Saturday, October 18, 2008
Up early and off to return the car, get to the station and back to Paris. We turned the car in promptly at 9:00, before going to the Gare TGV. Millie, our GPS, was quite emotional, and sobbed as she told us which exit to take from each remaining roundabout on the way to the Peugeot agency. As we parted, she told the Bevigator that she was “brilliant!” It was hard not to cry and hug her, but Bev pointed out how ridiculous David looked trying to hug the console… Our train was scheduled to depart at 10:05, arriving Paris 12:45. Like clockwork, the train arrived and we pulled out of the station at exactly 10:05.
During the train ride, David and I had a chance to reflect on our trip. David drove our Peugeot 407 wagon a total of 3,200 kilometers or 2,000 miles – from Paris to and through the Loire, to Burgundy and through the many small villages, then to Eygalières for our two weeks of touring. Millie navigated maybe half those miles for us, needing only an occasional cup of tea or scone – but the Bevigator did have to jump in and help out more than a few times. The Peugeot wagon was a real treat – comfortable, lots of room for five and luggage, good handling and power, and – best of all – it averaged 42 miles per gallon. The price of our gazole (diesel) fuel was €1.35 per liter or about $6.50 per gallon (the Euro closed at €1.34 on the 17th.) Other than a few days, we had absolutely almost-perfect weather and temperatures were ideal.
After check-in at Hotel Le Lavoisier, Darren wanted to go to Willi’s Wine Bar to taste some wine. We jumped on the Metro #1 line and in a few minutes we were a short walk away. We tasted several different wines – a Bourgeuil red from the Loire, a Chateauneuf du Pape, a Meursault, and carafe of Montlouis – then walked back to the hotel.
That evening, we were to meet our friends Marc and Catherine for dinner. Unfortunately, Catherine came down with pneumonia and obviously needed to cancel. But Marc made dinner reservations for us at La Table de Joël Robuchon. La Table had three alternatives to choose from: – a la carte petit plates with a long list of entrées; an a la carte menu of entrées and plats; and a degustastion (tasting) menu. We all decided on the petit plate menu, selecting three different entrees to taste. It was a memorable dinner. Easy to see why the restaurant has earned two Michelin stars. For wines, we had a wonderful Meursault from Prieur for our white, and a hearty but smooth Vacqueryas from the Rhone for our red.