Chez Madama. It’s been two years too long!
I didn’t remember how to take the Eurostar. I couldn’t remember if I had to take out the liquids in my bag, or take my shoes off, or when I was supposed to have my passport to hand, but it I know it didn’t matter. It felt wonderfully familiar to be heading back to France for Sachi to meet our family.
The Madamas take care of Corey and me like they are our parents, but drink with us like peers. And seeing my girls immediately make themselves at home felt too good.
The first day was rainy and cold but the anecdote to that was making cookies with Doreen. We watched Daniel Tiger, sang together, and attempted to walk to a local park but none of the play structures were covered enough to make it fun. Saya and Sachi were smitten with Dee, their dog, and I got to meet David for the first time.
Corey booked his train for the wrong day so he arrived later than planned, but making more cookies solved that immediately. We explored the backyard, met neighbors, and ate a filling midday meal with lamb, green beans, and potatoes.
Saturday, we walked to the local market where Jean-Medard and his neighbors were selling the local beer they’d brewed. Naturally, we taste tested and all three options were take-home winners. The family meal was chicken, sausage, potato salad, and manioc that David brought from Gabon. Everyone had a nap in the afternoon just like Thanksgiving Thursday. The girls did well sleeping in the same room, the inspiration being Sachi waking in the night for just a moment and Saya half-asleep calling out ‘Sachi, I’m here!’ and them both falling comfortably back to sleep.
Riding back into Paris on Sunday, Corey and I were already sorting when we could do the next long day weekend, and I even floated a light-weight plan for Gabon in February 2023 for Doreen and my birthdays! I also can’t wait for the next reunion to welcome back Danae and Mama Margaret, too. The more the merrier at Chez Madama!