Celia and her friend Alex went Trick or Treating in the little village next to ours - St Drezery - and brought in a decent haul in the short time they were out. It was Alex's first attempt at this strange American tradition. It was made even stranger by the weak understanding of the ritual. Celia had to explain to some of the people what exactly they were doing and why. One gentleman suggested that if it was candy they were seeking, they might try the local Tabac (the cigarette store that also sells treats and magazines). But all in all, it was an entertaining night.
This last week was so incredibly beautiful, Mom decided it was time that we tackle the climbing of Pic St Loup...the local high spot. Some friends of ours took a tribe of kids up it for a birthday party just recently so how hard could this hike be? Well...after an hour of steep rocky twisting trails, we came to realize that this was no mild mannered stroll. We were incredulous as we saw pregnant women, people carrying infants in carriers on their chests, backs and shoulders, big dogs, little dogs, older men and women, and just about any other form of insanity pass us by. We reached the top after another half hour of slipping and huffing and puffing and wondering aloud who on earth suggested we do this beastly activity. In spite of it all, the view was absolutely beautiful at 658m (2159 feet) as numerous glider planes soared just above the peak. There was an ancient ruin of a castle at the next peak over... vineyards bathed in fall colors...by the time we reached the bottom, we had decided that for all the struggle it was to get to the top, it was a worthy endeavor for such a beautiful fall day. The jury is still out as to whether we would ever repeat this hike, but luckily for us, there are hundreds of other hikes that we have yet to do. This should prevent any necessity of repetitive hiking.
Mike left today for a three week trip to the States. We will all miss him alot, but we hope the beauty of the autumn days will linger in his memory enticing him back to this beautiful country.