Ten weeks? Yes...making up for lost time. French Metro Antiques spent the summer in France and what a glorious summer it was! Terry, Harrison, and I arrived in Paris on June 9th, the first day France reopened to Americans with proof of vaccination. White cards in hand, we were in! Harrison immediately hopped on a train for a ten day vacation in Brittany, while Terry and I picked up our rental car and headed out.
The first ten days were non-stop work--antiques, antiques, antiques--and reconnecting with our French colleagues…
”Ah vous etes la? Superbe!. Vous allez bien? Et la famille?"
All our friends were so surprised and so happy to see us, and the feeling was mutual. Transatlantic friendships over the past twenty years cultivated through a passion for antiques are unbreakable, even by a pandemic.
We quickly got into the rhythm. Shop, eat, shop, eat, shop, eat!
With ten weeks ahead of us, Terry and I adopted a new pace. Time to work but also time to take in France at a more leisurely pace.
Harrison soon rejoined us for another ten days of work. And we headed south to hit the professional markets for antique dealers.
Three weeks of work behind us, and it was time for a real vacation. Terry and I took off to spend three weeks in the Loire Valley, lodged in a fifteenth century manor house in the city of Blois.
Castle visits, garden walks, and sparkling Loire white wines...
Next, a week on the Atlantic in the city of Biarritz near the Spanish border. Amazing views from our apartment, and the best food market in all of France!
Our park bench right in front of our apartment in Biarritz.
A day in Saint Jean de Luz led us to a dear friend of one of Renee's former French students who was overseeing a group of artists creating giant puppets for the Ravel festival of music.
Plus we found a very special eighteenth century copper piece nearby for French Metro!
Next, a week in the Tarn, a new region for us where we were home based in Albi.
A complete fluke was meeting by chance our son Elliot’s friend, Tom, in a café in Toulouse fifteen minutes before he was getting married. Years earlier, Tom had come to Fayetteville for Elliot’s wedding. So surprised at the serendipitous encounter, we were ecstatic to witness our first French wedding at the Toulouse City Hall.
Next stop was La Rochelle where we were lodged on a large sailboat in the port.
And finally a week in Honfleur in Normandy on the English Channel.
Renee and her French high school pen pal, Claudine, celebrated 50 years of friendship. Two fifteen year old girls still keeping in touch!
And last, a visit with dear friends near Rouen where it was pure tourism and catching up.
I have traveled to France over fifty times in my lifetime, and this was my longest stay since my studies in Dijon in college. So what was the best thing about this trip? Working and playing in the culture I love so much with my best friend.