Friday, November 2, 2007

C´est la vie - Marseilles, France

(The moonlit beach at La Ciotat)

The days in Belgium starting getting colder so Anne and I decided to head somewhere warmer. We looked at the airport for last minute flights but didn´t have any luck. We checked the train station and the gentleman said there was an availability for Marseille, France. I only needed to know one thing, "Is it warm there?"

The next day, we took the train and headed to the south of France, which is incredibly beautiful by the way. Marseilles was a bigger city so we ended up setting up camp nearby in La Ciotat. We camped under an olive tree, soaked up the sun and enjoyed the beautiful weather on the Mediterranean beaches. It was just what we needed. We hung out at the beach, rented bikes and rode around town, and just relaxed. Also, you´d be surprised at the meals Anne can cook up with just a gas camp stove.

On one of the last days we were there, Anne took me out for my birthday to a nice French restaurant. We got all dressed up and made ourselves pretty. (At least Anne did, there´s no help for me.) Before this place, I didn´t understand cuisine, much less French cuisine, and what all the excitement was about. Let me tell you, its an incredible experience: the atmosphere, music, lighting, wine... I couldn´t even tell you, much less pronounce what I ordered but it was great! It wasn´t necessarily one thing that tasted great, the portions certainly weren´t big, nor overly salty or sweet. But it was all put together and orchestrated just right. It´s a must try.

(In France, swimming pools are boxers only)

One very funny story to leave you with (at least I thought it was funny.) At the campsite I'm staying, there is a swimming pool. I went to take a quick dip and right before I got in the water, the lifeguard instructed me that I couldn't wear my shorts. I showed him the fabric and the lining ensuring him that they were indeed swimming trunks but it wasn't acceptable. He said I needed boxers or briefs. He pointed to the pool and sure enough, there were only boxers or briefs (all of the very tight configuration). I couldn't believe what I heard. But then I thought, "When in Rome,...", France in my case. I changed into my tightest boxers and jumped right in. And I've posted the picture to prove it. The world is a great and interesting place.

Also, for some unknown reason, France doesn't believe in peanut butter. I can't find it in any grocery store anywhere. You can buy ground up duck, fish or pork but not peanuts.

C`est la vie!


Kelly said...

Im putting two together...Im guessing that Anne is your lady. She is Beautiful and looks like you have found your Bride! COrrect me if Im wrong.... You two make a beautiful couple either way!

Andy said...

The beach picture is incredible--and so is the swimming pool picture. If only I were there with you--at the swimming pool, not the beach.