Saturday, August 01, 2009


You know how when you go on vacation you bust your ass for the week or two prior to make sure that everything is in order before you leave? After all, you are leaving work or school or your dog or whatever for about a week and arrangements have to be made for someone to pick up your workload, care for your dog, water your plants etc? Especially if you work in a client service industry- you've got to tell all your clients you will be away and then make sure to forward your calls to voicemail and remember to set up a bounce-back email letting everyone know that you are away? Well you don't have to do that here in France because when you're away- everyone's away. And frankly no one is looking for you. July 31st is like the 3rd of July or the day before Thanksgiving. People only go to work to make sure they haven't left their computer on and take off at noon. Except on July 31st the French leave at noon for the better part of an entire MONTH! They are like roaches in a kitchen when the lights get turned on. Voooom- August 1st they are GONE. They flee the cities for the warm shores of the Med where they congregate en mass in campers, holiday shit boxes on the beach, and high-rise hotels near an amusement park. So we decided to join them. Well not in a shit box thankfully.

Today, August 1st, we joined the lemmings and fled the city for the baking heat of the south to enjoy its beaches, wine, and relaxation. We grabbed the 8:00 am TGV from Paris to Montpellier - a 3 hour - easy as pie train ride. However, riding the rails was not only relaxing but nostalgic. Nostalgic for the time when I was accustomed to traveling on a eurail pass and would remember NOT to write in the date until someone in your group spied the ticket checker. You remember those train passes you got in college? A certain number of days in a given month and don't freaking waste one if a conductor isn't going to come by and check it right? Well, rule follower me immediately wrote in the date on our passes and no one came by to check the tickets during the entire 3 hour trip. Arrrgggg!

Once in Montpellier we strolled over through the opressive heat to the Sixt car rental place where they proceeded to give us a Mercedes for what was the cheapest rate for the smallest car in all of Europe. Hey, this gig is turning out pretty well!

After walking around the gorgeous (and you should spend a day there if you can) town of Montpellier we got in our petite Mercedes and sped down the A9 to Pezenas, a tiny walled city with lovely people and kick-ass shopping.

Here is Sweet Pea on the train with Muffin. Muffin is the same- but new bought off Ebay by nana when Sweet Pea was born- doll I carried around as a child. I actually wore through 2 or three of these dolls as a kid.

Buddy reaching for another bite of his pain au chocolate breafast on the train. Doesn't it look yummy?

Ah, and our little voiture.

Wincing in the heat. Much hotter than Paris.

So the whole Greek sandal thing is huge here.

A pretty building in Montpellier....


One of the things I love about Europe is the mix of the ancient and the modern. This is a cafe tucked behind an old stone archway in an ancient stone building but is completely modern in decor. So cool!

The family wishing I would put down the camera!

These are artisan workshops but they were closed at the time we arrived.

On the A9 and headed south.

Here are pictures of the apartment we rented for the week.

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