18 July 2021

Art House Visitors - and the Tour de France

 So - here we are - in a HOUSE. 
In the south of France.




A bit - unexpected. 
But - cool.


And - in spite of covid, we've even been able to have family visit. 
Visitors!
It's been a long time.




First, son Erik and his wife Ray arrived from Thailand. 

It wasn't all that easy, between visas and documentation, covid tests and cancelled flights.
Obstacles all the way. Stressful.

But the day they arrived, France opened up a bit more - restaurants and cafes, venues. 

Even the curfew was lifted a week later. 

That meant:
oysters-!


Our best food photos are always taken by Ray

Mussels!




Lunch on the Mediterranean.




Then, Mikey and Noah came from Berlin. 

(Iris stayed in Berlin. She had to work. But she didn't sound too sorry to have the entire place to herself for a while...a good birthday present, she called it.)




The pool - as yet unfinished -  got LOTS of use.




It definitely looked a bit like old times.







With multiple trips to the grocery stores.





SO GOOD to get together again after so long! 

The last time we were together was in Morocco. 
Christmas - a year and a half ago.




Noah lives in Berlin. 
He's a city boy. 

(He was excited about coming. Counting the "number of sleeps" before the trip.)



So - obviously, we had to build sandcastles. 
Jump waves. Chase the tide.

He even learned how to swim! (kinda) 




Caught REAL fish-!

Even wore shoes - WITHOUT socks. 
In the river.


The River Cesse in Bize. The fish are VERY small. But - we caught some!


Stan kept everything going with great meals. 









Caught wild plums from our plum trees. 
Collected and ate loquats. 


Intrepid explorers, in search of the wild plum...


Went to Maggie May, where Noah got to take the helm.




We don't really have a guest room, but an air mattress on the floor seemed to work out ok.




And the neighborhood cat who has adopted us? 
She LOVED all the activity.

(And Noah loved getting to know a cat who doesn't mind kids!)




She was pretty sad when they left. 
She even slept out in the road where they had parked.

Waiting.


We were sad to see them go, too. 

However - several days later - the Tour de France passed right near our village! 





I went out with 4 fun female friends and we made a day of it. 

We had reserved a spot at a super little restaurant in Aigues-Vives. 
Right on the route. With shade. Everyone was all excited about the Big Day. There was a lot of laughter and plenty of good food. 

Photos: Lynne Garell, Laura Weston, Kate Dunn - and a kindly random diner..


We had to get there HOURS before the race, since the roads were all closed. 

A friend of ours, Lynne Garell, did this blog post on the events of the day. 
It's worth reading - she has great pictures - and does a fine job of describing it. 

(Most of my photos came out like this - with people's hands and arms in them. 
It all happens so quickly! )


I think this was about the best photo I took of the race!


And there you have it.

Summer - in the south of France.

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