Thursday, March 22, 2012

Nantes, France and a Gigantic Elephant...

Our day started with some gentle rain but cleared before the end of the 3.5 hour drive from Brest to Nantes.  Scenery today was much the same as yesterday - farms and towns - gently rolling hills.

Cozzie is dwarfed by this mechanical elephant
The venue for tonight's concert turned out to be beside a very large Gallery/Museum of Machinery.  But the featured machinery is not the type farmers are using in fields on their farms.  These machines are the creations of designers who imagine spectacular, mechanical things.  The site consists of showrooms and a construction center.

Currently there is a massive mechanical elephant on display there.  It is out in an open space but under the roof of this large site.  I did not tour this gallery but was able to view the elephant close up.

The "caboose" that powers this machine.
While Cozzie and I were strolling around the area, we noticed buses arriving with large groups of very energetic and excited school children.   And before long we noticed children walking across a ramp to the top of the elephant where there was an open area that looked like a circus tent on top with a railing they could stand beside.  And as we watched the loading process, we also saw a man climb into an area that looked as though it had controls for steering the elephant.  In due time, the elephant began to move - probably about 2 miles an hour - and came right past us as we watched.  Cozzie was in his stroller and didn't seem afraid even when the elephant began to blow mist from his trunk and then trumpet with fairly natural sounds of an elephant - really loudly.  It probably helped that I held his hand with one hand and videotaped with my other hand.

Boarding from above...
It was impressive!  I'm sure the elephant made a big circle through the complex and returned to give a ride to another group of children as there were many children apparently waiting for that experience.

You've probably noticed that there are no photos with today's blog.  Oops, I left my camera card reader in the dressing room at the venue where we spent most of the day - until after supper.  I'm sure son James will bring the card reader with him when they come to the hotel for the night but that will be long after midnight so hopefully I'll be in bed by then.  Will add photos tomorrow hopefully. Done!

I haven't mentioned yet that Cozzie is learning new words rapidly and using them quite often.  He has learned to say "Bon Jour" which is hello (good day) in French.  He often says it over and over again in what seems to be perfect diction.  But usually when you want him to greet a Frenchman with it, he gets shy and won't say anything until the opportunity passes.  Then he says it over and over again.  He is also learning to say Good-bye, Au Revoir, and Please, Sil vous plait.  Very cute!

Seeing familiar faces...
Skype is a wonderful link when far away.
Staying at the venue much of today allowed Cozzie to spend some good time with his Mama.  She decided to Skype home when he awakened from a nap this afternoon.  They were able to talk with his Mimi Wright and his great grandparents, Gagi and Papa Wright.  It was a sweet connection and made very special because Cozzie decided to say "Gagi"for the first time and said it over and over which was able to be understood by his Mama's 94 year old grandmother.  She had some wise words for him and his mama and assured them of her constant prayers.  The call was special but also difficult as the Grandfather is in rapidly declining health and is not expected to live much longer.  He will probably be with Jesus before this tour ends.  Fortunately, there has been significant quality time within the past few months but that doesn't mean this is not a difficult time to be so far from those that are so loved and cherished.  Prayers will be welcome.

Our drive tomorrow is supposed to be just one hour.  Maybe a sleep-in morning?  Think Cozzie will like that?

His nose is still runny but he slept well last night so we both got good rest.  Better take my vitimin C and head to bed.

No comments: