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Sunday, June 12, 2011

....we make some friends

We are starting to meet people here through our children.  We made some great friends in N.C. like this. We met the Beck family through the same daycare and even when our kids went to separate schools, we kept in touch. Even though we are scattered around now, I can see us continuing to play a part in each other's lives.  Max and Charlie email each other now, usually just a couple of lines,  but keep abreast of each other and things going on.

On Friday Max had a friend, Hathorn, come over to the apartment after school.   They ride the bus together and Hathorn is in Samantha's class.  They had already hit it off at school and since they ride the bus together, we knew Hathorn lived in the area.  As it turns out, he is a short walk from our apartment.  Hathorn is one of 5 children, the rest being girls (Lilly 12, Peony 7, Sapphire 5, and Giselle 1).  We had briefly met the parents, just long enough to say "hi", while dropping the kids at the bus stop, so when Patrick and Max walked Hathorn home, Patrick was pleasantly surprised by the warm welcome he got from the the dad, Rupert.

Rupert shared the story of how he and his wife came to Paris about 16 years ago with the intent to get a little "cross cultural experience" for a few months and ended up staying.  Patrick told Rupert that at times it feels like it's not "real" that we are here in Paris and Rupert stated that he still feels like that too at times even after 16 years!  He then invited us to go with him (his wife and oldest daughter were out of town checking out a boarding school in London) and the other kids to Hathorn's cricket match at the club they belong to.  Even said Max could play if he wanted!

So we met up at their house and caravanned over to the Standard Athletic Club.  It was great.  The Club in primarily English speaking (WOO HOO!) and offers all kinds of sports and even has an outdoor swimming pool (something kind of rare here).  Max and Hathorn went off to practice cricket and Samantha, Peony and Sapphire (the littlest one, Giselle, stayed home with the nanny) took to the playground and ladybug hunting. Max was a little leery of pitching and batting during a game, but volunteered to field (much like baseball fielding).
A little practice

Max on the side waiting to field errant balls
(white shirt, black shorts)

Samantha swinging 

It was a beautiful place.  Large, grassy fields and great play areas.  The pool was set in a wooded area surrounded by lounge chairs.  After the game, we had some lunch at the clubhouse (not a fancy affair, but nice!) and parted ways as Rupert then had to take Peony and Sapphire to birthday parties.

Patrick and I looked at each other and thought, "hmmmmm, maybe we are on to something".  It is a little pricey and does require a car to get there as it is surrounded by a huge natural park with trails, etc. but an English speaking, pool-having, sports-playing place 20 minutes or so from the apartment?!?  We might just have to tighten our belts.....we'll see.....
Game over

Deep in conversation about cricket, probably

Happy boys

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