Bon jour tout le monde! which is French for "I can't believe my vacation is almost over and we didn't actually finish the wine. "
The important thing is we have soaked up an unbelievable amount of culture and history over the last two weeks, or what the French call "le bon vin rouge."
The teenagers' grasp of French culture has been especially precocious. Thanks to their discovery of the French language textbook in my luggage, they have learned how to say things in French that would probably get them grounded if my French or my parenting were better.
Here is just a small sample of the many, many memories and cultural experiences we have accumulated on our 1.5 country European tour.
1. The most famous painting in all of Paris is completely unviewable unless you are a pushy middle school girl convinced that 300 tourists waving their iPhone cameras in the air can't be wrong about art.
On the other hand, while all of the pushy middle schoolers and tourists are occupied with the most overrated experience in the city, the rest of the Louvre is virtually teenager free. You can stand as long as you want in front of paintings that are actually visible, which I believe is a threshhold criteria for art.
3. French literary and historical figures are largely celebrated for their contribution to things like French literature and history, but this does not mean that in the right context* they can not be ranked by a more subjective aesthetic.
By this reasoning the Suburban Executive and I conclude that while Honoré de Balzac may be eminently readable, he was not, how do you say...? Dateable.
*Cote du Rhone by the box: Despite our best efforts, we could not reach the bottom.