Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Le 23 novembre: Joyeux Anniversaire, Inky!


Yesterday was Inky's 11th birthday. Joyeux Anniversaire, mon amie! Last year, she wished for a birthday party with an Ugly Doll theme. This year, that wish came true. The party room was decked out with everything Ugly Doll - an Ice Bat cake, a room garland, and party games.

Violet and I were the only girls in attendance which is okay because small parties are definitely the best. :)

We started out by playing the game that Piper suggested - Pin the Eye on the Ice Bat! As Violet and Inky blindfolded me and spun me around a few times, they challenged me to see if I could place the eye in the correct spot.


I didn't come close, but Inky and Violet assured me that it's all in the fun.


As for presents, Inky received an Ice Bat hat from Violet and a really sweet gift from her parents that you'll have to read about on her blog. Of course, I didn't feel right showing up empty-handed - without a present for Inky - but what could I do? The Valdez girls invited me to their birthday party, too, and I didn't have a present them either. It's not like I can tote birthday presents around all year, waiting for birthday parties to attend, but still, I kind of feel bad. :/

Anyway, forgiving that, I had a great time at Inky's birthday party, all dressed up in yet another of Inky's special Liberty Jane outfits. And doesn't Inky look really nice, too? The t-shirt dress looks stunning on her. I know she doesn't like to wear dresses all that much, and this one is a nice "dressy-but-not-too-dressy" option. :)


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Visiting Manhattan with Inky!

A November Afternoon

On Thursday, November 18th, Inky had to go into Manhattan for a Nutcracker rehearsal, and I decided to go with her. While she was rehearsing, I walked around Central Park a bit, taking in the sights and sounds of Manhattan - the crazy cab drivers, the adorable little dogs on leashes, the hustle and bustle of the approaching holiday season.

We planned on meeting on the steps of the Koch Theatre - where the NYC Ballet performs - and there we settled to talk about our day. Inky told me about her ballet rehearsal and how excited she is about being a polichinelle in the upcoming Nutcracker performance. Hearing her talk excitedly about ballet made me long for dear Maman and my twin sister Juliette.

Maman was an esteemed ballerina who performed many times at the Opéra de Paris (now the Palais Garnier) and even at the Lincoln Center here in New York. When she met Papa, Maman started teaching ballet at a private school in Paris. Of course, Juliette lives for ballet just as Maman does, and while I literally cannot dance a step, I've come to appreciate it myself. I guess I take after Papa!

A November Afternoon

So I was very thrilled to see the Lincoln Center and stand in the same place that Maman did in her youth. I had Inky take a few pictures of me, so perhaps I will send a few copies to Maman and Juliette in my next letter home? I'm sure they'd love that!

I was also thrilled when Inky lent me her fabulous Liberty Jane outfit for the day. Isn't it lovely? It reminds me so much of the wardrobe I left back in Paris. I forgot what it was like to dress so classy, so élégant et à la mode.

A November Afternoon

Inky and I ended the afternoon in Manhattan at the New York Philharmonic. We wandered around a bit, hoping to spot someone famous (or perhaps a time machine to go back in the past and see Maman?) before heading home on the subway.

A November Afternoon

Pourquoi est-ce que j'ai une envie subite à danser? Pourquoi est-ce que je manque la vie métropolitaine maintenant? Pourquoi est-ce que je manque mes parents et ma soeur maintenant?

Why do I have a sudden urge to dance? Why do I miss the metropolitan life right now? Why do I miss my parents and my sister now?

New York, je t'aime, mais j'ai déjà la mal du pays parce que tu me rappelles de Paris...où ma famille habite.

New York, I love you, but I am already homesick because you remind me of Paris...where my family lives.

...c'est bizarre parce que je n'ai pas la mal du pays normalement! It's weird because I'm not normally homesick!


Saturday, November 13, 2010

Jamaica Bay!

Last weekend, Inky took me to one of her favorite places in New York City - Jamaica Bay! It's hard to believe that the city could house such a pretty wildlife refuge with all of the cement and skyscrapers, but NYC is full of surprises after all. :) It's located within Brooklyn and Queens on the southwestern tip of Long Island.

Inky & Sophie at Jamaica Bay

The salt marshes surrounding the bay are home to migratory birds and other wildlife. Inky wasn't sure if we'd be able to see the birds, given that it's already autumn, but they hadn't migrated yet. It was neat to see them flocked on the bay.

Inky & Sophie at Jamaica Bay

And, finally, isn't this photo of me great? I love the background showcasing the pretty changing leaves of autumn.

Inky & Sophie at Jamaica Bay


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Pumpkin Carving w/ Violet & Inky!

On Halloween, I found myself wandering the streets of New York City, frantically looking for my next host's apartment. You see, I'd never been to NYC till now, and I was a little nervous. I really haven't walked city streets since leaving Paris anyway.

But I was even more nervous about making a good impression on who I was about to meet. Je sais! You're probably wondering how extroverted me could be nervous about meeting someone new. After all, I've met dozens of nice girls over the past year, and I've never been nervous about meeting anyone. Why start now?

As I rounded the corner, I felt fairly sure that I was approaching where I needed to be, and when I saw a familiar face, my earlier suspicions were confirmed. I smiled, glad that I had gotten to the right place and that I wasn't too late.

Hearing my approaching footsteps, the girl I'd recognized turned towards me. Smiling, she called out my name, "SOPHIE!" At once, my nervousness faded, and I responded by calling out her name, "VIOLET!" I ran over to my friend (as best I could with a heavy suitcase in hand!) and gave her a hug. It'd been over a year since we'd first met back in Utah, but we definitely hadn't forgotten one another.


Suddenly, we both got quiet and looked to the other girl standing with us. For a minute, we just looked at each other until Violet spoke up, "Inky, let me introduce you to Sophie Moreau! Sophie, this is my best friend, Marina. We always call her Inky!"

Of course, Inky and I have been blog friends for quite some time now, but we haven't had the chance to meet until now. We greeted each other warmly. "Hi, Sophie!" "Salut, Inky!"


Then Violet suggested that we go up to Inky's family's apartment to start carving the Halloween pumpkin. Heading to the festively decorated living room, we gathered the supplies that we'd need and started in on the process.


We chose the nice, softer pumpkin over the harder one, and pretty soon we had this:


A pretty neat jack o' lantern! Now all we had to do was insert a tea candle and turn out the lights to see our pretty jack o' lantern glow.


I must say, this was probably the best Halloween I've celebrated yet! My classmates usually skip the whole pumpkin carving thing, but I think it's pretty fun. :)


Friday, November 5, 2010

Autumn Fun/ Meeting Haley & Ruthie!

While I was in CT, Haley arrived!

Since we've been blog friends for a while now, I was so glad that we were finally able to meet in person. :)

On October 2nd, we spent the day watching some go-kart racing together. We also checked out this pretty beach:

Haley and I also got to meet Ruthie. Ruthie lives on Water St., where I visited earlier this summer. I didn't get to meet Ruthie then because she was out traveling herself - she even visited my school back in Virginia!

Ruthie arrived in time to accompany us on an apple-picking expedition on October 10th. Three traveling girls on an adventure together! How often does that happen? See the apple-picking album HERE.

On October 16th, Molly J., Ruthie, Haley, and I all got dressed up in Halloween costumes to attend the 20th annual Keene Pumpkin Festival in Keene, NH. Haley chose to dress as a 1950s girl in a cute kitty skirt while I opted to dress as a magician. Here we are in our costumes, and behind us, you can see the tall scaffold of lit jack-o-lanterns:

To see more pictures from the Pumpkin Fest, click HERE.

Also, the photo-story from the Star Valley Block Party that I attended is up over at Cherished Playtime! Check it out, if you have the time. Jess also has a web-show episode covering the event.

If you're up-to-date, I suspect you know that I've since moved on to a new host. I'll post about that soon. ;)


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Mystic Seaport!

On Monday, September 27th, Marina and Liz took me to Mystic Seaport in Mystic, CT! It's a 19th century-inspired living history museum with ships and a village to explore.

Marina and I got to be pirates again!

Then Liz joined us for a pretty picture by a fountain. It's not a trip to Mystic Seaport without pictures by the water!

We also found a cannon to climb on - much like Traveling Ruthie did on her last visit to Star Valley. ;)

Here we are exploring the interior of a schooner called the Australia. Wouldn't it be fun to solve a mystery in a setting like this? Hmm, a nautical mystery...sounds intriguing!

Here I am on a carriage ride going around the seaport village. The horse's name was Xena! Boy am I reminded of a certain show about an infamous warrior princess...

Before we left, I got to sign the guestbook so that everyone knew that I, Traveling Sophie, had been to Mystic Seaport! Maybe future visitors will read that and come online to find my blog? Hey, since when did a little bit of shameless advertising hurt?!

Then Marina, Annie, and I headed to Mystic Aquarium to watch a sea lion show and see other cute marine animals... these penguins!

To see the whole album, click HERE.


Saturday, September 25, 2010

An addendum to my last post.


Oh, les pirates! Some of you were a bit surprised by the fact that I like pirates enough to participate on Talk Like A Pirate Day - or Journée Internationale du Parler Pirate, as us French know le 19 septembre.

Bien sûr, I can't really say I'm all that obsessed with pirates. To be honest, I'd probably forget all about the significance of le 19 septembre if it wasn't for AGPT's more than subtle reminder. C'est le film s'appelle "Les Pirates des Caraïbes" que j'aime beaucoup. Johnny Depp comme un pirate est sexy, non?

But, anyway, I got to thinking about les pirates français - French pirates - and that led me to countless Google searches on the matter. How would les pirates français talk anyway? Is there a version of Pirate Speak en français? Would they just speak English and use the general Pirate Speak so many of us love? I mean, I know we French have our own chatspeak what with the rise of cellphones and texting (For instance, J'm can often be a shortened form of J'aime), so there's got to be a French version of Pirate Speak. Right? I've yet to find the answer.

I did find something pretty neat, though. Sabine, tu adores la chanteuse s'appelle Édith Piaf, oui? Admittedly, I haven't listened to her all that much (I know, I'm a bad French girl), but she sang a song called "Le Chant Du Pirate."

Et les paroles (en français naturellement) sont ICI.

Happy Listening!
And, if you should find anything about French pirates and if there is a French version of Pirate Speak, let me know. :)


Sunday, September 19, 2010

Avast, me mateys, here's a pirate tale for ya!

Avast, me mateys! Bootlace Betsy here. Today is Talk Like a Pirate Day, and if you didn't know that, save yourself the embarrassment and walk the plank already!

Aye, lassies, I've a real booty for ya today - a swashbucklin' tale that's sure to have ya shouting, "Shiver me timbers!" It's a tale landlubbers and privateers alike will take delight in, so kick off those shoes you nicked from that last ship you raided, grab some nice, cold grog, and enjoy!

Just click thar and follow the links to read:

Now, if ya'll excuse me, I'm off to parley with a scallywag y'all might otherwise know as Cap'n Jack Sparrow!

~Bootlace Betsy

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Exploring NH, VT, and MA with the Star Valley crew!

Salut, mes amis!

Guesting on The Jessica McConnell Show wasn't the only fun thing I've gotten to do while visiting New Hampshire's own Star Valley.

My visit began with a trip to Weston, VT to see a musical called Marvelous Wonderettes at the Weston Playhouse. My new friends Molly (of Water St.), Sarah, and Peggy accompanied me, which was great fun since we all love theatre!

On August 16th, Gwen and Alison took me to visit the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, MA. Isn't the basketball-shaped building pretty cool looking?

We all thought this large basketball shoe was pretty neat, too:

Speaking of large basketball shoes, here I am as compared to one of Shaq's. Haha, either I am small or Shaq's feet are ginormous (or maybe it's a little bit of both)!

On August 29th, the town of Star Valley hosted their first annual block party. I was so excited that my visit had coincided nicely with the event that I convinced Sarah to dress in coordinating outfits with me. Here we are perusing crafts made by Molly M., Emily, Susan, and Linda at camp:

The block party consisted of a talent show, live entertainment by Peggy on her guitar, delicious baked goods, and - the best part - friends galore! Following the party, a dance was held because we were just having too much fun to quit. ;)

On August 30th, Sarah and Linda took me on another sightseeing trip. Our first stop: Historic Deerfield in Deerfield, MA! It was here that I got to missing Laura a bit because she's actually been to Deerfield - even if that was about eight or nine years ago now.

Barnard Tavern wasn't open, though, so no drinks for us, haha! So, we just walked around a bit, admiring the gorgeous historical buildings - even passing the Wilson Printing Office that was featured in the Pleasant Company AG Club handbook (Felicity's section).

I was particularly amazed by the many signs of autumn that I saw on my walk around Deerfield. The leaves were already beginning to turn orange, yellow, and red, and quite a few had already fallen to the ground. I guess I'm too used to the onset of autumn in late October/November, but I could easily get used to this, too. Oh please, Laura, can we move to New England? S'il vous plaît?

Feeling as bold as Felicity, Linda, Sarah, and I walked atop a fence a bit before walking through a real working farm and then looking at some old gravestones in the burial ground. Spooky, no?

Next stop: the Deerfield Yankee Candle Flagship store! It's sort of become a tradition for traveling guests to visit this store, and I didn't want to break tradition. ;)

We checked out some of the ornately dressed nutcrackers, met a bear searching for a frontier girl named Kirsten (haha), listened to some carolers, and took in a wonderful concert put on by the Rolling Bones. I even tried to befriend a knight, but unfortunately, he wasn't at all interested in me or what I had to say. Oh well!

On September 5th, I borrowed a pioneer dress and visited The Fort at No. 4 in Charlestown, NH, a living history museum teaching what it was like to live in an English colony in 1740.

Here is a bird's eye view of the Fort:

Sam and Liz accompanied me on this sightseeing trip.

We played with some Colonial toys - ring toss, a pretty doll that Sam is holding, Jacob's Ladder - and then checked out the rest of the Fort. Liz and I tried to do some weaving, but quickly gave up on that, LOL! We watched some re-enactors firing off a cannon, wishing that we had ear plugs all the while. We checked out an Algonquin wigwam and saw some birchbark canoes. We also went to the Colonial schoolroom where I wrote, "Sophie was here!" on a slate. :)

Just a pretty photo of me as a frontier girl! (Don't get any ideas, Laura, this is just a one-day thing! I'm too modern to become a permanent time-traveler!)

To see the entire album, click HERE.

Ton amie,

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Jessica McConnell Show!

Woo-hoo! I got be interviewed by the famous Jessica McConnell of Star Valley! Molly McIntire of Water St. co-hosted, and silly Peggy filmed a segment, too.

Watch it here:
(although, if you're like me and my classmates, you won't be able to watch just one episode!)

Hors d'oeuvres, Jess!

(Just kidding.)


Sunday, August 8, 2010

Fun with the Sisterhood of the Water St. girls!

Salut, mes amis! Wondering where I've been? These past few weeks I've been hanging out and just having a blast with the Sisterhood of the Water St. Girls in New Hampshire. I've also got to meet a few of the Star Valley girls, too, although I'll be officially visiting Star Valley soon enough.

Anyhow, I was quite tired when I arrived on July 23rd, so Jenn just let me sleep the day away. When I awoke, I was greeted by Elphie, and having already talked to her a bit online, I was ecstatic to finally meet her in person.

Soon enough, I met Mia, and we headed off on a road trip to the Natick AG Boutique & Bistro - quel amusement! Jenn and Missy were even kind enough to get me my own souvenir shirt. (Thank You!)

Mia and I (with Mischa and Emily of Star Valley) even had fun in the bathroom. Here we are meeting our "mirror friends" - kind of like Anne Shirley's dear window friend in Anne of Green Gables.
Bien sûr, looking at my mirror reflection made me miss my own dear twin, Juliette. I decided to go look for her in the store, but since she's still back in Paris and isn't looking to apply to school over here at this time, I knew any girls who looked like me in the store were just unrelated clones. But don't I wish that Juliette had been among them!

After leaving the mall, we stopped on the French King Bridge to admire the pretty view. Here I am with Water St.'s newest resident, Solana. Isn't she gorgeous?

On August 1st, Elphie and I decided to join Sarah and Annie of Star Valley on a visit to Ashuelot Park in Keene, NH. Here I am at the park's entrance:

We did a bit of hiking, posed with some pretty wildflowers, climbed a few trees, and found these really cool rocks to climb on. Park outings are the BEST because there are so many things you can do and so many things that stimulate the imagination. Like we found this grove of trees that looked almost magical in appearance! Elphie wanted to try some spells underneath them. Of course, I'd be all for that - except I'm not a witch. ;)

So, what's your favorite thing to do at the park on a summer day?

Ton amie,

Friday, July 9, 2010

Une boîte mystérieuse à la maison de Kit-Kat!

That is, "a mysterious box at Kit-Kat's house."

A few days after my bizarre fainting spell (the one I attributed to extreme fangirling!), Kit-Kat called me into their office. My (superior, if I do say so myself!) detective work in the past had helped me land a position in Kit-Kat's Impossible Mission Force, and they needed me to take over a case.

So, like any good detective, I got my facts straight first. Samantha and Nellie had received a rather odd package with no return address. Not knowing the identity of the sender nor the contents of the package, they were hesitant to open it.

Nellie led me over to Rebecca and Audriana, the two girls who'd initially found the package. Rebecca, too obsessed with a set of authentic school supplies from 1904 to really have much time to answer questions, could really only tell me that the box had been wrapped in such beautiful packaging that she felt obliged to keep it herself.

Audriana was a little more helpful. She confirmed that the box was addressed to Samantha and Nellie and that it seemed to have come from a foreign country. Knowing Samantha and Nellie were from Monaco, this sounded plausible.

At this point, Rebecca suddenly looked up from her school supplies and said that the package had come from Liechtenstein. Nellie, trying to think if she and Samantha had known anyone from Liechtenstein, had the girls' other princess friend, Marie, come over.

Marie guessed that the box was from the third member of the "Princess Triplets" - what the press called the three princesses of Monaco, Liechtenstein, and France who were close in age. The third member had lost contact with Samantha and Marie, but Marie guessed that maybe she was trying to get back in touch...

Later that evening, I performed a few forensic tests on the box to determine its safety. Believing that whatever was in the box was harmless, I let Samantha open it the next morning. Inside was her mother's childhood doll, Clara, a doll Samantha thought had been lost!

But I wondered why the third member of the Princess Triplets would have the doll that had belonged to Samantha's mother and was only just now sending it to Samantha herself. Then something crossed my mind: was this third member of the Princess Triplets actually related to Samantha? Had this girl come to the States to join Samantha at school?

My suspicions were confirmed when we found the Princess of Liechtenstein herself a few towns over, and yes, she did have a story to tell! Just what was it? Read the full album here!

Boy do I love it when I get to solve a mystery while I'm traveling! ;)



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