Visitors, Visitors, Visitors

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 4:30 AM 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.

Norm saying "It's just a little rain, come on, lets get going!"

Norm saying “It’s just a little rain, come on, lets get going!”

Mary's first sighting of the Eiffel Tower.

Mary’s first sighting of the Eiffel Tower.

Sure, we'll go out sightseeing after an 18 hour trip from the U.S.!! Nothing will stop us!

Sure, we’ll go out sightseeing after an 18 hour trip from the U.S.!! Nothing will stop us!

Waiting on our drinks at Cafe Fouquet's!

Waiting on our drinks at Cafe Fouquet’s!

Of course, we usually drink Cosmo's (where we can get them) but Mary chose this one, that is passion fruit on the top!

Of course, we usually drink Cosmo’s (where we can get them) but Mary chose this one, that is passion fruit on the top!

See, we love our Cosmo's!

See, we love our Cosmo’s!

On July 11th, we drove Angela and Mary to St. Leon-sur-Vezere, a long 5-hour drive made easier by having company and knowledge that we had our visas and did not have to return to French Immigration in Paris next week. We celebrated our guests’ arrival in St. Leon with dinner at Le Petit Leon, a nice restaurant in St. Leon. While the food was excellent, including foie gras, pork, fish and quail, all we truly remember is the wonderful ice cold cava and socializing.

Quail with pea puree! Tasty!

Quail with pea puree! Tasty!

 Rita got the pork with cauliflower polenta!  The pork reminded her of Hungarian Szallona!! AWESOME!!

Rita got the pork with cauliflower polenta! The pork reminded her of Hungarian Szallona!! AWESOME!!

Beet Salad at Le Petit Leon

Beet Salad at Le Petit Leon

After dinner cognac at Le Petit Leon our first night in St. Leon.... after a lot of cava.... a/k/a Champagne! We need to take Norms iPhone from him so he can't take discriminating photos...

Angie laying on table with our after dinner cognac at Le Petit Leon, our first night in St. Leon…. after a lot of cava…. a/k/a Champagne! We need to take Norms iPhone from him so he can’t take discriminating photos…

On July 12th, we took our guests to the BIG market held every Saturday in Sarlat. We bought fresh vegetables and spent the rest of the day cooking a wonderful dinner. It was a scene from the Big Chill.

On July 13th, we drove our guests to St. Emilion to see the wine country. We arrived in time to take a tour of the village before a thunderstorm cut the tour short. We did do some wine tastings in shops and at a winery. The La Rose Cotes Roi was our favorite winery tour because they told us things about wine making we did not know, says Norm. The girls thought is was the BEST because the owner of the winery was soooo handsomely FRENCH!!…

Pretty countryside as we head to St. Emilion!

Pretty countryside as we head to St. Emilion!

Does your wine taste any different recently ???

Does your wine taste any different recently ???

Franc Mayne Winery and Chateau..

Franc Mayne Winery and Chateau..

Here we are, getting yet another tasting of a different year!

Here we are, getting yet another tasting of a different year!

Didn't we tell you he was a French Hottie!!

Didn’t we tell you he was a French Hottie!!

 

They would have stayed there all day!
It was a great day in spite of the rain.

That evening we returned from St. Emilion and had dinner at La Chevrefeuille, where we had taken our cooking classes with Ian and Sara.

Angela trying to de-stress, Mary and Rita coaxing her to chug the wine!! We are at La Chevrefeuille for dinner with Ian and Sara!

Angela trying to de-stress, Mary and Rita coaxing her to chug the wine!! We are at La Chevrefeuille for dinner with Ian and Sara!

Of course, we had a LOVELY dinner there and again, met new people!! We met a gal named Joyce, who was traveling alone……. with her three children!!! She is from Vancouver, flew to Ireland, met up with some friends, and now is hanging in the south of France for awhile! We couldn’t belive she would undertake such a hard task of traveling with three little ones, but she is doing it just fine! And she is also blogging!

On July 14th, we played at the pool and in the evening we went to see the fireworks in Montignac because it was Bastille Day in France. The impressions of the celebration were that they did not have a lot of “junk” to sell the children, there were no fireworks for sale and no one says “ooooh and awe” after the fireworks go off. But, they do all applaud at the end of each set of fireworks. For dinner, Rita cooked foie gras for dinner. It was the first time we had cooked foie gras. It is not too hard, just sauté it in a pan. But, it was really tasty.

Our Home Made Foie Gras!! It was awesome!

Our Home Made Foie Gras!! It was awesome! Maybe we should have taken the picture after serving this at the table!

On July 15th, we played at the pool and visited La Source Restaurant in Tursac for dinner. We considered this our farewell dinner since Mary was leaving the next day before dinnertime! Angela and I had plenty of time to discuss her engagement, wedding plans and other things going on in her life.

Angela and Norm at La Source, Tursac dinner!

Angela and Norm at La Source, Tursac dinner!

IMG_1291

The owner is in the background, he pours drinks, cooks the food, and tells great stories of his past life cooking on a yacht and for Whitney Houston!

The owner is in the background, he pours drinks, cooks the food, and tells great stories of his past life cooking on a yacht and for Whitney Houston!

Angela getting instructions on how to cut her beef the french way!

Angela getting instructions on how to cut her beef the french way!

Dessert???                Armagnac Anyone?

Dessert??? Armagnac Anyone?

Or would you prefer chocolate mouse with carmel sauce?

Or would you prefer chocolate mouse with carmel sauce?

All in all, it was a wonderful visit. Mary went home on July 16th , so we drove to Brive for her to catch the train to Paris and Rita, Angela and I had a great meal at La Toupine in Brive La Gaillarde. Angela went home the 17th.

So, Rita and I have two days to get reacquainted before we have new visitors on July 19th. Yann Desmadryl, his wife Peggy and their children Cheyenne and Tinael are visiting us for a few days on their way to the Mediterranean Sea for the MONTH LONG FRENCH VACATION OF AUGUST. Did everyone get that!!!!

Have a great day. We miss you all.
 

She's a beauty, even in the rain!

She’s a beauty, even in the rain!

Swarovski Crystal staircase... only in Paris...

Swarovski Crystal staircase… only in Paris…

No caption needed, just sayin..

No caption needed, just sayin..

Cafe Fouquet's... as we are walking inside for a special drink!

Cafe Fouquet’s… as we are walking inside for a special drink!

Awww, Norm and Angela standing in the middle of the Champs Elysees!!

Awww, Norm and Angela standing in the middle of the Champs Elysees!!

Rita, Angela, Norm and Mary stopping for a Kodak moment with one of the great Paris monuments in the background!

Rita, Angela, Norm and Mary stopping for a Kodak moment with one of the great Paris monuments in the background!

Mary and Rita.. fun times in Paris!

Mary and Rita.. fun times in Paris!

Arc de Triomphe...

Arc de Triomphe…

Franc Mayne Winery and Chateau..

Franc Mayne Winery and Chateau..

Uphill is common in St. Emilion!

Uphill is common in St. Emilion!

Mary and Rita, WOW.. how things don't ever change with them!!

Mary and Rita, WOW.. how things don’t ever change with them!!

How nice of Norm to pull up the car for Mary, as we were leaving St. Emilion!

How nice of Norm to pull up the car for Mary, as we were leaving St. Emilion!

Here we are, getting yet another tasting of a different year!

Here we are, getting yet another tasting of a different year!

2 thoughts on “Visitors, Visitors, Visitors

  1. Amazing, love all the pics. Congratulations Norm on your daughters engagement. The food is beautiful, I’m sure its tasty too.
    Lauren leaves for Purdue cheer camp next weekend for a week (Wisconsin Dells).
    We move her into dorm on August 17th (can you believe it.)
    Rita, guess who Tom showed me a picture of last night (Skyler)….he’s a young man, I’m blown away – where has the time gone?
    No pictures of Miranda ????
    Love ya, God Bless

    Like

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