Colville-Montgomery to La Baule

Trip Start Aug 29, 2005
Trip End Aug 01, 2006

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Sunday, September 18, 2005

Yet again the hospitality and friendship of people...we had a marvelous visit with friends in Colville-Montgomery in Normandie. Took advantage of them for 5 days...wonderful to not be moving about for that length of time. Were treated to some French gastronomie - moules (mussels) in cidre, les cuisses de grenouilles (yup, frog's legs - mmmm), escargots, different sausages, cheeses, wines,....the flavours are spectacular. And Isla tries (and enjoys it all!) Aidan of course, still rather leary...maybe things will change, not even the temptation to have muscles like Yves is enough to eat frogs legs. Liked to play with them with his new friend Guillaume.
The weather has been great. Were even in the swimming pool outdoors the other morning at 10h00. Bit chilly in the water, but still more than tolerable, and the sun very warming. For the past two days we have been getting cooler mornings and the smell of autumn has begun and it has Ted itching to go hunting! Even entertained the idea of coming back to Colville-My to hunt with Dany (whose shoulder injury would prevent him from holding and shooting the rifle...what they will do for hunting!). Decided that our French would definitely improve if we were to just live among the Heudier-Lambeaux clan for 6 months....oh well, on to other things.
We took in some of the D day sights and museums here in Normandie and the day we spent on the beaches looking at bunkers and such there was a full bore gale blowing. Huge waves and winds, chillier temperatures. Probably a fitting day considering the day of June 6th , 1944 was a pretty rough and rainy day. The Juno Beach museum is well worth the visit. It is really very sobering throughout much of our travels to see the evidence of the wars, and the reminders. Something we lack in Canada I think, at least we do not have it in our backyards like here. Granted one of the bunkers has been made into a nightclub, but why not - these are incredibly well built structures!
We also viewed the Bayeux Tapestry - a tapestry embroidered in 1074 depicting the invasion and defeat of the anglo-saxons - the battle for the English crown between William the Conqueror and King Harold. Incredible to think of the time if took to create and more so the fact that it still exists in very good shape today. A side trip worthy of spending some time. The cathedral in Bayeux, with its crypts also impressive. Love the gothic structures and the meticulousness of the stonework. Can you imagine hauling the stone, shaping it, then getting it up to the top of the arches? Who knows if the final version is what the initial 'designers' expected to see - some of the churches take over 500 years to actually complete. For us western Canadians, the buildings just themselves are so appealing- all the stone, windows and coverings, roofs, the stone walls, the cobblestones....great to look and marvel at, not so wonderful for the walmart $13 strollers!)
Things are going very well here. We play tourists until September 26th when we report in for our one month of language classes in Sancerre. (Ted a bit anxious?? - 'reporting in for duty') Expect the regional wine will only be an asset!
We are currently near Mont Saint Michel. We spent all morning in the fortress and abbey. It was a wonderful example of gothic and renaissance architecture. The kids are getting better at seeing the sights so they tolerated this visit better than past ones. (We are even managing to work around naptimes, amazingly) We are having a good time but it will be good to be settled for a month for the sake of the kids. They...Aidan keeps wondering where we will live next and if he will have new friends, although he seems to claim many. Guillaume (friend in Colville will be missed). Every dog we see (regardless of breed) is Kenzie or Bruce. Have seen a few Gabi's though!
Language acquisition (reason we are here n'est-ce pas? - aside from the obvious wine, cheese, and bread)- Isla says Aidan clearly, a little parrot when it comes to new French words, Aidan slowly overcoming his shyness with French and beginning again to speak in French.
Many thank yous to all who are sending emails - we love receiving them, will try to respond. Hope once we are in Sancerre we will have better email connections.
p.s. today - 27 sept- I accidentally erased the new email messages I had just downloaded - if anyone sent us an email before 10am france time, if possible could you resend? Have fixed it, so that I cannot do this again without a few steps in between - my apologies
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