Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Last week Dallas, Connor and I took a day trip to Lille, France. Up until then the only thing I knew about Lille was that the Eurostar train from Brussels to London stopped there. I am so glad we made it a destination and discovered beyond the train station. We had some unexpected traffic delays, but it was - as Dallas would say - for the journey, not just the destination!

On the way to Lille the highway was completely closed which we found odd. I haven't learned how to properly "roadblock" our GPS so the roundabout plan B took a little longer than we expected. But who can complain when this is what greeted us as we popped out of the parking deck?!?
The enormous flowers were very cheery and Connor just thought it was so divine to sit in the leaf and look up! The main boulevard was eccentric to say the least with all the enormous black dragon babies lining the shopping street from the train station. The "art" did make a fun photography subject though!

Dallas brought the wide-angle lens for her camera. Many of these shots are her's. It made me want to run out to get one of these wide angles too. It really helps capture it all!We were shocked when we found a GAP store in Lille. Those and Starbucks are unheard of in Brussels! The American consumer pull was too great for us to resist - especially with July sales in full swing. I ended up buying some summer whale pajamas for Connor. She is so much more fun to buy for than grown up clothes!

It was one day before Bastille Day so Lille was poised to celebrate - flags everywhere and parade routes at the ready. I found it a very festive city even beyond the decorations. This palace looked like a miniature "Louvre" to me and the fountain just dressed it up even more.We did find a super cool playground for Connor. She spied it out of the corner of her eye a mile away and even though she was exhausted and I was hoping she would nap, who was I to deny her this type of fun and discovery?
Dallas helps make everything more fun!And just to spice up our driving adventure even more, we were perplexed as we inched back along a crowded highway near the French/Belgian border. And then totally miffed as we snaked through miles and miles of 18 wheelers parked on the side of the road. We weren't sure exactly what to make of it. But we crossed our fingers and toes that whatever it was wouldn't hold us up. And then to baffle us even more when we reached the border there were enormous tractors blocking the highways across on both sides. There was just enough room to ping pong our car through, but indeed the trucks were and had been at a stand still for days since the tractors shut them out! It was all due to the dairy farmers protesting the low cost of milk in Belgium!!! The crazy thing is that by doing this kind of thing they seem to get action and results. Kind of like when I give into Connor's crazy tantrums - and she learns that those work for my attention. It seems a little over the top for ALL TRUCKS to be blockaded from getting into a country to make a point about milk prices. It made for an exciting JOURNEY for sure.

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