Sunday, March 31, 2013

Days 3 and 4 - Swimming and Apartment

Saturday started with another visit to the pool. One of the trainers said to show what she could do - so without a warm-up she dove in and did a 100m individual medley. She had a good swim but I think the change from yards to metres threw her off a little for her turns. She then joined the other swimmers who were doing some testing involving floating face-down for 5 seconds, treading water in a small hoop, going underneath lane lines, swimming different strokes (including streamline on her back and simultaneous backstroke) and then a couple laps of their own choice. She was happy to be there and at the end the coach said there was a small intrasquad meet on Sunday afternoon if we were interested. With no other plans for Sunday afternoon we signed her up. He also mentioned a swim camp they are having during the school vacation where she would get the chance to try some of the other things she hasn't done - synchro, water polo and swimming with fins.

After the pool we went to France's answer to Home Depot - Castorama - to get curtains, shelving and other bits and pieces for the apartment. We also picked up some small appliances at Darty - we needed alarm clock before school on Tuesday!

After a quick lunch at home, we headed north (the other stores are south of us) to another Home Depot type store, a different grocery store (to get things I forgot the day before) and a few furniture store to look at storage pieces. The apartments here, especially older ones, don't have a lot of built in storage. We are lucky because we have a storage room and big closets in our bedroom but we need things for Isabelle's room and the kitchen. We didn't find exactly what we want but there is lots to choose from and it was only our first outing so we will keep looking for a bit.

From there we drove to a brocante (used furniture store) which Paul had visited a few weeks ago. They definitely had interesting things and good prices but everything seemed to have a little problem - shelves missing, chewed doors or something else. I think we need to find the brocante who said no to these items because they weren't good enough!

The best part of the trip was that it is on the road to Paul's work so we got to see the countryside complete with cows, horses, goats, sheep, chickens and acres and acres of vineyards. Even though it was a little foggy it was still beautiful.

This morning, after the Easter Bunny's visit, or was it the Poule de Pâques, we went to the Sunday market. Paul was with us so we were a little more adventurous in our purchases - olives and rillette, along with needed eggs, fruit, bread.

After lunch, Paul and Isabelle hung curtains, built a shelf for the bathroom and moved some furniture around. And then it was time to go to the pool.

Of course, we had no idea how it was organized so we just followed everyone else. We waited outside until the appointed hour and then I went with Isabelle to the changing room side and Paul went into the bleacher area where we met him. The pool complex is pretty amazing - I will post some pictures and video later.

We were told the children would be called by birth year starting with 2006. Each child would swim the first event and then the 2005s would swim their first event and so on. After the 2001s swam, the 2006s would start again with a second event. After everyone swam 2 events, the best 8 combined times in each sex/age group would swim in a third event - as a final.

This was a meet for the swim school - as I understand it these are children who are passing the different stages to make the swim team. The events were different for each age - for those who know about SAIL think Guppy meet except all the events but the individual medleys were 50 metres. The 2006s swam with a kickboard, then streamline back and as a final - simultaneous back. The 2005s did streamline back, simultaneous back, then regular back. Isabelle's age did simultaneous back, regular back, and free. Later age groups added breast and 100m IM.

Isabelle placed first in her first two events putting her in the final. She then swam one of her best 50 frees ever and placed first for her age. She won a water bottle, got her first French medal and they even had a podium! And perhaps the best part of all she made a friend!

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