France, the first day

The kiddos and I left Munich early yesterday morning (accompanied by a very kind husband to carry bags and push a stroller up to security) for a week in the south of France with old friends of my family. The last time I was here was with my sister, when we were 16. It doesn’t feel like it’s been 11 years, as so much of the landscape and the place is quite familiar. The children have been troopers with yet another change imposed upon them and although it has proven a bit of a challenge the last few days to keep spirits up, children sleeping, and to do it all on my own without Travis, I couldn’t be happier to be here and to see my children get to know these people and this place.

The children were lovely travelers for me and they are becoming quite used to the routines of trains and security lines and airports.

We arrived easily in France, napped, and enjoyed the backyard at our friends’. It is a lovely little backyard, and I enjoyed sitting and soaking in the sun and blue skies while the children explored.

In the evening, we headed into the town center of tiny little Grabels, their village, for Alina’s orchestra recital. The evening of music was put on by the local public and music schools and was held in the courtyard of a very-old looking building. I laugh to myself when I realize that I sit at an event like that and think about how not typical that is for people like me, and just how typical it is for the French that they probably don’t even think twice about the venue.

The beauty here is just so quintissential and striking, and I have found it particularly special to realize the many happy memories and connections I have to my family in this country, thanks to the trips we’ve taken before and the food that I grew up eating. France is truly my favorite place not just because I’m a snob (according to my husband, at least) and like good food, but because it holds connections to my family and my past that I am sure I will rediscover every time I am here.

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