Sometimes everything has to be enscribed across the heavens so you can find the one line already written inside you. Sometimes it takes a great sky to find that small, bright, and indescribable wedge of freedom in your own heart. David Whyte

Memoir of Two Innoncents Abroad: Part Seven

on September 13, 2014

After putting the German guest on the airplane for Brussels we returned to find that an American woman accompanied by two teen-aged boys had come to town. Like us the American woman was to contact Harry for directions when she got to Cannes. She found her way to the same hotel we did, La Splendid Hotel, to make her call. We decided that hotel must attract lost Americans. This lady is spending a month driving around France with her fourteen year old son and a French boy of the same age whom she acquired in Paris. She’s taking pictures with a fancy camera that she doesn’t understand and writing a story in hopes of selling it to the National Geographic. She put her boys to bed at La Splendid Hotel where Harry got them a room and joined us for supper. Paula and Harry took us to a restaurant where we had a marvelous meal of a rich cream soup with mussels, called velvet soup, and chicken grilled with vegetables, which was nothing like what happens to chicken and vegetables in the U.S.

The American lady accepted Harry’s invitation for lunch at his and Paula’s apartment the next day. She said she would arrive at noon by herself. She arrived at 1:30 with both boys! They had gotten lost coming up the hill to Harry’s place. She didn’t explain the boys’ presence. Paula’s maid had prepared a lady’s lunch and there wasn’t enough food for two hungry boys not to mention all seven of us. And what there was had gotten cold. Paula had a 2 o’clock hair appointment. She excused herself and left Harry to entertain the bunch. Harry is absolutely great at this. He loves to tell people about France and to have them like visiting his adopted country. (Have I said that Harry is an American and Paula is French through and through?) That night some more Americans appeared for drinks, plus a large contingent of Paula’s French relatives. We ducked out and had dinner alone. After the “light” lunch we were starved and ready for a quiet meal together.

We spent the following day sightseeing because Harry and Paula were packing to go on a trip of their own and we didn’t want to be underfoot. Harry planned a full itinerary for us. First we were to go to an artist’s colony up in the hills a short distance from Cannes. We got lost in the hills and took three hours finding the place. It took twenty minutes to return to the main highway. Next we headed to Monaco. We drove up on the mountain where Princess Grace lives. We drove by her palace but couldn’t stop because there were absolutely no parking places. For the same reason we drove past Monte Carlo without stopping. We crossed into Italy, driving by the sea all the way. We planned to have a pizza and then head home. We couldn’t find a pizza parlor in Italy! We had no Italian money anyway so we went back to France. We drove higher up in the Maritime Alps to La Turbie, where Caesar Augustus crossed into Gaul. He built an enormous monument to commemorate the event. My husband walked up a steep hill to see the monument. He took a picture for me since I balked and decided to stay put in the car. I was tired of foreign countries and mountain roads where we lost our way.

8 responses to “Memoir of Two Innoncents Abroad: Part Seven

  1. Silver Threading says:

    People are so interesting. I love your travels♡

    • vivachange77 says:

      I had my annual physical Friday and am in great health. My doctor , who is the age of my sons, and I talked about mutual experiences of traveling in England. His prescription to me was to keep traveling – nothing like it to counter normal aging.

      • Silver Threading says:

        My husband and I toy with the idea. He is a 100% disabled veteran and walking is quite taxing for him. With the way the world is today I am hesitant to travel overseas. I am planning some trips around our area though. Great advice!

      • vivachange77 says:

        Walking on uneven surfaces and stairs without railings have become no-no’s for me. I’m going to Costa Rica in March with Road Scholar (Elder Hostel) in a small group whose activity level is “Easy.” We’ll see what more able-bodied tourists see but differently. “Easy” is for people who prefer to exercise their brains rather than their bodies.” This is my fourth trip with Road Scholar and the other travelers are interesting and fun people. Trips close to home sound good, too. They are certainly easier than flying even to Central America.

      • Silver Threading says:

        That sounds wonderful. You must take pictures and share your travels with us. I would love that trip. What fun!

      • vivachange77 says:

        I’ll enjoy sharing about my trip with you. As it turned out I have been the writer in the family and my husband has taken the pictures – in both my marriages. I don’t even have a camera. I realize how much pictures contribute to a blog.

  2. How wonderful to have friends like Harry and Paula when visited a country for the first time and not speaking the language. Thank you for allowing me to share in this travel experience.

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