Europe: France, Aix-En-Provence

 MMBMP! That’s what this face sounds like.

MMBMP! That’s what this face sounds like.

As much as I love staying home, having a routine, a schedule, I put great value on spontaneity and the unexpected. It’s a big part of my humor and it elicits that impulsive, full-bellied laugh from my wife.  Europe was full of this balance. Everywhere we went, we got our bearings, established a base of operations, scouted the immediate area and established a brief morning routine, mainly consisting of, “I NEED JUICE!” Everything after morning was at our whim. We made a few plans, but they were vague, like, “Go to the beach, at least once.” I hate the beach. Katherine loves the beach. We went once.  I saw things, man. This picture is from Aix-En-Provence, France, a place that feels small-towny and intimate, but isn’t.  Each place has memories I’ll never forget, but this one boasts a memory that is quite unusual compared to everything else. It’s hard to explain the feeling of standing in a cathedral, looking at ornately designed architecture and walls of beautiful artwork, knowing much of this is 1,000 years old, some 1,500 years, some older than that, all carefully and skillfully made by a person like me.

It’s, in some ways, similar to the feeling of looking at a star through a high-powered telescope. You see something in front of you, but what it represents brings an entirely different world to your doorstep. There’s some connection there, but I don’t know what it is.

If you like coffee, you may have a tough time adjusting in Europe. We went several weeks without a real cup of coffee.  No, I don’t want a dainty little cup with 4 sips of espresso.  I need a cup of coffee, black, and maybe two! It’s always hard to go without things you want or like.  We missed our cats more than coffee, but we had two feline friends help us along the way, one here in Aix-En-Provence. His owner worked overnight in the ER sometimes, and he was very lonely the first night. He slept on our bed through 'til morning. Clawed the crap out of my arm, too, playful little turd.

Below are some of our favorites from the provincial town. We only spent three days there, in between Barcelona and Vinci, but it was relaxing and wonderful.

 There's Katherine grinning in the background.

There's Katherine grinning in the background.

It’s very important to make sure the absence of something doesn't distract you from what IS present. You just have to make your circumstances work for life, even one without coffee or kitties. I don’t recommend it, but I did enjoy it.

-M

Yes, I had to mustache the whole time in Europe, yes, I had it before Europe, too, and yes, it was magnificent. 

 Mmmm.... Handburgers.

Mmmm.... Handburgers.