France Day 15 - Recharging the batteries...

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

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Flag of France  , Pays de la Loire,
Sunday, August 10, 2008

The day starts with my awesome bride letting me sleep in until 10am! YEESSSSS!!!!

And then I wake up and have the unpleasant task of measuring out the discipline we've decided on to Ella. She takes the news well. A little too well to be honest. Later in the day I hear her and Samuel talking about the things she doesn't get get for the next four days. Sam says, "You don't get any candy...". To which Ella replies, "That doesn't care (matter)." ... He says, "You don't get any soda." She replies, "That doesn't care." ... over and over. She is one tough cookie I'll tell ya.

Oh, ... I failed to mention that last night I got pulled over for a DUI test. It happened only a block away from our house. Scared me to death. Not because I had anything to worry about, ... its just scary being flagged down in the middle of the night in a foreign country. I actually thought it might have been a speed trap or something ... After the officer speaks for a bit, I ask "Parle vous Anglais?" ... He smiles and says, "Alcohol test. No problem?" ... I indicate I'm willing to take the test, and he waves the flashlight about the car, and waves us on with a smile and "Au revoir!". I'm telling you. I feel like such a celebrity here. Everybody we've asked tell us that French policemen don't smile. : D

Today we relax at the house and do NOTHING. Final touches on our Paris trip, call Daniel Burt to say Happy Birthday, ... write some emails, ... oh, and we watch the Olympics. Its neat to watch from the French perspective. Lots of attention to the two silver medalists (fencing and judo, I believe).

As I'm reading online, Janice shows me the back of a magazine. It has a topless woman on it, advertising a cream of some sort. Its nothing erotic at all, ... just a woman with one breast bare. ... The article I just read spoke to the fact that in the US, we don't mind violence and blood in our TV, but nudity is forbidden. Here, its a bit reversed. (Although in Spain, they showed a LOT of blood and guts on the news. We haven't really seen that here, but we haven't watched much TV.) Nudity is viewed absolutely different here. And sex ... well, can you imagine our First Lady posing nude for a men's magazine WHILE IN OFFICE?! (Ok, don't actually imagine OUR FIRST LADY NUDE, thats just not right....) ... you get the point. Its different.

The kids LOVE our house here. In the morning, Samuel and I walk down to La Bu-lawn-Jerry (as he says it) and pick up some snacks for the day. I explain to him that is where we get "La Bou" from in Sacramento. Ella is in heaven playing all day, playing with our digital camera, and jumping on the trampoline with her brother. Its a great, comfortable home for us and the kids, ....and we are very grateful to be in Chateau-Gontier. Sam is at that age now where he gets a couple of ideas in his head and then keeps returning to them over the course of a couple of days, approaching with a new angle. Right now, he can't stop thinking about ELECTRICITY and DEATH. And combining the two is really intriguing to him (which reminds me, I'm supposed to youtube a video of a police tazer gun in action) ... All day long he's asking questions: "Dad, if I dropped my DS in the river, would it be electrical?" .. No, son. Too much water, not enough electricity ... and then, "Dad, if I drank a lot, a lot of water and then got electricity ... maybe it wouldn't hurt, right?" ... No son. Doesn't work that way ... And then, "Dad, when you die, do the bugs eat your brain?" ... Yes, son. ... "What does it feel like? Does it hurt?" ... No, son. You are dead and can't feel anything. ... "But nobody knows FOR SURE, right? Nobody died and came back and told us, did they?" ... No, son. But the scientists have done experiments ... "Expertimits? What are those?" ... .... And on and on we go.  .... I couldn't be a happier man, spending this much time with the hijos.

Its funny, the first day we showed up, we had come from an extended stay in Pie de Concha in Spain (a town of 400 people), and Chateau-Gontier seemed BIG to us. Now that we've explored most of the city and we've been to some larger cities, ... it feels like the small town that it is. ... Yes, a small town, with a good amount of things to do, and a perfect location to explore France. We are very happy!

Today I decide I must not eat any more Rillettes here. I've gone through 3 cartons so far (2 pork, 1 canard (duck)). Soooooo good ... but sooooo bad for you. Wiki it. You'll see. I also just figured out that Fondue is more of a Swiss Mountain thing than a French thing, so I'm crossing it off the Must Eat list.

For dinner, I cook us up some spaghetti with bolognese sauce (in a bottle, I'm lazy) with some really good sauteed chicken. As we eat the fresh baguette with butter with our grub, Janice and I comment on how good it tastes. Something about the butter,... its more salty. Is that a French thing? Anybody know?

In the middle of Janice reading the kids a book to go to bed, I hear maniacal laughing from upstairs for like two minutes straight. I finally grab the camera and run upstairs to find all three of them crying from laughing so hard at a book thats not too unlike the haircut experience Sam just had ... the boy in the book is left by his mom and he gets to choose his own haircut. Pretty funny.
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oliveteresa on

i remember..
getting pulled over at a DUI stop in quebec late at night.
neither spoke the other language and we just laughed and shrugged.
nothing to worry about but yeah, was startled to be flagged down.

styrsky on

You were sober??

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