Hot and Naked in France
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.