Friday, March 12, 2010

I'm baaaaack!

After a busy two weeks of wedding celebrations, a trip to the Pyrénées and another trip to Paris, I'm finally back in Toulouse, back to my computer and back to the blog. How good it feels to be home! Where to begin? Since so many of you couldn't be here with us in Toulouse on the 27th, I should probably recap the weekend, and what a weekend it was!

Mom, dad and Betsy arrived late Thursday afternoon and I couldn't have been happier to see them! The fact that they even got here was pretty incredible given the travel circumstances and it was just such a treat that they were able to come. We took the shuttle bus to the bed and breakfast where they were staying and Monsieur J took the car, since golf clubs are more than awkward to lug around on public transportation.

Chez Tatin, we found both sets of Cliquets and had happy introductions followed by a marvelous surprise: beautiful flowers and champagne! How great to know that friends from home were thinking of us! It may or may not have brought tears to a few eyes...

We took advantage of what was left of daylight to do a quick walking tour of Toulouse. The sky was blue and I think the Schnell clan was ready to stretch their legs after hours of being stuck in planes, trains and automobiles.

Dinner that night was at le Barbu, the owner has a beard. We had an earlier reservation for Schnells and Cliquets, followed by a later one for friends and late-arriving out of town guests. All were seated at one long table, which allowed for everyone to meet, greet and eat.

Michel set the tone for the weekend when he arrived, declaring je suis déshydraté! Betsy loved this opportunity to use her French and would continue to announce j'ai soif for the rest of the weekend whenever her glass needed refilling. A match made in heaven, these two!

Saturday morning was cloudy but not too chilly and everyone gathered around 10am for the ceremony at city hall. We took the metro into town dressed to the nines and carrying a bouquet and two centerpieces for the lunch table, quite a sight! I briefly considered wearing Betsy's veil but it made me look like a conehead so I opted for a more natural look instead. We took some pictures downstairs, made the trek upstairs to the infamous salle des illustres and took our places for the ceremony.

I should probably add that I was fully prepared for something dull, super official and lead by a grumpy old Frenchman with the idea being to get all of the couples present married ASAP. It's good to prepare for the worst, as it allows you to be pleasantly surprised and rarely disappointed. The woman who married us, Madame Jardin-Ladam could not have been more personable. She was smiling, eager to meet our families and even allowed me to translate her welcome announcement to the American contingency. She really helped to make it a very memorable ceremony!

We took more pictures afterwards, had coffee at a nearby café before lunch and somehow managed to feast for about 3 hours. I'm sure James still has fanny fatigue!

We met for a champagne toast around 6:30pm at the bed and breakfast before heading to dinner at Bois et Charbon, one of my favorite restaurants in Toulouse. The festivities continued until late into the night!

Whenever I think of the weekend, I think of all of the laughing, smiling and love that surrounded us. I'm just so glad that everyone got to be together in Toulouse for the big day!


  1. We missed you all and wish we could have been there for your big day! It looks like it was fun and beautiful. Much love, Bee and Jim

  2. We missed y'all too, all the more reason to celebrate in Richmond soon! Hugs to Alice and Tripp!