July 18, 2014 – St. Leon-sur-Vezere
It has been 2 weeks since we have posted. During those two weeks, we have been very busy. On Wednesday July 9th, we got up at 4:30AM and Rita and I drove the 5 hours to Paris so that Rita could meet with French Immigration to complete her requirements for a long-term visa. We had enlisted Alain and Dominique Desmadryl to assist us with some of the more burdensome paperwork required. They were very gracious and helpful to us. After having breakfast with Dominque, (Alain was in the hospital recovering from hip replacement surgery), we drove to French Immigration to take our place in line with many others seeking immigration to France. If you remember, I flunked my first attempt to get my visa a couple of weeks ago. So, we used what we learned from my experience for Rita, and Rita sailed right through French Immigration without any problems and got her long-term visa approved. While I was waiting on Rita to get through French Immigration, I talked my way into the office and convinced them to consider my second application at the same time they were considering Rita’s first application. (I had my second appointment next week, but did not want to make the 5-hour drive back to Paris.) Surprisingly, French Immigration was accommodating to my request, considered my additional paperwork and also issued my long-term visa at the same time as Rita. Whew!!!!! What a relief. We were afraid that we would have to leave France after 90 days if we did not get our visas. Without visas we could not go to Italy for 90 days after our visit in France. That night, we stayed in Paris on the Left Bank at the Hotel du Seine and went to dinner at Au Bourguignon Marais to celebrate. Rita had bouef bourguignon and I had white, red and rose wine from Bourgogne. I also had some great avocado, crayfish and fish along with my wine. The dessert was Berthillon ice cream, the best ice cream in Paris.
On July 10th, my daughter Angela and Rita’s friend Mary Thompson arrived in Paris on the same flight, took the train and the metro to Paris and met up with us at our hotel. We did some Paris sightseeing, which included Notre Dame, Eiffel Tower, Champs Elysees and Arc de Triomphe. We had great cocktails at Fouquets Barriere and dinner at a place Rita found called Chez Toinette in the seedier area of Paris. After dinner, we walked the streets of Paris and ended the night with cognac. My daughter had come to Paris to see us because she has recently become engaged and was excited to share her thoughts and feelings with me. Mary had come to Paris because she had always wanted to see Paris and have dinner in a French restaurant.