1. When I left San Francisco for vacation, I weighed the exact amount I had weighed before I got pregnant with Daughter. Now? I'm not stepping on any scale, but I've surely put on 10 pounds. In France, it was cheese and cheese and more cheese. In England, it's chocolate and chocolate and chocolate.
2. I always thought vacation calories didn't count.
3. Having made it to Europe, I've picked up the lingo to some degree. At a restaurant in France, Youngest was complaining about having dirty hands. Telling him to go wash his hands in the toilet, he replied, "I don't want to wash them in the toilet. I want to wash them in the sink."
4. I guess I should be happy about that as he seems the type to want to play in toilets.
5. Touring the beaches of Normandy, we spent time first at Gold Beach, the one where Pete's uncle was part of the landing force. At first, I found the appearance of a carousel at Omaha Beach rather out of place. But, really, wasn't that what we fought for? Children, I mean.
6. The kids all were appropriately quiet and respectful at the American graveyard. Rows and rows of crosses, some with names, but many with "Unknown" engravings. I'm counting on them not being unknown in heaven.
7. Mixed within the many crosses were a few stars. Youngest wanted to know what the stars meant. Explaining that they were for the Jewish soldiers who had died, he seemed to grasp the difference, in a limited way, of course.
8. Later, though, it was clear he wasn't sure at all, as evidenced by his question of whether Gran's grave would have a cross or a star.
9. In the Disneyland-like line to buy tickets for the Eiffel Tower, Daughter exasperatingly asks how much longer. I tell her we're in each row about 8 minutes and there are six rows. A man in line says, "That's 36 minutes." I respond with, "That's 48 minutes, but you get bonus points because at least you speak English."
10. In defense of the French people we encountered throughout our brief stay in their wonderful country, we were met only with extreme graciousness...and an unlimited capacity of forgiveness for my inability to learn more than the most basic words of their language. Whoever says the French are mean to American visitors never met the many people we did.