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Thursday, August 30, 2012

[2012 Maffliers] Kids grow fast... and we age faster...?

It has been almost 7 years that we didn't see each other.
We've spent a few days of vacation together in Bruges, Belgium in summer 2005.
Remi was a baby and so do our friends' kids.
Then, the last time I saw my friends and their kids was when I stayed at their place in November 2005. 
We've seen each other at least every other year, if not every year, until 2005,
but well, then time flew.
 We had arranged before and we booked rooms at the same hotel in Maffliers.
That's how it has worked out for many years.

As Matthies has been tall since he was a baby,
so we had imagined him already very tall even though he's not fourteen yet.
 Matthies at three @ Fontainbleau, December 2001
Me with baby Matthies in Fontainebleau, December 2001.
He was taller than his mom who is 5'9" at thirteen. He said he was a little bit taller than the rest of his class. (How can Dutches be so tall, I always wonder!)
And he speaks English very well. We were so glad to have nice conversation with him.
Isa and Julia are not the babies anymore.
I'm not joking,
they were the cutest littles girls I've ever seen.
They are now eleven and nine(going on ten) respectively.
Before we had kids,
we had thought their kids were standard normal kids.
It was only after we had our own kids that we realized that their trio was extremely well behaving kids.
They were already extraordinary as young kids.
Now they are two awesome beautiful girls and a wonderful teenager.
My goodness, how can time pass so quickly?
 Kids got along very well and quickly.
Glad Matthies was there to translate between English and Dutch.
As Dutches learn English very fast, I'm sure Isa and Julia will be fluent in English by next time we see them, probably in 2015.
Well, kids could still play together without translation!
I've known that Matthies loved babies, including toddlers.
But, I didn't know that he also is so good with young kids.

 Well, how would I know? Last time I saw him was when he just turned seven and he was the age even younger than Remi.
But, this time, Pablo adored Matthies and spent the time with Matthies.

 The hotel was perfect for family entertaining.
Chateau Maffliers Novotel has a shallow, but nice indoor pool, and very large private park where we could have picnics.
 We drank wine, ate lots of baguette with cheese & all sorts of charcuteries
and talked a lot.
We drank wine, champagne, and wine. :)

 Pablo eating baguette sandwich at our picnic.
Baguette was not Pablo's favorite bread. As a child who does not like crust of bread, how could he like French baguette? But he didn't have a choice in France~
I really think he should learn how to appreciate French breads.
Of course, he loves "pain au chocolat". He has been having a "pain au chocolat" every morning.
They also had tennis courts. It was too bad, but we really didn't have time to benefit from the facility.
 Kids loved swimming.
Having had swimming lessons for a few months and a swimming day camp,
Remi can now swim free style 20m.
 Their reasonably-priced restaurant was at their "Chateau"while all the guest rooms were at the other building. 

Evening was warm so that we could enjoy the dinner on the terrace.

The hotel offered a great dinner promotion that we couldn't really miss.
We shared salmon and chicken~
We visited Chateau de Chantilly, i.e. Musée Condé, together, about which I will post very soon.
On the last day, I asked Julia if I could braid her hair.
And Julia said yes :D
I wish I had a daughter so that I can braid her hair every day~
Well, I didn't braid hair for long time. The only thing I braided was challah bread dough.
It was why I did a messy job with such pretty blonde hair.
But, still I managed to braid somehow!
And a proof shot :)
 Hope Julia will let me braid her hair again next time!

 You can see more posts about my trip to France if you click the links below:
1) [Auberge Ravoux] Van Gogh's last residence in Auvers-sur-Oise
2) [Basilique Saint-Denis] French Royal Necropolis - The burial place of the French Kings

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