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This morning at nine Nicolas, Francoise, the baby girl and I piled into the Renault family car, which I have to say is a very comfortable spacious car, and headed down south to Bordeaux. The distance is about 689 kilometers, which never means anything to me. In the States, it’s miles, anything else is meaningless. So basically whatever the speed limit is gives you an idea how to calculate the time required to cover the distance so, since the speed limit on the highway here varies between 110-130 kilometers an hour and the distance is 689 therefore the time would be around 6-7 hours in the car. A full day of driving for Nicolas with a full day of riding along for the three of us. Francoise had a tremendous idea that split the ride in two parts with lunchtime being the halfway mark. Her sister Michelle recommended a wonderful restaurant in the town of Vouvray that is right outside of Tours, 3 hours away from Rouen and 3 hours away from Bordeaux. Perfect rest stop, Nicolas found it without any trouble, we were seated immediately and the decor was rustic and elegant in an Old World type of way. The food was very good, we all started with sliced cantaloupe and prosciutto ham alongside a small salad. I had a salad served with sliced breast of duck, fresh mushrooms and pine nuts, the baby girl had salmon tartare and both Francoise and Nicholas had spinach raviolis filled with cheese and served with sauteed shrimp. Everything was delicious, we ended with dessert, I had a paper thin apple tart served warm right out of the oven all caramelized with a scoop of all spice ice cream, oh my, was it so light, warm and comforting to slowly eat and savor. We got back on the road and I was battling with my cell phone trying to take pictures of the fields of tall sunflowers that are strewn all between Paris and Bordeaux. I will upload them later on but honestly you will have to trust me that the blurry yellow images are really sunflowers. Before I knew it, we were very close to Bordeaux when we hit the dreaded traffic jam, it added an hour to our trip but I spent the time thinking of what to write and I immediately thought of this car ride and also the fact that we crossed 4 rivers on the way to Bordeaux; the Seine near Rouen and Paris, the Loire near the restaurant, the Dordogne on the cusp of the southwest, the Garonne right at Bordeaux. I don’t think that I have crossed 4 major rivers in probably close to 14 years. I thought that it was an interesting part of our adventure.

When we arrived at my Tonton and Tantine’s house it was a welcome stop because even with the stop in the middle, my legs were feeling a little stiff and my buttocks were numb by this time. That was all forgotten in the wake of all the welcoming kisses and hellos.