Monday, May 30, 2011

Packing up on a cloudy day

As luck would have it, today is cloudy and grey, a bit cool and damp. It has rained a bit in the night. A perfect day for packing up. We've slept in and are moving slowly this morning. The greyness makes it easier to stick to chores and easier to think about leaving.

The wine bottle collection is down to 9 still needing to be "de-labeled". We've sorted out the piles of travel brochures, and done the laundry over the weekend, so the major focus will be on figuring out how to pack 3 suitcases of stuff into two and getting them both to weigh under 50 pounds. What can we leave behind?

After lunch (omelets using up whatever veggies we had left in the frig), we decide to pick up some fruit for our lunches the next few days and fill the car with gas. Grocery shopping is easy. Getting gas proves an adventure. We can see that a thunderstorm is approaching (exciting - our first storm and much needed rain for the region) so Dave drops me at the grocery to store to go fill the car at the gas station next door. Problem 1: they are out of diesel fuel.

Now it is sprinkling and we decide to head to Murviel where we thought we had seen a gas station. Wrong. Ask Olga. She points us 4 km down the road to a small town we've never been in. We find the station. It's a full serve, one pump with no covering, at a car repair shop. A young man comes out to help just as the heavens open and it begins to pour. This isn't going to work. We drive off. (At this point I suggest we just wait till tomorrow as we're not desperate, just wanting to start off with a full tank.) We program Olga to go home and as we're about to turn onto a highway, there's a gas station with diesel, with an awning to protect us. We pull in. No deal. It's card only and won't accept our credit card. Oh well, we drive home, by which time the rain is subsiding. We'll get gas in the morning.

The most memorable part of the day was aperos with Tony and Marian. These involve super food and plenty of wine. But best of all is the conversation. We talk about France, England, and US comparing life, politics, culture, you name it. We talk, eat and drink long into the night.

Marian, I hope you don't mind my sharing the goat cheese appetizer recipe. It was so good and so easy. I'm anxious to try it at home.

Place 1/2 inch slices of goat cheese on top of 1/2 thick rounds of bread cut from a baguette. Dust with a bit of nutmeg and bake till the cheese is hot and melted inside. Invite guests to top with a few drops (to taste) of Tabasco. Delicious!

We get downstairs late and know that we'll just have to finish the last few bits of packing in the morning. Oh, and the suitcases, well, it's mostly in, but there are extra bags and boxes yet that we need to figure out. I've bagged up some of the clothes I had planned to leave behind and Marian will see they get to the collection bin. That makes a bit of room, but not enough yet. For now we'll throw it all in the car and work on the problem later. (Will we regret this?)

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