Welcome to Aix!
Saturday, July 22-Aix-en-Provence
My Saturday begins with a walk through the open-air markets in the beautiful squares of Aix. The scents, sounds, and colors delight me as much today as they did the first time I enjoyed my first provençal market many years ago. I choose a fragrant bouquet of dried lavender, a pretty fan (much needed during the extreme heat blanketing the south of France) and some calissons (Aix's specialty candy made of almond, honey, and melon) for our Music and Markets guest, Helen, who arrives today.
First arrival, in the early afternoon, is Kirk. We're looking forward to a wonderful week of introducing our guest to one of our favorite areas of France.
Helen, who was supposed to arrive in the late morning, doesn't arrive til 8:30 at night, due to powerful storms which delayed her US flights. We're happy meet her, and to see her smiling face - she's been travelling for two days to get here! Unfortunately, her luggage did NOT arrive.
Despite the long days of travel, she's eager to see a bit of Aix after checking into the hotel, so we walk around a bit, then stop at the lively Place des Augustins for crepes and salad. An jazzy combo from the adjacent Tapas place keeps us entertained.
By the Beautiful Sea
Friday, July 21, Aix-en-Provence
Sitting by a delightful fountain, watching the pigeons drop in for a drink, on the Place du Gilly enjoying dinner last night, I thought once again “I could LIVE here!” It’s at the top of our list for a place to spend more time when we’re able to do so.
Today I drove south to Cassis, a charming seaside village where we’ll be on Tuesday. I checked out a couple of places for lunch that day, then rented a chaise and relaxed at the beach for a few hours.
Returning to Aix, I had a long-needed haircut, and was charmed by the bit of exterior sculpture incorporated into the top floor of the salon – an elegant face from a golden stone windowframe – lovely!
We'll complete our tales of Italy soon, but meanwhile, it's France again!
Thursday, 20 July Aix-en-Provence from Anne: I’m safely tucked in a little attic room under the eaves at Hotel des Augustins in Aix. The flights were good – United economy plus, in an exit row, so enough room that I slept even more than usual on the way to Frankfurt. Quite a step down, though, from our recent flights on all-business-class Maxjet. Oh well, I can’t be spoiled ALL the time…
Had a few hours to kill in Frankfurt, so window shopped, read, and wrote. Checked at the Lufthansa counter to make sure my United frequent flyer number was in the system, and it was not, so they took care of that. I don’t want to wait 6 months or more for the miles to be credited, as has happened several times before.
Gorgeous clear day as we landed in Marseilles – white sails dot the deep blue bay as we descend. A perfect day for sailing.
Picked up a Renault from Europcar, and made my way without incident to Aix (about 20 minutes from the airport) I sure don’t like driving in towns, but keep comparing it mentally to Naples, where Kirk drove us around last week – and Aix SHINES in comparison. There are traffic lanes, and people stay in their own lane, stop at red lights, and the number of Vespas whipping in and out between lanes is considerably less.
I have to pull in a pedestrian street to drop luggage at the hotel before parking, and then comes the worst challenge – backing out of the street to Cours Mirabeau, Aix’s main drag, with a constant stream of tourists walking across my path behind – I inch along and finally cover the 20-30 feet to the Cours, and head for the underground parking nearby. The car thermometer registers 35 degrees C - around 100 F. Must be dryer heat than in VA, cause it's bearable as I walk along.
On the way back to the hotel, I stop by a Monoprix (an upscale Target, with food) and pick up some tabouleh and yoghurt for lunch (it’s nearly 4 pm by now)
Yesterday, just hours before I left, Kirk found out that he CAN come for our Music and Markets tour (the reason I’m here), which starts Sat. I am THRILLED. He’ll arrive Saturday, along with our guest.
A Peek at Positano
Tuesday Vietre sur Mare, Italy July 4, 2006
After a big breakfast, Jill, Anne, and I attended the early workshop of the Amalfi Coast Music and Arts Festival in the hotel’s main auditorium. The multi-media presentation was the result of a lifetime pursuit of interviews of great performers by Elyse Mach. She tries to get past the surface answers to the real person. She told some good stories about getting interviews from reluctant artists and about getting them to loosen up and reveal what really makes them tick. I would think a celebrity would be very interested in getting down for posterity who he really is; but I guess so many journalists have drawn caricatures; it’s hard to believe a professional could really capture the real story.
We slipped out early to Salerno to catch the boat to Positano, pointing out to Jill the Amalfi Coast Road, all the ancient Saracen towers guarding the coast, and other points of interest that we’ve seen from land including the garden path at the garden of Cimbrone that ends at a little domed gazebo at the edge of a cliff in Ravello.
From the dock in Positano, we took an immediate left up a cliffside path, past a round Saracen tower that is now air conditioned and available for rent by tourists, up to the restaurant, Lo’ Guaracino.
It’s the name of a fish and we had some very good fish along with very cold white wine and a water bottle that was half frozen.
We strolled all over, found a small bottle of limoncello to dribble over our favorite granita de limone (a very tart lemon slushy with bits of lemon peel in it.) This was too fantastic for words. The trick is to find the young lady selling home made granita from a kiosk shaped like a ship. Find the limoncello anywhere and pour just a little on top of the lemon slushy. Lemon lover’s paradise.
We ducked into the lobby of the hotel La Sireneuse, which we’d seen in movies, and took photos of the bright bougainvillea used below in almost every house for summer shade.
Back in Vietri, the 4th of July Concert featured Music of the Americas with Luiz de Moura Castro. Fabio and Giselle Witkowski, also performed; they were students in Brazil of Luiz and subsequently lost touch only to meet again in Prague, performed together at the Amalfi Coast Music and Arts Festival in 2000 and married in March of 2001. They now head the piano department at the Hotchkisss Prep School in Connecticut.
The Italian staff hosted a 4th of July reception for us on the terrace overlooking the Bay of Salerno with lots of liqueur-filled cakes and some spumanti. The Italian servers were a little hard to find because they kept going in to the adjacent hotel bar to check on the World Cup Soccer score. Near midnight a roar lifted from the bar when Italy scored in overtime.
They hold on to win the match and a place in the finals. Everyone goes to the bar for some whooping and cheering which continues in the streets below our hotel room long into the night with horn blowing and flags waving.
Art and Music in Vietri
Monday Vietri sur Mare, Pompeii, Naples, Italy July 3, 2006
At a lavish breakfast with a lavish view of the Bay of Salerno, we sat with Wolfgang Laufer, cellist for 27 years with the Fine Arts Quartet and his Maryann, his wife. Both are from Romania and live now in Minneapolis. The quartet will be playing in concerts and doing some musical instruction. At the end of breakfast, Wolfgang said he could hear his cello calling him. There are several performers here who cannot afford the luxury of taking a vacation away from their instrument even while away at a seaside leisure resort. The fingers of performers of this level must be kept agile and the memory constantly refreshed. A day lost may be regained with much effort but missing two or three days of practice would be so hard to recover from that it’s just not worth it. This discipline and dedication to performance excellence is awe inspiring, but most of these people are just regular folks who can carry on delightful conversation and enjoy activities unrelated to their instrument as well.
After strolling around little Vietri-sul-Mare, the ceramics capital of southern Italy, we took some time to get better acquainted with some of the places we’ll be going with Jill, our Music and Markets guest, this week, First, we drove to the port in Salerno to see where the tourist boats launch, then to Pompeii to find a good parking spot, then to Naples to find a good place to park near the Metro to the Archeology Museum. In Naples we walked from the Museum, packed with awesome artifacts from Pompeii, back down to the cloister in the Chiesa Santa Chiara and found a lunch spot at Piazza Bellini near an excavation of a Greek wall from 450 B.C.
Jill arrived at the Naples airport and we were there to “collect” her. Unclear signage out of the airport took us up to Capadimonte before we came back around to the Bay of Naples then over the Amalfi Peninsula to the Bay of Salerno. After freshening up a bit we enjoyed another fine dinner at the hotel before a fabulous four hand piano concert by Eugene and Elizabeth Pridinoff.
Amalfi Coast Vistas
Sunday Scala – Minuto –
Campidoglio - Vietri, Italy July 2, 2006
Thick wisteria overhead and umbrellas tilted toward the east provided the shade needed for breakfast on Hotel Giuseppina’s terrace. The owner, a gregarious man in his 60’s welcomed us and told us the stout-trunked wisteria were about 40 years old. Except for the light sneaking horizontally through the umbrellas, it was nearly dark under the deep wisteria cover. The owner picked right off a tree and gave us what he called a mandarino cinese. About a two inch oval, it tasted like a kumquat – we’ve never had a fresh one before.
The lady doing the cleaning told us how to walk the 1 kilometer to Minuta for some beautiful views down to Atrani and Amalfi on the coast, and we set off before the day grew hotter.
We were admiring a ruin of a church on the next hill when an older man came out of the house we were standing near, said Buon Giorno and called his wife out to see us. If he was thinking she’d want to show us the view off their back porch he was right. She invited us in through her living room and out to the back porch for better views and identification of what we were looking at. The ruined church is St. Eustachio, Romanesque and the earliest church in the region, it is the twin to the church in Minuto whose interior we’d come to see.
Her name is Rosa. She lived there as a child, now lives in Naples and comes back to Minuto on some weekends. As a girl, she counted the 1800 steps she used to tread four times making two trips down to Amalfi each day. She gave us her name and address and asked us to mail her the photos we took. She also recommended we drive up to Campidoglio, pointing up hill to a yellow house owned by Danes for an even better view of the valley that ends in Amalfi. We went back to the hotel for the car and drove until the road stopped, parked and walked through Campidoglio to the cliffside path out to the yellow house at Punta d’Aglio.
We got photos of the ruined church and some of Minuto and Rosa’s house from above to send her when we get home.
On the way to Vietri sur Mare, we stopped in Minori for crema di melone from De Riso ice cream and pastry shop.
We happily handed the keys to the car to the porter at Lloyds Baia Lodge in Vietri and settled in to a large room with a balcony high over the Mediterranean. Later in the week, from Salerno and our boat to Capri we could see how our hotel was built like an upside down “L” hanging on the seaside cliff between Vietri and Salerno. Reception is on floor Zero there are two floors with rooms above and three or four floors with conference and dinner rooms clinging to the face of the cliff. At the bottom of the cliff is the hotel’s pool and beach, accessible only by elevator about 20 stories below the check-in floor.
The musicians here from all over the world are enthusiastic and expectant, looking forward to a great week of learning from master teachers and listening to renowned performers in stunning venues.
In Search of Peaceful Corners
Saturday Naples-Ravello-Scala, Italy July 1, 2006
Got directions from the front desk to walk to Santa Chiara church and convent to enjoy the quiet and peace of the cloister. It’s actually about twelve cloisters in one – the largest I’ve seen and everything is glazed ceramic tile surfaced. Bucolic scenes adorn the floors, benches, columns. And there are lots of old palms and other ornamental shrubs. It’s so big; it’s hard to find the center or to determine if it’s symmetrical. An air raid in 1943 destroyed the interior of the church and it has been rebuilt with copies of the original shrines. A museum near the cloister shows some pieces salvaged from the (probably Allied) attack.
Took a city bus to the train station to pick up a rental car and followed directions out of town to Salerno. There was a long bottleneck of cars trying to get into lines to go through the toll booths. The locals are just as aggressive and determined in cars as they are in other queuing situations. The strong and pushy survive and the timid and polite go last. Checked into the little hilltop village of Scala’s Hotel Giuseppina, a partner hotel to the one where we had reservations and even farther along the hillside parallel to the one on which Ravello rests. From the parking to the registration there must have been six or seven terraces each with its own flight of stairs to get to the next. An aptly named town – scalo = stair or ladder.
Just past the middle at the pool level a nice woman told her husband to take one of my suitcases. That really helped. God bless him. And Giuseppina (named for the previous matron) has a pool and a poolside restaurant. We were served at a table beside a giant blue hydrangea and beneath a large canvas parasol. Anne had scamorza – grilled smoked mozzarella with bitter greens, I had a pasta salad with fresh tomatoes, tuna, corn, olives, and a chilly white wine from the cliff side there in Scala.
Walked all over Ravello. The door to the cloister of the convent of San Francesco was open and we enjoyed the double columns and an art exhibit on the four walls of the loggia. A plaque was mounted on the wall of the portico in 1929 commemorating the 700th year after Francis of Assisi’s death in 1229. Continued down the same walk that Greta Garbo and Hillary Clinton (both of whom have stayed in Hotel Cimbrone) had to take past the monastery to get to the gardens of Villa Cimbroni.
We’d seen musicians walking around with their instrument cases and found they were the Janacek Philharmonic Orchestra who would be playing on the stage built out over the thousand foot cliff in the Villa Rufino. We found that we could have dinner and enjoy the concert at the same time if we sat near the corner of the terrace of the restaurant of the Hotel Rufino. So we reserved there and heard almost every note while soaking in the best view on the Amalfi Peninsula and having a very nice meal.
Friday Anacapri-Naples, Italy June 30, 2006
During breakfast on the albergo’s bright terrace, Anacapri begins to awaken with Apes (three-wheel truckettes) and Vespas buzzing into town from the houses and villas to the south. Dressed for walking and swimming off the rocks, we headed northwest on foot to the Blue Grotto about 50 minutes downhill from town. At the grotto, little boats approach the bigger boats hired at the Marina Grande for a ride TO the Blue Grotto, taking groups of two to four INTO the grotto for an additional fee. The sailor in the little boat tells the passengers to lie down on their backs and hold on to their hats. Between swells, he pulls the chain along the side of the cave opening and the boat sneaks into the two to three foot opening into the cave. Inside, I don’t know what happens but I suspect there are lots of ooohs and aahs as tourists eyes adjust from the direct sunlight outside to the sunlight as it is reflected and refracted off the ocean’s blue bottom and into the cave. The glow is supposed to be worth the 11 euro ride to the cave, the waiting and jockeying for position with about 10 other little boats, the risk of losing your hat and smashing your face against the opening’s ceiling - and the additional 11 euro - plus tip if your oarsman sings for you – ride INTO the cave. Maybe it is, but we’ve seen the photos on postcards and that will have to do for this trip.
Instead, we continued hiking west toward a little snack shop and beach combination named Giovani and Gradola. Giovanni, over 70 years old, runs this concession during the summer and does trompe l’oeil painting the rest of the year. Here there are flat rocks, a couple of rocks for jumping into the sea and a couple of ladders for climbing out. That’s the free area. Giovani provides a concrete terrace with comfortable chaises for a fee. When we left he was eating a cold peeled orange and offered us both a slice. When he saw how much we liked it, he gave us the uneaten half that remained and we continued enjoying it all the way back to the blue grotto bus stop.
It’s always a good idea to walk downhill and bus uphill. We stood up in the back where the air conditioning was blasting and got directions from an Anacaprician to Il Solitario for lunch. We turned down a shaded archway at the sign on the main street and kept walking, wondering when we’d be greeted by the wait staff. The couple ahead of us asked the first waitress we saw if they were open, she said they were and led us through the kitchen to the back of the house where ancient ivy covered a steel structure providing shade for about 20 tables. The food was delightful. I ordered pezzogna by the kilogram. The red snapper-like came to the table in its entirety and the waitress de-boned it for me.
We tried our first delizia di limone a little dome of white cake covered with tart lemon mousse with a hot lemon sauce dribbled over it. I see more of this in my future. We chatted with the couple at the next table -Keith Stewart and his wife, who are New Zealand representatives for Hunter Lab in Reston. They’re here for the day and stumbled on Il Solitario from the back steps.
We found the church of San Michele whose entire floor is the story of the Garden of Eden in glazed ceramics. We circumnavigated the whole floor on the raised wooden walkway, then ascended the ornate iron spiral staircase to the organ balcony to see it all in one gaze from above. There are angels and animals including the serpent and a cinghiale (wicked-looking wild boar) and of course Adam and Eve being expelled. Nearby is the Casa Rossa, a sprawling Venetian looking oddity built in the late 1800s by a former Confederate Colonel from New Orleans. It’s Pompeian red with fragments of Egyptian and Roman relics in niches inside and out.
We enjoyed the ferry ride back to Naples, riding on the topside and getting a feel of the bay including good view of Sorrento perched on a long cliff.
In Naples, found a pizza restaurant that was showing the Italy/Ukraine World Cup game and enjoyed the immense fun of watching Italy win a spot in the finals against the winner of the upcoming France/ Portugal game. Of course the streets were packed with motorcycles and cars with huge red white and green flags billowing out their windows and sunroofs and with horns blaring way into the night.
Thursday Rome-Naples-Capri-Anacapri, Italy June 29, 2006
Got tickets for the 7:30 train to Naples at the Rome Termini station and ordered the breakfast special at the station. The lady took our money for the croissant, coffee, and juice and gave us the croissant. She said we get the coffee down the bar from the barista. He’s surly at this hour of the morning so reluctantly makes coffee for whoever is the pushiest. I think he enjoys seeing the discomfort this causes to the civilized among the hoard, but I finally get my coffees, give up on the juice and before drinking the coffee, dash off to the train telling my brain, there’ll be better coffee with no games in Naples but not if we miss the train.
After a very entertaining taxi trip from the Naples train station (cars parked at least two deep against both curbs, lanes blocked, people and motor scooters everywhere. The driver pointed out the funiculars and was proud to say the song “Funiculi, Funicula” was inspired by this very city) to the hotel near the port, we drop off one suitcase, get that promised coffee and board the boat to Capri along with half the population of China.
When we arrive at Capri’s Marina Grande, I have to fight off people telling me they’ve been waiting 15 minutes for a taxi (as have we) but did so effectively if uncomfortably and we rode in Capri style up up up and over a rocky escarpment to AnaCapri in a Capri-only topless cab with a canvas shade. The driver acted like he had the most important people in the world going to the most important meeting in the world - blowing his horn, passing on cliff-side curves. At one traffic jam, he asked another tax driver who was heading the other way where our hotel was. The other driver said “Caprile” and our driver then knew exactly where it was.
Albergo Senaria’s a very typical modern Mediterranean style hotel that recommended La Rondinella for lunch. Quite nice on the shady, flowery, front porch of an old Anacapri house. After a long nap, we bussed over to Capri town and walked all over – through the piazzetta to Giardino Augustus, for views of the Faraglioni, the three thrusting-up shoreside rocks that characterize the south side of the island.
Dinner at La Pergola while we watched the lights on a 5-masted sailing ship go on as it got darker. I had my first fried zucchini flowers and prosciutto e melone of the trip and we enjoyed some Anacapri wine.
Wednesday Barcelona, Spain – Rome, Italy June 28, 2006
After a four star breakfast, we headed out on foot for the Sagrada Familia cathedral designed by Gaudi and under construction for several decades. There is still a lot of re-bar being placed and concrete being poured. We walked around the entire block to see it from all sides, then took the Metro up to Park Guell for some more fantastical concrete constructions.
Good views of Barcelona from the big plaza ringed in tiled benches. Walked down Las Ramblas to the Gothic Quarter.
Checked in early at Girona Airport after an hour bus ride and walked to the nearby airport hotel to use their WI-FI. Beats a hot internet café and it was free if you order a café solo in the restaurant. When we arrived at Rome Ciampino Airport, the Terravision/Ryan Air bus waited at the airport for the last flight of the day which never came so they took off for Rome train station at about midnight. Nothing looked familiar and they told us it was the back of the train station. Well, the station occupies several city blocks and to get to our hotel, we had to get to the front. More than 30 minutes and about 20 sleeping homeless people later we arrived at the front with our two heavy drag along bags. We had incorrect directions from the bus driver and walked too far past the hotel, doubled back and found it at about 2 AM.
Friday Santa Maria del Giudice, (near Lucca) Italy July 14, 2006
I never was happy about a summer birthday. All school year long kids would bring 30 little cupcakes iced with chocolate and we’d suspend our serious study for a little happy birthday-ing and the lucky birthday kid was the center of everyone’s attention for those few bright moments. Then in the middle of the middle month of summer, my birthday would come around unannounced to all my school chums. But with a more mature perspective, I very much enjoy having a summer birthday – especially one that’s so easy to remember for my friends living in France
– Bastille Day, 14 juillet, reminds them of me!
This one started with a heartfelt birthday song from the one who sleeps beside me. I’m sure both hearts felt it but mine more than hers. Along with a French card came a Magnetic Garden
– a sheet of magnetic flowers, vegetables, tools, and other accessories important to any gardener - ready to be stuck on the metal surface of my choice.
We could have stayed by the pool and done nothing but like every other day we were off to see, find, discover, and devour new things, places and beauty. Destination: the historic Garzoni Gardens in Collodi. This garden has been in its present form since 1652, having been designed by the Marquis Romano di Alessandro Garzoni. Also, it’s not one of those gardens with curving paths leading the visitor to peek around the bend to discover new vistas, this garden is totally visible at the first glance, sloping upward, showing all of itself all at once. We made it to the top of the highest fountain where a statue of a lady trumpeter was blowing on a shell and water was spurting out about 30 feet into a pond which fed subsequent ponds all the way down to the lowest level. There was a labyrinth where lovers were known to find each other and cling to one another for life, but it was chained shut.
Hungry, we started looking for the crossed fork and spoon sign signifying a possible good spot to eat. This time we struck gold, following the signs to Il Girasole, up in the hills near Lucca
, in the side yard of a family home under some umbrellas. A delightful young lady took our order, brought us brochures about the area, and delivered some awesome wine and simple cuisine typical of the region.
After vegetating by the pool, we sat in the beautiful loggia at the Villa hotel and answered long overdue emails and some from today’s happy birthday wishers – best of all those from Sunshine and Josh.
At dinner, there was a Happy Birthday Kirk sign printed on white paper on our table at the Hotel Villa Rinascimento. It now has a smudge of risotto alla marinara, a smattering of panna cotta con frutti di bosco, a spot of Vino Nobile de Montepulciano, a drip or two of local olive oil from these hills of Lucca
and a dribble of double espresso.
I’ve celebrated my birthday in some pretty fabulous destinations over the years – only because it falls in the height of tourist season. If I was born during the school year, I’d probably be celebrating at home. It should be obvious which I prefer.
Labels: Collodi, Lucca, Villa Garzoni, Villa Rinascimento
Tuesday Vias and Beziers, France- Barcelona, Spain June 27, 2006
Slept too late, and while making breakfast got sidetracked doing last day stuff to the house and remembered at about 11 AM that I haven’t had any coffee or breakfast yet. No wonder I’m so grumpy!
Anne and I did lots of cleaning, washing clothes and sheets, packing, and getting the day’s bird droppings of the courtyard floor. I remembered that last night Alain said to take a twig of the olive tree to a garden shop. I had flicked off several centimeter-diameter black cushions off the lower branches when we first got here on Thursday. But now there seem to be even more; and I don’t want to risk the life of the olive tree.
On my way to the garden shop in near the Hyper U in Agde, I saw Alain riding his bike to lunch at Mamie and Annie’s house. I beeped and waved and he waved back. He didn’t recognize my car since it was a rental and he hadn’t seen us in it before. But it is warming to know there are folks in the village that we can wave to. He was right; the lady at the garden shop recognized it right away as the little cocoons of the cochenille. She said they are very common on olive trees and prescribed a bottle that required 5 milliliters per liter in a spray bottle. I came home with a liter of the poison, enough to kill every cochenille in Vias. I had enough to spray every living thing in the courtyard. That should get rid of any critters that think of penetrating the area.
We left Vias pretty close to when we wanted to but it took us longer to get to the Beziers train station than we thought it would. A rookie traveler mistake. So we drove the rental car on to a pretty high curb in front of the Europcar shop. Anne ran in, tossed them the key, pointed to the car and told them when our train departs. They said go, go, go. We got on but had to pay again for the trip to Barcelona and hope to someday get a refund.
In Barcelona, the hotel in which we booked was full so they booked us in their 4 star partner hotel about 10 blocks away. Nice, and right across the street from a curvy Gaudi designed apartment building converted into a Gaudi museum.
Then we walked around and got some order by number and picture tapas from what appeared to be chain of restaurants called Tapas Tapas. None were actually as good as they looked in the photos, but the experience was mostly fun. We asked our waiter how Spain did in the World Cup tonight against France and we could tell by his face before he said a word that France was heading for the semi-finals against the winner of Friday night’s Italy versus the Ukraine match.
Hanging Out in Vias
Monday Vias, France June 26, 2006
Went to the library early to use the internet and asked the librarian for information about the Révolte Vigneron of 1907. She took me to a book titled 700 Years of Occitane Revolts by Gerard de Sede published in 1982 that had a chapter about the 1907 revolt near the end. Then she disappeared upstairs with a comment about seeing if she could find something else. About five minutes later while I was reading the 700 Years book, a young man came in the library and said to me that his colleague was making photocopies for me upstairs. I followed him to the researchers’ room where she was copying a September 1997 edition of a locally produced Vias Terres Du Sud. This was a special edition of the historical periodical about viticulture in the area with a section on the vignerons revolt. I’m gathering information in hopes of completing an article about the revolt before interest in the 100 year anniversary of it wanes.
While Anne was working on the internet at HexaConnect, I oiled the terra cotta tiles on the guest room balcony. Before they closed for lunch at 12:30, we made a dash to the Garden Shop for a small pot of bougainvillea with long vines that we could attach to the existing dead trunk in the courtyard. We’d like to use the old one as a support trellis for a new one. We found just the thing and planted it in its pot beside the old one.
Then off to the beach again for one last chance for that bronze look. We’re both so pale having been inside all winter and spring – but it’s a fun and relaxing way to have a picnic and long walk.
Mamie got dressed for the first time in a while – probably since she came home from the old folks’ home and Alain escorted her and Annie across the street for pizza in our courtyard. They protested so adamantly when we brought out the cloth napkins for dinner that we had to take them away. “Save those for when you have guests,” they said. So the paper napkins we used for hors d’oeuvres did fine for the pizza as well. We had a great time then we escorted the ladies back home. They don’t get out much and all three prefer a cozy dinner in a home to a meal in a restaurant.
Before melting into the bed, I oiled the tiles on the master bedroom balcony. This way when we get to the main courtyard, it won’t be such a big job.