Thursday, August 23, 2007

Vin, Fromage, and the scent of Lavender...

Greetings from Dieulefit, France! We're here staying in a lovely house with some friends from the Netherlands: Jan, Willy, Lucia, and "kleine" Jan Scholten. Jan (the father) was my dad's exchange student in high school, and our families have kept in touch ever since.

We're enjoying the markets, which happen just about every day in some nearby town or another. We can pick up ingredients for a homemade dinner each morning. Keith and I have contributed a couple of meals, including oven-roasted vegetables with chicken and French-style Feijoada--there weren't any black beans in the supermarket, so we used red beans and lentils instead! Other local activities have been wine tasting, hiking, horse riding, and card playing. It's very relaxing here.

Today we went to Avignon, and saw the Palace of the Popes, from the time when the Papacy was in Avignon. The structure was beautiful, and we really enjoyed the elegant decorations in the few rooms that had been restored. Unfortunately, the building was heavily damaged during the French Revolution. We also saw a beautiful Virgin and Child painting by Botticelli in a museum of medieval and renaissance art.

On our way south, we had a lovely day in Paris. We saw the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame, and we generally walked around the city. We were pleasantly surprised that no one was rude to us or refused to speak to us! Amazing!

More updates hopefully soon, when we next find internet service! More stuff is on my parents' blog. Love, Celia, Keith, and Rebecca (Sorry, no time for pictures... three or four people are waiting to use my computer!)

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