Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Viva French Friends

We interrupt this wedding nonsense to celebrate the fact that our French friends came to visit us the weekend before Mac's wedding in Baltimore. Virginie was my exchange student in high school over 22 years ago. Damn, we are so freaking old! But I love it. I love that we have stayed close over the years and celebrated with her on so many momentous, family occasions. I need to upload her wedding photos and those of our other French friend Jibz. The French know how to throw a wedding party!

Preparing the house for our guests was just the distraction we I needed. We cleaned out our third bedroom and arranged it so all three kids could sleep comfortably in their room. And isn't art the universal language? I figured having little art stations would be a great way to keep them busy and creative. I was like a mad-woman digging through a trunk of treasures getting ready. I dug deep into my college art files and found a newsprint pad. I sharpened pencils. I dusted off my water color brushes and unearthed more types of paper than you can even imagine. I set up easels and boards on which the children could draw and paint. They preferred the pastel crayons and watercolors and kept themselves busy for hours all four days they were with us.

This distraction made it easy for the adults to enjoy some time to reconnect upstairs.

We took the Frog's to see the froggies at the National Aquarium, a must when you are visiting Baltimore.

Little did we know that Kate Kate would be back in town. We ran into her in one of the exhibits and I said, "Vite, vite!!! Follow Kate." She is the social media maven at the museum and a dear friend (@katekatebear). I knew if we followed Kate we would be in for a treat.

We got up close and personal with this handsome Bearded Dragon for instance.

Holy behind-the-scenes-animal-experience Bat Girl!

Kate gave us hands down the best tour and showed us her favorite fishes, sharks and exhibits. We sanitized our hands after hanging with a dragon and headed to the Dolphin experience. It was a fabulous trip that the kids talked about the whole weekend. Thanks again Kate!

It was great seeing Virginie with her children. She is like a sister to me, and it was so wonderful seeing her calm and loving hand while managing her babes. Not once in four days did any of them cry or fuss! It was simply marvelous. The kids ate exactly what we ate. They weren't picky and spoiled like so many kids in the states. They had to sleep on the floor of JFK their first night in the states and handled it with aces. I'm telling you it is all in the parenting. Well done ma petite choux! I'm so, so proud of you.

We all loved the fact that every restaurant gave out crayons and coloring pages. Even the Old Navy had crayons. Being without child, E and I didn't realize this. I brought pens and paper, just in case, to keep them happy. The Four Seasons won for best crayons in our humble opinions. They are triangular! Way to go @fsbaltimore.

We had to treat them to hot chocolate and beignet's at LAMILL.

We loved having a full table of guests for breakfast and dinner at Stone Hill. Eric made waffles for the group one morning. He really loves to cook as much as I do which is so awesome. As wonderful as my husband is, having Virginie with me in the kitchen was just a joy. She was unbelievably helpful. It felt like we were back at Floral Drive and she was just one of the family knowing exactly what to do and where to put what. I love a guest who makes themselves at home and helps out. I usually like to clean up alone. It's kind of Zen for me. But we dried and washed dishes it seems every hour. These were the moments when we could truly catch up.  Over the crumbs, bubbles and dish towels. 

Timothee loved our spicy dry rub chicken. The kids had also never had corn on the cob before! It is so totally American! Virginie remembers shucking corn on our back patio the first night she arrived in Michigan, oh so many summers ago. We have been getting sweet corn from a farm stand in Ruxton all summer and have loved the quality. So glad our Frenchies loved this simple treat.

I made a blueberry-pecan pie with lemon zest. This is E's favorite dessert. 

We can't wait until Capucine is old enough to come live and study with us. She was like a flower girl to us at our wedding. All of the children tried very hard to speak English with great energy and excitement. I was so happy that I hadn't forgotten all of my French either. Virginie and Gilles speak perfect English so catching up was easy for Eric as well. 

The girls are best friends and they included Timothee in a cute game they called "Picachu" that was a play on rock, paper, sissors.

Salome had the most hilarious personality!

I cannot express how much I love you my sweet Virginie. Thank you so much for the fantastic visit. We were both so impressed by how well behaved your kids were and always love our time with you and Gilles. Glad you made it back safely. Bissous Bissous!

Familymoon update: the kids had a great time in Destin!

No comments: