It’s the All Saint’s holiday here in Paris. Until Hollande and his gang came to power, this was a ten day school holiday, but the socialists are not the biggest fans of work, so they’ve now prolonged the vacation to last an entire two weeks. The locals claim this is a secular country, but with two week school breaks every six weeks, I am a serious sceptic. Our kids are out of school for AlL Saint’s Day, Christmas, the beginning of Lent and Easter. Not to mention the handful of long weeks dedicated to ascentions and assumptions. Meanwhile, important exams are held during Ramadan and Yom Kippur.
This year, though, the timing couldn’t be better. E has been at the University of Chicago for exactly five weeks now (not that I’m counting or anything) and it is the University family weekend, so M and are leaving in a jetplane, Chicago bound, then back to our roots in San Francisco. I have not been back in THREE years.
Going home means gift shopping and gift shopping is a challenge with everything so easily available in the US, even Sel de Camargue! The day before departure I braved the schizophrenic weather we have not been enjoying, determined to find gifts not available abroad.
Just a block from chez nous, I pass Puyricard, a very old school, traditional chocolatier from the South of France, who must have a terrible PR team, because this shop gets virtually no anglophone press, despite having excellent chocolate and surprisingly fair prices. I chose a bunch of bars, my personal favorite being the trés original Versinthe, and added some packages of their housemade pate de fruits, guimauves (marshmallows) and candied citrus peels. My friends are going to be getting fat!
Monoprix does some interesting partnerships with worthwhile designers. This season they’ve launched a collection by Antik Batik, so I scored big getting clothes for the little folk I’ll be seeing, while finding a few fun scarves for the women folk, before headong to men’s wear for a few more. This fall they have a gorgeous earthtone scarf with red trim, that looks particularly elegant.
My final stop was Marie Quatrehommes for an entire selection of raw milk cheeses because I’m a mère juive and take a bit too much pleasure out of feeding my brood.