Tuesday, October 31, 2006

About Samois s/ Seine

didn't take any pictures of the chateau, but here's one of the front yard and terraceMy friend Karla asked me about Samois sur Seine - it is a small town in the Fontainebleau forest, where Napolean had a chateau. I went there on Sunday and saw it from the outside. Parts of it seems to be in ruins, with broken windows and missing floorboards. Outside was well maintained and included a pond with enormous carp swimming beneath some swans and ducks. Just a short walk away was where Napolean had stood delivering a final speech as he stepped down from power in the early 1800's.

A house in SamoisIn the town we visited a favorite chocolate shop (une chocolaterie) of my hosts and a crepe shop (une creperie) for lunch. The lunch and dessert crepes are two dishes I can not live without in a visit to France. Unfortunately (fortunately?), the meal crepe was so filling I couldn't order the dessert. I got mine filled with champignons, epinard, tomates, et goat cheese. There is also a great farmer's market that beats anything in Seattle. It took a while to get used to prices in Euros per kilo instead of Dollars per pound.

A local walkI've also taken several walks around Samois with my sister and a varying number of kids (...which is a reason that I am stronger now, as Maddie and Wubby get quite tired from walking and I have to carry them around. In fact, even Hugh is a workout, as he now weighs in at 20 pounds!). I've seen where Django Reinhardt lived (a famout jazz musician) and heard about the festival held every June. This brings a large number of gypsies in town - it's essential that you lock everything down to prevent it being stolen. And since you can't lock down cherries, you're lucky if you get a good handful before they're gone from the tree in your yard. Another threat are the wild boars, which might run and tromp through your garden.

Maddie at breakfastThe routine is usually wake up, say bye to Edo as he leaves for work, eat with the kids, drop Maddie at school (a short walk away), play with Wubby, soothe Hugh, take a walk, prepare for lunch, pick up Maddie, eat, play, drop her back off at school, play, put Wubby and Hug down for a nap, read, wake up the kids at 4, pick up Maddie from school, play, hold Hug while Mom makes dinner, wash the hands, get the plates, eat, bath time, story time, sleep time, say hi to Edo on his return from work, chat with him over his dinner, handle any kids that are unable to sleep, chat some more in the sitting room, and then off to bed. This routine is interrupted lately from Maddie's two weeks off from school. So for the last 4 days it's been gym class, a halloween party, playing outside, assembling IKEA furniture, and lots more playing.

My sister and HughOther regular activities include a visit to the local horse and pony club, where Maddie has a riding lesson every Saturday. I've taken a bike ride around the river, and noticed a similar establishment on the other side. On Wednesdays both girls have gym class. Before I arrived, Tao and Edo had picked two large buckets of mushrooms from the forest. Elena would have a field day in this forest!

Life here is family oriented (or maybe that's just my skew on things) and quite peaceful.

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