Real life and online life move in different speeds. Even though we’ve been back from our little family frolic three weeks or so ago, I’m still processing it. However, over the internets, it feels like this has already been two years ago. Posting about it now may seem so outdated, but in my pace it feels just right.
So here we are.
Travelling by train was one of the best decisions we could have made. Honestly, we have a freaking awesome train system in Europe and it doesn't receive half the attention it deserves. I decided earlier this year than I’m done with flying (unless there’s no other way and it’s kind of urgent), due to our current state of ecological emergency, and it was easy to convince Sam. As for our three year old, I need to say I thought it would have been way more complicated. I never thought I would say I’m thankful for Disney princesses magazines with stickers, but I am.
On the evening of my birthday, we hopped on a train in Lisboa that took us all the way to Paris. I did this trip with my parents when I was younger (say, fresh new teenager trying to spot cute guys, which is probably why I don’t remember much of the trip, landscapes, or buildings - unfortunately, I don’t remember any cute guys either). It was fun to wake up in the same kind of carriages and have breakfast in the same cafeteria while traversing the Pyrénées - this time with a family of my own. I may have gotten a bit teary-eyed, yes yes.
After a one night stop in Paris, where we slept a friend’s tiny tiny house and saw more of the Metro than the city itself, we hopped on to another train all the way to Alsace… Where Noémie, my dear IG friend, lives with her family. And so, this virtual relationship evolved into something much richer.
After almost four years of talking to eachother through a screen, it was pure magic to finally meet for real and really experience all the beauty she shares on her IG page. Our children bonded, our partners bonded, we bonded - like, we even knitted together. That’s big time bonding!
They have the sweetest little house, with the most beautiful forest on their backyard. Everything is so green and lush. It broke my heart a little, but I guess the grass is always (literally) greener on the other side.
We visited an abandoned castle, walked in the woods, drank garden tea, I finally tasted for the first time wild garlic!, which Noémie prepared as pesto and as a pie, we visited a rose garden in their closest town, made promises of rose cuttings travelling abroad stuck into potatoes, and we got to sleep in their lovely, luminous and adorably tiny attic, which really look like an A-frame cabin. It was wonderful.
Noémie and her partner, Lionel, are both incredibly beautiful and wise. I feel so lucky that they opened up their doors to us and that we got to spend a few days with them. I will cherish these memories for a long, long time.
Thank you, Noémie, from the deepest of my heart.
It wasn’t easy to say goodbye, but a family meeting was waiting for us a bit more up North. And so, we got our train tickets and went.
But that’s for the next post. Right now, it’s starting to rain and all my clothes are already dry on the line waiting for me to pick them up!