Thursday, August 23, 2012

France Part 2

How can Matt and I ever say thank you to my family for giving us 3 nights and 4 days alone without the boys?  We haven't been alone over night since Orson was born and it was amazing!  We started with a long drive south (with some impromptu stops along the way) to Saint-Émilion in Bordeaux country.  This is the Nappa region of France and Saint-Émilion is a World Heritage site.  We met up with Matt's friend, the Russian Frenchy that sells wine barrels for a living, who treated us to wine, sea food and good times.  We then went further south to Lourdes and the Pyrénées (where we accidentally ended up on the route of the Tour de France).  The drive home was long but we still found a few interesting stops. 

We started the trip with a run to the Bio-Coop where I found a GF loaf of fresh bread to chew on and a stop to take a closer look at the fields of sunflowers.

 We also stopped at what looked like a fairytale, Château de Montreuil-Bellay

Then we arrived in Saint-Émilion

 It was a stunning place to spend a few days!

On Sunday we drove down to Lourdes, stopping at a few more fields of sunflowers and grape vines

 Lourdes was amazing and awe inspiring.  There were so many believers from all over the world, you couldn't help but be filled with the Holy Spirit.
 We loved seeing the Our Father in Creole, it was a good reminder of how we started life together.

 And the walls of the church were covered with Thank Yous both officially on marble and unofficially in graffiti
 Below is hundreds of people in wheel chairs arriving to pray
 The Holy Rosary Church was covered in the most amazing mosaics of every decade of the rosary
 And the outside walls were mosaics of other Mary apparitions (we thought Our Lady of Guadalupe was the most amazing)

 After Lourdes we drove through the Pyrénées, with views of sheep and fog that only parted when we got to the very top.

 Then on Monday we headed home.  The weather was trying to catch us but it was still a beautiful drive.

 We found a "table of orientation" in one town.  When you climbed up on it you could see all the little towns up to 20 km away.  It was really neat.
While we were away, the boys traveled around as well.  They went to some caves, Normandy and St. Suzanne. The pictures look like they had lots of fun.

And all the fun wore out at least one of them
The time away was amazing and reminded Matt and I of why we love each other so much.  It also reminded us of how much the boys mean to us (we couldn't go a day without Skpying with them).  It was really neat to see the pictures of what the boys did without us and to hear Orson's stories about how much fun he had.  We are so very thankful for this trip.  Now all I have left to do is download the pictures Orson took and see what he really thought of France :)

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