Long day yesterday, but managed to drag the family out of the cottage for 9:30am to catch the 9:54 from Lamotte Beuvron, via Orleans, to Austerlitz. Wonderfully modern train up to Orleans, then an older "Inter City" train, which ran 10 minutes late into Paris.
Met up immediately with Isa and her kids, great to see them. We walked through the Jardin des Plantes, where the kids could run wild a little (some good photos), then across to la rue Mouffetard to take some extremely slow and mediocre lunch in a cafe on the Place de la Contrescape. Walked on past the Pantheon and the Sorbonne, to Notre Dame, which was the one place that Alice said she wanted to visit. We got some slight views of la Tour Eiffel too, which is something else she said she wanted to see.
As a special treat (plus we were all tired) we took the Metro back to Censier Daubenton. Isabelle used to live near there, and it is the area we always stay in when we visit Paris, so we felt "at home". Plus, Isa knew a splendid Ice Cream shop, Octave, at the bottom of the Rue Mouffetard, so we all had some ice cream. The place happened to be next to the L'Occitane shop so Jacqueline too was happy. Unfortunately it was then time to head on home - how quickly six hours can pass.
Robin is starting to test the boundaries, according to Isabelle, and we could see signs of it. But he seemed generally Ok, a typical eight-year-old. Tess is very prim and proper, very ladylike and lovely. She has a loose front tooth at the moment and took great delight in wiggling it about, especially when I expressed disgust! Even though Tess is only three months older than Alice, she looks and acts far older, and her behaviour is far better. Alice looks positively baby-like next to them. A little concerning.
Anyway, back to Lamotte for 8pm, and a quick dash back to Centerparcs for a brief swim before closing time. Then back to the cottage for a salad which we were all too tired to eat.
This morning, we again went for a swim, the three of us there together for the first time. Dragged Alice to the outside part, which was lovely - a blue, cloudless sky overhead. We had to leave the pool quite sharpish, since Alice had a pony ride booked. it was thus that we met Herneste. Because Alice is a largish child, she was given a largish pony, a beautiful white pony by the name of Herneste.. I was a little surprised that I was supposed to lead the pony around, but in for a penny...
So off set the three of us for a walk around the lake. Unfortunately Alice decided quite soon in that she didn't like it, and before too long Jacqueline (who was steadying Alice) stood to close to Herneste's rear end, and received a kick on the shin for her troubles! Still Alice stayed on board until almost the end of the ride - the final straw for her was when Herneste lunged for some lovely-looking leaves - she decided to walk the rest of the way. So it was that I wandered back into the stables, alone with Herneste. Lovely creature, though not if you were to ask Jacqueline or Alice!