I was a crazy person when I took this picture. I hadn't seen Coco in almost a month, and I had just arrived at her beautiful school, pictured above. I knew she was about to run up the hill and around the corner to find me. Most children casually and quietly walked up to greet their parents, but knowing Coco she would be louder and less reserved (in other words - more American!) than the other children. She did not disappoint. I heard her yelling (at the site of her best friend's parents) before she even came into view. When she saw me she jumped on me, and I surprised myself by bursting into tears. I had to walk around the following tour of the school with red eyes and a red nose!
The chic entrance hall at Coco's school.
I would go back to school if it looked like this, wouldn't you?
A collage in the drawing room. Now I could see why my horse loving daughter felt so at home there.
After our reunion, we drove to Chateau Lartigolle to stay for the weekend. It really is like staying as a guest at an amazing private house. There were 6 families there, and we had casual breakfast and a delicious sit down dinner all together each day. I could have happily spent the whole weekend in the Chateau, but we had shopping to do!
Coco is my constant flea market buddy, and so when Saturday morning arrived, we knew we had to find the best market around. We lucked out - on the first weekend of every month, Toulouse hosts an antiques market in the center of town on the Allées Jules Guesde - we were there on the right day!
I got a kick out of seeing these plates because this was the pattern my mother had when I was growing up. I love how in France they have a special plate just for eating asparagus. French people must have a lot of shelf space!
I am always searching for great military shirts. I didn't buy this one because I already have one that's similar, but I took pictures because I like how pointy the collar is.
Do you know Moynat? They are one of the oldest trunk-makers in France - even older than Vuitton and Goyard. LVMH recently bought it and hired a designer from Hermes to be its Creative Director. It is definitely a brand to watch, and it was fun to see a vintage trunk at the market.
Every kid's dream, right? I would take the Ferrari, whereas Coco wanted to mint-colored convertible at the back.
I should have bought this saddle. I love the red felt mixed with the old leather. It was at the very end of the market, and the rain had started and we were freezing cold. I didn't even ask how much it was. What was I thinking?
A camera is key at any market. It keeps you from buying things you just want to remember. I didn't necessarily need to own these handkerchiefs, but I was blown away by how beautifully they were packaged.
This was my one flea market purchase. I love anything military, and I love how it is actually a collage of sorts - the man's face is a photograph and the scene around it is drawn out and then painted over in places. It was 50 euros. Not bad.
My other regret are these insane dolls' eyes. They were beautifully framed, and one of the most original things I have ever seen. Coco was totally freaked out by them, so we moved on quickly, but I wish I had at least got the man's phone number so I could have tried to get him to ship them to me later.
On the street in the old part of Toulouse - a great mix of old world architecture and new creative energy.
The chicest pharmacy I have ever seen, in Toulouse.
Coco and I went to visit a semi-ruined chateau in Lavardens, about an hour outside of Toulouse. This is the view from the incredibly charming village surrounding the chateau.
Coco at the chateau.
Chateau de Lavardens.
After the Chateau we went to Auch, where Coco wanted to show me the cathedral. I was impressed she wanted to go there again, just to show me. When I was a kid, I was so bored walking around churches and cathedrals - the only part I enjoyed was lighting a candle in honor of someone you love. I guess not much has changed!
On Sunday night our Chateau had the night off from making supper so we drove up into the hills to a tiny place called Auberge du Rantaures. It was very rustic and eccentric, and the wife was the server and the husband was the cook. Every meal was cooked over this open fire. I had sautéed foie gras in an orange sauce and then delicious whole roasted cod.
Our supper cooking over burning logs.
Coco and I having a final twilight ping pong game at the Chateau. She hasn't beaten me yet, but she's getting close!