Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Cassis and First Day at The Pool - April 16 and 17, 2011

Cassis!  A beautiful coastal town about 2 hours
east of us

Enjoying a picnic on the beach

The kids - deciding if it's too cold to get in!

Clever Eli - found a rock on the beach that was perfect
for cleaning the sand out of his toes

Eli's getting buried - vertically!

Big cousin burying little cousin!

Havin fun with my cuz!

Fun on the beach

This is a river and gorge along the mountains where we
hiked at the beginning of our trip - beautiful!

Tracie and Andrew

Guess Who!

Our bus for the weekend - thanks Tracie, it was much
more comfy than everyone in Mo Mo even though
the window fell out!

First day of Boisson pool season

Check out the guns!

Thinking about getting in - she did!

Cousins - very sweet

Nathan decided to join the fun also

Uh Oh!  Look out, he's comin in!

Tracie enjoying the peace and fun

We were able to take Tracie to one of our favorites - Domain de Rieussec 
We made it through the week transporting everyone with Mo Mo the Peugot since we usually had one less child along due to school.  The weekend, however, was a different story.  Rather than having a couple kids pile in the back of the car (Emma and Eli) again, Tracie rented a nice big 9 person van for us - it was one of the biggest vehicles on the road (like the Wolff bus when they were here).  It was roomy and we were hoping, would help Koby and Eli with their car sickness.  On Saturday morning we got everyone moving early so we could go to the Arles market for some goodies before heading to Cassis.  After everyone was in the van and we were driving out, Adam (?) stayed in the yard to hold Vox and Cool - when we circled back to pick him up and the sliding door on the van was closed, an indicator light was still on so I got out and slammed the door hard causing the window to pop out and into the van!  Koby, who was sitting on the other side of the door, and I, looked at each other suprised and I said Uh-Oh!  We tried to pop the window back in and, although it stayed in place for the most part, there was about a one inch gap through which the wind blew, sounding like a jet airliner, for the rest of the day.  It was frustrating and loud, but the rest of the bus was fine.

Arles was it's typical busy, crowded self on market day but Andrew with his great driving and parking skills, was able to find a parking spot for the bus on the street since it wouldn't fit in the parking lot that we've come to know and use often.  The market was nice - I believe that the biggest treat for Koby was when he and Adam found the bargain of the day - 13 Pain au Chocolates for 3,50 euros - they declared that the entire bag was theirs and theirs only and guarded it accordingly.  (in the end, however, a few of the treats were missing and assumed "stolen" by siblings).

Tracie, being the smartest one of the group, decided to go touring around on her own.  One minute she was there, the next she was gone, but met us at the agreed "meeting point" at the agreed time.  She found most of the tourist sights in Arles during that brief time away from us along with some cute shops.  When we were all accounted for, we made sure that we had enough food for everyone and made our way back to the bus.

With Andrew as the driver and Tracie the co-pilot, we were ready to find the beach! As we approached Marseilles we missed a turn somewhere and rather that going around the city, found ourselves smack dab in the middle of it - in a traffic jam with our big bus. I was anxious and nervous, Tracie was calm but worried about Eli and Koby and their car sickness issues and Andrew remained calm and maneuvered the city beautifully.  We managed to get out of there after 30 - 40 minutes and made it to Cassis.  Finding parking, however, was another story!

Cassis is a beautiful beach town with windy, narrow roads where people park.  After looking for a good spot for a few minutes, we decided to drop Tracie and the kids off in the town while Andrew and I went in search of the perfect spot - which we found, about 1/2 mile away and up a hill.  After parking, paying, putting the "paid" ticket on the dash, Andrew was informed that the "spot" we found was illegal - but we should be o.k. since we did pay and weren't the only ones there!  We took a chance, left the bus, and walked with baskets, blankets, cameras etc... to find the gang.

We set up camp at the beach - in the sand where the sun was warm but the water was chilly.  People all around us were in their swim suits, bikinis, speedos etc....  Our kids were shocked when their Tia, who arrived in jeans, while sitting on the blanket, decided to change into her shorts - right there, sitting on the blanket!  Giggles and "Tia!!!" comments were heard for a few minutes - to which she responded "I am wearing no less than most people on this beach" and she was right!  We unpacked the picnic, began cutting bread, sausage, cheese, fruit etc...  Eli discovered that he likes olives :)  Koby and Adam, however, looked at all of the food and asked "is this all we brought??" and tried to dive into their pain au chocolate treat bag!  We reminded them both that they were supposed to make sure that there was food that they liked, in the picnic basket before leaving the market - I guess in their 12 year old minds, a bag of pain au chocolates fit that bill!

Tia was very sweet (I was very frustrated) and took the boys into town to find some acceptable food - PIZZA of course!  They came back happy, full, and with an extra slice to share.  The rest of the visit to Cassis was relaxing, warm and enjoyable.  The kids played in the sand while the adults walked around the town and sat on the blanket and relaxed. Eli was partially buried - vertically, by Nathan and all of the kids worked together to build a "dam" with rocks.  Koby was the only one to brave the chilly water while Eli gave it a good try and got partially wet - our kids stayed dry!

We spent several hours at the beach before packing up and walking back to the bus which was still exactly where we left it!

The final day of the visit began slowly and relaxed with the kids getting up and playing outside for awhile waiting for us to give the A-O-K for swim time.  Mr. Boisson was trying to fix the broken fence around the pool so we had to wait for his O.K. as well.  When all was clear, the kids changed into their swimwear and started dipping toes into the pool water to determine its cold factor.  They all got in eventually, although, not for very long - we were impressed that they got in at all.  Even Andrew came out in his swim suit and dove off of the diving board!

When the kids had had enough, we made sure the pool was cleaned up, kids were out and dressed and then Tracie, Andrew and I took off to find some more wineries.  Unfortunately, we only found one open on that Sunday - but it was one of our favorites! Domain de Rieussec  was the winery wear the owner came out and served us our wine right out of the stainless steel vats!  We all enjoyed the wine, took a walk around the gardens, visited with the owner and the winemaker.  When we were finished, we drove our bus to the car rental office and dropped it off, picking up Mo Mo and going home.  The kids were fine, we were relaxed and it was time for the suitcases to be packed up since Tracie and the boys were heading to Barcelona early in the morning.

We enjoyed having Tracie and the boys - it was good for us (again) to have english speakers to visit/play with and it was fun for us to show them our little temporary corner of the world.

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