...must come to an end. And so it was with my mom and sister's visit. A generous two weeks that spread before us on that Saturday that they arrived. Which still seemed substantial at the mid-way point as we thought of the projects and visits we had left to do. But which had gone by pretty fast all the same as we ate our last dinner together (mom's chicken enchiladas with Frenchy ingredients) the Saturday before their departure.
But I can't complain (not too much). I was spoiled this year with family visits. My dad in April, then mom and Jess. It helped me get through the busy times when Remi was working hard and coming home late. Now that has slowed down a bit. He was able to drive us to the Normandy coast for our two-day excursion. We'd thought about doing a longer trip as I had succeeded in getting Thursday and Friday off, and there was Saturday, but with a nearly two-year-old, less is more. We soon discovered that she wasn't into road trips and that it was hard to give her the opportunity to nap while traipsing around cute touristic towns. So we kept it short, a quick stop in Etrétat, with its stark cliff structure and pretty town center.
(I paid that sea gull to pose.)
Then Honfleur,the port town, where each street seems more picture-perfect than the one before. It was from this town that Champlain set sail on the journey that led him to found/colonize Quebec (any help from knowledgeable Canadians would be appreciated here).
And even though it was sometimes a bit warm, and more often than not Remi and I were bickering (a euphemism for growling) about the GPS or other totally non-important stuff, I was pleased to be on a road trip with the fam. Like when we stopped at the over-priced gas station on the toll highway and loaded up on goodies. If I squinted a bit I could imagine we were buying Cheez-its and Reeses Pieces at the Citgo. And those fun moments like listening to Allison Kraus on mom's iPod and trying to entertain Juliette with anything we could!
Mom and Jess also participated in the International Home Make-over while here. These two weekend warriors took on the task of making my kitchen more functional. You can see that before there was a puny piece of wood protecting the wall from grease splashes and the toaster and bread box took up precious counter space.
But look at it now! The Ikea black rod has created storage too and a nifty paper towel dispenser.
And the kitchen cart (put together by Remi and Jessy) can now house the toaster and breadbox thus freeing up the counter space.
Oh, they helped out in so many ways and I thank them for it. Plus they are so good at doing the dishes, just like dad did when he was here. So now Remi and I have got to fend for ourselves again and try to enjoy the rest of our summer. By French standards it's just beginning as school gets out this week for les petits français. I'm taking the week of July 12th off but we're not sure what we'll do. There are plenty of lovely things to see around here, though short road trips seem to be in order based on our recent experience with Juju. Or I could always tackle making the rest of the apartment more functional. I know a Swedish furniture store that can make it happen...