Bon Voyage!

Today we are on our way to France.  Eighteen hours of travel from Lusaka to JoBurg to Frankfurt, then across the border to….


Really??  Eleven days in an Alsatian chateau next to the Vosges forest??  Yes, I’ll take it!!  Can you see Mike waving from the second floor window?






No, it is not a dream.  This is our first day and we’ve already discovered how much we love crepes.  We can have crepes every day!  Butter and sugar for Eli, Nutella for Jake and Mommy, fromage y jambon for Daddy.  Mommy was also happy with her gluhwein.



Our first stop after the airport was Strasbourg, where we found streets decked with boughs of holly and clusters of big white teddy bears hanging from the windows.  How Christmasy is this?  Although I guess you can also tell it’s a tourist area because there is someone playing George Michael songs on the pan flute.  There are my boys up ahead… one of Mike’s great superpowers is that he is very easy to find in crowds.


The Strasbourg Christmas Market opened up in the cobblestoned square around the cathedral, towering over the vendors tucked together in rows of delicious smells, warm lights, and crowded smiles.  Christmas oozed everywhere in a uniquely Alsatian mix of France and Germany, and it couldn’t have been more perfect.



Do you know what happens when you mix a pretzel and a beignet?  A Pretzel Beignet.  As good as it sounds.


How do we choose between all these different kinds of gingerbread?


Jake:  “Are there crocodiles in this river?”


Eli:  “I like the Frankfurt airport better than the airport in Zambia because it doesn’t smell like pee.”

We sampled gluhwein (the red is better than the white), bought gingerbread cookies, rode the carousel, and wandered around watching sketch artists and noticing dogs wearing sweaters for the first time.  “Look Mom, that dog has a sweater on!!”


By this time it was only early afternoon but the sun was already setting in the winter sky and we were starting to feel the jetlag.  Thirty hours since we were last in bed and counting.  Maybe we should start the drive to Ingwiller?  Thanks for bringing the CD for the car, Mike!  Oh, but we didn’t bring directions for how to get to the house or remember the address of where we’re going.  Does a GPS work without an address?  Won’t we recognize the house from the street?  Hey, I think I remember “Moulin Vollach” being the subject line on one of the e-mails…




Wow, what a pretty drive!!

This part of France north of Strasbourg is full of little villages, each gracing the sky with their own church steeple and a huddle of peaked roofs tiled in red.  The fields were rolling and green, miles wide, and we felt like we were driving through medieval France complete with castle ruins looking down from the hills.  Is this for real?



Seriously, is this for real?




No, seriously!!  Is this FOR REAL???

“Registered Handshake for Eve Gower, Vienna”

We celebrated tonight.  Our family will be here tomorrow!  And we are coming back to Europe!  I will forever love Au Lion D’Or, what a perfect restaurant and magical night with the boys, fish, spaetzle, blackberry jam, clown ice cream, and the glow of everything yet to come.


2 thoughts on “Bon Voyage!

  1. Ashley, I love hearing from you!! What are you guys up to now? I thought of you when I made your mint chocolate cookies with peppermint frosting, memories of Christmas in Baku :). XO, I hope you and the family are doing great!

  2. Congrats on your next post! I am incredibly jealous. Make sure and enjoy the opera for me!

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