Bordeaux

P1070844I had planned on doing a short post on our visit to Bordeaux previously but then our daughter started walking around the same time and life got a lot more real: my blog posts fell to the wayside, my yoga mat grew dust, and my Italian lessons remained untouched…all while Frankie walked, and walked, and walked some more. Everyone warns you that life becomes more challenging when your little one becomes increasingly mobile (and when I say everyone, I mean everyone in the world who has a child older than your own and who feels the need to let you know what challenges life has in store for you) but you don’t really realize what that means until your own child begins to do the two-footed shuffle.

And with that shuffle, for Frankie at least, came a surge of independence. No longer was she content checking out the world from the comfort of her stroller – she wanted to be in the midst of it all. And I would be ok with slow walking beside me, it’s cool, I understand that initially walking can be slow. But what I just cannot tolerate is the slow shuffle, followed by the prolonged sit on the ground scouring for cigarette butts and broken glass (and trust me, in Rome, you do not have to look far for these things…or any other trash for that matter). So, as you can gather, life has become a bit more challenging as of late and I’ve been spending a lot more time just ensuring my daughter stays alive and relatively unharmed…and that has
meant sacrificing some personal pleasures.

Speaking of pleasures, Bordeaux! And my parents. My parents fell in love with Bordeaux years ago and have been returning annually since. Both my brother and younger sister have also made it part of their travel plans, acting on the advice of my parents, and have had only good things to report. So, when P1070789my mom emailed that she and my dad would be in Bordeaux in September and wanted us to come visit, we immediately said we would love to check it out and see what all the fuss was about. We managed to find some affordable tickets, one of the massive perks of living in Italy, and were on our way.

It seems so long ago now, but it was a brilliant four day weekend kicked off in the best way possible for this Canadian expat: with a Pumpkin Spice Latte!! My first Starbucks in 5 months, definitely the longest I’ve gone without since my early 20s, was planned out prior to stepping off the plane; weeks previously, actually, I had googled “Starbucks in Bordeaux” so I knew to expect a small cafe at the airport and it was where we headed first, straight off the plane. There are no Starbucks in Italy (although, stay tuned, as it appears that could be changing soon) so my North American self was dying for a hot beverage; I love, love, love my “to go” coffee and, while I currently do not have a choice in the matter, I know it’s one habit that I will never abandon. For me, it’s not a matter of being in a rush and not having the time to stand at a bar/sit in a cafe and drink my coffee; it’s a matter of wanting a coffee bigger than 3 ounces! But, also, the act of carrying my large, steaming coffee as I go about my morning activities is almost ritualistic for me and it’s a ritual I miss on a daily basis. So, as you can gather, my grande latte was the perfect welcome to Bordeaux.

And, Bordeaux! Beautiful. Clean. Quiet (well, perhaps not quiet exactly but the range of volume was certainly far below Rome’s ear-piercing decibel levels). Just a nice change, really, and I think Jesse and I both welcomed the difference. I particularly enjoyed being able to push the stroller on an actual sidewalk! Not that Frankie saw too much of her stroller, though, as my mom carried Frankie on our walks, as Jess and I enjoyed a welcome break, until her back would no longer cooperate, at which point she happily pushed the stroller back to the house where she babysat while Jesse and I spent some time alone, our first since moving to Rome.P1070774

Over the course of the long weekend, we had some lovely home-cooked meals, cozy chats over wine and home-made mint tea, ambling walks to the outdoor market for fresh food, to the city centre for wardrobe necessities, and to the reflecting pool for photo ops (said photos attached here). Particularly welcome: the fresh croissants my dad went out to order each morning and the platters of cheeses and olives he set out each night, as was the (too) successful shopping trip with my mom. Jesse and I were also impressed with my parents’ level of French, having experienced the struggle to converse in a language other than your own, and were buoyed that perhaps one day we will be as comfortable speaking Italian as they were French.

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So, while my post about Bordeaux was slightly usurped by my coffee struggles, please accept that when I say it was a great weekend, I am referring to the company, the scenery, and the food (which happens to include coffee)….

 

8 Responses to “Bordeaux”

  1. I’m all teared up. We loved the visit as well, watching Frankie take her first serious steps, seeing you and Jesse’s strengths as a couple, getting to know more about his work, and noticing the aspects of your personality that Frankie has pulled right out of dormancy — you’re a magnificent mother!
    And girl, you can write! 😉
    signed, Proud Momma and Nana

    • Rhiannon Sprout says:

      Thanks Mom, guessing I probably learned a thing or two from you..😉

      It was such a great visit, though, and we are looking forward to next years albeit in a different locale.

  2. Paul Sprout says:

    Now, I am recalling fondly those olives, especially the ones stuffed with anchovies, and Jesse’s grimace after eating one. Lovely post that nicely captures those days in Bordeaux. Dad

    • Rhiannon Sprout says:

      Actually, my comment on the olives didn’t include the anchovy-stuffed ones….Jesse says,”what is it with your family and anchovies?”

  3. Zach says:

    Nice post and photos – as usual!
    “Just wait till she starts running.”

  4. dottoressa says:

    One woman’s hell is another woman’s paradise :-)!
    Rhiannon,you live in my coffee heaven,but I hope you’ll get your Starbucks,too
    You have great family,I hope you’ll have more visits and more stories to tell
    And about the charming little”runner” :),too
    Dottoressa

    • Rhiannon Sprout says:

      Hahahahaha I know! Most people would kill to drink cappuccino in Rome every day and I just want Starbucks! Haha, at least I can admit it, right?

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