vendredi, février 27, 2009

Green - the Natural Flavour

This afternoon I was supposed to go to Caen to work so this week I bought a train pass from V-town to Caen to cover my extra trip, but at the last minute this morning the 2 hours I was supposed to do were canceled. It was a beautiful sunny day so after going to the market I decided to head over to Caen anyway and go to the pool and maybe meet up with some friends. Well everyone was busy so I went to the pool anyway and had a great swim - despite the dark grey clouds that were hanging over Caen, we had beautiful weather in la Manche! Afterwards I had a couple errands to run but needed a little recharge... so I headed over to Green.

This organic fast-food just opened a few weeks ago in Caen, its run by some friends and I wish them lots of success because I just think it's the best idea ever! All their food is organic and mostly vegan, no milk products but some tuna or other fish options. The day after their grand opening I stopped by for a lemon/coconut cupcake - devine! I don't know how they made vegan cupcakes but give me another one anytime! Today I decided to try something different and those big chocolate brownies were staring me down. Apparently they were banana chocolate brownies but I didn't really taste the banana, I think it was there just to hold it all together and keep it from being too dry... YUM! I haven't tried the savory options yet, but they have make your own salad options and lots of wraps and falafels. Plus isn't the store just the cutest?

Bravo les filles!

Green - The Natural Flavour
Rue Saint Pierre (across from Cafe Latin)

jeudi, février 26, 2009


Now I'm not totally coincée when it comes to writing "proper" English or French, you'll see me making plenty of spelling mistakes and when I send sms I will from time to time type "u" instead of "you" to make it fit in the restricted length but I do have to admit that when sending emails it really peeves me to see nothing but shortcuts.

And those same shortcuts drive me up the wall in French! Gah! I'm in the process of trying to sell my old ipod on leboncoin and the dude who wants to buy it said he'd send me the money and when I recieve it I will send out the ipod. The thing is that his money still hasn't arrived so there has been an email exchange over the last couple days. Me telling him still no cash and him freaking out that his money was lost (yes the stupid idiot did indeed send cash and not a cheque.. retard). But his last email was priceless. Here it is in all its glory...

ba jai complter tonadresec ke tu ma ernvoyer jaibienverefier plusieur foi évoila
tu medira demain si ta recu
pskjete surkeje té envoyer

I'm sorry, ever heard of punctuation? Or at least putting a space between words to make them understandable?? I guess not!

mercredi, février 25, 2009

sunrises, sunsets

As much as I gripe on Facebook each Wednesday about waking up at the buttcrack of dawn I love it more and more (not the waking up part!). I take the train as the sun is rising (7:40am) and take it home as it sets (leaving Caen at 6pm) these days. I love love love it! This morning as we left V-town there was a thick fog and frost over the fields. As we neared Caen the sky turned a fabulous peachy/pinky color behind the fog - breathtaking. On the way home I caught sight of the sun, it was a huge red ball hanging over the horizon striped with clouds. By the time we got to V-town and I could snap this picture from the bridge it had morphed into pale pastels, nonetheless beautiful.

I never get tired of that commute and sit there in amazement focused on the everchanging landscape. It drives me up the wall that I can't ask the conductor to make a quick stop so I can catch the sunset over the marshlands or the cows grazing in the early morning fog. No one else on the train ever seems to be watching, don't they realize how amazing this is?

dimanche, février 22, 2009


Really? Score! ;-)

well i've joined that club!

Well I've gone and done it, I've joined that club of people walking around with a honkin' phone attacked to their ear.

But isn't it beautiful??? It sure is the most expensive phone I've ever bought! But I've wanted one since they came out with the new model but there was no way I'd spend over 100e on a phone attacked to a 24month contract at 40 bucks a month, oh no! I'm too attached to my ever-so-basic phone plan of 17e a month (no contract!) and I was definitely not going to shell out 600e to buy it sans forfait...

So I waited, was very very happy with my ipod touch birthday present, it was essentially the same thing right? Oh I realized just how wrong I was when Mystery Guest was using his iphone as a GPS, taking pictures and sending them while on vacation etc... And when we found a very gently used one (unSIMlocked) for a very decent price I decided to go for it! Very spur of the moment and all that :-)

Oh... I do not regret it! Plus it made for some very funny stories! I realized that I could almost pay for the price of the iphone by selling my touch and classic ipod that was gathering dust. So I put the first one on leboncoin just to see. I got an email within a day saying that the person would drive up to V-town and buy it, for 30e under asking price. I told him well I actually will be in Caen the next day which is a lot closer so I'll sell it to you there for 20e under. We set up a RDV at the train station which led to a hilarious situation of sms messages back and forth. He had gone to Carrefour and found the same model new, for what he thought, was not that much more than my asking price. So there was this funny exchange of negotiations, he was trying to bring the price down and I was trying to judge just how much he wanted it and if he would go for a higher price.

He finally pointed out that we were smsing over a matter of 15e and that's when I said, ok lets just get it sold. So when he came to the train station (5min before my train was going to leave!) it was all I could do not to laugh, he did not look a day over 16! Preppy clothes and glasses and so eager to get his hands on my touch. He barely looked at it and gave me a roll of cash. Then all evening long he sent me emails, how do I install applications? What does this mean? Do I need a password... hehe for a teenager as branché as he was trying to be it just made me laugh!

That's not 1/2 as funny as the guy who emailed me for the ipod, apparently I'm waiting for his cash in the mail (yes, you read that right) and then sending him the ipod. But as he so eloquently worded it, watch it lady, if you steal my money I'm taking you downtown!

Yeah, so this has been quite an email/sms adventure. But leboncoin sure does work for selling things quickly!

This post was so much longer than I had expected but I'm just gaga over my new toy :-) Too bad no one is calling me on it! If they did I'd be ever so excited to see their face (yes, I added pictures to all my contacts hehe) pop up on my screen!!!

lundi, février 16, 2009

sand dunes

Today the sun was out and so we decided to go on a little geocache... there is one that has been alluding us for a long time now. We went to these dunes back in July with Kristina & Charlie but never found the tank the geocache was supposed to be hidden under.

Then we went back a couple weeks ago and we thought we found a good parking spot but it turns out the car got stuck in the mud... discouraged and frustrated we gave up a second time.

I bet you all think you know how this story will turn out? Third time's a charm? Well... yes and no... Yes because we found a stunning walk to go on over 4km up and over the dunes, through the pine forest and to the beach. We found an old Sherman tank that had been sitting there for 60+ years and caught the beginning of a beautiful sunset. No because, well, I guess it wasn't the right tank! So no geocache for us but it was an amazing area to discover, all only 30km from our doorstep!

dimanche, février 15, 2009

England picture

Stonehenge February 2009

samedi, février 14, 2009


Prince - '1999' (rUmPeLsTiLtSkIn)

Wow I can't believe it's been 10 years since I graduated high school! All over Facebook the class leaders from back then are getting all psyched up organizing this year's high school reunion. They decided on a weekend in May, when the local festival takes place. Good idea and all for those living in the area but for the rest of us (across the US and out of country) it is really impractical. First of all my little hometown is a good 2 hours from Seattle's airport so it makes a weekend trip difficult for anyone flying in. Secondly May isn't exactly the easiest time to get vacation.

It's crazy, when I was in high school I swore I'd never go but for some reason I would really like to go but I have no idea why. It's not to catch up with people, I was never friends with any of them and highly doubt I would be today.

I guess it is the curiosity that's getting to me. I guess I'll content myself to continue stalking them on Facebook and looking at reunion pictures. :-)

dimanche, février 08, 2009

England Day 3

Our last day in England was a long one! We woke up to a few snowflakes falling which motivated us to get out and see the slights and get onto the main road just in case it started falling heavier - we didn't want to get snowed in somewhere and miss our ferry! So we drove to the next down over, Tintagel the legend- wait for it -dary birthplace of King Arthur and walked around. It was raining just a little bit as we walked down to the castle ruins but we got some good views of the rugged coast and marveled at how the would have built a castle perched on those rocks... We continued our little hike up to the old stone church and then back down into the village. It was quite touristy but being a Sunday in February most of the little kitchy shops were closed up. We decided to visit the King Arthur's Great Halls but we had to wait 40 minutes for them to open so we went down to a pub to get a tea and warm up. The visit was very well done, really impressive and apparently the modern building is used in different films and tv shows to represent King Arthur's court.

We didn't get to spend long in Cornwall, but it would be a lovely place to visit in the summer, you can really feel the Celtic roots in the town names and landscape, it really is sauvage out there. But we wanted to escape any risk of snow so we made our way back to Exeter to search out the mysterious Apple store. We finally found it and Mystery Guest went in to drool while I made a beeline for the Gap store and its big sale sign ;-)

I've been looking for new jeans since the beginning of the sales and have yet to find a pair in France that fits me! So frustrating! I did find a pair at the Gap that I liked and the price really wasn't bad with the weak pound so I grabbed a pair! Yea! Mission accomplished. I picked up Mystery Guest (Appless, sadly) and we stopped in a grocery store to pick up some cheddar before heading out. Big hunks of delicious mature (sharp) Cheddar, 2 for about 8 pounds. Considering we pay about 15e a kilo in the supermarket I'm fairly sure we got a good deal. Anyway yummy!

We drove out of Exeter along to the coast via Exmouth but the weather was terrible, very windy and rainy so we saw the beautiful seaside towns from the car. Neither of us had the courage to venture outside!

It was only 4:00pm by the time we got to Poole and the ferry wouldn't board before 10pm... I would have liked to see what Poole's port looked like but it was just too nasty out. In the guidebook they talked about a shopping/bowling/cinema complex outside of town so we went there. We killed some time with a movie (He's just not that into you) which was actually very well written. It was the only showing that would work with our schedule but both of us really liked it. Then we looked around for dinner. When we stepped out of the theater I felt like I was back in America, hearing American English (without subtitles) for 2 hours and then seeing TGI Friday's, KFC and other American chains I had to remind myself that no, this was not Kansas toto! Mystery Guest and I decided for a Mexican restaurant where I got my fix of a delish quesadilla with guac, sour cream and spicy salsa. I also got a side of refried beans... I was in heaven! (side note, anyone know how to make refried beans? I'd love to try to recreate those at home... can't be that hard, Mystery Guest said it tasted like Cassoulet..)

We ducked in a little casino and bet away about 40p in small change.. I think we won back about 12 or 14p... haha.

Then we caught the ferry, paid extra for a cabin because of the exhaustion of the day and arrived early this morning at 6am in Cherbourg!

It was such a great weekend getaway, so glad we were "forced" to go because of our non refundable tickets :-)

samedi, février 07, 2009

England Day 2

Day 2 we woke up early after a fantastic night's sleep! I haven't slept that hard in a long time, it was wonderful! We went down for breakfast at 9 and our Littlewell b&b hosts were just so sweet and friendly. They filled us up with a traditional English breakfast which was the best I had on the trip, it was fried but not overly greasy and the sausage was local and so yummy! I would highly recommend this b&b, it was absolutely enchanting and a great deal!

Then we drove into Glastonbury and got some information about local sites from the tourist office. We parked just outside of downtown and then visited the Chalice well before walking up the snowy and icy hill to the Tor. We were so lucky with the weather, it had warmed up just a little, the roads were clear and it was bright and sunny all day! Couldn't have asked for better weather for taking pictures and enjoying the fresh air.

In the afternoon we went to the Abbey ruins which is supposed to be the site of the first Christian church in England and where King Arthur was buried. Afterwards we drove off to the Cheddar Gorge and back down and through to Exeter.

In Exeter we wanted to try to find the Apple store for Mystery Guest's brother who wanted a good deal on an ipod touch but stores in the UK close so freakin' early that we missed it and so decided to continue on to Cornwall. We found a pretty good b&b (but not as good as the first one! it was just too hard to beat!) and had a great pub dinner - yummy fish & chips!

By the way, one thing that we couldn't figure out on the trip were the "Free Houses" that we kept seeing, is it really Free?

English b&b breakfast!!

vendredi, février 06, 2009

English holidays!

I'm writing this holiday blog with a Cadburys drinking chocolate in hand from an adorable b&b outside of Wells. We've had quite an adventure since we arrived at 6:30am!! We drove through Poole in the rain (on the wrong side, giving Mystery Guest a mini-heart attack with each round about...) out to Stonehenge where some flurries turned into 2feet of snow! It was beautiful all draped in white but numbing cold!
We drove along to Avebury but there was so much snow it was impossible to park so as much as we wanted walk around we had to drive through...
Along to Bath which was just amazing! Visited the flamboyant gothic abbey and the Roman baths.

Thats my little update for now, I've taken a million picture and can't wait to see them on my compter!

More adventures to come.... After a good night's sleep & an English breakfast...!

Sent from my iPod

mardi, février 03, 2009

the good, and the bad...

Yea! The good news is that we woke up to a beautiful blanket of white this morning! Stunning! The other good news is a few days ago we bought tickets for our mini-break to England!

The bad news? The heaviest snow in the UK in 18 years... oh, the other bad news? If the ferry tickets are canceled within 9 days of departure the fine is 75% of the ticket...

So the good news is we're going to England Thursday night!!! Yea!! The bad news? The possibility of driving in the snow (and ice??!) - on the wrong side! Eeeeks!!!

lundi, février 02, 2009

snow and crepes

This morning I woke up to a blanket of beautiful snow!!! It snowed pretty much all day but by the end of the day it wasn't sticking anymore and it had melted off the roofs. On the news they said to be careful of ice tomorrow if the melted snow freezes over tonight. It was a beautiful winter wonderland though!

Today was the Chandeleur and we forgot this morning when we made pancakes to flip them with a coin in one hand, so we made up for it tonight with galettes for dinner. Miammy!
Both Mystery Guest and I got our flips right from the first galette!! (and how proud am I? last year not only did I have trouble but I was working with a real crepe, this one was a galette and much more fragile...) I did much better this year so I guess this means we will both have a prosperous year (yea!!!)

Here is the recipe I used for my batter for 2 people (2.5 galettes each)
* 125g farine de sarrasin
* 1 egg
* salt
* about 50cl water

I started with a little less water and then kept adding some until the batter was the right consistency (should run a thin ribbon when poured with a spoon or ladle and swirl around easily inthe hot pan.)
Then we flipped them once and then filled them with ham, cheese and a cracked egg on top, YUM!