntie M in Paris
5:06 PM



EEK!! Stay warm, drink hot chocolate, watch the snow from the window.
How beautiful the cathedral looks though.

# posted by BohemianMama : 9:04 PM  

Oh great. If it's still snowing there, I know we've got another day of snow to come!

# posted by ViVi : 9:28 PM  

Should I admit that I, too, collect the "medallions"? I have had to beg 2 euros off of people in order to be able to buy them, because I never seem to have the correct change when I find one of the machines. On our last little trip in France, we went to a place where I could get a new medallion, but the area was closed. I could see the machine, but I could not get to it. I, almost, asked if they would open the area just so I could get another medallion. Some of us just never grow up.

# posted by Jason : 9:18 AM  

BM, I think I've gained a few pounds with all the hot chocolate I've had recently. I keep making it for the kids and I always make too much. Wonder how that happens?
Vivi, I think I've had enough snow this winter. Spring can only be a couple of weeks away, right?
Jason, You are too funny. Those medallions are great reminders of trips and visits. Now if you tell me you bought the 50 euro display box....then I might wonder.

# posted by Auntie M in Paris : 9:44 AM  

My husband works in the monuments, those 'medallion' are really popular. A useful way to get kids to visit places where perhaps they wouldnt normally want to go. He also used to tell visitor's children that there was a key to a chest that had been missing for centuries. The children used to explore every centimetre of the monument!

# posted by Anji : 10:19 AM  

I've been thinking of you and hoping the cold would let up already. Saw this photo flashback to the flood of 1910 in Paris and thought you might enjoy. ~bluepoppy


# posted by Anonymous : 2:53 PM  

There is a display box? I wish you had not told me that.

And you should have seen me exploring every inch of the Pompidou until I realized there is no "medallion" there. The people at the information desk must have thought I was on some sort of treasure hunt.

# posted by Jason : 2:59 PM  

Anji, Your husband knows how to get the kids interested in something... tell them it's hiding. I love the treasure hunts they have at many musuems now. It really keeps the kids busy and exploring.
BP, I will check out the website. Thanks for sending it along.
Jason, Well, it's more of a display book. There are tons of places with medallions and today, at Les Invalides, they had 5 different medallions to buy! Most embarrassing moment: when I asked about one of those medallions at some important church and they thought I meant a religious medallion and pointed me to their lovely selection. I didn't know what to do!

# posted by Auntie M in Paris : 3:14 PM  

I just started reading your blog. It's great fun because we have great friends (German) that live in Paris, We actually took our two young girls to Paris this Christmas to visit them and had a wonderful time! It was Coooooold, but great. We actually walked to Notre Dame on a cold, rainy day and stopped into Shakespeare and Company to get some warmth and rethink our plans for the day.

We lived in Europe for several years before kids, so I can live vicariously through all of you who are adventurous enough to do it post-kids. It give me hope.


# posted by Raehan : 4:42 PM  

I can't wait til Spring! This cold weather needs to stop! :)

# posted by Margie : 10:08 PM  

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