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France 2004, the Baptism of Patrick Windle and a quick trip to Barcelona.

Our friends David and Lesly Windle asked us to be God-Parents to their second son, Patrick.  As you may already know, we already consider Paul our godson.  They apparently thought that since we were already so attached and close to their first son, Paul, that odds were good we'd be at least as active in the life of Patrick.  They weren't wrong.

One of the benefits of being the God-Parents (Le Parain et La Marraine) was that once again, we were invited to enjoy a baptism celebration in the south of France, near Aspet.  While there are many photos of friends and people, there are also some very lovely shots of the landscape and scenery wherever we traveled.  I've broken-down this page into several links to make it easier to navigate.

Pre-Departure to France  Pre-Baptism France  Baptism of Patrick  Baptism Reception  After the Baptism  Barcelona

Pre-Departure to France

Paul obviously hates the camera.     Papa relaxes with Patrick.              Here he is, up close.

Le Parrain avec le filleule.              La Marraine avec le filleule.

David & Lesly's Patio set up for dinner.  Here's our plane to take us to France!

Pre-Baptism France

The boys in the rack, back then       Paul with the Petonk Balls.             Lesly inspects the toy all cleaned up.
Patrick had to be near Paul.            Smaller than normal Bocce Balls.

Paul hangs out with Russ.                Cindy with Patrick, a VERY              Louis ready to catch some trout.
                                                    common sight in France.

Lesly and Paul at the Trout pond.     Louis prepares to club a trout.         Patrick hangs out at the pool.

The lovely Joélle on the balcony.    Patrick tries out Hector's chair.        Cards anyone?

Obviously Louis was winning!           Cindy and I made stir-fry for the         Everyone enjoyed the food,
                                                   whole gang at Razecueillé, the B&B.    especially the spicy Sheczuan!

A funny moment for Papa & Paul      Jean-Louis relaxes after the meal     Time for café and laughs.
                                                    with a fire in the background.

A classic Jean-Louis pose.                Ma belle amie du boisson, Joélle.

The next four rows of photos are of the men of Razecueillé hunting club pouring the foundation of the new
hunting lodge.  The fog was amazingly thick that morning, and the road the cement truck (Béton) had
to navigate barely wide enough for a small car, let alone a typical full size truck.  Paul LOVED watching
Grandpa work in the concrete, truck and tools along with all his hunting buddies.



                                                                                                        Here's the village running the
                                                                                                        water pipe up to the new lodge.
                                                                                                        That's the size of the entire road
                                                                                                        up the mountain.  He's not digging
                                                                                                        the road, just the shoulder.

On the way back up the mountain    Russ and his friend Victoire.            Lise could not be left out of the
road, we met a French couple,                                                            picture!
who were hiking for weeks, with their 2
dogs.  I am really proud of how this
photo came out.  We chatted with
them and they have an interesting story.
David captured the audio conversation
on his video camera by accident.
I hope to load it soon.

My buddy Victoire.                         Two lovelies, Véro & Joélle.           Even a 'simple' lunch must have a
                                                                                                        proper table setting at Chez Boué.

Guillaume with little Hector.  He has a lot of challenges ahead of him,     Jean-Louis José was not pleased
but with Guillaume & Stéphanie, he's in good hands.  Especially with       when France lost to Greece
grandparents Jean-Louis & Daniele as well!                                             in the World Cup soccer match.

Cindy enjoys a glass of boxed vino.  The lovely Véro enjoys as well.       Guillaume eats a little more....

<Gasp>, Is that WINE IN A BOX!?!     Here's Véro's sister, Christel.           David relaxes a bit.
Yep, quite nice for larger parties.

Louis with a video game looking      From left to right, Stéphanie, Cindy    Cindy loves sitting by the fire
down at you over glasses...             Joélle, Christel & Véro.                      up in the mountains.
                                                    The Boué Sisters are
                                                    Christel, Stéphanie & Véronique.

The view of Mount Cajir from the    Here's the front of the B&B in
B&B in the Razecuiellé.                   Razecuiellé.

Baptism of Patrick William Leslie Louis Windle

Cleaned up for the Ceremony.         The initial blessing.                        A cute photo.
                                                     At this point Jean-Louis leaned
                                                     forward in his pew and whispered
                                                     that I'm family forever now.
                                                     We feel VERY honoured by this!

The girls at the Baptism.  Julia in     Does any child not cry during the     The candles symbolize the Light.
white, and Victoire to the right,      actual pouring of the water?
holding the Holy Water.

A candid moment.                                                  Signing the baptism document.

I'm not show in this as I was up in the belfry of the church manually ringing the bells with the rest of the
men of the ceremony.  I'm hoping to find photos of that from a friend who was there, or perhaps take
photos on my next visit.

David with French 'Marraine',          Adrien gives me a smirk.                 Adrien & Julia.  When Julia first saw
Stéphanie.                                                                                         me in the Church, she ran up and
                                                                                                        gave me the best hug ever!

The inside of the church, while quite small, is really quite lovely.

                                                    Baptiste, French 'Parrain' with         Cindy must have a photo of her
                                                    Patrick.                                          hubby cleaned up...

Isn't she lovely!                                David and Daniele show rings...

Baptism Reception

One of the things Cindy & I did        Here's the label, friend Évelyne &    David & Giselle chat.
as God-Parents was buy the             Jérôme helped with the
Champagne, with custom made       arrangements and surprise factor
labels, 20 bottles!  3 were left         of the bottles, as Lesly & David had
after the reception!                        NO IDEA!

If you are bored, click here to go to the next day.

I'll be placing names as I get them all.

Claude & Hector enjoy the              Jérôme, Ingrid & Fred.                    Me and the new Godson!

Psst, the champagne is AWESOME!    The always lovely Ingrid.               The place-settings were lovely!

Hector with Véro.                          Hector with Baptiste.                     Mama Joélle & son Baptiste.


Cindy LOVED the flower arrangements, made from flowers pilfered by none other than Lesly!


The crowd sure was thirsty!


Now that's a dessert table to be proud of, all home-made!

Paul in the stone alley.                    The kids all waved at me.              Grandma on a mission...

Ingrid & Fred.                                These 2 couples are smiling broadly because I took their photos thinking
                                                    they were married, turns out they both were sitting ACROSS from and
                                                    not next to their spouses.  Took a bit of explaining with my French.


Some of the later revelers in conversation between dances.


Christel with Louis & Paul.               Cindy with Christel & Louis.           ME, Cindy & Paul...  He's getting

                                                    D. J. Guillaume.                              Cindy & ____ doing the swing. 

Ingrid & Julia dance.                       Paul & Baptiste.                             Cindy and Paul cutin' a rug.

Christel dances with Lise .              Proud Papa Fred with his shining     I love this shot of them.
                                                    light, Julia.

David dances with Évelyne, her       Is Paul getting tired now or what!  Yikes, he was BEAT.
sister Joélle dancing on the right

My favorite dance partner, Victoire.

Fun days after the Baptism.

We went to a Spanish park just over the border.  It was an amazing day trip up the mountains from Bossost.
The drive was also quite amusing, nearly forgetting to retrieve Christel along the way.  Needless to say, she was NOT amused...  Though it will be a good story for YEARS to come...

The views were absolutely spectacular.  The lake was crystal clear and the air much cooler than the
previous day at the Baptism.

Patrick happy in his chair.               Lesly relaxes a bit.                         Adrien forced to stand by a tree.

The lovely Daniela.                        And her husband, Fred, chats           Obviously it was a good crowd that
                                                    with David.                                    decided to enjoy the day. 

David loves a good conversation.     The adorable Lise, Christel &           My dearest Julia hitches a ride
                                                     Jean-Louis José's daughter.             on her favorite horse.

A few photos of the lovely bride and me by the lake.                           The views were very nice.

Boys will be boys...                        Papa Jean-Louis José climbs with    A good shot of Patrick with Cindy
                                                    his Princess, Lise.

Jean-Claude & Giselle won the prize for the most stylish hats.                Joélle is sick of the camera.


Thee nice shots of the landscape we traversed and saw on the way.

Off we go on the hike.                                           More nice views on the way.

Jérôme's mother slips on the trail.   She's not hurt, just embarrassed.      The long line of hikers.

Lesly competed with the stylish hat!          Two shots of the lovely Christel taking a break in the hike.

The kids swarm around Ingrid.         Guillaume with Hector.                   Time for a water break folks!

Breathtaking.                                 Waiting on the slower walkers.       A cute little stream.


Cindy loves her flowers, and I caught 2 dragonflies hovering over a plant.

The hike is winding down.              A cute photo of Lesly & Paul.           The very quaint rock made dam.

Paul hams it up.                              Two photos of a citadel I spied on the way back down the mountain.
                                                     In the future, I'd like to explore this area more.

There's our Renault 307 diesel.        Exiting the town of Bossòst.            Coming closer to France again.
A blast on the winding little roads!


The Garrone River at the boarder or France and Spain in the town of Les.  The sound is much louder than
you would expect from such a narrow waterway.

E. U. France.                                  The nice stream behind Chez Boué.    A fishing sign.

There was a little bazaar near the     The lovely Ingrid.                         Patrick and Claude enjoy a
house that we stopped at.  Lots of                                                      swing seat together.
fishing info and a nice little artist
stand that we purchased a piece at that
always reminds us of Aspet!

Here again enjoying the                  Lesly in her element.                      Dessert, yum...

A shot of the girls.                          A guest comes to visit for a while.    Adrien watching television.

The cat had found its' way under      I love the mist covered apex.        A little later with the sun burning
the blankets all comfy.                                                                       the mist off...

Stuffed peppers, yummy.               David awaits the vittles.                 Danielle is still tired from the
                                                                                                         baptism prep and clean-up.

Jean-Louis in mid-conversation.                 Jean-Louis José & Christel unwind during the meal.

I loved the rock walls in the back of the B&B.

Looking down the slopes and then Cajir.               

Some shots of the early evening meal.


Russ & Jean-Louis talk politics and auto racing...

Joélle, she stole my heart in France <sigh>  We love her dearly.  She's a wonderful hostess and friend.

The sun setting over the mountains up at the B&B....

Day trip to Barcelona.

We decided to take a short break    A castle on the way.                      A nice old Church on the way.
and visit a friend in Barcelona,

The amazing mountains that are directly North of Barcelona.                  The main tourism and shopping

Columbus is VERY popular here,       Cindy gets a photo with a street     View of the streets off of Reial.
a Spanish Hero!                              performer, a human statue.

Cindy shops in one of the oldest      Palatial gardens.                             I just liked the way this small street
existing book stores in town.                                                               looked...

Cindy and her fountains...               Our lovely friend, Sylvia, Cindy        Sylvia loves turtles...
                                                    and I relax with a drink in a VERY
                                                    nice cool spot.

These are photos of a Presidential home, Very lovely.  If I find the name, I'll add it later.

My sister-in-law Sharon LOVES gargoyles, so I had to take some photos of them for her!

We visited a gorgeous Basilica in Barcelona, and once I find my notes I'll have more info to add...
The fountain area in the middle is home to a gaggle of swans.

I wanted to give you an idea of the sheer size of the pillars and entire building.

A floor tombstone.                                                                             The oldest existing candy store in

The grande market!                        Cindy would NOT let me go in there!  We're wandering the streets.

National Police headquarters.  I accidentally made a wrong turn and       I just love this shot.
got suck in the open square here.  Quite embarrassing...

The Basilica.                                 I liked the torch and artwork.         I'll ask about this house as well...

Sylvia attended and was graduated from the Barcelona University for Maritime Studies.  She's also a qualified
ships Captain!  These are some shots of the inside of the University.

Here's a hanging ship or crystal in the University, it's AMAZING!

We stopped at her old college watering hole, very crowded.  Check out the prices for champagne!
Copa is a Glass, and Ampolla is a Bottle!

I loved this facade of this house.     Next door was a home designed by the famed Spanish architect Gaudi.

Here's another building designed by Gaudi.

Here's Sylvia's childhood home.       A piece of artwork at the               Cindy does love her fountains.
She had an awesome view of          Olympic Park.
the bay.  No wonder she became
enamored of the Sea!

While waiting here for Sylvia to      The beach near her home.              The moon looked awesome.
resolve her disagreement with
the local Constabulary, I spied
this building, though we didn't
get a good clear shot.
Yes, she got a ticket...  Drat.
Here's her kitchen.  I didn't take      On the road again the next day, back to France.  We will definitely
many photos of her home, but         be going back, and we'll be spending a LOT more time on the next
it is a lovely, modern and VERY        journey!
welcoming home!

I had to stop for this shot.               Cute little ride, eh?                        A little chapel on the way.

We stopped in this town for a light          The final town prior to re-entering
lunch and a drink.  I was uploading            France.
all of our photos or I would have
taken some good photos of this town.

We absolutely LOVED our entire trip, the only 2 regrets are these:
    Not enough time spent in Spain, but that will be fixed next time.
    Russ accidentally broke a box of plates when the bottom of the container broke open while carrying them.  This was a horrible thing to have happen when I was trying to help.  The Boué family was so wonderful, telling us to not worry, but we felt horrible!  Jean-Louis telling me they're only Russian plates, so don't matter, didn't console me much.  Daniele explained that our helping with everything was much more important than some broken dishes.  That did make us feel less guilty.

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