Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Bastille Day


A big highlight of our yearly trip to the United States is the Bastille Day celebration that an incredibly talented friend from college and her French husband throw in their backyard. This isn't just any backyard... It even has a
pétanque court! (Think bocce ball, but French). Jen is the best cook I know. Anything she makes is both beautiful and delicious. Her parties are so splendid... She and her husband make each guest feel like a VIP and put each person at ease.

We met when I was her Italian TA her freshman year and have been friends ever since. Our moms then became friends, too, sealing the deal.

On the surface, our lives might appear so different: she's settled in a beautiful home in suburbia while I'm on the other side of the world... But we're both raising bilingual girls... We love French and Italian, the languages and pretty much anything to do with those countries and cultures... We both worship the Barefoot Contessa... We both seek beauty in our lives in the midst of the fingerpaint and fingers sticky from jam (hers is of course from some scrumptious organic berries)... We both derive great pleasure from cooking abundant good food for friends and family, paying attention to the smallest details because they DO matter to us (Ahem... Just think of last November when I almost got arrested by the Russian police during my quest to buy more artisan challah bread to use in the Thanksgiving stuffing)... We both enjoy our daughters' toys just as much as they do... Books matter. We love it when our girls look adorable (in French dresses purchased for a song on ebay or at consignment shops). But never to the extent that we'd deprive them of fresh, squirting berries, dripping barbeque sauces, chocolate ice cream cones or abundant art supplies!



You can just tell how much fun our children had, and how much we enjoyed ourselves while watching them.



We see the same friends at their party each year; Natalia really likes this July 14th friend!



Just check out part of the dessert display! I'm so sorry I didn't get a picture of the cake decorated with blueberries and raspberries to form the French flag. There was even patriotic rock candy for the kiddos...



It occurred to me this year that the "Red, White and Blue" might be a bit confusing to the girls...

We celebrated "Russia Day" right before leaving Moscow last month; the city was splendidly adorn with red, white and blue (i.e. the colors of the Russian flag) banners and decorations.

Then there was the Fourth of July...

Then we added in Bastille Day, with the rouge, blanc et bleu...

Three holidays, celebrated by my little citizens of the world...

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a lovely party. Do not worry about red, white and blue (in any language) girls will figure it out.
Olga

Seane-Anna said...

Allons enfants de la patrie! :)

Happy Bastille Day!

Natalie said...

Wow, those are some fancy desserts, they look like something you would buy in a store. Glad you guys are having fun. I bet it's weird to only speak english everywhere you go. Have you guys lost your american accents yet?

Annie said...

That looks just lovely. How I enjoy attending such gatherings - and yet, I never seem to pull them off on my own behalf - only on behalf of the Church. (And to be fair, usually, exquisitely beautiful and detailed LITURGIES rather than social occasions...though there are those too, sometimes.)

Rachael said...

Looks like a fantastic little party!

Glad you're able to blog again, by the way! I assume you're liking your new laptop?

Christine said...

What a blast! How fun!

I got the package today. Many thanks.

garnet said...

Those strawberries look amazing. What a wonderful party to attend. I wish we got to do more cultural things. I really can't think of anything we actually do. We barely even manage American ones. It's sad.