The novamade fam went away on holiday last week. It was spring break for us, so we took a break. While I had every intention of telling you about our trip before we left...I just never got around to it, and now the trip has happened so the joyful anticipation of a trip about to happen is now just a wistful remembrance of greatness, because coming home forces one back into the reality of work, schedules and responsibility. Oh, I do love vacation. With that being said, my family went to France last week and we had a fabulous time.
Special K and I have long been of the "you don't change your lifestyle because you have kids" camp, but the reality is, kids will, inevitably, change your life and the way you live it (because, seriously, if you are waking up at three in the morning to comfort a child needing cuddles, a blanket, a snack, or whatever children need when the wake up in the wee hours of the morning, long before they should be awake--its going to have an impact on your day/life/your need for additional coffee, etc.).
One of the things that we have always enjoyed is travel, and while we do a fair bit of travel in and about the U.S. (which is sort of a requirement when you live in one corner of the continent and your family lives on opposite corners), we hadn't ventured outside the U.S. with the kids, and we felt like it was time. So we made the decision to finally go to France so we (and by "we", I mostly mean Special K) could see the D-Day Beaches at Normandy (but mostly the American Cemetery).
We stayed in a small village in Normandy situated right on the Seine called Connelles. It was beautiful, it was charming, and it was a good "base of operations" from which to plan daily excursions. While we spent most of our time exploring the Normandy region, we did venture into Paris a few times.
I am not going to lie, international travel with young children is a lot of work. But at the same time, I think traveling with young children offers the parental units a different perspective on the travel experience. The last time K and I were in Paris we planned everything with military precision, which, given who we are, isn't too surprising, I suppose. I am sure we enjoyed our time at the moment, but we didn't take as much time as we could have (or should have) to really savor the experience. Kids sort of force you to do that. We spent a lot of time looking at the Eiffel Tower because Little Sir became obsessed with it.
We spent less time looking and walking through cathedrals because Little Sir articulated a desire to spend less time walking about gothic structures which dwarfed him.
And we went to a French McDonald's, Toys R Us and Disneyland Paris, things we would have never done before we had kids, because our children were pretty cooperative and deserved kid-geared activities for their own enjoyment.
We had fun. And we want to do the international-thing again sometime, but maybe when the kids can actually walk on their own without needing to be carried at great length...or when they are tall enough not to wander under turnstiles in the Paris Metro station with a carnet ticket...
I am not going to go into much more detail here. If you are interested in our trip to France, there is a nice and tidy set on flickr (with narration and everything!) that you are welcome to zip through.
When I packed my bags for the trip, I was pretty sure there would be time for knitting. I wasn't sure what to take at first, but because of Elinor's new sock contest (are you playing?!) I have a renewed interest in sock knitting, and I just happened to have two mateless socks (they have been mateless for years...seriously, I forgot they were there, that's how old they are). I took two socks and thought I'd get them done.
They aren't done yet; but, by the end of the month, I will be able to say I finished two pairs of socks, I am sure. I will have a lot to say about them (as you can imagine), because there are reasons they have been stewing for years...
Okay, enough yammering from me, go and flash some green and go about pinching the greenless, you know, if you are into that sort of thing.
Happy Shamrock Day!