Monday, May 24, 2010

Our trip with Anna and Amadeo

We are back from the most wonderful trip. We had such a great time with Anna and Amadeo and of course baby Joneaux. Our trip was so much fun from the first moment to the last. Anna took soooooo many photos, probably 1000 or so and I just took these few. I will be posting some of hers later, but here is a tiny sample of our last days together.
We began our trip by picking them up at Lille and then coming to our apt. We enjoyed meeting baby Joneaux who had a few very mixed up days suffering from jet lag. He wanted to be awake at night and asleep in the daytime. Who could blame him. Jet lag coming to Europe is very difficult. Oh my goodness, Joneaux is the sweetest, nicest baby ever. He is so pleasant and happy all the time. He is very responsive and he even learned how to laugh and chuckle out loud. I am crazy about him. He is just adorable. We spent the first few days visiting Belgium. We went to Gent, Brugges, and Brussels. We visited Grand Place, saw Mannekin Pis, rode in a canal boat, toured Gravenstein Castle, saw the Castle of Gerald the Devil, ate gauffres, frites, and Belgian chocolates. We laughed, walked and walked and walked and just enjoyed each other's company.
Then we took the train to Southern France where we spent several fun filled days with family there. They were all charmed by baby and loved Anna and Ama. They couldn't stop from repeating how cute and nice Joneaux was. I bought him a fun little beret with Pays Basque written on it and that earned him the nickname of Joneaux Le Basque. He is soo cute in it. The family told us we were not allowed to buy him an Italian beret, but if we all went to Mexico, we could buy him a Mexican sombrero because he does have some Mexican blood in him. Ha. We walked all over Anglet, Biarritz, St. Palais, Beyrie, and Orsanco. We saw the little homes where Dh used to live, run around, and go to school. We walked through a cow pasture and found Martinia and the old double Oak tree. We went to St Jean De Luz and San Sebastian. Then we drove to Mimizan and visited the little house and big house where Dh lived and we found his old teacher, now 93 years old. Dh enjoyed visiting with her for about an hour. We ate lots and lots of good food and we ate really late. We could not believe how late everyone eats here. Some of our meals didn't begin til 10 or 11 at night. Once we got home about 11:45 and instead of going to bed we all ate a full many course meal. We loved being with Dh's sister and brother and niece and nephew and family. It was just great.

Then we took the train to Paris. Oh my gosh. I love Paris. It is just beautiful. It really is the city of lights. We went to the top of the Eiffel tower and looked at the city at night. It is gorgeous. The tower itself is all lit up at night and on the hour it twinkles. It is so beautiful. These pictures are not good at all, but at least I can see that I was really there.

We went to the top of the Arch de Tiomphe and saw Champs Elysees. We drove past the Moulin Rouge and the Folies.

We got to go to the Palace of Versailles. What a magnificent, gorgeous place. It is huge and very elaborate. As you look at this picture you cannot see how beautiful it is. It is all gold gilded on top. Inside it is full of beautiful sculptures, paintings, murals, materials, and gold, gold, gold everywhere. I loved the palace and all of it's splendor. I particularly liked one of the paintings that showed the wife of King Louis holding her twin baby girls on her extended arm and looking at them with love in her eyes. It was so tender.

The hall of mirrors is exquisite. Beautiful mirrors line the wall and huge, crystal chandeliers line the middle of the room. Everything is so shiny, and sparkly, and gold and beautiful.

This is a sample of one of the doorways going from one room to the next. King Louis did not want any space to be left undecorated.

Here is the King's bed. It was very large and ornate.

This is the Queen's bedroom.

The ceiling of the canopy over the Queen's bed.

The bed. It is even larger than the King's.

Part of the ceiling in the bedroom.

We went to the Louvre twice. It is ginormous. Do you like my word? It is just humongous. I think it would take at least 2 full weeks to even walk through all of the wings and looks at the stuff inside. We only looked at a teeny part of it. We did see some of the more famous art work such as the Mona Lisa. This painting is surprisingly very small.
I loved seeing the pyramid and remember it from the movie Da Vinci Code.

We saw the Venice de Milo.
We saw many other beautiful statues and paintings and pottery etc. etc.

We walked through the Latin Quarter which was very fun. It was like I imagined it to be, but with many more restaurants and shops than were there originally.

We ate there twice. The first time was at a restaurant which was very disappointing. The food was not good at all. The second time we ate at a Kabob place and it was really good.
We saw Notre Dame and Sacre Coeur. We went to Montmartre. We walked across many bridges. We walked so much that my feet hurt and finally I could not walk another step. I dropped into bed each night.
At the Sacre Coeur Quartier we ate the most delicious crepes. We had a sugared one and a ham and cheese one. They were both probably the best crepe I have ever eaten.
Most of the food we ate was really, really good. Each morning we ate pastries and/or baguettes. For lunch we had baguettes with cheese and salami or ham. We tried some of the best ice cream. However at the gardens at Versailles I had the worse crepe in the world. I took one bite and it tasted just like dog food. I had to get rid of it. It was just awful. I think they cooked it in old oil that they had used to cook meat or something. Anyway I just had to mention it so that I would not forget that disgusting little bite of crepe.

While we were walking around we saw quite a few beggars and gypsy's begging for money. One gypsy ran up to Anna who was letting Joneaux suck on an apple and tried to grab that apple right out of her hand. One gypsy was on the steps of Sacre Coeur hobbling around and walking all curved and crippled like. About an hour later I saw her gather up her things and go running off the steps to somewhere else. She was perfectly straight and not crippled at all. It's sad to see these people. I know some of them are legit, but some of them are just taking advantage. I know we should always help, but these impostors make is a bit difficult.
Anyway, we had a fabulous time. It was a trip of a lifetime.

But by far, the best part of the trip was meeting this cute baby. I am in love with little baby Joneaux. I am anxious now to meet 3 more little ones when we go back home. I can't wait to see them and hold them and to tell them how much I love them. We are so blessed to have these little ones in our lives.


marcia@joyismygoal said...

what a cutie wow such a fun trip family- food- museums- sights of a lifetime- and PARIS :) sounds like a wonderful trip

The Texas Bakers said...

What an awesome trip! And Joneaux IS adorable. When I was in Paris we had about 15 minutes in the Louvre because it was closing. We RAN thru it!

Head Nurse or Patient- you be the judge said...

Looks (and sounds) like you had a fabulous trip and visit with your daughter- so fun to spend time together like that-

Yvonne said...

How can you not smile when you see that cute little face. What a little doll.

I love Paris--it is so beautiful. I, too, was so surprised when I saw the Mona Lisa.

I have never been inside Versailles--too sick when we were there. It looks beautiful.

Sounds like you had such a wonderful trip. I'm so glad you got to show all the sights to your family.

The Wendler Family said...

Joneaux is such a sweet baby!! I am so happy you had such a great visit with the three of them!
I LOVE Paris!! I only got to spend a few hours at the Louvre but loved every second of it!
What great memories! I just loved reading this post. :)

Shuldberg's in Texas said...

Soo exciting that family can visit on your mission. Especially grandkids!!

Did you feel the romance in the air in Paris? Such a wonderful city. Brian and I loved it.

Sara K said...

I am so happy you all had a nice trip together!! And you got to meet one of your new family members! I am just so happy for you, love you!