Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Brett’s birthday and Marseille

So I already mentioned that Brett kept saying he wanted a motorcycle for his birthday, so I bought him a toy motorcycle, and then by happy accident found a motorcycle t-shirt and a deck of motorcycle info cards (Jethro has sets like it for tanks and jets and used to have sports cars).  It was pretty cool to have the theme going, and I even said to Brett that my sister Amy would be impressed.  He agreed.  (Anyone who knows Amy will understand.  She gets a theme and there’s no stopping her.)


All the boys of the household loved the motorcycle, or modogyko, as Talmage says.  Brett says I picked a good one and he and Jethro sat down right after dinner and looked through all the motorcycle cards and picked their favorites.  Orrin can already make vroom vroom sounds- being as he’s a boy and vroom vroom sounds are innate (as are gun shooting sounds).



We love Daddy!


So the next day, on Brett’s actual birthday, we got up and drove to Marseille.  Hazel threw up a couple times as per her usual.  Note to self: when you grab bags to be the puke bags, make sure they don’t have holes in them.

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If you ever think of going to Marseille, don’t.  It was dirty and cramped, I saw obscene pictures drawn on walls, a contraceptive vending machine on a wall along a sidewalk, and I’m pretty sure I saw a couple guys doing a drug deal, though I’m very inexperienced in the ways of drug dealing, so I could very likely be wrong about that.  I found myself-normally not at all worried about being overly sanitary- saying things like, “Don’t touch anything!  You’ll get gross dirty germs!”

Also, driving there is HORRENDOUS!!!  It is hands-down the worst place we’ve driven (we meaning Brett- if it had actually been me doing the driving I would currently be curled up in a corner with my shirt pulled over my head, alternating between moaning and screaming and probably never get back to normal again), including the different Italian cities we’ve been to.  The streets are super narrow and windy, there was a ton of construction, cars park there pretty much in the middle of streets- I’m not even kidding.  It’s CRAZY.

So to park at our hotel, we had to turn this key in a box, then drive into a CAR ELEVATOR, then go down to the 5th level and park there.  So, Brett was just starting to gently roll the van in, but he decided to back up and go in again straighter, and there was a guy in a car behind us, waiting to get in as well, and Brett decided to let him go first.  So we back out of the way and the guy kindof smiles at us, starts going in, and promptly breaks off his side mirror completely.  Brett and I were like--- Whaa?!!!!  I bet he felt sheepish.  Anyway, then it was our turn again and we all held our breath and Brett got us in okay, and we had the weird sensation of going down an elevator in our van.  Brett had me hop out and take this picture as he was coming out.  It’s a good thing Brett’s been driving since he was five years old and is highly skilled, otherwise I don’t know what we would have done in this city.


I realized after looking through these pictures that I make Marseille look more beautiful than it is, but I only took pictures of the most nice-looking, clean buildings.  So, just so you know, you’re getting a skewed perspective.

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Marseille was pretty much a bust and I will tell you why.  The only reason we went there was because Brett’s favorite book in the world is ‘The Count of Monte Cristo,’ and the island prison where Edmund Dantes is sent- Chateau d’If- is right off of Marseille, we figured we would go take a boat ride out and tour it.  So, we get to the harbor, go up to the ticket counter to buy our boat tickets and they aren’t going because of bad weather.  It was too windy.  Aaargh. 

Here is Brett looking at the map trying to decide where we should go instead.



Funny story:  I was talking to Talmage as we were walking, “We’re going to a harbour where there are boats, and we might even take a ride on a boat.”  And Hazel said, “We’re going to ride a goat?”  Ha ha.

Anyway, we walked (and walking in Marseille is quite a bit scarier than walking in normal places- I kept feeling like even if my kids walked even slightly towards the side of the sidewalk by the street they were going to get run over) and walked up to Notre-Dame de la Garde, which apparently is the symbol of Marseille?


Quite the hill to walk up.

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It had a pretty fantastic interior, actually.  Notice all the boats/ships/nautical stuff.  I especially liked the strings with several different boats hanging all over from the ceiling.


There’s my little family, sitting on the pew.


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And there’s Chateu d’If- the little one in the middle, with the fortress on it.

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Good-looking guy there, with a cute little baby.

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I had to stick this picture of Hazel in because while I was taking it I said, “Try to look a little less crabby this time,” and a guy walking by started laughing.  Apparently he spoke English.

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Then we went and got Chinese fast-food and went to our hotel.  The end.


Joanne said...

See that's why your supposed to check with cousins before you do stuff. I could've told you all that as i served my mission their. Chateau d'If was alright but not great. There is some amazing hikes to do between marseille and callais however that your family would love. Look up the calanques sometime. Loved hiking there on p-days.

Joanne said...

Marseille to cassis. Not Calais. That would've been a heck of a hike.

Alissa said...

note to self: no marseille.

Sarah Harward said...

I'm even jealous of your 'bad' vacations/trips!! Sigh. (btw, Brett just went up a notch in my book, as I too, LOVE 'The Count of Monte Cristo'!!!)

Dru Davis said...

Happy Birthday Brett. Your pictures make Marseille look beautiful. I think that is one of the places Keith served his mission and wants to go. Now I'm not so sure. Thanks for posting, always so fun to see what you are doing and get ideas of where to, or maybe not to, go.

The Holdaway's said...

Love the deer in the head-lights look from Jethro in the first pic of the kids with Brett. And Joe's fav book is "The Count of Monte Cristo" too - he would be jealous that you saw the island (even from the mainland) in person.

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