Benita In Paris

Old Jun 16th, 2013, 09:08 AM
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"This isn't our first rodeo"---LOL! It sounds pretty suspicious.
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Old Jun 16th, 2013, 09:17 AM
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I agree that the situation looked very suspicious and would have raised red flags for me, too; perhaps I am just reacting to the pejorative terms.
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Old Jun 16th, 2013, 12:15 PM
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Sorry if I offended anyone by my terminology. From now on I will just say, "suspicious character."
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Old Jun 16th, 2013, 02:26 PM
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TDudette, Peter, I believe is now divorced and now lives in Lourmarin
Amusing report, Benita, thank you
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Old Jun 16th, 2013, 05:41 PM
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This trip report should be required reading for every person about to travel somewhere on vacation. Thank you for taking the time to post your travel adventures.
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Old Jun 16th, 2013, 10:16 PM
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Sunday

We had trouble with restaurants today.

40,26,12,8 and I drove to Coustellet to the market. I had purchased a small cork bag from cork lady on Tuesday in Gordes and 71 wanted to buy one for her 92 year old mother. She said her mom would love it. Cork lady was not sure if she had another but would check her inventory and bring it to Sunday in Coustellet. We looked at all the vendors and couldn't find her. I had already sold my cork bag to 71 for her Mom and was hoping to replace it for myself. So off we go to Isle d'la Sorgue.

Parking was absolutely insane. We finally found a place after 30 minutes, We found one lot and almost got buried in but with some excellent maneuvering on my part we escaped to find a place with a very tiny space. Now I can see why everyone has small cars.

It was extremely hot - probably close to 100. Walked past some interesting stalls but we were all too hot to do any real shopping. All restaurants on the river would not take a party of five. So kept walking until about the end of the vendors and finally found a lovely place next to a small waterwheel and small bridge. Also, slight breeze which was nice. We ordered: 40. 12 and 8 ordered two meals for the three of them. 26 and I ordered or own meals. Food came, only three salads were delivered. 40 asked for another salad. Very nice salad. Then plates came. only three were delivered. It was so hot we figured we could just share my plate and 40's plate with kids...Then deserts came, only three desserts were delivered. So we figured we would pay for three meals and one extra salad.

Bill came. I was in toilette with 8 and when I came, there was a man intepreting for 40 and the waitress arguing with 40. Waitress said we ordered four salads and had to pay for four meals even though they didn't bring the plate.

The man's wife said she and her husband bought a house in the area three years ago and had never seen such treatment. These waitresses had one story and they were sticking to it. They were probably just out of high school. and we figured they knew some english, but only spoke to my daughter in french. I said, let's just pay the bill and get out of Dodge. We probably paid about 15 euros too much. I figure if that is all we lose in France we are doing good.

On the bright side, we saw two kayakers pass in front of us, a man in a wet suit with snorkel equipment floating down and people on a very large tube floating downstream.

12 and 8 wanted to go on some amusement rides and I looked at Keys again. Of course, bought a few more. I am putting a shadow box together of old and unique styled keys.

Off to car, back home for swim and short nap. 70 and 71 wanted to take us to dinner because it was their last night. They are leaving early Monday morning. We went to the pizza place in Gordes. 70H and I had dinners (not great but decent) and everyone else pizza or pasta. Fabulous evening. Sat outside, just perfect temperature, great friends, two bottles of wine and a very busy waitress who cannot bring the correct food.

70H and I ordered goat cheese salad, we were delivered cold soup, which, by the way, was very good. Then she bought a plat to 70H, set it down and then realized it wasn't his, grabbed it back up and delivered it to someone else. When we ordered wine, she would bring bottled water and several kinds of wine because she was confused what we wanted. And she was not a new worker. She had been around the block several times. Asked for another demi bottle of wine. Forgot all about that.

If you go to that restaurant, look for the male server, only eat pizza and you will be a happy camper.

It just wasn't our best restaurant day, But more days are coming and we are looking forward to them all.
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Old Jun 17th, 2013, 11:11 AM
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71 and 70 left for Reno, Nevada at 6 a.m. this morning. 40 got up to say good-by. I slept thru the departure but said my good-bys last night. They were kind enough to arrange for a taxi so I didn't have to get up really early to drive them to Marseille.

They were both absolutely wonderful to travel with and 70H and I would do it again in a heartbeat. I kept them quite busy but I think they would have preferred to just sit outside and read. I wanted them to see Provence from my eyes. They also cooked breakfast, lunch and dinner every day and served snacks starting at 4 p.m. They definitely spoiled us both.

We had a very leisurely morning today. Sat outside with the mistral blowing gently in the warm sun. Really enjoying the south of France. The lavender is about ready to bloom. Down by the pool, I think it will pop open in the next several days. The fields of poppies have been beautiful and feel fortunate that we are going to be able to see both poppies and lavender in the same trip.

Went into Gordes to see the jeweler whose store is almost directly across from Le Bastide de Gordes hotel. Jewelers name is Jean-Philippe Barriere. His work is lovely and my daughters and I each found some things we loved. Purchased another silver ring with a pearl in a cage.

There was also a lady there selling her sculptures. Her name is Madeleine Pons and she creates while listening to opera. Her work is amazing and she sang some opera to us while shopping.

After trying on just about every piece of jewelry he had we were off to Auchan. Kids need googles for swimming and 40 wanted the white shirt 71, 70 and I had purchased. New cheap bathing suits for kids, odds and ends. Amazingly no wine! But next trip, watch out wine shelves, Benita will have arrived.

When we went to check-out, the checker was so nice, she looked thru her trash for coupons for the clothes and we got 40 euros off our order. That about triples what we lost at the restaurant yesterday. I find life so amazing and how the universe seems to take care of everything.

Back to house, pool and rest. 40 cooked pasta and we ate outside, amazing view, warm winds, lots of wine, life is good.
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Old Jun 17th, 2013, 11:19 AM
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I would love to host live in cooks in a place like where you are!
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Old Jun 17th, 2013, 11:28 AM
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Please keep it coming!
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Old Jun 17th, 2013, 11:31 AM
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I am here for two more weeks - come on down.
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Old Jun 18th, 2013, 08:57 AM
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Tuesday

Another beautiful day. Because we are 7 k from Gordes and up high it is sometimes rather windy. Although just beautiful.

Because weather has changed so quickly to summer, our swimming pool got a major chock to its system and it turned grass green. Have called Beverly, and pool man has come to fix and will be back tomorrow morning to check ph again.

Market in Gordes today. So you know where we went. Found cork lady we could not find on Sunday. She was looking for us and had the bag I wanted. Crowded and extremely hot. 41C which is about 106F. Not much wind and a rather dry heat which helped. Ran into the Sculpture lady who kissed 40 and I three times each and told the girls she was at her piano playing this morning and thought of them. Imagine, we know someone to speak to. She really wants to sell me that piece of sculpture.

Met a lovely father and daughter from Norwood, Mass. at the fresh squeezed orange juice table. Squeeze man told us that May was terrible weather and now summer is here. He said we missed spring. People from Norwood agreed with us that there is nothing like Gordes in the US.

Went to favorite pizza place and found our favorite waiter. He took good care of us. Had my beloved Pastis with lots of ice and water.

One of the workers at the restaurant, I think she may be one of the owners or owners' wife came to get our dessert order. Delicious ice cream which was served in a small white pail with handle. I presume they were insulated to keep the ice cream cold. They also add lots of whipped cream. I am in heaven! She was walking around with bare feet serving food. And too boot, she had an ankle bracelet with bells, so every time she moved we could hear the bells. 40 took a picture. Can you just imagine being served a Big Mac in bare feet. I love it here.

Came back to house. I slept. 40, 26, 12 and 8 went to pool. 40 is cooking pork roast on the grill for dinner.

70H will now be known as 71H. Today is his birthday.
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Old Jun 18th, 2013, 09:07 AM
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I'll be going down for my annual week in Avignon in two weeks and you are making the midi sound perfect, even though I will not be able to do any cooking...
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Old Jun 18th, 2013, 10:14 AM
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ttt
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Old Jun 18th, 2013, 03:07 PM
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I love your reports. I will be in that area in a few weeks. Sounds like you are having a great time. Any signs of the lavender blooming?
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Old Jun 20th, 2013, 01:07 AM
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Sberg;

The lavender down by our pool is just about ready to bloom. I would expect in two weeks it will be beautiful.

Wednesday

Drove to Cassis. Beautiful little town down by the Med. Could not take a boat trip because water too choppy. Stopped for lunch. Everyone was eating a bucket of mussels, so had some myself. They were very small. I think I am spoiled because they are huge in Maine. Maybe off season, I don't know. Maybe just ate at wrong restaurant. 40 had seafood salad with imitation crab. Fun anyway. Visited some stores and found them to be extremely expensive. For clothes we could get in US for $30, they were charging 130 euros.

12 and 8 went on a lovely merry-go-round. Then 40, 26, 12 and 8 went to the beach to stick their feet in the water. 71H and sat watching the merry-go-round and a beautiful bride and groom came by and had pictures on the horses and took a couple of turns on the carousel. It was fun to watch and this was my third wedding to see.

Left Cassis but not before finding a winery. Bought a case of Rose. We still haven't finished the 15 at the house. There will definitely be a lot of partying at our house and some really tough mornings.

Went to Aix en Provence. Last time I visited Aix there was a market going on and I really didn't see much. But have had a relevation and am in love with Aix. We missed shopping on the main drag but there are so many windy streets with great shops. It was close to closing time but now all the girls want to go back and do the town the appropriate justice that we are so good at.

Found a lovely restaurant for dinner. We sat outside, of course. Lovely summer night. Goat cheese salad on fig and nut bread (out of this world) and duck with a honey sauce. Wonderful evening.

Home at 10:30 p.m.
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Old Jun 20th, 2013, 01:40 AM
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Revelation not relevation - my head thinks faster than I can type!
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Old Jun 20th, 2013, 04:25 AM
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"Everyone was eating a bucket of mussels, so had some myself. They were very small."

They were "moules de bouchot" (bouchot being the wooden poles on which they grow)- the best variety to cook "in a bucket". The larger varieties are served either grilled with garlic mayonnaise or raw or stuffed with meat (à la sétoise).
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Old Jun 20th, 2013, 04:29 AM
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Good info, Pvoyageuse and wonderful TR, benitakaren. As I've mentioned often, JR and I based in Aix and absolutely loved it. Do you remember where you ate there?
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Old Jun 20th, 2013, 04:36 AM
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This is absolutely the wrong season for mussels. I'm surprised they were even on the menu. Even though hot weather is no longer a danger for eating oysters and mussels, it is when those animals are just not the way they should be -- you'll have to return in October or November to compare.
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Old Jun 20th, 2013, 06:21 PM
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Thursday

Since 26 and 12 had recently studied Pont du Gatd, I thought it would be important for them to visit. So I drove there my second time in two weeks for another visit. We were five wild and crazy women singing at the top of our lungs and laughing our trip away. There must be an easier way to get there than right thru the middle of Avignon. It took us over seven hours with one short 10 minute stop at an antique store.

40 made a quick dinner and another lovely evening outside. When it gets dark, it is beautiful to see the lights of many surrounding villages across the valley. They look like twinkling stars, a vision I wish I could capture on camera but will have to just remain in my heart.

We did stop on the way home to take pictures at the spot in Gordes. Again, too beautiful to capture on print. I just don't how to explain how incredible the view is. I would hope that everyone reading this will have an opportunity to see Gordes someday.

Now for the good part of the day (at least for me). Now I don't want to get into trouble with my words, so I will not call them gypsies, Roma's (yes I watch the TV show) or Pro's. But isn't it interesting to see three lovely ladies sitting in fold up chairs by the road with big hair, lots of make-up, skirts up to where the sun doesn't shine and filing their nails. Hopefully, they just wanted to get some fresh air on a lovely day.
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