Just 90 minutes from les Eppesses and we arrived in La Rochelle to stay with Marie's family, the Simons. It is so true what everyone has said so far, La Rochelle really is the most beautiful town. We are so fortunate to be staying with Jean Marc and Quitterie and their family as they have been the perfect hosts and have really spoilt us with showing us around and feeding us fantastic food, Sophie has discovered she likes Foie Gras but not that fussed on Champagne!
The Simons live in the oldest street of La Rochelle in a very old house which they have converted. It's beautiful with it's quietness and age, there is even a little cottage at the bottom of the garden where Jonathan and I are sleeping! It's also in the centre of the town so just a few minutes walk to shops, a fantastic market and the port! All the children, Theo, Berthille, Mathilde and Marie have made a big effort to be here for the weekend for us making it a very special time for us all to get to know one another before Marie comes to live with us for a year.
It's also a pleasure for Jonathan and the kids to finally be among some English speakers and even though there are times I need to translate it has given me a bit of a break. Unfortunately the weather broke again at lunchtime but we still managed to get to the market and by the time we had finished lunch we were back to sunshine and able to walk around the old part of the city, down to the port and back along the beach and through the botanical gardens home.
Quitterie and I get on so well that once dinner was over (9.30pm) we rushed off to the movies to see a film together. Great to practice my French a bit more, even though the film was pretty bad, and to spend more time with Quitterie. In bed by midnight, goodness knows when I will ever catch up on sleep, perhaps in the plane on the way home?!
Sunday has been a cruisey day at home, visiting the horses with the girls and the aquarium which is world renowned. Great place for a very wet day with lots to see and keep the kids amused. also, a great opportunity for Sophie and Marie to spend some time together.
Jean Marc has been working all weekend and so came home Sunday afternoon. As the rain had reduced down to a drizzle the adults - Jean Marc, Quitterie, her mother, Jonathan, Theo and myself, we went for a walk through the port area while Berthille looked after the children at home. As I mentioned before La Rochelle really is very beautiful, no matter what the weather.
We discovered Deutz champagne (the French version, much better) and so bought a bottle for Jean Marc which we had as an aperitif this evening with foie gras that Quitterie had prepared along with more beautiful food and a bottle of Red wine from St Emilion in Borgogne. We have been very spoilt, yet again!
It was an evening of goodbyes with Mathilde leaving for San Fransisco for 3 months, Theo leaving for Paris and then onto Kenya for 6 months and soon Marie will come to NZ and Berthille will go to Shanghai. poor Jean Marc and Quitterie will be alone in an empty nest very soon!
I must say I am very impressed with how well the four children, aged 14 - 23, get on. It is a pleasure to see them interact as adults and hope that are two will be the same as they grow up together.
Tomorrow we say goodby to the Simons and head to Rocamadour!
PS Did I mention Quitterie went to Côte d'Ivoire this year? We reminisced together this evening while looking at all her photos of Kohrogo- super!
It is really incredible how we get on so well together and have experienced so many things in our lives that are similar. For someone I have never met before, other than Skype, I feel very comfortable with her, like we have been friends for many years and seeing each other again.