Sunday, May 22, 2011

WARNING: Prepare for lots of reading and lots of pictures(next post)!

I broke my camera. It fell out of my hand onto the tiled floor. When I turned it on, it would act as if something was in the way of the shutter. So after praying and fidgeting around with it- i.e. taking the battery out, hitting the camera against the bed, etc- I/God fixed it! Before it retracted, I pulled on the camera-moving-part(for lack of a better word) and after a few tries, it was back to normal. *sigh of relief* Though, later on I was looking for my camera and remembered that I had placed it in my sweatshirt pocket- in the wash. Luckily, I took it out prior to washing my clothes. Camera = safe and working! I may have also damaged it when I was mowing the lawn. Yes, I learned how to mow a lawn with those mini tractors! I feel that I am becoming more competent day by day. Now I just need to learn how to be a carpenter, plumber, mechanic … I’m working on it.

So right before our 5pm café, Pierrick and Brieuc were trying to set up a tent. They had two black poles, one (fabricated) bent pole, the tent, and its cover. This was one of the funniest experiences I’ve had here so far. You see, Pierrick was under the tent COVER, trying to figure out how to set it up with the two black poles. He eventually got fed up with the thing and left, wherein his father tried instead. I finally stepped in and informed them that the poles probably go with the tent, not its cover. It took 6 people to set this thing up and I still think something was wrong; though, we were missing some poles. I couldn’t stop laughing – I wonder if they understood why. Overall, I’ve got to say … the 3 women(myself included) were in charge of the tent set-up. The men, ehh they followed. (But of course we all know that this is not always the case ;) )

… Last night I had the most amazing experience. It was about 8:30pm and I had just finished my run and taken a shower. Shortly after, I heard a knock on my door, guessing that dinner was ready. Quite the opposite: Veronique asked me if I wanted learn the preparation for les moules(mussels) and, being the food-lover that I am, I of course accepted. Turned out that they were for tomorrow(Sunday). She said something about a creperie, but I didn’t quite hear. All I knew was that everyone was freshening up for something and that we were going somewhere. It was only Veronique, Pierrick, and myself – their kids went out with friends. Any guesses where we went? Well, if you’ve been paying attention, we did go to a creperie(crepe restaurant). However, it was also a poissonerie(fish restaurant) as well as something else. And this was no ordinary restaurant; it was situated in the most picturesque area. Imagine a large hill/mountain and then place quaint houses in random spots, each with a brown roof, crème colored exterior, and personal touches. On the opposite of that hill you’ll find the ocean, with waves and sand, mini islands(designated for bird habitat), coastal rocks, and the sunset ablaze. The restaurant was situated in that town, just a hop, skip, and a jump away from the ocean. Once we entered the restaurant, we situated ourselves at a table, with an ocean view. We ordered aperitifs/drinks(which I confused with amuse-bouche- aka a food to ready the stomach for a meal) and then our meal. Veronique and I had galettes(look like dark brown crepes) with smoked salmon, creamy crème fraiche,  a shrimp(which appeared as if it had just been plucked out of the ocean!), a lemon slice, and a salad on top.(See picure) It was such a delectable dish I could have ordered it again right then and there. However, my second course was a crepe; I would have been crazy not to order a crepe in France. It was a hot crepe filled with chocolate and bananas topped with chantilly(whipped cream). Again, delicious! Afterward, we went to a Casino on the boardwalk. However, Pierrick and I did not have our IDs and so were not permitted to enter(no loss on my part). So, we watched the ocean instead. I was entranced by the whole experience. Was this a dream? Am I truly in France? Are these foreign words really coming from my mouth? If none of this is real, then I choose to remain fast asleep … Zzzz…..

Seeing as it is the weekend, my workload has dropped enormously; hier, j’ai trait les vaches et tonde la tondeuse (yesterday I milked the cows and mowed the lawn), but today I had no work at all. Veronique said that since today Sunday, I do not have to work. So I slept in until 8:30 and at 10:50, Veronique and I left to go to church! We went to a cathedral that was just beautiful. This was my first service in a foreign language and, though I could not follow the whole service, I still understood what they were saying; when they said “le troisième jour…”, I knew that they were saying the Apostles’ Creed (“the third day…”). Veronique told me that this specific cathedral celebrated the Patron Yves and after touring the cathedral, I saw that the Patron’s skull was encased in a glass box.  Afterward, the whole family went over to Pierrick’s parents’ house for a little get-together. We had crackers, yummy cheese, round acorn-looking crackers filled with cheese, peanuts, mini cheetos, and champagne. Following, Pierrick left for le foot(soccer) and Veronique, Celine, Brieuc, and I returned home for lunch. Since all of my sweaters were drying(on the clothes line), I was really cold and so bundled under my blankets. An hour later I awoke, not realizing that I had fallen asleep as well as remembering the day. Once my brain woke up, I went into the kitchen and finally met the eldest daughter Claire.

Once Claire left, so did we(Veronique, Celine, and myself). We drove to un chateau(a castle)! It had several gardens and paths that overlooked the river. We walked a long scenic path in the forest – I wish I had known to bring sneakers and not sandals. Nevertheless, I loved it. When we finally emerged from the woods, we went to the mini patisserie to have our café(Veronique treated us J ). I had green tea and an apple tart, Vero had something alcoholic with a pastry, and Celine had a cola and ice-cream. What an adventure! We then left to meet Pierrick and enjoy the company of friends and family. I was actually having full-blown conversations with them! (I still have lots more to learn, but my listening and speaking skills have expanded greatly). And now, we are back. I am not certain, but I believe that Celine is going to teach me how to ride a horse!!!! And then, les moules for dinner. Quiz time! What are les moules again??

This just looked cool - made out of wood and found in the gardens.

One of the gardens - you'll see the purple Digitalis here
Our "cafe" at the chateau

Tout a l’heure! (Until later!)

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