19 September 2009

The smaller art and architecture of Rome

I always enjoy scouting out the small and usually overlooked pieces that truly help to make a city what it is. Mike rolls his eyes as I take yet another picture of a floor or a door...and his rule abiding nature screams when I sneak into doorways to capture a hidden courtyard. But I love to look at some long forgotten artist's hidden jewels.

Monuments of Rome

The Roman monuments are on such an enormous scale leaving you to feel insignificant and weak...hmmm maybe that was what the Romans intended??? And then there was the Mussolini period...austere, hugely masculine buildings that look like they could dominate the world just by their sheer size and weight. And THEN there is the Vatican...power simply radiates from all the gold and marble and richness hardly contained by the Basilica dome. It is interesting to feel and breathe in the incredibly different and strong personalities of the great cities of the world...San Francisco, LA, NY, Washington, DC, Paris, Rome, Vienna...London is next during the All Saints break in October.

Food Wine Gelato...Rinse, Repeat

Our running joke in Rome was that we were walking around looking at old stuff just to fill the time until the next meal. Our day revolved around breakfast in the room at 8 am, second breakfast at Pepy's across the street, lunch around 1 pm, cocktails when our feet gave out after the afternoon walking around time and dinner as soon as the restaurant of choice opened...usually at 8 pm.

07 September 2009

Sunday Hike near Pic Saint Loup

It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon for a hike with our friends Melanie and Gonzalo! Pic Saint Loup has beautiful vistas and rock formations. After we all met for sushi at a new restaurant in the new mall near Montpellier. We love sushi!! What a great Sunday!!

06 September 2009

Brocante Market in Assas

We had a fun time combing through the brocante market in the small village of Assas today. It is a once a year market that attracts a lot of vendors with some really interesting items for sale. One man had antique copper hammers that were heated up to red hot in a fire and then you put them on a small lump of metal to solder it. He had maybe ten different sized hammers with all types of wooden handles. He also had six or seven long tongs made out of various materials from wood to ivory that were used to split the two layers of leather to make gloves. Here are pictures of some things we decided to bring home with us. The clock and matching lamps (now for pillar candles) were from the 1920s or earlier and made of a beautiful green marble with brown veining. That was our favorite find today. I found two plates that have the Vieux Metiers de France on them like a tea cup that I had previously found. The plates have a chestnut vendor (Marchand de Marrons) and a Marchande de Choux (Cabbage seller)

02 September 2009

First Day of School 2009 - 10

This is the first year that Nathan and Celia went to school completely on their own. They caught the bus up the street from our house that took them to the tram to the center of Montpellier and then walked up the hill school. The huge benefit of all this effort on their part is that I was not able to take our traditional first day of school photo! So to start a new tradition...here is our first swim after school photo!

Notre Dame de La Merci - Nathan's School

College Saint Francois-Regis - Celia's School