Saturday, February 14, 2009

Day 3: Les Tears and L'Ecole

Day 3: Bright and early, Andrew got up for work. He must've been gone by 8:00 a.m. And I kid you not, the twins slept until just before 10:00 a.m. and Ella slept until 10:30 a.m. I guess we were all still getting over jet lag.  Or could it be the LOUDness, the non-stop action of nights in Caen?  It is hard to pinpoint how I could have gone through life without ever hearing about the crazy nightlife in Caen but apparently this detail got by me.  2am, 3am, 4am, there was screaming, yelling, drunken yodeling, you name it.  And due to the thin nature of our windows, it seemed as though they were doing all of this fun stuff with the aide of microphones.  This was a Wednesday night!  Who knew Wednesday could be so much fun? You and I are missing out, that is for sure.  The consequences of being a lame family trying to sleep is just not much sleep.  None of us slept well.  But, we woke up, had some strong milks and espresso's and were ready to start our new day.
Soon we would be off to that days big adventure: Visiting the school where the girls would attend beginning Feb. 23 after the winter break ended. Andrew came home shortly after 10:30 a.m. to show us how to get to l'ecole (the school). While he brushed three sets of teeth, I allowed myself a quick shower.  Now, if you read Day 1, you know that overall I liked the apartment when I saw it but did not like the kitchen or the bathroom situation.  I won't bore you with the kitchen right now, because I am over that room - movin' on/resolved.  But the pains me. On our main living floor of the apartment there is a room with a toilet. Then there is another room that has a bathtub and a sink.  Despite radiant heat in all of our rooms, it is not so radiant in the S.S. and S. rooms. Cold, bitter cold welcomes your hiney when you sit on the seat or depart the shower.  I used to go to camp as a child and at first I was appalled by the community showers and toilets and the general cleanliness of them. I never really got over the gross feeling, but I learned to deal with it by wearing flip-flops and really fast visits. The shower in this apartment gives me the same gross feeling.  I wish I had flip-flops to wear!  This shower room has a constant smell of mildew, the tiles are crumbling and the ugly yellow of the sink and tub are nauseating.  The rusting mirror (can mirrors rust?) feels slummy and the big tall white walls and ceiling with cracks streaming in every which way is not cozy.  No kidding, I was taking a shower that morning and started sobbing.  All I wanted was a nice comfortable shower to relax and all I saw was rotten filth with a chilly shell.  My hair went unwashed that day - quickest shower EVER. And I was miserable in this new place.  I saw no hope for a quick bathroom renovation and for someone who likes to take 20 minute showers (I now, that is a waste of water) because it is relaxing and toasty and quiet - this seemed sad and lonely. And moldy.  Before we arrived in Caen, Andrew had told me the bathroom could use some work but was totally usable.  He was excited because the water pressure was really good and the water temperature was hot.  Till this day, that is all he sees - he doesn't see grossness, he sees warm, steady water.  I wish I were him!  Even the girls say they love the bathroom - they like the new yellow color of the bathtub.  You must think me a brat to cry about a gross bathroom and I probably am. But the point of me telling you this is that after seeing it through Grace, Mia, Ella and Andrew's eyes, I decided to perk the hell up and get out of my nasty funk.  They were seeing the positive side, I was seeing the negative and that is my bad!  Now my only question is, can you paint tile?
Now, to the school visit.  The Notre Dame school is about 4 blocks from the apartment. All three girls will attend the same school.  When we arrived, we noticed how...vintage the school was.  And after my crying bout at home in the shower, I was a little tainted by old so was slightly concerned. However, after meeting the head of the school, getting a tour of the classrooms and seeing pictures of the students, this was all going to be OK. All three girls were excited to start right away.  Eating lunch takes place about 2 blocks from the school where they all walk to and from with teachers.  From what I gather, they eat real food (not canned Sysco peaches and green beans) like frommages and meats and local fruits and vegetables so I will be excited to see how they eat.  Also, no snacks in the am or pm and that will be an adjustment but overall, this is a great school. We all got home after our school visit and did some more unpacking and organizing - Andrew went back to work.
Mia was still groggy and tired through out this day - napping often and out of the blue. But in genaral, the day ended with the girls going to bed late. Andrew and I dined on bagette, olives, cheeses and smoked salmon and salad and then called it a night.  Day 3 started with a bad shower and pee, but as the day moved along it was a more positive side I could see.


  1. I feel like I am right there w/you all. Great story telling, Kate! You write beautifully! Getting through these first few weeks will be the hardest as it is such a huge change for you. I'm glad S&P will be there soon.
    BTW, you can paint tile! I did it in our Westport bathroom. You'll have to find the right paint, but it's easy to do. Good luck. Hugs to all of you! :) Maryann/Auntie M

  2. Good news is, the water pressure is high and hot water abundant.


  3. Maryann - I need more info about the tile painting. The previous ugly coat is peeling off, what do I use to get all of it off before I paint?

    Dean - you can zip it : ) Hot Moldy Water loses it allure, right before Hot Moldy Pressurized Water.