Wednesday, Anne and Jay headed southwest to Aigues Mortes, the old city that was built as a port on the Rhone Delta. It was the departure point for one of the Crusades, with ships tying up at the south wall, then sailing off to the Holy Land. Today, the Rhone has silted up the area, and the south wall of the city is about 100 yards from the water. The city is roughly square, with high walls running on all four sides. Inside, there are shops, cafés, and restaurants. The area was so unpleasant, with mosquitos the size of Buicks, that the French government paid people to live there.
Anne and Jay explored everything before heading to Dit A Vin, a restaurant off the main square where we had been with Anne and Darren a few years back. The menu was appealing, and the food excellent. They had an enjoyable time, then headed back to Eygalieres.
We went to Maussane to meet with Christine and Philippe for lunch at Franck and Flo’s restaurant. It was great to see them and catch up on everything. Like us, they are battling the effects of old age. Philippe has had surgery for bladder cancer and now is having regular treatments in Marseilles. He appears to be doing well, and we hope that all continues to be good. Christine is going through diagnosis to try to pin down some issues she is having. We tried to get all of the medical woes discussions out-of-the-way so we could talk about more pleasant topics, such as their move to Paradou, and plans for travel. The meal was excellent, with a table outside in the sun. Then it was off to St. Remy to get chocolates at Joel Durand to give to the dialysis center – my way of saying thanks for their support. We pulled up a table at 21 Chai, next to Joel Durand, and – after making our chocolate purchase, relaxed in the sun with some selections from their extensive selection. Then it was home to the mas to meet the kids, and a have a light snack for dinner.
Thursday was a dialysis day, so I lugged my chocolates to the center. David picked me up around 11, and we went to St. Remy for lunch. Anne and Jay headed for Cassis on the coast. and returned raving about their day – the views driving into the village, the cafes on the waterfront, the food and wine. We were glad that they had a terrific day. For dinner we headed back to Chez Paulette for another excellent meal.
Friday was another market day in Eygalieres. Jay and Anne perused all of the booths and stalls to find some treasures, while we pulled up some chairs at a table at Café du Centre. At around two, we headed over to Aubergine for lunch, with Jay and David opting for Alex’s towering burgers. We had a great time, as always, and bade farewell to Alex, promising to return in ’18. Dinner was mostly light snacks and wine at the mas. Anne and Jay leave early in the morning for Paris, so we didn’t want to stay out late.
Saturday, Anne and Jay headed off to Avignon to get the TGV for Paris, while we went to Salon for dialysis, then to the mas to pack and trudge to the Avignon TGV.
We arrived in Paris about 6pm, and found very little traffic, so got to the hotel without incident. We had some trouble finding a spot to eat, as most Parisian restaurants close on Saturday night, We ended up gong to Mollard, a classic brasserie near the Gare St. Lazare train station, just a few blocks from the hotel. The décor is classic, tile, gilt and mirrors, with bustling waiters and great seafood. Jay had skate, and the rest of us fresh line-caught turbot. Jay had oysters, which he said were the best he had ever eaten, and I went with a dozen praires (hard shell clams) which were excellent. All in all, the meal was excellent, and the service friendly.
Then it was time to walk back to the Le Lavoisier and turn in.
Sunday dawned grey and gloomy, and we got to the airport ahead of schedule. Unfortunately, American chose that day to have probably the worst check-in service we have ever had, well over an hour to check in business class, followed by a one hour wait while they rounded up the crew. David had some TSA type try to purloin his watch at security, but a helpful AA supervisor got it for him. Then it was up and away and back to Florida.
This may be our last visit to France. We’ll have to see what shape we’re in next year, and how we feel. We’ll be going to Rome with Anne and Darren in November, which we’re looking forward to. We won’t take the computer with us, so will post the blog when we get home.