Friday, November 5, 2010

Recent Visitor Highlights

The month of October brought us our first visitors, and many of them too. We were lucky to have our friends, the Dineens, who currently reside in Switzerland, visit us in the beginning of the month to celebrate Renee's big 4-0. Following them were my French class friend Suzie and her husband John. And, coinciding with them were my aunt and uncle from Walnut Creek, Lynn and Butch. Finally, my parents, who enjoyed their first trip to Paris during Raelyn's and Nola's first two-week school vacation.

We took a road trip to the Loire Valley with my parents in a (delivery) van, searching for currently scarce diesel fuel (successfully thank goodness), and we saw some really old castles that various members of royalty over the years called home. Really old = 1000-ish years. Ancient in comparison to buildings in the U.S. Each castle, or château rather, was more stunning than the previous one. Seeing the ancient kitchens and rooms in these massive abodes, I couldn't help but wonder how the servants managed without running water nor a sink in the kitchen and, how did the queens, princesses, and mistresses manage without indoor plumbing and toilets? With their big gowns, that's a lot of fabric to keep out of the way of, well, you get the idea.

We concluded the road trip with a day at Futuroscope, a futuristic amusement park. Two things we noticed at Futuroscope that would never fly at U.S. amusement parks: The lack of junk food vendors and cultural 3-D films. We began our day at Futuroscope with a child-oriented 3-D film about the work and life of Vincent Van Gogh. It was a great film and illustrated how the country's cultural training starts very young. As we walked our way through the park, Raelyn and Nola did not even notice the absence of cotton candy, pretzels, ice cream bars, and churros. More cultural training in effect right there and, I have to say, we like it.

Check out the photos so you can see what fun we've been having and what has been filling my time and keeping me from blogging regularly:

Renee and I on Pont Sully.
Suzie and  I on our way to Ile de la Cite.

Grami and girls with their tortinettes (scooters).
Muséum national d'histoire naturelle. I wonder how creationists would rationalize this evolutionary display?
Jardin du Luxembourg. We failed to capture the abundance of beautiful flowers in this photo.
Musée du Louvre. We did manage to get up close eventually. She sure is a tiny little painting.
Enjoying the view from the Trocadéro.
This is what captures Nola's interest when she is behind the lens.
This is how we roll in France.

Château at Amboise
Château de Chenonceau 
An you thought Disneyland was clean and neat.
Château de Chambord
All smiles with Lynn and Butch at the Tour Eiffel.
Dinner party at the usual American time. It was a school night after all.
Who's having more fun?

1 comment:

  1. Love the pictures! Is that your house? Ha ha ha. This makes me YEARN to travel! Note to self, need to go back to Paris...