Sunday, March 11, 2012

france: day 8

Our last day in Nice seemed to fly by. We got ready for the day and set out to enjoy our last hours in the south of France. We came across this fantastic market. They were selling food and flowers and soap and tons of other stuff. I was completely transfixed by all of the spices. I desperately wished I could bring it all home with me.

Is this not the most beautiful picture?
Mounds and mounds of olives.
One of my favorite memories: I sat and ate Roquefort and an apple on a pebbly beach and watched my growing Adaline play in the Mediterranean sea while I soaked in the sun. I was completely present in those moments, hoping if I used every sense I would be able to remember them forever.

I loved our hotel. I wish we had a picture with our wonderful young Italian front desk man. He was great, especially to Adaline. It is different there, you don't get to keep your own room key so anytime you go in or out you have to get your key from the man at the desk, hence the interaction and bonding. We also bonded with the little candies in the dish on the desk. They were yummy. Adaline shed a few tears when we left our cute hotel room in Paris, and Nice was no different. It was hard to leave such an amazing place.
Here is a chance to share a funny Jodie story. Ada and I went for our last sea visit. Jodie stayed to get ready to go and to talk to her family. When we got back she was sitting on her bed looking red-eyed and sad like she had been crying. We rushed to her to see what was wrong. I thought she might be homesick. She said she had just finished the last of her chocolates. We all laughed. I don't know if it is just us but the food experiences here were very intense. That was the best chocolate I 'd ever had. We saved the box. Maybe we can order some.
Train ride back to Paris.
Train station of a beautiful looking town with sandy beaches. Maybe next time we will check this place out.
Gare du Nord train station in Paris. I left Adaline with our luggage and helped Jodie find her shuttle to her hotel. It was time for her to go back home. It was so fun having her with us and we missed her when she was gone.
After sending Jodie off we needed to find our train to Bourron-Marlotte, a little village about 30 miles south of Paris. Just in time, we lunged into our train with all of our crap. Between our books, our flea market finds and shopping in Nice (Habitat and Monoprix) we had been hauling a major load around the country. I'm usually a very "travel light" kind of girl but I was having a hard time not buying some really great things just because I didn't want to carry them around for a week. It was painful, but now that I have it all home I'm so glad we walked around with our arms being yanked out of our sockets and our suitcases tipping over after hitting a crack in the sidewalk while hurrying from place to place. Totally worth it.

Here is the room we stayed in while in Bourron-Marlotte. We were there visit our friends the Kartchners and to have a little taste of French country living. Whew! What a day!

I'm sad I don't have photo of us waiting at the Bourron-Marlotte station for Holly to pick us up. It was a memorable experience. I had not been able to reach her except for email to let her know that we had made the train we had planned so she would be able to pick us up at the scheduled time. Ada and I were sitting on our luggage in the fading sunlight, our backs against the warm wooden building listening to the trees rustle in the breeze. It was very quiet and peaceful. I was in a foreign country with my daughter, the beauty of it all felt foreign and exciting too as we were embarking on the last leg of our adventure. We were completely alone, we could have been the last people on earth, that's how alone I felt. I was content. We sat like that, as dusk came upon us, and unwound from a turbulent day until we were picked up. It is funny the little things that have such an impact. That half hour is one of the most memorable from our whole trip. As I am reflecting, it seems the quiet moments filled with French sunshine and Adaline are the most dear to me.