I would like to introduce you to these cute little owls that I found in the backyard. I think they are brothers.
Finn is that...a funny little kid. He is quirky, determined, stubborn, incredibly generous, funny, sensitive and sometimes downright mean. He's a puzzle (and sometimes a mirror). This is how he spent the afternoon a few days ago...wearing his sunglasses, a pull-up and his lovey tied around like a cape.
A few days ago we visited one of the other castles right by our house. This area (The Dordogne Valley, Perigord Noir to be exact) is an amazing place. There are at least 5 castles/chateaus, the river, multiple ancient villages and hamlets and the best patisserie in the area all within 15 minutes or so of the house. This is a great place for exploration.
This trip we took in Castelnaud. Castelnaud was a British stronghold during the 100 years war. That is just hard to imagine- a hundred years of war? Anyway, it is across the valley from Marqueyssac and Castle Beynac and you can look across valley from one to the other. It is very cool to say the least. There is also another one called Fayrac that is privately owned by a Texas couple (kind of weird right?).
Here is the castle as you walk up the medieval village roads to the main entrance.
Right by where you walk in they have this, the kids thought it was hilarious.
Look at Finn, he looks so perfect in there!
Pops and Granny got in on the fun too.
The views from the castle windows were breathtaking. You can see why someone picked this as the spot for the castle.
You can walk around the ramparts and see the entire valley. Here's Steven, Sayer and Susan (Memah) stopping for a quick pic.
Marqueyssac is behind them on the hill and castle Beynac is in the left corner. At the base of the castle, they had a trebuchet demonstration, which the kids loved too. One of the other highlights for the kids was the toilet in one of the castle rooms. It was just a stone ledge with a hole in it. When you looked down the hole you saw a sheer drop straight down a cliff towards the river. Sayer, completely excited, said "Can I use the potty?!".
While driving through St. Cyprien (just a few km away), Sayer saw a sign with some marionettes on it. One was a pirate marionette. Turns out there was going to be a traveling marionette show in town! We made sure to get there early and be in the front row. The kids were really excited.
Oh and yes, Finn is wearing my OPI almost black nail polish. The day before, I sat on the front step and started to paint my nails and Finnian come trotting up all excited and begged me to do his too, "all BLACK Mommy!". At the puppet show, When the lady gave him the ticket she smiled and said "et Pour Elle" (and for her). I just smiled back and said Merci.
It was amazing to watch how quickly they got in to the action despite the language barrier. Guignol (pronounced Gee-nyole) was the main guy and he would ask the kids questions like "I'll be right back, will you wait?" and they would all shout, "Oui!" and Sayer and Finn would join in, shouting "Oui!!". It was really cute. This is Guignol:
During intermission, they got a yummy snack!
The best part was watching Sayer crack up when Guignol was beating the daylights out of Le Pirate. He was laughing so hard that he almost fell out of his chair.
Sayer loves silly physical humor. My Dad is here too this week and they have been watching Monty Python and the 3 Stooges movies. There are a few parts in The Holy Grail that we have to fast forward through and if you have seen the movie then you probably guess which parts (the castle full of, um, eager women, scary bridge guy, and the savage rabbit to name a few). His little mind is being warped! He came up to me the other day and demanded "a shrubbery!". If you are a Monty Python fan like I am then that should make you smile. What are grandparents for right?
Thank you Guignol for the laughs!
Some days we just play in the yard...
grocery bags + rocks + paint brushes + good weather + little kids = lots of creative fun with minimal fighting
OK, now where is my lounge chair and that cold diet coke?