Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Vive la France!!

April 10, 2013

Bonjour mes amis et ma famille!

Bev, Lee, Cathy and I arrived in Marseilles shortly before noon today.  Lee was packed before noon yesterday, a full five hours before the flight!  The four of us had a late breakfast at the Midnight Diner around the corner from the condo and then strolled back to await the time for leaving there.  We had no trouble at the airport.  All lines were either nonexistent or relatively short.  Cathy forgot and put a can of hairspray in her carry on bag, a big no no, so we had a short stop/chat with TSA before heading to the gate.  We had a little lunch – I still wasn’t hungry – and took our various sleep aides.  Right, none of them worked.  Bev did manage to sleep for three hours straight but the rest of us were wide awake, making sure that plane stayed in the air. 

I tried watching The Hobbit but just couldn’t get into it.  Cathy watched the whole thing and then said, “I thought that movie would never end!”  I also tried watching The Return of the Guardians – about Santa, tooth fairy, etc. and it had Arabic subtitles;  I loved the irony but couldn’t get into that movie, either.  So we all napped some, read some and sat there quietly some.  This plane had the restrooms downstairs.  I’ve never been on an airplane with a downstairs! J

Max, one of our hosts, met us at the airport and led us back to Isle-sur-la-Sorgue (east, slightly north of Avignon if you’re looking at a map).  We met a few other Untourists and Sue Baker from the home office in Media (her sister and many friends went to UD).  Then our landlord arrived and showed us the windy way to our gite, the French word for apartment rental.  We unpacked and walked around the property before having some cheese and wine while writing our grocery list.

Now we have been to the grocery store, had a very nice dinner at entirely too early for the French.  Our waiter asked where we were from.  He didn’t seem to sure about North Carolina but he knew Tennessee for sure.  I didn’t bother to ask him why in case I didn’t like the reason.  
The scenery today has been really wonderful.  We began looking at the Mediterranean in Marseilles, realizing that this is no sandy shoreline but at very rocky one with some pretty high cliffs.  The drive to Ile-sur-Sorgue was lovely, surrounded by apple trees and grape fines.  Soon we could see snow-topped Mont Ventoux at the same time we were surrounded by very Mediterranean landscape.  We have discovered a stone beehive hut very close by.  This area was settled by the Celts before the Greeks so it is not all that startling to see similar dwellings here and in Columba.

Our apartment is really nice if a little chillier than we had expected.  It is supposed to be in the 60’s the rest of the week.   We shall hope.

And now I am fading at an alarming rate.  Time for bed!  Sleep well everyone!


Anonymous said...

Yay! I'm glad you made it safely! It sounds like you are off to a good start. I'm sure you will have a wonderful time. How long will you be in France?

Margaret said...

I knew this first comment would be yours, Ray. We will return to the States on the 24th. See you on the 28th - that would be a Sunday. ;-)