March 31, 2008

April Fool's Day- Poisson d'avril

"GET THAT FISH OFF MY BACK!" In France, on April Fool's Day, (not Jour du Bouffon but rather "Poisson d'avril), you may be weary of someone trying to put a fish on your back as a joke... but now there is a new campaign to save a fish named Marcel who was kidnapped from his fishbowl. I watched the video... it was very mysterious.... but Marcel also has a Myspace page... I think Poisson d'avril has the same tradition as over the pond where we pull pranks/play jokes on people we know, all in fun, mind you... When I was a kid, the favorite prank was to go up to all of your friends at school and point to their feet and say innocently, "Oh... you're socks untied." And if the person looked down at their feet to check ... you would utter, "GOTCHA!! April Fool's Day." Does anyone rememember any pranks they pulled as kids on AFD? I don't know if my fellow bloggers from Australia observe this same tradition but I would love to hear from you all!
Happy April Fool's Day!!!

P.S. If you are looking for some good 'ol wholesome fun then check out this website

San Diego Bay

I loved living in the downtown area because it was so pretty. I loved being close to the water, too. Makes for a great view at sunset... I lived just about 5 minutes by car from this picture!

March 30, 2008

San Diego, my city by the bay

One of the reasons why I love San Diego as a city is because it's a big city with a "small town feel." Even though it was much, much more quiet and underdeveloped as a city when I first moved there in 1983, it has grown to be a very busy and bustling city. Aside from this, San Diego has still managed to maintain it's "small town feel," which allows all of the wonderful tourists who visit to be charmed by San Diego and to feel welcomed by it's inhabitants (most of whom are actually transplants). Everyone wants to move to San Diego because of it's great weather, fine beaches and easy-going lifestyle. San Dieo has so many wonderful things to offer as a city! I will post some of my favorite things over the next few weeks - until I can get over there and post live and direct. One of the nicest things about San Diego from a visual perspective is it's beautiful skyline, which offers a beautiful view both day and night! Especially beautiful is the skline at night from across the bay on Coronado Island's ferry landing.

19 days - California HERE WE COME!!!

This photo was taken of the web from Google images.

I can't believe the days are passing by so quickly now. April is just around the corner and it's just a matter of days now until our big trip across the pond! I am going to post some pics dedicated to my friends in my favourite city by the bay- San Diego! I lived in Banker's Hill, just 3 blocks north of Little Itlay and about 5 minutes from downtown San Diego. I also lived on the flight path of Lindberg Field for about 11 years so I always had planes flying overhead! I loved when BA had a 747 flight every day that would land at 4:55 pm. If I was at home, I would step outside to witness this mother of a plane flying what seemed about only 100 feet or so overhead. I used to wave to the pilots! The planes come to the right of the downtown area and cross the I5 Freeway before touching down on San Diego soil. It was always a site to see as I was driving and would catch a plane landing just as I was about to exit the freeway to go home.

Something to brighten (sweeten) your Sunday!

Photos are courtesy of the Buttercup Bake Shop's website.

I just did a search on google for cupcakeries in New York and came up with the Buttercup Bake Shop which had some really pretty looking cupcakes.. I am not a big cake/cupcake fan- I just really like the way they look when they are decorated so nicely!


tells me that I have used up about 96.7 % of my allotted 1 GB of space... Sounds like it's about time to upgrade! It has only been about a year- didn't know I would use up the space so quickly, but seeing as how my blog is more of a photo journal, I can understand! I definitely want to keep my blog going and don't want to back track and delete pages to gain space... Has anyone else used up their 1 gig and is now running on paid space? I know a lot of bloggers switched over to typepad and wordpress for vaious reasons, but I have no real gab with Blogger and prefer to stay rather than moving somewhere else. Any suggestions other than that I should just buy more space (it's not expensive at all- only $20 for 10 gigs of space).

Is Paris a "Romantic" city???

While I don't really see Paris as a "romantic" city... I do have to admit that after seeing a different view of it tonight, Paris has its charm. Is it "romance?" I am not too sure about that, but I am sure for the gizillions of tourists who pass through each year, there is romance in the air! For all my blogger friends living in Paris- Do you all find it "romantic?" And, can you please elaborate on your response. Even for those of you who live outside of Paris who have an impression of Paris, please share it here. As for me, my idea of a romantic endroit is a tropical beach at sunset. I am more attracted to the ocean and islands in particular. But, that's just me! We all have our different views. Just curious to hear what yours is.
I remember during my earlier years of travel around the world when I would tell people who asked where I was from that I was born and raised in Hollywood, California. Their reaction was always carried a feeling of awe, as though the mention of "Hollywood" sent out an air of fame and glamour and excitement! I always had to burst their bubbles when I told them that it was quite the contrary! Hollywood is quite a dirty and over-rated tourist trap! It's actually Bev. Hills, Bel Air, Malibu that are celeb. and glamourous! As a child of the '70s and after having grown-up in that era in Hollywood, I tend to see Hollyweird more as a place that was always very seedy-- filled with pimps, prostitute, bums and druggies... So much for glamour! I will say that their clean-up efforts for the '84 Olympics in L.A. were successful, as the prostitutes and pimps who once spotted Sunset and Formosa Ave. (my old address) were forced further east on Sunset and Hollywood Blvd. In effect, they became pretty much invisible in my old neighborhood. I was already gone by that time anyway, though...having graduated from HHS in '83 and moved down to San Diego to attend UCSD in La Jolla. San Diego is where my heart lives, in terms of a physical location to live. When I moved there in '83, it was virtually a ghost town- well not really- but in comparison to L.A. it was to me! San Diego continued to develop from the mid-80's through to present time. I do remember during my 5th year at UCSD (I was an undergrad for 6) that I had a desire to get out of San Diego and move abroad. My dream place and of course first choice was Australia. I had dreamed of moving there since age 15. When I studied French in jr./sr. high school and learned more about France and French culture, I felt and attraction there and it became my second choice of places to live outside the U.S. Funny that ever since I was young, I always had the desire to live abroad, to leave the U.S. and to be fluent in a second lang. It's not just chance that my life turned out the way it did, though. My ancestry is European, and my "French" ancestors were situated in Alsace about 136 years ago!!!

One night in Paris 2

 I have seen the same type of artists at Seaport Village, a popular tourist spot in San Diego. It's pretty neat how they paint with their finger nails.

Night shots in Paris

come out totally different than ones shot during the daytime!!!

Alex and Patricia + Starbucks!

How cute they are!! I have to plug the Starbucks on St. Michel- the girl who served us there was soooo nice! She was a sweetheart... Just so friendly and we joked around while waiting for our drinks. It's always nice to interact with friendly folk! It lifts your spirits!

Me and Patricia at St. Germain des Pres....

This is the very FIRST time since I moved to France (Aug. 2006) that I have been out by the Seine at night.... It is sooo beautiful, Paris at night! It's a totally different enviornment! The city was buzzing with tourists and thankfully, it wasn't very cold.

Dishny, Gare du Nord....

If you are in the mood for Indian and want to have a good meal at an inexpensive price, try Disny in the Gare du Nord. There food is pretty good and the chai tea is soooo good! I had 2 tonight!! YUMMMMMMMMMM!!!

March 29, 2008

Up early today!I

I got up at the crack of dawn this morning... at 6:10 am! I am making cupcakes for one of my students who is having her b-day party today! I whipped out my bag of Better Crocker, super moist fudge cake mix, that I my step mom sent in a care package several months ago. Just curious... does anyone who lives in France and who bakes a lot, find there is a difference in the moistness of cake here vs. that of the cakes in the U.S.?? I am not not a big cake fan myself, but I have noticed how the cake mixes here are pretty dry when baked... Not counting the one takes almost liquid in the middle... just regular cake mixes.... I was thinking that it may have something to do with all of the artificial ingredients or emulsifiers they put in the American cake mixes, so if you know any better than I, please get back to me on this one. I am sure that for some folks, it doesn't make a difference, but I have baked a lot of cakes/cupcakes in my lifetime and just wanted to if there was anyone else there has noticed, too... Thanks a bunch!!

Naked Cupcakes!!

As I posted earlier, I baked cupcakes this a.m. for one of my student's who is fete-ing her anniversaire today. Here is the batch I made- 18 in all... Next comes the frosting... Stay tuned!

Classy Cupcakes...

Here are the cupcakes all dressed up and ready to PARTY!!!! C'est parti!

Saturday at Starbucks...

A few posts back, I mentioned my fav. Starbucks in Montparnasse. Here's my second fav. at Belle Epine. It's our Sat. a.m. routine to hit up the 'Bucks for breakfast. It's funny because Starbucks normally expensive in the U.S. but but it's even more expensive here- because things are just more expensive here, en general! PLUS that 19,6 TVA!! Our modest breakfast was a whoopin' 15 euro 23! It would have been about $13 and some back in Cali. It's okay... I don't go as frequently as I did back in San Diego so it evens out. I really miss Peets cafe', a Seattle chain of coffee houses that made it's way down to So. Cal. Cal not too many years ago. I would also like to mention since I got a comment on the last SB's post from The Big Finn(who spoke about the popularity of Starbucks in Basel, Suisse)- Starbucks is VERY popular in the 75th dept. as well as it's surrounding areas. Starbucks has only one store so far outside the Ile de France, and that is in Lyon. Whenever I go to a Starbucks in Paris it's always blinde' de monde- and with mostly French folks! I think Starbucks will be a hit wherever it goes, even though it has been losing money in the U.S. (probably 'cuz they have a cafe' on practically ever city block- but one thing is that you know for sure is that it is constant and stable from one Starbucks to the next one! I like it for it's friendly customer service, soy milk, and non-smoking atmosphere (though now every cafe' in France is non-smoking on the interior). Believe it or not, it wasn't my cafe' of choice back home - Peets was my numero uno!

The Birthday Girl with her cupcakes!

I got the loveliest compliment today from Marie when I brought the cupcakes over to her house. She took a look at them and said that it was the best birthday cake she ever had! So sweet... I am not tooting my own horn (well maybe just a little) but they did come out looking pretty! Let's just hope they tasted as good as they looked. One thing I didn't do was cram on a mound of frosting like I did with the cupcakes I made for the Christmas party. I think these ones should be fine....

March 28, 2008

Models - Out Of Mind, Out Of Sight (1985)

This song was a bit hit when I was traveling through Oz for two months back in 85! I just LOVED this group!! Totally 80s!

This is funny- Well... SILLY!

This is why I like Jack Black, he's silly and immature... and this is funny!! Call me corny, I know!

I HEART Jack Black!

They just showed this clip on Tele Matin, and I thought it was cute! I love Jack Black movies, at least all the ones I have seen! He's funny!

An unsightly sight!

As I sipped my morning coffee in attempt to wake-up, I caught a quick glimpse on F2's, Tele Matin which startled me a bit. I wiped my eyes to see if I was dreaming, but no... I was wide awake! This may be somewhat old news to some of you out there, but to me... it's new news and not-so-good news, at that! The topic was the revamping of Paris most famous landmark, la Tour Eiffel! Apparently, it's supposed to have a remarkable change, not sure when... but here is the proposed "new look." Is this a Yay or Nay for you?? Frankly, I don't think they should change it at all, but that is just my opinion. What do you think about this? Here are the photos, I'll let you decide!

WOW, like that new chapeau you got there!!! NOT!!!

Note: Photos courtesy of google images.

March 27, 2008

When I lived in San Diego...

I really miss San Diego as a city and for the amount of things there are to do there. Don't get me wrong, though... I LOVE living in France, being just outside of Paris, yet being close enough! There are some many wonderful things about France itself, it's a beautiful country and I have seen much more of it than my own country. What I think I miss more about San Diego are the typical things I did everyday... like... my morning stop at Peets in Hillcrest before going to work, stopping off at Whole Foods to grab a salad for lunch, again to Peets for an afternoon coffee and then off to the gym (24 hour fitness) where I would do my cardio on the machines, spin class and then yoga! Then over to Little Italy in the evening to sit and chat with friends at Cafe' Italia! I had sooo many places to hang out- wherever I went, I would always see people I knew, who had become friends over the months of being at the same place at the same time... I knew almost everyone who worked at the Peets and Starbucks in town, as well as all the local merchants who worked in the places I frequented. Anywhere I went, I could converse with people- whether it was brief or in-depth! I do really miss this aspect about San Diego. I haven't found that here and I am not sure it exists for me, unless I went and frequented the local bar where "regulars" can be found quite easily- if you like hanging out with old men!! I also miss my stores- Whole Foods, Trader Joes, and Henry's! I could stroll for countless hours in Whole Foods, just wandering down the aisles, discovering interesting products. Then, of course, there is Target- I like to say - Tarjay, with a French accent! If I was at home and bored on a Friday or Saturday night, I would up and decide to head over to the nearby Target and shop- how fun!!! I was part of the "Last Call, Target shoppers," because I was there 'til the very end of the night! One thing that I REALLY REALLY miss about San Diego is the dance scene!!! I used to frequent a club called, Cafe' Sevilla, in Downtown San Diego. Well, you might say it was my first home, and my second home was my actual apartment. I was at Sevilla more than my apart., going out almost everynight- even alone, and dancing to the beat of Rock en Espanol and Samba on Sundays! At Cafe' Sevilla, we had Brasilaian night every Sunday and I would go every week- religiously- and see all of my friends there.. It was like one big family! I really miss all of those things...So I am really excited to be going "back home" again soon... I shouldn't say, "back home" because France is now my home but San Diego will always have a special place reserved in my heart!

22 days and counting -

What's your favourite U.S. city??

Note: Photos taken from google images at various websites

... until we make it back to my lovely city by the bay! I love San Diego!!!

Fete-ing 30 years of SNF!!

Anyone out there in their late 30s- mid 40s who remember Saturday Night Fever in a big way??

March 26, 2008

Gustation a Starbucks!

my favourite Starbucks is the one in Montparnasse.... I go there the most, and I pretty much know all the baristas there... I was kindly invited by the manager to participate in a gustation of the Costa Rican coffee. It was very interesting to try the coffee with a few different things to discover how the taste of the coffee is affected by something else..... Hmmmm... I think that choc. is my personal fav!

Share your yoga practice with us"

How does your practice generate creativity? For all of you yogis/yoginis out there. I'd love to hear from some of my San Diego friends, as well. I don't know if yoga is practiced as commonly here as it is in the U.S. I know that in fitness clubs across the U.S., yoga has become very popular over the past 5 years or so. I have been practicing yoga for about 7 years now and I do so on my own rather than in a class. For me, yoga helps to provide calm and gives me a sense of peace with the world around me. I don't know if it makes me anymore creative but because of it's calming effect, I am able to focus better on a variety of things. I think it also puts me in a better mood and gives me a surge of energy when needed. I also believe that yoga is very good for the body and the mind!

March 25, 2008

Just wondering...

Just wondering... If France is so "green" .... then why do so many people litter?! On another note, why do so many people crachent all over the place, not clean up after their dogs, and throw their stinky ciggie butts everywhere? I could go on but I will stop there!

Kind Blog Award

Dear friend and fellow blogger, Barbara at Family Counts, is truly worthy of this award. Not only is her blog kind, but so is she!! I am so happy to have met Barbara, a fellow San Diegan and Da Kine girl from Hawaii... neighbour here in 92 and dear friend!! So, here's to you ... Barbara... you are "one of a kind!!" - You always brighten my day with your happy smile... Bisous, Leesa :)

March 24, 2008

March 23, 2008

A beautiful Easter morning!!!


Joyeuses Pâques!

Painting Easter eggs with Stan and Solene

Last night we were invited over to Frederique and Francois' for dinner. We had a wonderful time and got to meet 4 friends of theirs whom we had never met... We talked a lot about politics and other issues... it was interesting! I drank a little too much- about a 1/2 glass of wine- white and red... which were all VERY good!! I also brought a little part of an American Easter tradition to share with their two kids, Stan and Solene... I think that coloring Easter eggs may be somewhat of a tradition here in France.. but first, you have to find white eggs, which is difficult.. I found some at the Kosher market down the street from us but it's the ONLY place I have seen them here in France!! I wasn't able to get ahold of my PAAZ Egg dye, so I brought over my icing dye kit and mixed it with a little water... The kids "painted" the eggs instead of dipping them in the dye mix.... but the still turned out very nice and the kids were delighted... So was I!!! I LOVE stuff like this and miss this aspect of American culture, even if the holidays are all very commercialized in America!! Here are some pics of the kids dying their eggs!!