Saturday, October 31, 2009

Sophia & Guignol

When we were in Paris for Easter last year, I managed to take Sophia, and Alexandra too, for their first puppet show, on the Champ de Mars.  Guignol, the main puppet in most of these productions, is a classic French childhood figure.  I had wanted to take Sophia when we lived in Paris, but she was always very scared of the puppets, and so I was thrilled when she thought it would be a good idea, and even more excited when she loved it.  She talked about nothing else for days.  Weeks later when my parents came to visit, and we went back to France, Sophia’s dreams of a puppet show were increased when she was given her own puppet Theater!  Over the past 6 months, we have added to her puppet collection, but she still talks about Guignol.

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So you can imagine how excited we were on our drives this week when we saw that a traveling production of Guignol was going to be in one of the small villages near us this afternoon.  Sophia was so excited when we told her we were going she could hardly keep herself still.  Alexandra had a hard time with all of the hitting, so I took her out after 10 min, but Sophia LOVED it again.  And Troy was able to share it with her this time. 

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The stories are always quite simple, and usually encourage LOTS of yelling from the kids in the audience (Sophia managed to remember enough French to participate).  She caught enough of the story to realize that eventually good things just happen to Guignol, even though – as she so brilliantly stated - “Guignol doesn’t have a really good thinker, he’s not the best thinker in the Castle!”

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If you are ever in France with children & come across a Theatre Guignol, I would highly recommend it! (Here is the schedule for Paris in english!)

Ruins & Ribeauville

Troy & I have had a couple of experiences with the girls where we look at each other & say “bad parenting decision”.  Most of these have to do with hiking up rocks, a hill, or wandering around ruins.  Today we had all of those.  There are the ruins of three castles above Eguisheim (the town where we are staying) & they look so beautiful silhouetted against the Vosges mountains that we decided to spend this morning wandering around castles.  The plan was to explore these, and then drive over to the Haut-Koenigsbourg Castle.  Alsace Oct 09 (220)Alsace Oct 09 (217) Alsace Oct 09 (222) Alsace Oct 09 (219)

After walking up the hill, stumbling over rocks, and climbing ruins of stairs, and taking a couple of photos, we decided that we needed to work our way back down the hill, into the car, and skip castle ruins until both girls can wear hiking boots.

Happy Halloween by the way.

So we drove to the charming town of Ribeauville, and it happened to be market day (I love it when that happens), and we enjoyed the very picturesque streets, vineyards surrounding the car park, a wonderfully delicious lunch, and a black pig taking a walk thru the streets.  Delightful, and a much better decision…

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Friday, October 30, 2009

Running fun in Kaysersberg

We try to be flexible in our travel with the girls, and after the vineyards, another market, and a bit of driving, Sophia was begging for a playground.  We had been in Kaysersberg the last time we were in the Alsace, so we really weren’t planning on stopping, but as we rounded the corner driving past it, a playground emerged next to a parking lot.  It seemed like a good idea to stop, play for a while, then find somewhere warm for lunch. (the sun isn’t out today – but it isn’t raining!!)

Alsace Oct 09 (181)Sophia collected a pile of HUGE leaves! Alsace Oct 09 (193) Alsace Oct 09 (188) Alsace Oct 09 (196) Alsace Oct 09 (176) The girls knew exactly what to do with the cut outs!

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A straight trip thru the vines

The color of the vineyards has been so beautiful we thought we would let the girls go a little crazy, and run in a straight line as far as they could thru the vines.  There were a few grapes left, gorgeous leaves, a bit of grass to play with, and fun…

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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Bubble Blessings

We find that bubbles solve a lot of problems for us both on the road & in parks around Europe.  One of the hardest things to do at a new park is to make friends, and if Sophia is in charge of the bubbles, you can be sure she will meet all of the kids on the play ground.  Plus, they are harmless, and won’t break anything in hotel rooms…IMG_7846

Anyway, while walking around Colmar, we came across a toy shop hidden down a side road.  In order to make it’s presence known, the owner had placed an automatic bubble blower on the outside & bubbles were flying down the street attracting children from all over the square.  Alexandra was in the zone in her stroller, but Sophia was delighted.  IMG_7840 IMG_7844

And we think she held a few angels while playing.



Absolute Joy…IMG_7850

Colmar views