Sunday, March 13, 2011

Zee Play Ground...

There is this little place right outside of our hotel called ZepleGarounde and literally, it took us almost FOUR days to realize the name of this place! I swear, I was looking up all these words in my French dictionary and couldn't find any of them. So, finally, today, I figured that it was a play on words and just sounded it out (in English), and voila!

The Play Ground!

It is a cute little space inside a building with some areas for kids to run around in. A ball pit, some little padded mazes and stuff like that. Oh, they also have a video game station that Brannan really loved - he played this game that had a 4-wheeler going off road and he wouldn't stop playing it!

The people that own it are making a killing! It is a great place in this city of shops and restaurants. This town has a LOT of shops and restaurants. It really isn't a place for a family with little children, we have figured out.

I think we realized that we really aren't "city" people. Gosh, I know that our place back in Arizona is really small, but, compared to these little apartments, it is a world of difference.

And, really, lately, I have been wandering around our house, thinking how small it was and how much we didn't really need all the stuff we had. But now, when I am here, I see that everything is made from IKEA and everything is in tiny proportions, it makes me really appreciate the space that we do have. Thinking about my sister-in-law's place makes me want to wear a hoop skirt and twirl around singing "The hills are alive....."

Otherwise, we took a little drive today and saw a little bit more of this area.

They love the "grand rond" - which is just a traffic circle. Personally, they freak me out because the GPS lady says "take the 5th exit on rue de blah blah" and I have to count however many streets you can go on, but if you aren't allowed to go on one street (aka - one way!) then, that doesn't count as one of the "exits". Seriously, it makes my knuckles white and my adrenaline pumped to the highest level.

And then there is driving with my husband.
Oh. my. gawd.

So, he is listening to the GPS lady and she says "veer right on rew deh l'orsaghe" or something like that because she can't even speak french. And then Byron says "so, do I go right here?" and I say, "I DONT KNOW! LISTEN TO HER!!!!" and then he veers right too soon and then the GPS lady says "RECALCULATING!!!!" and then you know you are in for it because he turned too soon....

Makes me want to stab myself in the shins and wish I was back in Phoenix where every street is a square.

So, needless to say, driving here has been an adventure.

We did get to go to a museum today and saw some really old artifacts. It was awesome. I only wish I remember my days back in college when I was studying art history. Remembering the difference between Gothic and Romance and all those eras. It is just nice being able to see some really old art.


Well, we finally made it and whew, was it an adventure.

The flights were great, although quite long. British Airways is really nice (at least the area we were in). We had private TV's and you could choose your own movies. I watched Black Swan (which I've been really wanting to see) and a couple of others. Brannan watched Lilo and Stitch and a little bit of Cars before we landed. He watched the whole movie when we got on the plane and then I made him go to sleep after that. He slept for at least 5 or so hours, so that was good. Kinnerly did good too. She was up only about an hour during the whole flight. A little fidgety when she was up, but she did really good. The layover in Heathrow was kinda long and Byron was really struggling with no sleep. It didn't really bother me at all, the lack of sleep and the time change. I think it will when we go back but we all slept in today until like 12:30 (we went out to get something to eat at midnight last night because we were all hungry!).

So, driving in Toulouse is very crazy and scary, especially at night! The streets are all crazy one-laners and there aren't any visible street signs. And, our GPS was a little sketchy and lost the satellite like 3 times! Somehow, it got us near the hotel and Byron just kept driving down all these little side streets and we finally found it! Try directing a suuuuper tired, frustrated Byron through Toulouse, it is fun (not).

We also had so much stuff that it barely fit into our little car! Oh man, that was a little scary too.

Anyway, after we got to the hotel super late last night and got some dinner we got to bed around 1 I think.

We walked around a little while this afternoon and there are sooooooo many restaurants and little boulangeries everywhere! We are in the center of town and there are soooooo many people too! People everywhere! It's like trying to walk in Disney World with a stroller, Sandi! Super crazy.

Anyway, people are really friendly so far. I've tried a little french out but feel like I'm being an idiot. Especially when they start speaking in english to me. Oh well. I'm trying at least. We were watching a kiddie cartoon (Word World) this morning while getting ready and it was in french and english and I totally understood it! It was awesome. But, out there in the real world, everyone speaks so fast it is hard to understand.

I went into about 6 stores looking for a universal plug adapter (I tried yours Mom, but the plug is all rounded out and weird so the big boxy one didn't work) and I was understanding quite a bit. It's fun but I still sound really dorky when I try to speak to someone.

The boys went out to get some Euros. Thanks so much Dad for those emergency ones you gave me, saved us a couple of times! All of our credit cards didn't work at the supermarche (grocery store) so I had to use cash.

Byron doesn't have to work until Monday I think so we have time to walk around and try to find something fun to do.

Anyway, just wanted to let you all know that we got here without much of an ordeal - besides the driving - and now we can really relax and have some fun!

Now that we have a plug, we will keep you posted.