Days of Wine and Roses and Biking in France


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The following is an article from Traveling Pat! Patricia is a regular contributor to The Inspirational Mom.

Days drift by easily here in Provence.  The roses are blooming and the rosé wines that the area is famous for, taste refreshing.  We usually have a walk or do some kind of exercise in the morning then we have an outing of some sort.  None of us has a clear bead on just what days and times the stores are open.  We know for sure they close between 12 and 2. (Not good) When we got here it was the beginning of the French election and for a couple of days even the French didn’t know when things were open.

However it makes us stop and eat lunch.  It is kind of funny… When we get to a restaurant and have barely sat down, the waiters rush right over with the blackboard menu crammed full of tiny indiscernible writing listing all the plat du jours. Our heads are spinning as slightly panicked, we wildly guess at what we are ordering.  They stand impatiently tapping their pencils as we dither insecurely.  After we finally decide, they immediately demand to have our dessert order. By now we are scared NOT to have dessert.  Well I am…  so I order the chocolate gateau or something really low cal like that…. The wine usually comes quickly and by the time we have imbibed a few, and our meal arrives it is all fabulous and we have made a friend of the server. Then I make my usual resolution to stop eating sweets…..  We are usually back at the house just in time for happy hour!

Our friends Jack and Lynette are here now and we have rented bikes.  They are touring bikes and have these wonderful handlebars that allow you to sit up straight and see the world around you without having to go for physio for your neck after the ride.

On our first so- called “training run,” we donned our helmets and squeezed into our spandex bike shorts.  We stylishly covered them with exercise pants! (Really, they are not the most flattering things on the planet.)  The plan was to ride to Vaqueras and then on to Gigandas for lunch.  Getting there was no problem but getting back…big problem…  We got lost and by the end of the day we had ridden around 70K (44 miles) yeouch! My butt was in full revolt!  At the end of the ride I lurched off my bike and like an aging robot I hobbled stiffly to the couch and eased my tender toosh gently to the couch.   Ahhhhhh

France is choko block with bike riders and there are scores of retirees zooming around out there.  As I was struggling up a 5K hill a peleton of geezers, decked out in their colorful Sunday spandex whiz past.  Then another group.  A few bonjours and they hurtle out of sight.  It’s nice to know that riding will be available into our dotage!

The thing is, in France the back roads twist and turn throughout the most picturesque countryside.  There is something magical about it.

On the last day of cycling, as we were doddling along the track, I was mindlessly musing on how sore my butt was. Shortly after that we took ANOTHER wrong turn and it was going to be at least another 15 kilometers added. Not again! I headed instead into the town square and had a delicious cafe au lait.   Doesn’t pride come before I fall???  I rode home to a hot shower and padded deck chair.  Au revior.






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