September 13 - 17
09.13.2010 - 09.17.2010
We were all reunited in our small village of Ancy Le Franc this afternoon. The housekeeper of our house gave us the grand tour and house instructions through hand gestures as she spoke almost no English. After settling in briefly, we soon realized that the local grocery was already closed and between us we had a banana, nabs, peanuts, and cheese for supper. We set out once again toward the small town of Chablis in hopes of finding a restaurant. The brief ride soon became comical when we once again were separated and not once but twice passed each other on hilltops when we would both turn around and try to catch up with each other. A word to the wise, at least two phones to communicate between two cars would be helpful. We enjoyed a great french meal where our waiter, Michele was very sweet and patient with our attempts at french and french cousine and was eager to learn english so we exchanged some entertaining tidbits of information. This was particulary evident when Carlette asked him about one of our menu items which we were pretty sure was pork but were not entirely sure what part of the pig it came from. She would say the french word for pork or pig and then point at her feet and other parts of the body until we were fairly certain it was actually part of the loin. We then asked Michele to choose our desserts and we were not disappointed. The french definitely know how to do desserts right. He ended up giving us a complimentary bottle of chablis which made our nerve wrecking drive a distant memory.
Taking a slower pace, the next morning we walked around the local small villages and towns. In Chablis, we had our first tasting of the local wines and learned about the harvest season which was in full swing at this time. In Noyers, we met a local potter and walked around the quiet, quaint medievil village before buying supplies from the local grocerer (complete with her cat on the counter) for supper.
On Thursday, our village had its market day. Here the townspeople meet and talk while purchasing their meat, cheese (fromage), bread, vegetables as well as other goods. We were able to purchase everything needed to prepare our evening meal including potatoes, which thrilled us. We also toured the Chateau Ancy Le Franc which was located just around the corner from our home. While we were unable to take photos of the interior I can tell you that the inside is as incredible as the outside. After lunch, we went our separate ways for a while. Carlette, who had come down with a bad cold and had visited the local doctor this morning ($23 euros for doctor visit and 3 prescriptions, I'm just saying) went home to take a nap. Mama, Susie and I spent the afternoon walking around our village and visiting the local cemetary located at the top of the hill while Lorie and Georgianna went out in search of some local wineries and tastings. In France, we have learned that the tastings are done either at storefronts or in the proprietor's home. Lorie and Georgianna's first request for a tasting was refused when the french countess who answered looked at them and said "No, not today" with no other reason given. Their next attempt was rewarded when they met an elderly gentleman who invited them to his cellar where they sampled his wine, which we enjoyed with our dinner.
On Friday, we set out for the Champagne region. We enjoyed our drive through the french countryside. Our first tasting was again at the proprietor's home. The gentleman spoke almost no English, but Carlette, who spoke the best french, was thankfully able to ask a few questions in between the awkward silences. We quickly purchased a couple of bottles and left in search of another tasting. We soon found one close by at the home of