Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Joyeux Anniversaire !

Noah baked Frédéric's birthday cake this year!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Super Swimmer!

Benjamin did his first 200m race, freestyle, and came in first in his series (photo finish! He beat the other kid by something like 26/100ths of a second!) and 5th overall. I was surprised they put him in a 200 since he just started competing 2 months ago - I thought it would be too far for him... boy, did he prove me wrong!
He also improved his previous 100m medley time by 19 seconds! He came in first in his series and 5th overall in that one, too. Amazing races, we were so proud of him!

And this is how Noah spent the day... keeping him corralled is no easy task...

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Rainbow Season!

It's that time of year... we think spring is coming, we've had some warm weather... and then it all turns to cold, damp, and rain again.
We get a lot of rain here... but that just means we also get a lot of rainbows!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

WWI Museum, Champagne Cellar, and the Phantoms

On May 2, we visited the Musée de la Grande Guerre (The Great War Museum).

It was inaugurated in 2011, and we had never been there before.

Benjamin had to write a "what I liked best over spring break" paper at school, and this is what he picked.

The boys had swim practice that afternoon, so Don, Aaron, and I went to visit a champagne cellar. We had called ahead this time to be sure to get the tour in English... but when we got there, the tour guide tried to con me into letting him give the tour in French while I translated. I politely told him I probably didn't have the right vocabulary for it, so he had to do it in French and in English since another small group came at the same time.

On the way to the champagne cellar, I saw signs for the Phantoms, which we had looked for the day before but hadn't found. So on our way back, we took a detour to see these imposing fellows, sculpted by Paul Landowski.

I wonder how many Americans (or French people, for that matter) have ever seen this monument. It is in the middle of nowhere, as you can see in the picture.

And on the way home, we drove by these chapel ruins. We've driven by this spot a couple of times before, but can never seem to remember where it is to go take pictures.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Rainy May Day

Don and Aaron Mellor came to visit us next.

On May 1st, we started with a look around Puiseux's flea market and a walk through the village.

After lunch, we headed for the Aisne-Marne American cemetery at Belleau. In the rain.

I guess if we let the rain stop us, we'd never get to visit anything, given where we live! But look at the beautiful, rich greens we get as compensation.

And then we went behind the cemetery to Belleau Wood, an important WWI battlefield. We saw some German cannons, and you can still see the trenches, 100 years later.

We continued on to the monument in Château-Thierry, which we had never visited before. The two women represent Franco-American friendship.

Noah worked on his budding photography skills with Aaron's camera (he was the only one brave enough to lend his camera to Noah).

and the Parental Mythology photo.
The Representation of Reality photo...