Saturday, September 11, 2010


View across Valley to Bonnieux

We have arrived in Lacoste! And it is lovely, really beautiful. I am sitting on the studio balcony looking out over the valley to some town I don’t know the name of  (yet) but am sure I will know very well before we leave! Alan is off to dinner at the SCAD cafeteria with all the other students, hopefully finding out what he will be up to tomorrow. They are supposed to go to the market in Apt and then have a picnic or something. I don’t know what I’ll be up to, but I really hope that I can spend a day NOT navigating ; ) But I am getting ahead of myself…

This morning we checked out of our hotel in Barcelona, after first unsuccessfully trying to call Madame Collette (I think Collette is an awesome name! So French!), the lady who lives in Lacoste and takes care of the rental studio we would be moving into until Sunday the 19th, when we move into the house (which she also cares for). We were supposed to call her to tell her when we would arrive, but:
1)    She only speaks French
2)    I do not speak French
3)    Anytime I try to speak what little French I have practiced it comes out as Spanish
4)    Which makes me flustered
5)    Which makes me forget any French I thought I knew before I started speaking
6)    And the phone card I had only gave me one minute (I thought I had 10)
7)    So we got no where


Luckily, we were getting the hang of Barcelona roads a little bit, so we left the city with no mishaps and headed to France. I was a little worried about the border crossing as I hadn’t even checked to see what we would need, if we needed to provide anything for the car, etc. I shouldn’t have worried, we barely slowed down to drive between booths with nobody in them. Yea, European Union : )

We stopped after about four hours at a supermarket in Avignon (called Casino – I hope the food isn’t a gamble – hahahaha). It is harder than you think to buy food when you can’t read the packages! But I think we did all right. The only problem was when we were standing in line we realized there were no bags, everyone had their own! We had seen some for sale, so Alan ran back and got us two before the checkout lady got to us. Whew.

On the road again, we were about to get really lost for the first time. My directions (as I have mentioned before) go mostly by which town you are headed towards. But suddenly we came to a split that had two of the towns going one way and two the other, when my map said to follow a sign for all four of them. We ended up on a road that I knew I had seen from the directions the school had sent out, so we switched to following their directions instead of mine. At home I had trouble finding the roads they used on a map, but we seemed to be on one so I thought maybe they were better directions after all. Nope. Always go with your instincts, Rachel! We ended up driving through the town of Cavaillon (which we did not want to do) and ended up out the other side going away from Lacoste. Boy, those maps I ordered sure would have been handy!!! We finally found a map in our guide book that showed us some major roads instead of just town centers, and we had seen one of the main ones a few roundabouts back. So we headed back, and luckily it went where we wanted it to! Our turn to Lacoste came up soon, and we were suddenly on a road about a lane and a half wide – but, yes, two-way. We even met a bus. Fun…

And then there was the town! We found the door to our house, but had no clue where to find Madame Collette and we couldn’t find any SCAD staff (we were hoping to get a phone to call her again). We were wandering back down a street to find a pay phone when I saw a local lady and on a whim decided to ask her if she knew Madame Collette. Yep, you guessed it—she was Madame Collette! And so she led us to our studio, and I made supper for myself, and, well, here we are, at last.

Supper on the porch
Living Room, and porch


  1. No way did you walk up to the only lady in town you were looking for! No way! That's awesome!

  2. Yeah, I couldn't believe it. But I just has this feeling I should ask her, so I did! Lol.

  3. Haha, I did the same thing with the grocery bags my first time shopping in Prague--we were buying a ton of stuff, too, and we got all the way up to pay and panicked! At least now you have bags for the next shopping trip! :)
    Sounds like a great trip so far!