Due to some technical difficulties, and timing difficulties, I haven’t been able to spend some quality time on the computer to sort through my images until today. SO, without further ado, I present to you my voyage to France and Italy! We were away for three weeks, during which time we attended my sister-in-law’s country wedding in Normandy, the Festival d’Aix en Provence, the city’s opera festival, an exhibit on video games at the Musée des Arts et Métiers in Paris, and a host of small, locally-frequented corner restaurants. This is probably going to take a few posts, so I’ll just get started at the beginning.
My sister-in-law’s Norman wedding was a fairly intimate affair, with a VERY long dinner. I forgot to take a photo of my entrée, but my plat principal was a lovely piece of veal, with broccoli and potato “cakes”:
I spent 4 of those 5 dinner hours anticipating the cheese plate. It arrived with some delicious raisin bread, along with, starting from the top of the photo and going clockwise, a part of a chèvre bûche, Livarot, Pont l’Evêque, and camembert (so Normand!) It looked like this:
It was creamy, raw, and a lush way to end the meal. But wait, of course, I could not miss their dessert set-up, which consisted of an outdoor table decked with champagne, a couple gâteaux au chocolat, a few fraisiers, and heaps of macarons, flanked on both sides by gigantic columns of fruit. I felt no shame as I ferreted away as many macarons as possible!
The next morning, the wedding guests reunited in the dining hall to enjoy some croissants, and finish the wedding’s leftovers. Yes–they finish the leftovers, including the cheese. I thought that was a wonderful idea. I have no idea how much food Americans waste, but I do wonder how I could have cut down on waste my own wedding created. If only we could have saved the leftovers! That would have been so efficient, and delicious!
Since the wedding celebration was literally all weekend long, I had plenty of time to stroll around the venue grounds, and snap some pictures of the scenery. The domaine provided the perfect idyllic backdrop for this wedding, but what strikes me is that people there do not seem to notice it. Scenes like this are everywhere in Normandy. They are beautiful, but they are also just a part of daily life. Some representative shots of this “humdrum” countryside:
I had a lovely time in Normandy, although I won’t always admit it to my husband (who is Normand). It IS quite rainy there, but when the sun is out, the setting is breathtaking. Speaking of rain–miraculously, although it rained for a week before the wedding, the skies opened during the wedding weekend, and the sun shone brightly for the newlyweds. As soon as the festivities concluded, however, the rain furiously recommenced!