Archive for July, 2013

Our Trip to France Part 3! Finally!

We finally made it to France after all of the planning and preparation and changes in plan. The whole point of the trip (besides finally getting back to France after many years) was to get together with Stew’s whole family in one place at one time. This was Stew, his parents, both of his sisters, one of their husbands, and all eight Anderson cousins, including our kids, plus me and Karalyn as well. So we jointly rented an old converted farm house in the tiny Brittany town of Plougasnou. It was supposed to be about 5 and a half hours drive from Paris, but with stops for the kids and Carebear it took us closer to 7 hours. I was glad that we decided to take a room at the airport the day we got in so we had a chance to recover from the 18+ hours of airport and air travel before hopping in the car for another full day.

I was also glad that we ended up with a much larger mini van than I thought I was reserving. It was more of a van than a mini van and easily had seating for 9 people. This meant that some of Stew’s family could pile in with us when we went on day trips and there was still plenty of room for car seats and Carebear. Both kids totally loved driving around the lush French countryside. There were farms with animals everywhere. And we had no real set schedule on a daily basis.

I was really worried about the lack of school and therapy schedule because often long holiday weekends are the hardest time for the kids at home. They expect to get up and get ready and go to school or therapy and get upset when things don’t happen the way they are supposed to, but in France that expectation was totally absent. Neither one seemed to miss the regular schedule at all. It took nearly the entire trip to get the kids onto the local time in terms of going to sleep and getting up in the morning. But I found a strange peace and satisfaction in our nocturnal time together when everyone else had gone to sleep. Though sometimes Karalyn traded off with me on staying up with Myffy. Myffy was always the last kid standing. And removed from our normal crazy work/school/therapy/swim lessons/gymnastics/etc. schedules, I even found time to read a whole printed book and half of another, just for pleasure, something I have not done in a very long time. Usually anything I want to ‘read’ has to be on audible.com or it doesn’t get read.

The kids both did fantastic with their cousins, and aunties and uncle and grandparents. Lu even took to calling out ‘Granddad!’ to get David Anderson’s attention and then would giggle when he turned to her. It was pretty cute. Myffy missed a few outings with the Anderson clan because of her difficulty with the time change- often everyone else was up and away by the time I managed to get Myffy up and dressed, but there was still plenty of great family hangout time.

Oceanopolis in Brest was a big hit with the kids.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As was the back yard of the Gite with it’s farm animals, playground equipment and awesome hammock.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But most of all, the kids loved the ocean, so we went down to one of several lovely little beaches most days when the weather permitted.

 

 

 

 

It was a cold, often rain-spitting north Atlantic Ocean, but the kids wanted in no matter how pink all of our toes went. And we all fell in love with the rugged beauty of the place. All in all the trip was more than worth all of the difficulty and planning ahead of time. And now that we have done it once we are hoping to try to get in a bit more travel with the kids in the future.