The Princesses in France

We joined the princesses in a wonderful house in the countryside of the Champagne in France. They are now 8, 6, and 4 years old. They had "done" Paris, Eurodisney, Dijon and Epernay before we joined them. They really hit the high points of Paris - Eiffel Tower, bus tour to all the sights, down the Champs Elysee, around the Arc de Triumphe, the Louvre (with an unexpected meeting with the Venus de Milo and an expected viewing of the Mona LIsa), and the bridge the rat got freed on in Ratatoille.

Eurodisney, the Princessfather felt, was quite different from the stateside Disney parks. There, everyone is working to help you suspend your disbelief and have a magical day in the Magic Kingdom. In France, it is just a job and the people don't really want to be there and wish you would go home so they can get home at a decent hour as well.

In Epernay they visited the Moet & Chandon champagne cellars (including a tasting). They have enough bottles to survive 3 years in their cellars, and they sell 10 million bottles a year. That's a lot of bottles in a lot of caves! They were told the story of the looting the soldiers did during the various wars. The chief of the company had sighed: Okay, they are ruining me this year, but they will be customers next year.

Our first adventure together today was shopping. The princesses were parked with a video that started out with a trailer in English, WiseMan lay down for a nap, and the rest trucked off to the Carrefour. When we came back, the girls were well behaved, as behooves a princess, but were sad, since the video player had somehow detected that it was in France and started playing the French version of the movie.

Shopping was hard - so many choices! Special on scallops and shrimp! Fresh veggies galore! More cheeses to choose from than you can count. Strange, though, very little fresh milk. The French seem to like their milk ultrapasturized. Then we hit the champagne section - pretty much the same prices as in Germany, but oooooooh, the selection! We decided on mussels and some meat and veggies to make shish-kebab and some salad stuff and some Moet & Chandon and some cheaper stuff for the second course of champagne.

We set up a table outside, had just begun to eat and had taken our first sip of exquisite champagne in Champagne, when a helicopter churned up the valley. Now what on earth is the probability of that happening? The princesses are very interested in technology, having an engineer as a dad, an
aunt and a grandfather, so everyone dashed out to the street to observe.

It was spraying pesticides. Up and down the hills, back and forth.

So suddenly this delicious food and wine we were enjoying outdoors was not quite so fun. What invisible stuff were we eating along with our food? At least it was not windy, but still.

After dinner we walked down to the village - a dead little village. No bars, no stores left. A church that has no regular services. Just a telephone booth and some notices and a map of the area.

After walking back up we cracked the second bottle of champagne - a bit sweeter, not quite so bubbly, but tasty, just the same.

The princesses asked WiseKid to tell them a bedtime story. They requested that the story include dogs, farts, and burps. He was happy to oblige. I wish I could have been a fly on the wall listening to that story! (Note: it was retold to me with glee the next morning)

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