Friday, September 22, 2006

from France: a croissant lasts only a minute

…But the anticipation, the image, the memory – a lifetime.

When I dream up these trips to the continent (sorry, I realize North America is also a continent, but no one refers to it as The Continent, do they?) I immediately place myself into images of desired and desirable venues. One of them will be at a wobbly round table with a café crème and a croissant.

And so when the plane approaches the coast of Brittany, I start thinking – where and when can I indulge my image?

Answer, here:

september 06 270
speeding to Montpellier

In travel, nothing happens as it should. I miss one train because I run to get this very croissant, pause to take a photo…

september 06 267
at the airport, a bakery with a reputation

… and then careen madly to the platform, only to watch my train pull away from another platform (the ticket showed voit. 3, I read voie 3, for you French speaking types who can now laugh at my expense).

So now I am speeding in a very roundabout way to Montpellier.

I had planned on spending the day in Paris, on refreshing myself before la grande visite of the week-end, but I could not sit still. For me, here, every minute counts.

Tonight I am to show up at the doorstep of Jean-Benoit and Isabelle, proprietors of the Chateau Lascaux winery. I feel like an inferior version of the journalist (plus photographer) who was invited to spend a few days at the home of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes to write up something clever about their new infant. I am in awe of winemakers and so I consider my “assignment” to be even more significant – it is to tell a story from the insides of a winery at the time of harvest. I mean, come on – Suri against the Chateau Lascaux. Of course the Chateau is much more intimidating.

For now, I am just loving the return: to speeding trains, to croissants in the morning, to my beloved Languedoc.