le 4 janvier 2001
A beautiful table, also our
The holidays have come and gone but we were regaled with all sorts of
exciting events, starting with a holiday celebration entre amis
here in Uzès. Our prof de français, Anne-Marie LeQueux, hosted an
evening feast, une raclette, that combined the holidays and the
50th birthday of a friend. Starting with champagne and an array of amuse-bouche, we quickly warmed to the company and the food. The dinner, La
Raclette, included an assortment of charcuterie, breads, baked red
potatoes, and a special cheese, called raclette, which is heated and then
served over the goods. Yum! Délicieux! Divin! La Raclette is a
traditional French meal; shepherds around a fire would carve their
sausages and ham, bake up some potatoes, shave off large hunks of cheese
to melt over the fire...et voilà! For a gallery of more
photos of La Raclette, click here.
in Paris...Noël à Paris
Paris at Christmas is a lovely sight. At any time it's a
lovely sight -- but the lights, the crowds, the stores, the windows...quelle
inspiration! We had a chance to visit several spots that were brimming
with holiday spirit. Place de la Vendôme, site of the Ritz hotel and Napoleon's
obélisque, was all decked
out with furs, feathers and finery in the windows. We rode the
festive Ferris Wheel, la Grande Roue, which is scheduled to be taken down in the next several months.
(This monstrosity was set up only for the Millennium celebration, and has been
controversial because it blocks the long view from the Louvre to the
Eiffel Tower...and now there is a move afoot to keep it up for at least
another year and perhaps forever.) Rue St. Honoré, Fauchon, Hédiard,
etc. were all decked out for the season; the Hôtel de Ville (City Hall)
set up a patinoire (skating rink) à la Rockefeller Center as well
as two Carrousels -- free rides for children and adults alike! Notre
Dame's crèche didn't in the least overshadow the Rose Windows...and we
were lucky enough to have Sarah Meagher with us to point out the
architectural details that make this monument so very special. At the
recently renovated Opéra, (aka the Palais Garnier), we were able to sneak
in (thanks to some sweet-talking on someone's part) for a peek at the
Chagall-painted interior dome, such a contrast to the baroccoco design of
this opulent building. Click here
for more pictures in Paris.
April in Paris is good, but Christmas in Paris takes the cake!
Rue St. Honoré was all lit
up for the holidays...
and Notre Dame was ready for
us as well!
Karen, Stephan, Joe &
Sarah in the back row...Luke & Jill up front, as we wandered the
streets of Paris.
|Holiday with Family and Friends
Amis et famille pour Noël
We could have lamented not being home for Christmas, not being with family
and friends. But no need! Family and friends came to us for the holidays.
Sarah, Joe's niece from California (senior at Berkeley) dropped in after a
quick run to Scotland to see friends at St. Andrew's University. We put
ourselves on the TGV (tay-zhay-vay) (très grande vitesse) train for a whirlwind visit to
meet up with the Spiro/Morse clan, fresh in from Vermont, dodging snow,
ice storms and stomach flu. After gorging ourselves on the lights, the sights,
and the cuisine, we all rounded back to Uzès to get ready for Christmas. Sarah had to fly back to San Diego to be
home for the big day...we almost didn't let her go! Tristesse pour
But we managed to continue the festivities, mourning her absence on one
hand, but delighting in the beauty of Noël in Uzès. We missed midnight
Mass at the Cathedral because of a violent thunderstorm... however we were
treated to the bells calling everyone to church accompanied by a lightning
show that all agreed was better than fireworks!
| Post-Christmas touring took the crew all over the south of
France, from Roman ruins near St-Rémy-de- Provence; to the vineyards at
Châteauneuf-du-Pape; to the Mediterranean at Saintes-Maries-de- la-Mer; to the near top of Mont Ventoux where the
crowds were sledding, hang-gliding, and such, with a view of the southern Alps off
in the distance. Final excursion was to the Pont du Gard to
have a picnic lunch on the aqueduct. And there was plenty of local shopping in
between activities as well. A holiday that we'll never forget, and we're
so happy to have had good company! More photos ... click
Masters of all they survey,
Stephan and Joe look over the vineyards of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, one of
our wines of choice for Christmas dinner.