Trip to France – Part Two

Living in Aix

Denise let me know I need to correct my last post. The Heuver’s were not waiting at the bus with baguette’s, they were there with Pain Au Chocolat! Why this is important is that on that first day, our girls refused to eat it. Very weird, what child refuses to each chocolat?!?! Of course, the girls rarely ever eat bread and do not eat any pastries…but that all changed by our visit to France. At about day 3 of the trip, Alyssa decided to try a baguette and ended up eating about 10 pieces that one day (only the inside of the bread). By day 5, Alyssa was also eating the crusts, and Kyla then also started to eat baguette’s as well!

And then they were brave enough to try Pain au Chocolat…there was no going back after that. The girls had Pain au Chocolat every day for breakfast from that day until we left France.

The next 7 days of our trip we rented our own apartment right downtown in Aix. It was quite the experience having our own place, and the building itself was an experience onto itself. The stairs were all falling apart, the hallway’s had quite the overpowerful smell of urine, garbage and curry, and was right above quite the party area. Often, we would hear music until 3:30am, then the patrons would spill into the street and play soccer with beer bottles or race mopeds until 4:30 or so. To be honest, the whole family was so tired from our long days that we mostly slept through it all…especially the girls.  But even though it sounds horrible, the apartment itself was very clean and was nice to live in. From our place, we were minutes from almost anything in downtown Aix!

Here are the girls at our front door.

And a view from our apartment window.

We also loved just walking around the daily market place which ran every morning in the center of town. Here you could buy all your fresh veggies and fruit, fish, flowers, and other wares and was fun just seeing everyone going about their daily routines. We sat and ate Pain au Chocolat and drank café, and just enjoyed the Provencial life! The girls got a hold of the camera while we were there, this is their photography work.

Here is Kyla running to our corner store where we visited frequently.  The owner of this store loved Kyla (Alyssa often didn’t go inside or played shy and didn’t speak to the man). Kyla loved the owner equally as he called her princess every day and gave her a sucker (or two). No other workers at the store paid any attention to the girls…so Kyla was often disappointed when the owner was not there.

Denise’s favorite restaurant and a bit of a reprieve for the girls to eat food they were used to. We ate here twice!

And finally pictures from our daily walk to and from the Heuver’s home. The girls definitely got a lot of walking in, way more than they ever want to do again.

More Road Trips

The only road trip where weather played a factor was our attempt to go hiking at Mont Sainte Victoire, a mountain outside of Aix. Daddy got the experience of a lifetime driving to the mountain as one of the roads was under construction so the GPS took us down a road that had a steep grade, one lane wide, driverways coming off every 30 feet and two way traffic. The number of times at corner’s that someone had to back up into someone else’s driveway, make hairpin turns right into oncoming traffic and not having a clue of what the protocol was when you met an oncoming car made the drive very interesting. Didn’t help much that Denise was freaking out more than me, all 3 girls were extremely car sick and close to throwing up, and I kept stalling the car on the steep grade (OK, only stalled it once but after that I kept stressing out about it).

We finally got to Mont Sainte Victoire and started the hike (across a dam to start). We never made it completely across the dam as it started to pour…but for some reason, the 15 minutes we walked we had such a great time that I don’t actually regret the whole trip.

The next day we went with the Heuver’s to Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer beach, mainly to play in the sand and collect rocks and shells. It was mighty windy and cold out so we didn’t bring bathing suits with us. Just look at how cold it was…

Despite the wind and cold, all the kids loved playing in the sand.

Except for, of course, Kyla. Cold…it ain’t stinking cold out here!!!

Then it was a drive out to Arles to go see all the Roman ruins. Here the kids got to run around and play in the Arles Ampitheatre…Kyla ran around the stadium two times by herself…a look and find game for everyone…can you find her in this picutre?

Then we wandered over to the Theatre Antique d’Arles and all the kids really loved playing in the ruins. I’m sure Kyla and Alyssa could have stayed there all day.

The next 2 road trips included a lazy day at the Barben Zoo, where the girls mostly just played at the playground for 2 hours.

And then off to Marseille for a little train ride and a visit to the Notre Dame de la Garde basilica. The interesting thing here was that Alyssa really found the décor quite impressive and just sat in the pews staring for quite some time. Here is the view of Marseille from the top of the basilica.


4 comments to Trip to France – Part Two

  • willie renema

    Great pictures!! I will be asking for prints of some of them!! It sounds like you had a great holiday. I’m impressed how the girls adjusted so well and were up for and enjoyed expoloring something so “non Disney”! You write very well, Chris. Delightful, interesting little details. I think I must have been smiling the whole time as I was checking out this post. I’m looking forward to the next time we see you all and how much this experience will have changed the girls. Glad you are all home safe again! Love Mom

  • Irene Sakamoto

    Well written. You should write and create a book about your girls. They really look happy about being away from home. This is really good for them as you probably know. Anyways you all had a good time.
    Thanks for letting us see the pictures.

  • Grandma

    I’m glad you had told me all about your trip when you got home as I was able to follow it on this blog.
    Such an interesting trip you had & it’s so nice that the girls had such a good time.

  • Thanks for a wonderful trip!! We really enjoyed having you here, and miss you all like crazy already!!! I am going to link to your blog, if that is okay???


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