Saturday, December 13, 2014

Ahh the Vin Chaud

Well, apparently, it is an acquired taste.  Vin Chaud is a taste of hot red wine with a splash of cognac, usually a drink for winter occasions, such as Navidad.  When last in France, I toured several plazas, most often near the Hotel de Ville is the Navidad display of shoppes.  There are food vendors as well as sellers of wares, such as scarves and toys.  On this night, Patrick and I elected to go to the tourist dinner spot.  The dinner was so so, but the market was fun and the night was cool and we had a good walk.

Back to the Avignon tour.

Notre Dame Avignon

From Ile De LA Barthelassee

Dusk is upon us on the Rhone

The day is over, yet there is so much untold.  Family discussions, tour directions, street debates, sights too detailed to describe.

And yet, there is nothing normal about an American family touring the lovely sights of Avignon.  Squabbling or not, most Americans never see the centuries old buildings or the Rhone.  They do  appreciate the hot water limitation or carrying your trash out every day.  They do know the limitations of the city roads.And they do know how much a taxi is over a metro ticket.

It is the same here.  Though we haven't talked to any farmers, I am sure you would hear the price of gas or replacement parts.  The city folks are smoking on the doorsteps and waiting for the metro to get where they live far away from the city center.

But here, there are no tips.  People have healthcare.  They have a living wage.  Not an impressive one, just one to have a roof and food. We have seen several homeless and we have seen beggars.  We have also seen the scams and that is another issue to address. Bur for the most part, the streets are clean (except for the dog stuff which is an issue all its own).  People feel safe around the streets, I know I did.

And the trip is what it is supposed to be: a vacation of the brain from the metronome of everyday life.  Patrick said to me, " Mom, it is nice to see you in a different space and relaxed,"   and he said I was not so paced and wound up.

The funny part is that he told me what he does not like about Europe is how laid back it is.... hmm seems like there is a contradiction somewhere.