@nomaderwhere_mama

@nomaderwhere_mama


We were excited to go back to Aubeterre with the kids this weekend to check out the subterranean monolithic church of St Jean. It was crazy impressive! Built into the limestone cliffs overlooking the Dronne river in the 7th century, then expanded in the 12th century, only half of it remains. Rockslides and erosion destroyed the front chapel half; the back half of the church is what we got to see, where Christian relics possibly brought back with St Jean from the crusades to be displayed and preserved. Pilgrims passing through the area on their way to Spain would walk a specific path around the relics, praying for safety and protection for their onward journey. There were sarcophagi, secret tunnels, and a crypt. Worth a visit for sure!

– from @nomaderwhere_mama on instagram.

@nomaderwhere_mama

@nomaderwhere_mama


There’s no way to fully embrace the culture in Southern France without at least dipping into the world of Bordeaux wines. Wine is such an integral part of the culture and way of life around here and our sit literally borders wine country! Bordeaux, I’ve heard, is like the Mecca of wine lovers so Evan and I decided to dive in! We went to tour and taste at a small organic vineyard this weekend. It was such a rich experience!
Christophe, our guide, runs a small two-man operation growing, pruning and picking his 9 hectares by hand then producing, bottling and labeling right on site. We learned SO much; this is a whole new world to us so it was great to have a vintner to ourselves for a couple hours to show us the ropes!
The drive through Bordeaux wine country was swoon-worthy even in the winter; I can only imagine what it would be once the vines are full and the trees are green again.
We didn’t want our kids to miss out on all the rich French culture that morning so we stopped at a pΓ’tisserie on our way back and brought another beautiful, essential piece of French culture home with us; a big box full of decadent pastries to thank them for giving us a morning to steal away and experience this side of France together!
Γ€ la joie de vivre! 🍷

– from @nomaderwhere_mama on instagram.

@nomaderwhere_mama

@nomaderwhere_mama


I got to chat with a neighbor yesterday after helping her get her tiny twins up the hill to our houses. One was so upset that she had to keep stopping to calm him with one hand while holding the big double stroller in place with the other, so I pushed the stroller with one baby while she carried the other. It was such a nice way to meet someone and it left me feeling warm and happy.
When I got home Levi was waiting outside for me so he could be first in line to read with me for school. It was so nice we decided to stay out there and read on the bench swing! The younger two thought that looked like the way to go as well so I just had to capture a few of the sweet moments with my baby’s head in my lap, my heart bursting with pride for my little readers, in the warm sun with a great view.

– from @nomaderwhere_mama on instagram.

@nomaderwhere_mama

@nomaderwhere_mama


Not sure it’s an overall win health wise if your run includes a pit stop chez Nanny, the local boulanger, for fresh baguettes and pains au chocolats… But if this is wrong I don’t want to be right. (Just think of the extra exertion running home with an arm full of bread!)

– from @nomaderwhere_mama on instagram.

@nomaderwhere_mama

@nomaderwhere_mama


The Lascaux caves are located in Montignac, one of the prettiest little towns I’ve ever, ever seen. As we wandered around town looking for a place to eat our mouths hung open, fully expecting Belle to throw open a pair of shutters and start singing Bonjour! It was the cherry on top of a magical day!

– from @nomaderwhere_mama on instagram.

@nomaderwhere_mama

@nomaderwhere_mama


Evan is our resident artist and studied art all the way through University. He has learned about the prehistoric Lascaux cave paintings in every art history class he’s ever taken, and was excited to find out our house sit was within easy driving distance from them! I must admit I was less than thrilled about the outing but I am glad to report that I had totally misjudged; I was completely impressed!
Access to the original cave has been closed for several years to preserve the paintings, but they’ve built a life size re-creation of the portion of the caves containing the more well known paintings, so you actually feel like you’re in the cave! It was amazing!

After the cave tour they hand everyone a device and allow you to explore and interact with even more re-creations and exhibits, learning about how and why and what the paintings are all about, how they were discovered, etc. My kids especially were completely enraptured! The kids app was so well done! They did scavenger hunts, got to try their own cave painting, played games, took pictures… it was absolutely brilliant. Hours melted away as we were eagerly learning about these prehistoric works of art and before we knew it the museum was closed and they had to usher us out. Such a great learning experience for us all!

– from @nomaderwhere_mama on instagram.

@nomaderwhere_mama

@nomaderwhere_mama


Such a memorable Valentine’s date in Aubeterre, a beautiful hilltop village just a few miles down the road. After exploring the cobblestone streets winding through the picturesque ville we had a gourmet 5 course dinner and got to try foie gras, the local delicacy (the liver of a duck that’s been force-overfed corn 😣). It was actually really enjoyable! Such a great night with my sweet, spoiling husband.

– from @nomaderwhere_mama on instagram.

@nomaderwhere_mama

@nomaderwhere_mama


We had to decide between January in Austria or January in Shanghai this year. I had everyone convinced that Chinese New Year would be an experience of a lifetime and we were so close to accepting the sit in Shanghai, but the kids just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to ski and play in the snow. Devastated, we turned down the offer for China but as we have watched the Wuhan Coronavirus sweep through the country, cancelling New Year celebrations and shutting down transportation we have felt so grateful for such a happy alternative in Austria!

We had a really great month there and enjoyed the home, the pets, the neighbors, the language, the adventure and the sunshine. It was sad to say goodbye this past Tuesday!
We tackled the full 15 hours to get to our next house sit in south-western France all in one day. If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to drive through the Alps just check out the picture of the tunnel. The Europeans must have decided the best way to handle driving in the mountains was to just go through it because it is just tunnel after tunnel after tunnel! Not always the most scenic, but we also didn’t have a single bout of carsickness which is a first for mountain driving in our family!
The stir craziness was showing strong in our late night fart-noise frenzy video, but really it went so well. My kids never cease to amaze me with the way they roll with our long travel days! They’re little rockstars !
And now we’re so happy at our house in beautiful Dordogne! Happy to be able to speak the language, happy for such a cool house, happy to be able to walk into the village to buy fresh bread, and the kids are just over the moon to have a bonfire pit in the huge backyard! I think we’ve literally had a fire every day! My kids sneak outside as the sun is coming up and stoke the fire with the coals that are still hot from the day before. They stay out all day and go to bed with smoke in their hair, just as happy as can be. They say this is their favorite house sit yet; they say it reminds them of home.

– from @nomaderwhere_mama on instagram.