We’re back home in Colorado now, and David has had another round of chemo. See CaringBridge for updates on David’s battle against pancreatic cancer. The break seems to have been very good for him, and we are very grateful it was all possible and went so smoothly.
Toward the end, I was so busy trying to fit everything in, I decided to wait until I got back to share a bit more about our France adventure, so a quick review to get you oriented:
The next morning, après petit déjeuner, bien sûr, we headed back west a few kilometers to Saint-Émilion. David and I had been there very briefly on our way south in 2013, but this time we were really going to have a chance to see it. Pascale had done some investigating ahead of time, so here’s what we did first . . .
This little “train” drives around the perimeter of Saint-Émilion, describing the various famous vineyards of the area. We chose the ticket that allowed us to stop and tour one vineyard, complete with a tasting. It was all in French, with a very abbreviated English translation for David, while everyone else looked at David and waited for the real tour to resume.
Then back to town for lunch. The best restaurants seemed to be on this . . . er . . . street, which we walked down, then back up a few too many times that day. Not easy. The hand rails were actually necessary at points, especially with the ancient cobblestones trying to throw us off balance. But seriously picturesque, non? We ended up in the same restaurant David and I had found the last time we were here.
Then Pascale wanted to see the largest monolithic church in Europe, which happens to be here . . .
In 2013, David and I had walked right by, snapped a few photos and hit the road. We were on a fairly tight schedule, but still. This time we all climbed back up the little medieval road and went to the tourist office for tickets to get in. The next two tours were sold out, so we had time to seek out a less steep route back here to Place du Clocher (above). The sun came out, which we loved for about ten minutes. But with all the stone it soon got TOASTY. See that tiny corner of shade in the photo? Yeah, we all four crammed in there. Fortunately, the shade expanded as we waited.
Then the tour. No photos allowed, but wow. David made us promise not to reveal that he didn’t understand French; this time it would have been 30 people staring at him. We’d both read the English translation of the info sheet while we were waiting–when we weren’t using it as a parasol–so had the gist, and I translated a bit in whispers as we went along.
The tour included the cave of Saint Émilion, the catacombs, and the monolithic church–some of the most ancient things I’ve ever set eyes on and very much worth the hot wait. Then goodbye to Saint-Émilion . . .
. . . and back home to La Rochelle.
I wonder how many other treasures I’ve obliviously walked right past? What a treat to get a second chance.
i thank you God for most this amazing day
for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and for the blue dream of sky
and for everything which is natural
which is infinite, which is yes
∼e. e. cummings
Wishing you adventures with dear ones, treasures to appreciate, and second chances if you miss them the first time!