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Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

Although I traveled for more than 30 hours with only three hours sleep, my trip went fairly well. I took advantage of lounges in the airports and had a quiet place to have appetizers (and a cocktail) at night and breakfast (and good coffee) in the morning. IMG_2367I watched a movie, The Meddler, where I laughed and cried. Perhaps sleep deprivation played a part.

On the seven seater flight home to the Adirondacks the boy pilot said he expected a smooth ride except for some “messy” weather over the mountains. The altimeter said we were at 8,000 feet so I knew we wouldn’t graze the High Peaks, at 4,000 feet.  When I saw him tighten his seat belt mid-flight, I thought it might be a good idea to do the same. I did and sure enough it was a bit bumpy.

We landed beautifully and then I was concerned my car, which had been parked for two months, wouldn’t start. I needn’t have worried about that though because as I walked to the car, I saw the rear tire was flat. NOOOO!!! I’m too tired for this. But I had visions of an ice cream cone from Donnelly’s and powered through. The flavor of the day was raspberry peach swirl and it perked me up for the drive home.

Yesterday was lazy.

This morning I drove Tim two hours back to a different airport, then drove back home, after a roadside nap, and headed to the seasonal farmer’s market. I stocked up on hand dyed yarn, fresh veggies, local meat, and eggs. My last stop was my favorite bread baker’s booth. I had just collected my large bag of bread and switched the bag on to my left arm to pay. A large gust of wind came up and I thought the bag had exploded because there was a loud noise and commotion on my left arm. One of the tent supports, with a long nail at the end, pulled free in the wind and landed on my bag of bread, NOT ME!, and tore it apart.  I feel my luck may have changed for the better.IMG_2371

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We had a last visit from old man winter, with a wet heavy snowfall. Tim, is my intrepid snowman. I didn’t even have to manhandle the snow blower for this one.

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Instead I headed south to an acupuncture conference in Pittsburg, which is a much nicer city than I expected.  IMG_0754Food was great, but keep in mind I live in a town with only one restaurant. My hotel room overlooked the convergence of three rivers and there were lovely walks along their shores, even if the weather was a bit dreary.

Trees were flowering and daffodils were in full bloom.

I had to travel to Long Island for a sad gathering and we stayed in a motel where they had an unimaginative decorating scheme.  The room had two of the same pictures, but one was hung upside down for variety. Hmmm.

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I returned home to confused weather.  The temperature rose to 60 degrees but ice floes and snow piles remain for a little bit longer but

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there is hanky panky in the air.  Different birds show up every day, bluebirds have been sighted, peepers are peeping, phoebes are phoebeeing, and our local Toms are strutting their stuff. Love is in the air.

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It’s suddenly summer. We went from cool days with fog in the hollers

   
 To this

  
Lucky for me that the weather turned nice because I spent a few days in Pennsylvania camping, while I attended weaving classes with Sara Bixley and Tom Knisely at Red Stone Glen Fiber Arts Center. It was awesome. I learned so much in an Inkle Weaving and Chain Warping Class and really felt part of a weaving family. 

Here are the two inkle bands I sampled. I designed the purple one from scratch.  The pink one includes a twig from my campsite.

   

 After full days of weaving, I returned to my campsite, where I swam and walked in 90 degree temperature. I could get used to car camping. I thought I packed to excess until my neighbors arrived with tablecloths, tarps and various coolers. Where would you rather be?

Campsite 120

  
Or campsite 119?  I had espresso, popcorn and thought I was living large. 

   
 
I shipped this while I was there for a very special girl’s birthday. 

  
Now all my free time will be spent sailing and sewing a canvas “dodger” for our boat. 

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Click your heels three times

and say I want to go home. I got to say this line when I played the part Glenda, the good witch, during an elementary school play. I was revelling in my stardom just a little while ago. 

And now we’re home. A little more complicated than clicking our heels. Our return flight included some security issue in Paris and all the passengers had to deplane with their belongings so the could search the plane. The last time this happened to me was 9/4/2001. Boy how times have changed since then. 

My idea of souveniers has changed too. I have little piles of rocks, shells and feathers from around the world. Here are my newest additions.

  
The snail shells were from the scariest part of the hike at Navacelles, the smooth round rock was from near the abbey in Sommiers and the gray rock was from St. Guilhelm le desert.  Soon they will just be part of the pile. 

Then there are my jars. We had homemade quince jam in this adorable little mason jar and spicy mustard in the elegant shaped jar. I knew they were coming home with me when I saw them. They will be a great reminder. 

  
The cats liked their market baske, which will remind me of our daily shopping adventures for baguettes, pastries, irridescent strawberries and wine. 

  
I know that souvenier means to remember because our Canadian neighbors’ licence plates say, “Je me souviens”, I remember.

And today I went to work next to a much newer, albiet pretty, church on a lake. 

  
I will remember and cherish our trip to Languedoc but it’s good to be home. 

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Slip (ups)?

The rain abated and we headed out for another walk on a mountain that overlooks a manmade lake. Our first mistake was not bringing lunch and the town, Liausson, had no restaurant or market. Off we went to Octon to a creperie for a bowl of cider (lap it up) and crepes. Then back we came and headed into the hills. 

   
   
All was well for so much of the hike.  When we teached the top, we could see another lilliputian town on the other side of the mountain, the Pyrenees and the Mediterranean. Why, we could even see Spain from our backyard. 

   
 
Look at that smile. So happy. 

  
Until…we reached a shaded, canted, steep, slippery section on our descent. Let’s just say I didn’t like it one bit. In fact I had a “little” panic attack and Tim had to talk me off the cliff, so to speak, with me gripping his arm as I slipslided away. 

But descend we did with only a little butt sliding on my part. 

I shouldn’t have complained about toilets lacking seats since we encountered this one. 

  
In full disclosure we also found one with a padded seat. Not too bad when there’s no central heat. 

Then we were invited to a friend of our proprietors’ to settle up our bill, after 7. So we ate a hearty soup I made with fresh veggies from the market and headed out. Only to find  appetizers, local wine and a seafood stew bubbling in the pressure cooker. Oops. Who knew?

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Lots of clouds, drizzle or rain. Yesterday we headed to Montpelier and swam in their beautiful, somewhat crowded, 50 m pool. 

They have these nifty little hanger baskets for shoes, which must come off before entering the locker room, and outerwear.

  
Then we walked around the city. As did lots of others with colorful umbrellas. Our drive home on freeways was a little unnerving because we (I the navigator) headed off in the wrong direction more than once.

  
The cathedral is gianormous. 

 

  
Today was still drizzly and we took another city excursion to Sommiers, with a bridge from Roman times still in use. And black swans just like Tasmania. 

   
   
We found a nice walk up into the hills which allowed us to work off our crepes. 

We heard of a poppy field just outside Aniane and Tim found it on our way home. 

   
 
It reminded me of the beautiful tulips we saw in Amsterdam during our six hour layover and visit with old friends. I was too jetlagged to remember my camera though. 

Oh yes!  Why don’t french public toilets have seats?! 

  

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Tim has been focusing on the flowers that seem to grow on air from the old walls, bromiliads?

   
   
I’m impressed with the variety of graffiti. 

   
    
 

Then I hit a communication wall. I needed a haircut. I went to the salon with Tim and his friend, Patrick, who is fluent in french. I had to wait until Friday so they made it clear it needed to be long enough for a ponytail. 

 I even had this phrase on my phone, “J’aimerais bien garder les longueurs afin de pouvoir les mettre dans le queue de cheval si vous plait.”  You can translate it but it politely asks to keep it long enough for a pony tail. Day of the haircut I felt like an animal at the vet. Until an english song came on the radio, “I’m too drunk to f••k”. Good thing she and her customers didn’t speak english! Here’s the song.

   
 

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