Saturday, September 18, 2010

A Sunday drive to Niort and visit with neighbors

Sunday, Sept 12, 2010

On sunday morning we went to a local vide grenier (literally means empty attic). People set up tables and bring stuff they have cleaned out of their attics. Same thing we have in the states, we just call them flea markets. (Flea is the word we chose?) I only picked up a couple of things. Cloth napkins that the kids need for lunch at school and some childrens books in French for Ellie.

Then we made a quick trip over to Niort to do a quick visit of the town. Near the center of Niort is a 12th century dungeon. Joey was very disappointed to discover that it was closed. We didn't have a lot of time to spend in Niort because we wanted to get home for our visit with the neighbors.

Earlier in the week mom had been returning home from a walk when our next door neighbor stopped her and invited all of us for dessert on Sunday afternoon. We didn't know exactly what time we were supposed to go so we went over there at 3:30. We took a small bouquet of flowers. When we arrived, the husband, Frederick, was working in the garden but he quickly went in the house and changed his clothes. We were invited to sit at the table in their front yard under an umbrella. Pascaline, the wife, went into the house to get a tray with 2 desserts. Apple tart and chocolate cake. We were introduced to their 2 little boys. Roman is 3 and the other one is 6. They also brought out water, juices and an apertif. Pascaline was very curious about us and asked lots of questions. (I am really not sure if I am getting her name right). She told us that she works at an insurance office in Niort. Her boys go to the same school as our kids. Pascaline comes from Normandy and Frederick comes from Nantes. The kids all sat at the table and ate her yummy dessert but then they ran off and played.

While we were sitting under the umbrella, it kept falling over. Finally Frederick used a butter knife to try to stablize it. I turned to Rod and said, "that was a MacGyver move" Frederick smiled and was very flattered. He knew what I had meant.
They were so pleasant and gracious. I can't even describle what a nice hour and a half it was. I really hope we didn't make a faux pas. We tried not to stay too long. We are planning on inviting them over for a glass of wine.
Below is a picture of their house. And yes, I felt like a dork standing in front of their house to take a picture.

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