Not much to report

It is Saturday in France.  And it’s the last day of July.  There is change in the air.  August is when everyone leaves wherever they are and goes to wherever they’re going.  Traffic is heavy.  The vegetable place we love is closing for the month.  And this is fairly typical.  What that means for us is unclear….we’ll hope for the best.  Knowing that this is the case, we walked to the boulangerie today.  This is the one that has been closed so we were glad to see it open.  On the way, we met a lady with a dog as big as her…a St. Bernard.  We greeted each other.  Immediately she knew we were foreigners.  Between her broken english and our fractured french we had a great conversation.  She told us her Dr. told her the dog was saving her life because she had to walk the dog religiously.  She has a sister that lives in Camarillo.  Loves all the flowers in CA.  Great conversation!!

But then I had to go and spoil it all at the boulangerie.  After getting the best bread we’ve eaten to date, I said, “ou ouvert en aout?” (where open in august?) The woman stared at me as if I was speaking martian.   Okay, I got a word or two wrong.  Ray came to my rescue and asked if they were open or closed in August.  They are OPEN!!  Made my day.  It’s the little things in France.

Just before we shopped for bread, we stopped into the visitor’s center/tourism office.  Well, the lady behind the desk couldn’t speak a word of english.  So between the two of us, we inquired about the public transportation in Orleans.  We were very unsuccessful.  However, she had nice pink cheeks and was very friendly.  The reason we wanted to know about the public transportation in Orleans is that we wanted to park outside of town and take it in to the centre ville.

Parking is tres dificile (very hard) and we wanted to avoid it.  But alas, we couldn’t break the code so we drove there to shop for some kitchen tongs, an insta-read thermometer and a shirt for Ray.  What we bought was a shirt for Ray, and ice cream cone (chocolate hazelnut for me, lemon sorbet for the skinny guy).  Oh, also a book in english.  It’s amazing but all the book stores have almost exclusively books in francais.  Imagine.  And kitchen shops are rudimentary.

Really, the only problem we had today was getting in and out of the parking garage.  I was driving and the car behind me tooted because I was stopping to get a ticket at a pedestal that didn’t offer tickets.  Then when we left, we couldn’t figure out how to pay to leave.  Suffice it to say, a man in the garage helped us and we escaped with just a, “damn it” and a “why is everything so hard” comment or two.

Made it home.  Barbecued chicken, zucchini, tossed a fruit salad and ate the other half of the bread we bought this a.m.  It is amazing bread.  No butter, no oil.  Just bread.  It’s that good!!

Really, the big disappointment of the day was not being able to reach Uncle Ralph by telephone.  His line was busy all day and all night up until 12:30 a.m. french time when I finally gave up.  It was his birthday and I was desperate to talk with him.  We figured the phone was off the hook.  But now I’m on the hook for not getting through.

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