We love visiting France, speaking French, and eating and drinking French food and wine. We usually celebrate the 14th of July ( called le quatorze de juillet in French) by making crepes and drinking wine. It is THE big holiday in France.
Here in Portland, there are many people from France, and others who love everything French as much as we do. Le Alliance Francais, The French American International School and other groups put on a nice celebration Saturday in Jamison Square to celebrate Bastille Day. So of course, we went.
Jamison Square has a wonderful fountain for kids to play in. It is an “urban tide pool”, where water rushes over rough cut blocks and fills a shallow wading pool, making a great place for kids to play and grown ups to cool off. On a hot day like Saturday, it was very popular.
The booths of the Fete were set up around the perimeter of the square, with the fountain as the centerpiece. There were crepes from C’est Si Bon, croissants from Honore Boulangerie, and a wine garden sponsored by Hardy Cognac. Everything was delicious.
Booths from the Fencing for all Ages school, as well as used books from or about France, and dresses and table linens inspired by France made for fun looking. Auntie Bridgett got some books and I bought a French verb conjugation wheel (42 irregular verbs! Oh yeah!)
Grandpa Nelson enjoyed talking to fellows about their vintage Citroens. There were balls set out for a game of Boulles (also called Bocci ball in Italy) and we watched a cute couple play.
But the highlight of the day was The Waiters’ Race ( Le Cours des Serveurs). Five men and four women, dressed in wait staff’s standard black and white uniform with a white towel over their left arm, each carried a tray with a bottle of Perrier and two full glasses, three times around the Square.
They were judged not only on speed, but on spillage. It was especially inspirational to me because, as you know, I spill everything. The two waiters who crossed the finish line first did not win, because they had spilled too much. The fellow who came in third had a totally dry tray, and was declared the winner.
The women finished behind the men, but the lady wearing number 8 was fastest, had a dry tray, and was declared the winner of the women’s’ race.
By then, we were starting to fade, but we weren’t done yet. We took the streetcar to PAM to get Auntie Bridgett some reading glasses she had seen there. They are so cute!
Catching the magic number 15, we got home to crash and watch the Giants win their second game against the Brewers! It was Hispanic Culture Day in Milwaukee. Viva Gigantes!