Westvleteren, Disney, Mers Les Bains and back home

The last two weeks have been packed with a short trip to Disney, awesome sights, amazing churches and cliffs and more oceans.

We first went to Westvleteren, a Trappist brewery in Belgium and is one of the 6 lefts in the world. You can only by the beer at the brewery, it is considered one  of the best in the world….it is simply delicious <3

Next we went to Disney and enjoyed rides and princesses and sent Brian back to America. The girls an I drove back home, making a quick stop to the Chateau de Chantilly, a truly amazing place and horse back riding capital of Europe.

We then headed to Mers les Bains, a seaside town with magnificent houses, a living museum of the Art deco era. I will have more pictures in my next blog 🙂

The girls are now well traveled and are picking up on the culture, food and language. They love their grand parents (especially pay on his bike and many with her cats) and they love their cousins.

We have many images to share, here is a select few!

Westvleteren, A unique trappist Brewery in Belgium
Westvleteren, A unique trappist Brewery in Belgium
Church near Westvetleren
Church near Westvetleren
Le Chateau d'Aisne, near my native village
Le Chateau d’Aisne, near my native village
My dad and his new bike that he loves very much
My dad and his new bike that he loves very much
Le Tronquoy, one of my favorite places every, locates walking distance from the family home
Le Tronquoy, one of my favorite places ever, located walking distance from the family home
Topaz of "Grumpy cat" posing for me
Topaz of “Grumpy cat” posing for me
Falco, who went on an hunger strike when we invaded his house
Falco, who went on an hunger strike when we invaded his house
Disneyland Paris
Disneyland Paris
Disneyland Paris
Disneyland Paris
Disneyland Paris
Disneyland Paris
Disneyland Paris
Disneyland Paris

LeNord2 5

On our way back to Les Hauts de France : Chateau de Chantilly, a huge domain and the horse capital city of Europe
On our way back to Les Hauts de France : Chateau de Chantilly, a huge domain and the horse capital city of Europe
On our way back to Les Hauts de France : Chateau de Chantilly, a huge domain and the horse capital city of Europe
On our way back to Les Hauts de France : Chateau de Chantilly, a huge domain and the horse capital city of Europe
On our way back to Les Hauts de France : Chateau de Chantilly, a huge domain and the horse capital city of Europe
On our way back to Les Hauts de France : Chateau de Chantilly, a huge domain and the horse capital city of Europe
On our way back to Les Hauts de France : Chateau de Chantilly, a huge domain and the horse capital city of Europe
On our way back to Les Hauts de France : Chateau de Chantilly, a huge domain and the horse capital city of Europe
On our way back to Les Hauts de France : Chateau de Chantilly, a huge domain and the horse capital city of Europe
On our way back to Les Hauts de France : Chateau de Chantilly, a huge domain and the horse capital city of Europe
Back home before heading to Mers Les Bain
Back home before heading to Mers Les Bain
Mers les Bains
Mers les Bains
Mers les Bains
Mers les Bains
Mers les Bains the Market
Mers les Bains the Market

 

Next blog will be up soon and then…Paris…the city of love, food and fashion <3

Omaha Beach and the family home

After a 5 hours drive we made it to the North of France, the “Ch’ti” region, now called Les Hauts de France, where I was born. On the way we stopped at Omaha beach. It was beautiful and serene, a stopping point for many tourists on their way to the Mont Saint Michel and the South.

After Omaha Beach,  the Pont de Normandie, a few pictures of us in Saint Quentin, my family, my village. A quick peak of the building where I went to elementary school, the building where I used to do summer camp and the Temple where Brian and I got married (it was a fake marriage, we were already married in Texas). A few pictures of my village, the church, and finally my sisters and nieces.

And apparently in all this we still managed to find a farm, I am finding that I love taking pictures of all those adorable farm animals <3

Omaha beach
Omaha beach
Omaha beach
Omaha beach
Omaha beach
Omaha beach
Omaha beach
Omaha beach
Omaha beach
Omaha beach
Omaha beach : The cemetery
Omaha beach : The cemetery
Pont de Normandie
Pont de Normandie
La famille
La famille
The fields of the North of France
Driving through the fields of the North of France at sunset
Driving through The fields of the North of France at sunset
Driving through The fields of the North of France at sunset
Breakfast and baby birds
Breakfast and baby birds
Eglise d'Audencourt
Eglise
Veal
Veal
My little Village
My little Village
Where i went to school, to summer camp, Where I got married
Where i went to school, to summer camp, Where I got married
My sisters and Nieces
My sisters and Nieces

 

 

Last days in Cherbourg

Just a few words and many pictures to summarize our last day in Cherbourg : the ocean, the farm, the kids, it is with heavy hearts that we said good by to my brother and his wife, my nephew and my niece and moved on to new adventures on our way to the North…To be continued.

 Donkey at the Lighthouse
Donkey at the Lighthouse
tiny harbour
tiny harbour
Sarah by the Lighthouse
Sarah by the Lighthouse
Les Cousins
Les Cousins
Le  Moulin
Le Moulin
Le Port
Le Port
Simon
Simon
Souvenirs
Souvenirs
Les Lapins
Les Lapins
Jean Qui rit Jean qui pleure
Jean Qui rit Jean qui pleure
Sarah en Tahitienne
Sarah en Tahitienne

Ocean, Ocean, Ocean

When I was a little girl I used to go camping with my family for 3 weeks every summer in Normandy. Since then I have travelled and discovered many beautiful places but I have never forgotten about this camping place and “La Vallee du Lude in particular”. I have talked about it to Brian, I have talked have about coming back and finding this wonderful place again. La Vallee du Lude is a small path in the tiny town of Carolles that opens up, between two lush valleys, to a pebbled beach. This place was always a source of endless games with my two brothers (my sisters were too little to play with us).  This place was my Narnia, my escape to magical kingdoms, my base for unbridled playful creation.

Luckily my brother now lives two hours away from it.

Imagine my excitement when, yesterday morning, Brian, the girls and I drove to Granville and then Carolles and then la Vallee du Lude. Imagine how I felt walking down this same valley where I have spent countless hours as a kid, playing in the pebbles. And imagine my joy when my kids did the exact same thing, tottering around the rocks, collecting sea snails, exclaiming over the beauty of the place.

The last few days have been full of the ocean, the waves, the sand and the pebbles. It has been full of my family and talks about the future, near and far. Finally it has been full of my girls bonding with this family. Because in spite of everything, my girls are half French and I am trying so hard to wake their Frenchness inside <3

During this part of the trip we also visited “La citee de la Mer” in Cherbourg, L’Abbaye des moines Trappistes, Le nez de Jobourg, the coast, a biscuiterie, a cheese restaurant, the beach,  Granville, the beach,  the beach <3

 

Cite de la Mer a Cherbourg
Cite de la Mer a Cherbourg
Aquarium de Cherbourg
Aquarium de Cherbourg
Nez de Jobourg
Nez de Jobourg
Nez de Jobourg
Nez de Jobourg
Nez de Jobourg
Nez de Jobourg
Nez de Jobourg
Nez de Jobourg
Picnic a Cherbourg
Picnic a Cherbourg
Trappist monastery in Bricquebec
Trappist monastery in Bricquebec
Bricquebec
Bricquebec
Confitures
Confitures
Granvilles
Granvilles
Maison de The Granville
Maison de The Granville
Le Chat Noir
Le Chat Noir
Carolles et la Vallee du Lude
Carolles et la Vallee du Lude
Carolles et la Vallee du Lude
Carolles et la Vallee du Lude
Carolles et la Vallee du Lude
Carolles et la Vallee du Lude
Carolles et la Vallee du Lude
Carolles et la Vallee du Lude

 

 

Day 2-3 : Food for the Tour

France is all about food. Therefore on the following day, after messing around with the four-wheeler, we went to the grocery store where Brian found his beer and I found my Cote d’Or Chocolat. We then went out to the town where I found a pointing Napoleon wearing the yellow jersey to my greatest entertainment. (dork)

We also entered a poisonnerie and took pictures. Two bakeries and took pictures. I took pictures of beer and bread and cake etc. etc. Even Mignon le chat loves food so I took pictures of him too 🙂

I should summarized : I took a lot of pictures of food in general.

France is also all about the Tour de France and we were lucky enough to see the Cherbourg etape today. My dad had decided to carry the American flag I had gifted him last Christmas and apparently a journaliste thought that it was unique enough to interview us for the local radio. We saw the racers and I even managed to get a good shot of Peter Sagan! Super duper cool.

Le Quad
Le Quad
Cherbourg
Cherbourg
Le Tour!
Le Tour!
La Biere
La Biere
Cherbourg
Cherbourg
Cherbourg
Cherbourg
Napoleon
Napoleon
Mignon et les poulets
Mignon et les poulets
Gateau
Gateau
Le Pain
Le Pain
Tour de France
Tour de France
Tour de France
Tour de France
Drapeau Americain
Drapeau Americain
Tour de France
Tour de France
Peter Sagan
Peter Sagan
Tour de France
Tour de France
Tour de France
Tour de France
Famille au tour
Famille au tour

 

Journey to France : the great arrival

After a 24 hour of flying and commuting, getting stuck on the Tarmac because Icelandair had misplaced some luggage, getting stuck in traffic because everyone is driving west for the Tour the France.

We arrived.

The car stops, we see my family come out of the house, they were waiting, impatiently as I can imagine, by the window.

So the car stops. 1 2 3 4 5 6 people come out, rushing one after the other to hug us, the smelly and frazzled travelers that se are.

I park into a rustic French courtyard, surrounded by trees and ferns and roses and walk into an incredible modern interior with beautiful concrete counters, ultra modern kitchen equipment, glass and wood balconies and a vintage tile.

The whole house feels balanced with the old and the new mixed together to fit my brother and his wife’s vision.

And of course we eat, as we always do first thing first. It is late, we eat and talk and the house is loud of 5 years of not seeing each other. Words pour out, a confuse mix of languages. It is one am by the time we finally settle and I don’t even need to count how many hours I have been awake anymore. We are happy.

My nephew and niece discover the girls.

My sister in law is bubbly and surprisingly good in English

My brother has more grey around his temples

My father and Monique look the same as usual

This was a long day. An amazing day. We sing happy birthday to Sophie. Candles on gourmandises. I get macaroons. The lights switch off.

I crash.

7:30: I wake with a jolt as the light filters in the room. It is quiet and I decide to go for a walk and be by myself for a few minutes. It is very difficult to get time alone in a house full and the next 15, are a bliss and I find : Delphine who quickly gets that I will be walking alone. An adorable baby cat named mignon. A handful or rabbits and chicken. A path of trees, the house, the rain, a rainbow. The land surrounding the house is huge and lush, with tree covered paths and fields. During a family walk we also find the sheep my brother acquired. The rooster. The pasture for a future horse. This land is incredible, it seems to take care of itself, the rains make everything lush, the birds sing, there is no sign of people or traffic, my nephew and niece are running wild around, showing my daughters the ropes of climbing trees and jumping in puddles.

And then we play marbles.

Witching 36 hours we moved quickly from the frenetic life in Colorado’s suburbia to the quite life of a modern nano farm.

Tarmac shot in Reykjavik with Icelandair
Tarmac Shot
Sophie's late birthday party with our family
Sophie’s late birthday party with our family
cousins in disguise
the cousins in disguise
My brother's amazing property
My brother’s amazing property
Heloise et Minion the cat
Heloise et Minion
Visit des animaux
Visit des animaux
visite et jeux de billes (marbles)
visite et jeux de billes (marbles)
into the woods
into the woods

Gentleman militaire farmer