Sunday, October 26, 2014

Summer Travels: Day 4

Hello again!
I figured I would take a little time to recap part of our trip to France. Here you go!

Every morning in Marseille, our hosts provided us with fresh croissants and pain au chocolat from a boulangerie that they walked to every morning. It was magical! Also, the windows in the houses didn't have screens. They had shutters that they would close while they were gone during the day to keep the sun out. Otherwise, the windows and doors were left open.

The view from the backyard in Marseille
We drove to Cassis on Tuesday morning. What a beautiful place! We took a boat tour and got SOAKED riding over huge waves. The boat went along the cliffs, and we actually saw a rock climber in one spot. Apparently, those cliffs are a famous location for rock climbers.

After the boat tour, we went to the beach. The water was pristine! So clear! Unfortunately, I was on an antibiotic that had made me photosensitive, so I was LITERALLY frying in the sun. It was extremely unpleasant. The water was too cold to swim, but we enjoyed the lovely views.

Then, we had lunch. I ordered a pizza that is apparently the signature pizza of that area. It was my first time eating mussels! Nick was starting to get used to his cafe after every lunch.

After lunch, we drove back home and prepared for a party! The true purpose of the party was lost in translation, but from what I could tell, it was a late birthday party for my Uncle Guy. We hadn't seen him yet, and Nick had never even met him. He was coming over with a couple American friends, as well as a lot of their family. The dinner party didn't start until 9:00 or so. We started by eating appetizers and having drinks. Before Uncle Guy arrived, we were surrounded by people who only spoke French. Unfortunately, knowing how to say, " Can I have two croissants, please?" in French means nothing in a room full of people who would just like to know about you. At first, it was a little awkward, but as the night went on, it got much better.

Around 10:00, we sat down to eat! Plenty of bread, ratatouille, and grilled lamb and veggies was passed around. And of course, wine. The conversations were hilarious, mainly because my uncle's two American friends were hysterical. After dinner, there was the fromage course, and the cafe, and the desserts. Christine taught guests how to roast marshmallows over the grill fire. She told me that she had learned how to during a trip to visit my dad's family and Guy, and they took a camping trip to Colorado. Watching people examine the roasted goodness was pretty amusing. After dessert, more drinks. People started leaving around 3:00. I was trying so hard not to fall asleep at the table. To me, this experience was the most "French" thing we did, and was definitely the most memorable time from our trip. It was amazing to be able to sit in with a family enjoying food and each other... for 5 hours into the night, nonetheless!

The dinner table... "Coka" is always available... as well as vin rouge...

Fromage... Nick's favorite
My dessert: An orange macaron dipped in chocolat
Guy and Christine's mom. I hadn't seen her since I was in elementary school.
 ((This picture was taken at 3:00am))
I wasn't really allowed to help clean up, and honestly, with the language barrier, I wasn't very good at it, but we did what we could and then slept very, very well!

The next day, we were headed to Avignon and Chateau des Baux. 

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