Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Judith's Visit (keeping busy)

Judith's visit was exactly what I needed this weekend. Not that I feel particularly better, but it was really good to be with someone who know's me well, can give good advice, keep me busy, have a good time, and, bonus, kind of explain to me what I'm supposed to be reading for Emory. I started reading it and, after reading the introduction, understood less than when I started (seems to be a theme with me this week).

Her visit was also good since she got me to eat regularly for the first time all week. I took her to Ginette and Marcel's for tartines when she first got in and the back the next day for a dessert and tea/coffee. Seriously, if any of you visit me, Ginette and Marcel's is the first place we will go. We also checked out Avignon's Christmas market, drank vin chaud, talked a lot, and took a few walks around the city. She even treated me to dinner at Chez Ripert, a really typical French restaurant in town. Like I said, exactly what I needed.

Avignon's Christmas market is now in full swing.
Sadly I'm a) poor and b) done with most of my xmas shopping!

Judith checking out some "Santons" de provence. People here in the South of France collect them much in the way Americans make Dickens Christmas villages.

Yummy vin chaud and a treat (a small piece of pistachio bark from a nearby artisan's booth)

And, since I blog, photos of my dinner at Chez Ripert. Let's just say I got some odd looks while making these photos happen!

Entrée (which in France means 'appetizer'):
Foie Gras with spiced bread and fig chutney

Plat (main dish):
Magret de canard (duck) with mashed potatoes and sautéed green beans and mushrooms

Me, wearing a new dress J convinced me to buy that day, with my delish food

Poached pear with chocolate sauce and whipped cream

Obligatory after dinner (decaf) coffee

A shared bottle of delicious local wine and a funky water carafe

A photo of a drawing in the menu. For such a traditional restaurant with delicious food, I always find it funny that their menus are handwritten in the little notebooks my French kids use in class. Apparently other French people think the same thing, since (in this photo) someone has taken to writing lines in the back of the menu (the most typical punishment for French primary students)

Dinner was perfect and we spent a few hours just eating and listening to that evening's musician singing French standards (and on breaks random American songs over the radio). Like with my 36 points of beer, I tracked this whole meal too (as best as I could). I used most of my weekly points, but it was so worth it.

We also checked out Ginette and Marcel's for an afternoon "goûter" i.e. snack. I got a yummy raspberry tarte and a tea (also tracked) and Judith and I chatted a bit about everything. It's kind of embarrassing to cry (lightly) in a restaurant, but it's getting better. Plus, at least I looked good, right? I may or may not have bought the same sweater dress in tan as well...

Sadly, we both had to get back on our way Monday AM and she left to go spend the rest of the week up in Paris with the snow and ice. :( I wish she could have stayed longer, but I hope to see her when I'm home in less than TWO weeks and again when she's back in Paris in June. Again, the goal for the moment is just to stay busy!

Last night one of my British friends hosted a Mince Pie/Mulled Wine Christmas Party at her flat, so that was fabulous. More on that and today's run later! :)