Benita In Paris

Old Jun 25th, 2013, 11:44 PM
  #121  
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Kerouac:

The worst problem with Crohn's is that 21 takes an IV of Remicade every seven weeks and the side effects are cancer, etc. Also you end up with several operations during lifetime to take diseased part of colon out. His doctor never told him what he could not eat. She said you will know what you can and cannot eat. Spicy foods is not on his list. Thank you for taking the time to research.
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Old Jun 26th, 2013, 12:04 AM
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While the house is quiet I want to thank everyone who is reading this report. I have always enjoyed reading all reports and getting my daily hit of Fodor's every morning. I thought long and hard on whether to write about my trip because I have read such eloquent trip reports. And the reports of food descriptions have made my mouth water. And I am not a writer. I consider my writing just down and dirty. Sort of "Just the facts Madam". (Dragnet)

But, I knew that I would never write a report when I got home and I am not good at daily journaling so decided writing daily on the computer might work. At least I would have a report for myself. I can hardly remember what I did yesterday so last week is out of the question.

I have received so many lovely comments that I have been overwhelmed with appreciation from you all. I never really expected any followers. Just figured this would be a fun travel journal for the family and 70 and 71 to read.

Thank you again for following along.
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Old Jun 26th, 2013, 03:46 AM
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No... thank-*you* for taking the time to write such a colourful, informative and hilariously laugh out loud report. ;^) Thanks!
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Old Jun 26th, 2013, 03:47 AM
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I've enjoyed reading about your adventures. Thanks!
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Old Jun 26th, 2013, 04:39 AM
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Thanks so much for your trip report. I have checked with you every morning!
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Old Jun 26th, 2013, 10:28 AM
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Wednesday

Well I decided to throw my daughter under the bus. Last night I was so nuts and worried about how I was going to get "baby blue" statue home. It wouldn't fit in the suitcase and too bulky to hand carry. I found this shipping place in Isle de la Sorgue. Figured people have antiques shipped to US, so probably that is where the shippers are located. Then, couldn't find the sales slip for my purchase. Tore the house apart and could not find it anywhere. Figured the shipper might want a receipt for the item.

I was way too embarrassed to visit the jeweler's shop again to ask for another receipt. We have been there so many times and yesterday said our farewell's. kisses and all. He even presented me with a wonderful bottle of wine as a gift. Now, I have never been presented a bottle of wine for my purchases anywhere. I am presuming that this gift means I spent way more than I should have. Can you imagine going into Tiffany's. making a large purchase, and they hand hand over a bottle of anything. Well, maybe a bottle of water. Anyway, I threw my daughter under the bus and pleaded with her to go into the store for me and get a new receipt.
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Old Jun 26th, 2013, 10:39 AM
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I am enjoying this post so much! I know these mishaps arent' funny, but your writing style and wonderful sense of humor have me in stitches
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Old Jun 26th, 2013, 11:27 AM
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This has been a fantastic ride along with you and your family and friends, Benita! My husband comes home from work and right off the bat asks, "Has Benita written anything today?"
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Old Jun 26th, 2013, 12:22 PM
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So that is the background of the day. A beautiful day in Murs. Hardly any wind which was great. 12, 8, 21 and 40 went to the pool. I puttered around, filling out shipping forms for the boxes we had ready to go and starting to prepare for the great pack up for Sunday. We stayed here for lunch and then loaded the car with small boxes and, of course, baby blue. Off to Gordes.

Went to post office first to send what we already had. Two boxes were too heavy so 40 came back to the car with the boxes and bought a smaller box to try to even out the weight. Then she went to the jewelers shop. He was closed for lunch. She was so relieved. She stopped at several shops to see if they had any boxes. No luck.

I had been looking at a painting on linen for our house in a Gordes shop. I went back to the shop to look at it again. The owner said she had a box to put the hanging in and then we could ship it. It was quite expensive but I thought it would look wonderful in our house. 40 said we could only ship something less than a meter in length. She was just told that at the Post Office. So 40 asked if she could take the box back to Le Postal and check if it could be sent to US. The owner said she had sent the box before (not sure if she shipped just in Europe or to US). A few minutes later 40 came back and said we could not ship the box.

The owner could see a very lucrative sale go down the tubes. Although, she continued to help us find a box. She told us that in back of the Police Station there is a dumping area that people take their boxes for disposal. So, back in the car and we are off to the dump. The area had a big trash truck with cardboard sticking out of the back. OMG we found cardboard. 40 jumped out and was leaning into the truck trying to pull out a box. 21 took pictures. But the jaws of life had a death grip on the boxes and we left boxless.

When 40 and 21 took the box from the wall hanging lady back to the post office, 21 took a picture of the shipping label. He looked on line to see that the price for a smaller wall hanging was about 50 euros. Trust me when I say, it was much, much more in the store. That lady could buy groceries for a month for her family from my purchase. Whew! 21 saved me a bundle.

So off to Coustellet. We kept looking at every store, hoping someone had put a box outside for pickup. Stopped at Post Office to ask where we might find a box. Was told to go to the stores and the grocery store.

So off to the grocery store. We dropped 40 and 12 (she has taken several years of French and can be very helpful) off at the store and 21, 8 and I drove to the street behind the store. We ended up in a small industrial park. Down this long driveway I spied boxes and lots of them.

So down the driveway we went. I jumped out of the car and went into the office. The worker didn't speak much English but the owner did. I told him what I was looking for and he had the worker go to my car to look at the size of baby blue. He ran around the yard looking at different sizes and finally found a suitable box. He taped the bottom for me. By now, I am in the back of the building inside and I saw a box that looked like trash--it was full of packing stuff and bubble wrap. The kid said I could take all I wanted. The owner came back and asked if I found what I wanted. I was so excited and offered to pay him for the box. He said I didn't owe him anything. I was over the moon. The company either manufactured computers or fixed them. There were computers everywhere.

Went to pick-up 40 at grocery. She said she was close to finding one but no cigar. She was told maybe Friday. 40 and 21 went back in the store for tape and proceeded to pack baby blue in the middle of the parking lot. Off to post office to mail. What an ordeal. 40 and 21 did a great job packing. Hope she makes it safely to Maine.

Back to Gordes. 21 was hungry-back to pizza joint. Bought two pizzas for sharing since we were having dinner at home. Looked in a few stores. Bought some dish towels and three tops for 40.

Back to house for dinner and repack small shipping boxes. Too cold for kids to swim.

There must be some entrepreneur out there that could sell boxes at all these markets or set up shipping stores in France. Someone is going to be a multi-millionaire someday You heard it here.

Forgot to mention we saw a bride and groom at the Abbey yesterday. My fifth wedding in France.
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Old Jun 26th, 2013, 12:23 PM
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I agree with everyone above. Loving your style all the way around! My husband's ashes are shaking about all the purchases though! LOL.
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Old Jun 26th, 2013, 12:28 PM
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I love love love this report Benita. I have a friend with Crohn's so I know what a terrible disease it is. So sorry for your son.
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Old Jun 26th, 2013, 12:44 PM
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Hello from ME! I've been following your adventures and want to say how much I admire your wonderful resourcefulness. The latest recounting of your foray into the industrial park to find a box and packing materials is marvelous.

Also have some experience with a family member with Crohn's, so I would never minimize the life-altering effects this condition has on those who have to deal with it.

You are truly an intrepid traveler and I'll be sorry when your trip is over and we have no more daily Benita reports.
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Old Jun 26th, 2013, 01:35 PM
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I've also been following along and have really enjoyed reading along each day. You have a wonderful writing style; like someone chatting with a friend.
I stayed in the Luberon area for a week and loved it, particularly Gordes. Best to your son. Please plan another trip.
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Old Jun 26th, 2013, 04:55 PM
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I am just cracking up thinking about your search for the right box for the job! Thanks for sharing your stories with us!
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Old Jun 26th, 2013, 07:31 PM
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The search for the box is hilarious! Benita, you are relentless! Good on you!

I can relate, remembering a very short (lucky) box search in the south of France many years ago, and I bet others can too. LOL for sure.
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Old Jun 27th, 2013, 11:59 AM
  #136  
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Thursday

We met The Cheers Lady.

Windy and rather cool today but that did not stop 12 and 8 from going into the pool for an hour this morning. We are hoping our last two days in Provence will be better pool weather.

21 and 40 wanted to go to St. Remy today. They had been there five years ago and wanted to go back. I love that town so I was delighted.

We started toward the Post Office in Murs then realized it was closed. Had to mail the rest of my boxes. I find it difficult to know what time they serve food, when stores are open and when closed and when they reopen again. Drives this American crazy. What do these French do for two or three hours every day. I would be napping in the back room.

Turned around and headed down the hill to Goult to see the windmill but there was a market in the street up to the windmill and we didn't want to wait for it to close. Can you imagine, I saw a market and didn't want to stop. Guess I am market-ed out!

On the way to Goult we went thru Joucas. Anyone who has been there, knows the two way street thru the town with about 3 inches on either side of the car. 21 had not taken that route and we thought he might find it fun..He did.

So we traveled on to St. Remy. Before we got into town 40 saw a Post Office and we were able to mail the rest of my packages. I absolutely love that drive with the Plane trees into the town. Went for pizza on a side street. We had been there five years ago. Everyone thought the pizza was better in Gordes. I tried Blue Cheese pizza. It was actually very good and something I could easily make at home.

Then off to Le Duc for their special candies and, of course, Joel Durand. Stopped in some shops looking around. Went into this bath shop. Beautiful soaps and different bath accessories. And this is where we met the Cheers Lady.

I was looking at alum in a square with a rope. I asked the owner what it was and he said dedorant and these two ladies in the store piped up and said how wonderful it is. How it's a dedorant and also good for the feet. I assume it is like the powder alum that my mother used on canker sores and a steptic pen used for cuts.

The ladies asked where we were from (we always say Boston, since most Europeans don't know where Maine is) and they said they are both originally from London. One of the ladies now lives in Marseille and the other is visiting her and lives in London.

The London lady then tells us she is one of the original Cheers waitresses in Boston. She said years ago she started working at the Bull and Finch in Boston when they first opened. The bar was happy to hire people with an English accent. She said they all had day jobs and worked there at night. They had no idea what they were doing and didn't even know what a drink straight up was. She then said we only lasted 6 months but we sure had fun. She said her feet were sore when she had to walk up Charles Street after work to her home. That is the Cheers Lady.

Stopped at the merry-go-round for 12 and 8. 12 looked bored because she is close to 13 and a much too kiddy thing to do. But secretly 40 thinks she enjoyed it.

Back to Auchan in Cavaillon to see if the check out lady was there that saved us so much money. I always take a few gifts from the states just in case we run into someone extra special and this lady was certainly extra special. She was surprised and thanked 40 and I and we got big hugs. It is so amazing how you can communicate with someone even though they don't speak a word of English. We will also give a gift to the lady in Murs where we get our baguettes and croissants every morning.

Back to house for dinner. It was really a wonderful day with no rush to be anywhere. Lavender is out in full bloom. Even at grocery store. It makes everything more beautiful.
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Old Jun 28th, 2013, 09:06 AM
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Friday

40 wants you to know that she was wounded by the tape dispenser when trying to tape all my boxes. Actually is a rather large scrape. And 21 wants you to know that yesterday while traveling back to Murs, he had to drive in the ditch because an enormous truck was traveling like a bat out of hell and almost ran over the left side of the car. The truck almost wiped out 40 and 21. Scared us all about to death. 8 said she almost peed her pants. I said I almost did more than that!

Today was the Peeing Dog.

We got a late start. We were hoping for some nice weather so kids could swim. Never came. So took off to Goult. I wanted everyone to see the windmill. We stopped by La Ferme De La Huppe in Gordes (near Goult) to take a look at their menu (just to if there was something 12 and 8 would eat). Lovely place and made reservations for dinner tomorrow, our last night.

We were all hungry and after parking in Goult had our choice of restaurants. We chose Cafe de la Poste. It was extremely busy and we had to wait about a half hour for a table. Then another half-hour to be waited on. We did not have reservations and think that may have been the reason for the wait. Food was absolutely delicious. I had lamb (I guess the leg) with wonderful, not quite mashed potatoes with gravy surrounding the leg. Three other plates of steak and fries. Best steak we have here yet. One, wine, one beer, four coffees: 101 euros.
21 sent his steak back because it was mooing. Waitress not happy but took it back; was returned and perfect for him. Wonderful restaurant but slow service. Even when getting the bill - took forever.

While we waited for a table we went into a shop, kids got teddy bears and one for a friend. While we were eating there was a small black dog wandering around (a dog bowl of water was under our table) and the dog went and peed on the hand baskets the lady at the teddy bear store had outside her shop. Beware of merchandise outside of a shop.

Also, at this restaurant the men's room was a Asian toilet. 12 and 8 had never seen one and were quite intrigued.

Finally made it to the windmill. The road up there is narrow but the houses are so delightful to see. Sort of like being in a fairy wonderland. Took lots of pictures and everyone enjoyed it. Was very warm during lunch sitting in the sun.

Went to Gordes for an ice cream. Extremely windy and cold, but ice cream is ice cream. The heck with the weather.

Came home and 8 and 12 went swimming. It is 66 degrees out and very windy. I stayed in the house. Starting to pack. OMG if I need another suitcase, 40 is going to kill me!

40 mentioned today, that it might be fun to take a day trip to London during our Paris stay. I did that with 21 about 8 years ago. Fun but tiring. The fun continues.
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Old Jun 29th, 2013, 06:32 AM
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Beware of merchandise outside of a shop.----LOL! You guys are having so much fun!
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Old Jun 29th, 2013, 09:35 AM
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Saturday

Our last day in Provence. Walked with 40, 12 and 8 to the store here in Murs for morning croissants. Girls gave the owner our gift and she was very appreciative.

Spent the morning at the pool. Because the pool is in the rocks and protected it was very warm. Kids had great fun swimming with 21.

Decided we would go into Gordes to favorite pizza joint and see if our waiter was there. He had become great friends with the kids and took wonderful care of us every day. Pizza again and Pastis for me. Sunny and warm sitting outside. Today must be Porsche day because 21 saw about 25 driving around Gordes. We went for ice cream again. Saw my sixth wedding. Another beautiful bride.

Went back to Abbey to check out the lavender. We thought it might be more colorful. It was prettier the other day.

Came home to pack and prepare for dinner in Goult.

When 40 went to pick up the girls lifejackets by the pool to pack, she found a scorpion (small but still could do some damage). Kids were terrified.

In Gordes, we saw a couple on a motorcycle with a white small dog riding in the front with a black motorcycle jacket on. Fur was flying back from dog's face at 5 mach. Absolutely adorable.
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Old Jun 30th, 2013, 12:01 PM
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Saturday evening and Sunday

Went to La Ferme de la Huppe for dinner. Absolutely beautiful setting. It looked like a movie set - the way you would picture a lovely inn in Provence. It was cool so we sat inside. Food was ok. I ordered veal and it came with some sort of mashed up orange vegetable, like sweet potato, but wasn;t that was spread on each medallion. Dessert was great but rest of the meal was rather bland. No real exciting taste to make you wonder, how they made it. I could cook veal and lather on mashed carrots and have the same effect.


I know alot of people on Fodors love this restaurant. Maybe we went there on an off night. As I said, it is truly lovely. Maybe lunch would be better and you could sit out by the pool.

Back to house to finish packing. Confirmed that a taxi would be at house at 9 a.m. to take us to the airport. 40 was a nervous wreck counting luggage because of her experience losing a suitcase five years ago.

We have 10 cases with two purses and 71H's medical bag and 21's Duluth Pack. 40 put most of luggage in van and 71H and I took the van and everyone else rode in the taxi. I followed the taxi and we dropped luggage at TVG Avignon. I followed cab to Avia boutique and dropped off the car and cab took me back to meet everyone to TVG and wait for train.

Got to Avia Boutique and the lady said there was no one there to fill out the forms for the return. Taxi guy intrepreted and the lady filled out the forms and we were on our way. Shitty shitty bang bang was left in the parking lot for good. Actually, after the car got a few miles on her she ran quite well. It served our purposes. I am not sure I would rent a Peugeot again.

On way back to TVG, taxi man said he was in charge of organizing a big BMX motorcross in August. He said some famous drivers were going to be there this year and he was very excited about the whole thing.

We didn't stand in the right place for our train number and we had three tvg porters helping us with our luggage. The whistle was blowing and I was draging my ass as fast as I could with 70H in last place, We were told we had three minutes to get our luggage on board and that was when we thought we were waiting in the appropriate place. Just about threw the luggage from the platform on the train and 40 jumped on board and the doors closed. Had to move all our luggage to second level but train conductor helped. Kids loved the train and had a good trip.

I had made arrangements for two taxis to pick us up which worked out well. Called PP after we were on our way. You guessed it again. Front elevator not working, so got appropriate code and used side door and service elevator. Did some unpacking and couldn't get a reservation for restaurant we wanted so just walked down to Red Awning Ecole Militaire restaurant. Beautiful weather, tons of people out. Just people watching is a hoot. Man dressed as woman (looked really, really good) damit. Another woman, dressed all in green with robin hood type hat. 12 and 8 thought it was an elf.

26, 40, 21, 12 and 8 went to Eifflel Tower. 71H and I came back to apartment and guess what? Service elevator is not working. He said his goodby's to me (he figured he would not make it) (seven flights) and proceded up the stairs. We both made it, but it was not easy for either of us.

Hopefully, tomorrow one of the elevators will be working or 71H will not be leaving the apartment.

Now about the apartment. Name is Margaux. Eat outside balcony (dining table) another sitting area off master bedroom towards the tower. Apartment is absolutely beautiful Madelyn has certainly out done herself in decorating. No Ikea here. Everything is top of the line. Eat in kitchen, lovely livingroom, dining area, office area, tv room, three bedrooms, two baths.

26 had a wonderful time at her architectural class, She is staying down the street so is very close She met a girl from Luxembourg so may go there to visit for a few days before returning to Minneapolis.

What the heck is it with me and elevators this trip? It is absolutely beyond comprehension.
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