Fréjus, France

Fréjus, France
Aqueduc Romain

Monday, June 29, 2009

Last post in France?

This is probably our last post here in France. I plan to continue posting at home as long as our experiences are relevant to this year abroad. Philosophically, that will be the rest of our lives, but for this blogs purposes that will mean continuing through the transition from France to Ashland, Oregon, ie. the reintegration into our home and what that constitutes.

We had a fantastic weekend!! The fête at Bon Pin was everything we expected. They certainly know how to create an atmosphere around a table here in France. It starts around noon with the apero's, in this case, rum punch, specialty breads with olives, sausage, cheese, etc., Lisa's cornbread, Nick's calzone, guacamole and chips, One could fill themselves on just this course, but no...then appears the merguez (sausages), tomato tarts, and god knows what else I'm forgetting. Of course by now, the bottles of vin rouge and vin rosé have been decorked. Then Laurent, the Grillmaster, starts pulling the pork chops off the fire, and out comes the couscous, salads, bread - the "main course." Everyone takes their time with the meal, talking (about every topic under the sun), taking photos, drinking wine, and the kids go off to swim, while some clear enough space to keep the food and drink coming. Laurent soon appears with a tradition that is always a big hit, the fire-melted camembert cheese. Damn I love that stuff!

Ahh, time to give our stomach's a break. It was a beautiful sunny day and the pool was full of kids all day (I think Irie spent 10 hours in the pool) and the water was a delightful 81 degrees. Everyone moved down to the pool area, where Lisa and her hula girls gave a final performance for the guests, many of whom had never actually seen a hula dance before. They looked radiant and happy together!

Edouard, who makes documentaries for a living, brought his projector, speakers, screen, etc. so at some point near dusk we all settled in on the back patio to watch the DVD I made of our year in France. Everyone seemed to love it, and the recurring theme is that we've seen more of France this year than most of the French have seen in their lifetimes.

Time for dessert. Out came the fresh fruit, followed by tarts of all kinds: apple, berry, etc. and coffee of course. Meanwhile, the bottles of wine were steadily disappearing. Slowly some of the guests began to trickle home, but it was well after 10 pm before the core friends departed. We were the lucky ones who got to spend the night so Irie and Abbie were still out swimming with Laure and Fanny in the dark and having a blast. When it was just us and the Bruzzone's, after the tired girls finally went to bed...we finally moved inside and finished the night with a digestif before crashing hard from a very FULL day. As exhausting as any fun party can be, listening and speaking in French all day is alone incredibly fatiguing so I was wiped out!

Michelle and her family (minus Abbie who stayed at Bon Pin with us) kindly got a ride home with other guests so we could drive ourselves home on Sunday. We spent the day lolling around the pool, and of course the table. About 5 pm we finally left as we had another outstanding engagement. We were invited over to Laly's grandparents apt for an "apero" which of course turned into a full meal and drinks. Laly really reached out and made Irie comfortable here in France and at her school, and they became fast friends. Her grandparents, Guy and Annie, have become our surrogate Mamie and Papie. Laly's parent, Karine and François, are very relaxed and enjoyable as well, and we will miss their family too.

We are much loved here and have become part of a larger family of kind and generous human beings. I believe we could come back in 5 years and fall right back into the closeness and way of life with these families. There have been many tears, but also tons of laughs, and we are all truly richer for the experience! We are happy here and I think this photo represents that well:

I don't think words will ever do justice to the year we've had, but I need, at some point, to acknowledge all these wonderful people.

That will have to be another post. Maybe, time permitting, I'll sneak one more post in before we leave...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love them all for loving you so get your asses home ;).

I love you