bleu, blanc, rouge!

Photos by moi via Instagram

Every time the 4th of July rolls around here in France, like Thanksgiving, I'm always a tad disappointed and extremely jealous of my friends and family back in the States enjoying festivities and such. This year wasn't too bad, us blogger gals got together for cocktails which resulted in a late night hotdog run in the Marais. So it was sort of all-American, but I was still waiting for the sky to trip the light fantastic in red, white and blue.

Unlike Thanksgiving though, France's version of the event takes place a mere week later just moving the colors around a bit; bleu, blanc, rouge, voilà! Previous disappointment: dissolved.

So how did I spend my Bastille Day...ok fine, Quatorze Juillet? My day went something like this....

I woke up promptly at 10 am, forgetting it was France's Independence Day and thinking we were under attack as the French Air Force was blasting their planes over the city heading to the Champs-Elysées. Every. Single. Year. I forget that they do this, as well as rehearse a week in advance, and sincerely get freaked the eff out. It really is that loud. Walking out onto the street with one eye open in my pajamas, I was able to capture this shot.

Mind you, this was taken with my phone with no zoom, that's how low these guys were flying. Scary stuff.

Being up already and not wanting to go inside to make coffee on the beautiful day we were blessed with, Aurel and I recreated a scene from our first Bastille Day spent together and treated ourselves to Starbucks. (I know, like so French, right?) The difference this year (besides the obvious big one) was that Aurel wasn't sleeping over in my chambre de bonne where he was constantly smashing his head on the ceiling, and he also didn't have to borrow the only large t-shirt I own, which happens to be a pink Hole t-shirt that has a huge gold glitter heart on it. He totally walked through the Marais in this. 

I wished everyone in Starbucks a rejoiceful "Happy Bastille Day!" (with a slowly bobbing fist pump) and received complete silence in return, followed by a "We don't really say that to each other."

Well I do.

Our day then lead us to the park where we had a picnic, and because the sun is just blazing over here at the moment (finally!), when I opened the Tupperware bin that contained my little salad pour deux, the heat had wilted and practically burnt my lettuce! The leaves were steaming, smelled funky and had turned brown in just a little over an hour! Thank goodness for our watermelon backup plan.

Then on this fateful day, I discovered something pretty freaking amazing. I knew that park had a water fountain somewhere, well was at least hoping, and once I targeted a park ranger, I asked him where it was. His response to my question was -- wait for it -- sparkling or flat?

Paris, are you freaking kidding me? You have sparkling water fountains?

Clearly I went for the petillante option and had to document it otherwise no one, my mother specifically, would have believed me. 

As the night fell, we went to dinner with Aurel's friends in the 12th, which was pretty much a ghost town because everyone is either away or was along the Seine, much closer to the action. And the night was capped off with my very first Fireman's Ball (he he he). For those of you who don't know, on the 14th of July, many of the firehouses host parties where they sell cheap booze and have musical entertainment. The rocking cover band at the station in 12th had us dancing until 3:30 am (So much for going for a drink), and resulted in me, once again, trying to get the French to do the damn Electric Slide. One girl was in support of my campaign, but everyone else (including my husband who just snapped photos of me looking like a complete idiot), weren't having any of it!

Having celebrating several 14 Juillet here, this one was by far the most festive one for me. While I will always feel somewhat like a guest here, this year I felt just a little more included in the holiday. Perhaps it is because I am understanding this culture more or more....that, or it was that forth (fifth?) glass of pamplemousse rosé.  Happy Bastille Day everyone! There, I said it...again.

What happened two years ago yesterday?
When in France... 


  1. Wait, they have parties with firemen? Must be in France next 14th July...

    1. You MUST! They are super fun, even though it took me 4 years to get my butt to one!
      I highly recommend a trip to France for the 14th next year! : )

  2. For real? It was your first bal des pompiers? I would have thought you'd have made it a yearly event in your single days!:) Better late than never!:) I'll have to try that one day:)

    Every year, the 14th of July rolls around, and I just long to be in Paris for the festivities! Same for the 21st of June! One day, I will!:)) For a long time, I dreamt of spending the Holiday season in Paris. Well, I'll be doing it for the fourth year in a row (don't know yet whether it'll be Xmas or the New Year, but most likely the latter) and it never gets old:)

    I couldn't help but smile when you talked about the 4th of July fireworks... We were a few block from the action in Chelsea, on the very day, but feeling claustrophobic, we turned around before it all started and ended up watching the whole thing on tv instead! We could hear the fireworks outside! Surreal!:) Such party animals we are, my husband and I;))

    Sparkling water fountains in parks: what's not to love?:)))

    1. Can you believe it?? Yes, my first one! Every year I was meant to go but something had always come up, or like last year I was doing visa stuff in the states. This year really was a blast. We danced all night!

      The streets get crazy, so you guys did the right thing. Watching the fireworks on tv is one of the best seats in the house!! I have a friend of a friend who lives in Hoboken, NJ along the water, so one year we watched from her balcony, sipping on margaritas. It was pretty luxe!

      Sparkling water fountains! Crazy, right?

  3. You had an awesome Bastille Day :)

    ...And the firemen party, oh la la

    I spent my 14th Juillet at the French Ambassador's House,sipping on some wine with casual chatting like i do every year in this country :)

    :) :) :)

    Electric Slide chica! Funny

    1. Wow!! Your 14th sounded super fancy shmancy! Oh la la, to you too!

      The Electric Slide needs to happen in France...well according to me it does! : )

  4. Amazing day!! Much more festive than ours for sure. I need to hunt down this water fountain once and for all too.

    As for planes, I hate the noise of them... I feel like I'm in a black & white WWII war movie which just freaks me out and makes me thankful that we grew up on relatively safe soil. It also reminds me of my mom when she is here and hears the sirens and says "That reminds me of the war," of which I reply, "Mom, you weren't alive during the war." And then she shrugs.

    As for HAPPY anything... us Americans (because we're just happier let's face it), say Happy Summer, Happy Fourth of July, Happy whatever and well... just doesn't happen here. I tried to explain "Happy Friday" once to someone and just got a big stare back. So yeah... there. I say it too!

    1. I'm such a happy loser I've been known to say, "Happy Monday" to people.

    2. Your mom!!!! Having had a sample of her voice on the bootlegged HHI video, this makes me laugh even more! Hahaahaha, "the war"...!!!!

      The fountain is at the prominade plantee! But I imagine that there are others throughout the city. I'm sure someone has a blog about it somewhere!

      But what is so weird, is that they say "bon dimanche" so I figured that Happy 14th of July would be something to be "happy" about....yeah, guess not. So weird.

  5. If I saw you on the 14th I would totally shout, "Happy Bastille Day!" at you. Who knows, maybe next year :)

    1. I think it was the combination of the "happy" and the "Bastille day" since I am always stood corrected as no one says that, they say 14th of July, was what seemed to be horrifying my French pals.

      Whatever, Happy Bastille Day, it was said and will continue to be said! Until next year...

  6. I just discovered your blog, and I love it. You had me at sparkling water fountain and will keep me by doing the Electric Slide.