* Between The Sea (the Med) and The Alps -- {Pronounce: ontruh la mair eh lay zalp}

Monday, July 7, 2014

Fourth of July: Sapphire Blue

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Did everybody have a good weekend?  Did anybody (American, that is) have a more unusual holiday than is typical?  Did anybody not have some kind of barbecue?  Over here on this side of Pond, we had our typical international fete, and we continued our anniversary celebration one last time with one last group of friends, with exactly a one month delay.  I thought I'd share a pictorial of the event.

This is the invitation that we sent out, setting the theme of this year's event.  It simply says that we will be including our anniversary celebration with the Fourth of July annual barbecue.  The French gem list is different from the American one, so we also explained why everything would be in blue.


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The rest of the family?
This year we held our party on our terrace, which gives a nice open view of the valley below us and our mountains.  We have an awning over the settee I just cleaned, although the wind keeps destroying any cover we put on it.

We also have a large tent that just barely fits on the rest of the terrace, covering the spa.  The spa makes a great serving table.  I think the setting turned out rather festive.  We got these statues years ago, they have always represented my three missing kids.  They usually sit in the garden, but this arrangement is rather striking, don't you think?

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Getting off to a good start
All of my decorations have been brought back little by little from the US whenever we were back for a correct seasonal visit.  On one of our last visits, we picked up this cool retro drink dispenser.  We don't tend to bring back easy stuff!

We started off with a fruit punch and sangria, and guests brought various appetizers including popcorn, veggies/dip, and chicken wings/hot sauce.  The American menu is becoming quite universal.  Too bad you can't tell when they are full that most of the serving dishes are themed, too.

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We like to grill . . .
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. . . and we like beer and talk
The American host and a French guest took over the grilling chores (ribs, chicken, lamb chops, sausages), while two recent ex-pats chat in American and Canadian English over a couple of beers.

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All ages welcome
Not only do we entertain a variety of nationalities, we also end up with a wide spectrum age group.  Here we have a Brit/French teenager, a Slovakian intern young adult, and a more mature Frenchwoman.

The intern, one of my sewing protegées, commented in amazement at being from Slovakia at an American barbecue in France and partying with Brits and Canadians.  Ah, yes, her life will never be the same again.

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It's all about the food

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We love Fourth of July barbecues
While some people can handle large crowds in their enormous backyards, we did fairly well accommodating about 20 people on our little terrace, mostly being able to avoid the hot afternoon sun that peeks blasts under the awnings.

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It's party time!
After a great meal and a little posing, the hostess with the mostess announced the dessert segment, which kicked off the second theme of the afternoon.

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Who wants dessert?

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A final sapphire blue celebration
Continuing the sapphire blue anniversary theme, we set a blue table in front of blue shutters with a miniature tiered blue cake, which made a striking presentation.

We did some more posing in our blue anniversary outfits, then I made another wedding dress presentation (because I could) as this was a different crowd than before, and we posed some more in a mini cake cutting moment.  But isn't that what life is all about, making fun memories to reflect upon later?

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All in blue
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Just like the first time
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After 45 years!

As we all ate cake (and watermelon, and ice cream, and cherry clafuti), the women
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The girls like photos
looked over our old wedding and anniversary photos from a time before any of them knew us, while the
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The guys like hearty discussion
men all stood around chatting as much as (or more than) any of  the women.

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A bubbly end to a great afternoon
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Even Bambi joined the party!

To finish off the fun, he poured the bubbly and she served the guests, ending another thoroughly successful American national holiday in France.


  1. Bravo Barb... looks like another successful party =) I like the shade covering, great idea.

  2. What a delightful party. Everyone looks like they're having a splendid time and you look smashing! All your 4th of July things look so nice. As always, you are a tremendous hostess!

  3. The usual Barbara party. You never cease to amaze.

  4. A wonderful setting for a very nice July 4th party. I liked you blue dress and Craig's blue shirt. It appears that you have some really nice friends.


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