Best Barge in France, possibly Europe

I’m in London now, squatting at Alix’s apartment.  I’ve been here since last Friday, when I came back to hang out with Alix and my friend Jimmy who was in town from NY for the weekend.  Great to see them both, and I’m having a great time being pachanko with Alix.  I never get enough of her, seeing as she lives here, and not in NY.  She’s disgustingly smart, and doing her PhD at Cambridge as a Gates Scholar.  Anyway, today we drank fizzy elderflower juice in an orchard!

Last week I spent on my Uncle Marc’s barge.  I didn’t realize it, but I was a little tired after being on the move for over 2 months and not having to pack up my stuff for 5 days was quite the relief.  Also, some of you might not think it possible, but my godfather is even more of a foodie than I am, and since my Aunt Mary doesn’t drink, the two of us were going through our fair share of wine.  Nothing like a crisp white to temper the heat as you while away the time in the Loire.  Life is hard.  We had some truly amazing meals too.  Uncle Marc and I went to check out a market place in a nearby town and had the set menu at a place in the town square.  So for a little over 11 euros, we had: ham and melon (and not just any melon.  Those little sugar-sweet intense tiny ones the French love so dearly…I don’t even like melon that much and I was maybe a little too into them.) and perfectly cooked juicy veal escalopes in a cream sauce with mashed potatoes that probably had more butter inside them that even I want to think about.  Then there was cheese.  And of course, this being France, we just got handed a tray of about 8 cheeses with plates and more bread and just took what we wanted.  Was there dessert after that?  Cherry clafouti.  Oh, and a carafe of wine.  That too.  For 11 Euros.

I am not coming home.

The barge is lovely too.  It’s cozy, and filled with all these beautiful little antiques Uncle Marc has found in sales all over the place.  He’s got a neat collection of coffee machines too, and he gave me one!  (Mary made him put some of them in the garage, since he has ten of them.)  I hope I don’t break it.  It has these beautiful delicate glass globes and makes the coffee in this intricate way that involves hot water and a flame underneath the globes…I’m excited to use it.

Tomorrow is my last day in London, and then I am off to Yvetot, Normandy, where I will be working for this guy.

IT”S NOT THAT CREEPY. Ok, maybe a little, but hey, I dig the Renaissance.