Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Luries Go To France: Days Seven, Eight and Nine

Here's the last installment of our honeymoon days. I hope you enjoyed reading about all the food we ate. It was the most fun trip I have ever gone on for a lot of reasons, we had a lot of money saved so we could do nice things, we got along the whole trip and only had a couple of minor melt downs which I think is really impressive since this is by far the longest vacation we've ever taken together and, also, the south of France is truly the most beautiful place I have ever been in my life. Particularly Provence but all of it is just breathtaking. I wanted to have all of our stuff sent there and never come back! Ahh, but mortgages and responsibilities and the cat called, so we returned promising each other that we would visit again soon. For more pictures of our journey, the boy put his up on flickr, found here.

Day Seven. Tuesday morning we woke up early. We were both so excited to go to the large market here in town. We ate breakfast at the hotel which was really nice. Coffee, tea, bread, cheese, pastries, jams, cereal and fruit! We were completely stuffed as we headed down the hill to see what all the fuss was about.

This market has been going on for hundreds of years and today it seems to be an even mix of very authentic, awesome local goods and touristy stuff. We picked up a locally made cotton dress for our niece Madison. We also found lavender sachets with provencal fabric for friends. We met a man selling infused apertifs. He let us taste several before we settled on a violet one. There was also a ton of pottery. We grabbed a ceramic water pitcher from a lady selling out of crates spilling from her van. There was also a couple of older men sitting in front of 10 containers of tomatoes and 6 glass containers of olive oil. We knew we needed to take a closer look and when one of the men got up and let us taste the oil, we were sold. He wrapped up the cork stopped container and we were on our way (This container later got confiscated at the airport because it was just cork stopped, I couldn't put it in our luggage but it was too large to carry on. Very sad!) It was amazing to see and meet people who got up that morning, picked some tomatoes, poured out some olive oil and came to the market to sell it. We also bought cheese from an extremely excited man and his wife who had a simple cart with huge blocks of cheese on it. He also let us taste and then we motioned with our fingers to show him how big of a slice we wanted. There was also a ton of crafty things, lots of fabric and notions and even sewing machines! This was my favorite part to look at but we couldn't buy a ton of it so I just got some cute trim. With girts bought for both ourselves and family and friends, we wearily hiked back up the hill to the hotel and had some much needed pool time. In the evening we went back into town and drank a few beers at L'Oxo Bar.

We ate dinner at La Belle Etoile, a place I was originally drawn to because of the colorful linens on all the tables. We drank a bottle of local white wine and started with a foie gras creme brulee which was surprisingly delicious. For our main dish, I had a tapenade stuffed rabbit and Dan had an eggplant plate. It was all so flavorful and fresh, we really loved it. As we walked back to the hotel we stopped by a pizza place and drank some more wine before drunkenly stumbling all the way to our hotel room.
Day Eight. We really didn't have much of a plan for today which was so nice. We had breakfast at the hotel again and then headed into town to see about renting bicycles. The one bike rental place we knew about ended up being out of rentals so that was out. We stopped by the TI (tourist information) to see where the lavender fields were but it seemed a car was needed for that.

We agreed that with the 95 degree weather, if it wasn't easy and relaxing we weren't interested, so we walked up to Cave La Romaine and did some wine tasting instead. We got a couple bottles of white from a young girl who said she had an aunt in Portland (although she may have meant Maine)and as we waited in line to pay for our bottles we discovered the filling station. A wall filled with tubes and empty plastic tubs. Several people were having their tubs filled with wine, the way you might fill a gallon jug with water at the grocery store. We headed back through town to hang at the pool again, too hot to do anything else. After the pool we went to the courtyard at the hotel for a beer. Sebastian, the man running the front desk, said that since it was our honeymoon (Dan had mentioned it in an email when we made the reservations) anything we wanted was on him and insisted that we not only order beers but desserts too. we had an ice cream tiramisu and lavender ice cream washed down with a cold beer. It was awesome.

After our late afternoon snack we enjoyed some down time before heading over to the nearby, Michelin rated and Steve's recommended, Bistro D'O. We started with a cured ham appetizer with a vegetable and anchovy filler and fig jam crustini. For Dinner I had the lamb and Dan had rissoto with shrimp. We just got coffee for dessert but they brought our handmade pink marshmallows for us to have too. It was all really, really good and the restaurant had a great atmosphere. We dragged it out as long as possible but we had to go back to the hotel eventually to pack and prepare for another day of travelling (and our last day in France!)
Day Nine. I didn't journal on our last day, but here are some amazing pictures I took that day! Enjoy.

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