Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A week blotter - vacation in France - X

June 15-16, 2013. Saturday-Sunday

Right, I had started to write about today's activities, but in the afternoon, we drove 50 km to Chalon-sur-Saône and directly arrived the hair salon where Ta Ta (Aunt/Tante) Camille works.  So for the first time in her life, Zhuzhu had sat on a high chair to have some one wash her hair behind, trim her hair in front of a big mirror, then put few fake diamonds on her hair, and finally made some Z patterns on the top of her hair.  Niuniu had similar treatment, but he only had his first hair salon haircut.

The rest of the night and day next, we stayed with Ta Ta, Ton Ton (uncle) Neville, and cousin Stephan.  Not much to report other than the fact it was Sunday and the father's day in France.  The Daddy and Camille went to get some gift for their Daddy yet he managed to forget to bring home to present to his beloved father!

June 17, 2013 Monday

Fabrice got up early and left for Paris to deliver his second last talk.  Good luck Daddy!  Zhuzhu said at breakfast, "It's not fair, why Daddy always goes on business trips but not you, Mommy."  "Someone has to work to make money for us."  I answered.  "Why don't you make money for us then."  She continued to try.  The girl has higher affinity to the Daddy and I can do nothing about it.  It's only a day trip, kiddo, suck it up.  I wanted to say that to her, but trying to be as sweet as possible, I said, "Because here is France and Mommy does not speak French."  She finally shut up, finished her breakfast, and went to school.

It gets very hot now so Emma got the kids 2 new plastic swimming pools and pumped up in the back yard.  The kids jumped between the smaller one to the big one, they had a blast!  Papi also got his huge pool out of the basement and we are preparing for a real summer now!

June 18, 2013.   Tuesday

Well, the huge pool is ready so the kids jumped in, then the smaller ones retired, as you can see it was dried out on the back of the photo - this is how wasteful the French can be, 2 new pools were used for exactly 1 day and the purchaser has even no job.  Emma is still living on social security.  This kills me, really.  If I could speak French, I am sure she will lose all her sisterly love for me.  We adults sit in the shade to avoid sunburns. I know, it's good to be cool there too!

June 19, 2013.  Wednesday

No school today. We are baby sitting.  So I started a new rule: Wednesdays are for Chinese lessons.  She started her Chinese school at 4 but only started to really pick up pronunciation (Pingying) and writing when she was 5 going on 6.  A summer is too long for the 6-old brain to remember what she has learned, I told her.  As much as she wants to act like a little 6-yr-old, Zhuzhu does believe her Mom tigers her for her own good.  So she listened and learned 4 new Chinese characters until her cousins arrived around 11 am.  Immediately they turned wild and jumped in the huge pool naked until 12:30, when a family reunion lunch started.  We were having rabbit meat, which I is special enough for a family gathering!  I did not know that until today because we had this dish each and every previous trip home!

June 20, 2013.  Thursday

A weekend activity planning day.  So many things to do and so little time...

June 21, 2013.  Friday

A music night in town - I'll be back to update the video for you guys.  We went downtown at 6:10 and people already started to show up.  After crossing the bridge over the canal of the city above our parking lot, we met the first band, the musicians were just about to get things going!  Perfect timing, I cheered.  The kids were drawn to the band thus we followed the band walking through the city, along with a larger and larger group of audience, arrived the city hall, which reminded that Fabrice then it was indeed the main band for which he came.  The artists went on the stage in front of the city hall and played another 90 min.  The Daddy was dancing along, holding one kid at a time.  I've never seen the man gets so crazy without few bottles of beer!  He made me hard to believe that he is writing a research grant that will be due at the end of the month!  It seems that his grant gives more pressure to me than to him!  We did not stay for the second band which played on the stage that night though, because our old bones needed a place to sit down.  So we went to a bar where it had a smaller band playing on a smaller stage outside.  The Daddy and Mommy had some beer and the kids had orange juice.  Even in France, we don't let them drink beer in public, no worries.  The good thing here in France though, the bar owner does not get rid of underaged kids if they are accompanied by the responsible parents, you see.  But it's getting cold as soon as the sun went down - right, the sun only went down at around 10 pm.  "Why it was never this bright outside like this before?"  by before I meant during our previous trips to France, I asked the Daddy.  "Oh today is the first day of the summer and the longest day of the year."  He said.  "Summer?"  The man must have lost his mind.  It was too cold for me to finish my beer!

June 22, 2013.  Saturday

We are getting very excited because the Roussets are joining us for another climbing trip!  In preparation of this trip, Fabrice and I went shopping and after that, we took the grandparents and the kids' cousins and Emma to celebrate the Celtic Festival at Mont-Saint-Vincent.  We had dinner at a outdoor theater on the top of a mountain.  The food was catered in by a big trunk to support the concert so it was amazingly tasty and cheep!  Zhuzhu and Niuniu for the first time in their life had few sips of coke-cola offered by their 8 year old cousin Tavin!  The Daddy and I trust our kids have good judgement because their eyes were emitting devious joys while drinking the obesity-induing drug - we had caught them in an iPhone photo but I have only the permission to show it on the Facebook.  This is also why you see only faceless people in my blogs - Anyway, back to the concert, we enjoyed 2 bands, Connor pass and Stone creek from 5:30 - 9:45 pm, the night ended with a huge fire on the top of the mountain. 

June 23, 2013.  Sunday

Got up and left home early and off we go to the cliffs!  A short 25 min drive led us to a hidden gold climbing area Culles-les-Roches where Fabrice knows just about every route by heart.  The talented Daddy made a harness out of few small ropes for the kids to have some fun before the Roussets joining us at midnight.  They need to drive 1.5 hours to meet us here from Lyon and arrived right at noon.  

A short picnic lunch later, we started our serious climbing.  Fabrice seems to find his muscle memory back and he and Rousset belayed each other few times in between teaching our kids.  Zhuzhu and Niuniu did a bit better in climbing up - at least then went to the middle of the cliff this time.  They are still unable to descend without the adults, though.  The youngest in the group, Honore, Rousset's 2 year old daughter, made an huge impression by first asking to climb and second by unwilling to take harness off, and finally by climbing all the way to the top of the mountain, which even Zhuzhu and Niuniu could not make it without crying - yes, we did push a little so they did climb to the top eventually, for just once in a 12-hour climbing day!  The mother had to strip the harness off her tiny body to allow Zhuzhu and Niuniu to have their turns and then she protested by skipping her nap!

We adults also have a much better time than last time.  Fabrice and Rousset did not join us women and children for the due picnic dinner on the rocky tables, because they prefer to take the time to make few more routes without the kids pulling their legs.  The kids did not really eat all that much as no one likes "leftovers" - they just like the concept of picnic!  They were running around and doing the silly things as all the kids do.  Finally, I also joined them for a last fun climb on a more difficult cliff, which I had to cheat to reach the top - do you know what I mean by cheating?  I fell on the rope to put all my weight on the belayer.   

The climbing day started 9 am and ended 9 pm.  Devoted climbers, aren't are?!

Here is how you tell that you enjoyed climbing: your finger tips are hurt and your arms are sore, and you don't want to run next day or two!      

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