Wednesday, January 25, 2012

france trip: day 5

Monday morning we caught an early train south, five hours to Nice. It was so cool to watch the countryside change from green and soft to dry and rocky. I loved seeing the villages all tight and compact then miles and miles of pasture all around. I remember my first glimpse of the Mediterranean. I could not believe I was really in the south of France! A true dream come true.
A sign we saw as we were walking to our hotel. That's my girl!!

This is the main street leading straight to the sea.
Pizza for lunch. Since Nice is so close to the border there are a lot of Italian influences around. Adaline and Jodie made me laugh. They loved this restaurant! We ate here for lunch two days in a row. Here is our picture menu.

Mmmmm. That green stuff is not guacamole. It is olive tapenade. Delicious.
Ada was obsessed with this chocolate mousse. She ate it so fast we couldn't get a picture of it.
It was my lucky day. Another antique market set up on one of the streets down town. Did I mention how much I love old things? Especially old French things sold on the street a block away from the Mediterranean Sea? Ada took many more photos while Jodie and I shopped. She was composing some pretty interesting pictures.

I really wish I had bought this clock.

Finally, the sea!!
The water was just a little chilly, just cold enough to think, I'm just going to get my toes wet. Then your feet are numb and you creep farther in. Pretty soon you're thinking, Why didn't I just bring a towel! I always end up getting in anyway!

The beach was all rock. It was very beautiful but not very comfortable.

On our way back to the hotel. I hated leaving the water but I was ready for some rest.
Another carousel, this one is two levels. Really interesting.
Tucked in for the night. Ada doing her homework. Jodie checking in with Jared. In Paris Jodie had her own room. It was much more fun having her stay with us at night.

Friday, January 20, 2012

france: day 4

On Sunday we went to church. What a memorable experience. Sister missionaries met us at the door and immediately escorted us to Primary to get Adaline situated. The sisters were both from the States and it was so nice to speak English (and be understood). Jodie and I decided we wanted to stay in Primary too, so we sat in little chairs around a table with all of the other children. All 4 of them, 5 counting Ada. Crazy. There were two kids, maybe 3 and 5 years old and another boy, probably 10. Another 10 year old boy came in a little late. The first boy had been having to read and answer all the questions so when the other kid arrived he looked so relieved I laughed. There was a full Primary presidency. 4 women plus a music lady all teaching and clucking around these children like mother hens. It struck me the individual attention and instruction these kids get every Sunday. I'm sure they need it. They invited Adaline to say the closing prayer.

Next was Sunday school. The kids had an amazing teacher and one of the presidency members joined us. The teacher spoke English really well. She would say something in French, then in English, so we were completely involved in the lesson. She had the kids acting out scripture stories. At one point someone was standing on a table pretending to lift a sick person into the church to see the Savior, or however the story goes. What a wonderful woman!!

What I remember most about Sacrament meeting is the music. The familiar sounds with different words attached. First, I just sang the English words quietly. They were familiar hymns so I knew at least the first verse. Then I realized I had an opportunity to try and figure out how these stinking words I had been trying to read for days actually sounded. The French language really is beautiful especially set to music. I loved trying to sing in French.
Getting ready for the day.
I had never been to church in a place that was not a free standing building. This was like walking into an office building.
After church we walked to Luxembourg Gardens. On the way we saw beautiful displays in the storefront windows. Chocolate eggs and flowers everywhere. We stopped in a neat old church that had some interesting features. The picture below is one of my favorite treats. Brioche with big chunks of sugar. Soooo tasty!!
After church we walked to Luxembourg Gardens. I had never been before so it was such a wonderful surprise. I absolutely adored it. I read in a guide book that they have pony rides so we set off to get Ada in a saddle. It turns out Luxembourg Gardens is the place to be on a beautiful spring Sunday afternoon. I think I saw some forearms, even a few shoulders. So interesting, in the rest of the city everyone wore lots of layers. At least 90 percent of the people had coats and scarves on the whole time we were in Paris. It was so funny because the weather really was wonderful, maybe in the mid 60's. There were chairs all over the park with people laying out and enjoying the sunshine. I wish I had taken a picture of everyone lounging around.

Beautiful Palace. There was a place to rent sailboats to float in the "basin". Along with the 80 year old sailboat came a long pole to push it around with. My favorite part of the whole day was watching Adaline run around, her hair blowing in the wind, playing with the boat in the water while I sat in the sun.

This is an incredible statue. In a city full of art, this stands out as really magnificent. It is called Homage to Delacroix by Jules Dalou
We took lots of pictures of deer and elk to show Jacob.
We finally found the pony rides. The Gardens are immense with lots of different activities for families. This is a very sweet donkey. He carried Adaline with quiet dignity.

The trees were dropping their blossoms. How pretty.

Cherry glace. Very tart!
When planning our trip I knew we would only have time for one art museum. I let Adaline decide between the Louvre and the Musee d'Orsay. She did some research and told me she liked the Impressionists. Yay! That is where I wanted to go also. We all sat on this bench for a long time just relaxing and enjoying each other's company . We did lots of speculating about that clock for some reason. It is pretty big and beautiful, much more interesting in person. The wall panels provided some good conversation too. I think we were almost rummy, going on and on about those things. It was funny. Unfortunately, we couldn't take photos anywhere else. The art in the Musee d'Orsay is inspiring. That is an understatement I guess.

Dinner at a little cafe. Poulet and frites for Ada and Jodie. Another Croque Monsiuer for me. Adaline became obsessed with Orangina. It is like carbonated orange juice. yummy!

View of Notre Dame from our cafe.
Some restaurants had their meat cooking on display. Notice the tray with veggies cooking in the meat drippings. That is either delicious or disgusting, I can't decide.

There were people walking around with little leafy branches all weekend. We were intrigued. We finally put together that it was Palm Sunday but we had no idea where the branches were coming from. We passed this church yard on our way home for the night. I really wanted a branch of my own.