We arrived in Toulouse after one hell of a long journey (a bus, a train, another train, a flight, an overnight stay in Paris, and another flight the next morning) a bit tired, but very excited to see the Audoynauds and the Kucks!
Mom even came bearing gifts…Cows on Parade figurines for the whole family. Very appropriate coming from Wisconsinites, don’t you think? 😉
The wedding was the day after we arrived and it was absolutely gorgeous. It was at a castle in the tiny town of Savenes, France. It was the cutest town ever…only 200 people live there! Antoine called it ‘deep country’. We stayed with Mom, Dad, and Caitlin in a little converted farmhouse in Savenes and it was adorable. They even brought fresh croissants and baguettes to our door every morning for breakfast!
Antoine and Julie had asked me to do a little wedding portrait session with them before the ceremony, so here are some of my favorites. Aren’t they the most adorable couple ever??
And a couple from the ceremony…
Delilah enjoyed the wedding very much, even if she was a bit skeptical of Antoine at first. Haha.
We soon discovered that French weddings usually go until the wee hours of the morning. Really…dinner wasn’t until 9:45pm and dessert wasn’t served until almost 1am! Despite being a morning person, I actually quite liked the European schedule of late nights and late mornings. Delilah wasn’t so much a fan, but she usually stayed up until 11:30 or 12 most nights. Unfortunately, that meant we missed dessert at the wedding, but we heard all about it and the partying the next day. Antoine said he didn’t go to sleep until 7am! Crazy man!
We then moved to Antoine’s grandparents house in Toulouse. They generously offered to let us and the Audoynauds stay there, since they were going to be away on holidays. It was the coolest house ever! Caitlin and Brett said it looked like it jumped right out of a 1970’s James Bond movie. Haha. Unfortunately the weather was appalling for the majority of our stay there. Very cold and rainy. I mean, look at us on the day that the Audoynauds took us to Carcassonne…does this look like the middle of June to you??
Carcassonne was soooooo cool. It’s a very well preserved walled city about an hour from Toulouse that was first settled in 100 BC (but most of the city was built in the 12th and 13th centuries).
The inside is filled with restaurants, shops, and even a torture museum (which we most definitely went to and are now traumatized by…haha). We were all starving, so we headed straight to one of the restaurants for some local cuisine.
Brett took the plunge and ordered cassoulet, a very famous dish in the area. It is a slow roasted stew/casserole that typically contains, pork sausages, pork, goose, duck, mutton, pork skin, and white haricot beans. I was a bit skeptical, but I tried a bite and O.M.G. was it absolutely fantastic!! Brett and I added it to our list of things we are planning to cook when we get home. It doesn’t look like much, but that dish was fanfreakintastic!
After lunch we headed to Carcassonne’s beautiful church. I’m constantly amazed at the amount of absolutely breathtaking churches here in Europe. They are everywhere and each is more amazing than the next. Especially when you consider that many of them took hundreds of years and thousands of hands to build.
All of a sudden, we noticed the sun was out for the first time all week! Hurrah!
We ran out to get a group shot of all of us (minus poor Antoine who is behind the camera).
All in all, it was a fantastic day! Caitlin even got to do some babywearing, which both she and Delilah (who was obsessed with Auntie Caitlin’s hair) very much enjoyed.
A few days later, we went on another day trip to Albi and Cordes sur Ciel, two small towns close to Toulouse. Unfortunately, Brett and I were so busy chatting with everyone and having fun that we didn’t take very many pictures! We stopped for a late lunch in Albi, where we all had very French meals of Croque Monsieur and Quiche Lorraine. Yum!
A nap while window shopping.
Then we all headed (in two different cars) to Cordes sur Ciel, but one of those cars got lost and ended up just going straight home! LOL. Mine was the car that made it, but unfortunately Delilah was in the other car so we had to marathon through our visit so Delilah wouldn’t have to wait too long to eat. Even though we weren’t there long, it was an absolute amazing city! Perched up on top of a hill with the STEEPEST cobblestone streets I’ve ever seen.
The view while driving towards it.
Walking up to the top. I seriously have no idea what these people do in the rain…or in winter! Slippery cobblestones + steep hill + water or ice = disaster, in my opinion!
She may be 68 years old (hee hee) but she’s still pretty sprightly!
And at the top! It might have been work to get up there, but the view was totally worth it. The south of France is just gorgeous…no other way to describe it!
Our time in Toulouse just FLEW by. We had such a good time visiting with the Audoynauds. And I can’t believe our trip is almost coming to an end! Just a few more days in Paris and then it’s back to Sydney. So bittersweet! Paris edition soon to come 🙂