Vocab Friday: The bees! The bees!

Checking in here from Hostess land, where I have been on a marathon French touring adventure with Husband and his family. We have walked every inch of the city and climbed every tower, steeple and arch. There have been day trips to Versailles (drop-kicked tourists as necessary), hours spent in museums (where my 7 year old niece said “you know, we’re not really painting people. We’re more sculpture people”) and several exquisitely painful hours at the most hellish place on earth EuroDisney (more on that to come).

And you know, just because we approach every guest stay like it’s an episode of The Amazing Race, we decided to really test our sanity by packing everyone into a rental van and driving out to Normandy for the night. The secret motivation behind that bright idea? We could rest our feet during the 3 hours it took to get there.

Along the way I spied a sign for the town of Domfront, which boasted a medieval city and some kind of walled fort/castle/ruins thing. And boy do I looooooove me a good fort and total deviation from any kind of driving plans that Husband has mapped out! So of course I made us stop.

It was everything I dreamed of and more: cute winding streets, an old church, and some totally awesome castle ruins overlooking the rolling green farmland of northern France.

Oh, and killer wasp attacks. Yes, I leaned back on a bench to take in the view right as a yellow jacket happened to have the same idea, and he was all, I don’t think so lady. ZZZZZZING!

Bee: 1

Jen: 0

Sweet pain au raisins and baby jesus in velvet pants did that hurt. I think the last time I got stung by a bee was somewhere circa 1990, but holy lord I sure don’t remember it being that awful. Hot, stingy, searing ouchiness up my back. Big, swollen red bump that still itches like crazy.

I guess that’s why there are signs all over the parks here in Paris warning you about bees.

Don’t walk on the lawn.

Danger bees.

Not “Danger: Bees” or “Watch out for the dangerous bees.”  But Danger Bees, like an alterna garage band name. Or a cartoon nemesis. Look out Care Bears, the Danger Bees are coming! In my head it sounds like the old Spider Man theme song: Dan-ger beeeeeees, dan-ger beeeeees!

But as I looked up “wasp stings” on WebMD today to make sure I wasn’t having delayed onset anaphylactic shock or suffering from a skin-eating bacterial infection, I realized that the danger is real people. The danger is real! DANGER BEES!

*      *      *

And on to vocab:

les abeilles

Pronunciation: lez ah-bey-es

Definition: Bees. Lots of them. With nasty stingers just waiting to ruin your afternoon fort viewing. As in,

Les abeilles are nothing to laugh about children. Especially les abeilles who are overly protective of their park benches in Domfront.”


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  1. Freddie McKenna

    Next time you’re up north, check out the Bayeux tapestry in…Bayeux.
    If you like medieval stuff, you will find it fascinating.

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