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France & Greece

Returned from Europe. Two kids on jetlag. Ayo 26 mos, Délice 5mos.
Tall Mountain leaves for long trip to Asia. Kids use it as an excuse not to sleep at night anymore.
Guests in town. Sweet guests.
Translation project looming. Burning the candle at both ends to finish in the wee hours of most nights. Loving the work, hating the 3-4 hour nights.
Amazing, thoughtful friends take a toddler, hold a baby so I can meet the deadline.
It takes a village. Maybe a city? … to raise kids when you are solo-parenting.
TM returns. Spend my self-allotted vacation morning working.
Eventually get work done and go home early because I miss my family!? Funny how that happens.
Phew!

FRANCE
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Our home away from home. It was entirely good to be at my parents’ home. TM joined us for a couple days before leaving for an assignment across the Swiss border and couldn’t wait to commute 1h30 back for dinner at mum’s. So good to see friends. So good for Délice to have an extra pair of arms to snuggle up into – thanks, papi! So good for me to have some company with the children, not to mention a little break in the kitchen. Thanks, mamie! So good for Ayo to run around the French countryside or to have trampoline play-dates and lots of natural opportunities to be around French. He totally remembered all the little things about the Haute-Savoie from last November. Who said children don’t have memories this early on? We almost started to get worried about his English by the time papa returned from his work trip. Mamie gets a well-deserved 5 out of 5 for maximizing the linguistic opportunities. All in all, the time was so, so relaxing and carefree. It’s perhaps it’s no wonder Ayo keeps saying: “Mamaaaaaan, Ayo taking the avion in da maison mamie papi!!”.

GREECE
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From my parents’ place, we all went to the airport where we met the rest of the family and flew to Athens for my parents’ 40th Wedding Anniversary bash. I got to be the designated driver of the minivan: 6 gears, signaling not useful, lanes and speed limit optional, straddling the emergency lane.. polite! After three hours we made it to the house on the beach my parents had generously rented and it turned out to be a mansion, equipped with swimming pool, expansive garden for the kids to play in and many indoor and outdoor areas to sit with a friend. Ayo and Délice loved waking up to their cousins every morning. Papi and Mamie were in a mini heaven-on-earth surrounded by their kids and grandies. We all took turns cooking dinner and we all surprised my parents one night inviting a couple of Greek chefs who cooked for us at home! We were all free to come and go or just to be. The mamas even got a kidless coffee out – since when does that happen? Given the set up (house on the beach, fun country and food, good weather), TM and I think it was possibly the most restful vacation we have had since having children. Movie nights, book reading by the pool, food shopping and café crawling in a foreign country, shooting the breeze for hours and hours with ‘mah sis’…it was so perfect.
We stuffed a couple bottles of olive oil and chocolate-tahini spread into our wine cellar bulging suitcases and sadly said our farewells, thankful to have two awesome and incredibly enthusiastic munchkin travelers and such a wonderful family to spend time with. And thankful to travel via Frankfurt for a last real latte and chatter in German. Have I mentioned that we love Europe?

I could write a whole lot more about our time but that was it in a nutshell. I’ll let the photos speak for themselves..

France…

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Someone is loving this. 🙂

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How you clothe a baby after 30 years!
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Greece…
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3 thoughts on “France & Greece

  1. Take another look at Z and L with J on the blanket. J looks like a true little doll, literally. Size and growing up just happens.

    I’ve never had such a wildly wonderful vacation/reunion and celebration in a far-away place.

    You remember that horse that we had to drive around to get back on the main road, as we cut through the field. You really had perfect control of that van, great driver.

    It was so cool for the family to come in from all points, though originating in Denver, but planes all so perfectly coordinated. Remember my tears in the stupid Geneva airport parking structure when I saw you. I was overwhelmed. It was such a feeling that we all came from so far. Except us. I would have preferred to cry in a plush, wonderful lounge, than in a concrete underground parking. There is a chance that I was the first person to cry in a parking structure underground. Probably not.

    Weird car you took a picture of, plugged in for electricity.

    TM, Fix beer is a poor choice for a label name. Trappist, Augustiner, Honey-brew, anything but Fix.

    Love you,

    Dad

  2. Beautiful!! So glad you and yours had the opportunity to vacation and spend valuable time with family. Love you!

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