Benita In Paris

Old Jun 21st, 2013, 01:43 AM
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Benita, we are leaving today for a week in Puyvert, just outside of Lourmarin. We've stayed at the Bastide in Gordes years ago and plan to visit Gordes on Sunday......love your descriptions, makes us excited to return!
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Old Jun 21st, 2013, 11:33 PM
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Judy: Have a wonderful time here. I have checked and the weather looks just perfect. I just went outside and some of the lavender here at the house is open. I just picked a sprig and the smell is intoxicating. Enjoy.

TDudette: We are again at the restaurant in Aix. Name is La Mado (they also serve wonderful sushi), 4 Pl. Des Precheurs in Aix.

Friday

Because 26 has only two more days here it was her decision on what to do. She wanted to go back to Aix to do some shopping, and shopping she did. Got three dresses, one top and a dress that converts into a huge scarf (for those extremely cold days in Minneapolis in the winter), a dress or a shawl. Very unique. And a great pair of shoes I have never seen in the states.

Didn't remember that the 21st of June is the music fest in France and Aix was very busy. But the first problem was when Lay told us to turn left and we should have turned right. Took us an extra hour. So with wrong directions and an extremely windy, windy road (but beautiful) and no parking in Aix it took us over 2 and a half hours to finally sit back at our favorite restaurant for lunch. 12 and 8 love their pasta with meat sauce. So for two pastas, three huge salads, two sodas, two coffees, two pastis, sushi rolls and one orange juice for just under 100 euros. I thought that was very good considering what we ate and how good it was. And, of course, the bathroom was on the third floor.

Had fun shopping and wandering around. Saw lots of stages being set up for the music fest.
Hence, the trouble parking. On the Cours Maribeau we were driving on the sidewalk. No one seems to blink an eye wherever you drive. It is fun but have to be careful not to run someone over.

Again, very curvy windy road on way home. 8 was getting car sick. Made it home in time for her to lay down before dinner. 12 and 8 went into pool but said it was rather cool even though it is heated. Better to pool when sun is out.

Everyone is totally exhausted.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2013, 04:51 AM
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Still following and loving your report. Thanks again!
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Old Jun 22nd, 2013, 04:58 AM
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Thanks for the Aix info. Driving on the sidewalk? Good job!
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Old Jun 22nd, 2013, 06:24 AM
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In France and the UK we traditionally say you can only eat mussels when there is an "R" in the month. Things change of course, not least refrigeration from port to the dining table, but it is still pretty unusual to see them on the menu during summer months. Love your travelogue!
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Old Jun 22nd, 2013, 08:40 AM
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Update on Paris:

Just heard from Paris Perfect that the elevator for the Margaux apartment may not be finished with repairs when we arrive a week from Sunday. So, again, we will have to use the service elevator in the back of the apartment building. Big enough for one person and one piece of luggage. I think I am going to refer to the elevator as Lifty Lou.
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Old Jun 22nd, 2013, 07:16 PM
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Reminder to Self:

Champagne, wine and pastis do not mix! Whoooa!

Saturday

Went to Gordes to do last minute jewelry shopping for 26 in the two jewelry stores. Did some damage in the small shop, but did major, major damage at the jewelry designer's shop.

Stopped at Le Bastide for lunch, but another wedding party and couldn't get in. Another cute bride and groom. But not like the second one we saw in Gordes.

Stopped at the restaurant with the bicycle outside. I had salad. Everyone else had pizza. Not recommended for pizza. 40 thought it came out of a box. But fabulous desserts. Ice cream sundies are huge. When passing by, stop for an ice cream something. We saw a man with the largest eyebrows we have ever seen. They were nicely trimmed but must have been an inch thick. Also when coming out of toilet the bartender winked at me. Ou la la. Well, maybe he just had something in his eye, but I would rather pretend he likes Big Woman.

Cavillion for quick shopping and then back to house for pool time before dinner.

Went to L'Estellan in Les Imberts for dinner. Sat inside, but all sliding doors were open so we were actually outside. Wonderful food. 12 and 8 had pasta and veal. They both liked it but 40 told them it was like steak. I had fish but wished I had ordered the duck. 40 gave me a slice and it was delicious. Recommended.

On the way out, a couple with a girl about 12's age spoke to her. They live on Long Island, near where 40 used to live. They have a second home in Maine, not far from our house. They visit Portland often and we invited them to our home for a drink next time they are in the area. Lovely family. It's such a small world.

Home to help get 26 ready for her architecture class near Poitier. Everyone crashed in bed but not before all going outside to howl at the moon. What a view last night looking over the valley lights with the full moon above.
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Old Jun 23rd, 2013, 05:45 AM
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Wonderful!
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Old Jun 23rd, 2013, 07:45 AM
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Oh, Benita, isn't it amazing that we saw the SAME moon. I'll never get over that phenomenon!!

Your report is as shiny as the Super Moon!
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Old Jun 23rd, 2013, 11:08 PM
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Sunday

Out of house by 7:30 a.m. (since I always take a route that is much longer than anticipated). Took 26 to Avignon TGV for trip to Lyom Paris, then to Paris Montparnasse to Poitier. Dropped her off for 10:15 a.m. train and speeded down the A7 to pick up 21 (son) atMarseille airport at 9:55 a.m. When we were walking into airport 21 was coming out. His luggage arrived with him, thank goodness. 40 and I had already decided that if the luggage didn;t arrive, we were not going to wait and would drive back later for it.

On way home, stopped at l'isle sur la Sorgue (market day), I jumped out of car with cash in hand, purchased the copper pan I had seen the week before; my copper pan and I waited for 40 to return minutes later and off to Murs,

21 was tired and not feeling well, so went to bed. The girls went to the pool. Sun was very hot and had a beautiful afternoon relaxing.

Decided to go to Gordes for pizza but when we got there it was not open. On the way home, they were serving. Guess on Sunday night, and maybe every night, they open at 7 p.m.

71H wanted to go to l'Isle sur la Sorgue. Wonderful place to be when there is no market. Beautiful, quiet, river very high and lots of people watching.

We ate at Restaurant Carre Rond, 11 Quai Jean Jaures There were three restaurants beside each other and this is the middle one. We could not eat beside the river, (we needed six places) so sat beside the building under the awning. Actually glad we did because it became very windy and everyone by the river had crazy hair flying all around and we were snug as a bug.

There was a sign that stated they only use fresh local vegetables when they can. I think I read something about a restaurant having this seal of approval sign was a good thing. Anyway, food was absolutely delicious. Foie gras best 71H has had so far on this trip. I had a salad with goat cheese and fig wrapped in phyllo cooked in oven. Out of this world. Wonderful piece of crispy salmon and 71H had the best lamb of the trip. I guess we picked the right place. Highly recommended.

Last time we were here 21 was 16 and extremely sick. We had no idea what was wrong, but he didn't have the best time because of stomach problems. When we got home, after many tests, etc, he was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease. It has not been easy for him but he never complains. He has an IV of Remicade every seven weeks and that seems to keep him pretty good. Has never had a flare-up until several days ago. He is very, very sick. I told him that if he isn;t better in a couple of days, we will send him back home so he can see his doctor. He is worried that he will disappoint everyone if he goes home. I told him his health is most important to all of us. I am hoping that after a few days rest his stomach can calm down and he will be able to continue the vacation with us here and in Paris.

Very cold when we arrived back in Murs and windy. Moon was so beautiful again.
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Old Jun 24th, 2013, 03:55 AM
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Hope your son feels better soon.

Please, please send some sun this way (near Toulouse).

Taking note of your restaurant recs.
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Old Jun 24th, 2013, 06:50 AM
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Heath hugs to 21.
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Old Jun 24th, 2013, 08:46 AM
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I just realized I haven't posted to this thread yet, but wanted to let you know how much I've been enjoying your report! Great read.

Sorry to hear about 21 - hope he gets better soon.
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Old Jun 24th, 2013, 12:42 PM
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I'm making notes of your restaurant recos also since we will be in the area in Oct. I hope your son feels better soon; not good to be away from home and be sick.
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Old Jun 24th, 2013, 01:07 PM
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Monday

Slept in, as did everyone else.

Went to Post Office to get boxes to start to ship purchased items home.. Auchan in Cavillion for things 21 would eat. Starting to eat everything we have here at the house so did not need much. Still have plenty of wine. Bought sealed black olives and pates to take back home (for when we all need a hit of Provence).

Stopped at L'Estallan in Les Imberts for some beautiful glasses 40 had seen the other night. Bought eight. Clear glass, heavy bottoms with bees on them. Cute.

Stopped for pizza in Gordes but they were closing and didn't serve pizza until 7:15 p.m. Came back to house and packed shipping boxes. Then drove back to Gordes for pizza.

Back to house and bed. Extremely windy and cold. 12 and 8 were sad they couldn't go into the pool. We are hoping that maybe tomorrow or Wednesday might be pool day.

21 feels better, I think. You know 21 year olds don't say much to their mother about how they are feeling. I get most of my info from 40. He thinks I am too old to know anything but thinks 40 is pretty smart. If he only knew. He feels good if he just doesn't eat. It is a terrible disease. Thank you all for the kind comments about him.
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Old Jun 25th, 2013, 07:26 AM
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ttt
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Old Jun 25th, 2013, 07:43 AM
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You know when you have a book you are enjoying and you don't want it to end? Sigh...do you have to come back home?
(I whine.)
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Old Jun 25th, 2013, 09:40 AM
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Hi Benita,

You have been busy and with all the family coming and going. I have spent a lot of time in Provence and have some very special places that I am fond of down there.

Now back to Paris! I will be checking in with what you are doing...

a bientot...

Joan
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Old Jun 25th, 2013, 12:35 PM
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Tuesday

It is Tuesday which means Gordes market day. Purchased some more gifts (I love to give presents to friends, neighbors, just about anybody within breathing room when I return from a trip). It was so windy, the vendors' displays were falling over.

Back to house for lunch. Very windy in Murs so no pool. 12 and 8 were disappointed again. After lunch drove to the Abbey de Senanque. Beautiful day and not too windy between the hills. The lavender was partially open and really beautiful. We plan to drive past on Saturday to see if it will be more colorful.

We waited around an hour to take the tour in French. They gave us brochures in English so we could follow along, but I know we missed lots of fun and interesting information. We were not allowed to talk but there was one American (older lady) who just seemed to be out of it. She had a paper bag (she probably bought something in the gift shop) and kept looking inside it and was rattling the bag. By the very end, we were sitting in the room where we could talk and, again, she was rattling the bag and people started to say something to her out loud. There was lots of groaning from the peanut gallery. Bag lady was oblivious to the world.

On way out of parking lot, we were waiting in line and there was a tour bus coming in and a travel trailer with 10 cars behind it face to face waiting to see who would move first. The tour director got out of the bus and motioned for every car to back up. The bus won. We started to back up, then a bus in back of us was honking for us to move because they could not see what was happening ahead. So 40 got out of the car and started telling the bus behind us and everyone else to not go forward. It was a hoot to see her direct the french traffic. We call her the Traffic Director. After about a half hour we were on the road again to Gordes

We had to pick up some jewelry that 26 wanted. The jeweler put a different colored clasp on one piece and I told her I would pick them up. At the same time, I had to pick up my sculpture I had purchased several days ago. The sculpturer wrapped my piece up in a massive amount of bubble wrap. I posted on Fodor's several hours ago that I am looking for a way to ship it home. With all the bubble wrap, it won't fit in the suitcase.

Because 40 is such a good packer, she usually packs all the stuff I buy but this piece has set her over the edge. She wants me to tell you she isn't speaking to me!

I really don;t intend to buy such large items but it always happens. We always have tons of stories about my shopping and her trying to get everything home. Remember I bought the copper pot and a large glass jug in a top and bottom basket (bought it at the Murs garage sale on Sunday).

I have checked the internet and found a Fedex at the Marseille airport. OMG, not there again.

After 21 carried the sculpture (an angel) like a baby to the car, I needed a pastis at the local pizza joint. The waiter knows us by now, and knows what I drink. I am becoming a pastis lush.

Back home to start packing the XL boxes we bought at the Post Office. 40 cooked dinner on the grill. Too cold to eat outside. Turned on the heat! It is almost July in Provence. What gives?

26 texted me that she is freezing where she is at school. Said she wished she had brought rubber boots, a wool coat and scarf. I told her I would mail her some clothes. She said she is in the middle of nowhere and doesn't even think they get mail service!

21 is hanging in there.
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Old Jun 25th, 2013, 01:25 PM
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I had to look up Crohn's disease. It looks like it is not fun, yet normally it should not be too serious once you learn what to avoid. Good luck.
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