France Day 4 - Day of Leisure

Trip Start Jun 25, 2008
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Trip End Sep 01, 2008


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Flag of France  , Pays de la Loire,
Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Today I (Janice!) have finally decided to stop being so lazy and write the blog for a change. :) First off I want to say how much I miss and love all my family and friends. Its true, absence does make the heart grow fonder.

I woke up this morning to Samuel getting into our bed and snuggling up to me. He tosses and turns for a while and finally falls asleep at which point our alarm goes off. We set the alarm because today is the first day the kids are going to the Leisure Center to spend the day there. It is the try-it-out-and-see-how-they-like-it-day. They are acting really excited about it which makes me happy since I wasnt sure they were going to be comfortable going at all.

I get them some cereal and pack a backpack with swimsuits and Ellas blanky and Sams doggie (just in case they need some comfort) and off we go. We get to the Center at 9:00am and find a bus sitting in front. This is the bus that is going to take them to the indoor swimming pool. I guess they have various events organized depending on the day. Today just happens to be swimming day. Very cool! Of course part of the Mother side of my brain is freaking out a little bit. What if something happens at the pool? They dont know quite know how to swim yet. Later we are assured that there will be constant supervision with a one adult to five kid ratio. Laurent, the guy in charge there, is very nice and speaks English. He talks to Sam and Ella for a bit and in no time they find the Legos and start playing. I am so relieved that they seem to like it. There are no tears or protests when we kiss them goodbye.

Asher and I head out childless with no real plans for the day. We decide to go get a coffee and a croissant for breakfast. We go into town and find a Bar (all the bars are also coffee shops) and ask for my fav: Cafe au lait. Delicious! Asher goes and gets an almond croissant that is SO good. As we are sitting there, we see about five people walk by with baguettes under their arms. It seems like everyone buys baguettes at all hours to take home and eat. All the baked goods are fairly inexpensive here, but if you want to buy a bottle of water that will set you back two Euros...at least. Ay caramba!

We are so used to being with the kids at this point that we feel like something is definitely missing. We decide to go check on them at the pool. We go to the sports complex and find the large indoor pool area. There are three pools and we look down and see where the younger kids are splashing and playing in the water. We are afraid that our kids have opted not to go because at first we cant see them anywhere. Then I spot her. My precious little Ella with a red shower cap on her head running around happy as can be. We watch them for a minute, snap some pictures, and leave not wanting to remind them of our absence. I feel a lot better after having seen them and made sure they are having a nice time.

Asher and I then decide to try to find the tennis courts and play. Supposedly there is a tennis club where we can pay some money and use a court. We find the place and sure enough 5 Euros later we are on a court. There is only one other court being used. The rest are empty. We are using Sandrine and Francs racquets and Im nervous I wont be able to play as well with different racquets. But no fear, Janice comes out victorious at 6-4. ;) It was awesome playing tennis after not having played for 5 weeks! When we get back in September its me and you, Nikki, all the way!!!

All this winning has got me hungry, so we decide to go to a nicer, more expensive lunch since we are sans kids. We were recommended by our hosts a place called Les Jardin des Arts. It is a hotel/restaurant overlooking the river. We walk up and are greeted by a huge dog at the front door. He growls at Asher as he tries to open the door. Weird. Suddenly a man opens the door and we ask him if we can eat there. We ask because there is no one else there besides us. He speaks English a bit and takes us outside to the patio seating. The man is the owner of the hotel/restaurant and explains to us that 20 years ago he bought this property and turned the very large house into a hotel that is used mainly for business conferences and such.

The food turns out to be amazing. I order a greek type salad that is so delcious, beef skewers with potatoes, and a veggie medley. Asher orders a hot scallope dish, ostrich (which sounds horrible but tasted really delicious. Not too unsimilar to my beef dish), and the best dessert he thinks he has ever tasted. It was vanilla ice cream covered in warm merengue on top of a crunchy cookie type thing. Oh my gosh. It was really fabulous! We practically rolled out of there, but not before taking some pictures in the garden and playing with the dog. It has been a perfect day. I am missing the kids a bit but trust they are having fun on their special kids only day. We drive toward home but realize that Ashers sunglasses are missing and we back track to the tennis courts and the restaurant. No luck. I guess he will just have to buy another pair here which will end up costing almost double the price. Argh...the dollars value (or lack of) is really starting to piss me off!

We finally make it back to relax at home for a couple hours and then we head out to pick up the kids. We walk in to find them playing outside in the sandbox area. Ella is very happy to see me. She immediately starts sucking her thumb and acting really tired. I know it has been a long, fun, eventful day for them. We are told that this is a special night where there is going to be a small production with some singing and skits. We decide to wait around to check it out. While we are waiting, Asher and I start playing Ping Pong. Soon a little boy comes up and asks Asher if he can play, so he and I start playing. Soon after, an older girl comes up and asks the boy if she can play and then a guy working at the Center asks if he can play me. It was great fun playing with everyone even though we couldnt understand each other at all. Ping Pong crosses all cultural barriers. :)

We stayed for the beginning of the show, but the kids were hungry and tired so we decided to head home. They seemed to really enjoy their day at the Center, so we will probably have them go a few more times while we are here.

At home I cook up some dinner and Asher runs to the bakery for some yummy treats to eat after dinner.

After we eat, the kids watch Peter Pan, Asher starts working, and I write this blog. I am amazed at how well Asher has been keeping up on these blogs. This is my first complete blog and Im exhausted from writing it. It doesnt help that the keyboard Im using has some of the keys in different spots, so I keep having to look down to type.
Oh yes, one thing I wanted to mention is that on our bike ride yesterday I was so reminded of that movie, A Room with a View. It had the same feel to it, same scenery and everything. BTW, that movie has the best kissing scene of all time! At least thats what we all thought back in high school. :)

Okay, well that was a bit of a tangent. So...getting back to the blog. Kids are in bed now. Asher is still working. He is doing such a great job taking care of business stuff. And did I mention that he is the best planner EVER! He takes care of all the details of this trip and I absolutely love it.

Tomorrows plans are already made. But Im too tired of typing to tell you. Youll have to read about it from Asher, the Master Blogger.

Au revoir, mon amis!!
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Comments

nicoleisjealous
nicoleisjealous on

dessert
Janice,

Your dessert did look amazing! Way to go on the tennis court. Chris Podesta told me we can rent a ball machine for $20 a day from Racquet Solutions, so I think we should get the guys out there and all take turns on the machine and playing a match or two. Chris said the machine is way better than Rio's, and we can take it to any court we want.

I want to come join you guys so badly! Your trip is just amazing.

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