Hot and Naked in France

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Honestly!  Well, actually I spent yesterday wrapped in a tablecloth, but it still seemed naked.  It’s a long, long story, but I know you’ve been waiting patiently for it, so here we go.  Yes, this is our house.

So there we were zooming down the runway for takeoff, when the pilot screeched on the brakes, turned the plane around, and dumped us all off.  Generator problems with the plane caused our flight to be cancelled.  It’s ok with me not to be 30,000 feet in the air when the engine dies, so that was in itself a reasonable state of affairs.  However, poor Beppo was traveling as luggage and was stuck on the tarmac with all the other bags, until the United pilot was astoundingly kind enough to run down and persuade the baggage guys that Beppo wasn’t a security risk and could be returned to us in the terminal.

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The house is called Les Palmiers, for the palm trees in the yard.  But it was to be many hours before we saw it.  Little did we know.

After about three hours of standing in line we managed to get United to put us on a direct flight from Seattle to Paris, no small feat since we were flying on frequent flyer miles, and Air France thinks United miles are rien du tout.   But wait, the luggage was still at United, a whole terminal away from Air France.  Thus ensued a comedy of extremes, as I ran to United, begged for the luggage, tipped an Air france guy extravagantly to be sure our five super-heavy bags got on the plane, ran back to the gate where a phalanx of Air France folks were waiting to escort us, the very last passengers, on board.  You know those looks people give the very last passengers who have been holding up the departure?  We got them but we didn’t care.  We were on our way, with Beppo once again stuffed into the cargo hold.  Air France thinks it’s a good idea to give even economy class passengers Champagne before dinner, wine with dinner, and Cognac after dinner, all free.  I thought that was a very good idea too.

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We went to sleep after a quite decent dinner and dreamed of how charming it would be to have a garden in France.  We also dreamed that unlike Adam and Eve, we would have clothes in the garden, but no.  Mad dash and huge tip notwithstanding, our bags were not on board the Friday night plane.  Nor the Saturday night plane.  And if they were on the Sunday night plane, no one has been able to tell us so.  Let me just say that I was wearing black pants to travel on Friday, and it’s quite hot in the south of France, and this is Monday and I’m still wearing them.  When I’m not wearing a tablecloth, that is.

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Yes, that’s our pool.  Would you believe it’s absolutely freezing?  I didn’t either until I jumped in, sweatier than you want to know about.  Beppo looked like he was going to faint when I came up spitting, gasping, and swearing.  Oh, and I was super sweaty because since we got into Paris several hours later than planned we missed our train and had a certain scramble to get another two train segments to get us down south, and because we’re waiting for the plumber to fix the shower, and I’m sitting in my first Internet cafe because we’re waiting an agonizing ten days for Internet service at the house even though it was ordered ten days ago, and we’re waiting for Air France to find our luggage and bring it to us.

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Yes, that’s our lime tree, and it might make you think of gin and tonic.  For me, it’s Pastis and rosé.  You know, the great pink wines of the south of France?  Bring them on!  Fortunately, since we don’t have a car yet, it’s a 30 second walk to a bakery and a four minute walk to a market that carries a good supply of wines, Pastis, and such delights as duck and turkey flavored food for Beppo, merguez sausage, canned ratatouille, and I kid you not, packaged pain au chocolat.  Of course, we don’t have to resort to that because the bakery is practically in our yard. 

This Internet cafe is closing, as its charming proprietor with the cool name of Erwan has just informed us.  I’ll leave you for now and go home to see how Beppo is doing in his quest to become a world-traveled French cat.

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Charmant, hein?

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13 Comments on “Hot and Naked in France”

  1. Klary Says:

    You’ve arrived!! wow what a trip. I’m sorry the bags are lost.. I hope they turn up real soon.
    The house, pool and garden look lovely though!

  2. Eden Says:

    I’m so glad you made it all in one piece albeit sans luggge. And at least Beppo looks all settled in,.. Hopefully your worldly possesions will arrive soon. In the meantime, don’t think of it as a tablecloth: it’s a pareu or a sarong – much more chic ;->

  3. Zucchini Mama Says:

    Wouldn’t it be nice to be a cat and not have to worry about life’s luggage screw-ups. My fingers are crossed that you are reunited with your wardrobe soon. Sounds like you’ve found a beautiful place.

  4. Mark Says:

    And to add to Klary’s best wishes, I hope that your ADSL gets installed when they say it’s going to!

  5. Lauren Says:

    What an adventure you had just getting there! How wonderful that it is so beautiful. Almost makes you forget you have no clothes?

  6. Michel Says:

    Wow, what an adventure!
    Bienvenue en France, despite the lost luggage (something I know far too well, as mine were lost in July arriving in Paris). However, this does mean something very good: it’s time to go shopping for a new wardrobe!
    Cheers!

  7. Jim Says:

    …on the other hand, try to imagine how tedious and mundane your blog would be with a report of “We’re in France and everything went well!” I absolutely love the pictures and the prose, Abra, and look forward to sharing your year in France via the blog.

  8. Jan Says:

    Beppo looks very chic, no clothes worries for him! What a story to tell. Hope your luggage turns up soon. What a beautiful place you’re in.

    Is it a stylish tablecloth?

  9. markemorse Says:

    By the way, I have NEVER, not once, flown through Charles de Gaulle and not had my luggage lost. I am 3 for 3…and hopefully that is where my record will stand for the rest of my natural life, ’cause I ain’t going back to CDG no-how. Good news is: I got it back every time!

  10. MickeyM Says:

    As long as you finally do get your luggage, the upside is that, after all the other impediments along the journey, you did not have to personally schlep it on two trains. I’m sure that by that time, Beppo and the laptops were plenty!

    By the way, are those ginger blossoms in the top photo, against the tile roof? The garden looks fantastic! Can’t wait to see more.

  11. Lorna Says:

    Embrace the nudity–you’re in France now! 😉

    So sorry to hear about Sushi, and I look forward to your report about the bakery right by your house. Pictures, please?

  12. Chef Stu Says:

    Sorry to hear the news about Sushi my cats are like children to me. I envey that you are in the land of great food. Have some great cheese and bakery items for me. Please stay well and enjoy you stay in France. I miss your posts at PCN.

  13. Busboy Says:

    Man — that Internet Cafe keeps the oddest hours, don’t it? Or perhaps just very French.

    Bet we got our napkins the same place you did — Stephanie and I are green with envy.


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