Monday, May 28, 2012

Did "King Tut" enjoy fried Nutella sandwiches?





This has been a busy Memorial Day weekend. 


I will look back on it in a few months and remember the sun; the laughter; the music; a young Egyptian king with a gold fetish; and our friends. 


It all started in downtown Seattle at the brand-new King Tut exhibit. We were lucky to get tickets. This is the hottest show in town. It is supposed to focus on the great Egyptian Pharaohs, and young King Tutankhamun. For months, I have heard people mention "King Tut." -- "King Tut is coming to Seattle in the spring!"


Wait. "King... Tut????" It is "King T.u.t.a.n.k.h.a.m.u.n." to you, ladies and gentlemen!


Ah, the infamous American informality...


On Saturday, the exhibit was crowded. The first half was devoted to Egyptian artifacts and included informative placards about the great Pharaohs. We saw a lot of this...









All excellent. But what everyone really came to see was "King Tut," a young king who died mysteriously at the age of 19, was hurriedly buried and almost fell off Egyptian history books until his tomb and remains were discovered by Englishman Howard Carter in 1922.


Even though most people could name at least a couple of Egyptian pharaohs or queens, "King Tut" stands apart as a shining star in American popular culture. 


After all, actor/writer/producer/musician Steve Martin famously mentioned the young king during a SNL show in the late 1970s. Have you heard the [silly] song?


As we were plowing our way through the crowd and strollers, waiting patiently for other visitors to move on so we could get closer to the displays, anticipation grew: Where was "King Tut's" den? His mummy and sarcophagus? His treasures? The rooms were getting darker. On the wall, giant screens showed old black and white photos of the original Carter expedition, as Harrison Ford's deep voice created the perfect atmosphere, evoking mythical adventures and long lost treasures. Finally, the time had come as Indiana announced, in his most melodramatic voice: 
(gratuitous Indiana Jones shot-- just because!) 
Well, that part was a bit of a let down. The replica of "King Tut's" tomb included more artifacts (his bed; personal objects; some jewelry;) more placards detailing how well his mummy had survived the test of time. We learned that the mummy and death mask have never left Egypt, where they can be seen, in the original tomb located in the Valley of the Kings. Dommage... We also learned that like most Egyptians, young "King Tut" loved gold. Look at this fetching photo of the "finger and toe protectors" found on his remains.
No need for a pedi or mani - ever again!
King Tut's favorite flip flops
After I overheard a conversation between a father and his 5-year old, involving details about "King Tut's inner and outer coffins," "Tut's mummy," and "the thieves who raided his tomb early on," I realized the whole exhibit was a bit on the creepy side and wondered how many youngsters were going to have nightmares that night.  Around me, some people commented: "The exhibit was much better in the 1970s... Finally, after taking one last turn in the dark, a kid shouted: "Yeah! The gift shop! I bet that's the best part of the whole show!" - He was not entirely wrong. "King Tut" had obviously hired a talented buyer to furnish the shop's shelves...
King Tut key ring... sure to make an impression
When in Rome...
King Tut baseball
Perfect headgear for Seattle's wet weather...
Next to me, a lady seemed tempted by jewelry replicas. They were magnificent, and fetched several thousand dollars. Instead, being a good mom, she invested in educational material for her children...
Not your average erasers...
Seattle's Pacific Science Center is a fun and interesting place, where education [occasionally] comes free of charge... When I used the restroom after the exhibit, this sign was posted on the stall door:
???
Once outside, back in broad daylight, everyone became positively giddy with happiness !
Two fedoras in the hamster wheel!
For us people [and dog] watchers, the show was endless...
And the sun... Did I mention the sun? It was summer in Seattle this weekend. The Northwest Folklife Festival drew thousands of Seattleites out of their homes.  Music? Check.
Gourmet food? Check.
I have solved the mystery surrounding King Tut's death:
He ate too many fried Nutella sandwiches!!!
Unique shopping opportunities? Check.
And the fun kept coming during this busy weekend: There were laughs shared with friends; a failed attempt at taking out the new sailboat (will save this one for later;) walks up steep hills; rides in the back of pick trucks; fire pits; antique cars, and last but not least, a birthday celebration involving bagna calda, a delicacy best enjoyed in a garage, doors wide open... Phew. I don't know about you, but I am beat!
A bientôt.
Photos by 
American Frog photography and
French Girl in Seattle. 
Please do not use without permission.

44 comments:

  1. Eh bien, Véronique... Quelle aventure!... Oui, la vie mérite d'être vécue. On en voit des choses. Toutes sortes de choses!...

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    1. Tu as bien raison, Richard... Et à Seattle, par une belle journée ensoleillée, on voit des choses, des choses... :-)

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  2. Ces Americains! S'ils allaient voir une expo sur Louis XVI et Marie-Antoinette, ça serait Loulou et Nenette?!.. :o)
    La boutique aux souvenirs offre de choses assez .. horribles, je trouve!
    tes photos sont surement de bien meilleurs et plus jolis moyens de se souvenir de ces bons moments!
    A bientôt!

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    1. Ah! ah! Malyss. "Loulou et Nénette." J'adore! Merci de ta visite et à très bientôt, à Nice, si tout va bien...

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    2. hey girls i just had to comment I JUST LOVE that you nailed it us americans calling louis XVI Loulou and his wife Nenette-TOO FUNNY and very spot on-oh wait i just realized you both wrote in french oh no....

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  3. What a fun post Véronique! I was intrigued by the title and you kept my interest from start to finish - I loved the flip flops and 'no need for a mani-pedi' made me smile too. This brought back happy memories of our trip to Egypt a few years ago when we were fortunate enough to see so many wonderful artefacts in the museum in Cairo. So pleased you had a sunny weekend too - a rare mini heatwave here in the UK!
    http://missbbobochic.blogspot.co.uk/

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    1. Bonjour miss b. Ah, Egypt. You got to see the real thing, then. I am sure it was something. One day, I might go there. I have been interested in Egypt since we studied it in French secondary school, so many years ago. Bonne semaine, miss b.

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  4. Looks like you had an educational and family fun weekend! I would have to agree the fried Nutellla sandwich looks lethal!! I think i gained 5 kg just looking at it :)
    Carla x
    PS: King Tut exactly what Australians would do but they may add an o or y on the end hahah

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    1. Bonjour Carla. I believe you are right. Australians would probably do something creative with that name :-) To tell you the truth, that Nutella sandwich, that also included strawberries, was very tasty. I only got one bite, thankfully (we were sharing :-)

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  5. Nutella sandwiches sound good to me but fried? don't think so.

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    1. Ah, Riet. That's what I said too... then I tried it. Not bad, not bad at all :-)

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  6. Oh, Veronique! I had thought about you this weekend and imagined you were sailing with the clear skies (Saturday at least) of Seattle. I should know that there is more to do in Seattle than can possibly be done in a weekend, even a holiday weekend.

    The gift shop is a hoot with it's Disneyesque approach to marketing. I imagine the exhibit was nicely presented but I had heard that it was not as complete as the original we saw man-years back. Still, it must have been magnificent.

    The food looks delish - bagna calda, miam-miam! I love the shot of the whole crowd under the tree and would say that you had a great Memorial Day weekend!

    Bises,
    Genie

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    1. Well, what can I say, Genie. It was not the "healthiest" weekend, food-wise... Oh, and there was a lot of wine, too, bien sûr... Time to get back on track. Pilates chair, here I come!

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  7. Quelle belle journée... Merci de nous faire profiter grâce à vos merveilleuses photos de ces fabuleux moments...
    Elles sont magnifiques.
    gros bisous

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    1. Merci beaucoup Martine Alison. Comment va Monsieur le Toucan? Tiens, je me demande si nos amis américains le surnommeraient "Leo Le Touc" s'il habitait ici... :-)

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  8. Sounds like a busy, fun-filled weekend! Such fun, funny stories! Thanks for brightening up my day! My weekend was decidedly more low key, but equally fun....barbecuing and lots of pool time :)

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    1. Pool time ain't bad, lady. It ain't bad at all... Yes, it was a wonderful weekend, and that is what Memorial Day is all about, right?

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  9. I'm worn out reading all your fabulous activities!!! I"m wondering if this is the same exhibit that was in the south about 20 years ago. Maybe some of it.

    Now pass the Nutella svp! :)
    V

    PS I'm going back up to watch Steve Martin. One of my ALL TIME acts of his.

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    1. Bonjour V. I believe the exhibit is similar to the one you used to know, but many people were commenting that there were fewer artifacts, or at least, that it felt less "impressive" than the original. It was ok. Just not as good as it could have been... but I count myself lucky I got to see "King Tut's" flip-flops :-)

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  10. I know the band you posted as well--it's a family and the kids are pretty amazing...

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    1. They were pretty amazing indeed, especially the young ones! Thanks for stopping by, Dr. David...

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  11. Dearest Véronique,

    You had quite an educational Memorial Day! But interesting to see the overdone luxury that kings all through history entitled themselves to.
    Sending you love from the southeast (with finally some rainy days!),
    Mariette

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    1. Bonjour Mariette. Yes, Kings all over the world know how to live in style (as the French well know :-) Glad your weather is cooling off a bit. This is a problem we hardly ever experience in Seattle!

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  12. Oh my goodness! That's it...you solved it Veronique...it was the fried Nutella sandwiches. hee hee. I really loved all the photos in this one. How American! Looks like a lovely sunny time y'all had. =)

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    1. I tell you Sandy. I am simply brilliant! :-)

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  13. Veronique, I'm glad you had such a fun Memorial Day weekend - yay, sun (at least for one day)! And that you got to experience such a terrific example of Seattle high culture (the folk fest) and cuisine (fried Nutella sandwiches, oh my)! Looking forward to a fun summer ahead! XO

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    1. Bonjour Jeanne. My motto is: "When in Rome, do as the Romans... but don't forget you're a Gaul!" :-)

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  14. you are ALWAYS ON THE GO ...and i love that -a girl of energy- it sounded like a really fun weekend thank you so much for sharing it with us-love your facebook posts you provide so much practical info and some super great reads ...my sister and i always compare notes...this is the BEST OF ALL PLACES to visit thanks v as always A PURE DELIGHT-have a good week-

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    1. Well, at long last: Welcome back, g! I have missed you. I hope life is a bit smoother these days on the East Coast. Oui, always on the go. I don't do well staying put too long. Glad you enjoy the new Facebook page. I try to share the good stuff when I find it out in Cyberspace! A bientôt, friend.

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  15. What a weekend Veronique! Honestly if you ever get the opportunity to go to Egypt you should do it, Aimee and I went there on the way to Paris and it was so unbelievably amazing! Actually I never say this but it was AWESOME to see the real thing..but what made me laugh, we met up with some other Aussies and you're spot on, everything gets shortened..I remember someone asking if I had had 'King Tut's tum' ...thankfully not!! Fried Nutella sandwiches oh la la!! yes please!!

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    1. The "King Tut's Tum," eh, Grace? I like that :-) Egypt is on my list of places to see. One day...

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  16. Well, it seems as though a great time was had by all! I think i would have been a little let down by the King Tut exhibit also. I do; however, love that pic of Harrison Ford. So very hot! And he looks every bit the 'Egyptian explorer' :D And i must admit, i WANT a pair of those gold flip flops, but they may be a smidgen beyond my budget? Maybe? The keychains crack me up! They look as though they could be wound up and bounce across the floor! And i'll tell a little secret.. i love3 to browse museum gift shops the see what they 'have'. Something to look forward to if the exhibit is sort of dry and boring... Glad you had a great Memorial Day weekend with family and friends, Veronique!

    Mary

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    1. Hello Mary. From the looks of things, you are not the only one who enjoys gift shops. The place was packed to the gills! Thank you for your visit. A bientot!

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  17. I remember having seen part of all this once in Paris, some decades ago. Well, the best should of course be to go to Egypt and hope to see things on the spot, but there is always the risk that what you are especially looking for maybe travelling, in Seattle or elsewhere! :-)

    It reminds me of a friend who came to Paris to see the two Vermeer paintings at the Louvre only to read on two small labels that one was in NYC, one in Japan.

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    1. Bonjour Peter. Good to see you here. Well, I did bump into a closed door at the Picasso museum in Paris 18 months ago... It was closed for renovations and most of the collection was in... Seattle, WA! Ha! Bon weekend Peter.

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  18. I remember the famous King Tut of the US of decades ago. Steve Martin's funny song was from that time. 'The Tut' show was bigger than when Jackie Kennedy prevailed on France to send the Mona Lisa....the security for that was incredible.

    I generally avoid gift shops. Not a shopper and to me often looks like wasted resources. But the Legion of Honor in San Francisco has a wonderful 'gift shop' of valuable things and a fantastic restaurant. In the shop I found a book of translations of Joan of Arc's trial transcripts! She was incredibly articulate. Reading her own words gave such a sense of how truly remarkable she was.

    Love the colorful photo of family and friends. Now that's a treasure...

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    1. Bonjour Suzanne, I keep hearing the King Tut exhibit used to be a really "big" thing. Too bad I missed the original one. As for Jackie Kennedy persuading the French to send the Mona Lisa to the US for a while, I see only one explanation: She was close to Andre Malraux, De Gaulle's French Minister of Culture. They were great friends apparently. What a let down that must have been to a lot of people. The first time I saw that painting at Le Louvre, I was... underwhelmed to say the least. But what do I know? I am no Art Major! Bon weekend!

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  19. I saw the King Tut exhibit back in the 1970's when it came to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC. It was challenging getting tickets but I was persistent and it paid off. Finally on the day I went to see it the line to get in was so long. It was a great exhibit and one that I will never forget. It was kind of weird though because I was appalled that people went and dug up all that stuff in 1922 instead of respecting the dead, but yet I couldn't wait to see the exhibition.

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    1. I am glad I am not the only one who finds this habit to go through tombs and funeral sites - even if it is in the name of science! - a bit strange and mildly repulsive. Thank you for your comment. Come back soon!

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  20. I was in Cairo on my honeymoon so I was spoilt with the museum there... so long ago but still one of my highlights... xv

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    1. Bonjour Vicki. Thank you for stopping by. One day, I will go to Cairo too... I am in an island somewhere in the Puget Sound this weekend, and I thought about you when I saw one of your books in a store window! Small world!

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Bonjour! I love hearing from you, my readers. To quote a fellow blogger, my friend Owen, "Comments are the icing on blogcake... Comments are the UFO in the twilight sky bearing news from other planets... Comments are raspberry vinegar in salad dressing... Comments are the cool balm of after-sun moisturizing lotion... Comments are the moment the band comes back out onstage to play an encore... Comments are the gleam in the eye across the room in a smoky bar... Comments are the rainbow after the rainstorm..." Merci for your comments! French Girl in Seattle