Monday, May 30, 2011

Stragglers from My Parents' Visit

Cafe culture in Amsterdam.

Canal tour in Amsterdam.

After getting taken on the houseboat "museum."

Parents at Montmartre.

Lunching in Annecy.

On the phone with one nun and in person with another!
This is a French Viz nun!

Me n' B on my favorite bridge in Paris, the Alexander III.

Paris with B (in his homeless sweatshirt) and mom.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Best Things

Nicki, a corgi called Buddy, and pork steaks...

Does it get any better?

This must be my lucky day.

Pretty Ladies

You wouldn't believe that upstairs tornadoes were, like, touching down.  These ladies know how to keep their cool.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Corgi Party

These are the corgis...

that started it all.

The obsession.  The corgi obsession.

These guys are legendary in Queen Village.

This is a recent pic from Emma, proving that the O.G. Corgi party is alive and well, still hustlin' and runnin' the sidewalks of Queen Village.

As proof of just how bad we have it for corgis (and you know who you are, who I'm talking to here...), B and I were sitting out at a cafe the other day when a handsome, somewhat scraggly but still dashing dog walked by.

I exclaimed, "Look how cute he is!"

And B said, "Nah.  His legs are too long."

That, friends, is corgi fever.

Asian Astro-Baby

Compliments of David G.  This guy lives on Crosby between Spring and Prince, in the NYC.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Antonina Marcella

...or just Nina for short!

She is my new goddaughter.

Sunday was one of the best days ever... full of love and warmth and music and family and friends.  I swear, my face hurt from smiling so much!  I am grateful to have such beautiful and kind people in my life.  No, really.  So many times that day, I was struck by how lucky I am to have the people I do in my life.

And this baby... oh this baby!


She is like an old soul.  She looks at you, and I mean really looks at you--deep into your eyes.  This kid gets it.  I swear, she knew what was going on the whole time.  I can already tell she's going to be artsy like her momma and intellectual like her poppa and kind and thoughtful and generous like the both of them.  I can't wait to be a part of her life as she grows up.

 Nina and her godfather, Kyle.

 Holding her in the pew.

She is official!

(By the way, all of these pretty photos [excepting the first two above, obvs] were taken by the lovely Lauren Frisch.)

Kyle, me, and a happy Nina.


Pulling on daddy's tie.

They are radiant, no?

Audrey Comes to Dinner

 And though she is all eyes for pasta...

she knows to save room for dessert.

Motorcycle Kitteh...

rides again!!

More Annecy

Is this place picturesque or what?

I mean, there are swans just chillin'.

And a church practically on every corner.

The small stone building in the middle of the canals is the old jail.  

 Happy vacation times.

 The back of an old sundial.

Here swan-y, swan-y, swan....


This beer is as big as my head.

Sad disco Frenchy at the wine n' cheese shop.

 This is a croix de savoie.  It is a yummy, vanilla-custardy treat.

 Beautiful old streets.


Tromp l'oeil kitteh.

I am obsessed...

with these marzipan treats...

made from vintage molds.

Basilica Of The Visitation--Annecy, France

I spent most of my formative years at Visitation Academy.  In fact, I went to school there from the ages of 8 to 17 years.  Visitation, or "Viz" as it's casually called here in St. Louis, is an all-girls Catholic grade and high school.  I made many great friends (lots of whom I remain friends with to this day) and got a college-prep, open-minded education there.  The Viz community was a huge part of my life growing up.

At school, we learned about the history of the order of Visitation sisters, who started and are still involved with the school.  We learned about St. Francis de Sales and St. Jane de Chantal, who founded the order in 1610 in Annecy, France.  We had paintings in the halls of these two storied people, who created a legacy that is now over 400 years old.

From the Viz website, here is a rundown of the history:

The Order of the Visitation of Holy Mary was founded in Annecy, France, by St. Francis de Sales and St. Jane de Chantal. The desire of these two saints was to give the church an order of religious in which women could love God and neighbor intensely, but where they would not have to practice extreme austerities. The special charism of the Visitation Order combines gentleness with a valiant spirit; initiative with communal support; dedication to prayer with presence in the world; a contemplative life with an apostolic dimension. Today the Order numbers about 3000 Sisters in 168 monasteries located in most countries of the world. In the United States there are 12 monasteries in two federations. Six are dedicated to the contemplative lifestyle, and the other six (Georgetown, St. Louis, St. Paul, Wheeling, Brooklyn and Minneapolis) add apostolic monasteries to their contemplative life.

When my parents were planning their visit to the EU, we decided to take a side trip to Annecy to see the Visitation sights there.  Annecy is a vacation town (full of French tourists... somehow it's OK to be in a tourist town when all of the tourists are not of your same nationality!) on the side of a lake (Lake Annecy) and nestled into the alps.  It is in the Savoie region of France, near to Switzerland.  (This is the land of tartiflette, friends.)  It is just beautiful.

This is the view from just outside the Basilica of the Visitation.  The church sits up high and after a tough climb, it's always good to be rewarded with a view.

Looking out from one of the church, er, basilica pillars.

Check the mountain in the background.

Do you see the nun just to the right of the altar?

Francis and Jane, in candle form.

Jane de Chantal remains.

Here lies St. Francis de Sales.

Relics from St. Jane de Chantal.

Her super-worn shoes.

And her patched habit.

The orange highlight is Annecy.  (It's pronounced ANN-SEE.  I have had many a French person not understand me when I called it ann-A-see.)

Vive + Jesus.