It has been an incredible couple of months.
We flew into Paris and spent a few days recovering from jet lag before meeting up with Eden.
She was full to the brim with excitement, stories and 3000 photos. My darling girl just loved her six week school adventure. I could not be prouder of her. She is the most incredible woman.
We spent a few more days wandering around Paris. Eden and I spent an afternoon at the Louvre where we searched for empty rooms and just sat looking at pieces of art and talking more about her time away. I will remember that afternoon for a very long time.
Our next stop was Eze on the French Riviera. We took the train from Paris down to Nice and then picked up a car and drove to Eze. To be honest we didn't think much of this area. It wasn't the greatest weather, but I don't think I would like to be there in the height of Summer with all the locals and tourists. Those roads are nuts! Lucky Ben doesn't have any hair.. The enormous boats and the $8.00 coffees just didn't really do it for me. From Eze we drove to St Remy de Provence. A very pretty little town in the South. Our ten days consisted of picnics, reading, finding markets on hilltop villages and walking. It was bliss. There was limited wi-fi and no t.v. at this Air BnB which made it even better. Kobi played on the piano, the girls played endless card games, wrote in their diaries and just talked. While we were there I suggested we remove the tv from our lounge room when we got home...I hate the stupid thing... I'm still trying to convince them all.
We returned the car and took a train to Barcelona. We had never been to Barcelona and just loved it. The atmosphere of 'every night feeling like a Friday night' is fantastic. I love the tapas bars, the beaches, the friendly, casual atmosphere. After having just spent time in Paris I said to Ben it was like spending time with a beautiful, creative, educated, elegant private school girl and then visting her volumptuous, creative, sincere, grungy, party girl friend.
I love both cities.
After Barcelona we caught the train back up to Paris and then a flight back to Melbourne.
The kids are amazing travellers. Absolute troupers. They spent hours on planes, trains and in cars and always found ways to amuse themselves. They would chat happily about everything and anything. That actually reminds me of a day in Barcelona when we decided to catch the train to a beach that had been recommended to us about 30 minutes out of the city. Ben was reluctant to go but the kids and I persuaded him that it would be a good idea. We worked out the train we needed to get and bought the tickets and got to the platform just as the train was pulling in. I was quietly pleased with myself because I wanted this to be quick and easy trip so Ben didn't change his mind. We jumped on the train and settle in for the half an hour trip. Eden and I started to knit, the boys read and Maya chatted to whoever was listening. After about 20 minutes I asked Maya if she would like to start watching the station name's and seeing how many more stations until we reached the beach...she couldn't find the names on our map.
We were on the wrong train and going in the completely wrong direction! By the time we realised the train was express to a little village in the mountains. So much for a quick and easy trip.... When we finally arrived in "the middle of no where!!!" we sat on the platform and waited for the RIGHT train to take us to the beach. So all up the trip to the beach took nearly three hours. The kids thought it was the funniest thing ever. Ben pretty quickly saw the funny side and it turned out to be one of the most memorable days (the beach was beautiful too).
The kids love telling that story.
We spent a couple of nights back on our little farm before packing up the car and driving up to Northern New South Wales to spend time with family and friends. We are getting used to the 20 hour trip and it seemed like a piece of cake after the trip back from Europe.
Both of my sisters are pregnant. Four weeks apart. So it was extra special to spend Christmas with them and their families. We spent most of our time in the creeks at Pottsville or Kingscliff or under a tree in the park. Even when we were living on the Gold Coast we would holiday in Northern New South Wales. It is such a beautiful part of the world and has become our home away from home.
We have been back on our little farm for a few days now and it is so good to be here.
I love my little farm, my animals, my garden, my friends, my community.
There's no place like home.
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