17 hours ago
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
We are here! We are here! We are here! Through snow, a dramatic (hurried) change of planes in Philadelphia, an effortless arrival at Charles de Gaulle airport, a lovely five hour drive, we made it to beautiful, marvelous Josselin. The picture above is, granted, from the summer, but the "place" is just the same: think Christmas lights instead of summer banners - we ate dinner at the restaurant in the back of the picture, the Guethenoc (another cool ancestor of the region). Did you know that Henry II destroyed the first castle in Josselin? Amazing! When I told Eleanor he was the one married to Eleanor of Aquitaine, you should have seen her face light up! The kids' reactions have been so cool: Oliver and Iris both are looking for difference, finding it in language and houses, but not in people - some kind of interesting universal humanity being cultivated here. Oliver stunned us by saying "When can I start school?" !!! He's wildly curious, I think (as are we). Iris took a long and careful look around our (fantastic) house and declared "This is a good house, we're going to be happy here." and she's totally right: it's from the 17th century (that alone does it for me!) and was owned by a saddle-maker: three levels and the stairs are so, so worn (all the stories! all the people!). Eleanor, Iris, and Oliver are sharing a room: a big, beautiful room with a double bed under a canopy (for the girls) and a single bed (with opportunities to read _Harry Potter_ late at night) for Oliver - there's even a hobby horse in the room! Mac and I are next door in a cozy room with this gorgeous comforter we snuggled under. There are two more rooms upstairs plus a sitting room - and a chess board! The kids were so gleeful in discovery. :-) As we were finishing up dinner, Oliver said "I was just starting to get sad, thinking we'd be leaving soon, but we're here for a long time!" Indeed, little man, we can settle in. And I'll confess to wanting to give myself over completely to Brittany - on the drive here, you see markers for sites heralding the Lady of the Lake and Merlin, and everywhere you look, there are ways of marking both the historical and the mystic past (indeed, they seem more conjoined here than in other parts of France). Oh, I can hardly wait for tomorrow, and the next day, the next.