We're finally back from our first big family vacation which we spent, of course, in France. We spent a good 19 hours travelling yesterday, so right now, we're embracing our jetlag, slowly unpacking our overstuffed suitcases and trying to get back to normal life. (We're also crossing our fingers that we get a new water heater installed tomorrow because ours broke while we were away. Le sigh.)
Avienne met so many new family and friends in France, and as exhausting as it all was, I feel a huge sense of accomplishment that we were able to meet up with so many folks in such a short time. I still have to sort through a crap-load of photos from this trip, but here is the first set of my favorites from the beginning of our adventure.
► Avienne spent quality time getting to know new family and visiting with her old favorites. ;)
► Of course, family reunions call for cheese plates and fruit-covered tarts.
► Avienne took her first trip on a train to visit friends in Caen.
► Although thousands of miles away, we celebrated as Texans do and had margaritas on Cinco de Mayo...
► ...and we barbecued (well, our hosts barbecued...I just ate and drank wine).
► Fun times were aplenty, as usual.
► We took a ferry to a little island called Chausey.
► Avienne had a glorious time playing in the dirt with a new friend.
► We spent most of the day walking around the entire island, soaking up the beauty all around. There were wildflowers springing out of sea rocks, clear, blue water in every direction, curious lizards and birds, and even a field of black sheep. A pirate ship even showed up on the horizion. I don't think I've ever been anywhere else as calm and quaint as Chausey. (I only saw one car on the whole island, and it was parked!)
► We enjoyed a beautiful and peaceful day on the island, then headed back towards Caen before catching the train the next morning for Paris. I'm so glad we decided to start our trip out with a side-trip to see two of our absolutely favorite people. It helped us rest up and relax a bit before we started bouncing around Paris. I always leave Normandy ready to take on anything - somehow, it's where I always find my reset button.