Nous sommes arrivee dans Vierzon.
San Diego/Salt Lake City, Salt Lake City/Paris. Paris/Limoge, then 2 hours of highway driving in a rental car with the inscription “Louez-Mois (Rent Me). 20+ hours of travel that went relatively smoothly despite it being July and that even on the Limoge flight there were more Americans than locals.
In the seat behind us on the Paris flight was a young girl, maybe 11-12 years old, traveling by herself. The flight attendant came over to make sure she had everything she needed, and the girl said, “Where are the games?” I realized that this girl must have done this trip multiple times before in order to recognize that this was an older plane without personal video screens.
Typically, we didn’t sleep much on the plane trip (well, okay, Axel did, I didn’t). When we arrived at the hotel, after a somewhat circuitous route through Vierzon, at rush hour, with no local map, that had me thinking, what if this was an episode of the Amazing Race and there was a camera man in the car recording this?, we had dinner and then slept for 12 hours.
The jog wasn’t until 4:30, so we drove off to do some sightseeing. The countryside here is rural: wheat and hay fields, carefully managed woods, everyone has a kitchen garden. We drove to Nancay, about 15 minutes away, hoping to see a gallery there, but everything was closed until the weekend…. They take their summer holiday very seriously here: even the towns that rely on tourists pretty much close during the week. There are beautiful roads and trails through the woods between Nancay and the Equestrian Center, and they look very inviting for both horses and bikes.
The jogs here are casual. No one makes a big deal of their own turn out, but the horses are mostly braided. And there are dogs everywhere, even sometimes trotting down the inspection track, completely nonplussed by what is going on around them.
After the jog we had champagne at the VIP tent, then went off to dinner at an amazing restaurant called La Maison de Celestin. First, a welcome dish of olives and flat cheese bread. Then an amuse-bouche or two before the starter even arrived. A starter of a foie gras ravioli. More amuse-bouches, and a main course with amazing sauces. Then other intermediary courses, and the cheese cart, full of brilliant local cheeses… and that was before the desert. It was all spectacular. It went on for hours. As a matter of fact, it went on for about 12 hours after the meal was finished. My dear friend Bettina Drummond, who is no stranger to the area, told me via email that what I experienced was a “crise de foie”, and apparently is the mark of any successful trip to France.
Today my diet consisted of one Orangina and a salad.