- It’s a six hour drive. Little Boy did great, but six hours is enough. Any longer drives to further destinations will be done probably at night.
- My parents rented the house for three weeks. We went the first week, and arrived just after my brother and his partner. My father has a thing for his rental homes: he has to be able to walk around them and it has to be in a quiet place. Well, it was quiet. Really quiet. At the very end of the smallest village, with a private lane of 800 meters and surrounded by cows, you could barely choose anything quieter. It’s surprising to discover the sound of silence again, and realize that you haven’t actually heard it in years.
- It felt really good when everybody started to arrive. My parents came in the next day, and my sister, her son and the girlfriend of my other brother shortly after. I cooked a great meal on a beautiful stove. Really, if there was the slightest possibility I would have taken that thing home with me. And it was nice to see how my mother enjoyed to not having to cook (she’s an excellent cook, but after a long drive, just getting served is the way to go).
- It was hot. And sunny. And quiet. And lovely. And Little Boy enjoyed each and every minute. He played with all the family members, made up a name for his cousin (only two months older then him) and while they hardly could play together, always wanting the exact same toy, they constantly looked for each others company. Sweet!
- Having a week with my family was refreshing, even for my husband. He had a hard time going home and even wondered if he hadn’t made the wrong decision by choosing to live near his family instead of mine. We played games, talked a lot, he even took a walk with Little Boy and my parents alone. I could really see how he bonded with his son, and how LB adores his father. He even cried on the way home, that he wish he could see LB more often after work and connect during weekends instead of feeling the pressure to constantly do things around the house. It’s his character, but I hope some of that urge will stick somehow, even in the rat race he’s in.
- I love French food. The supermarket meat was the best I ever tasted. It all looked dark, but it was great meat, with great flavor and not half water. And the artichokes just taste best in France, with my mother’s vinaigrette inventions on the side.
- How could we be near a zoo and not visit it? Of course we did, and we had so much fun!
- On the last day, my husband and I jumped on the occasion to do some wine tasting in the neighborhood. We loved the warm welcome of a very local vigneron, who had chosen to do everything the traditional way and using ecological methods. I love wine tastings, even though I don’t like wine. I’ve learned to smell really well and to describe what I smell, and often I’m able to guess what my husband will love. And I must say: I smelled some lovely wines. Not the cheapest (for those we went a few blocks further and even though they had good wines, it’s nothing compared to the rich, mineral smells I got with the first man) but boy, they will be great!