I've realized that even showering here is a different experience. Water is more expensive, so you rinse, turn off the water, shampoo, turn off the water, etc. Even so, I still felt more like an actual human. It was wonderful.
After everyone was dressed and ready, we loaded the five of us and Tony and Hélène's dog into her Fiat Panda and headed for the market. Side note: I love that car. I may sell my soul and buy one, then cart it back to the US. And it looks like so much fun to drive! If I can't bring it back, then I'm moving to Europe. Tell me it isn't precious:
We went to the market and wandered around, then we all got crepes from one of the booths. They were delightful. I bought a dress...and tried it on in the seller's van...in the middle of the market. Awkward (for my American soul, at least) and definitely a first.
From the market, Hélène drove herself and Raphael home, while Tony, Mom and I took the dog and walked. The entire path was along the river Ariège and almost totally shaded by trees. I saw so many plants we don't have in the US--definitely something I hadn't even really thought about. Tony said something this morning about having to bring maple syrup back from the States when he visits his family because they don't have maple trees here. Crazy.
The walk took us 45 minutes to an hour, so by the time we got home, the three of us were exhausted, we all took a nap. After we got up, we had lunch on the front terrace and then all headed our separate ways. Mom and I Skyped family and rested, Tony ran errands and Helene and Raphael had Mommy-et-Baby time. We also got to visit with Helene while Tony was gone. (:
After Tony got back, we unloaded groceries, then all headed back outside for a group TAT session--Raphael included (he was in his carrier on Tony's chest and gurgled his presence every few steps). After we finished, and it got too cold to be up front...we took the party to the back.
We'd discussed doing something big this afternoon, like trekking over to Spain, but we're hiking in the Pyrenees tomorrow and decided a quiet afternoon was perfect. While the girls sat out back (and I cuddled with Raphael), Tony was inside looking up good trails. It made me extremely aware--and grateful--of the Blue Ridge Parkway. At about 8, Helene and I went inside and made dinner while Mom stayed out back with Raphael. Before we went in, I snagged this picture:
Making dinner was lovely. Like I mentioned before, Helene speaks very little English, but understands a lot, and I speak no French and understand very little. Still, it was nice. I'd point to something and ask a question and if she didn't know the English word, I'd try to supply it and then she'd tell me the French word. It was a productive afternoon in more ways than one!
Tony's making a big breakfast tomorrow, so we all agreed on something light. It ended up being a big salad, popcorn, cheese and wine/beer. Yum.
The French eat late, so by now, we've cleaned up and shuttered the house for the night, which means its time to sleep in preparation for our big hike tomorrow!
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