We had been looking foward to showing Mark Besançon - but a week of vacation has worn us all out. We sleep in again- I love this recent development where my kids will sleep until 8am or even 8:30 when they are tired - not get up at 6:30am no matter what! I make some egg in the hole (not french but new to Mark) for brunch and then we take him on the long scenic bus route through Besancon and over to the Citadelle steps. We haven't dared take these up before but it wasn't really that hard - turned out it was only 197 steps (we counted) and there were neat caves all along the route. (for the gaurds to nap in???) We enjoyed the views and the animals. Here is Mark contemplating the hills. We also went inside one of the museums (there are about 10-15 in the Citadelle building) and looked at the special holiday display they had of Christmas toys and traditions - I just had to take a photo of this early 7-up advertisement from 1950 featuring Santa and his reindeer. You probably can't read the text as the picture is terrible. " For Happy Holidays at home! So Good, So Pure, So Wholesome for Everyone! " (then Santa's sled loaded with a giant bottle of 7-up) and, at the bottom "You like it...It likes you" It turns out that Rudolph was only added to Santa's reindeer team in 1939. I also learned about the origins of puzzles - but I can't remember anything except it was really interesting. My mind is like a seive.
No visit to centre ville would be complete without then heading down the hill to see Cathedral St. Jean and the roman ruins. Then we took a bus to the Musee des Beaux Arts. Zander is fascinated by the mummies in particular. Mark has been unsuccessfully looking for cheap T shirts for souveniers. Not much is cheap around here, especially not clothing!
We had some good Greek for dinner and headed home to watch LOST - Mark is now as addicted as we are and wants to watch it non-stop! So do I, but not as much as I want to sleep!
On Sunday we helped Mark visit a church service. While he was gone, André worked on his presentation for work and I unpacked from the vacation while the kids played. They watched TV in the afternoon while we saw more LOST (which is also what we did in the evening!)
We are all a bit low. Life begins again tomorrow. Kids back at school, André back at work and it is the last night of Mark's stay. Our family is about to shrink from 6 to 5 again. We all had a fun time having him around - the kids especially enjoyed his roughhousing! André drove Mark over to the train station at 4:30am the next morning. We tried to warn him there wouldn't be people there that early, and that his credit card wouldn't work in the machines -but he just can't get used to the inconvenience of the European system. Ce n'est pas grave (as they say in France) We helped out so he could get to Neim as planned. I'll tell ya, Mark has amazing stamina - after a week that was great fun - but also completely exhausting, he is just starting, headed for adventure all over France and Germany, not returning to UT until the 10th - go for it dude!
Me, I'm looking foward to blogging about more normal life for awhile!