Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy Birthday Andrew!

It's New Year's Eve day, and Guillaume and Angela are comfortable in their apartment. The snow stopped falling (Angela wants to move to Tahiti and never see snow again). Guillaume is preparing the filet mignon for dinner tonight. Angela is very happy about that.

Every New Year's Eve in Boston is celebrated as "First Night." This has been a part of the New Year's Eve celebration in Boston since 1976. There are artists and performances all over the city. For some things, tickets must be purchased. For others, like the gigantic ice sculptures at Copley Square and the Boston Common, no tickets are necessary. There are also fireworks at midnight on the Boston Harbor.

Guillaume and Angela will take a walk through the city later tonight to see some of the ice sculptures that have been created during the last week. Hopefully the ice won't melt before they get there.

And of course, today is Andrew's birthday, so...
(Imagine this is sung in a pretty voice)

Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday dear Andrew
Happy birthday to you!

A +

Saturday, December 29, 2007

The Resolution

No, not a new year's resolution. A resolution finally to the New England Aquarium fiasco from last August with the Frenchies!

Angela called and emailed the New England Aquarium (many times!) to try and find out what happened to the terrible employee who treated her Frenchies so badly. The only thing she found out was that the "situation has been taken care of" and it will "not happen again."

The Aquarium also offered to provide 10 free aquarium tickets to the charity of choice. So, Angela chose the Massachusetts General Hospital Hospital for Children. And a few days ago, Angela received a Thank You from the Hospital.

My thanks, and the thanks of our families, for the Aquarium tickets you sograciously gave to the Mass General Hospital's Concierge for our patients.The Aquarium is one of the most favorite places for our families to visit.I appreciate your thoughtfullness.
Evelyn H. Malkin, licsw

So, thanks to the suffering of the Frenchies, 10 people who have to be at the hospital can at least have some fun with the fish (and the fat fatties) at the aquarium!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Joyeux Noel!

Le jour apres Noel est triste... Surtout quand on doit travailler. Angela & Guillaume doit travailler.

Mais Noel? Et bien, ils ont prepare debut. Les cadeaux, nouriture et boissons pour chez Helen:

Guillaume et Angela et arrive a chez Helen, a 4:30, Lundi. Les cadeaux est sous l'arbre...

Est l'aperetif est sur la table!

Pour Cyrielle, Andrew apporte le vin Australian!

Et, Santa ici, aussi!
Voici une tasse d'Allemagne. La pere d'Angela achete en Allemagne dans 1960's, quand il est dans l'army americain. Nous mettons "Egg Nog" avec Kahlua dans la tasse.

Voici est un photo de Andrew (centre, dans un maillot jaune), quand il est un production de "Charlie Brown's Christmas". [En 1975, peut-etre, pas maintenant!]

Guillaume, avec un "Santa Claus Pez"

Guillaume et Andrew ouvrent les cadeaux.

Et Helen, aussi!

Voici, et un batteur (?) a oeufs. Mais, Angela & Guillaume ne utiliseron pas, parce que c'est mignon!!

Le soleil est enfin dans le ciel aujourd h'ui!

Cyrielle, un photo d'escalier, avec de neige (bien sur...)!

Pardon la langue francais erreurs... Angela n'est pas tres bonne, mais elle tente!

Maintenant, Angela va a la cafeteria dans le batiment pour une salade... pas comme Noel, avec foie gras, pain et vin. C'est la vie!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Let the Melting Begin!

As you can see by pictures of the roofdeck, there is a lot of snow. It has been very cold and gray during the past 10 days, so the snow remains.

Tomorrow (Sunday), it is supposed to get up to 50 F degrees (10 c), so some of this will melt.

Guillaume came home with some very good news last night. He asked one of his colleagues if he would work for him on Christmas Eve, and he said yes! So Guillaume-ah will be with his American family on Christmas Eve. Hooray!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Nutcracker in Boston

Guillaume and Angela haven't seen each other a lot because of work schedules, so they were VERY excited about their date to go see the Boston Ballet's production of The Nutcracker at the Opera House in Boston. The Nutcracker is a ballet by Tchaikovsky, composed in 1891-1892. It is a Boston tradition at Christmastime.

The Boston Ballet's production of The Nutcracker runs for about a month. In that month, about 120,000 people go to see the show. The playbill says that it is the most widely attended ballet production in the world! It used to be at the Wang (the old Metropolitan), but in 2005, The Nutcracker moved to the Boston Opera House, which was recently renovated after a catastrophic flood in 1991.

The first Opera House in Boston was built in 1909. During the Great Depression and WWII, it became very run down. Some people tried to have it destroyed because they said it was unsafe. Even though many people tried to save it, eventually it was demolished. This was the Opera House in 1905.

The current Opera House was opened in 1928, and it opened as a Vaudeville theater, called BF Keith's. Eventually it came into the hands of a woman named Sarah Caldwell, who appreciated the arts, but she wasn't very good with money.

In 1950, it was a very popular place to "see and be seen" in Boston. This was taken in winter. And what a surprise: SNOW.

Ms. Caldwell couldn't keep up with the building and all the bills. Because the building wasn't heated, a flood in 1991 destroyed the electrical system, and the inside of the building was ruined.

The Mayor of Boston, along with Senator Ted Kennedy (son of Joseph Kennedy, original owner of the Opera House) had the building provided with a National Landmark status. The renovation took many years, and $38 million dollars, but the result is incredible. It looks almost exactly as it used to.

It was re-opened in July 2004, and the first show was The Lion King.

Angela got tickets through her work for half-price! Angela and Guillaume like half-price tickets. Angela got home from work early on Wednesday, because she didn't want to take a chance of being stuck in traffic.

They left home at 6:50 p.m., for a 7:30 show. Even with snow (yes snow) coming down, they caught a taxi, and were at the theater by 7:15. This was taken on the staircase of the Grand Foyer.

Angela thinks this is a particularly flattering angle to showcase many chins. For something a little more beautiful, look at this picture of the Grand Foyer in 1928.

They found their seats, which were very nice, 2nd row of the mezzanine.

They got lucky with the people around them, although they did have the tallest people in front of them. The production and the music were beautiful! If you click on this link, and click on the little musical notes on the right side of the page, you can hear some of the music.

After The Nutcracker, they walked to the Boston Common, and took a taxi to the InterContinental Hotel for dinner.

They went into Miel, the restaurant where they had their wedding dinner. They were taken to the back of the restaurant, in a quiet corner with no one around. They sat at their table, and were so happy to be alone together, finally!

Then, someone came over to say hello!

Guillaume was embarrassed that Angela wanted to take a picture (of course) but he smiled his way through. (You can see the Olive Oil Museum room behind them in the picture.) Paul was very nice, and gave us a nice glass of champagne. They were happy to see him. Although Angela looks like someone just poked her.

After the champagne, they ordered a lovely bottle of Meursault.

For a starter, Guillaume ordered tuna tartare, and Angela had an onion soup.

For dinner, Angela ordered the Dover sole, and Guillaume ordered a lobster dish. Guillaume really enjoyed Angela's dish as well as his own.

And finally, dessert! Chocolate fondant with pistachio ice cream.

They relaxed and finished the dessert. Then they took a taxi back home.

On Thursday, Guillaume had to go to work a long day, both lunch and dinner. He left at 9:45 in the morning. Angela had treatment, so she went to the hospital at 1:00. At 5:00, Angela's phone rang. It was Guillaume. He was coming home! Hooray! He picked up some bread and cheese, and they met at home.

They watched a movie, Live Free or Die Hard with Bruce Willis, a fun action movie. Then Angela went to bed, and Guillaume watched another movie, The Number 23, with Jim Carrey.

Now they are sitting on the couch, ready to eat some breakfast before Guillaume has to go to work again.

Christmas is almost here!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

La neige sans fin

On Saturday, Angela had to go to a holiday party by herself because Guillaume was working. She stopped at the Fresco flower shop to buy some pretty Christmas flowers for the party hosts. She met her friends Kenny and Brenda at the party too, and they had a nice time. Brenda brought a delicious dessert - everyone wanted the recipe.

Kenny said that he was going to the Patriots football game on Sunday. The stadium is outside. It's a terrible storm outside today. Angela hopes they are warm and inside!

The snow is falling again. Angela and Guillaume went outside to clean off the car, and shovel a little bit so Angela could go to work on Monday morning.

All of a sudden, Guillaume heard a loud *BUH BUH BUH BUH BUH*

He looked up, and saw a cascade of snow falling from the roof next door!

The falling snow crushed the top of the car that was parked just behind us!

This is the pile of snow that fell from the roof, onto the sidewalk and the car!

Guillaume shoveled some more, and wiped off the car as well as he could. The ice and wet snow continued to fall.

Angela was taking pictures of the neighborhood. However, she was less happy about the snow. The first time it was pretty. It's still pretty, but it's nowhere near as fun.

After all the shoveling and cleaning, Angela thought it would be smart to move the car into a garage overnight. The snow and rain is supposed to freeze, and Angela thought that she would never get out of the parking spot in the morning. They drove to the Holiday Inn, and the car is happily sitting in a dry parking space.

Angela is supposed to go to dinner at Dolce Vita in the North End with her friend Stephanie tonight. The weather might not allow it!

Angela and Guillaume think that Cyrielle & Nico are much warmer!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow!

This morning, Angela woke up at 6:00. She made coffee, and watched the news, just like every morning before she goes to work.

This morning was different. On the news, the weatherman was talking about a HUGE snowstorm that would hit Boston by lunch! Snowfall could total 6 to 9 inches (15.2 - 22.9 cm) in Boston.

They said that the snow would fall the fastest and hardest early afternoon.

This is a satellite view of the big storm approaching Boston.

Angela went to work as usual this morning, but she told Guillaume before she left that she would be home early, because she did not want to get stuck in what was sure to be a nightmare on the roads.

She went to work for 4 hours. After her meeting ended at 12:00, she jumped in her car before the first snowflake hit the ground.

On the drive home, she noticed that there were a few snow sprinkles. By the time she got to her exit at the Charles St. T Station, the flakes were flying! She was disappointed that the parking spot in front of their home was taken, but there was another parking spot just up the street.

Guillaume helped her carry her packages upstairs, and she was comfortable and safe at home! These pictures are taken at around 1:30 p.m., shortly after Angela got home.

In this one, you can see little snowflakes in the air, and the ground barely has a dusting of white.

Here, you can see a light covering on this black Saab.

Just 15-20 minutes later, look at the difference already!

Here is the same black Saab.

And again, about 20 minutes later, the same corner:

And the same black Saab. Are you sick of the Saab yet? Because there's more.

In Beacon Hill, because the streets are so narrow, we don't get the big snow plows to clear the street. So instead, they use tiny plows like this one (next to the black Saab).

Here again, same corner, 20 more minutes (so, about an hour and 15 minutes into the storm):

And that black Saab...

And then, this little snow plow got stuck. And couldn't move.

So they called another plow, this one a little bigger, to help the little plow. Finally, he was okay.

So, here again, same street corner, about 30 minutes later. You can see the snow really piling up!

And of course, the black Saab.

What happened to the Saab? There's just an empty parking space where the Saab used to be.

Sadly, Guillaume had to go to work in the middle of this fun. So he bundled up in his new North Face winter coat, his hat, scarf and gloves.

And he went outside and braved the fierce storm!

He took a picture of Angela from downstairs. Can you see tiny Angela up in the window?

He took some pictures of the neighborhood before he left. This is looking up Garden St. Angela's car is in the front on the left (the person who was parked there moved, so they ran downstairs to move the car into the good spot).

This picture was taken at the intersection where they live.

This picture is looking down Garden St. towards Cambridge St.

And this is Angela's snow-covered car that she will have to clean off on Friday morning before she goes to work. She might treat herself to a latte from Starbucks after that.

Guillaume called Angela and told her that he made it to work safely. He walked to work. Of course he couldn't ride his bike, and if he took a taxi, he would not have made it in time!

Of course Angela turned on the news to find out what was happening in the world outside her windows. Traffic stopped everwhere! She felt very smart to have left work when she did. These pictures are taken on two of the major highways around Boston. (Not by Angela.)

About 15 minutes later, he called Angela and said he was coming home because a lot of reservations were being cancelled due to the snow. (Angela thought it would have been a good idea for him to call before he went to see if they were going to be open because of the snow.)

On his way home, he stopped at the video game shop for a treat. Then he stopped at a shoe store and bought some winter boots. Then he stopped at Savenor's for some fresh bread, so we can have some cheese and bread for dinner! Hooray!

When he got home, he took some more pictures of the neighborhood.

Here is Angela's car, really covered in snow!

He walked down to Cambridge Street to take pictures there too. Here is the famous Holiday Inn.

And then, Guillaume changed into something a little more comfortable (the couch!), and I think you can all guess what is in his hand!

Angela & Guillaume are safe and warm, and very happy to be home together on this first snowy night in Boston.