Tuesday, June 23, 2009

”I Don't Get It. Where Are The Chickens?

Blogging to you live from the bathtub of our two star hotel!
It is I, the Chicken Blog lady. It's 4AM and I am sitting in the tub writing this post, trying to not wake the children. Don't worry, the tub is full of dirty laundry,so it's really comfy. Comfy compared with a double bed shared with a four year old and a 5'5” ten year old boy. Overhead is the still damp laundry I hand-washed and hung, before Alex read the notice on the door... “Mom, it says 'don't wash clothes in the sink,' here on this sign.” Gee, and I suppose they don't want our bloomers hanging from the window either. Sheesh.

Before I regale you with the tale of our first night in Paris, it occurred to me that anyone new, anyone visiting for the first time, might be thinking “Where are the chickens? Who are the chickens? What's a chica?”

Some Answers to”Imagined”Questions

1.The Chicas are the chickens, past and present, that have been our pets since the founding of this blog in 2002.
2.Presently there is only one chica and her name is Lady Elizabeth Orpington or informally, Betty. A.K.A. “Over the Wall Betty,” “Meet the Neighbors Betty” and “Poop-Deck Betty.”
3.The chicken or chica is home at Garage Mahal,our frequently maligned suburban rental palace with genuine faux columns.
4.The Chickens Abroad is us, our family, traveling for the first time together in Europe.
5.I am really hungry.
6.Sorry about that last bit... I got distracted by the howling pit in my stomach. We didn't have dinner.

We safely navigated 4 children and five pieces of luggage through Gare Nord, passed Gare Est, in to our hotel, up the stairs and in to our room, and this was no small feat, so it was awhile before we could muster the strength to seek food. This economical, yet quaint hotel is in a doubtful neighborhood, so after washing aforementioned laundry, and generally settling in, we rallied the children, who incidentally were also doubtful, but not in a 'peep show-leering winos' kind of way... where was I? Yes, we left the hotel in search of dinner. By the time we decided to Metro to the Seine and Louvre, it was 9:30 PM. At night... this is not our usual schedule. Not at all.

So, it seems doubtful hotels are not too near the good stuff, and our ride was lengthy and the doubtful-hungry-tired children were getting doubtfuller (real word.) We pressed on. We walked from Pont Marie through Ile St. Louis, around Notre Dame, and it was passed Notre Dame when Maria fell asleep on Geoff's shoulder, and it was ten minutes later when Geoff let me carry her. We walked all the way to the Louvre, then I let Geoff have a turn carrying Maria, and then to Pont Nouf Metro and we rode back to the hotel. And by now our doubtful neighborhood hotel was looking like a welcome sanctuary. We consoled doubtful-hungry-weary children and tucking them in at 12:30 AM we promised them a great breakfast.

Isn't this sad? We stood before the great Cathedral, the one begun in 1136 (it's just so darn typical of me to throw around interesting facts...lol)... we stood there in awe, absorbing the majesty and wonder of actually being here in front of this icon... and all I can focus on is ”where is my great breakfast?!”

I bought “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” for the boys before our adventure began. I hoped one of them would have time to read it, but they were pretty busy in school, and already absorbed in other books, so I wasn't sure there would be time to get to it. Last night, looking up at gargoyles and the rose window, Alex told me that it all looked familiar, like he knew it. He did read the book. So cool.

I am off. Time to remove the clean, damp clothes from the window, then to sniff out some croissants... bonjour!


nicole said...

This is cool, you're actually blogging at "my" time now! I hope you found some really awesome breakfast :-)

Seema Smile said...

Well, I am visiting for the first time and I thank you for the answers to the questions I may have imagined asking :)
Great blog!

amanda h :] said...

What an interesting adventure! Love the blog!

Frogdancer said...

Living the dream baby.... living the dream...

Puzlicious Positivity said...

I can feel your honesty there. Love your blog.

Sproglet said...

Oh, just have to say I'm loving your blog and I've only read a tiny bit so far....haven't even got to the chickens, which I'm very excited about!

I admire your guts travelling Europe with 4 little kiddies....and the big one :o)

I can't wait to hear more. I work near the British Museum, and I agree, it's awesome.

*runs off to find white chocolate mummies*

Laura Jane said...

Once again NAtalie, we are following you.

Today I am in a cafe in Stresa, in the Piedmont region in the north of Italy, and i too have the task of doing some laundry today. After I have paid 4€ to use the internet for an hour. And then walked up the hill back to the hotel. After I have taken the cablecar to the top of the mountain.

We get to Paris on Saturday!!!!

Enjoy, chicas.

flavius darius frantz said...

Great blog! and a lot of great pictures from America...and speaking of countries, have you been to Romania ? if not, check out this blog : http://decesuntromaniiceimaitari.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

Came here from a blog of note and you seem wonderful and charming. I just wanted to say one thing: blogging from the bathtub EEKS, it reminded me of this news article I read yesterday, water and electricity together are not your friends! Seperate...very much so.

Much love,


kévin said...


beau blog,belle photos,simple et beau a la fois,a votre prochain sejour en france visité la region bretagne...authentique...
je vous invite sur mon blog...

un francais.

TCavanaugh said...

What a tremendous adventure! Great blog...but what happened to the "original" chickens?

Pam said...

I have never been to any place out of America, however those pictures are just beautiful! The Cathedral is breath taking! - Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

N O W "You are HERE to enable the divine purpuse of the universe to unfold.That is how important YOU are .


Lynne's Somewhat Invented Life said...

Can't do the laundry in the sink? How odd. I guess you could have used the bathtub.

What a grand adventure you have been on. I'm so jealous but so happy for you.