This morning I wanted to pinch myself, how is it possible that I’m having coffee at a sidewalk cafe listening to three men sing love songs in French from a bandstand in the middle of the square? I’m always amazed that I’ve ended up with this life. My mother and father had never left Michigan until I moved out of the state. The farthest from Otisville they ever got was visiting me in California and Massachusetts and my uncle in Tennessee.

Earlier in the week we left Spain driving through the tiny country of Andorra and arriving in the town of Ax les Thermes just across the border into France. It is a ski resort in the French Pyrenees. The next day we drove west with the sun glistening on snow capped mountains just south of us.

The Pyrenees from the road crossing southern France.

We have spent the past two nights in the town of St. Jean de Luz, just north of the Spanish border. We found a room overlooking the beach and can sit on our balcony watching the world go by. The sunset our first night here was pretty impressive.

The beach from our balcony

The beach in front of our hotel.


It has been nice being able to read signs and menus and understanding just a bit of what’s said. I have to remember to say bon jour and not bueno dias and oui rather than si and merci not gracias, but tomorrow we return to the Catalan region of Spain where they don’t speak French or Spanish and I’m totally at sea.

Other things will change again. Lunch in Spain is 1PM to 4PM but usually no one eats until at least 2PM. Dinner starts at 8:30PM but we’re settled in our room by then. In France, lunch is from Noon to 2PM, dinner 7 or 7:30PM.