So, having "won" a week's stay in Provence at our Spring Gala (which, if you know school auctions means "I paid full price for it and maybe a bit more"), Joy and I decided to use it and take a real vacation for the first time since we got married. We're had weekends away, but going somewhere, just the two of us? Are we really allowed to do that?
So, after my dad's death in May, I got on it and booked us via air and train to a little house in a little town in Provence, called Bedoin. About 90 minutes from Marseille, close to Peter Mayle territory, it's on the foot slopes of Mount Ventoux, which you have seen if you watch the Tour de France. It's not too imposing, until you try to ride up it, which I'm not going to, ever. Reason? No wineries or good restaurants, which ends that discussion.
Anyway, we hopped an Air France flight to Paris, which was pretty good: plane was clean, seats were comfy, food was mediocre, but it was still actual food, and the cabin staff was friendly, which is what i had found when I flew to Milan in May. I tried out my 35-year-old, recently revived french (thanks, Rosetta Stone and Pimsleur) and they pretended I was making sense, which was great fun.
We got to Paris around 11AM, having napped overnight, and headed for the TGV to Avignon, something I have wanted to do since the train went into service in the 80's. Nice ride you got there, mes amis. Smooth, fast, still can't understand the conductor for shit, but maybe it's time to get my hearing checked since everyone else seemed to have no problem. Got into Avignon around 5, and picked the wrong side of the train station to look for the car rentals. 15 minutes later, we found someone to ask (still in French) and walked back through the train station and, voila, the car rentals appear. Thanks for nothing, Garmin (which is a whole 'nother thing I'll tell you about some other time, when my blood pressure is lower. Grrrr.) 30 minutes later, we're on the road to Bedoin, and by 7:30 we're there. By 8:15 we're having a slow, relaxing dinner. Get ready to be hungry:Apperitifs: pettillant de Maison, sparkling wine with a dash of limoncello (lemon liqueur) and a splash of grenadine.Veloute of white beans with scallops and chorizo for me, tortilla wrap of spanish ham and cheese for JoyLasagna of eggplant and lamb for Joy, wild boar stew for me. Mmmmm, carnivore. Wild blueberry tart for Joy, and pain perdu with carmel for me. Plus 1 each 500ml bottle of local red and white wine. Glad we didn't have far to go, as the wine went where wine always ends up and we still had to shoe-horn the car into the "garage". Which we did, and not to much cursing, as it was after 11.
A long day, but all worth it. Can't seem to post pictures from my iPad yet, but I'll suss that out and then, watch out! Or I'll put them on Picasa and post a link. We've had the day out today, and now we're off to dinner, so further posting will happen later or tomorrow.