We are just back from 2 busy yet wonderful weeks of holidays. As soon as we arrived, we were whisked away to a restaurant to celebrate Mr Foodie's birthday along with my brother's, his girlfriend's and her little girl's too. I had never met my brother's girlfriend before and I am really glad to say that we got on really great. My mum thinks that we are very much alike (albeit not physically but mentally). My brother seems to be really happy and so am I. I was starting to despair a bit as he had never introduced us to any of his girlfriends before, and he is well into his twenties now.
The next day, we all went to meet my best friend from school. We had lost contact for more than ten years but the wonders of Facebook and the Internet worked their magic and we got back in contact. We went to a water park for a picnic and an afternoon of swimming with our families. The last time I saw her I was leaving for Ireland, we were both still teenagers (well late teens anyway), both carefree, with our whole future ahead of us. We now both have families. If anybody had told us nearly 15 years ago that we would meet again with partners and families in tow, we probably would have laughed at the idea! But despite such a long time, we started talking as if we'd only seen each other the week before. We promised not to leave it another 15 years before we meet again.
We spent Wednesday afternoon in Albi, a beautiful town that recently acquired the title of UNESCO's World Heritage Cultural Site. Click on the link to view some pictures!
On the Thursday, we went into Toulouse and, for the first time, I blew my cover as an anonymous blogger. Organizing a meeting with somebody you have never met, have no idea what they look like, and yet believe you 'know' to a certain extend is quite an experience. And one that I don't regret at all. I hope that Toulouse Confessor had as good a time as we did. I hope we can meet again sometime!
On the Friday, we left the girls in my mum and dad's capable hands and drove the 6 hours to Marseille. We stayed in a very nice B&B in the middle of town called Le Mas en Ville. The 4 days away did us the world of good. We went to visit the Chateau d'If (Mr Foodie being a big big fan of the count of Monte Christo). We took a boat trip to visit the Calanques at sunset. We went up the hill to visit Notre Dame de la Garde and generally spent our time walking around the streets of Marseille and eating wonderful food (not that my mum's food is not wonderful, it's just that the whole eating out experience adds to it) . The weather was all you could expect of the South of France in August, blistering hot.
|How clear is that water?|
|View of Marseille from the Island of If|
|The calanques at sunset|
My dad had set himself two missions: teach Marie how to swim without armbands and teach Noelie how to walk unaided. His success rate was 50%. Marie now knows how to swim. Noelie still refuses to walk without at least somebody's little finger in her hand. I am extremely proud of my two girls. Marie has made an awful lot of progress in French. As for Noelie, well, she's being Noelie. She is a very loving, stubborn little clown,
We came back on Monday evening, despite our wishes for the Icelandic volcano to come back to life and strand us for a few more days (although my dad pointed out that sleeping on the floor of the airport wasn't all that great, really !) and leaving behind us the sunshine. We nearly had to smuggle Noelie back into Ireland, as Aer Lingus messed up and didn't include her on the return booking nearly leading to another appearance of SuperFoodie. But it was all sorted out fairly quickly.
We are now waiting on my brother and his girlfriend to arrive on Monday. They will be staying for a week and then, it will nearly be time to head back to school (sigh). Where has this summer gone?
Anyway, my Google Reader is bursting at the seams and I have a lot of catching up to do on everybody's blogs. I hope I haven't missed too much! Despite still using our trusted little dongle, this time, I am back for good. I have missed blogging, reading your posts and your lovely comments. So on that note, talk to you all real soon!