Friends of Orphans and Vulnerable Children

Friends of Orphans and Vulnerable Children
What could be better than an Ethiopian welcome, FOVC style?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Eating our way through France...

  • Abby eats crepes and pastries every 5-10 minutes;

  • I can't say Dave is drinking wine every 10 minutes, but I get the sense he does enjoy the whole have-a-glass-of-wine-at-a-French-cafe scene. If he starts wearing a beret and smoking cigarettes, we'll have to do an intervention. Or, I'll leave him to his own devices without a translator!;

  • I had doral (some kind of yummy fish) STRAIGHT AND FRESH from the Mediterranean Sea today...while LOOKING at the Mediterranean while eating in a restaurant in the port town of Cassis;

  • True to her carnivorous, carbo-loving form, Allison enjoys the Charolais variety of beef...and she is quite a baguette hound;

  • And Meelsie seems to be missing basic old familiar food...and was a bit too happy to have some frites (that's French fries, which are not actually French) at a McDonald's where we accidentally / not on purpose found ourselves mid-morning today. I should have bought a bunch of boxes of chicken McNuggets (they don't ever go bad, do they, because I don't think they're real food?) which I could pop out of the diaper bag for her eating pleasure whenever we pull up to a classy French joint.

I wish I could upload photos, but alas, I'll have to share pictures when we get home.

Yesterday we drove northwest of Aix to Arles, Les Baux and St. Remy de Provence. (And yes, the GPS works pretty well--as long as I translate the French for Dave the Driver--and our French driving experience has been far more pleasant than last summer's Italy driving experience!)

Arles is the town (village?) where Vincent Van Gogh and Paul Cezanne painted. I took a photo of Dave and Abby outside the house where Van Gogh's famous "Bedroom at Arles" was painted (malheureusement, la maison etait ferme! Boo!).

Since we're so artsy, it should be known that a print of "Bedroom at Arles" hangs in our very own bedroom at home--ha! Here's what the famous painting looks like:

After Arles, we went to an amazing medieval village called Les Baux de Provence. The town and its castle date from the eighth century. It was amazing! Here is a picture (that someone else took) of Les Baux:
St. Remy de Provence is another beautiful old town. Unfortunately, many of the shops there are closed on Tuesdays, so we didn't stay long. Another of St. Remy de Provence's claims to fame is that Van Gogh was institutionalized there for about a year. Hmmmm...

Last night we dined at "Les Deux Garcons," a famous restaurant here in Aix that opened in 1792. Apparently it was a favorite of Paul Cezanne. (Also, I'm pretty sure it's the only restaurant I have ever been to that is listed in the Michelin Guide.)

After we sat down, our waiter offered us "an apperatif" to drink called, "pastis." Having recently re-read "A Year in Provence," I was all eager to drink pastis....because Mayle's friends and acquaintances in the book drink pastis like it's going out of style.

Anyway, the waiter brought Dave and me a couple of tall, narrow glasses. Each had about 2 inches of cloudy liquid, and about 8 inches of...nothing. Dave and I each took suspicious sips. Then we breathed fire across the table at one another. My my my, that stuff was STRONG!!!!

After several minutes, the non-English-speaking waiter (by the way, we haven't found ANY English speakers down in these parts...not a single speaker of it's a good thing I know enough French to be dangerous!) was able to convey to us that the 8 inches our glasses was meant to be filled, by us, with water. Upon adding 80% water to the highly-potent pastis base, we ended up with a somewhat palatable licorice-tasting beverage. It wasn't that bad, but I do think it's an acquired taste.

Today we drove over to a fabulous village called Cassis. Oh la la! It was so wonderful. Cassis is supposedly the "poor man's St. Tropez," but we didn't see anything poor about it. It was beautiful and quaint, and the girls loved taking off their shoes at the Mediterranean Sea. (I fear Amelia was wishing for Chicken McNuggets....but at least she was nice about it.)This is someone else's photo of Cassis. We ate at one of the buildings right in the middle of the row. Formidable!

On the agenda for tomorrow: Monaco. Friday we're off to the "Hill Towns of Luberon," then we travel to Paris Saturday. The days are going by too fast!


Derek and Betsy said...

The trip looks great! I can't wait to get there one day for the food and wine if nothing else, ha. We are supposed to get around a foot of snow here tomorrow. I am so ready for our trip (2 more days). We should get our car back with one day to spare- yeah.

Happy Birthday again.


Jennifer said...

How beautiful! You are living the good life!!