Chapitre 26: Orange Covered Shoes in Roussillon, France

18There’s no better way to start this post than with a lovely photo of a handmade glass apple, that looks quite like a pumpkin, taken while discovering this lovely village: Roussillon. After all, it is Halloween.

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Roussillon is a village unlike any other. It’s located in the “Lubéron” and is part of the former régionLanguedoc-Roussillon (which can still be seen and heard about today, even though the régions were further divided and now Roussillon is in actually in Occitanie) in the Vaucluse department in the south of France.

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It’s the second most visited village in the Lubéron – and for good reason!

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Le Cadran Solaire

5 Raisons to get orange in Roussillon:

  • Le sentier des ocres. 6Roussillon offers dazzling red, orange, and yellow hues of natural ocre lined cliffs.8One can’t get orange without taking a hike through the sentier!9The path is easily marked; however, be sure to wear your hiking boots as the ocre can be a bit slippery. 10I made the mistake of wearing sneakers. 9
  • The Roussillon architecture. 2The ocre façades blend well with the colorful shutters that line its windy cobblestone streets. 12
  • The ice-cream that is just steps from Le sentier des ocres.RoussillonThere’s nothing more satisfying than having some gelati to cool off after a hike in le sentier des ocres.
  • The cleanliness. Believe it or not, many villages and cities in France can be quite…dirty. Dirty can include (but is not limited to) animal fecal matter that is literally everywhere. 2With initiatives such as free dog poop clean up bags, Roussillon is far from being sale.
  • The wine. Roussillon offers the largest wine area in France! The Roussillon wine is often seen as: Vin d’Oc (wine from the Région d’Occitanie). Roussillon (and the région) wine is unique because various grapes are blended together directly in the vineyards – this blending gives the wine a powerful bold and fruité flavor. In addition to its unique wine, Roussillon also offers beer and the infamous Pastis 51. Though, when making a beverage choice, trying the wine is a must.

14After having visited Roussillon, I have to agree that Roussillon really is one of the most beau villages in France.

11


“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” Saint Augustine.

Chapitre 24: An Adventure Afoot in Lourmarin, France

On the official Lourmarin website, the village boasts that it is “one of the best villages in France.” I wonder how many villages in France actually lay claim to this?

Lourmarin

Lourmarin is part of the the “Lubéron région located in the Vaucluse département in the région de Provence – in the south of France.

Lourmarin

Lourmarin is an adorable little village nestled in a hillside at the base of the Lubéron massif.

Lourmarin

In 2012, my université had a day trip to visite three villages in the gion: Lourmarin, LaCoste, and Roussillon. It was an experience NOT to be missed and one to REPEAT!

Lourmarin

I spent most of the morning experiencing the village by foot.

Lourmarin

5 raisons to experience Lourmarin on foot:

  • There’s a Renaissance château. The Lourmarin ChâteauThe village boasts a lovely château with quite an histoire! Château de Lourmarin Fortress The château was constructed in three periods: The fortress was built during the XII and XIII centuries, the Vieux Château was created during the XV century, and the Château Neuf was added during the XVI century. Château de Lourmarin 2To save the château from a proposed demolition during the 1920s, historian and industrialist, Robert Laurent Vibert purchased it. With his death, he left the château (and all of its furnishings/art) in the hands of Aix-en-Provence. Every year, the château hosts artists and writers as well as musicians and various cultural events. Be sure to time it right in order to avoid crowds or be one with the crowd.

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    A fountain at Château de Lourmarin.

  • There’s a cemetery filled with graves and mausoleums from famous artists and writers among other non-famous people. Lourmarin CemeteryFamous author, Albert Camus’ grave is located in the Lourmarin Cemetery. Albert Camus' graveThere’s nothing better than strolling around a beautiful cemetery after a visit to the Lourmarin château.

    Lourmarin Cemetery

    Watering cans at the cemetery.

  • There’s the infamous Lourmarin marché. The village hosts an open market every Friday from 8:30-13:00 in the centre-ville. It’s a great way to experience the city-center!
  • There’s the Lourmarin wine! One great way to experience Lourmarin is drinking un verre de vin de Lourmarin on a terrasse in Lourmarin. Lourmarin wine is made in the Lubéron région and can be purchased at Les Caves du Château (at the base of the Lourmarin Château), La Cave à Lourmarin in the centre-ville, and many other wine caves that dot its winding streets.
  • There’s the Lourmarin architecture. LourmarinOk so Lourmarin architecture ressembles the typical Mediterranean architecture – the différence being in the colors used. For exemple, Lourmarin is famous for its blue shutters while other villages in southern France boast sea green or lavande shutters. There’s no better way to view such gorgeous blues than to embrace the cobblestone streets of the village on foot. Of course, not all the shutters are blue. 1

While one might need some form of transport to get to this beau village, once arrivé, the village can be completely experienced on foot.


“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” Saint Augustine.

 

Chapitre 23: Peddle Boating in Les Gorges du Verdon, France

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No words can describe this beauté that is uniquely carved between two départementsAlpes-de-Haute-Provence and the Var.

 

The rivière in the canyon spans over 33 km

1

and the sommets of the montagnes can be as high as 2,819 m.

2

Les Gorges du Verdon is considered the largest canyon in Europe

1

It is also listed as part of a UNESCO world geopark.

2

5 Raisons to Experience Les Gorges du Verdon by Peddle Boat:

  • It’s a Gorge.3What more is there to say, really?
  • It offers bold, green water. 4There’s no better way to experience this belle water than to peddle boat in it! 3
  • It’s relaxing. 4The Gorges du Verdon has a way of removing the stresses of daily life and then transporting touristes to paradis! Peddle boating only adds to this relaxation in paradis ideal as it offers touristes a way to vue the canyon from the water in a more relaxing way than in a kayak, for exemple.Sure, peddling may seem tough, but it’s actually quite calming when surrounded by 33 km of incredible limestone rock and sediment. 1
  • It’s got caves! 6It wouldn’t be a true gorges without at least 1 cave….5Many are too small for humains to enter, but they sure do photographe well from the peddle boat!
  • The Gorges is easy to photographe from the peddle boat. 2 There’s no need to fret if your camera is not water-proof because peddle boating is a relaxing ride on the water!

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It may have been a rainy day during my first trip to the Gorges du Verdon, but that didn’t stop the beauté of the gorges from beaming down on us (and even blinding us at times). ♦


“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” Saint Augustine.

The Tale of a Teething Baby

“She awoke; it was after 4:00 am. It was my fault…kind of.

It wasn’t really my fault, I swear!

I was in the middle of drinking warm milk with Peppa and Goldie and Papa Pig, when all of a sudden, a thousand knives began to pierce my gums (my parents use this word All of the time these days)! Don’t say you wouldn’t have shot up in bed with thousands of warm tears trickling down your face. I needed a hug, another baba and Something to dull the ache! Thankfully, mama was there. After all, I’m just a bébé, I can’t reach anything. What’s happening to me?!?”

The worst word a new parent will hear is Teething.

But, we all know this is inevitable, so, what can we do about it? After all, we hate seeing our petit(e) prince(sse) suffer.

Here are 3 popular products that can help ease bébé‘s gum pain (in France, of course):

  • Camilia – a sirop homéopathique* that you massage onto your bébé‘s gums.Afficher l'image d'origine Camilia comes in little sachets and it can be found at most pharmacies. You can put it on your finger and massage it on bébé‘s gums, put it on a teether, or you can pour it directly onto your bebe‘s gums (massaging at the same time).
  • Sirop delabarre – a sirop homéopathique* that you massage onto your bébé‘s gums. Afficher l'image d'origineNormalement, Sirop Delabarre comes in a small jar – just be careful when putting it on your finger or on a teether as it tends to come out fast! This is considered more natural than Camilia. It can also be found at most pharmacies. There is also a gel version.http://www.avisdemamans.com/image.php?310x310/produit/delabarre.png
  • Dolodent – a gel in pump form that you massage onto your bébé‘s gums. http://www.avisdemamans.com/image.php?310x310/produit/778thickbox.jpgDolodent is usually recommended for use when Camilia and Sirop Delabarre are not strong enough.

These products may help ease bébé‘s pain (especially when bébé wants nothing to do with the teether), but they don’t always work. Sometimes, bébé won’t even let you touch her gums long enough for the sirop or gel to work; however, when they work, it gives parents some added minutes of sleep. When they don’t work, parents are left feeling helpless, exhausted, stressed, and sad (after all, no one wants to see their bébé suffer).

Here are 3 tips to help relax parents living with a teething bébé:

  • Get a massage…Better yet, get a shiatsu massage. The benefits of massages are endless. Whether it’s a couple’s massage (thank you, baby-sitter!) or a massage from your partner, you’re bound to be relaxed for at least the duration of the massage.
  • Join a Baby Yoga classe. This will not only relax you, but may help relax bébé – even a teething bébé! Plus it’s a great way to bond with bébé. Here are some yoga opportunités in the PACA (Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur) région.
  • Join a parent/bébé groupe – Or in my case, a parent/bébé English classe. Hanging out with other parents a few times a week relieves that “I’m all alone” stress as you see that you are, in fact, not alone.

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It’s important to take some time out of your day-week-month for just you, just your partner, and for you and your partner. This alone time away from bébé will help keep the two of you sain during moments of crisis (teething isn’t the only fear). Don’t let your teething bébé bring you down: It’s just a phase that does not last forever, thankfully! ♦

*Homéopathie in the USA is really frowned upon (a story for a separate blog post); however, many “homéopathie” products on the marché in the USA are forbidden in France due to régulations set in place on medicine (even homeopathy). These régulations are différent in both countries. Hylands Baby Teething Tablets, which have been speculated to have caused the death of 10 babies in the USA, is not sold in France as it does not meet France’s régulations (it contains a “toxic” (depending on the dilution) plant, belladone, which is not diluted enough to pass French laws).


This is part of a series on raising a bilingual child in France. You can follow my parenting adventure and gain helpful insight on what raising a bilingual child is like in France by reading these blogs:


For more insight on pregnancy in France, check out the following posts:

La Fête de la Musique d’Aix

There’s no better way to celebrate the summer solstice than dancing around the centre-ville

…not only with amis, but also with a gazillion other strangers.

But, no need to get too claustrophobe because the ville was beyond préparée for ANYTHING and EVERYTHING!

…The ville was even préparée for children…

So, just relax and enjoy the musique because it’s EVERYWHERE!

Musique can be found from the Cours Mirabeau

to Rue d’Italie

to Place des Prêcheurs to Place de la Mairie…like I said: Everywhere!

Even the cafés, restaurants, bistros, brasseries…you name it, partake in the festivities: They set up tables that extend further along the Cours than normal.

Normalement, the fête is held around the 21 or the 22 of Juin, but this year, Aix held the fête on the 24th so as to have enough crowd police patrol. This is the FÊTE that I look forward to every year (aside from Carnaval)! It’s basically a free concert, so, what’s not to love? ♦

V: Vulgarité: Venturing out into the Vast and Voluptuous World of Cultural Différences

It was 2013, mon chéri was talking to me and mon neveu. It was a conversation innocente about Minecraft – one of the games the two really enjoyed. I don’t remember how this word came into the conversation, (they were probably in the middle of a fight with the Creepers and his personnage was killed) but it did: damn. Mon neveu didn’t flinch or show any sign that he heard this word (thankfully), but it sparked a later conversation between mon chéri and I about what’s considered too vulgaire to say in front of kids and certain adultes (my famille is not one in which swearing is a thing).

Vulgarité has been a touchy sujet since the Puritans arrived in North America. In fact, Américains are taught from a very young age that certain things are just off limits in some situations. What things? Vulgarité. Which situations? All of them except when you’re with your friends who use profanity. This éducation has created an uncomfortable sensation any time we encounter someone who steps out of the norm and uses a vulgaire word when he/she should not. Even today, in my 30s, I get uncomfortable when my French friends throw English swear words around (my réaction is often: “Wow slow down there – save some for when you’ll really need them!”); however, I’ve no problème using the French équivalent. Why is that?

Well, in France, vulgaire words are not seen in the same light as in the US. For exemple, when someone uses a vulgaire word during a conversation among adultes or even older kids (high school age) with a 10 year old in earshot, Américains tend to cringe. This réaction causes the child to either say, “That’s a bad word! I’m telling mommy!” or to be a rebel and répète the word. In France, there is no “cringe” effect. In fact, no one really cares. I’ve also never heard a French child use profanity (and I’ve encountered quite a few kids being a teacher and all).

Let’s get something straight: In général, the French don’t use profanity when directly facing kids (and, bien-sûr, children are taught proper French in schools); but, they will use profanity while talking with other adultes when there are kids within earshot. Another différence culturelle: In France, swear words are generally not used to call people names. They are mostly used as gap fillers or part of an expression (positive ou négative)

For exemple, you’re explaining a story to your père about how someone in your appartement complexe stole one of the tires off of your car. His réaction: “Putain!” If you look up this word as an expression (a word as a word and a word as an expression are not always the same) in WordReference, you will find that it means “Shit!” or “Fuck!” However, they aren’t viewed as bad as those words in English.

However, this norm no longer applies when you’re driving. Driving really brings out the connards

Of course, there are some people who use words like “pute” to describe someone (usually a female), but this is rare and mostly used by a spécifique personality type. For exemple, someone who’s trying pickup/harasse women…Spécialement if he has just been jaded/blocked.

The use of profanity can be a bit difficile for Américains expats and travelers to get used to. The way that profanity is used in France is a vast and voluptuous différence culturelle than that in the USA. If you’re not préparé(e) in avance, you will be in for quite the révélation. Just keep an open mind and understand that profanity is not put on a pedestal apart from everything else, which is one raison why no one really cares. Éventuellement, expats often find themselves using vulgaire words in French when they would not use them in the same sentence translated into English. Sometimes, expats even end up supplementing vulgaire words in French while speaking in English (yes, this has happened to me)! It’s funny to think about, but it’s réalité.

While profanity is still more accepted (and thus not really seen as “bad”) in France, the use of profanity is increasing in the US.

Perhaps this is due to shows like South Park or perhaps we are just swaying further away from our Puritan ancestors…Whatever be the case, vulgarité is on the rise, though US société is still far from being anywhere near France’s. ♦


This is part of a blogging challenge: Topics ranging from A-Z. You can follow my challenge by clicking on the links below:

A: Adulthood: The Age of Absolute Ambiguïté 

B: Bilingue: La Vie is Better Being Bilingual

C: Christianisme: Combing the Cliffs of Clarté.

D: Death: Dealing with the Décès of My Dad

E: Éducation: The Endeavor of Easing into French Écoles

F: Food: Fancy or Faulty in France?

G: Going: Going Going Gone!

H: Home: My Heart Has Two Harbors

I: Interests: Intelligent, Insightful, Incredible!

J: Joy: La Jalousie is Overcome by La Joie

K: Khimar: Kind and Kooky Knitted Clothing Traditions

L: Lesson Plans: Leading the “Little Ones” into Language through Laughable Leçons

M: Musique: The Many Musicians Making Love on the Streets of Aix

N: Naughty or Nice?: Not Only Noticing the Différences, But Also the Similarités Between France and the U.S.

O: Obéi: Only Open to Obeying the Rules of the Road in…

P: PACS: Passionate Partners Pledging L’amour

Q: Questions: A Queen’s Quest for Clarté

R: Raisons: Riding on the Pony of Real Reasons (to Take the A-Z Challenge)

S: Study Abroad: Smiles and Sadness Set the Scène

T: Travel: Time to Hit the Trail!

U: Under the Influence: An Ugly Upward Climb Until Reaching the Summit

V: Vulgarité: Venturing out into the Vast and Voluptuous World of Cultural Différences

W: Walking: The Wise and Watchful Médiéval Wanderer

X: Xenial: A Xenodochial but not Xenophobic Host in France

Foire (aka Festival) d’Aix

Normally, the term foire can be translated as “Flee Market”; however, this foire was more like a festival.

This year (Mai 27, 28, 29 2016), the Foire was held on Esplanade MozartSuper Héros were invited to the Foire; however, sadly, I didn’t see any.

Do you see any Super Héros?

I thought that the booths would be Super Héro themed (I figured there’d be booths of various entreprises who would be creative enough to play with this Super Héro thème), but I was wrong. This was a bit of a disappointment, but it still proved a foire intéressante.

There  were booths from various companies selling n’importe quoi: Anything from soaps…

to wine…

to Navettes were sold at this foire.

There were also booths from companies who were promoting products

…a pipes promotion….?

or activités: Anything from mini golf

to laser tag

to an outdoor labyrinthe were being promoted.

There was also a stage with a host doing animations and games.

The Foire d’Aix was nothing special, but it offre a logical way (logical for the clients – everything was lined up in front of you) for local businesses to promote themselves at the same time to the public.

I hope that this turned out to be great advertising for these businesses. ♦

T: Travel: Time to Hit the Trail!

Hans Christian Andersen is right: “To travel is to live.” I préfère to take Andersen’s quotation as it is:  You aren’t really living unless you’re traveling the world.

Why is this the cas? Well, Batutta couldn’t have answered it better:

When I took a trip to Waikiki Beach in Honolulu on the Hawaiian Island of Oahu in 2008, I witnessed exactly what Battuda expressed: “Traveling [. . .] leaves you speechless“…

…”then turns you into a storyteller.”

You see, I’m from Chicago. The plains. The flatlands. The Midwest. Visiting a city on the Pacific coast…on an island…with mountains was, well, breathtaking.

Diamond Head.

I had stories to go with every photo I took!

I couldn’t agree more (see my series on the chapitres I’ve read).

From Jacksonville Beach to Savannah to Memphis to San Diego to National City (CA) to Anaheim to Hollywood to Las Vegas to Honolulu to New Orleans to Panama City Beach to Knoxville to Tybee Island to Savannah (during St. Patrick’s Day!) to Memphis (to see ma chère amie graduate from Pharmacy School) to Aix-en-Provence (to study abroad) to Nice to Monte-Carlo to Eze to Saint-Tropez to Marseille to Les Gorges du Verdon to Paris to Venice to Rome to Florence to Barcelone to Tours to Briançon and back again…I continue to read this earth and I don’t plan on stopping any time  soon.

5 Raisons How Traveling is Living:

  • It opens up the mind to other cultures.
  • It expands géographique knowledge.
  • It teaches you about yourself.
  • It forces you out of your comfort zone.
  • It enables you to meet and even make friends with a variété of faces.

This is part of a blogging challenge: Topics ranging from A-Z. You can follow my challenge by clicking on the links below:

A: Adulthood: The Age of Absolute Ambiguïté 

B: Bilingue: La Vie is Better Being Bilingual

C: Christianisme: Combing the Cliffs of Clarté.

D: Death: Dealing with the Décès of My Dad

E: Éducation: The Endeavor of Easing into French Écoles

F: Food: Fancy or Faulty in France?

G: Going: Going Going Gone!

H: Home: My Heart Has Two Harbors

I: Interests: Intelligent, Insightful, Incredible!

J: Joy: La Jalousie is Overcome by La Joie

K: Khimar: Kind and Kooky Knitted Clothing Traditions

L: Lesson Plans: Leading the “Little Ones” into Language through Laughable Leçons

M: Musique: The Many Musicians Making Love on the Streets of Aix

N: Naughty or Nice?: Not Only Noticing the Différences, But Also the Similarités Between France and the U.S.

O: Obéi: Only Open to Obeying the Rules of the Road in…

P: PACS: Passionate Partners Pledging L’amour

Q: Questions: A Queen’s Quest for Clarté

R: Raisons: Riding on the Pony of Real Reasons (to Take the A-Z Challenge)

S: Study Abroad: Smiles and Sadness Set the Scène

T: Travel: Time to Hit the Trail!

U: Under the Influence: An Ugly Upward Climb Until Reaching the Summit

V: Vulgarité: Venturing out into the Vast and Voluptuous World of Cultural Différences

W: Walking: The Wise and Watchful Médiéval Wanderer

X: Xenial: A Xenodochial but not Xenophobic Host in France

Chapitre 18: Nothing but Nifty Beaches and Musées in Nice, France

Nice was the first séjour during my study abroad expérience in Aix.

I was hypnotisée from the moment I stepped foot on the pebble plage, or beach.

Sure, it wasn’t the most plage idéale, but it was a nifty one!

After walking down the plage, I found myself on the Quai des États-Unis:

But, I wasn’t in Nice just for their plages

I also went to the marché

and I enjoyed a culture spectacle

while I was admiring some bonbons

and debating whether or not to buy some dried tomates!

As I embraced this Baroque ville,

I took avantage of the Journées Européennes du Patrimoine: I toured churches, palais, and musées that were not normalement ouverts au public.

Chapelle de la Miséricorde (no intérieur photos allowed)

It was an amazing, un-photographed expérience.

(Except, the extérieur…)

But, my Nice-acquisition-de-l’histoire didn’t stop at these belle places, I also entrée in Palais Lascaris (the only one that allowed photographie – sans flash, bien-sûr!).

  

5 Raisons to Hurt Your Pieds Walking on a Plage in Nice:

  • The water is crystal claire!

There’s no better way to relax your sore pieds than taking a dip in the claire water!

  • The vue!

The vue of Nice from the plage is breathtaking!

  • A lot of plage, few people. 

I guess a pebble plage doesn’t attract as many (there are still touristestouristes like a sable plage, thus leaving you with plenty of rock to soak up the soleil!

The pebble plages are naturelles: The pebbles are washed down and deposited from the Var and Paillon Rivières/Fleuves – an activité that has been in place for eons.

  • Pic-nique free of sable!

Ever get tired of finding sable in your sandwich? Ou worse, not being able to tell if it’s sel (salt), or sable mixed in with your chips? A pebble plage will let you eat in paix!

  • Calming vagues (waves).

If you like surfing, then Nice is not for you. However, if you’re up for a nice relaxing stroll on the pebbles or a nice relaxing dip in the water, then Nice is definitely for you!

Soaking up the soleil with some lavande ou olive noir (ou stracciatella) flavored gelato is my kind of idée of a vacance université outing.

Add the gorgeous volets…

and, bien-sûr, the musées, palais, and churches for a bit of fun hors du soleil and voilàThe parfait vacance! ♦


“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” Saint Augustine.

A Taste of Culture Japonaise at the Japan Expo Sud

It was a beau, brillant, and sun-filled day at Parc Chanot in Marseille. 

It was The almost-parfait day to wait 45 minutes in the line outside (despite having pre-ordered tickets online); the Mistral was at its peak. I was thankful to have put my hair into pigtails despite the fact that I must’ve looked like a 12-year old. At least my hair didn’t end up all snarled.

But, I fit in with this style, for I was at the Japan Expo Sud.

The Japan Expo Sud was a beau mixture of Japanese (or Japanese inspired) manga

(and animé, of course)

Full Metal Alchemist will always be my favorite animé.

and culture Japonaise.

Tanabata inspired Wish Trees.

5 Things That Définissent a Japan Expo:

  • Japanese (and Japanese inspired) manga and animé.
  • Cosplay…

            

(Even the vendeurs tap into the cosplay marché)

                  

…and Scooby Doo…?

It must also be noted that whatever animated film/show (and even anything science-fiction) that was just released within the year (Japonais or not) will be displayed in one way or other at the Expo. Exemples: Star Wars; Deadpool…

Even vendeurs tapped into the marché.

…and the Lord of the Rings, which wasn’t released in 2016, but oh well, everyone likes a cool sword/dagger.

Oh, look! There’s Aragorn.

Though, I’m still baffled about how Scooby Doo fits into all of this…but, I love Scooby, so, I approve!

  • Japanese (inspired) sports…

          

…and board games.

Mahjong.

  • Author signings and présentations.

L’autographe and dédicace from Reno Lemaire!

Reno Lemaire, auteur of Dreamland.

Reno Lemaire, auteur of Dreamland (Lemaire set the stage for French manga authors) .

  • Onigiri…

   

    

…and Rainbow Rice Cakes.

  • Old vidéo game consoles… 

    Oh look…there’s Scooby!

    …and des jeux vidéos.

Super Mario Duck Hunt.

Street Fighter.

The Japan Expo Sud fulfilled my taste of culture Japonaise…for the day.

All I need to do now is go to Japon (and maybe my love of culture Japonaise will be fulfilled for the year…).

Ma famille-outing at the Japan Expo Sud was quite a last-minute-but-super-awesome décision.

Next time, we will dress in full costume (on vous jure ! We swear!). ♦