Everyone left yesterday afternoon. It’s extremely quiet in the house, no one singing out “Nana, Nana, Nana, where are you!?”. . .
We’ve had the most wonderful two weeks. Thank you my dears for being so patient with me.
I thought it might interest you to know some of the things we did with Ella that you might like to do the next time you’re in France. As you know, we live west of Paris between Versailles and Rambouillet. This time we didn’t go to Versailles, but rather the charming bergerie in Rambouillet and then the absolutely fascinating and fantastic Thoiry park where some 130 animals roam the grounds and enclosures on the land surrounding the exquisite chateau.
La Bergerie Nationale is great fun in a literal “hands on” sort of way. Andrea, Ella and I accidentally intruded upon a birthday party the day we were there. The children, I would say, were about eight-years-old, and part of the festivities included riding the sweet donkey, Gavroche, named after the fictional character from Victor Hugo’s 1862 novel, Les Misérables. The young woman who put the soft saddle on him told us “he is very kind and patient.”
It made me think how silly it is to have over the top, competitive birthday parties for children. The giddy delight we saw as the group went from petting the goats and sheep to riding Gavroche and finishing up with cake on tables beneath the trees on the farm proved that it’s quite easy to make a child happy with simple pleasures.
If you are planning a trip to Paris, both excursions would be unforgettable day trips.