France Day 10: A Peek Into Our House, and, Biking Through Wine Country (With Kids)

Day 10Oh, what a WONDERFUL day! Much more adventure was had this day, to Geoff’s delight. We woke early and (yes, we did put the kids to bed at 11…) we woke early and went to the Sunday market at Isle Sur La Sorgue.

I’ll show you what happened with photos, but I’ll give you the short list of what we bought:

A big chunk of Brebis cheese - pronounced bray-BEE, means sheep. (It’s a delicious and complex medium-firmness cheese most closely related to Swiss, but much more flavorful, and almost like Emmental) I think, the best cheese I’ve had.

A big, beautiful, white woven fabric hammock with textured red stripes woven across in three places (I sold Geoff on the idea of baby-on-your-chest naps)

Triangle-shaped beeswax crayons

Olivewood tongs

An olivewood ladle

Two super-cheap plastic toys we would never have bought in the U.S., in the interest of a peaceful meal (it’s hot, we’re tired, I’m pregnant, don’t judge me).

While we were debating over the striped or plain white hammock (we chose striped), the children wanted shade, so I encouraged them to stay together and go across the way and under some shady trees. They led us into a space that opened up into a little park by surprise, where some other young families were sitting in the grass and enjoying the shade. Along the way, we found a big water wheel and a merry go round!

We ate lunch (oh yes. This is where Geoff ordered Andouillette sausage…) and I had familiar French fries and salad. Too hot for hot food today – well over 90 again! For the ice cream that came with our split meal, we chose an ice cream flavor we’d never heard of before and had to ask what it was – Cassis. Apparently, I am all about ordering desserts I don’t know about and buying houses I’ve never set foot in! Ha! It turned out to be delicious – a “quatre fruits rouges” or 4 red fruits flavor, in which we found fresh, whole, tiny blueberries. The ice cream had a slushy bit to it, just perfect for the scrungy hot day, covered in sunscreen.

After a short rest and pool time (during which we found a frog in the pool filter), we had fajitas for dinner (I know, this is apparently sell-out day for me), and ventured out for another evening bike run.

We rode from Pont Julien (remember the 2,000-year-old bridge I told you about?) almost 7 km and back. Along the way, the sun moved in and out of clouds, but stayed mostly muted, only hinting at shadows. I was hoping it would light the fields on fire with beautiful light for some backlit evening pictures, but no such luck. I think the best photo of the evening I took with Butterscotch’s kid camera. He asked me to take one of him and Bittykins. If I print it tiny, it may still look good. I bet I could even frame it for him.

We were almost to Beaumettes when we heard the chiming of a distant church bell: 9:00. We knew this meant sunset, and time to turn around. We made it back to Pont Julien just in time for the sun to set the clouds off in a red salutation. What a beautiful way to end the ride. We came back and tore into icy juicy pop sleeves (those sugar ice plastic sleeves I would never buy at home are suddenly our go-to post-adventure hydration source/bribery method for everything).

I remember being ten and running around my neighbor Laura Beth’s backyard catching lightning bugs and sucking all the juice out of these icy pop sleeves. And seven years later when I was writing my college essay, making some cheesy metaphor about those things, how I wanted to suck all the juice from the icy-pop sleeve of life. I think I’m doing that now, just sitting by Bittykins and watching her eat one.

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