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We went to a large town called Lyon about a week after Christmas. Lyon is about 3 hours away and is a beautiful city with the Saone River and the Rhone River running through it.  Lyon had an ancient theatre that we wanted to see. The tourist book said we would be climbing some stairs to get to the theatres. We thought “Okay” a few stairs we can handle and I was feeling pretty good after being sick over Christmas. Ha, what the book forgot to say it that is was stairs from the river all the way to the top of the mountain where the theatre was and that the mountain was huge! The stairs were also very short so we had to take all these quick, choppy steps that were awkward and tiring. The stairs were never ending. I wanted to give up. I had to rest multiple times and I wasn’t the one carrying Brooklyn!  By the time we got to the top I was too tired to even wander around the theatre! The theatres are a Roman theatre-odeum-temple complex and is the oldest in France. It was built by order of Augustus from 17 to 15 BC. The theatre has steep seating galleries, a decorated floor, and the foundations of a large stage. The odium is a much smaller theatre that was used for musical shows and poetry competitions. It is decorated and its floors still contain inlaid marble. Only the foundation remains of the temple dedicated in 160 AD to the goddess Cybele. On top of the mountain there was also a huge and beautiful church with stunning views. In one of the pictures we took from the church you can see the Swiss Alps in the background. Unfortunately, what goes up, must come down, so now we had to go back down the steps. You are thinking, “Oh, but going down is much easier, right?” Well, yes…if your legs haven’t already given out from the climb up, which mine had. My legs shook like jelly every step and when it was extra steep, I was afraid my legs would buckle and I’d go bouncing down the stairs. I guess at least I wouldn’t have to climb so many if I fell. I wanted to cry and give up but there were too many people around. I know you think I must be exaggerating, but look at the picture where you can see the river. That is where we parked. Okay, enough whining from the pitiful girl living it up in France. We also went to a Park called Parc de la Tete d’Or (Park of the Golden Head). The legend of the park is that a treasure of a golden head of Christ could be buried in the Park. The Park was huge with lots of green spaces and even had a free zoo that Brooklyn enjoyed going through. Although, truly she enjoyed the Cotton Candy (“Barbe a papa” in French meaning Papa’s beard) the most!

LoisirLand came to the PolyDome (like an Expo center) over the holidays. They have all sorts of games and inflatables for kids and adults of all ages. We went on one of the last days they were there and it wasn’t very crowded which was nice. Brooklyn had so much fun playing on the inflatables. When Michael took her to slide down the inflatable slide she kept saying, “My do it! My do it!” but Michael was too scared to let her go by herself because it was so steep! He said the slide was like the scary vertical slides at the waterpark. That was all I needed to hear, so I didn’t get on it! And Molly, the picture of Brooklyn on the mechanical bull is for you!

We had another date night and went to a very fancy restaurant called Fleur De Sel. Everything in the restaurant was white and so pretty! We had walked by the restaurant the day before to find it and to take a picture of the menu so we could translate it before we went to eat. Our waitress was British and spoke English so that was nice. We got the 5 course meal and everything was wonderful! They start everyone off with a white bean soup and some fois gras on bread which was delicious. And then came the 5 course meal. First, a butternut squash soup with mushroom and sautéed scallops. Second, a risotto with coques (shellfish?). Third, sole with parsnip ravioli with dried fruit. Fourth, A cheese plate (We were able to try any of the many cheeses on the cart). Last, a dessert that was similar to a banana split, but it was more like a cake. The bottom layer was like graham cracker crumbles, but tasted more like a cake, a pudding with bananas, and flakes of chocolate on top. I was too embarrassed to take pictures because the restaurant was so nice! On the way home I was so nauseous, I think, because I ate so much and the food was so rich, but I told Michael even if I puked it would have been worth it because it was all so good! I made him promise to not let me order a five course meal again! The restaurant only had 7 tables and our dinner took about 3 hours, so those 7 tables were all the customers for the night. It is nice to be somewhere where the cooks really enjoy what they do and aren’t worried about getting rich off of being a cook and trying to serve lots of customers. They enjoy what they do, get paid well enough, and just want to serve exceptional food. There also were three waitresses/waiters for the 7 tables, so the service was awesome. This will definitely be something we will miss about France. Be sure to check out our date night pictures. We have on all our new French clothes, Oh La La! (And no I didn’t spell that wrong! The French spell it O-H La La. Americans spell it O-O-H La La, which is wrong, my French teacher tells me!) And if you need to crush any cockroaches in the corner, just ask Michael to wear his new pointy-toed dress shoes!

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