Saturday, August 15, 2009

Did you say Wine and Cheese...?

Dinner a la guinguette with Alain, Marthine, Sarah and Anthony*

For reasons I cannot understand my plane ticket to Rgizlaine's wedding was over $100 cheaper if I made a multi-day layover in France. So I did what any clear thinking, Sarah loving lady would do and got the cheaper airplane ticket and then a train ticket with the money "saved" to visit my dear friend Sarah Perry who lives in France with her boyfriend, Anthony.
Sarah is a(nother!) treasure of a friend whom I also met my sophomore year in college as we stumbled through learning French at Hyperion, a coffee shop in downtown Fredericksburg. She embodied everything I wanted to learn about - art, bicycles, French and France. I spent many a treasured moment making pancakes in her kitchen and having sleepovers at her well-populated house on Charles and Faquier Street.

At the chateau d'Angers *

When I arrived at the train station in Angers, France, Alain, Anthony's mom's boyfriend (whew, that's a mouthful) was waiting for me on the quai. I was not expecting him and as he explained that Sarah and Anthony were on the road still and who he was I looked at him with a combination of wonder and exhaustion from travel as I processed what he was telling me. Alain interpreted my pensive expression for misunderstanding and gently asked me if I actually spoke French...I laughed and quickly explained my confusion and then off we were to the house.
Sarah and Anthony showed up a couple hours later and the fun really kicked off. We spent the next four days seeing the best of Angers and also a lot of quality time catching up on the past couple years. Letters are incredible (hint hint :) but there is nothing like real time together.

Picking strawberries at the Jardin d'Avenir (Garden of the Future :) *

On Sunday we went to a cute little cafe on the Loire river and sampled what seemed to be almost every dish (cheese platters, charcuterie, soupettes and wine, oh my!). The next day we made a plum tarte with fresh plums from the neighbor's yard and then visited a 103 meter tapestry at the Chateau d'Angers. Tuesday brought an incredible mini-textile exhibit with guided tour and a great dinner at Cami and Jean-Francois's - two friends of Sarah and Anthony's.
Wednesday we visited an organic garden/farm where you can pick your own veggies. We picked cherry tomatoes, potatoes, onions, peppers, chives, strawberries, rasberries, lettuce and more tomatoes.
I felt pretty sick much of the visit but that didn't hamper the fun! Sarah sent me off with a brown bag lunch of fresh bread, cheese, berries and chocolate. It was hard to leave her and France (hopefully a tres bien tot!) but it's time to be back in Mali and I'm eager to see baby Christine's cute cheeks once more.
*(all photos courtesy of Sarah's beautiful camera)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

how's cutie christine? and how's that veggie shopping/preparing going? feeling better, I hope...well, what a lovely concise recap of your stay.I think my favorite part was the catching up and all the giggling.
o, and anthony's fam thought you were a hoooot!
can't wait to come share mali with you and your craziness.
gros bisous,
sarah

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