Friday, September 25, 2009

Bordeaux, Talence and Paris

Our trip to France was pretty good. I'm just going to give a brief overview and then explain some pictures. When we got to Bordeaux, the weather was great, and it was amazing the day we were in Paris, but in between was pretty chilly and rainy. Tom ended up third at the DecaStar meet. The scores were nothing to brag about, but Tom finished 2 decathlons this year healthy. I'm pretty excited for next year since he will finally be able to start training on time without setbacks from health issues. Hopefully things will come together for him this next year.

I rented a mini van in Bordeaux for us to get around in, and this was very helpful for all of us. Unfortunately, the first day we tried to make a U turn (not using a round about) we (Tom) hit the curb a little too hard and popped the tire. Here's the proof - Tom and Kinley were big helps changing the tire:)

Dr. Draeger and Kinley doing treatment on their "patients".

This is a picture of the track when Tom was doing his pre-meet the day before the meet. You can tell it was a bit damp and cool.

This is the award ceremony after the meet. To get to the podium, they were shoved in little bitty cars and driven around the track. I've never see so many big guys in tiny cars! Oh, Tom's the one in the bright orange shirt.

Here is the family picture at the dinner after the competition. We had some amazing duck and some sort of strawberry cake-like dessert.
The day after the meet, the meet director had arranged for people to go surfing, but that didn't interest us, so we went to the beach by ourselves. It took us about 45 minutes to drive over there, and the weather was pretty nice for a bit while we were playing in the sand. It got a little cooler and overcast when we walked around the little town, had lunch and of course ice cream.
We made Kinley into a mermaid. I have never seen one so beautiful!
The guys made "Kinley" a sand castle, but I think she only put a couple shells on it for decoration. There was much strategizing and planning involved for a castle that a little girl supposedly wanted.
We went back to the hotel and picked up Cliff to go on a tour of a nearby winery. It was pretty amazing! We got to see the whole process and taste 4 different wines. I'm pretty amazed at the effort that goes into a single bottle of wine and the knowledge that people have about wines and wine-making.

Our last night in Bordeaux we went into the city center for a great dinner that a girl we met at the winery suggested. It was a tiny place with a huge underground cellar for the wine. If you wanted any, you went down and picked out the bottle yourself!
This was a huge fountain in the city center. Obviously you can't tell, but it was beautiful with statues and water all the way around.

We flew to Paris on Tuesday and spent about 8 hours trying to see as much as we could. Our first stop right out of the taxi was at the round-about around the Arc de Triomph. We decided we didn't need to go up in it, but looking at it was good enough for us.
Here we are across the river from the Eiffel tower. We both really enjoyed going up in it and seeing the city. I wish Tom could have gone with us.
After the Eiffel tower, I promised Kinley she could ride the carousel that was right across the street. I think might have been the highlight for her.

You probably can't tell, but Kinley is running through a garden that leads up to the Louvre.

Kinley and I in front of the little arc that sits outside the Louvre.

We made it over to the Notre Dame cathedral. Didn't get to go inside, but still got to see the beautiful outside.

As we were boarding our flight, Kinley got to go into the cockpit and talk to the pilot. Unfortunately, this is not the plane we flew home on. After 3 hours of sitting on the plane waiting for the air conditioning to get fixed, we were transferred to an other plane and eventually made it home 3.5 hours late.

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