This past vacation was kind of a "vacation-lite" since I came up a little too short on vacation days and money to fly the family to the US for a visit this year.
So we decided to spend my work-free week-and-a-half on the ever-economical "at-home vacation."
Really we could have gone somewhere, but we decided it might be fun instead to just rent a car and take a series of day-trips in the area.
The thing is that since we don't have a car and since there are so many fun things to do in town, we end up hardly ever leaving the city limits of Bordeaux. Then when people come to our house on vacation (in their cars), a lot of times they ask us to suggest some interesting places to visit in the surrounding area, and we don't know any.
Of course I'm exaggerating a bit. We're always happy to suggest to people that they might take a tour of the many wine-producing chateaux in the region (in hopes they might bring us back a few bottles for our wine cellar). p.s. that is indeed a hint for anyone reading this who was planning a visit. Our poor, sad little wine-cellar has only a few bottles in it... :^(
This time we decided we would be the ones to get out and see the sights for once.
First of all, we took the kids to some medieval castles. I couldn't help but feel like this outing would have gone better if we'd brought Mike & John with us to tell us some interesting historical tidbits about the castles and such, since they know a lot about history. Left to our own devices, we were basically like "Hmmm, look at that -- a castle from the middle ages. Isn't that interesting?" Sure, we could have looked up stuff about these castles on our own before visiting them, but hey, we're on vacation!!
Aside from that, we mostly just ended up going to the beach since that's what the kids wanted to do. You probably think I'm just saying that because I wanted to go to the beach -- and it's true that I did want to go myself -- but it's also true that the kids were really psyched about the whole beach thing. My husband recently got them that Finding Nemo movie, so now everything at our house is coming up Nemo, and going for a swim in the ocean with our many toy fishies fit right in with our current theme.
Oh yeah, we also ended up taking them to a planes, trains, and automobiles museum, which was fun.
I like to call this one "Kids, will you hold still for one second? We're trying to take a picture!!!"
Despite having a car all week, we still did a bunch of stuff in town. This is partially because we live in a town where it's more convenient to walk places than to drive, but also because we're set in our ways.
One day I took Nico to our usual toy store and picked out a cuddly, stuffed "Lightning McQueen" and "Sally" from the movie Cars. (Yes, we have entirely given in to the lure of Disney, we don't even try to fight it.) When we got them home, we found that the stuffed toy cars cry out in pain when you crash them in to things. I was feeling like maybe this was a bit of an ill-advised toy as I watched my sweet little boys laughing their heads off while smacking their stuffed cars and listening to the cars screaming. But they got bored of that pretty quickly and now just like to cuddle their cars.
Then -- like all vacations -- it ended all too soon!!!
Now it's back to work...