|Carnac - July 14th
Remember, this is their big celebration day - Bastille Day. Everyone is feeling festive already. So, up and about and around the small sea village of Carnac. It is a really lovely town. Small enough to traverse on foot - with regard to the city center. There are a lot of shops selling "sea" oriented items - ropes, boats, striped shirts, cable sweaters... Plenty of restaurants and bars - mussels and fries the favorite fare of locals. I opted for crepes and cider. So, we wondered around for a while before we headed back to the Bouvards for lunch.
Cast of Characters -Bouvard Family: Marie-Claude is the matriarch of the family and a beautiful lady. She acted as Kelly's mother while in France and still runs circles around everyone else in the family - always on the go. She speaks not a word of English, but seems to understand some of it. Jacque is the father. Somewhat quiet and reserved, but playful and amusing at the same time. They were both pharmacist and own a pharmacy in Macon which their eldest son, Phillipe, runs now. Phillipe, they Sylvie (didn't meet her or her husband as they were in Prague), Christine and her husband Francoise (they have the most adorable little children and another one on the way) and finally the baby Fred and his wife Soixique (have no idea how to spell her name - expecting their first baby). So, all of the kids are older than my brother, but they are a close family and Kelly knows them all well. Kelly (and my mom) have stayed in touch through all of these years, but this was the first time I have ever met any of them. It was a wonderful part of my trip and something I will always look back upon fondly.
To the food...Marie-Claude makes at least 2 large meals a day and is a fantastic cook. I was part of 2 meals, but my mom tells tales of glorious courses. So, first we started with a nice salad with mixed greens, avocados, radishes tossed in a mustard-type salad dressing very common in France - surely homemade. Then we had a meat lasagna - absolutely homemade and wonderful. Then on to cheeses - goat, compte and some pepper soft cheese I loved. Then on to dessert - we brought a raspberry tart from the local bakery - amazing - wish I could make one so perfectly. We had wine with each course - a little tipsy and ready for a nap!
We went out to the beach for about an hour before cleaning up for dinner. The beaches are sandy, sun is intense and the water frigid. Christine's little girl and boy are completely oblivious to this last fact as they made a mad dash, floaties attached to arms, for the water and swam around like little ducks. Not me - feet to mid-calf is all I could stand despite the heat.
Dinner was starting at around 9pm - everything is later here. There were already several people there whom I had never met - made the rounds. Spoke lots of French. Some of the people could speak English - nice for my mom as she doesn't speak any French and a nice break for me sometimes. The meal was a compo of small dishes - 25 people in total to feed - pizza, different salads, ham & melon, cheeses, stuffed tomatoes (some with cheese and some with some sort of tuna), various desserts (one a specialty of Brittney) and finally cherries - lovely cherries. Wine - don't forget the wine!
Fireworks started around 11:30pm and were wonderful - right over the water and we could see it from our chairs in their yard. 2nd nice fireworks display I have seen in years. A bit more chatting and then we headed off to bed.