Saturday, December 4, 2010

visit with Cindy and Megan

The day after Thanksgiving, Cindy, Megan and I visited a nearby abbey. Nieul sur L'Autise.
Yes, it is an old abbey, dating back a thousand years or so, but the interesting thing about this abbey was the way they used technology to help your visit. At the beginning of the tour, before we really saw anything, we could get some history of the area from some touch screen TV's. They had the information in several lanuguages.
Then they had a gallery of old instruments (actually replicas of old instruments) As you approached the instrument, a light sensor turned on a light and the music started playing. It startled us at first but then we found it to be quite nice.
After touring the abbey we were directed to a building next door. Here, you sat in front of a tv screen. You got a virtual tour of the abbey in its original condition. You had a joystick to navigate through the different rooms of the abbey. For instance, in one room you were able to see monks transcribing manuscripts. (Monks is probably not the right word, but you get my point)
After leaving this area we sat and watched a short film on a large screen of a painter going to several of the old abbeys in the Vendee area. It was a good way to view some of the abbeys in our area.
Below is a picture of Cindy and I at the abbey.

Going to an abbey was meaningful to both of us since we really wanted to join the convent when we were in high school. We both gave serious thought to this.
Ok, your laughter is getting to be a bit too loud. Tone it down a bit.

After going to the abbey we dropped Megan off at Katie's school for the afternoon. Katie and a couple of her friends were waiting for Megan at the front door of the school.
Then Cindy, mom and I headed into town, Fontenay le Comte, to have a nice long French lunch. Our only problem? It was ten minutes to 2. Lunch is from 12-2. We tried 2 restaurants and they both told us no, it was too late. Finally, on the third try we got seated at the crepe restaurant. We got our lunch.

After lunch we walked around town for a little bit. We went through the gardens behind the mayor's office.
Pretty soon it was time to pick the kids up from school.
Megan had gone to English class with Katie. The teacher asked Megan to stand in front of the room. The French kids had to ask Megan questions in English. The teacher wrote Megan's answers on the board so the kids could study them. I have talked to this teacher before and he likes his students to hear our American accent. Around here, they only hear a British accent.

On Saturday morning I made Cindy run to the nearby chateaux while I drove the car behind her. If she started to slow down, I just honked the horn a little. You can't poke along on a morning run. I had to make sure she kept moving. Maybe she was thinking of joining the convent again. Maybe that is what was slowing her down.

After her run, we went to the market in town. Snails and fish with their eyes looking at you were the highlights.

And then Cindy and Megan were off to Paris.

It was fun to show Cindy and Megan our corner of France, but one of my favorite parts was Friday night when Cindy and I stayed up late chatting.


  1. hmmm....I don't remember running.....

  2. What was that bit about you honking the horn while Cindy ran? Are you dreaming of becoming a crazy gym teacher??

  3. Ahhhh... if I only had a franc for every devote Catholic who thought of becoming a priest or nun when they aren't getting any in high school.