Wednesday, August 20
Traffic circle! They're EVERYWHERE!
The citadelle in Blaye
There are beautiful sunsets everynight.
All the houses have terra cotta shingles.
I love the shutters
Us at the restaurant for dessert
A laundromat of sorts, a place to wash clothes, which they still use. There was also a fountain thing nearby to wash your hair, which people also still use.
View of Plassac
Mailys and her scooter
Me looking hot in a motorcycle helmet :)
Barrels and barrels of wine
The market in downtown Blaye
Mailou's dog Jodi
My beautiful, neatly packed bag.
All their stop signs say 'stop', not 'arret', stop in french. No one could tell me why. :/
The cool square spiral stairs in her house
Us at the wedding reception
Mailys and her cousin Laurane
Mailys and her dad and stepmom
Her backyard view
I'm officially in love with Gironde. Its a region of France, in which her dad and stepmom live. At least in the area near her house, near Blaye, everywhere you look there are vineyards and chateaus and stuff. Its so gorgeous. I don't really like wine though... although white grape peach juice is pretty darn good... :)
Ok, so like a year or so ago, Mailys' dad was in some sort of accident, and ended up in a coma for a while. I dont really know the specifics, just that he's not completely right in the head anymore. He's not like crazy or something. He can function normally, he just forgets stuff easily and doesnt really realize some social things and is sleepy more and stuff. He's really cool though. Because of this though, he talks more slurred, which made it harder for me to understand him, but by the end of the trip, I could understand him just fine.
So the first day we were there her dad had to go to work, so Mailou and I walked the hour walk to her brother's and I got to use the internet, because her dad doesnt have internet but her brother does. Then we got her scooter, because he had been keeping it for her, and went to downtown Blaye (which consists of one street) and then to E.Leclerc's (its a big grocery/everything store, sorta like Walmart).
On Friday, we went over to her cousins'/aunt's/uncle's house then went and visited the citadelle with her little cousin Laurane (like 12yrs old).
On Saturday we just hung out at her brother's then went to the Rotary dude's house then her friend Tiphaine (sp?, pronuonced Tiffin) came over and spent the night.
They don't work on Sunday or Monday, not Saturday and Sunday. I don't know why. It's forbidden to work on Sunday, but I guess they just choose Monday over Saturday. So on Sunday we just chilled and her brother's girlfriend Sabrina came over and went swimming with us. It was pretty cold, at least to me. The whole time I was there it never really got hot. They constantly have a breeze since they are so near to the ocean. Most of the time, I actually went around the house in socks and a jacket :) I get cold easily, what can I say? :) After dinner, we went out to a restaurant for dessert, I got a crepe bowl thing with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce and whipped cream. Yumm. Then we went over to a bar downtown. It was really cool, small town french nightlife. Everywhere, people are saying hello (bonjour!) and asking how each other are (ca va?) and doing the cheek kisses. Everyone knows everyone, and if you know someone you HAVE to say hello. You cant just ignore them or pretend not to see them.
On Monday Mailou and I rode her scooter thing over to an old village called Bourg from like the 17th century. Its really pretty :)
Tuesday, we visited her godmother's chateau and got a little tour and tasted some wine (yuch) and a guy gave me 2 free bottles of expensive wine :) So I didnt have to even buy it for my parents :)
On Wednesday morning we went to the downtown market in Blaye and I got to finish buying gifts for my family and stuff. It was really cool, when we were walking around and stuff, I really felt like I fit in and I was almost like one of them. As long as someone didnt speak really fast thickly accented french to me... :) Her friend (Lulu?) then came over and she went swimming, though I refrained since the water was like 70 degrees and it was windy and not really sunny. Then we made crepes. Yummmmmmm :) I even made one, although it ended up needing to be eaten in a bowl, if you get my drift :)
Thursday we went horsebackriding. I had never done that before. It was really fun, but when it got to going faster, when you have to bend and straighten your knees and stuff, it got sorta scary. I could just imagine myself falling off or something and then not being able to go home or something. I dont know, Im just weird :) Then Mailou had to go help a friend move and I went with her parents to run errands. In the car, her stepmom told me that she knew I must be wise because I dont talk much, but when I did it was important and wise. :) Quite a change from her mom. On the last stop, it started pouring and we had to run all the way across a big parking lot in the pouring rain. I loved it. Oddly, with everything else cool that happened that day, that seemed to be the highlight, running through the rain. Her brother and his girlfriend then came over to eat dinner with us. It was fun, I didnt really follow a lot of the conversation because it was fast, they talked over eachother and it was filled with inside jokes and stuff. It was still fun though. :)
Friday, August 14th, was a national holiday, some Catholic thing about the Virgin Mary. Anyway, no one worked. It was, effectively, my last real day, because Saturday was filled with the wedding and Sunday was flying home. I just finished packing my bags and we cleaned the house because some relatives were going to stay a night or two for the wedding. I discovered that I had like 60 euros left, so Mailou and I went to E.Leclerc's (which was open, though at limited hours) and I spent the rest :) Then we all went to this festival/flea market thing that was happening because of the holiday. It was fun. I got to see all the really weird stuff French people have :) and eat chichis (churros).
The wedding pretty much took up the whole day Saturday. The wedding itself at the church was really boring. I couldnt understand anything, and, much like a school assembly, everyone was whispering and talking. We came home for a bit, then went to the reception/dinner thing. For the first like hour or two everyone just milled around outside talking, with drinks and apertifs. The dinner finally started around 9:30 or 10pm. It was a 8 course meal (if you include the coffee at the end). Here is the menu:
Some weird seafood thing, like a lobster but not; and toast with fois gras
Some weird gland of an animal (I think the pineal gland, part of the brain) - totally weird and nasty texture - upon later investigation I have discovered that it is the thymus gland of veal, also called sweetbreads, they're apparently really expensive and a delicacy or whatever, I don't care, it still felt too weird in my mouth to enjoy the good taste. :)
Beef something or another
After dinner is dancing. I really wanted to finish dinner and maybe dance a bit. But I needed to get up early and have at last some energy to fly around the world the next day. I left at midnight. I only got to eat the first three things, all the weird things :), though the sorbet was good :) Mailys came home at like 4:45am.
At her dad's I ate better, the food was better, I spoke more and related more to the family, it was just better. Maybe the grapes made me happier, I dont know. :) Most of the time, we just hung out, watched TV or whatever. The whole trip I read alot, like a book every 3 or 4 days, when it usually takes me like a week or two or three. I really just soaked in the wonderfulness and was very happy to be there. It was nice :)
Oh, and I'm sorry this post was so long. Its like a week and a half of stuff :)