Friday, December 18, 2009

Letters to My Son, Day 5

Dear Son,

I am very tired this evening. We still woke up pretty late. After we ate breakfast , we drove the back roads to Aix en Provence to meet our host for lunch. The big highways in France are called autoroutes, and you have to pay tolls every 40 km or so. Well, maybe not that much, but some of the toll booths (gare de peage) seem very close to each other. It gets expensive traveling on the autoroutes, which was why we chose to take the swerving, turning, roads that go through small villages. We enjoyed the scenery of mountain cliffs, grape arbors and olive trees, but I didn't like that this way took longer. You know how I don't like to be late.

We got to Aix in plenty of time, but we got turned around in the city because the roads don't go in a straight line. After a few phone calls to our host, we met him and his friend Genevieve (said in French as John ve ev). They showed us the house where his family used to live which is now a fancy restaurant with a beautiful room inside. I would have liked to see more, but we were all hungry.

After lunch, our host walked us around the city to interesting places. A hotel in Aix isn't a place where people rent a room for a night or two; it was a house (although a large one) where a family lived. They showed us lots of hotels and some lovely fountains. There is even a fountain that is all green because of the moss that grows on it.

We passed a shop that sold calissons, a cookie kind of thing that is particular to Aix. They are OK. Half of us like them.

After a while, our host left us to walk around on our own. We took the girls to the Cours Mirabeau, which is a tree-lined street that is very beautiful. At the end of the street were some small carnival rides and a bungee-jumping/trampoline place. Your sisters got to bounce very high. Poor Inwe got her finger stuck in a clip and stopped early since that hurt so badly. She needed a band-aid, too.

There are almost too many places to see and things to do in Aix. We might have to return so that we can see some of the museums. Your dad and I will have to talk about that.

We ended the evening with some french fries, called pommes frites, sodas, and crepes (these are really thin pancakes filled with stuff). Daddy and I got ham in ours. The girls got sugary, sweet ones.

I don't know why I am so tired. It must be that we talked and walked so much today. Our host's friend didn't speak very much English, so we tried our tiny bit of French. That makes my brain work quite a bit.

Tomorrow, we will go to a sea-side town called St. Tropez and stop at other places on the way back. Your sisters probably want there to be another carnival or carousel to be in these towns.

I know you will have a good time with all of the family. Eat some turkey and try a bit of everything. Your sisters ate fish yesterday.

I love you,


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