Saturday, April 30, 2011

A Week with our Best Friends/European Family

Bobby and I were lucky enough to spend a week with our best friends/European family Kate, Olivier, and little Iris over the Easter holiday. As you may remember, we were with Kate and Olivier when they brought Iris home from the hospital last Easter. It's amazing to see how much has changed over the last year!

Iris is growing up before our eyes. She is a very girly girl. As you can see in this picture, she loves to brush your and her hair. She also loves jewelry! If you aren't careful, she'll steal your watch and wear it for the rest of the day (here, she is wearing Bobby's watch). She also loves to put headbands and scarfs on herself.

Since birth, Iris has loved Bobby's accordion playing. Her love of it probably has something to do with how much she heard Bobby's playing while still in the womb.

One day we took Iris to the park. She loves playing on the teeter-totter with Uncle Bobby and Papa.

Iris is also a very adventurous eater! Here she is chowing down on a fried sardine. We couldn't believe all the things she ate!

In addition to playing with and adoring little Iris, we also had a great time with Kate and Olivier! When we are all together, we often find ourselves sitting together around a table, laughing and planning our future around delicious food and plenty of wine, cider, and beer.

Of course, delicious food, wine, cider, and beer isn't hard to come by in France. Bobby and I devoured this violet eclair. How can you not love a country that makes violet eclairs?!?

After Bobby's and my year in Paris, plus the numerous trips we've made back to the city, we were pretty sure we had seen most of what Paris has to offer. These gardens proved us wrong! The gardens of Palais-Royal are right across the street from the Louvre, yet are hidden between the old Palais-Royal walls. There were many people enjoying the sunshine, fountain, and shaded benches.

After a few days in Paris, the Mulliez-Sturm family headed north to visit Olivier's parents in Lille. This is Bobby's and my third visit to the Northern French town of Lille: the first was with Dad, Gloria, and Stacy; the second was last summer with Kate and Olivier. Here, Bobby, Kate, and I are photoed in Vieux Lille, or old Lille. We had a lovely late afternoon in town with MamamIbiza (our nickname for Iris's paternal grandmother) watched Iris.

On Easter Sunday, we took a day trip to Belgium. We started the day in Oostende (where the top photo is from), a coastal resort town. The beach was packed with people sunbathing and enjoying the long stretch of sand. While we didn't sunbathe (our poor Danish skin would burn to a crisp!), we did enjoy a lovely seafood lunch. We next headed to Bruges, the town of beautiful canals and lovely Flemish architecture.

Kate and Olivier suggested we take a canal tour, and we are glad they suggested it! The 30 minute ride was both informative and beautiful.

This is just one of the many beautiful sights we saw from the water. Bobby and I really loved the town and we hope to come back soon for a long weekend. After a another day in Lille, we all headed back to Paris, then Bobby and I headed back to Copenhagen, which is now filled with flowering trees, sunlight, and a tough of warmth. We had an amazing week with our best friends and we miss them terrible, but we get to see them soon when we spent a weekend in St. Malo in just a few short weeks! We love you, Kate, Olivier, and Iris!

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