Beauty & Home

My last few days in France were very beautiful! The weather was excellent (just enough of a nip to make walking comfortable), the wine was plentiful and the company was a lot of fun. And then there’s the scenery…

We went into Montpellier on Friday after a sumptous lunch of oysters, mussels & shrimp at the coast. Amazing. Here are the oyster beds with a sailboat (full of shells?) I’d never seen oyster beds before this trip – what a cool thing to see!

We shopped a bit, individually, in Montpellier, then we regrouped for some knitting and coffee (or beer…) before heading off to dinner.

I’d been feeling like an evening walk, so while the others went to the restaurant, I strolled around Montpellier a bit, soaking in the elegant architecture and amazing sunset.

I don’t know if it was just me, or the knowledge that it was my final evening in Southern France after two very full weeks, but the sky seemed much more beautiful than it had before.

I walked for quite a bit – seeing wonderful sights like the Domino Pizza guy on a scooter.

Even though I knew I’d be joining the group at the restaurant for dessert (wouldn’t want to miss the trio of Crême Brulée!) I was drawn to a Lebanese restaurant for an almond pastry. And, yes, it was delicious. Eh, what the hell – my last night, right?

Dinner at the restaurant finished VERY late, though – and I kept thinking about my LONG flight the next day and the long tram ride / drive back to La Vingeron.

But, of course, I had packing to do – and goodbyes to say – and stayed up waaay too late. I figured I’d sleep on the plane (not.) Phil and I left at 7:15 am, the timing was very good, and just about everything involved in the flight went as well as could be hoped for!

The change at Gatwick was hell – please AVOID this airport if at all possible! – but I knew from experience that this was how it was destined to be. I literally RAN from one plane to the shuttle bus, then RAN from the shuttle bus to the check in desk only to be told – snottily – “Well, we’re running rather late, aren’t we…” Stuck up wench.

I told her I didn’t know about late, but I was certainly running.

Damn that almond pastry.

It was exciting to fly over Greenland during the day, many folks on the plane were drawn to the windows (I figured they were homesick Minnesotans) but I had an eagle-eye view.

But nothing was more beautiful than flying in over St. Paul – here’s the view of Minneapolis from just above the Ford plant.

And who was waiting as I scooted off the plane in record time and through customs without a hitch? My darling kiddies and my friend, Nancy. THANK YOU, NANCY! She went above and beyond the call of duty, and I cannot thank her enough. Luckily I got her a lovely antique chemise at the Patchwork Museum, so that was a very small way to show her how grateful I am to her!

Today I drove down to Rochester with the kids to see Gerry – I’m still jetlagged, so the 4 hours of driving was mostly on auto-pilot!

Gerry surprised me with a Tom Tom GPS system (a refurb – he KNOWS that the best gift he can give me is a bargain!) for my birthday / our anniversary – yay! And for the first time in almost 3 weeks the whole family was together. I even brought down Atticus for the visit. More about Gerry and his recovery tomorrow, but if all goes well he may be home by the end of this week or next week!

Right now I’m just giddy to be HOME. And tired. And I have SO much to do. One bit at a time, right?

There is no more beautiful word in any language than HOME.

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