Something marvelous happened the day after Brazil Day, Mrs. London and I got to go Aix-en-Provence, alone. We were free to wander the quaint streets without a single huff being puffed.
(This rare event occurred because Gregory and I were going to Toulon for the weekend. Since Fifty would be keeping Gregory company on the journey down, I thought it was only fair that I kept Mrs. London company and a short detour to Aix seemed like the right thing to do.)
On the way, we were able to take our time and stop and smell the flowers, literally (sunflowers to be precise). And we enjoyed the scenery and slower pace in what would be our last roadtrip with Red Mist (that's what we call Mrs. London's little go mobile). The lease is up and Red Mist must be returned from whence she came. A girls only trip to Aix seemed like a lovely way to say farewell.
When we arrived in Aix, I made a point of viewing the city with 'holiday eyes' not, 'I've lived here forever eyes', a condition that has gradually taken over my psyche. My end of summer resolution is to view my surroundings with 'holiday eyes'.
Sidenote: Personally I feel that us expats that are married to natives get cheated a bit. You see, when both parts of a couple are new to an area, they are equally excited to explore, but for me, being married to someone who is no longer impressed with the châteaus and ambience means that I have to pull teeth and twist arms.
Mrs. London helped my holiday eyes quest by parking on a side of the city that I've never parked before (this was an accident because we took a wrong turn, but it ended up being a happy accident). Entering Aix from a new angle meant exploring new to me streets and discovering a charming Italian restaurant. It had all of six tables inside and one outside on the street with a small parasol perched precariously off the side of it. Naturally we took the spot outside; perfect for people watching, a must do for my holiday eyes.
I ordered the Gorgonzola Gnocchi even though the heavy cream sauce combined with the hot, sunny day made me feel like I had been hit by a tranquilizer dart (I couldn't help it, I heart Gorgonzola, unlike this guy). Mrs. London ordered her usual, Caprese Salad. (If Caprese Salad is on the menu, nine times out of ten, Mrs. London will order it. Fact.)
After lunch we slowly ambled, twisting and turning up tiny streets before coming out into the square in front of the Hotel de Ville. We saw guests arriving for a wedding so we took a seat on the edge of a fountain and waited for the bride.
It was scorching under the sun and we chatted about how uncomfortable some of the wedding guests must have been in their suits and cocktail dresses. And then we commented on how uncomfortable we were in the heat and how dumb we were when Mrs. London's pool was only an hour away. And that was the end of my holiday eyes moment (but not 'the end', the end... my holiday eyes are only beginning to open up).