Friday, July 29, 2011


...was the last time my parents were on an airplane. I was 2 years old. Mike Schmidt was still a Phillie, and Ronald Reagan was president of the United States. Well today is a monumental day my friends, as they will be ending their 27 year stint of car-only traveling to make their first visit to us here in France. Not only is this their first time visiting us in the almost 1.5 years that we've lived across the pond, but this is also their first Trans-Atlantic flight to date.

Oh boy. This is gonna get interesting.

I can't wait to see their faces at all the new things that they are going to get to experience in their time here in Europe, such as meeting some of our neighbors...

{New baby billy goats down the street...}

Experiencing the landscape...

And oooh-ing and ahhh-ing at all of the beautiful old homes and their flowers...

Oh yeah, and then there's the market too...

Send those good travel vibes out this way my friends, and see youse on Monday.

A la prochaine friends...

Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Tutorial Follow-Up, Trebek: Propagating Fig Trees DIY

Remember a ways back when I wrote a post about the way in which you can propagate a fig tree from an existing one? Yeah neither do I, but luckily a few of our readers do, and have asked me for an update on the state of those fig branches that I used in the post. Well, voila!

{They're ALIVE!}

All 6 branches were successful in rooting and growing leaves. Hooray! Within 3 - 5 weeks each showed signs of life, at which point I moved them from the garage to the terrace orchard. No figs yet, but since we seem to have skipped summer and gone straight to November, that's kind of to be expected for such wee little arbres. (At least that's what google tells me...)

Have any of you tried to propagate fig trees yet in your neck of the woods? Tell me all about it!

A la prochaine friends...

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

San Lorenzo Street Market: Firenze

Welcome back to Honey and Ang's Excellent Italian Adventure: Florence Edition. We started out our second day in Florence at the San Lorenzo street market, with stalls full to the brim of hats, silk scarves, leather everything, and touristy trinkets.

{Hi Ang!}

{Belt man cutting a large belt to a smaller size for me! Yeah for belts that are custom fit!]}

We each bought a few things in the morning, and one of my favorite haggles was my sweet new brown leather belt. After taking a loop of the market I got an idea of what I could reasonably haggle a vendor down to (because a lot of the stands in the San Lorenzo market have exactly the same items), and was able to then haggle him down by almost 30€ - sweet!

After our morning of shopping, we found a little outdoor food market where I had some figs and susine plums for a snack, and bought Doc some hot dried peppers (he eats them gummy bears). It was then that we stumbled upon a really cool wine store: Divino.

At Divino you buy one of their empty bottles in a number of different sizes, pick the wine you'd like to fill it with, and you're good to go! It was kind of like taking a growler to a Brewery, but with many different size options...

But the choices weren't just limited to white and red wine - you could fill your bottles up with prosecco or red wine vinegar as well...


They also had one of my all-time favorite fridge designs, SMEG. How amazing is it? And the color! To make it even more lovely, there was a little yellow canary in a birdcage just chillin out on top of the fridge.

Not sure how Doc would feel about having a baby pink colored fridge though...

It was hot and we were hungry, so after filling quite a few bottles of wine we grabbed a little lunch to bring back to the hotel before heading back out for a few last minute things at the street market below...

{View from our hotel of the Duomo and the market...}

Once it came time for dinner, we found a cute little place at the backend of the Duomo on the piazza, and were ready for some good eats. Turns out we picked a good place, because while waiting to order we met two American backpackers, Amanda and Laura, who had bypassed their plans of going to Amsterdam to instead take an overnight train to Florence so that they could eat at this restaurant, which they had eaten at a week or so before, again. I had also planned on ordering the gorgonzola gnocchi with truffle oil, which is exactly what they were having as well, and I was not disappointed.

Behold! Gorgonzola gnocchi in truffle oil. It was so good that its memory is actually painful to me. I now see why Amanda and Laura took an overnight train for it. We actually ate there two nights in a row it was so good (though the service left a little to be desired), and I can't wait to go back.

Next up in Honey and Ang's Excellent Italian Adventure: 20€ worth of Florence Culture.

A la prochaine friends...

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Monday, July 25, 2011

Random Acts of Kindness: Part Deux

We woke up to the most wonderful surprise cette matin: a surprise delivery of string beans! These beautiful little guys were left in a bag on our doorstep, and we're not exactly sure who from. We think it may be from our landlord's mother, (who if you remember was the subject of the last Random Acts of Kindness post when she gave us several pounds of cherries still on their branches a month or so back), or from his grandparents who have the most beautiful garden just down the street. Add to the special delivery of mystery string beans the fact that the really nice man from "Huit a Huit" just delivered us a new gas tank (it weighs about 1,000 tons, give or take a few pounds) for our stove, to our door, on his day off, and I think I've got a serious batch of merci beaucoup cookies to bake.

Hope you guys are having just as wonderful a start to your lundi as we are over at Chez Duggan!

A la prochaine friends...

Physicists with guitars.

...and some in latex pants and spiked collars. "But Honey," you may be pondering, "when do physicists have time in their busy black hole creating schedules to even make a trip to 'Hot Topic' to buy latex pants and spiked collars, and are there even any 'Hot Topic' stores IN France?" Well friends, these are questions that may need to be left unanswered, but we can take comfort in knowing that these events have happened and enjoy their results.

Welcome to the CERN Hardronic Festival 2011.

Now, don't get your hopes up, not every band was out there on that cold and rainy Saturday night sporting goth gear. There were plenty of long leather dusters to be found throughout the crowd though, and on many of the volunteers at the event.

[There's Dean on the right playing bass...]

I was really surprised with the talent of some of the bands this year (all made up of physicists and engineers from CERN), and was excited to see our friend Dean's band, "A.W.E.S.O.M.E" rock out with some covers by "The Smiths" and George Michael, as well as a few originals in the set...

And on came the latex pants. And the spiked collar. Not gonna lie, I was not sure how much I would like "Data Fail" as I'm not really into goth music, but they ended up being pretty awesome.

And I've never been one to argue with fabulous accessories...


A few hours of music, outside, on the grounds of an international laboratory, with good friends, beer, frites and a little rain = not a bad Saturday night in France.

A la prochaine friends...

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Bastille Day 2011.

It's hard for me to believe that this was our second Bastille Day in France. What is also hard for me to believe is how freaking cold it was this year for Bastille Day, as compared to last year's summer weather. No tank tops to be found this time around, as scarves and jackets were the order of the day, along with some red wine to warm the chill in the bones.

We celebrated with our fellow Thoiry-sians at the salle de fete in centre ville, along with some accordion players, saucisse, frites and as mentioned earlier, red wine.

{The line for food was quite long...}

{Cue disinterested ceremonious line dancing.}

Happy belated Bastille Day!

A la prochaine friends...