Thursday, June 30, 2011

The France Post

I'm back.

Been really sleepy!

And waking up at 5 a.m. every morning cause my internal alarm clock is so off.

Oh and I have been doing oodles and oodles of laundry.

So, let's get on with the France recap shall we?

Our plane took off from Houston at 4:00 p.m. and we set off for the 10 hour flight to Paris. Jackson was an angel and had a ball watching his new movie that I got him just for the airplane. What was this movie that had him all giddy and angel like? You guessed it. The Justin Bieber movie. And you know what??? I watched it too and I actually really liked it. Justin is a cute little booger. I even cried. I am such a weirdo.

The only bad thing about the flight was that neither Renzi nor I slept at all! So by the time we landed in France it was 2 a.m. our time and 9 a.m. Paris time. We then grabbed our baggage and headed to the train station to take our 2 hour train ride into Avignon where we would meet up with A.J., Allison and Bowman.

We arrived in Avignon and hugged our sweet friends, rented our car and drove to our little chateau in Bonnieux where we would be staying for the next two nights. The drive was so pretty and there were so many rolling hills and literally vineyards for as far as you could see. Seriously, they were everywhere!!!

We arrived to our chateau and checked into our room and met up to sit outside and drink some wine and have some snacks and to let the kiddos play. As we were sitting there I realized that this was EXACTLY what I thought the South of France would be. Beautiful countryside, grapes, sun on your back and great wine and cheeses to snack on. Bliss! We all fell into bed that night and Renzi, Jax and I all slept 12 hours straight. (Ren and I had been up for 31 hours straight before we went to bed!)

After two days in Bonnieux we hopped in our cars and drove an hour and a half North to a little town called Beaune. Here we were greeted with another fabulous chateau and checked into our room after talking with the owners of the place. The night we arrived was the Summer Solstice and this town sure knows how to throw a Solstice Party!

For the next three days we explored the little cities in and around Beaune, had 2 of the greatest dinners of my life, went to a few wineries and enjoyed our time together.

The next stop on our agenda was to drive to Dijon where we would drop the cars off and load up for the train to Paris. The actual comedy of getting on the train is a whole other post in itself, but let's just say we literally got on the train as the door was closing and ended up drinking wine out of sippy cups.

Paris was amazing. Tiring. Amazing. Beautiful. Stinky. Aweinspring. And Breathtaking.

We saw so many things in Paris that I have wanted to see forever and some things I didn't even know existed. Arc de Triomphe, Champs De Elysses, The Eiffel Tower, The Louvre, The Seine, Notre Dame and The Latin Quarter. We had Chocolate Croissants, Foie Gras (gross), Pizza, Steak and Fries, Nos Toasts (haha Alli!), and became experts at riding the Metro.

The kiddos did beautifully on this trip. They adjusted to the time difference better than we adults did! We had such a great time hanging with AJ and Allison and we loved loved loved getting to love on Baby Bowman! It is hard traveling in general, even harder to travel abroad with kiddos, but we are so blessed to be able to have traveled abroad with some of our best friends. It's hard to find people who you like traveling with and we love traveling with the Jacks!

AJ literally planned each part of the trip and I don't know if we could ever really express our gratitude to him for taking so much time to plan so many details so that we all had the best time possible. So...Thank you AJ!!! We love you guys so much!

I think Jackson had the best time and I feel so blessed to be able to give him experiences like this. I believe a key part of life is all about the experiences we have! He actually picked up a few French words that he continues to use around our house daily. We (the adults), on the other hand, did pretty good with our French. Ok, so maybe I didn't. I actually just pointed out things that I wanted and it did the trick. The funniest part of the trip was that we all ended up sounding like Borat when we tried to speak French. Hilarious.

I am happy to be my own a shower that is not a bathtub....and a toilet that doesn't resemble an RV toilet...

The pictures you see on this post are from different parts of the trip. I couldn't include all of the pics but these are just a taste. I will try to post another post later with more pics but it is so hard to choose just a few. Oh. And Yes. Jackson did sport his Thunder jersey all over France.

If I had to pick two of my favorite parts of the trip it would be these...

We went to Notre Dame in Paris where Sunday morning Mass was being held. It was so beautiful to be in this place of worship that it literally took my breath away. We lit candles for Isaiah and I just got so emotional. We have now lit candles for Isaiah in Jordan, Mt. Nebo, Toledo, Madrid, Barcelona and now Paris. Wow.

My second favorite part was in Beaune on our last day. As we were preparing to leave, Jackson and I were hanging out in the downstairs living room in the room we had been hanging out in for the last three days. I looked up at the wall and couldn't believe what I saw. The wallpaper was decorated with butterflies (pic above). Isaiah is with us all of the time, no matter where we are.

Greatest trip to date! Cant' wait to start planning our next adventure.