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France Part I

July 9, 2012

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My family and I took a trip to France recently. No, we’re not crazy for going with a 4 yr old and 15 month old, it was actually fun! We decided we could wait until the kids are older but life is unpredictable, who knows what will happen or where we’ll be in 10 years? Will they remember the trip? Maybe Oliver will remember parts of it but even if they don’t remember specifics the experience is still going to shape them as people and I loved showing them a different part of the world.
We left Calgary with just carry on luggage for the four of us…yes, this took some pre-planning for sure but having to restrict ourselves a bit on what we could bring was actually quite freeing. In the end, we could even have brought less. (We did rent our car seats and stroller through Baby’tems in Paris). Our trip was to begin with a 1.5 hours drive from Paris to a small village near the city of LeMans. I underestimated how difficult it would be to access WiFi and we thought the GPS didn’t work so our 1.5 hour drive turned into an 8 hour drive….we would seriously suck at the Amazing Race! But honestly, it was an adventure and the drive was beautiful so it was sort of sightseeing right?
After one night at La Lune Bed and Breakfast we headed to Gouarec, France which is in Brittany, Western France. This is where we stayed for the first part of our trip and our base for our biking tour. Yep, we biked with the kids and they loved it. I think it’s safe to say most kids would prefer biking to sitting in a car to see sights. We could stop as much as we want, have a picnic, grab a drink, explore, but more on that later. We booked our bike trip through Breton Bikes.
So this post is just some of the photos I took and they are mostly of our house and the area of Gouarec. I truly cannot say enough good things about the people of France. Aren’t they supposed to be rude and snotty? Isn’t that what everyone says? We experienced the complete opposite. They weren’t just nice to us, they went above and beyond in many situations to help us, everyone you pass greets you with a ‘Bonjour!’ and smiles were endless.
**All of these photos were taken with the Sony Nex 5N camera. There was no way I would have been able to take my work camera with me and carry it around everywhere with the two kids. This camera is very compact, not much bigger than a point and shoot and the quality is quite good!

Gouarec, France. A small village in Brittany and our home base for biking.

The River D'Ore that runs through Gouarec.

The beautiful 200 year old home we stayed in.

A creek ran behind the house and provided hours upon hours of fun for my boys.

The French love their gardens. Everyone had the most gorgeous gardens full of flowers.

The field beside our house.

An evening walk through the village.

Daily visits to the boulangerie and patisserie were one of our favourite things to do.

The village church. Every village has one distinctly their own.

It took us a few days to get used to the hours of operation in rural France. All stores shut down between 12-2. Restaurants are open between 12-2 but close or don't sell food between 2-7. Stores reopen at 2 and close at 7. Confused? We were too 😉

A market in a village next to Gouarec named Bon Repos. Pretty much every village has a market once a week on all different days. The stereotype of a French person carrying a straw basket with a large baguette? This is true, they all do it.

Our house from the road.

As I suspected, Hugh loved running around the yard pointing at all the birds.

There's nothing like the smell of clothes hung out to dry in the country.

Daddy and Hugh having cereal in the breakfast room.


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