I made it to France! Against all odds! My cousin even told his wife he wasn't sure if I was going to find everything okay, but I managed to take a train to Milan (thank goodness with Nikki and Anna from the group) and waited around for my overnight train to Perpignan. Once on that, it was pretty easy--especially since I had a bed to sleep in! I just had to make sure I set an alarm to make certain I didn't miss my stop.

Once in France, that's where things became tricky. Turns out that pretty much no one speaks English in the south of France. This was far different from Italy where we never had problems. I was lucky that my bus stop was right outside the train station and I was able to pantomime in asking time and how to get a ticket. The rest is history and now I have a whole family of interpreters for me: my cousin, his wife and his three girls who all speak French beautifully! And of course, they've also been taking me to all the sites to see some of the best France has to offer!

This is our last group photo that we took our last night in Venice (Everyone say "Awwwww"). Some of us are already planning a mini reunion in London for lunch! What a fun group of people. Sorry to all those stuck back in the states already!

This is the Saturday market that I got to see about an hour after arriving in the town my cousin's family lives. They sell all sorts of goods, but this is a typical French way of buying spices. sausage is also different as well as many of the pastries. I've been ruined to American baked goods forever!

Saturday afternoon we went to Spain (you know... just a little afternoon trip) where some of their friends were camping. It was more my mom's style of camping: with nice bathrooms, cabins and a swimming pool nearby. The girls all went swimming, and these three were my absolute favorite pictures.

Just another one from the beach. My cousin's wife and I took a walk and just chatted while I took pictures. When we sat down their 11 month old boy promptly dove his face into the sand. I didn't think about getting that kodak moment until after we'd wiped most of it off. Oh well...

In the town they live in, Picasso, Matisse, Chagall and other 20th century artists all lived in here at some point. I got to go into the modern art museum here where they have originals of all their past residence. Unfortunatley, no pictures allowed. I was forced to buy postcards to have the images!

This is where we went to take some family pictures for them (since they don't have any from when their youngest was born). Afterwards we went into Perpignan's downtown with a side trip to get ice cream cones from McDonald's.

This is a fountain in Perpignan that was SO MUCH FUN! The colors and shapes beat out Bellagio anyday. Some of these were taken by the girls. I was also caught on their family camera in the process of helping them out with that. It was a blast and I can say I helped three potential future photographers.

This is the original entrance to the old city of Perpignan. We had some more fun with pictures. They loved jumping up and down in front of the camera and not showing up at all. This was a close second in messing around.

These are all pictures from Collioure where there is a 13th century castle still entact! We went while the girls were in school still and it was fun going through this seaside town. We decided on the inside of the castle not to talk about any theories on dead people or prisoners. The dark hallways were definitely spooky enough.

I also got a picture of the "French Court"... get it? Court as in Royal court? and basketball court? Haha! It was odd to sese something so modern right up next to the castle. I guess it would be a good place to hold a duel.


  1. One guy slaps the other with a glove, because he was totally making eyes at his damsel. And the other declares, "I say, sir, that was simply uncalled for." And the first one goes, "Cut the priss-talk, man! You were checking out my girl!" And the second goes, "One on one. I'll play you for her." And the damsel gasps in horror, "No!"

    But they tell her to go back to her tower and embroider something. Then they rip off their tights and brocade vests to reveal basketball shorts underneath. They're both so ridiculously pale and have matching wigs, so then they argue about who gets to be a shirt, and who gets to be a skin. And then all the people of France split up and start yelling obscene chants at each other in order to psych the players out.

    So that's how they did it! Who knew? :-)

  2. Ok, Chess' comment was the best on this post! Love the pictures, love seeing the girls, missing seeing the little baby boy and Merrill and Nicole (what is up with that?). Can't wait to see you next week and see ALL the pictures. Have a little mini vacation planned for us too. Make sure to keep in touch so that we can know whether to fly to London and look for you if you are missing:)

    Love you,

  3. That was just the half of it Chess... it became a real street game when England got involved.

    And I'll work on the pictures of Merrill, Nichole and their baby boy for the next one!