Beach bum at heart

Bon soir a tous!

Again, I’m exhausted. I will try to make this detailed enough for the past two days.

Before driving to st Maxime, we visited a place called something I don’t remember- pont de gare, maybe. This was an ancient Roman aqueduct. It was super cool. It was from the time of Jesus. And it is still standing!!! The most remarkable thing- this bridge, which carried water across a river and is extremely long, has a minuscule slope. One side is only 3 cm lower than the other! Also, the landscaping transported my brain to biblical times. Olive trees dotted the landscapes. Apparently standing under one is good luck.

We then drove to st Maxime. The area we transversed was called “the garden of France” because many fruits and vegetables are grown there. The climate is hot and perfect for growing food! I saw all sorts of plants, including apricots, cherries, apples, grapes, wheat and cabbage. I also saw some corn- it was growing in all the ditches like weeds! Made me think of home.

I also saw tons of spindly trees. It looked like Italy, or how I imagine it to look. It was strange to see road signs to places such as Barcelona! The French major roads are much better maintained than ones in the us. However, they were mostly toll roads. Also, I had an interesting discussion. Turns out the french give approx 45 percent of their income to the government. that astounded me.

We then arrived in st Maxime. It is located on a gulf of the Mediterranean sea, directly across from the famous St Tropez. The water was chilly, but the air was hot- 29 celcius! I have no clue what that means in American! Our hotel is right in the middle of town. You can see the sea from my room!

We went to the beach. Oh, the beach!! I love the beach. Any type. This was my first time in the Mediterranean. The water is deep blue. The waves are small and calm. The sand is slightly irritating to the feet. It is perfect.

From the beach we went to, you could see St Tropez directly across the bay. However, there is an odd illusion of fogginess. While there is no fog, distant things appear hazy- more hazy than they would in Nebraska. It seems as if everything has a layer of tissue paper placed over it, like a paper mâché of sorts. Beautiful. Just beautiful. I am not sure the last time I actually swam in the ocean. Perhaps when I went to Hawaii? That was 6 years ago. I love swimming in salt water. It is effortless. It makes your skin sort. It makes my hair semi-curly! I want to live near a beach.

I would like to mention that this was a French beach. That means swimsuit tops are not required. Now before you go getting all excited, drooling over your imaginations, just hold on. Let me tell you that it is not a pretty sight. The people who generally go topless are over 50 or have had multiple children. Not good. Not good at all.

I snoozed. I tried to tan. We then ate dinner at a wonderfully quaint restaurant called the blue house. I had homemade noodles with carbonara sauce. They were delicious EXCEPT for an uncooked egg yolk on top. I told everyone that I was a big girl and that I could eat it, but warned them that I would be saying “gross” in my head.

Thats enough for tonight. I will write ably today tomorrow. We had to change rooms. I am sleeping on a bunk bed in a room with no ac. I will just pretend I’m at the beach!!!

Popes, or “My Catholic Friends Should Read This”

Hey. I’m tired. But I’m going to blog anyways. I have to keep my seven faithful readers happy.

Today was a splendid day in Avingnon. If you saw my earlier post, you know that my white dress was soiled by breakfast. And what a breakfast it was!!!

Today was a scorcher. Yep, a scorcher. I love it. **£HISTORY LESSON** the papacy is the head of the catholic church. The papacy has always been in Rome, EXCEPT for a hundred or so years in the 14th century. There were seven legitimate popes who resided in Avignon, in the south of France. (clement V – Gregory XI), as well as two anti-popes. There was a schism, but you can google that.

Anyways, today we went and visited many pope related things. We first went to a church near the popes home. An organ was playing- it was beautiful. My granny would have loved it. They had many pope dresses (vestiments I think they are called) and my personal favorite- relics. I think that they are super creepy yet super awesome. Who wouldn’t want to preserve a knuckle in a jar of silver? Not sarcastic- I think it is cool.

Then we voyaged on to the palais des popes. THE POPES LIVED HERE. it was super cool. I was kind of geeking out. We had fantastic audio guides, and I learned a lot. It was truly fascinating. Coolest parts- too many to name. We went into the secret treasury the poor had. Only three people could access it, and the walls were extremely thick- 3 or 4 meters. They also had holes in the ground to hide treasures. There was a kitchen that was formed as a giant chimney. And the painted walls- beautiful! It was used as a barracks in the 1800s, and much of the frescoes were white washed. What a shame.

Then we voyaged to the tiny town of Fontaine de Vaucluse. It was beautiful. Reminded me of Missouri. There is a deep underground lake that feeds a river. I did some spelunking (in a dress) It was awesome. The water was freezing. It was also perfectly clear. I want to bring my family back there some day. They would love it.

Also, I have discovered I love water that sparkles. Perrier, San Pelligrino, Badiot- doesn’t matter, I love it all.

We went swimming this evening in the hotel pool. Literally so classy. Score best western. We ate dinner at the hotel- I had lamb and creme brûlée. Needless to say, it was delicious.

I AM SO EXCITED FOR TOMORROW. because……………

WE ARE GOING TO SAINT MAXIME!!!!

MAXIME is a town ON THE OCEAN. if you know me at all, you know I’m out of my head with excitement. I am sooooo ready to get my tan on!!

Also I love stained glass windows.

Love and bisous,

20120621-230121.jpg

20120621-230140.jpg

20120621-230155.jpg

20120621-230224.jpg

20120621-230242.jpg

20120621-230305.jpg

20120621-230312.jpg

20120621-230327.jpg

20120621-230339.jpg

20120621-230346.jpg