Monday, 17 March 2008

Post-flu recap

I know I didn't report much of my mother's visit but I'll blame it on the flu, the money pit and various business meetings in 3 different countries. come to think of it, it's not really an excuse. It's reality.

We did do quite a bit of tourism in the days prior to (or in most cases, during) the flu invasion.

We drove to the coast to see the fish at Nausicaa and to show my mother the White Cliffs of Dover from Cap Gris Nez. However, Nausicaa proved to be better for older children who can read and Boulogne-sur-Mer leaves a lot to be desired. A high point of the aquarium was the "petting zoo", if you can call it that. A large, open tank towards the end of the exhibit where you can put your hands in touch the various flat and slimy and slithery creatures inside. Suzanne thought it was cool - splashing and touching scales. I just got a little squeamish. By the time we got to lunch, Suzanne was burning up and her nose was an endless river of snot.

We nevertheless dragged her to the sea - we were there and she'd never seen it - a second just so she could see it before she conked out in the car, taken over by the flu. We didn't get to see the White Cliffs of Dover either because somewhere between France and England, there was a lot of fog.

A couple days later, we took advantage of my sister-in-law's passion for horses and brought Suzanne to ride a poney at the Petit Parc in Hem. As Suzanne discovered her love of non-white horses, I discovered my horse allergy. Suzanne insisted on feeding rice cakes to the horses who weren't really convinced by the texture. She chose her pony, called Rivière, fed it apple, brushed it. And when the time came to climb on, she bawlked. I guess being on a horse must be a little daunting for a 21 month old.

And the last day, who knew there were so many farms in and around Lille? With Suzanne's recent pig and sheep obsession, what better place to bring her than to a working farm where they make their own stinky cheese? La ferme du vinage is in Roncq, a 15 minute drive from Lille, and they organize tours of the farm every Saturday. At some point during the visit to the cows and pigs, my fever spiked and by the time we got to the best part of the tour - the cheese tasting!- I was sick (although I didn't tell my mom). I would have gladly bought some of the sausage for Suzanne which she wanted so badly, but I couldn't bear the thought since I'd just seen its cousin and was dreading the drive home. In the car, I was shivering and by the time I got home, I had a 103° fever. But we did buy some lovely pie made with stinky carré du vinage and I did get to eat some of the delicious cheese a couple days later. And my mom? She got to eat a farm fresh rhubarb yogurt on the plane back to New Jersey.

We'll definitely be going back to the farm under better conditions, maybe for a birthday party!

1 comment:

The Late Bloomer said...

Oh MAN, I hope you're feeling much better now! But what a trooper, going through the whole trip and not even telling your mom that you were sick -- I don't know how you did that! When I had a fever a few weeks ago, I laid there in bed like a truck had run over me and I don't think I could have gotten up if I had tried -- and my fever wasn't even that high!

I'm still kicking myself for not getting a flu shot this year... What was I thinking?

That far sounds really cool, though -- my sister-in-law and her family live near Lille as well, and we drive up there occasionally. They may be moving back to Germany one day soon, though... Ah, how quickly things change!

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