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Saturday the 21st of January

I’m writing this on the 22nd ;( - I was tired yesterday so I didn’t want to stay up and write this. Anyway – the 21st was a fun day! We woke up at like 9 and my host parents, sister and I went to Arles, a small town near their Grandmas house. We arrived at about 10 and went into Arles. It was a cute little town with Roman ruins and old buildings, typical France.

My host mom showed me these little statues called santons that are from that region – they are very detailed and very expensive. They have an extensive history – people started to make them to show the birth of Jesus and through the years the use was changed, and they are mostly used to depict the typical life here. They started out being pretty big, maybe American girl doll size, but they have gotten smaller and smaller and are now anywhere from 8-20 cm.

Then we got some authentic meringue, which was soo good! I have attempted meringue so many times and it never seems to work out correctly, so it was nice to try some actual meringue and see what it should taste like. We got 2 flavors – raspberry and vanilla. The raspberry was pretty good, but the original vanilla flavor is hard to beat.

While we were eating the meringue, we walked through the Saturday market and I saw all of the specialties: everything that has to do with olives (olive oil, olive wood bowls, different kinds of olives…) some different sweet treats and lots of seafood, as we weren’t far from the Mediterranean. It was really enjoyable to walk through this market, because everyone was speaking French and having a great time – the weather was also great, so that helped.

We went back to Grandmas house for lunch and a little siesta. Then my host parents, brother and I went to the Baux de Provence, which was breathtaking. The view was incredible on top of the chateau that we visited. After talking lots of pictures went further into the little chateau/town – I don’t know why, but it smelled like peanut butter cookies in the town and reminded me of Sophia. There were a lot of cute shops there, but most of them were closed, because it isn’t tourist season. We went into a little church in the town and the stained glass was really interesting – it looked like there were 3 layers of glass. We also visited the Daudet windmill.

Afterwards, we took the super long way back to Grandma’s house so that I could see the landscape and the sheep. It is called the “pays des moutons (region of the sheep)” for a reason! When we got home, we had about 2 hours before my host mom’s brother and his wife and daughter arrived, so I took some time to myself to get ready to socialize. He arrived a little late and without the rest of his family which caused some tension, but the food was great and the Grandma made a great pecan cake for dessert with lots of whipped cream :D.

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