Tuesday, November 26, 2013

A Lazy Day

Pages from Jan's Travel Journal: Wednesday, March 9, 2011

We had a great day today, though we didn't really do all that much in the way of "touristy" stuff. Darcy had to work this morning, so Craig and I slept late, had breakfast of - what else - pastries and coffee, and then walked over to Carrefour to do some shopping. We meandered around the mall until it was time for lunch, and just grabbed a couple of sandwiches at a little place there. 
Rue de la Republique, across from Carrefour in Orleans, France.

Darcy met us at the hotel in early afternoon and we accompanied her back to Carrefour so that she could do her shopping for the dinner that she was preparing for us that evening. We then met up with Mathieu, and all went to the museum to see Catherine, Mathieu's former boss, whom we had been hoping to meet for quite some time. We had heard many nice things about her. She is very sweet, and speaks excellent English. 

Yes, I photograph doors.

At Darcy and Mathieu's apartment, the four of chatted for a while over snacks and drinks. Darcy, Mathieu, and Craig then left for an excursion to a cat shelter across town. I remained behind so that I could make some phone calls home and check my email. At the rescue shelter, a very beautiful, blue-eyed cat named Azur chose Darcy and Mathieu, climbing into both of their laps in turn, and making them understand that he was theirs. How could they resist?  I was sorry that I would not get to meet Azur, as he had to remain at the shelter for a few more days. Craig had taped a video of the cat and the shelter, so at least I got to see what he looks like.

Dinner was an enjoyable meal. It was a raclettes party! Remy and a friend, Antoine, joined us and we really had fun. The raclettes machine is a table-top oven into which small skillets heaped with cheese are placed. The top of the oven is used to warm the cooked potatoes. The bubbly, melted cheese is then poured over a plate of potatoes and charcuterie, or deli meat, with a side of cornichons, which are tangy little pickles. Some people like to also add a cooked egg to their dish. It's a casual and very social way to dine, somewhat like a fondue party, and is popular in France, Switzerland, and Belgium. 

The raclettes oven. Try it if you get the chance!

We played Pit after dinner, which is a very noisy card-trading game. The French are somewhat reserved, and I was afraid that this rowdy game might be a bit much for them. But everyone seemed to be having fun, and due to the thick stone walls of the apartment, we didn't upset any neighbors! 

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