Tour de France : Part 3 (Last one!)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Is it too late to post about our last few days in Paris that took place more than a month ago?  It isn't?  Good, then.  So, we took one last little sidetrip to visit Gui's grandparents in the south of France while we were in the same country as them for once.  They're quite the world travelers and still manage to travel to places like Mongolia and China, so we were so happy to catch them at home.  

Like in most families, there are so many memories associated with food in theirs, so before we made it over to see them, Gui sent Mamie a list of meals and treats he most missed from his childhood summers spent at her house.  She, of course, made it her highest priority to feed Gui his favorites and keep us all full and happy. Gui's sister was able to come along with us, and I enjoyed hearing so many stories from their summer vacations spent there. Avienne was, of course, the center of all our entertainment for those few days, and every time she ate a spoonful of Mamie's cooking, she was given a round of applause from everyone.  It was such a fun visit.

The day before we had to leave France, we celebrated my 32nd birthday. We shopped on the famous de Rue Passy and stumbled upon an amazing little Italian restaurant where we were greeted affectionately and fed generously. Finding a good restaurant that will accomodate a small baby is such a challenge in Paris. So, after a couple of unpleasant encounters, we were happily surprised and relieved by the friendly smiles we received when we walked into this place. We will definitely be back.

Later in the evening, we left Avienne asleep with her Nana and met some friends out for a little birthday dinner at our favorite address in Paris. It's amazing what seeing good, old friends can do for the heart. I felt so full and happy by the end of the night that I was really regretting the flight we had to take out of Paris less than 24 hours later. No matter how many times we do it, leaving friends, family and everything else we love in France never gets any easier. I wish we could split our time evenly between the US and France, but we haven't quite figured out how to do that, yet. For now, I'm happy to have tons of photos, sweet memories and future trips to keep me from pining too hard for la vie francçaise. 

► This apple tart was ready and waiting for us when we arrived chez Mamie.

► As usual, we played outside and toured Mamie's massive vegetable garden. Our little outdoorsy girl loved it there.

► We took a few walks around their home, which is out in the countryside, and gathered some flowers to bring back for Mamie. Apparently, this is something Gui and his sister used to do when they were younger. I love that they're passing the tradition down to Avienne.

► We laughed a lot and ate like kings (homemade waffles with sugar, homemade jam and toast, strong coffee, and only Mamie's finest homemade purées for Avienne).

► We celebrated Gui and Avienne's birthdays early with a family tradition : gateau aux ananas (pineapple upside down cake).

► We took a long walk on our last day in town and said goodbye to Mamie and Raymond for now.

► Gui's mom treated us to a wonderful dinner at one of our favorite bistros to say farewell and celebrate my birthday a day early.  It was a really sweet evening out.  

► A final celebration with friends. I couldn't have asked for a better send-off after a really love-filled vacation. In the end, I was a bit sad we couldn't do more, but I felt a real sense of accomplishment having seen so many people and traveled to so many places with our little girl. We are so lucky to have the opportunity and good reason to travel back and forth to France so often, and it can't be said enough that we're truly blessed with the best friends and family, both here and there.

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