August 31, 2011

L'île de Noirmoutier.

Toward Nantes, from Baugé, 3 hours toward the Atlantic Ocean prevails L'île de Noirmoutier. We wanted an outing, a trek to the sea - to build a sandcastle or two and eat ice cream cones. We ate les meilleurs moules-frites this side of the Atlantic.

Marguerite was the choice model today in her Marine stripes. This is one adorable French child.

As we approached the beach, Jules saw all of these beach changing houses and said, "Oh regarde ! Tu as vu, il y a plein de toilettes sur la plage." (Oh look at all the bathrooms on the beach!)

Xavier spent the afternoon constructing a classic sand castle. He toiled and toiled, his dad pitched in and Marguerite cheered them on, danced about with pointed toes and decorated with seashells, feathers and sticks. He was quite dispirited when the tide came in and despite his efforts to build a wall of sand to protect his sweet chateau, the water crashed it down.

We had matching post-beach wear, without even planning it.

August 29, 2011

August 28, 2011

La beauté.

A lovely day.

Today was a really lovely day. It included a long game of Monopoly (French style - no Boardwalk or Park Place, instead Avenue des Champs-Élysée et Rue de la Paix), which I happened to win despite Xavier embezzling 100,000 French Francs at the start of the game (an act to which he confessed only after he had lost). Also, the best kind of cake - one with lots of cream from a French patisserie in a little French town. And, my socks were pretty much knocked right off when my mother-in-law gave me her engagement ring, which dates to the 18th century. This is a family piece and so while it is undeniably beautiful, more fundamentally, it is such a generous and symbolic gift.

His face when losing.

August 27, 2011

Baugé, France

We ran away from New York at just the right moment, I guess - Irene was on our tail. We hope that our house withstands the storm - my brother Marc is there to keep watch and to bail out the backyard if it floods - thank goodness. Meanwhile, we jumped on a plane before they all stopped flying around NYC and made it to Paris this morning and then to Baugé by this afternoon. There we found the family already convened, ready for a week of relaxation, meals in the garden, trips to the market, books, books, books, walks in this tiny French village, and lots of rest (on va faire la grasse matinée tous les jours !).

Delighted to find Jules (above) and Louise again. When we lived in Paris, I would see these guys a few times a week, so seeing them only once every few months simply does not suffice.

Xavier's parents.

This is Xavier's resting facial expression (here he models Louise's new watch).


Ma Marie.

Mlle. in some of her best forms.

At this moment she was rushing to get to her rabbit's picnic and the idea of pausing to document the occasion was not her thing.

August 26, 2011


I came home and found someone working very hard to make her dad look as pretty as possible.

The end result was really quite stunning.

Marguerite took the time to write down the instructions so that I could reproduce the look when she returns to Paris and won't be around to guide me. She wants to see photographic proof of the results.

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