I know, I know, Hemingway was speaking figuratively when he spoke about Paris being a moveable feast, but for the past month since arriving back in France it has literally been a moveable feast! We have done nothing but travel throughout France eating, drinking, and socializing with family and friends.
We arrived in Paris and left immediately to Cherbourg to see Patrick’s parents. Patrick’s mom out did herself with lunches that lasted until evening and dinners that lasted until the wee hours of the morning. From Cherbourg we stopped at a gite not far from Saumur for a truly remarkable evening of fine dining with a lovely French couple who brought out all their best wines to pair with each course. The free range hens that they raise were prepared in a white wine sauce that melted in your mouth. It was an unforgettable evening for so many reasons.
The following day we continued on to Tarbes where we began each day for the next two weeks at noon with an apéro, a Kir for me and a Pastis for Patrick, and then lunch which lasted until 5 each afternoon. After a nice little nap we were back at the table around 6:30 until almost midnight each evening filled with course after course of the best foods, wines and cheeses that France has to offer, not to mention all the delicious crusty French breads and creamy butter we kept stuffing ourselves with.
Two days were spent with everyone hunting snails for an escargot feast, but Patrick’s nieces and nephews wanted to keep them as pets, so we ended up letting them all go! Lucky escargots that get to live for another day rather than ending up in a delicious garlic sauce, so we had a raclette instead!
We took a little side trip to Spain where we had a picnic at a favorite spot and once again we took advantage of the local cuisine. We stocked up on all sorts of sausages, wines and liquors that for tax purposes came out a lot cheaper than purchasing them in France.
We were invited to Biarritz before making our way up to Bordeaux and continued our culinary extravaganza on to Saint-Nazaire where Patrick’s nephew, Sedrik, entertained us in fine style with the local fruits de mer.
From there we traveled to Genêts where we had a wonderful view of the Mont Saint-Michel. Considered one of the 7 Wonders of the World, over 3 million people visit this old monastery every year which dates back to 709 A.D.
The entire area is protected. No one can buy or sell their property; either the homes and the land are passed down from generation to generation, or it becomes the property of the government and protected against any further building. We were fortunate enough to sleep in the cutest little cabin near the beach.
Patrick’s grandfather owned one of the few houses that has the right to still be there and which now belongs to his aunt. As we ate lunch in her garden with a fantastic view of the side of Mont Saint-Michel that many people rarely see, we realized what a privilege it was.
Once again we spent the next few days eating, drinking and socializing with a few shopping trips to the cute town of Avranches. We made a final stop along the way to see an old friend (a wonderful leisurely lunch ensued of course) before making our way back to Paris.
A day to relax and recuperate before heading the next day to Mériel where we celebrated a friend’s birthday with great food, wines, champagnes and fun. We arrived at 1 p.m. and everyone was still eating and drinking at 1 a.m.
This is how we saw everything around 3 a.m.!!!
Maya Muses: Today I was more than a little hesitant to step on the bathroom scale which I hadn’t done since the first day arriving in Paris. I finally looked at what one month of continuous eating of wonderful breads, butter, creamy sauces, fabulous cheeses and not to mention drinking did and was pleasantly surprised to see that I had lost a kilo and a half!!! Will wonders never cease! Yes!!!
Oh yeah, Patrick ended up gaining 4 kilos! And those of you who know Patrick know that he’s happy for every ounce that he puts on!
Photo Credits: Personal Photos