Top Ten Things I Discovered in France

10. Searching, searching, searching – high and low – for a souffle’ of any kind and learning that the one restaurant that made it was the one we had skipped…too many stairs. The food we did have, however, was absolutely superb!
9. Thinking that a single 2ft.baguette sandwich would be enough for the two of us and getting laughed at when we returned for another. Those baguettes are so light, they melt in your mouth, so does the Roquefort…unfortunately they don’t melt off your thighs.
8. Realizing that the ‘soupe de poisson’ (fish soup) has no actual fish in it.
If you want the fish you must order an entire Boulliabaise, but then there’d be no room for desert.
7. Ordering water. Une caraffe d’eau, s’il vous plait./”Say it again.”/”eau?”/”What?”/”eu?”/”a glass?”/eou?/”a plate?”/”no, oh I give up, may I have some water please?”/”Oh! Une carafe d’eau!…it’s pronounced ‘o’, otherwise you are asking for eggs.”
6. Always being too full after a meal to get a crepe, thus, yet again, I’ve missed getting one at all. Same thing with the creme brulee’.
5. Noticing how gorgeous the women were in Monte Carlo and realizing that many were high-class hookers. When you see 18 year olds in Chanel holding hands with 80 year old men driving Ferraris, it hits you.
Then, making a wrong turn and ending up in the ‘be seen’ parade of cars which cruised in front of the casinos; red Ferrari, yellow Lamb, blue Astin Martin, grey Fiat, white Rolls.
3. Lavender-honey, lavender-honey sausage, lavender ice-cream, violet ice-cream. It’s lovely to taste the perfume of flowers on your tongue.
2. Driving through France during peak-season without a map nor making any reservations and going wherever we wished whenever we wished: Cassis et les Calanques, Grasse, Port Crox, Eze, Antibes, Nice, CapD’Ail, Monte Carlo;
Cassis et les Calanques
A beach off one of the Calanques.
Plage de la Mala, Cap D’Ail
always retiring back to our XL Quechua 2-second self-mounting tent, which was fitted up with a queen-size air-mattress and equipped with an electric pump. Camp sites all featured bathrooms, showers, electricity, tent-side parking and in most cases even a swimming pool and cafe’/restuarant. Blocking out the fact that we almost froze the first night in the Swiss Alps of Chateau D’eox/Gstaad on our way to France, the rest of the trip was quite comfortable. It may be a far cry from stealth camping, but it’s a good first step since it was my first time.
1. Sailing to the Natural Marine Reserve of the Ile du Port Crox. Arriving on a desert beach where Valerio and I went snorkeling for hours.
Swimming with giant fish who don’t fear you, spotting a foot-long octopus and several tomato-red starfish and wishing that we could camp on the island for a week. I suppose we must return.
Next time, we’d like to sail the coast with two other couples. It’d be nice if Valerio’s dad would lend us his sail boat, but since that is unlikely, we could rent one. Who’s in?

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