a visit …all the way from home
They came, they saw, we drank – woohooey!
It was meant to have been a BIG surprise, but in the end we knew. But that didn’t change ANYTHING in the way of how excited I was to have my parents – for the first time in 12 years!!- come and visit us.
My lovely brother had tried as hard as he could to keep it a surprise until the very last but, with all sorts of things popping up on his end and ours, had to tell us that he was heading our way with two of his kids and da da da daaaa… Ma and Pop in tow!
Since we moved here 14 years ago I’ve been enormously lucky to have had so many friends and family stay – and each time is so special as you get to enjoy each person on their own and usually over an extended time (hey, this is no quick side trip on the itinerary – if you’re going to travel from one side of the world to the other you’d better make it a decent trip!). I adore going back to see everyone in Oz, but it can get hectic trying desparately to catch up with everyone at once. This way, when people come to stay on our turf, I can relish every minute of their company and not have to juggle with a social diary.
So this was Jan and Pete’s – and Mark, Ruby and James’s turn to finally drop their bags and hang out (in the home that my parents hadn’t seen until now!)
I took them to all the places they’d rememebered vividly from twelve years ago, dined in a few lovely bistrots, cooked my favourite meals for them, introduced them to our mates and even snuck in a few drinking sessions, bien sur, with Benji’s wines (yes I’ll make it clear you don’t drink the stuff Mum).
I can’t tell you how good it was to have everyone here at last. I’m still smiling. Thanks big bro Mark for making it happen!
ps – a word of warning! there’s a few pics down below, sorry – but hell, this trip was twelve years in the making!
the view on the first morning
showing Ma and Pop the classroom
La Cite in Carcassonne – or ‘Kevin’ as we like to call it.
The original hill site dates back to the 6th Century BC, with the Romans fortifying the hilltop in 100 BC. The Visigoths claimed the land from the 5th and 6th centuries. It was held by various different leaders from the 11th century onwards and underwent a complete renovation in the 19th century.
an elegant entry to the dunny
buying ‘Loukoum’ (Turkish Delight) at the Olonzac market
the Aussies at the Olonzac market – with a bit of Aussie culture thrown in
lunch at L’Estagnol in Narbonne
after lunch stroll in ‘le cloitre’ (the cloister) of the Cathedral of ‘Saint Just et Saint Pasteur’ of Narbonne – built during the 14th and 15th centuries
view from le cloitre (cloister)
a happier Citroen 2CV in Narbonne
Dad and ‘Junior’ at the stove making the family favourite, Osso Buco (YES Phillip, one more time!!)
Mark, Lilas and Pop (keep working Mark)
Benji’s juice, Nicki’s artwork…
working hard on the terrace with Who and the Australian Woman’s Weekly, direct off the plane from Oz
off to Minerve
Minerve – this fortified village is perched above the Brian and the Cesse rivers and earliest writings on it date back to the 9th century. It is famous for being a Cathar stronghold until the early 13th century.
one of the best views in Minerve – located from the cafe’s dunny.
Love the wallpaper
Romeo and Juliet on the bridge
a wine producer selling some other fruit!
a great way to finish the visit… swimming in Minerve
one of the folks’ faves, the Canal du Midi