Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Family day pt deux

Woke up to the smell of toast again, but this time we didn't have any old baller friends or old French friends. it was just us, and we were served chocolate croissants, crepes and breads. Bread city I tells ya. Patrick rough hands forgot the nutella spread, I forgave him.

We were to meet back at Nicole and Andre's for lunch but at a bistro around the corner, then return to theirs for some art viewing and discussion. Andre and Nicole drove, Jamie, Giselle and I walked. Giselle and I have the same perfume, Gerulain Shalimar. Perfume buds.

A bistro is different from a restaurant, apparently, although you wouldn't know it. A bistro is less "snob", but to me the food and service was just the same. It was a busy little lunchtime spot, too. We had some wine, I had a white fish with cream sauce (omg) and Jamie had a pork filet mignon (also omg) followed by incred dessert: creme brulee for me and who knows what everyone else got because I went into a trance as I ate it.

After lunch Giselle invited us back for coffee but snuck in a hard drink for us too. It was a white raspberry liquer, but strong as hell like sipping vodka. She has a cute little Westie named Ginou who thought she was people. Giselles appt looks like A&N's but a bit smaller and decorated uber french-like. Giselle was kind enough to give us a bottle of Bessin wine as a little gift, what a sweetie. We had our bevvies, a little piece of chocolate and were on our way to another spot - a friend named Henri who spoke fluent english and backed onto a castle. He lives in the country about nine kilometres away. Andre drove us, Giselle drove Nicole.

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Henri's home is hidden behind trees, its and 18th century building which used to be a bnb at one point. It had a nice big private backyard with stone walls and a little river beside it. You could see the top of the neighbouring castle peaking up above the trees. Henri spoke English well and looked like a writer. His home full of things, in no particular order and no decor theme, and he was wearing a vest and glasses with a groomed moustache. Pure writer. But I don't think he was a writer, he was a doctor or professor or something. We were there to see the chest he had, which used to belong to Andre, and had a rabbit and some flowers painted on it by Andres father. It was beautifully painted of course. After that we walked and looked at the castle. 

Find Henri.

Walking to bistro

We headed back to Argentan, back to A&N's to look at Aimee's art. We sat around the table drinking water and talked for a few hours. At around 6 or 7pm Andre "proposed to us" that we would eat crepes with an egg. Obv we said heck yes we'll eat crepes with an egg not knowing exactly what that meant. Nicole and Giselle popped out and cameback with something else because the g-store was out of those things. We ended up having some pastrries filled with ham and cheese, salad, bread and potted duck and cheese afterwards (to cleanse the palette before dessert) - which was macarons and strawberries/bananas. All good. The macarons were awesome and were purchased from Carrefour (France's Sobeys) but you'd think they were from a fancy bakery they were so fresh and good. And I had port and wine throughout the evening, quelle surprise. 

I was dreading the goodbye and was thinking of ways to postpone it - like by coming back Tuesday morning after breakfast and on our way to Bordeaux, that way I could have time to absorb things and talk myself out of being annoying and emotional. But when the sun was finally setting, around or close to ten pm, I figured we should get back to the bnb. I offered to come back the next morning but Nicole said no it is out of our way. I wasn't going to argue so I mentally prepped my thank yous a bye byes. It was all good, I kissed Nicole, kissed Andre and Giselle, it was when Andre said to "send love back to Canada, especially...." {michelle cries and cuts him off} what was he gonna say?! I won't know because I couldn't hold it in. Uggghh I was so mad at myself for cracking, but it's not easy saying "until next time" to my older family members who live half way across the world. Especially since they were so good to us, so sweet and kind having just met us for the first time the year prior. Its interesting the connection you can have, they know all of us, and there are a lot of us. Andre has so many stories, a lifetime of memories and knowledge and I could listen for days to what he has to say. I learned more about my family, his, and about life in general just being in their presence for two days. 

So there you have it, I bawled again when I had to say goodbye. Don't feel bad that I don't bawl everytime I say bye to you, it's probably not the same feeling. We left feeling sad about saying goodbye again, but happy that we were even able to return so soon since last September. And of course happy that we are fortunate enough to have such a connection with these people at this time.

Tuesyday morning we were off to Bordeaux with a lunch stop at La Rochelle on the west coast - which was foiled by the whole "lunch time at lunch time" thing in France and added a good 3 hours to our trip. Oh well. When we were leaving the Normandy area I was thinking how much I still love it there. I don't know what it is about that place, the food, the seaside, the cider or my family roots there, but I will be returning again. Mind you I haven't yet been to the south, this could change things.

Jamie took some good photos with his SLR. I'll post them when we return, sorry I don't have many photos from my iPhone which is all i brought-- also for some reason they aren't all up in my cloud. I don't like snapping photos constantly when I am with people. I won't wanna miss out on the real experiences. But if you follow along on Instagram or are friend with me on Facebook you can see some of the photos that aren't here.

Next, Bordeaux.