Avignon 8:55 p.m. 2006-01-02

QUOTES for the WEEK:

"May all your dreams turn into goals.
And then may you take action to turn your goals into reality!"
--Catherine Pulsifer

"Change is the handmaiden Nature requires to do her miracles with."
-- Mark Twain

I arrived in Avignon last night at about 11:30 and took a lavender scented taxi to my hotel. I will probably walk when I go back to the station to return to Paris, but the taxi driver was very nice. We talked about La Fete des Rois, which is coming up on January 6th. I told him that I am from Louisiana, and that we have King's Cakes, too. I also told him about the numerous Epiphany parties I have had, including the one where I served the traditional galette des rois with a raspberry coulis. I knew he would find that strange, as did the French invitees to my party!!!!

The hotel is very nice - I am staying at the Hotel de L'horloge. When I got up this morning, the sky was blue and the sun was out. I got dressed and set out to get lost. I saw the internet cafes this morning when I went out, but decided to wait until the evening to go online! I took a two hour walk around- got lost and ended up at the park overlooking the city and the river. Which, I guess is not really getting lost, because it is a tourist-worthy site. Okay, I will go on the Pont tomorrow - just because I should! It looks so far down from the Dom, which is the rocky promontory I climbed.

I went to the cathedral there, and took some pictures and bought some postcards. There is a very elaborate creche at the entry way of the cathedral, and I attempted a photo of the angel - it backflashed at me, as there is a glass partition - but I bought some postcards with pictures of the creche (with all of the santons - you know, those little nativity figures that the Provencal love so much?)

I bought some postcards and a copy of Le Chevre de Monsieur Seguin by Alphonse Daudet at a gift shop by the Palais des Papes. I did an oral interpretation of part of Le Chevre in high school for French competition, so it has sentimental signifigance. The book I bought is a new children's version with illustrations and a poster!!! There are some nice shops here, and I saw some cookbooks that already look similar to how I want mine to look!!! I don't know if I will be buying a lot of Provencal fabric here, though. Same for L'Occitane products. I know that they are less expensive in the United States!

It is sunny - and it was mild in the morning, but the wind picks up in the afternoon. I don't know if it's the Mistral or not. I had lunch at a nice restaurant - we will just call that my meal for the day. The salad was huge and had slices of goat cheese, which I spread on my bread, and a couple of slices of dried cured ham - like prosciutto. The chicken breast was okay, but a little dry on the edges. The dessert was fantastic! It was chocolate mousse, but instead of being served in a bowl, it was arranged in 3 balls/scoops with whipped cream in between on a coulis of creme anglaise and caramelized sugar sauce (sort of a creme brulee addition!). Will have to try at home!

After lunch, I went back to the hotel and took a nap. The town is really pretty at night, with the trees decorated with lights. I tried to take a picture last night, but don't know how successful it was. I went out again tonight to check it out, and ended up here at the internet cafe, drinking a Diet Coke and taking care of business.

I was able to change the keyboard to English, but it is still tricky typing here, as the keyboard doesn't naturally look like an English Keyboard. That is a true test of my touch typing. If I think too hard, and try to look for the colon or quote or slash key (OR the "s" I just blanked on!!!!) it is hit or miss. I try to take a Luke Skywalker approach - breathe deeply and let the force guide me!!! This internet cafe is set up with Skype, which I may try another time. I am afraid that, with 11 computers in this room (right now, only 3 are being used), my American voice might be too loud... My husband wants me to sign up for AIM, which I may do after I finish this entry, but I have already been here for over an hour.

Oh!!! I am reading the DaVinci Code!!! I am sure that I am the last person on earth to be doing this, but if it's not on CD, and I can't listen to it in the car, then I don't get it!!! My friend, Laurence, gave me this version (it's in English - sorry to disappoint!) and it is totally appropriate, since I am in France. Oh!!! And I did my 7th grade and 8th grade science fair projects, as well as a paper in 12th grade for the Math Convention, on the Fibonacci Sequence and the Golden Section - so aren't I ahead of the game!

I think that's all for now! I may go get a snack and head back to the hotel to read!

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