The Birthday Abroad

Kailas turned six last Sunday. We’ve only been here in Lyon for two weeks so I really didn’t know what I was going to do for his birthday. He has no friends here yet and I wouldn’t be able to make his cake. I’ve always made a special cakester-piece from scratch on my kid’s birthday! Waaaaa.

Kailas is a homebody. If it weren’t for his desire to be with his sister who likes adventure, he would be content to stay indoors playing and eating all day forever and ever.

But it was sunny outside!

We were in Lyon, France!

There was so much to see!

I couldn’t help but insist we go to the park for his birthday. Besides, it was my “Giving Birth” Day, right? This wasn’t just any park- it was the largest in France. The Parc de la Tete d’Or is 290 acres of greenosity with a zoo, botanical gardens and a huge, ornate greenhouse. There was an outdoor puppet show area, little go-cart bikes to rent… Surely Kailas would enjoy himself once there. Off we went.

The first order of business was feeding the hungry children. They got to try the French version of a hotdog.

It was a baguette that had been skewered on a rod that shot out steam, and then a sausage (the kind with a casing) was inserted into the hole. Interesting.

They both enjoyed these go-cart style bikes. Mark was concerned about our liability insurance covering a plowed over pedestrian.

The animals at the park seemed in good shape (even most of the humans).

Here’s an image of the wonderful greenhouse. I could live in there.

We didn’t see half of the things at the park but Kailas was tired of walking and it was his birthday, so we headed home. I had a surprise waiting.

Sagan and I ran up the four flights of stairs and hid behind his bed (actually, I laid on the floor and panted). When he came into his room we shouted


He had been irked from having to walk a zillion miles on his birthday, but he perked right back up when he saw the decorated room and all of his presents. We then got Skype video calls from many of his buddies back in the States, which was really cool. Granny Franny got to “be there” for blowing out the candles (too bad she couldn’t have a piece of cake).

From Lyon, France 2011

Ah, the cake. No where did I see the typical American kid’s cake- the kind with mile-high “frosting” which consists of garish artificial colors, sugar and hydrogenated vegetable shortening. Yes, the cake hides underneath all that smearage and tastes like Twinkies. Probably would last as long, too. I wonder if the French would understand the humor in Cake Wrecks.

It was naughty good fun picking out Kailas’ cake. I had dozens of places to choose from just outside our apartment, and endless varieties on top of that. They have tiny wittle bitty versions of different kinds so I had to try several, see. We ended up getting it at Les Halles de Lyon Paul Bocuse just because I wanted an excuse to go there. A bit overwhelming. Here’s a video I found on Youtube that shows a walk-through of the place. You can get a sense of its size, but not of all the products and the smells. Did I mention I was overwhelmed?

I asked Kailas at the end of the day what he liked best and what he liked least about his birthday.

“I liked talking with my friends, and my cake and the surprise. But not the park.”

Oh well. I’ll have to remember this for his seventh birthday.
(but I think he liked it, just not the walking part.)

From Lyon, France 2011

About marlashane

Artist. Explorer. Freethinker. Mother of two children.
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