We had a wonderfully calm Christmas week. After enjoying Christmas Eve mass at our village church, we snuggled in our cozy beds and dreamed of truffles and foie gras...just kidding. The kids enjoyed their Christmas haul. Nathan got a driver and putter and golf lessons at the course next to his school. Celia got a writing desk and lots of quill pens to practice her calligraphy. She especially liked her chaps and gloves for horse back riding. Mary got golf clubs so that Mike maybe will get a chance to take the dust covers off of his. Mike added to his fine wine collection and is now well outfitted to race all those French bicyclists.
We even took on Boeuf en Croute (Beef Wellington) as a new cooking challenge for our Christmas dinner. Between Mike's incredible duxelle paste, Mary's perfect puff pastry and the local butcher's heavenly filet de boeuf, it was a culinary masterpiece!! Followed with a delicious Buche de Noel...the traditional French Christmas dessert...it was a beautiful ending to a beautiful day.
After we recuperated from the indulgences, we drove down to Barcelona for three days. It was so warm and beautiful and crowded. We had a great time wandering through the streets, strolling La Rambla, salivating in the incredible Boqueria market and munching on tapas and paella. It is amazing how many people were out strolling from early in the day and well into the night. Even the busiest days in Paris are never this full of people. It was truly amazing. I found it interesting how Catalan really is the language of Barcelona. It is a living language unlike the local language of Occitane here in Languedoc. Occitane is now a language of the past with only minor influences on the language spoken today whereas Catalan is spoken everywhere in Barcelona.
Bonne annee a tous!!