Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Vacances de Toussain

Les Vacances de Toussain lasted from the 23rd October until the 4th of November.
This was the first vacation of many during my stay here in France, and I think that this vacation will have been the most relaxed of them all.  For a slight preview for the upcoming vacations...
Chateau de Saumur

Vacances de Noël- December 18 until January 3rd
Joelle is going to take Adélie and I hiking in the Pyrenées and then down to Barcelona. After that we are going to gather at Anne's sister's house with her side of the family for Christmas and another friend's house for New Year's day.  There will be about fourteen people at Anne's sister's house for Christmas and for New Year's a smaller gathering, about eleven.

Vacances de Février- February 26th until March 7th
We are going to go skiing for essentially the whole two weeks.  For the first week I am going to take lessons and then I am actually going to ski.  We are going to have 27 people maximum at the house at once and an average of about twenty for the two weeks.

As I said before, this latest vacation was busy, but not as busy as the  upcoming vacations.  We left Bonneville early Saturday morning and drove to Angers in the region Pays de la Loire, on the other side of France to visit Adélie's godmother.  It took us about 9 hours in total to get to Angers, but along the way we stopped for a nice break at the Chateau of Chambord.
Chateau de Chambord
 We stayed at Adélie's godmother's house until Thursday where we headed out to Paris. On the way to Paris we stopped at a few other chateaus and ate lunch in a cute town where the chateau d'Azay-le-Rideau was.

Chateau d'Azay-le-Rideau
Adélie and I stayed in Lucile's (the sister of 19 years old) apartment in Paris.  Our first stop in Paris was the Louvre, and as soon as I stepped into the courtyard with the glass pyramids, I instinctively snapped into tourist mode.  I took out my camera and took pictures of everything, the sisters were walking at their normal speed, but I was always a few meters behind them because I took so many photos. 
The pyramid in the courtyard of the Louvre.

Mona Lisa, she sends her regards!
Once we got into the Louvre after eating a satisfying baguette sandwich for lunch, I took out my camera and did not put it away for the next three hours.  Lucile is a student at the Louvre school, so she knew exactly what she was talking about and showed me each corner of the Louvre and some of the really magnificent pieces of work and history that are there.
Vénus de Milo
We went from one hall to another over three hours and still barely covered a quarter of the pieces of art that the Louvre houses.  The best part of my trip to the Louvre was definitely seeing the Mona Lisa, with bright red ropes around her holding the hoards of people back on one side of the room and a huge painting with very few people standing around it on the other side.

The crowd in front of the Mona Lisa.
The crowd in front of her neighbor.
That night, Joëlle, Adélie and I went to the île de la cité and visited Notre Dame.  The cathedral was so pretty at night time, and even though we couldn't go inside we got to appreciate the outside.  Afterward we took walk to the Quartier de restaurants and tried to pick a restaurant to eat at.  The small street was packed with other restaurant seekers, and we had restaurants lining both sides of the street.  There were so many choices that we had to round the corner twice, there were Greek, Italien, Mexican and even an American Western restaurant.
We finally decided to eat at a creperie and I have to say that it was a very good choice!

We took the Paris vélib back to Lucile's apartment, the bikes in big cities with stations everywhere.  Biking in Paris at 10 o'clock at night, it was an experience that I am always going to remember.  Good thing that we were in one of the quieter parts of Paris with less traffic or else I would have been ten times more scared than I was.

My beautiful and deliscious crêpe.
The next day Adélie and I got to sleep in a bit because the sisters had a rendez-vous at the Grand Palais.  Anne picked us up and we went to eat at an Asian restaurant before going to the Musée d'Histoire Naturelle, where I met a small portion of the family.
In front of the evolution case in the museum
 There was a dinosaur exhibit along with the rest of the museum, so we spent the afternoon there.  The exhibit was fantastic, with activities and interesting facts for all ages, but it was so packed that we did not stay long enough to read every plaque and see every fossil and case.  What was really amazing though, was that everything, I mean everything in the exhibit was also written in English.  I got to enjoy the exhibit along with the rest without having to pull my dictionary out every other word.
We then visited most of the rest of the museum before being called by Adélie's ten year old cousin Trevor to go down to the café for a snack.

That night we went to see a saxophone quartet and they were hilarious!  The music was great and the script was even better.  There, I met another portion of the large family.  There were twenty two of us!  We then went to a large restaurant to celebate four birthdays that fell during the month.  But do not worry because that was only one part of the family and I will meet the rest of them during Christmas and ski season!

At the top of the Chateau d'Angers

The house that Angers is most known for.

The chateau that Sleeping Beauty was supposedly based on.

Chateau de Villandry
That is all for now, we had a 6 hour drive home from Paris on Sunday.  To make the drive better, Adélie and I watched The Incredibles (in French of course) on Anne's laptop.  I am still on vacation, in fact I don't start school again until Thursday, but now it is time to start the homework...

Oh, I also have another book to read for French class, it is called "Le Jeu de l'Amour et du Hasard" by Marivaux, so wish me luck!

Don't forget to tune in soon, because the next post is titled "A day in the Life of Vicki Miller, an American turned French Teenager".

Ciao! À Bientôt!


  1. The chateaus are beautiful! Are they are elaborate inside as outside? I love the cool house in Angers as well. And of course seeing you in the Louvre gives me chills - so glad that you were able to make it there! Have fun and enjoy the rest of your vacances. Love, mom

  2. Ah, Vacation - or as you call it there, Vacance.

    It makes so much sense to go to school straight through without days off here and there, and then take almost 2 weeks to do something big. I think the students here have had the same number of days off, but in ones and twos.

    The Chateau (s?) are really pretty, and even though I can only see small pictures from here, they must be fantastic. It does seem funny to see pumpkins in the garden of the picture of Chateau de Villandry, but I know they weren't Jack O'Lanterns.

    Sounds like it's back to the books for you, which is usually the way a vacation ends. Enjoy your friends, your family, and your school.

    I'm really, Really, REALLY looking forward to your next post about everyday life.