This was just before we discovered that her ankle had mysteriously swollen to grapefruit sized proportions. Mysterious because she didn't fall or sprain her ankle.
Let me fill in some gaps that I left out...
Our home base was in Avignon. It's a great town that's pretty convenient to everything. Here, I discovered (instead of in Burgundy like I'd hoped to) that I loved a certain bottle of wine from Chataneuf de Pape. YUMMY.
***forgot to mention...we picked up some hitchhikers*** ok, it's really not what you think. We went into the Tourists Information office to look around and see what information they had...not much so we took off...we must've mentioned something about getting back to Avignon because 3 minutes after we left the office, this NERDY Chinese American guy with the biggest bandaged up hand I've ever seen (never did find out why he was wearing it) came running after us. He and his 2 friends told us their sad story about how they were stranded because they didn't check to see the bus return times and there were no more buses that day. They had classes the next morning and couldn't miss it...yadda, yadda, yadda. Carrie & i couldn't leave them stranded so we agreed to drive them home. Oh, good god. what a mistake. For those of you who know Carrie & I, know that we're no intellectuals. Well, these guys were at school studying some poet who "ironically" wasn't even french. Carrie pretty much left the conversation after those first few words. Well, the conversation wasn't any better after that and I couldn't WAIT to dump them off. After we got rid of them, carrie said, "watch...it'll be just our luck...we'll run into them in Avignon tonight." Yup...you guessed it...we ran smack into them. head on...no running and hiding. *SIGH* ****
Some of you may think of Provence and think of lavendar fields...well, that's what carrie & i assumed. Non! You actually have to drive up this mountain road to get to the lavendar fields (at least we did). i was scared crapless (did I mention I was driving??? With a GPS system...voice name "Richard" which we promptly nicknamed "bitchy richy" because he gave us such attitude and didn't always give the correct directions...our hitchhiker friends used richard as well and it almost lead them off a cliff...bastard TomTom). But the results were worth it. The fields that we found were amazing...and BUZZING with bees.
We spent some time in Cannes as well...beautiful ocean!! The sand literally sparkled like glitter! We enjoyed some delicious Bouillabaise there!! Afterwards, we headed up to Grasse for our perfume making class! This was a definite highlight of our time. Carrie, it turns out, was "floral/fruity". I was "floral/Oriental" (like no kidding, right??). Anyhow, I'm looking forward to trying my new perfume in a week (you have to let it sit for 2 weeks before it is ready for use!). If carrie and I stink, please be kind and not tell us so.
After our time in Provence it was time to head to Burgundy region (Beaune). Along the way, we discovered the many, many fields of sunflowers that I had tried to find in Tuscany last September.
We stayed just outside the historic walls of the city. There were no taxi services since the town was so small (i could've used that on our way to the train station!!) so Carrie & I walked back from where the car rental place was (i'm still hoping that they haven't discovered that it was ME who nearly ripped out the clutch out of the car...geeez...i was JUST aggressive enough to drive like a frenchwoman. At least that is what i assumed when I saw carrie clutching at the car door and seat, with her good leg up in the air to brace for impact.). We ate our fill of amazing Burgundy cuisines including Escargot (snails!! YUM!), Beef Bourgnion (sp??) and coq au vin. this was where I realized that Carrie was truly a food savant. Nothing she picked out was bad (unlike the unfortunate Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo fish soup incident that I had back in Avignon). I still gag at the thought.
We went through a wine cave called Marche Aux Vin - total tourist trap but I loved it. 1.) it was on the honor system so you poured your own tasting at each "station" set up throughout the caves, 2.) You poured your own tasting, 3.) it was only 9 euros for like 16 tastings, 4.) did I mention that you poured your own tastings??? We each ended up buying a bottle of Creme de Cassis (which sadly, was poured by someone at the end...).
We headed straight to Zurich from there. Unfortunately, the seats we pre-booked were next to a very, very naughty child named "Abdallah". At least that's what we assumed his name was judging from the fact that the parents would scream "Abdallah!!!" at him when he got too over the top out of hand. Needless to say, it was the longest 2 1/2 hours of our trip.
Zurich was rainy and expensive. Emphasis on EXPENSIVE!! I paid $15 for a freaking Caipirinha drink. highway robbery, anyone?? When we finally took off for a day trip of Lucerne, we had fabulous beautiful weather. I even made some friends while i was there...
Great time going home with the exception of the unfortunate incident where the guy next to me had his hand down his pants and a guy standing in the aisle kept shoving his butt in Carrie's face...