Tuesday, July 05, 2011

France

It's difficult for me to summarize our trip to France. I suppose the simplest method would be to note that we are glad that we went, and that we would do it again without question.

There was much to like. Chief among this was the people with whom we stayed for the first ten days, and who accompanied us to Paris. They delighted me in a way that very few people ever have. They were open and friendly, going far, far out of their way to accomodate us. This is how well we got along with them: they have already begun plans to visit with us in our home for several weeks. And we are thrilled by this.

Additionally, the parts of the country that we saw are for the most part lovely. You understand quickly why Americans love the idea of retiring there. At least, until they see what the local prices are. But even then....

And we took a couple of pictures.

3 comments:

genderist said...

So glad you had a wonderful time. And it sounds like you'll have the privilege of entertaining soon, too! What are your plans for that family's trip?

Carolyn Ann said...

Glad you had a good time!

Cerulean Bill said...

I tell you honestly, could I, I would take them via private coach to New York, to Williamsburg, to Baltimore, and to DC, as well as out into the countryside during the cool fall days. I like them that much. I don't like all that many people, so perhaps I'm overcompensating just a bit, here. But not a lot. This family let us live with them for ten days; they paid for a hotel room in one town and for multiple incidental expenses; the wife took two weeks off from work to be with us (I know, the French get longer vacations that we do, but even so....). They spent lavishly of their time, and they introduced us to friends who did not flinch at our French. (One later told me that he heard me speak to my daughter in French, and was delighted by it.) And they showed me amazing things - tourist things, yes, but I'd never been in a church that was built in the 1100s before; I'd never seen an entire museum dedicated to the raising, feeding, slaughtering, and cooking of cattle; I'd never gone through an underground chamber lit by candles and with dozens of musty casks, tasting wine as we went. And then there was Paray-Le-Monial, and Beaune, and the TGV from Le Cruesot to the awesomely complex station in Paris. Not to mention Paris itself - loud and crowded and noisy and gorgeous. And, of course, Palinges itself, which was to them just a sleepy little country town, but to me was a sleepy little French county town, complete with a Tabac, La Poste, the eglise at the head of, what else, Rue De La Eglise. Even the annual Fete De La Musique (I could have the spelling wrong there), where people from multiple towns gathered and played music, sometimes well and always exuberantly -- I mean, this was good stuff. Heck, she even hauled out her crepe pan and we made crepes together - how cool is that?

I want them to like us as much as I like them. I want them to see what we love about this country as much as they love theirs. Without, I am sad to say, mortgaging our future in the process. Why am I thinking about that? Because I am already thinking How could we go back in, say, two years, without spending quite so much? Thank you, air fare prices.

So we're going to have to give this a little thought.