We made it back in one piece from France last night, and we’re enjoying doing nothing today. We have black-eyed peas with kale planned as a late lunch, and then fish with roasted potatoes, for dinner. It’s cool and cloudy and the one thing I had planned to do today (unpack) I will probably postpone until tomorrow. I did take the girls for a walk through the corn fields, and we sat on the road to watch a snail cross.
After a weekend in Provence we headed back up the autoroute du soleil to end our trip to France in the Rhône Alpes (Savoie department), for a night in Annecy. None of us had heard of this place, and all of us want to go back. It had similar aspects to Innsbruck, but much, much more. We had a few hours to walk around and take it in, then we went back to the hotel, got the girls set up for bed, and got ourselves ready to go back out for dinner. The grandmas were kind enough to give us a night on the town – just me and Dawn.
We ate at Chez Mamie-Lise, and had to make our decision for restaurant based on gut instinct. I was very glad with our choice. For starters, we had a cool melon soup with a skewer on top that had pieces of canteloupe and prosciutto, alongside a piece of raw ham and a small crock of peach sorbet. It was served on a thin, black slate.
Next, we had grilled fish set atop a pesto/ratatouille sauce, and a thin phyllo dough cake. This was next to a ball of rice, some fresh thyme sprigs, and served on a hot raclette skillet, on top of a thick wooden chopping board.
Third, warmed brie on a baked apple, next to salad greens drizzled with mustard.
Last, a gingerbread ice cream drizzled with strawberry purée and surrounded by fresh strawberries. It was as good as our four-star meal in Collioure, and half the price. We chose an ’08 Gamay from Loire with it, which Gilles explained to me is the same grape used in Beaujolais, but much different since it comes from Loire.
Our ride home yesterday from Annecy took a solid seven hours, but we enjoyed the setting, as we cut through the French alps, crossed through Switzerland, and made it home by 5 p.m. Dawn and I returned the rental car, and it felt good to be done with it in some ways. We were probably naïve to think that that much driving in a mini-van with the six of us would be easy. I’m not too stubborn to defend the decision, but I think our memory of it will improve with time.