Monday, April 21, 2008

Honey, I Shrunk My Pants!

Did my pants shrink when we got home? Did my dryer dry them too tight? Why, oh, why do I look a bit different in my once-perfect fitting Loft jeans now that I'm home?
Oh might have been all the cheese consuming that took place every day for 4 weeks in a row.
Could it have been the two raclette dinners in one week? Maybe it was the 70% fat Boursault that I was warned against, yet bought and ate anyway (think whipped-butter!). La Brique was my next favorite. Then there was the goat cheese wrapped in chestnut leaves and tied with a pretty little ribbon that made me splurge. The fig and walnut Boursin was also quite addicting. Perac, my long time fave, was consumed more times that I can count. And my parents brought back loads of cheese from Greece that we dregged in flour and then fried.
Then there were all the Petits Filous for breakfast, too many flavors that needed tasting. Chocolatines, brioche and homemade jams from my aunt also needed testing.
Then there were the rillettes de canard that became a new favorite food during this trip. Rillettes are basically meat and fat. Normally, I don't like rillettes, but the duck one was too die for.
I did try to counteract all that fat with red wine, naturally. And when we spent a few days in Spain, I could not pass up homemade Sangria, could I?
But I am sure my washer was accidentally set to "Hot" and it shrunk my pants. As well as my belt.

Wine in scrambled eggs? Why not?! We're in France! (Don't worry, we didn't!)

Friday, April 18, 2008

Days 1 and 2---Getting Out of the USA

We were supposed to leave at 8pm. Getting the-heck-outta-Dodge proved harder than just hopping the plane and flying away. Our group was 7 people and our checked luggage was 14. We arrived in the airport huffing and puffing and glad to finally get under way. Much to our dismay, the counter agents were waiting for us, already apologizing profusely before we could even hear what was about to happen. Apparently fog in SFO delayed the flight down there, which meant we would not make the SFO to Munich portion. And guess what? There was not another flight until 24 hours later. Irritated, upset and tired, I explained that we payed EXTRA to have this night flight and minimal layovers. They said they'd do anything, even reroute us. I insisted that we get rerounted through a more reliable airport, PDX. We still couldn't leave until the next day, so I said they should upgrade us to Business Class. She said she'd try.

Long story short, the reroute worked in the way that we didn't have fog to contend with. However, it added a seven hour layover in Frankfurt! Not to mention having to reload our luggage into vehicles, drive to a hotel, check in with our luggage, check out again, with our luggage and drag it into the airport a second time. UGH. We asked if we could atleast get a one day pass for the business lounge. Nothin' doin'. I really think we deserved the Business Upgrade.

So, after a tiring night in a hotel (paid for by United at least), we returned to the airport to get our boarding passes to find that some of us did indeed get upgraded to Business.

However, the rest of us got this end of the plane.

How did that happen? Maybe because my mom was a lot more patient with the counter lady than I was. Or because we were traveling with kids. At any rate, I'm glad my parents got to enjoy the completely horizontal seats with full body massagers and first class cuisine. How do I know how good it was? The wonderful flight attendants on Lufthansa allowed us to switch seats and hang out with the upper crust ;) I love Lufthansa. I hate United (but that will be the last day of this trip).

So, we were arriving 24 hours after we were supposed to, but at least we were getting there. The gite owner was informed and she had a cake, bread, and coffee waiting for us. The gite was more than we expected and the owners were the ultimate nice people. We were about 1 hour outside of Toulouse, among the vibrant yellow fields of canola and bright green wheat grass. If you ever had a vision of the South of France, this was it!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Back in Civilization

We just arrived home at 2am this morning. I can't believe I can turn my laptop on and get an actual internet connection! We did not know, but the gite did not have internet or phone service. We were in the boonies. Not even dial up. Oh yes, France Telecom was phoned and promised to have it up and running in two days...I knew better. They arrived 1 week before we left, hooked up the line, but didn't bring the ADSL stuff, and blamed it on a bad filter. I guess in France, the filter is always to blame, from what everyone told us.

So, hello! It's so strange to be posting, and I don't even know where to begin. We had a great time, with frustrating times, and fun times, and sad times and joyful times. It was a success! And I seriously ate my way through our trip. Thanks to the long, steep staircase in the gite, I burned off the fat as fast as it was shoved into my mouth. :) Speaking of the gite, it was not what I expected. It was SO. MUCH. BETTER. The owners were wonderful, and the gite was beautiful, and the setting was breathtaking.

So, as I have jet lag and am a bit out of it at the moment, why not post some questions you are dying to have answered, and we'll start off that way, shall we?

Oh, first things first, I had several macarons, some were good, some were disgusting. But they are spendy and there are millions of other pastries in France that are 100 times better. As well, I got nauseated each time after eating one, even the minis. But I think my favorite was a big pistachio one from Paul. It was like eating a pistachio flavoried brownie. Yum!

Ok, ask away!!!!