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We’re looking ahead to Spring – Aix en Provence for the Easter Festival.

What a gorgeous day we had yesterday – almost springlike in Paris! This Monday morning it’s back to “gray Paree”  as we say goodbye from Gare de Lyon, returning to renovations in Aix.11241401 au revoir parisAs always, there’s a huddle around the track display, and when the quai (track) flashes up on the board for our train, we join the gang heading south, and this time our car’s close – the second one in line. Sometimes we have to walk what feels like a mile, beyond the shelter of the roof soaring high above to a far-away car.11241401 awaiting quai infoJust as a reminder, this is what the kitchen looked like before we started the renovation.11171401 Apt kitchen nowToday it doesn’t look too much different from when I left on Thursday, but it’s the first time Kirk has seen the work in person (we’ve been Skyping so he can watch the progress virtually).11241402 not much differentAfter sitting so long on the train, we’re eager to get out and about. Dusk falls early now, around 5, and the Christmas lights glitter on the Place de l’Hôtel de Ville (town hall) as we walk by, greeting the mayor on her way home with a Bon Soir.11241403 eve walk hi to mayor just leavingThere’s not much business at the Christmas chalets on Cours Mirabeau on this weeknight, we pretty much have the boulevard to ourselves!11241403 mirabeau very quiet weeknightWe pick up Vietnamese take-out on our way home and enjoy it by the fireplace.11241403 take out asian for dinnerSylvie, our contractor, comes by Tuesday morning and we talk about what’s next, measuring the space required for the ladder to the mezzanine.11251401 kirk and sylvie measuring“Please have the electrician move the fuse box to a less obtrusive place,” we request. It shall be done!11251401 please move the box yes thereThen we’re off to pick up a car and shop the big box stores outside of town for ideas for the much-needed bathroom renovation. The shower/ bath is rather cramped now, and we’re going to change it to just a big walk-in shower, called a Douche Italienne in France. We’re also getting paint for the kitchen and looking for a ladder for the mezzanine, which proves harder to find than we thought. We’ve seen, in person and in photos and TV shows, ladders up to sleeping mezzanines, rather like a library ladder. But it seems they have to be ordered online. We find the best option, and will return to get it on Friday before we turn in the car.
It’s time for a more substantial meal, after our sandwiches on the train, take out Asian, and yet more food-on-the-run while shopping today. And every little errand or outing right in the historic center continues to be a delight, as we walk by the holiday twinkles of the Hôtel de Ville again.11251402 quiet square mayor gone already flowers three times weekBistro Latin is our choice for dinner tonight. As we enjoy a delicious three-course meal (bon prix-qualité, just 15 euros for the Menu Bistro, with a choice of 4 excellent items for each course) we remember our first meal here, in 1998, for a New Year’s eve feast of 10 courses or so…the Feast of Saint Sylvestre. The decor has changed, but the food’s still very good, and tonight, rather than revelers upstairs and down, there are just a few tables filled. We finish with one of the best Moelleux au Chocolate (molten chocolate) that we’ve had anywhere,11251402 yummy dinner Bistro L memories one of the best moellouxand walk home through the discreetly decorated Place de l’Archeveché –11251403 discreet deco on placeBonne Nuit, Aix!