This is our tenth anniversary of going to Brittany every summer. My husband has four brothers, who each have kids. And every July for two weeks, we all congregate with his parents in one large house, rented from the parents of friends of ours from church (and if that isn’t enough prepositions to keep your brain busy …) where we engage in much eating and silliness. At our largest, when everyone is present, there are 22 of us. At our smallest, when people can’t get off work, we’re at 12. Our average number is somewhere around 15-18.
Let me just say one thing : That’s a lot of cooking. Fortunately we all take turns.
I don’t have access to the first two years of photos because our hard drive is down and my husband has not been able to fix it. Thankfully, because I’m a blogger, I have pictures from all the other years.
However, here is one picture from when we visited the house for the first time with our friends, Frederic & Danila (whose parents own it). We went in February, I think. Look at how tiny (and dreamy) Gabriel is! I think I’m going to burst into tears right now.
this is us in 2010.
Where Juliet pulled crazy stunts
(I hadn’t yet figured out how to edit photos to increase the brightness)
& my sister-in-law organised a mass kidnapping of the stuffed animals, with a series of clues for the kids to find and free them.
In Brittany, you wear sweaters on the beach (but you still swim)
This was the year we had our first family olympics (which Juliet accomplished in a skirt)
and the year where there were still (almost) babies to kiss.
My heart just keeps exploding from the cuteness of these fleeting years …
More sweaters on the beach
A second family olympics
Occasional good weather
And of course the annual fireworks on the beach for Bastille Day
This was the year we went with a dog. A Breton dog, no less (epagneul breton). Hunter was part of our lives for two years, but now he is in a better place – he went to the farm.
(No, seriously. It’s in Germany).
This was also the year that was particularly beautiful.
though we still needed scarves at the end of the day. (It’s windy in Brittany).
when William upgraded to sailing
we had our annual ice-cream outing in Dinard
and the accompanying photo-fest
and in the evenings, my wonderful, talented, brother-in-laws kept us entertained (as they are wont to do).
Cold, but determined
We keep coming back for more.
2015 was the year I gave the menu plans of what we ate for our two weeks in Brittany. Here
There are always games to be had, whether chess, “lougarou” (meaning werwolf), which is a card game, or sort of charades, or hide and seek. Playful uncles always get involved.
And there’s always time for sports.
More silliness in Dinard
(seriously, it seems to be getting more gorgeous each year)
And that brings us to …
This year we had a few good days, but it was overall pretty cold, grey and drizzly. William got stung by a jellyfish and my nephew by a weever fish. (They hide in the sand and sting you if you have the misfortune to step on one). Our vacation was also shorter because school didn’t get out until July 7.
But we managed to pack in lots of fun. The family game this year was of photography. One brother-in-law took eight photos around the house and property, then divided us in four teams of 4/5 people. Each photo had a caption and we needed to find the spot and interpret our rendition of it.
For instance, one photo was of the dried flowers in the fireplace, and the caption was “winter in Brittany”. One team tied up a kid and pretended to roast him while the others stood around with forks and knives. A different photo was the pile of branches and ivy growing over it, and the caption was, “a kid gets left behind for a year”. Our team photographed a hand sticking through the branches. A third was “swimming on a sea of green” where you had to pretend the grass was the ocean. One team made a shark fin out of black leggings and there was a kid on a surfboard pretending to swim away. You get the idea. Total. Silliness. (with a strong touch of black humour)
Then we voted on the photos (but couldn’t vote for our own) to see which team won. Our team came in last place. (ahem). The competition was steep.
We also got to see the kids’ performance, which has gotten more sophisticated each year. For the past two years, instead of a dance or play or band, it’s been a film with each of the kids acting. In it, there’s everything you could wish for in a film – great music, some semblance of a plot, cute kids, and tons of laughter!
We had our silliness / ice-cream date in Dinard.
We had to force it because the vacation was shorter this year.
Juliet pulled more athletic stunts, zipping up and down twice.
and Gabriel made it to the top for the first time.
This was William’s first foray.
We haven’t fully decided if we will return next year, though we’re leaning towards it. But we’ve already lost one of the nephews to teenage-hood / better-things-to-do-with-my-time-hood. How quickly they want to grow, only to realise that all the happiness they need is right here in these memories we’re creating.
It’s been a good ten years, la Bretagne.