It has been almost 7 weeks since leaving the beautiful southern countryside of France! We all left with heavy hearts and sadness as we were leaving the home we grew to love over the last year. Many tears were shed and prayers were offered in our behalf as we began our journey back to America.
That last day in Sanilhac was a little bit of a blur. There was a lot of scurring, cleaning, saying last goodbyes and making sure our luggage wasn’t too heavy.
La famille Darguence came with their camion and helped us transport all 21 pieces of luggage to the Nîmes train station. Aaron and I were shocked at the number of people who came to wish us well on our journey and to help us maneuver all our belongings up and down stairs, etc. It still brings tears to my eyes as I think of all the wonderful new friends we have and their kindness and love they showed to us that day. Maria del Carmen et Paul, la famille Jerôme, Jacques Chapus, Sean et Monique Bell, les missionaires, et Jean Louis et Aline Darguence. It was so wonderful as we all made a line with luggage in tow up to the platform to catch our train to Paris.
We were a sight to behold as soon as that train pulled up. The children and I all jumped on the train as an assembly line was formed to get all the luggage in the train before the doors closed. We did it! It was nothing short of a miracle with all the helping hands and love. The doors closed and away our life in Nîmes slowly passed. We all found our seats and remained silent for some time. Reflection and more tears! It took Aaron 30 minutes to arrange all the luggage in our compartment.
As a family, we were successful traversing throughout the Charles de Gaullle train station and airport to get to our hotel with 21 bags. We could use les chariots throughout a portion of our path from the train to the hotel. Other times the boys had to go up and down stairs and/or escalators multiple times. We arrived at the hotel with 5 chariots and extremely tired children. We were able to bring all 5 luggage carts into the two hotel rooms, but we had no room to walk. It was hilarious. But, we all got a few hours of sleep before the alarms went off and our journey back through the airport/train station began again. (There is a little shuttle train that travels between terminals that we needed to get on and off with all our luggage. The doors only opened about 15 seconds. We got split up coming back from the hotel to the airport, but Aaron and I had divided up with the possibility that the doors to the train would close to soon.)
The morning of July 29th was long, with an 1.5 hour luggage check-in for all our bags. It was a little nerve racking as the French won’t let even 1/10th of a kilo slide for the weight restrictions. It was like pieces of a puzzle trying to fit all of our possessions in the right configuration per suitcase. We made it through with a few minutes to spare getting some last minute Ladurée. Adieu France! Jusqu’à la prochaine fois!
We arrived in the USA and it was interesting the things that we all noticed: air condition and a water fountain!!! What an amazing experience we had in Sanilhac-Sagries! One that will forever be a part of our lives!!!