Monday, May 5, 2014

I Can't Stop Smiling

Pages from Jan's Travel Journal: April 11, 2014

I was thrilled to be back in Orléans and looked forward to quality time with Darcy, who was almost finished with school for the term. It was good to see Mathieu again when he arrived home from work on Friday. It had been a year since we had seen each other, after all. We all caught up over a cold beer and some of my favorite chips that Darcy had bought in my honor. I tried some new ones, too - Roast Chicken, and Carbonara. After a bit, we all decided to walk around for a while, as it was just too beautiful to stay indoors. There were flowers blooming everywhere, and many of the window boxes were filled with cheerful blossoms. Quite a few people were out and about, enjoying the perfect springtime weather. We stopped in at Halles Chatelet for some things for dinner. And some pastries, of course! On our way home, we took a small detour which led us to the broad expanse of cobblestones along the river Loire. The avenue next to the river was lovely, with nearly every tree leafed out and reflected in the water below. There is a wide sidewalk along the river also, and it was put to good use by the many joggers, bicyclers, and pedestrians all enjoying the peaceful, cool evening. 

The beautiful river Loire draws people to its banks on a fine evening.

Cheerful spring blossoms.

For supper, Darcy created a delicious meal of pasta with a sauce made of duck mousse, cream, and truffle oil. The dish was topped with some thinly sliced Italian ham and was absolutely wonderful. The roasted broccoli was a perfect accompaniment. (I wish I would have snapped a photo of that delightful meal.) Darcy is an accomplished and creative cook. If there is a product or ingredient she has trouble locating in her new home country, she will simply make the item from scratch.

 The bakery in Halles Chatelet is one of my favorite shops.

We played a game of dominoes after dinner, and afterward devoured the pastries we had picked up earlier – a lemon tart, a caramel éclair, and an amandine cassis. We attempted to watch a movie, but I kept nodding off!  I had been up for over 28 hours. Darcy and Mathieu made up a bed for me with their new mattress, which was very comfortable. I fell asleep with a smile on my face, so happy to be in France once again.

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