France Day 8 - La Mine Bleue & Middle Ages Show

Trip Start Jun 25, 2008
Trip End Sep 01, 2008

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Sunday, August 3, 2008

So much to blog, so little time!

The day starts with a little bit of discipline for Ella. Last night, as we left the neighbors house, they were so kind and gave Sam and Ella gifts. Sam got a cool project house to build, and Ella was given to very pretty hair clips. It was late, she was tired, and she started complaining that her gift wasn't like brothers. Not a huge scene, but not nice. I scolded her at home and she went to bed crying. This morning I tell her that she needs to think about things until she is ready to apologize to the neighbors. Twenty minutes later, she is ready and I help her perform the task. Very cute.

Our day is full of fun ... but before I get to it all, a couple of items.


First of all, the music of our France trip ... Arthur H., Jack Penate, and Hubert Mounier ... great stuff. I'm gonna iTunes it all when I get home.

Second, a couple of funny kid stories. The first is a new little inside joke we have, this time ... its about a conversation Sam and I were having about things we believe to be real and things we do not believe in. We talked about everything from God to aliens to The Neverending Story. At one point, he started to say, "I believe God made trees, but" ... at which point I jumped in and said, "You believe God made trees' butts?!" ... I really didn't expect the kids to understand the humor, but they did! For the next ten minutes we laughed and repeated the joke in various ways. Now, any time Ella hears somebody use the word 'but', she shouts out "Tree Butt!" ... oh, and for those of you that are curious, Sam believes God made trees, but not the seeds. Its the age old 'chicken or the egg' question. : ) ... Ok, second story is all Ella. We are driving and I hear Ella say, "Hear this." ... I look back in the mirror and see a mischievous grin on her face and a look of effort, ... then, a little fart. And then, "Smell that.". Hilarious. We all crack up. That's daddy's girl. ... Last story is how Sam has started to copy me in how I say, "Perfect timing!" ... when we arrive and there is a short line at Tibidabo, he shouts out "Dad, perfect timing!!", the rain stops as we get out of the car "Dad, perfect timing!", ... the show starts as we arrive "Perfect timing guys!". I love it.


Ok, back to the day.

We head out of town to Le Mine Bleue, near Noyant-la-Gravoyere. Down a mine shaft 400 feet. Its crazy. Not fun for those with claustrophobia. At the bottom, a five minute train ride through tunnels too small for me to stand in. And then a one hour tour of the pitch black caverns in the now abandoned slate mine. The kids get to wear helmets with lights, the love it. The first 40 minutes are great, but (Tree Butt!) its tough to keep the kids' attention when the whole tour is in French. Underground its chilly ... only 55 degrees Fahrenheit! Wrong day to wear sandals Asher and Janice! Doh!

Back on the surface, we jump in the car and the kids enjoy PB&J that Janice packed. As we drive towards our next destination, we see a little sign on the side of the road that seems to indicate a local attraction. The sign looks like a road is going straight through a tree, sort of like what they have in the CA Redwoods. Worth a side trip we figure, so we turn off our route to check it out. Ten turns and five towns later, we are wondering if we made the right choice. Thirty minutes later, it dawns on me, ... "Maybe the sign doesn't mean what we think it means..." ... Although we did pass some amazing churches, villages, and a HUGE flock of geese on a plot of farm land ... we never did find the tree with a road through the middle. Maybe it means "Scenic Drive"? Anybody know?

By the time we abandon the search for the tree with a road through it, we've driven a solid hour. Thankfully, with all the twists and turns, we are only fifteen minutes away from where we want to go ... Daon. A small village just down the river from Chateau-Gontier. On the day we did the bike ride, I spotted a flyer announcing a FREE Middle Ages Festival going on today, so we figured we'd check it out. The price was right!

Parking is tough and its raining a bit. I drop the fam off at the festival and walk in. I can't believe we are here. In the back hills of France, at a Middle Ages Festival complete with costumes, food, crafts, etc., and we arrive just as the rain quits and the jousting demonstration begins ... "Perfect timing!!" Janice and I grab some grub from a food stand. Bread baked in a special oven right in front of us with a slab of butter and chunk of ham. Doesn't sound good, but it was! ... After watching the jousting for a bit, I get a gallette with sausage and Janice gets another fresh bread concoction with Nutella. All very good stuff. It felt like a scene out of the movies really.

On the way home, another stop by yet another boulangerie. I'm gonna get so fat from this food. How can you say no when there are ten boulangeries in our little town?! All with specialties, all with croissants, all with wonderful baguettes every day. And now we are back home for some rest, dinner, and sleep.
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oliveteresa on

god did make some trees butts.
dude, you guys have done all sorts of fun and amazing things!

carrillo916 on

Hear This! Smell That! Lol! i was lmao when i read that. Thas funny stuff. Good times Good times!

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