As this idea was brewing in my head, I thought it might be fun to do all those things with other people. I mean, wine is fun by yourself, but why drink alone when you can drink with others? I always say. (I do not always say this...) So, I started thinking -- I know some girls in the South of France!! Well, I don't really *know* them, but I read their blogs, so that counts right?
I was pretty sure, after a year or so of reading these blogs, that these girls and I would get along fabulously. I mean let's face it -- we've all blogged about drinking (check) and food (check) -- what's not to love? Plus! Two of the girls are from Texas (uh, bonus) and one from Australia (always good to have a hot accent from down under to spice things up. And, honestly, Texans are really just Aussies but with summer and winter switched.)
So, I emailed them -- and the planning began: We would meet in Avignon in August, drink, get dressed up and look super spicy, go to dinner, eat, drink some more, drink after dinner, pass out, get coffee/tea in the morning, and then head home.
I can't tell you how excited I was to escape London and have an overnight trip with a bunch of girls (which I hadn't had since December of '09 when I went to Vegas). I missed the filthy conversations that only a bunch of girls can have -- full on x-rated, locker room chatter not inhibited by husbands, children or rotten dogs. We were the girls version of Anthony Bourdain -- No Reservations (except, we did have reservations for our hotel and our dinner because we are planners -- we didn't suddenly turn into uncivilized men.)
So, we dubbed our little adventure "Hot Ladies Get Drunk in August, 2011" -- mainly so we could repeat it, changing out the August, 2011 part with pretty much any month of any year. I mean, obviously, events like this require an encore performance!
After the girls and I had our dates set, I thought I might see if the Canadian wanted to head down early to the south of France with me for a little seaside romance (he did) and so we found a cute little hotel in Toulon (you can see it on the map above) and escaped the London drizzle for some surf, sand, and salty air. Bliss.
The train I took between Avignon and Marseille (where I met the Canadian who was flying in from London) didn't have air conditioning...and I was SO happy. My bones finally felt warm. I just sat in the heat, and napped and sweated, like a proper Texan should. When I arrived in Marseille I went down to the restaurant in the hotel for dinner -- and they asked if I'd like to eat outside. 85 degrees? Hell yes, I said (en français of course). I ordered a bottle of rosé, ate some seafood and gulped in the sunshine like alcoholic off the wagon.
The Canadian arrived later that evening and the next day we headed for our mini beach vacation in Toulon. We ate moules (mussels), we drank wine (rosé, since that's what Provence is known for), and drove around (note I said DROVE) the Côte d'Azur with the windows down soaking up the sun.
It was SO nice to have a car again. There are a lot of things I like about public transportation, but in all honesty, I really really miss having a car. I never once worried about how much I could carry, or how many miles I'd have to carry it, or if I'd have to sit next to someone who'd never heard of deodorant or which lines were closed etc. In a perfect world I'd use (efficient) public transportation most of the time, but, if I wanted to drive my car, I could. Plus on public transportation, I can't sing along with Scritti Politti anytime I want.
On Monday morning, the Canadian dropped me at the airport train station, and I hopped on a little train to Avignon to go meet the girls...stay tuned for part two.
à la prochaine...