Thursday, July 10, 2008

Paris: Day 14 - Cheese Tasting

We are just getting home from our fromage (cheese) tasting party! It was at K-Rae's apartment and she lives close to the Pompidou Center and very close to us. The party started at 6:30pm and we started walking over there around 6ish. It was fun walking over there because her neighborhood is more modern looking than ours. Actually it is fun to walk anywhere because all places are so different and new!

K-Rae (the liason for the University of San Diego French program) has a wonderful apartment that she owns! It was fun to see how someone really lives here in Paris. Her place had all of the modern conveniences that our place is lacking. I realize that I have taken a lot of every day things for granted. You don't notice though until you suddenly do not have access to something that is seemingly a necessity. For example a microwave. We do not have one in our apartment and that is fine we can make do without but we both find ourselves looking longingly out the window at the apartment across the courtyard (we can see right in their windows and they can probably see in ours) at their microwave! I thought I was so silly for thinking that way and then one day Phil mentioned to me about how he wished that the other apartment was ours! I told him that I was thinking the same thing and we had a pretty good laugh. Anyways, I was neat to see K-Rae's place.

K-Rae is actually a really interesting person. We do not know much about her except that she speaks French and her husband is Romanian. They live in San Diego most of the time but spend their summers in Paris and every other year they live for 6 months in Paris. Her husband is a computer science professor in California and K-Rae works for the University of San Diego, I think. She has a 13-year-old daughter Isabelle and Isabelle is crazy about Luke! Isabelle and K-Rae are here for the summer and will be here until January. K-Rae taught Isabelle French as her first language and English as a second and she speaks both so very very well! When they are in France Isabelle attends school with other French children. What an interesting life!

So for the cheese tasting we started out with the goat cheeses, then the hard cheeses, the semi-soft and washed rind, and then the blue cheeses which are considered the "dessert cheeses." I have never thought of blue cheese as dessert but okay! We were given a list of what we were eating but it got very confusing as we went along. It was hard to know which were which!

One of the first goat cheeses had a dark gray rind and we found out that as it ages they pack ash on to the outside. That is a hard concept for me to go along with...I did end up eating the whole piece rind and all! We talked about the different animals that the cheese originated from and how the cheese was formed. Some I really liked and some I did not like at all. I normally LOVE cheese and there were some that I really had to send my mind to a different place to even take a bite! Also, all of the cheeses were not pasteurized which of course really worries me because I really worry about stuff like that! Hopefully we feel okay tomorrow! Anyways, it was a fun time talking with all of the different people there and learning about cheese. We also tested a local bottle of wine and had salad to clean the palette between cheeses and I washed my cheese down with plenty of bread!

This afternoon we wandered the streets again. There are so many shops close to us! I don't even know if it is possible to see them all before we leave. We are always wandering down a street and saying "I have never been down here" and then "oh, yes we have." We found ourselves over by Notre Dame again and Phil took more photos. He is completely amazed by the architecture. Well, I am too but he keeps taking photos and then later getting pumped about them!

In Luke news, he pulled himself up to standing on a dining chair this morning. I had kind of a rough morning with him because I cannot leave him for a moment. The things that he wants to get into are the most dangerous and he is magnetized to them. He wants to put his tiny fingers in the European outlets, pull on electrical cords, pull up the floor rugs and put the fringe in his mouth, pull on clothes hangers, tip over his toy basket and play underneath a heavy iron table that can fold up! I actually just removed the floor lamp from the room today because it was a major temptation and it was making him cry every time I removed the cord from his hands. I must say the our hands are full. This is probably the biggest reason that I am so tired right now! Well, anyways our hands are full but our hearts are full too! We thank all of you for your comments and notes. It is nice to have encouragement and it is nice to know that you all are reading this!


Guppy & the Worm said...

HI, I just read your blog tonight when I got home from the lake! It was very interesting to learn about the different cheeses!!Did I see a french beret on Lucas? What a cutie! WE miss him bunches..I replay the video of him laughing over and over... Glad you sent it.....IT looks like you (Alli) get to go on the tours with the class?? Sanibel had a funfilled time at the lake...She played very hard! Love, mom

Alli and Phil said...

I will try to get another video snip of Luke on here some time soon! Thanks for playing with Sanibel! I am glad that she is having fun and has not run away!

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