The Orange Rat Stalker!
Today was our first full day in France (yesterday doesn't count, even though we arrived at 8 am...as the whole day is a blur!) To fight jet lag, our goal was to all sleep on the flight over (even though it was daytime to our body clocks) and then when we landed at 8 am, no sleeping until 8 or 9 pm. Unfortunately, no one really slept on the flight. Long about 11, as we were driving to the house, the kids fell asleep in the car. The adults wanted to also, but some of us were in fear for their life (and others were enjoying that person's fear!)
The rest of the day, we pretty much stumbled around. We went into the small village (which is about 1 mile from our house) to buy bread and things for lunch. It was about 2:15 pm. Hmmm...I forgot that this could be a serious problem in France. Sure enough, the super market (I use that phrase lightly) was closed between 12:30 and 3:00. So we thought we'd just go into the local restaurant for lunch. We looked at the menu and recognized enough things to all agree we could have lunch here. We walked in and the folks having lunch looked us up and down (literally). I asked the woman behind the counter if we could have lunch (after politely saying Bonjour Madame). She turned to a younger guy, who translated my English/French to French. She shook her head...Non! The younger guy said, sorry, too late for lunch. Ah yes, I remember all the things I had read. France rolls up it's side walks from noon to 2 or 3 for any type of shopping...however restaurants are open from 12 - 2 for lunch. We were a few moments late, and obviously looked like more trouble than we were worth...so the answer was No!
Luckily for us, the boulangerie across the street was open. We bought two types of bread (baguettes and bread for toast), grougeres, and three different types of pastries. We drove home and ate the pastries for lunch. I forgot to take pictures...too overcome by the thought of having pastries for lunch, I guess. Two of the three were delicious...one was not so great. The kids definitely thought it was cool that we had pastries for lunch.
Sometime after three we went to the super market and bought some staples and things for dinner. Things like cheese & wine...lots of cheese and a few bottles of wine. We also bought some quiches and some local sausage. Our dinner was very simple and very good. Everyone is being adventuresome and trying all the different types of cheeses (names to follow at a later date).
After dinner, we relaxed in the back yard. (Meaning, the kids watched a movie in the hammock and the adults sat around trying to keep our eyes open). I gave up at 7 and went to bed...everyone else followed suit eventually. Around 11, I woke up (hungry and unable to go back to sleep...sorry Sarah...I got your advice too late!) I decided to go downstairs and check on Ethan...good thing I did. He was wide awake watching a movie on his computer (there is no tv working at the house right now). He told me he couldn't sleep and wasn't tired. I explained that he needed to just force himself to get on French time. I had him put his eye mask on (thanks Katie, those really came in handy) and laid down with him until he finally fell asleep. I went back to my bed and was unable to force myself to sleep (guess that's what I get for telling Ethan to). Everybody woke up by 5:30 (some at 4). When we got up, we had a nice breakfast of scrambled eggs & lardons (yummy bacon chunks).
At breakfast, Ethan said to me...mom we have rats!!!! I said...what??? He said, I saw a rat last night. In the yard, I asked? No, in the house, he replied. Oh no, I thought...the house is really, really, really rustic...but I wasn't prepared for rats (bats, yes...which we watched dive bombing in the yard in the early morning, but not rats). Then he said...the rat was really big and it was orange! What????? James interceded at this point and said are you sure it was a rat? Ethan said he was pretty sure. James said, well the cat that lives here is orange. At that point, we all started cracking up. Imagine, he laid in bed for quite sometime thinking we had large orange rats roaming the house! It takes a special kid to not wake up his parents to report an attack by killer orange rats! James and I thanked him profusely for letting us sleep through the attack.
Just as a side note, I haven't described the house in detail yet (which I will do soon), however...just think about what kind of place might cause a 12 year old to mistake an orange cat for a large orange rat...yep...that just about sums up the "rusticness" of our home.