Wednesday, June 17, 2009

June 19, 2009: And that Concludes the End of our Tour

Sunday was a fun day. The school that the girls attend celebrated it's 100th anniversary. Each of the classes prepared a show for all of the parents and families. There was a picnic and games. The girls got to dress up for the show - they had a blast. The show's theme was about the progression of time so it started with cavemen and cavewomen and ended with flappers. I took a few pictures but they didn't turn out too great. Overall, Andrew and I were impressed with the show. We were also impressed with fact that all three girls seemed to memorize a school song in French, as they sing it all the time now at home. It makes us relieved, as they have to be learning something, right?

Wednesday was my birthday! My first birthday in France! Ella will have her birthday here in France next week. For Ella's birthday on June 23, she decided that she wanted to invite over 5 girls from her class. She want's to have a party where they all dress up like princesses, where they throw water balloons at a target outside and where they all decorate their own cupcakes - but just one cupcake. For me, no problem. I can work easily with these requests. I think I will have Andrew be the target for the water balloon war! Her party will be on Sunday afternoon, June 21. So here is to happy princess- water ballon-cupcake land!

Peter and Suzie, Andrew's parents, arrived earlier this week without any problems. They came with the typical jet lag, but are back to their merry selves. On Wednesday we went to Juno Beach in Courseulles-sur-Mer, and met up with some friends. One is expecting a child ANY day now (hoping you deliver soon, Carih!) and another is moving in a few weeks way far away just outside of Strasbourg (we'll miss you Alice!) so it worked out nice that the weather was perfect for a beach outing. Wednesday night, Peter and Suzie watched the girls while Andrew and I went out for dinner at Le Bouchon du Vaugueux here in Caen. Dinner was yummy. I love when Andrew and I can go out by ourselves because he fills me in on how things are progressing at his office. I am more proud of him and his accomplishments every day - his French is amazing considering he learned his first French word back in November.

On Thursday night, Andrew and I attended our first dinner party here in Caen. The friend of mine whom I go running with invited us over and she also invited 2 other couples. We had a really great time. How thoughtful was my friend to invite couples that speak English well - one an English teacher in Caen and another who works internationally and is fluent in English. Andrew and I tried to speak French most of the night but when we obviously had no clue what the conversation taking place was about, these thoughtful women were very considerate to explain in English. The hosts couldn't have been more generous and the other couples we met were so very nice. We can't wait to attend another French dinner party, again!

Today was pretty low key around here. Suzie and I managed to buy a seriously-anticipated gift for Ella's birthday (it starts with a D and ends with an S with no letters in between). We met up with Andrew for lunch. We visited what is known to be the best Street Market here in Caen. The fruits and vegetables, the meats and cheeses, the fresh fish. It really is the best one I have seen yet. I will definitely be going back to this market on Fridays as often as I can.

Tonight, Andrew has taken a huge undertaking: he took the girls to see the new Hannah Montana movie. You see, the girls have not watched a lick of T.V. in over 3 weeks! Our new punishment for getting out of bed for reasons other than going potty are to take away T.V. This is by far a record for us - we typically let the girls watch T.V. every day, usually at night. But we have held strong with our punishment and so I anticipate that the girls will be beside themselves when they see anything moving on a screen. I hope they have fun! I am sitting here with Suzie and Peter - Andrew's parents. While they watch a rented movie on Apple TV I am catching up on blogging.

Nothing much is new around here in Caen. The past few days of weather have been really great. So great in fact that Suzie had to go out and buy some more short-sleeved shirts and shorts. The last time she and Peter were here it was February and freezing and I really think she and Peter didn't think the weather could ever be comfortable here in Caen. But blue skies and fluffy white clouds have welcomed them every day. That is not to say that tomorrow won't be rainy and cloudy - it very well could be! I have noticed a lot of tourist-type activities starting up. Specifically, pretty much each day when I leave the apartment there is a group of school kids and their teacher in our parking lot. Our apartment is a stop on their historical tour of Caen! There is also a trolley that goes by a few times each day. They, too, are stopping in front of our apartment and pointing and hearing about the apartment's history. And with my luck, these stops usually happen as I am exiting the apartment. And all I can think of is how uneventful is must be to see a modern, typical woman exiting an apartment that dates back to the 15th century. I feel like I should be dressed in historical costumes with corsets, hair clips made of whale bone and tons of lace and taffeta. Surely that would make the tours more interesting! Maybe I could make our apartment the best stop of them all, it would become the grande finale. The tourists see a historical figure descend the stairs of the Hotel de Than (who is actually going to Monoprix for dish soap) and that will conclude the end of the tour. It's a thought...

Pictured above: The market today in Caen; Ella cutting my angel food cake brought from a Northfield, Illinois Dominicks by Suzie and decorated by the girls; Peter and Suzie at Juno Beach; Grace and Mia eating treats at the School Show; Ella eating a cookie at the School Show.

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