Saturday, April 8, 2017

All the things

taken from inside the Musée d'Orsay--I can spell it even though I can't say it correctly

What's a girl to do that just returned from a spectacular trip and minimally blogged while she was gone and wants to write down all the things, but really?

That's a lot of things.

I wrote in a journal while I was there because I have to write stuff down or maybe it didn't really happen.

I guess what it mostly comes down to about the trip is that I treasure the time with Emma.

I loved seeing her try out her French.  The girl who used to be too afraid to order in a restaurant, was ordering for me in a restaurant.  In French.

I loved hearing Emma with her friends.  They are wickedly funny and clever.  They wrote a song about Farid, our really quirky tour guide.  Inserted in the middle of the song was a rap in French.  Because why not?

Seeing so many beautiful sites, so much history, was amazing.

Mont St. Michel
a cathedral in Rouen

The American cemetery at Omaha Beach was a powerful experience, so was sitting in mass in a centuries old church.

This is where we went to mass, in Chartres.  The guy in the blue jacket?  Our buddy Farid.

Standing in front of paintings by Leonardo da Vinci, Monet, Gauguin, Renoir, Cassatt.  Incredible.  It fed my soul.

Going to the top of the Eiffel Tower at night when it was all lit up was pure magic.

the view from our river cruise on the Seine

We ate way too much bread and discovered the best kinds of macarons.  Seriously, those macarons could change the world.

I learned to appreciate some American things.  Hotel rooms and reliable internet for example.  And also water fountains.  We mostly walked around thirsty.  In restaurants they'd put a small carafe of water on the table and the glasses were small like shot glasses.  We'd fill up our water bottles in bathroom sinks and sometimes the water was warm bordering on hot but we were that thirsty.

We saw one and only one water fountain in all of France.  It was on American soil.  The American Cemetery at Omaha Beach is on land given to America.  There were big bathrooms with multiple stalls (exciting times!).  Outside there was a water fountain, just like outside public bathrooms in America.  We saw an older woman checking it out and then trying to wash her hands at it.   Emma's friend Fiona showed her how it worked.  The Frenchwoman was delighted and then showed her husband.

There was a group of French school children there.  They were about 10 and we watched them try to mimic us and drink out of the fountain.  They struggled to get their mouth in the right spot and were laughing like it was the most unusual thing in the world.

Is everyone in France just thirsty all the time?

Life, with it's twists and turns, threw us another curve ball while we were away.  Braeden needs surgery again.  He's coming home again.

We are hopeful that he will be able to return to his mission after the surgery.   Adam returned from his vacation with Mark and his mom a few days before we got home.  He bought milk so we're ready for Braeden.  I'm looking forward to hugging him and taking care of him and talking to him and all the things.

The five of us, shoulder to shoulder and facing things is a good place to be.

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