summer 2011

summer 2011

Paul and I, all 16 kids and Ashley, Benjamin's wife...Christmas 2012

Paul and I, all 16 kids and Ashley, Benjamin's wife...Christmas 2012

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

sunny morning walk...

If I were bolder, I would care nothing of what people think, and just snap pictures like a tourist. But wanting to blend in a little, especially being all alone, I try to act like I belong here, which isn't easy when you are walking down the street in aqua colored sneakers (thank you, Eleanor, ha), a black skirt, (it's too warm for jeans, and I don't do shorts in public, unless they're really long and it's Florida), and my striped sweater. I walked through town this morning and noticed this plain fact: I do NOT fit in here. The French women tend to wear scarves, nice shoes, blouses, sweaters, jackets...very conservative and dressy, no Walmart-y pajama pants to be seen.

I happened upon a street market this fine sunny morning. There were all sorts of things for sale, but I only bought a crepe from the crepe truck, mmm. I also stopped in the store for a bottle of cold water, and now I'm back in my room enjoying both. I was going to stop in the park, but decided to make that my afternoon trip. I walked almost seven miles yesterday, and two and a half today so far, so it balances out the morning croissants and the afternoon crepe. It COULD be worse, easily...I walked by this little boulangerie, and it smelled absolutely heavenly. I knew that if I went in there, I would buy dangerous things, and I would eat every bite, so I just wandered by and enjoyed the aroma.

Being here is like being on a movie set. The guys have purses. The older men wear tweed caps, and some wear tweed jackets, and dressy pants, walking with their canes through the park, like I went into the twilight zone. They carry wicker baskets to put market items in...I mean, when's the last time I saw a man walking with a wicker basket with loaves of bread in it, in New York? Never, that's when.

The people here are also unsmiling. I try to make eye contact and smile when I pass people on the sidewalk, but no can do, especially the women. The men...some of them are too bold, with their looks. So I avoid looking at them. At the market today, an old man with a can bumped against me, and the crook of the cane grabbed my purse handle, it jolted me, because of course I read all about the pickpockets in Paris, and here I am in this nice little town, almost relaxed...I think it was an accident, but still. He smiled and said something I didn't understand, and my wallet is still in there, so I think he meant no harm. Oh, you can take the New Yorker out of New York...but you can't take the New York out of the New Yorker...ha.

Last evening, Paul and I went to the store again, he needed more veggies for lunch. We have carrots and berries and some sort of lettuce, tomatoes, nuts, low carb homemade crackers, and chocolate in our room. It's nice to eat semi-healthy most of the time. Anyway, after the store, we drove back here, and walked to a restaurant in town. It was an Italian place, French style. We had these individual pizzas, oh heavenly yum, the crust melts right in your mouth. He ordered what he thought was the house wine, but it was this yummy mixed drink. We were too full to finish our pizzas, let alone even think about dessert, so we walked back to the hotel, and met up with one of his coworkers in the lobby. We sat and talked a while, had some wine, and relaxed. The sun doesn't set here until like ten o'clock, so it was a late night for us.

We needed this trip, this time together. He is at work all day of course, but still. It has been so nice. It's nice to remember why you married each other. We are thinking of leaving this hotel and getting a room near Mont St. Michel, which is a spectacular castle/monastery on the ocean/English channel...the tide comes in and the castle is surrounded by water. The drawback is that there are hundreds of steps, which is what my particular nightmares are made of.

Today, is Charlotte Claire's tenth birthday. I get the Bad Mom Award for not being home. I know they will have a good celebration without me, but still. Mommy guilt. Kathryn is making cupcakes, and I have a few little things for Char that Jon is going to give her, but ouch.

The thing is, a good marriage is the foundation of the family, and our family will be better off in the long run, at least that's what I'm telling myself, ha. I think I'll go back out and about soon....


Susan R said...

I am really enjoying my virtual trip to France!
Where does Paul stay when you are in NY?
You will never in a bizillion years be a contender for the bad mommy award. We would never give that to a lady with 16 children who loves them unconditionally and sees each one as an individual. :-)

Marilyn Reid said... are hilarious😂😂 But yes, the European women in general are very well dressed compared to the North American women in general, especially in the smaller towns. They seem to wear high heels everywhere!!I wore my ECCO sandals everywhere........I like to be comfy. You would never see them wearing shorts and tank top in Paris or Rome !!! I wore capris mostly when i was there and found that was acceptable. The bakeries are wonderful are doing so well to just to walk by. Keep on having fun!!!

Marilyn from Canada

16 blessings'mom said...

Susan, thank you, you are too kind. I don't understand your question about where Paul stays when we are in NY...we live in central NY state.
Marilyn, please don't give me too much credit for walking past that bakery, oh no. I had a crepe, hot off the griddle from the street fair thing, and then a few croissant type things later. I DID walk over 6 miles today though...:)

Susan R said...

Oh, I am sorry for my poorly worded question. I meant when Paul is working in France and you are at home in New York, does he stay in hotels?

16 blessings'mom said...

Yes, he usually stays in the same hotel we're in now, when he works in Caen, near Flers. Since he started this traveling job, he has been in India, Germany, Ireland, and then Florida and Louisiana, as well as France. This is the first time I have gotten to go, and now when he leaves, it's going to be all the more difficult, because I love traveling, and spending time with him...he gets to the hotel in the evening, and I have no kids to drive places or help with homework or even talk to...not that those are bad things of course, but we can focus on each other so much this week.

FLmom7 said...

Mont St Michel is awesome!'re right about the steps:) I'm glad you're enjoying your trip. You deserve it!

Susan R said...

I am so glad that you took advantage of this wonderful opportunity. I foresee more adventures in your future!