Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Goodbye March

Blogging has been slowed down by some pretty intense amounts of test correcting I've had to do lately. This past weekend we also entertained visitors, another Fulbright family, Michelle, who is teaching in Bayeux, her husband Larry and their two daughters, Annika and Caroline.
I had play rehearsal on Saturday morning and then drove to Bordeaux in the afternoon to pick them up at the Gare St. Jean (train station). We had come to Bordeaux on the train from Paris but I had never actually navigated around there by car and since we have more visitors coming that way I figured I'd go early and do some reconnoitering. Talk about a good idea.
I found the proper exits to Gare St. Jean easily enough but once in the city I found myself in a labrynth of old streets, new construction, and parked cars. Cars were parked on every conceivable spot, sometimes double parked, but always tightly packed nearly bumper to bumber. I took a few wrong turns trying to actually get to the station, but since I was early and alone (good combination for this kind of thing) it didn't bother me; to the contrary I felt like exploring a little. I finally found the station but in the process of wandering about I became more than a little pessimistic about the chances of finding a parking spot on the city streets. Still, I figured I'd be able to get into the parking garage. A half hour later, I was still circling about like a shark, getting hungrier and hungrier. The only garage I'd seen was full, I was sure there was another one but I couldn't seem to locate it. I was becoming somewhat familiar with the quartier, and more and more impressed by the adept way the French have of squeezing their cars into improbable spaces. Finally I drove past a construction site a couple of hundred meters from the station and noticed that out there in a muddy field were cars. It was obviously not a paid parking lot, and it was so obvious that you might get stuck in there if you tried to park but I took me another go round and decided to give it a try. It was a muddy mess but it was close and it was free. From there it was a simple matter to pick up our friends, I had them home in one hour.
The weather wasn't spectacular but we made a trek to the beach nonetheless. The light that late afternoon early evening was divine.

On Sunday we visited Cap Ferret and the phare (lighthouse). A mere 250 steps to the top (Tess counted most of them) yielded a good view of the penninsula on which we live.

As you can see, if you go north or south you'll hit either the bassin (on the right)
or the sand dunes and the ocean (on the left) in a matter of only a few hundred kilometers.

Checkers has become one of our kitchen table staples. Notice the beach stones we collected for pieces. This particular game between Tess and Annika revealed no divided loyalties on Colm's part...puppy love.

One of the consequences of Michelle's visit was that we discovered the pool table in our house. We hadn't played on it except one time in all the months we'd been here. Michelle's family took to it with great enthusiasm. By the time our guests left on Monday, Tess and Colm had become pool enthusiasts too.

Another discovery was that Michelle's husband, Larry, and I both share some common memories from Maine. He is a native of Maine and I went to high school there. We both played b-ball there though not at the same time...both of us later went into the humanities and became teachers. It was fun to trade names and anecdotes, I very seldom talk to anyone with firsthand knowledge of the era and the place where I grew up in high school.


Anonymous Jacques Froissant said...

258 steps !
I counted many times.
Happy your enjoy !

2:29 PM  
Blogger kc said...

tant mieux! merci.

10:57 PM  

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