April: Eclipse, dear friends, and more

The Roamers visit their granddaughter

Wow! What happened to April?! It’s almost over, and yet I’m pretty sure it just began. This month has been calmer than March, but we seem to have crowded a lot of fun into it. Best of all, we got to love on our granddaughter, Cora!

We set off by train for Paris on April 2. Our plan was to spend a leisurely evening in Paris before catching our flight to Dallas the next morning. I had reserved a Marriott property at the airport.

Guest of the day!

After checking in, we headed into Paris. Our umbrellas stayed in our suitcases, unfortunately, so we had to buy new ones at the train station because it was Paris in April, which means rain. Undaunted, we walked straight to our dinner spot, à la Biche au Bois (you might remember it from February, when my friend Margi and I dined there). I ordered (again!) les oeufs mayonnaise, which were just as delicious as I remembered, and which made me forget the rest of my meal.

Oeufs mayonnaise

It took a long time and two trains to get back to the hotel, and we fell into bed exhausted but excited for the next chapter of our adventure: flying American Airlines for the first time since 2014!. I had divorced AA in favor of Delta (at the time I had 2.4 million miles on AA!) after encountering an unsympathetic agent when my mother died, but after Delta made elite status much more difficult to achieve, and after our friend Dave, a retired AA flight attendant, encouraged us to try it again, we made the leap. And we were not disappointed; service has improved in the past ten years! We arrived in Dallas, picked up our rental car from Turo, and headed to Joni and Scott’s house, our home for the next two nights. 

After a shower and a glass of wine, we summoned an Uber to downtown Dallas for dinner at Billy Can Can, a fondly remembered spot from our roaming days. We had planned to start with martinis at the Adolphus Hotel bar, the French Room, but time was short and we decided to skip it in favor of an early dinner.

Billy Can Can pork chop: highly recommended!

The next day we enjoyed Joni’s fabulous breakfast spread and lazed around until it was time to meet up with friends. We had told our close friend group we’d be at J Theodore from 4-7 to catch up with whoever could make it–and we were thrilled to welcome many of them.

Lovely girlfriends from way back: Edie, Sandy, Cara, Cheri, and Joni

We didn’t get everyone into the photos, but we had such a wonderful time. We’ve known most of these folks for more than 30 years!

Cara, Sandy, and Joni: such wonderful friends!

One of the best things about our visit was that the kids–and grandkids!–of our friends wanted to see us. Lindsey, Clayton, and their daughter Alyssa joined us at J Theodore. And Nancy and Tom, parents of our son-in-law Nic, have become dear friends we see whenever possible.

Nancy, Tom, Clayton, Lindsey, and Alyssa

And after we left J Theodore, Joni’s daughter Jamie came over to see us. Jamie’s children, Landon and Ava, also got rides over. We heard that Landon said, “I have to see them! They came all the way from France!” It was a magical evening by the pool under the stars, but the next morning it was time to head out. We took the scenic route from Dallas to Dripping Springs, with a stop for lunch at Mama’s Home Cooking in Burnet, Texas, where we met up with dear friends Carol and Richard. I wish I’d taken a photo of us, but the meal pic will have to suffice.

Heart attack on a plate?

We finally arrived in Dripping Springs, just in time to help celebrate our son Grayson’s birthday. Cora was a bit shy the first couple of days of our visit, but she warmed up and we had the most delightful time with her! We don’t post photos of her online, so you’ll just have to imagine the most adorable 2 1/2-year-old who ever was. 

We had a couple of appointments aside from spending time with our kids–met with our lawyer to update our wills, had a fabulous lunch with friends Lynn, Danny, and their adult kids Kay and Mike, and I had a fun catch-up lunch with bestie Patricia. And the highlight, the reason we chose these dates for our trip, was the total eclipse of the sun! Cora, a toddler fashion icon, wore a dress decorated with planets for the occasion.

It was cloudy, but we saw it!!!

Before we knew it, it was time to go home. We said goodbye to Cora and her parents (hoping to see them in the fall), headed back to DFW, and hopped the plane to Paris. We had a couple of hours at CDG Airport before catching our train to Montpellier, so we ducked into the Sheraton Hotel bar for a badly-needed coffee. I ordered a café frappé, but the waiter brought me an espresso. I decided it didn’t really matter–after all, caffeine is caffeine–and took a sip. Suddently the waiter reappeared, took my espresso, and gave me the frappé I’d ordered; and then he served my espresso to the woman AT THE NEXT TABLE!!! She drank it down and left before I could decide what to say! Shocking but hilarious.

We were, as always, happy to be back home. We got back into our routine (by which I mean French lessons), hosted a super fun apéro dinatoire (heavy hors d’oeurves), I hosted my women’s circle, and we enjoyed the spoils of Dave and Sue’s trip to Italy: meats, lots of cheeses, breads, and for dessert, vanilla gelato topped with 25-year-old balsamic!

Sunset view from Dave and Sue’s beautiful apartment

Friends Janene and Peter were here for a few days, and we got to meet up with them for coffee, along with friends Anne and John. And our friend David, who visits Montpellier annually to brush up on his French (we met in a French class), shared his latest Montpellier street music video, which you can watch here. Tomorrow we’ll be having lunch with David and a new friend.

I’ll leave you with one last photo, taken yesterday as we walked to have coffee with Janene and Peter. This one-man-band on wheels was delighting tourists and locals alike, and his vehicle blew bubbles! We’re so grateful to live here, where there is something delightful at every turn.

One-man-band, with bubbles!