Our last visit to Uzès!

A few days before leaving France, Aaron, Sophie and I went to Uzès for the last time.  I wanted to pick up some fabric and a few other odds and ends before heading back to the States.  We casually walked around and I tried to soak it all in, knowing it would be awhile before visiting Uzès again.  I found the things I wanted and then we found Antoines’ partners boulangerie.  It was right in the heart of the centre ville and, of course, we had to try some pastries.  Bien sûr!  The presentation was so pretty and it wasn’t bad on the taste buds.  It was another lovely afternoon in Uzès!

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Date Night

Aaron and I love Uzès and we love to spend the evening dining out in this beautiful village. A few weeks ago we strolled along the quaint streets before finding a delicious Thai restaurant.  We are trying to fit in as many leisurely strolls as we can with the time we have left.  Oh, how I will miss Uzès!

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Dinner on the Seine

John, Jenn, Aaron and I took a dinner cruise on the Seine when we were in Paris.  It was another thing Aaron and I had not done before, so we were looking forward to the experience.  My first trip to Paris as a teenager my family and I took a river ride on the Seine, but it was not a dinner cruise.

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We had a great time!  The waitress was so surprised when we told her we would not be having champagne or any alcohol.  She asked us quite a few times if we were sure we did not want something more than water and/or soda.  By the end of the evening she told us she was very impressed that we did not drink alcohol.  It is a very hard concept for the french to understand and respect.

We arrived at the boat around 8pm and we left the dock at 8:30.  It was a two hour cruise up and down the Seine.  We had a menu with 3-4 choices for each course.  We ordered our food at the start of the cruise and the courses, 4-5 total, kept coming until the ride was over.  We started with an apéritif, cheese/cauliflower puffs, with our drinks, then we had soup or a salad, our main dish, a cheese tray and then dessert.  I tried the duck and Aaron had a plate of veggies.  Their mashed sweet potatoes and mashed potatoes were so yummy!  We all really liked our food!

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It was fun seeing some of the sites from the boat.  For example, the Eiffel Tower was beautiful as we rode by.  When the sun goes down the Eiffel Tower has a light show on the hour and we happened to be passing by right at 10 pm.  It was so neat!  Also, Aaron was able to capture the Statue of Liberty, with the Eiffel Tower in the back ground!

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We loved being with friends and we had a night of laughter, good food, fantastic ambiance in one of the most beautiful cities in the world!

Another view of Sanilhac

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This is another view of Sanilhac from the south side of the village.  Some of our favorite trails converge at this location!  I feel so grateful to have been able to enjoy all 4 seasons here in the south of France.  It is beautiful at any time of the year, but right now it is absolutely lovely!  I took the above photos a few weeks ago and already the vineyards are heavy with green vines, the countryside is greener than I have seen it all year!  Plus, there are wild flowers everywhere!  I am going to have a hard time leaving this place! :(

Spring, flowers and sunshine!

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I love the spring!  Our spring here in France is coming to an end and summer is beginning. The tourists are starting to arrive, roadside produce stands are appearing, the days are getting longer, the temperature is rising, pools are opening, fruit trees have blossomed and lost their flowers, gorgeous green fields of wheat cover the hillside, all the vineyards are getting their flowers, fields of colza for oil are dotting the countryside, the bugs are coming out of the woodwork, snails are appearing, rain showers are frequent, the french wardrobe is changing… c’est les choses que j’adore!

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One of my favorite things here in France right now is the Wisteria.  So many doorways great you with this beautiful violet flower!  It just screams romance and French country!  I wish we had some on our property!

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Cannes

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We spent the weekend in Cannes, France with our friends the Serrano-Milone’s.  Aaron had a business meeting Saturday afternoon, so we all decided to make a fun weekend out of it.  We really wanted to get to Spain and Portugal, but the older boys had youth conference at the beginning of the week and Alexis comes tomorrow (YEAH!!!)!

The Côte d’Azure is beautiful!  Cannes is known for its’ Film Festival:

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The Cannes Film Festival takes place in May so we did not spot any Hollywood stars! That’s okay, because the boardwalk is so crowded anyway without celebrities nearby.  We enjoyed driving through the hills and neighborhoods of Cannes.  Aurore lived in Cannes when she was a little girl and her mom is buried there, so we got to see the “real” Cannes!

We spent saturday on the Med.  Aurore, myself, Noami (the wife of the Serrano-Milone’s friends) and the kids all hung out on the beach while the kids enjoyed the sand and water. It was an overcast day so our kids were the only ones swimming.  It was fun!  Our kids have a great time together!

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When the sun began to fade away we all loaded up and went to Noami and David’s house near Saint-Raphaël.  They live in the beautiful hills/mountains between Cannes and Saint-Raphaël.  The city lights of Cannes could be seen from their backyard.  They had a potato farm just beyond their stone “fence”.  Also, on our way up the hills/mountains we saw a group of wild boar grazing in the fields. It was so cool!  Noami made a delicious spread of food (I wish I had taken photos)!  We didn’t start eating until 9:30pm.  I love how the french take their time in preparing and planning their meals.  She made a few fresh salads, homemade “french” fries, a delicious olive tapenade, sausages, hamburgers, homemade mayo, a cucumber salad…  It was awesome!  We enjoyed great food and great company.

The next day we went to church in Cannes and met Noami’s father.  Fun family!  Her father has one of the largest “The Cure” memorabilia in all of France!  Aaron “died” (the last area he served) in Cannes on his mission.  It was so awesome for him to go back and see the church building and see some familiar faces from 25 years ago.  We had a fantastic weekend!

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French Alps

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This was our view as we left Vars, France a few weeks ago.  I forgot I had taken these pictures and I found them on my desktop.  They are breathtaking.  The road to get to Vars was so small and scary.  Most of the road did not have a guard rail and the drop was far and steep.  I had to close my eyes because of my vertigo when we went up the mountain, but coming down didn’t seem so bad.  The views were incredible!!!!

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Schloss Hellbrunn, Salzburg, Austria

The Sound of Music gazebo can be found on the grounds of the Hellbrunn Palace.  It was originally kept on the grounds of Leopoldskron Palace, where the outside facade scenes were filmed.  But, because people would trespass on the privately owned Palace grounds to see the pavilion, it was moved to the gardens at Hellbrunn Palace.  There wasn’t a single tourist the afternoon we found the gazebo, only locals frequenting the park.DSC_0413 DSC_0415 DSC_0414

After finding the gazebo and getting pictures we noticed it was on the outskirts of a public park, Schloss Hellbrunn.  It was a lovely park with cross country skiers dotting the snow covered fields.  The children found a playground in the distance and a small zip line.  We had a few minutes to spare as we waited for the next bus to come, so we all burned off a few breakfast calories at the park.  It was fun!  Everyone tried the zip line and Sophie loved it.  She would laugh so hard and loud the whole time!  If no one thought we were Americans upon arrival to the playground, they did after watching, seeing and hearing all of us!  We, Americans, can be so loud!  But, we had a great time and it was a fun pastime amongst all the sightseeing.

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The Sound of Music

“The hills are alive, with the sound of music!”  I was like a kid in a candy store the morning we woke up in Salzburg, knowing we were going to be seeing the Sound of Music film sites.  As a little girl, I would anxiously await the once a year broadcast on TV of the movie, The Sound of Music.  Since a little girl, Austria has been on my list of places to visit. Salzburg was lovely.  Those of you who have seen the movie, as you look through these pictures see how many scenes and locations you can remember from the movie!  So fun!!!

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This was the “I have confidence” song location as Maria walks by the fountain and splashes water.  Almost all the fountains were covered in Salzburg.  This made me a little sad!:(  (Residenz Square and Residenz Fountain)

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“Do- Re- Mi- Fa-…”  I was disappointed that the stairs from the end of this song were closed off.  We could only see from a distance.  When the older kids saw the stairs they said, “look Mom, it’s where they filmed the song!”  (Mirabell Gardens and Palace)

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This residence was the back drop for all the outside Van Trapp home scenes.  For example, when Maria and the children capsize the canoes and fall into the water.  If you look close, you can see the stone balusters that are filmed numerous times in the movie. (Leopoldskron Palace)

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“I am sixteen, going on seventeen!”  (Hellbrunn Palace Gardens)

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Abbey Scenes!

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Both from children singing, skipping along the river and hanging from the trees!

Vars #3

This is more of a photo post today!  I am going to be creating a book of all my blog posts when we get back to the States in August, so I want to make sure I have all the memories in pictures and words.

I was able to find a spot in the trees, located next to one of the many snow parks that the kids frequently skied, to get some “action” pictures.  The rest of the photos are random from our three day vacation in Vars, France!

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