easter eggs in basketOlive and Maude Blairphotos by Paul Ferney

Ready for the Easter Egg Party rundown? I’ve got dozens of photos to share, in case you’re interested.

The party started at 3:00 on Saturday. Guests (there were about 50 people including our family) arrived and scoped out the scene. In the yard, there is a trampoline, a treehouse, a jungle gym with slide and swings, and we set up a badminton net as well. So the kids started entertaining themselves immediately.

The tricky thing for us is always the language. To prepare for the party, Ben Blair translated 20 or so phrases he thought he’d probably need as the host and he did a great job communicating and chatting with guests. My language skills weren’t up to snuff, so I gave lots of big smiles, welcoming gestures and sorry attempts at speaking to try to make guests comfortable. I’m sure I was a comic scene. : )

garden party

Refreshments were served on a table under a shady tree. In France, gouter — the afternoon snack — is pretty much a sweets-only affair, so we just served sugary stuff. Macarons, mini-eclairs, cookies, and fruit tartlettes from a local bakery.

cookies fruit tartlettesmacaronsgouter dessert

In a small courtyard on the side of the house, we also had a station where guests could dye boiled eggs. Dyeing eggs isn’t an Easter tradition here, so we thought it would be a fun novelty for the French children to try. We set out a dozen different bowls of dye and had a basket with 6 dozen eggs. (We’re super lucky to have access to tons of free-range eggs. We bought 4 dozen from our next door neighbor and our babysitter brought us a few dozen more from her own hens.)

dyeing easter eggsdyeing easter eggsdyeing easter eggs

After everyone had arrived, we asked guests to gather under the open barn — out of sight of the great lawn — while a few adults hid the eggs. We had over 600 eggs to hide. Three hundred were plastic eggs filled with American candies and the rest were foil wrapped French chocolate eggs.

hiding eggshiding eggseaster egg in tree

There was an area around the be-ribboned trellis that was reserved for the littlest guests. And they were invited to start hunting a couple minutes before the older kids.

easter egg hunteaster egg hunteaster egg hunt

We had a stack of tin pails on hand to collect the eggs.

easter egg hunt

The older guests had a more challenging hunt.

hiding easter eggseaster egg hunt

After the hunt, there was resting/going through the loot (I think the Reeses were a hit!), more eating of refreshments and general hanging out. I like to think this trail of opened eggs is a sign of a happy child somewhere:

open easter eggseaster egg hunt

The sun was really beating down, so it wasn’t too big of a surprise when a happy water fight broke out. (My siblings have a theory that most good parties end in a food or water fight.)

water fightwater fight

I love this shot of soaking wet Maude:

Maude Blair Water Fightgarden party

Just as parents started picking up kids, a sun-shower surprised us all and absolutely drenched everything. It was beautiful and came at just the right time. It felt like a fitting end to the festivities.

baby on swing

After the party (and the downpour), a couple of families stayed to visit and help with the clean up. When we said our goodbyes, the Blair and Ferney crew did the final take down and rolled up all the ribbon to be used another day.

rolling up ribbonribbons on trellisend of garden party

What a fun event! I’m so glad we decided to throw this party. It’s always nerve-wracking to give out invitations and hope people will want to come to your event — every time I throw a party I feel some panic the night before thinking no one will show up. But the guests did come. And I think they had fun.

I do try hard to adopt the local customs here, but at this party, I also felt some freedom because we were out-of-towners. I knew some of what we were doing would feel American or foreign, but I assumed the guests would expect that, so I didn’t worry about it.

As we downloaded about the party afterwards, the whole family really felt like this was a great way to connect with the community.

P.S. — Want more party details? Here you go:
All about the ribbon
The invitations
The macarons
The welcome bike

Also. One of my favorite features of this party were the red-headed dads holding babies. : )

Ben Blair and Baby Junepaul and roman ferney