The end of this wonderful visit is creeping up on me. I feel I should be ready, even eager to return home, but the experience has been so rich in new friends, in a "new" environment that's thousands of years old, in new foods and customs, and in a satisfying improvement in acquiring a new language, that I don't feel ready to leave. Indeed, it seems as though I just got here, and am leaving too much unseen, unexplored, unsaid. A positive spin would be that these paths untrod leave me more than ready to return.

 Today Carole picked me up for a nice Sunday lunch at a relais (roadside inn) at the far east end of Mont Ste Victoire's southern face. There are a few nice photos linked below. We had a leisurely lunch under a linden tree on a terrace. Next to us was a group of perhaps 15 adults and children celebrating the First Communion of two or three of the girls, easily identifiable by their white dresses and leggings. The party next to us was sedate, given all the kids, and gave pleasure watching the kids try to be grown-up but reverting to kid behavior when being grown-up got boring. There was also a huge almost-white golden retriever with another party who was clearly in need of a weight loss program.

Lunch was fish for us both, light and tasty. Dessert, a glass of rosé, and a little tapenade from local olives on croutons rounded out the meal. We walked around the large parking lot, took a few photos, and headed back to Aix.

When Carole dropped me off, I thought a nap would be nice, and slept for over 2½ hours, to my surprise. Awoke, tried to shake off the sleep, and went out for dinner. (See a pattern? Eat, sleep, repeat....) Went back to a nice restaurant Carole and I had been to at the beginning of the trip, had a pasta carbonnara with lobster, and a tartin flambé for dessert (with a kir). 

Back to the apartment to write about the day, check the news and weather, and head for bed yet again.

Tomorrow, nothing planned, except in the evening an Austrian lady will be arriving to stay for a few days, and I will be giving her a tour of the apartment, since Vivien is tied up in Vensaque until Tuesday. I don't know yet if I will do another blog entry tomorrow, as I will be fretting about my connections Tuesday a.m. - 6:40 a.m. bus to Marseilles airport, 9:25 flight to Amsterdam, later flights to Detroit and then RDU. Will certainly take a nostalgic walk around town, but you've heard enough about these, I think.

See you Tuesday!

Click for today's photos