But holidays away from family are a little easier these days. With time, one finds people who become family and though they don't replace those who you can't be with, they're a hell of a good substitute. My Easter weekend began Thursday when I picked Claire up from the train station and turned over her precious car keys. We drove down to the Camargue to spend a couple of days with her mom (and my friend) Saro. Going to Saro's is a bit like going home for me. Not only do I arrive to a warm and inviting home and a good friendship, but the Carmargue is one of those places that feels strangely familiar to me. Perhaps you know the feeling...like I've lived there before.
My "job" was to feed Saro's retired, 35 year old horse and Pedro, her adorable donkey... after being shown the ropes, of course.
We ate, laughed, drank, and when we finally left the house to do a little shopping in the village, which is right on the sea, winter-like weather kicked in. It became cold, rainy, and windy and our shopping venture into town produced not much more than a bone-chilling cold, sand in our teeth and an urgent need to get back to the house, put on our woolies, and turn the heat on.
Sunday, I boarded the early bus to my friend Brigitte's in Rogne, carrying my tarte and a bottle of Rosé. (For some reason, I always seem to be traveling by bus with baked goods!) Since it was a beautiful day and the only really nice one of the weekend, Brigitte and I freed her 1967 Triumph from it's parking space in the garage....
Holly made us a superb lunch of smoked salmon, gnocchi and salad. We drank our share of champagne and Rosé on the sunny terrace and finished off with the lemon tarte.
As I hiked home from the bus station Sunday night, my ever-present bag holding the empty tarte pan and a bottle of Sirop Châtaigne (chestnut syrup that is really good in a sparkling white) that I bought from Holly's next door neighbor (after I found him surveying the Triumph and complaining that somebody had parked that car like a Parisienne...taking up two spots) , I returned home to start my skype/ telephone Easter.
I had a fabulous easter weekend. No it wasn't with family...and come to think of it, the boys would have probably spent Easter with their girlfriends' families anyway, but I got to spend it with some of the family I've created in my new home. How wonderful to have both.