The Most Colorful Valley in the French Pyrenees: Vallée Aspe & Lescun village

Fall 2013

Though these photographs are from 3 years ago, I’ve been back to this valley a few times since. It’s currently year 2017. Back in 2013, we happened to join a last minute caravan up to the French Pyreenees one weekend. Some friends of my in-law sibs.. it was HALLOWEEN weekend, I’ll remember forever because my niece and nephew were but 6 months old and my cuñados (sis n bro-in-law) dressed them up in skeleton PJs. I also got to carry my niecey up with me on a front facing carrier thing. It was magical.

I’m obsessed with being a tía. I’m super Aunty from California. They know perfectly well where I am from, as if it were a neighboring village in Aragón. They always ask me, “and your bros in California?” OK, they don’t do that on their own, but their parents and Abuela like to prompt them. It’s sweet as hell. More than obsessed, I’m fascinated watching twins grow up together. They went from little preemies to tiny humans with real vocabulary in no time. And now they speak French and know Tía was born in California. Drool time.

I’m also a twin. I have a twin brother. And trying to really grasp how my parents did it.. not IT it, but it like raise two infants when they already had a 3 year old was always beyond me. Welllllllll, there is this one scene in a home video of my mother, with her cousins and my Granny I think, pouring those 5 o’clock Chardonnays to the MFing brim. You could barely make out the scene through all those shoulder-length perms, but further investigation allows me to confidently make that accusation. Still though, they made it look so easy. No child proofing bs anywhere, just naked kids climbing all over each other, and my Father’s blonde mullet bobbing up and down as he changed the vinyl. I’m super homesick all the time, family is everything to me. But I chose a partner, I chose to be monogamously faithful to one human being *imagine that one big-eyed emoji with red cheeks and the expression like, wtf wtf wtf* But my adventure buddy is my family nucleus now, and he was a good pick. The reason I knew he was worth it is ultimately a story for another day.

As always, let us hop off this tangent and swoon on over to Fall in the Pyrenees.

LESCUN. is. gorgeous. As I said, ^^this was back in 2013. The initial point of this leisurely hike is as easy to get to as it looks in the pic. Just walk up and out of the town. The second time we were in Lescun, we rented a house with some of our Basque homies that we don’t get to see very often. We, the Bilbilitanos (people from Calatayud), arrived in Lescun first. Neither Airbnb contact would answer our calls. The lady’s phone was off! Luckily, our late Friday night arrival coincided with the monthly village soirée. I SWEAR ON MY CHERISHED MONOGAMOUS MARRIAGE this happened. Lescun has a population of 187.  It was in fact, like a scene from an awkwardly-forced comedy theater scene with a mime. We parked in this little square where the only lights in town were to be seen. Slowly, the Lescunians started peeking through the window of the supermarket/butcher/deli/kiosk/library windows. Then the most curious ones ventured out. First round of “Can you help us?” was attempted in Spanish. Then English. Then Spanish with a French accent. Then finally Jacques pointed his perfect, cute French finger towards the sky and disappeared. And he brought back Stefania. The English teacher. She asked around and confirmed that our Airbnb host was living in Paris. LOLz. So they had Jacques call random French person #8 to get the number to the neighbor of our host who might have a key to our house. Fast forward a few plastic cups of wine and giggly nibbles of apéritifs, the neighbors saved the day from the town over, apologizing like crazy “pardon pardon pardon” and brought the magical iron key. The house was freezing and at first didn’t have towels, but the neighbors kept disappearing and on the 4th time they popped in with towels for everyone (body, face and wash cloth – mad hospitality) PLUS some wine and home made jams and cheese. You guys, living in Europe is the best. Most people make a variety of craft edibles. Preserves TO THE MAX. Plus someone’s cousin or uncle or neighbor makes that cheese, cold press extra virgin olive oil, etc etc you get the point.

Come visit! We get a 50% discount on that house if we every go back…

Adventure buddy.

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