On The Road Again
I know, I know. We just got off the boat, have scarcely settled into our French home, and haven’t shared a single word about France with you yet. Well, here we go again. We’re leaving home on Thursday and heading west, into parts of France hitherto unexplored, by us anyway.
It’s a winding road I have planned: fast TGV train to Lyon, slow milk train to Limoges, overnight to explore the porcelain factory and a village frozen in time since the Nazis executed every man, woman and child therein, rental car to Cognac, overnight to drink as much interesting cognac as possible, then travel by rental car to our real destination: the Ile d’Oléron. Why go to the Atlantic in this season? Ah, therein lies a little tale.
Shel and I are hooked on a program that is on French TV every Sunday at noon, a sort of foodie program where a guy called Petitrenaud travels all over France, and in the most eccentric way possible, saying tu to people he’s just met and kissing everyone he sees, shows off the best foods of regions we’ve mostly never heard of. So there we were on Bainbridge Island one day last month, watching the Escapades of Petitrenaud via the miracle of Internet streaming, when all of a sudden he showed the Ile d’Oléron, and a restaurant called Le Grand Large, which means approximately the wide open sea. The chef, David Boyer, was making the most beautiful creations out of the boundless seafood available there, and for some reason I said to Shel “we have to go there and eat that,” as if it were inevitable.
And so, some few weeks later, we’re on our way. As soon as I looked at a map to figure out where we were really going I realized that we’d pass through Limoges and Cognac, and thus was born a very fine road trip. And although it’s been pouring rain in various parts of France the past couple of days, including right here at home, it’s not supposed to rain while we’re away. I’ve written to Chef Boyer, who has promised to feed me according to my relatively bizarre dietary restrictions, we’ll eat Limousin beef in Limoges, and we have a couple of tasting tours set up for Cognac, where I plan to give myself a thorough education in all things cognac. Thank goodness Shel doesn’t drink and likes to drive!
So please, come along for the ride. I should have no troubles posting along the way, and as we all know, eating and drinking is always more fun in good company.
p.s. and no, alas, that’s not our car pictured up top, we’re driving a cute but sedate little Peugeot 308.