Monday, September 28, 2015

Driizzle - Fizzle 8-27-15

I awoke to a fine drizzle, it is 0700 and everyone is still asleep.  So I have this lovely place to myself.  I could stay here a while I think.  
It is now 12:20 and I am fed up with waiting, as usual I hear the sweet sound of France calling while the others in my life SLEEP.  It is a good day for sleeping but I was AWAKE.  So now I am going to lunch a bit on some yogurt, cheese, meat and a baguette we bought yesterday and go forth into the world, alone I guess.

Well this was a fine day, not.  We finally got moving and decided to go to Blois, it was a good option in the rain.  I thought I knew right where it was, but surprise, it was not there, so finding it was a challenge.  We found a parking place right off the bat, but could not figure out how to pay,  the local shop keepers were not helpful, at all.  So we moved the car because I did not feel the urge to be towed.  So we parked in a parking garage which personifies the concept of sardines!  Austin spied a place where I could back up the ramp and then pull in easier than trying to slide a whale in a horse trailer.  Which is usually what I feel that I am trying to do.  

Blois is as lovely as touted.  There is a throne one can sit on and I finally felt almost as at home as when I am in Paris!  Princess Caroline at last!  The way in which folks lived over the centuries is amazing, moving from castle to castle.  Giving it away, taking it back.  Old Catherine de MIdici spent time here too, the different take on her here, versus my memories of Chenonceau, is very interesting. The Blois version is less  venomous, I think.   It is hard to remember due to events that would happen latter.  We left the castle and tried looking for an umbrella, sweatshirts and food, but the best we could find was a bar where we had a glass of local wine and extra crackers for the boys.  Leaving Blois we tried to find a place to eat as I was the only person who had had breakfast so everyone was stinking hungry, but we ran into the same parking problem.  Joe was hankering for Tartare de Boeuf so we decided to just go back to Ambois where we jumped out of the car in the rain, I vividly remember locking the car, because I felt impatient in the rain, but thought "this has to be done regardless." I remember having already placed the key on the hook in my car and locking  it. 

Four soggy creatures had dinner at a place I had indulged good steak tartare the year before.  Our food was good, but not good enough  make up for what was to come.  Jodi and I fast walked back to the car, I unlocked the car as we approached and went back to pic up the boys.  We had left them under an awning to stay dry.  It was a circuitous route, but we got back to them and back we went to Croix en Tourraine where we are staying.  We arrived back at the apartment in high spirits and everyone but me went to the back of the car and Jodi said "where is my stuff?", we searched the car high and low to no avail.  Finally it sunk in that somehow we had been robbed.  Jodi and i went back to the gendarmerie to be heartlessly told to return in the AM by 1000 to file a report.  He was incredulous that the car did not have any damage and I felt vindicated at the Pink  Panther movies, I wanted to ask him if "e would like to bbuuuy a amberger",  We came home pretty disheartened. 

Friday, September 25, 2015

Arriving 8-26-15

Everything took a LONG time.  Customs was not its customary self at Charles De Gauls and it took forever, My suitcase wheel is cockeyed and it is more like dragging it rather than pulling.  I could just cry, I had found a perfectly cute little floral tapestry piece, bought it, and then took it back because it felt frivolous!  God is ALWAY talking to us if we just listen! Getting the car was fortuitous (we are driving a automatic, diesel with navigation!), but still took a long time.  Then, the drive after not sleeping well on the plane, made the 3 hour drive feel like it, too, took forever.  We drove via Amboise, I knew it was an easy first castle for Austin to see.  And then because the cottage would not be available 
until 3-4 PM, we stopped at the LeClerc to buy provisions.  There was a convenient bank machine, bathrooms and a French version of Meijer's.  I hesitate to say Walmart because no one wore their pajamas, nor was there any fighting in the aisles.  I thought I knew RIGHT were we were going, I had studied and studied, and when we pulled my heart sank.  This was not the place in the photos, and no one appeared to be close.  So I called and fortunately we were not in the right place.  So we drove  bit more and found it.  It is absolutely lovely, photos never do justice to a place and this little house is not exception.  Gabriella was kind and welcoming.  There is everything we could need and more available to us.    We had a quick "parlay" and decided to go to Amboise for dinner.  We found an easy Italian place right on the main drag and all had pizza and a small bottle of wine.  I ma not wanting to create drunks out of the kids and the waitress was very serious that there would only be  three glasses of wine in the Demi I ordered.  So serious, that she only bought three glasses for us to pour.  I had told her about my fathers refrain of " I am not trying to fatten you up, just keep you alive,"  when she argued with me about having enough, but her sense of humor was lacking, it was lost in translation, or as ever soulful Jodi suggested, maybe she has a problem with anorexia and I was offensive, so she was not amused.  My pizza was good and all of the margarita pizza (cheese)  vanished, along with the wine. After a stroll around, a quick trip back and a hot soak in the baignoire (bathtub) it was bed time!

Leaving 8-25-15

What is it about leaving home that makes it all seem more?
The sky is more blue,
The city more pristine (from a distance),
Dear faces more beautiful?
And yet all day I have looked and looked and found a bluer sky, the skyline of Indianapolis more lovely and my mother even more beautiful as she smilingly bid us farewell.   
I am so grateful to have this time off,  off of work, off of my regular life and off of my regular country.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

The Countdown is on!

It’s time, It’s time It’s time for another visit to my girlfriend!  I have a friend visiting her right now and I am green with envy.  But it was nice to see their photographs on Facebook and live vicariously.  As usual I am SO ready for a break in my work life.  I love my job as a forensic nurse and forensic nursing program coordinator, it is just draining to be on call all the darned time.  There is still enough mystique about Europe though,  that folks leave me alone when I am across the big water!
So this next week will be filled with all the last minute things that it takes in order to be ready to be gone.  My angel of a mother will stay here with the fur-kids so not only will they be loved on by someone I totally trust, but also someone will be in and out of my house.  We are packing to cary on, and that is a ever challenge with the mentality of the airlines.  But I think I have that area “licked” too!  The biggest concern right now it that the ONLY time I could get a mani-pedi prior to my departure was 10:00 day of our departure.  So I am hoping that Tammy is prepared and not in a dawdling mood that day.
The twist this time is that we are taking Joey and Austin with us.  This is Joey’s graduation gift a year late.  Traveling with 20 year old men will be a  novelty for me, and I am sure for them as well.  Joe is experienced, but this is a new adventure for Austin.  Unless I am dead wrong, though, Austin is a pretty laid back kid. 
Austin had to save money to pay for his own airfare, food and entrance fees.  I am so proud of him has he has managed to belly up to the bar. It was looking dicey to me for a while. I am not sure that I would have had the cash money to do that at 20!  To quote my favorite mystic:  “All will be well".

So, nine, count ‘em, nine days to go!