Today we all got up around 8:00 AM again feeling recharged and refreshed. And the two cups of French coffee didn’t hurt one bit! The sun is shining brightly and the day is full of promise!
Today we decided to make the expedition by train to the nearest super-marché, which is one train-stop away in the picturesque, cliff-side town of Beaulieu-sur-Mer. We made our way to the nearby train station of Villefranche in plenty of time to purchase a ticket from the vending machine, since there is no ticket agent for the Villefranche station. After progressing though the various menu options, the machine switched to “hors service” mode (out of service). Jill and Rich raced across the tracks via the underground conduit tunnel to try the only other machine. Luckily that one worked and we were all set.
The Beaulieu super-marché is just steps from the train station and it was a beehive of activity. The aisles were crowded and the selections were many. As usual, we got caught in the checkout line not having pre-weighed and pre-labelled some of the produce. In France the shopper has to bag, weigh and label the produce; not the checker. But to add to the confusion, some pieces of produce are sold by the piece, not the weight. I was trying to label three avocados without any luck at finding them on the picture menu. A kindly shopper pointed out to Henry Warner that avocados, as opposed to mushrooms and peppers, are sold by the piece and not by the kilo.
We made it back to the apartment just about two hours after we had left – so the entire morning was pretty much dedicated to grocery shopping. But it was all an adventure – taking the train, buying foreign-packaged groceries, chit-chatting in French with fellow shoppers and strolling outside in the warm Mediterranean sunshine.
After a light lunch à la française (i.e., with wine), we settled-in to watch parts of the second stage of the 2016 Tour de France, naturally being broadcast in French. I’m sure everyone else would have preferred an English broadcast, but I appreciated the opportunity to “tune” my French ear. As every language student knows, following television and movies in a foreign language is one of the most difficult stages in the learning process.
Later in the afternoon, Rich, Dawn and Jill went out and wandered up to the late day, open air flea market, while Henry Warner stayed at the apartment and did a light workout. I alternate cardio with strength training, so after yesterday’s stair running, today I used the elastic bands and body-weight movements. I don’t feel like I get as intensive of a strength workout using the elastic bands as opposed to weights, but the workout is adequate and probably a nice break from my normal routine. As I like to tell everyone, though, there is only one secret to an exercise program: consistency.
We transitioned into our pre-dinner happy hour glass of wine while Jill and Dawn prepared a fabulous Mediterranean-style dinner of paella, salad, wine and bread.
We enjoyed a truly delicious paella dinner -which is nearly the perfect food, in my mind. Afterwards, Rich and Henry Warner took care of the dishes cleanup and hauling the trash out, which has to be carried a considerable distance from the apartment, so all was not unfair. As we are in the midst of the no-vehicles-allowed interior core of the medieval city, the garbage and recycle trucks do not pickup nearby. The city has containers set up at various locations to which all the residents must haul their trash. This is a vast improvement to the medieval system of just chucking the trash into the middle of the medieval street and waiting for the rain to wash it away.
Fortunately, our foray out into the city late in the evening took us down by the picturesque and lively waterfront and it was truly a lovely evening. Rich and Henry Warner strolled along the waterfront and stopped at a quay-side gelato shop. We ordered double scoops of gelato to share with Jill and Dawn upon our return, but sadly we did not pick out flavors that the women were excited about. Oh well, it was the thought that counted. Sadly Rich and I then had to finish the entire two scoops each, as the ladies didn’t want their scoops.
We then all headed to bed about 10:00 PM, but I think the jet lag is mostly behind us now! Bonne nuit ! Fais de beaux rêves !