My lover, my daughters, and I spent last week in France and had a totally wonderful time. It was February vacation in the schools here and we went Saturday to Saturday, staying with a family in a very pretty suburb of Paris called La Garenne Colombe. Our hosts - French friends of C's - were just delightful and so very hospitable. I think it was a great experience for the kids in a way that visiting another country as tourists in a hotel just wouldn't be. We learned how to cook some traditional French foods; the girls got to play with some adorable little French kids; they had a view of daily life with a family. We went to the local town market which was great fun. We traveled everywhere by public transit - taking commuter trains and metros and tramways and busses.
We did tons of stuff - saw beautiful things in art museums and Notre Dame Cathedral and Versailles. We went to the top of the Tour Eiffel (which reminded me of going to the top of lots of other things :-) - CN Tower, Sears Tower, WTC, etc). We had a great time at the Musee de la Magie. We got to see friends of ours a couple of times (they live in Cambridge, MA but were visiting Paris at the same time and we hadn't yet met their new baby). We went on a night tour of Paris and saw the special illumination of the tower. We fulfilled Zara's goal of eating in "authentic French restaurants" and of ordering her own meal in French. We lost Kendra in Musee D'Orsay and she was the only one not worried ("Mom! It's a museum. I knew we'd find each other eventually.") I turned out to know much more French than I thought I did and really functioned in French everywhere (including describing Kendra to the guards at Musee D'Orsay as I flipped out). We came home with home-made jams and herbs from our hosts' garden.
It was C's umpteenth trip to France, Kendra's second and Zara's and my first. For Zara it was also her first trip overseas and she was very excited to get her passport stamped. All in all, a wonderful vacation.
I was offline the entire week and am unlikely to catch up on lj. But I have read the last couple of days of my f-list and am back in the lj swing of things. I don't have an appropriate French icon so I'm using Northstar, since he at least speaks the language.