Our time in France is coming to an end. I have enjoyed France, But maybe it would have been nicer in Spring or Summer. Today it was -4 at lunch time, so not so good for getting out.
In France we have gone on lots of walks and seen loads of animals. It hasn't snowed as much as I expected, which is probably due to global warming.
The French are nice, well those that I have met, and they are extremely fast walkers. A lot of people go for walks beside the river. Very brisk no nonsense people.
The French language seems a lot more complicated than English with their masculine and feminine words. Still I have tried to learn it.
Here are some different things about France.
Here are a few that we saw.
Christmas Day kicked off early with a trip to the Abbey for Christmas Mass on Christmas Eve. Not quite what we expected, but a great experience all the same. Our Christmas feast involved everyone being assigned a course, we all had to plan what were going to make and buy the ingredients. Sam was first up with some very impressive Blueberry French Toast and Hot Chocolate (with real chocolate and cream). We all decided we might have to postpone Christmas after eating it, did someone say overindulge... but delicious!
Somehow we all rallied and were ready for Anastasia's aperitifs by 12pm. Very sophisticated and suitably French. Smoked Salmon Blinis along with Olive and Tomato Pastries and some French Champagne for the grown ups, pink grape bubbles for everyone else.
Jigsaws, robots and poetry (all presents) occupied us for a few hours while Maddy whipped up our next course, a Cranberry, Brie and Pistachio Wreath Pie. Tasted as good as it looks. Very festive!
Then time for a walk, along the river to the bridge then back on the other side. It's actually pretty mild out today but still everyone gets their new scarfs and hats out!
Time for a movie and main meal, Roast Chicken with Chestnut Cranberry Stuffing, Potato Dauphanoise and a Salad with Fresh Cranberries, Pear and Blue Cheese.
By this stage we were feeling a little over Christmased, but we soldered on and Camille called us back together for her Buche de Noel or Chocolate Log. And lucky she did, because it was delicious! Somehow we managed to eat it up with cream and meringues, amazing what you can do when you set your mind to it. What a fantastic Christmas Day!
On Sunday we stayed in the Loire Valley for the night. On the way we stopped at at a couple of Christmas markets. At one we saw a man and his puppet playing a weird instrument. At another they had an ice skating rink. It didn't get over 2deg all day, so was too cold to be outside for long.
At the place we were staying the night we had fun with the cat who was definately the boss of the house. The house has a pigioener at the end of the garden, built into the city wall. You can go down a staircase in it and into the new town - fifteen century like the house so not that new!
There were deer in our back garden again today. I think I saw three deer but I might have miscounted. They were brown on their backs and white on their belly's - well that's what I thought. It was dark and hard to see them. They didn't like our carrots, but they loved the crackers we left out for them.
We went out and got them some special deer food, so hopefully they will hang around and we will get to see them again. Hopefully we can get a photo next time.
We've been collecting photo's of honey, it very interesting to see to how much the Europeans will spend on a pot of honey. Along way we have spotted a other bee related things.
The top price spotted works out to about $80 a kg, needless to say we didn't buy any.
We spotted some bees on the louvre. After a little investigating we've found out that the bee is a symbol used by French kings, and of course Napoleon. Paris has also been home to a bee keeping school since 1856.
Our first stop is the National History Museum or at least one of the four galleries, the evolution gallery, this place is huge!
It is full of every kind of animal, some extinct and some very rare.It is full of every kind of animal, this is hugely exciting for our animal crazy girls.
We spend hours looking around and then got to the special Bear exhibition, we all vote this the winner. Amazing to see the real, albeit stuffed, bears.
We were super excited to be in Paris. Our fourth language change in as many months, takes a little adjusting, but the Parisians are very accommodating of our mistaken Si’s and Grazie’s.
Only problem is it is very cold! We were in t shirts and shorts in Sicily…. Here it is winter coats and boats. A bit of a shock. Some of us are caught out with the wrong footwear
Anne, Anastasia and I set off for Paris to meet Sam and the girls! It was a ridiculously early start to catch a bus that wouldn't let us on, leaving us searching for another option. We were told of a train guaranteed to get us to the plane in Pisa, only we couldn't find it. So we were left with a train that got us to the airport with two minutes to check in Anne’s bag. Somehow this didn't happen, and we had to abandon her at the check in counter (we had nothing to check in), and run for the plane.
We were reunited 12 hours later in Paris. Just another adventure...
We're an ordinary family of 5 dreaming, planning and now beginning our adventure around the Mediterranean (and further afield), having an awesome time! Look out for our boat and come and say hi.