What a fun day we had! Got up relatively early (7:30). Bethany arose a little later, while Vivien slept in. Despite my usual morning attire of sweats, Bethany wanted to do some shopping and have coffee, so she assured me I would not be under-dressed for a Sunday morning. So off we went, first to a little store to buy odds and ends, then to the bakery to buy two kinds of loaves and a foccachia-type bread with olives baked-in. Then went to a restaurant with the familiar name Les Remparts (maybe from Montréal) for café au lait, then back to Vivien's.
We were having a "typical Provençal lunch" and I'd offered to make my favorite tomato sauce for pasta, so cut up the onions and a red pepper for the sauce, but realized we needed olive oil and oregano. So the veggies were left to sit until we all had a bite to eat and headed out to St. Didier, home of a pretty, and busy, main street and some other nice scenery, captured in the photos du jour. Also, St. Didier has a super-marché that was quite interesting. We picked up my missing ingredients, as well as a block of parmesian cheese for grating and a cartful of other supplies. After Bethany stopped at a little shop she knew of to buy some essential component for lunch (while I took a few photos) we headed back.
I finished the tomato sauce while Vivien and Bethany made other courses for the feast that was to come: baked artichoke, fresh fruit (local cherries and strawberries), the inevitable chèvre cheese, and chocolate sauce for dipping the fruit.
David and Karen Ku (mentioned yesterday) arrived, Karen bearing a tasty pasta salad, around 1:00 p.m. We sat down to lunch and talked, ate, drank wine (switched to champagne for dessert) and finally wrapped up when the Kus left around 5:00 p.m. - a four-hour lunch! Viv and Bethany assured me that long, leisurely lunches are quite the norm around here on Sundays. As someone who usually takes 20 minutes to eat a chef salad or sandwich at home, this was pretty remarkable. But the good food, company, and liesurely pace of the meal felt perfectly natural.
After lunch, Bethany decided, with our enthusiastic support, to drive to the top of the local landmark, Mont Ventoux, which rises to over 6,200 ft., and is featured in several of yesterdays and today's photos. And 90 minutes later, there we were. Bethany had her snow (and she and Vivien had a good-natured snowball fight). And I shivered in near-freezing temperatures with maybe a 40-mph wind chilling my bones.
Driving back, we stopped at the site of a 1,000-year-old church built near a spring that produced copious amounts of water for agriculture and for the making of paper, oddly enough. Apparently the ancient paper-making arts are kept alive today!
A long drive back, with a stop at another friend's house in Venasgue for (what else) a glass of wine, Then home where Viv and Bethany fell asleep watching a Meg Ryan movie while I tried to catch up with the trip's blogging, sadly neglected because of a schedule too full of enjoyment to interrupt with reports of it all.