Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Today we picked up our Scottish friends Ron and Chris at the Perpignan airport at 2:30. This airport is a favorite for me - we could walk right into the luggage carousel and meet them as they got off the plane. And just as nice was the price of parking: 15 minutes free, then only 1 Euro 30 for an hour. We drove back in sunshine, but as we approached Béziers, there was a wall of black clouds. By the time we had reached home, it was raining.

So aperos and dinner stretched from late afternoon into the evening, but inside rather than on the terrace.

We had done some grocery shopping in the morning. The baker and butcher were both open, so we were lulled into a false sense of security that the SuperU would likewise be open. WRONG! Tony had warned us of the possibility and given us the name of a grocery store in Béziers that was sure to be open, Auchan. So we toddled off to Béziers, now a bit worried that we've not left ourselves enough time to do the shopping in a strange place and still meet Ron and Chris' plane on time.

Auchan is like a super Walmart - it sells anything and everything and has a huge grocery - 3 aisles of cheese alone. And it is teeming with people (most likely like us- off for the day, only store open regular hours). Luckily our list is short and the check out is efficient. Would have been more efficient if I had remembered to weigh the fruits and vegetables before getting to the check out line. But the cashier is patient and sends me back to weigh the 4 parcels that are sold by weight. It's actually a genius system. You put the things on the scale, then choose fruit or vegetable. Up come photos of each type of produce. You touch the screen for the proper fruit or vegetable and then a little sticker comes out with the price on it. You affix it to your bag and the cashier just types in the amount from the tag. There are not scales at the check out and the cashier doesn't have to ask you what the item is or look up it's code in a little check list like we do at home.

We hurry home, have just enough time to put the groceries in the fridge, fix a quick sandwich (yes, we'll be eating in the car again) and head off for Perpignan to pick up Ron and Chris.

It was like we had seen them just yesterday in spite of the fact that it has been 14 years since we last saw them. We're all a bit more grey and wrinkled, but beyond that it's like we've never been apart. We talk all the way home, catching up on kids and travels, and experiences. Since it's raining, we can't sit on the terrace (boo hoo), but we sit around the table reminiscing about things we'd done together over the many years (41) we've known each other.

It's been a long day, and after several carafes of wine, aperos and dinner, we call it a night after first deciding with a bit of help from the Internet that we'll head toward Marseillan Plage (beach) tomorrow. The weather promises to be sunny and warm.

For the first time all trip, we haven't taken a photo. Too busy talking to think about it. Tomorrow.

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