Friends of Orphans and Vulnerable Children

Friends of Orphans and Vulnerable Children
What could be better than an Ethiopian welcome, FOVC style?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Hair Excitement

Amelia's hair is getting longer, and the curls are so darling! I know it doesn't look so long in pictures--that's because it's curled up. But you should see her in the bath tub (or, the bath sink, to be more exact). It's pretty long these days!

Meelsie's hair is so cute. But as a curly-haired gal myself, I know the day will come when she and I will commiserate together about the hazards and pitfalls of curly locks. Like mother, like daughter, right? :-)

In anticipation of more hair and summer fun, I ordered the product line-up from Carol's Daughter. It should arrive this week. I can't wait to "do hair" with my baby girl!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

We interrupt this travelogue... tell you that Meelsie is legal in her front-facing car seat.

At her 15 month check-up this week, we learned she finally weighs twenty pounds (10th percentile) and she's thirty inches long (25th percentile).

She breezed through every other part of the exam...except the three shots in her little thighs. Poor baby!

Actually, our doctor was pretty thrilled at how much growing progress she has made in the last few months. (Shhhhh! Let's not tell him it was all those chicken nuggets in France!)

Part Trois: Monaco

Trivia: In the movie "Princess Diaries" (AKA "Princess Diarrheas" before the girls could read), the fictional country of Genovia is based on the real country of Monaco. So, of course, we had to go to Monaco.

Trivia: Monaco has the best, freshest-smelling, cleanest and most beautiful public restrooms in all of Europe....or at least in all of the Europe restrooms I have visited.

I'm not saying these two points of trivia are in any way related. But when you're traveling with a family of little girls, they are both pretty important.

But I digress. (Dave would say, "What's new?") Without further ado, here are some pics:

The harbor in Monaco.
We had fun imagining who owned all of the huge yachts!
Two of our own princesses.
Princess #3...she had a great time,
but found herself a bit more stroller-bound than the big girls.
Abs....10 years old, but looking older, don't ya think?
(Don't remind her daddy.)
Al, with eyes the color of the sea!
The whole fam on the roof of the national aquarium.
It looks like a postcard!

Overlooking the sea...

Monaco's army is smaller than its national symphony! :-)

And finally, the famous casino. Which, of course, I have already various James Bond and Jason Bourne-esque movies!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

France part deux

We loved the village of Cassis (rhymes with "tree")! We ended up there because we couldn't work our first choice (whose name I have already forgotten) into our schedule. I think Cassis ended up being among our favorites, so we're glad our "best plan" didn't work out.

The drive to Cassis goes through some mountains and through lots of vineyards. Apparently Cassis is considered the "poor man's Riviera" and a big off the beaten path, but we thought it was beautiful and so special. We loved exploring (read: eating and shopping) in Cassis.

This is what we saw as we walked into the village.

Just a typical day, wading in the Mediterranean Sea!

This is the beautiful lunch I blogged about a few posts ago...
fresh fish RIGHT from the sea!
The cafe where we lunched is in the middle with the brown awning.

And here are a couple of jeunes filles americaines on the pier!

Finally, Allison is the one in the family who has an artistic eye.
Here are a couple of her photos:

A tree grows in Cassis...
Can you tell what this is?

Friday, April 17, 2009

Honeys, we're home!

Ok, so we've been home for awhile now. To quote a blogging/Ethiopia baby mama friend, I have been a negligent blogger.

In my defense, I have tried to blog, but couldn't get the pictures to upload. True to my nature, when the situation involved wading into the weeds of details, I found something else to do instead. But today, I am determined! Plus, it's rainy, so what else do I have to do?

So, here are some pictures and some narrative, too.

We spent the first week in Aix en Provence. We picked Aix because it is a fairly central town in the region of Provence. Also, it was big enough to provide plenty of exploring for us (read: eat and shop and go to the markets), and everywhere else we wanted to visit was fairly close by.

Here are Dave and the girls right outside our apartment in Aix.
The living room in our apartment....
the building is about three hundred years old,
but the apartment had been fabulously renovated in 2007.
(Too bad I didn't think to snap pictures
before it assumed that "lived in" look!)

The old tower on our way to our market...

...and this is the daily market less than a block from the apartment.
We picked up fresh strawberries, cheese and bread each day!

Finally, here's a shout out to a special friend...
you know who you are!!

This is just what our rental car looked like.

There were actually three rows of seats, and it was just right for our family. The best and most important feature was the GPS. I think we would still be wandering the hill towns of the Luberon Valley if we hadn't had it!

We explored Provence every day. It really is just like I hoped and imagined it would be. Well, maybe it was even a bit better!

On our way to Arles, we drove under this Roman aquaduct.

Arles is where Vincent Van Gogh lived
and painted for several years.

There was an ancient Roman colliseum there, too.

After Arles, we drove over to Les Baux de Provence. This was one of our favorite villages. Les Baux is way up in Les Alpilles, a range of stoney mountains in the south of France. Because of its incredible position, it was a defensive stronghold in the Middle Ages, complete with ramparts and a serious castle. All we could think about was how much WORK it would have taken to build this village on the side of a rocky mountain. And it was so beautiful.

We explored the village (read: shopped and ate), and Dave and the big girls climbed up to the castle ruins.

Look at all the stone someone hewed and
hauled and used to build with!
Can you imagine?
A linen shop (where I picked up some kitchen towels).
The view up to the castle from the village.
Just blogging about the trip makes me long to go back.

Next installment: Cassis and Monaco!