Saturday, June 26, 2010


We stayed our first few nights in Brignole, between Marseille and Nice, up in the hills, refitting, repairing, de-jet-lagging. Further up, 20-30 miles or so, the torrential rain caused flooding on the evening of the 17th. 25 people died and there was major devastation everywhere. We drove through the area, the Var valley, a couple days later.
Some of the devastation; gendarmes were everywhere;
power was still out, two days after the storms

The main roads were passable, but a mess

The scene everywhere

A mobile home lot; an RV sales lot down the road was
completely washed asunder

Back On The Road, Again, In Europe

And so, just like that, 10 time zones later, courtesy of United and Lufthansa, we were back in Marseilles, hauling luggage, reclaiming the Grey Wanderer, trying to unpack and set up housekeeping and get our bearings. We passed most of the flight watching movies we had intended to see in the States, but didn't--It's Complicated (amusing), Up in the Air (I love dark humor, George Clooney, and read Walter Kirn's novel back in 2001, when he appeared at the Montana Festival of the Book), and Alice in Wonderland (ick)--enjoying the free beverages and OK food, and sleeping. Marseilles was delightfully warm when we arrived, but then it rained, torrents, for the next two days. The Grey Wanderer seems to have weathered our 4 month absence all right (thanks to the nice people at Parka Bateaux) mostly. The water pump leaks, the macerator is not up to par (so to speak), the awning is broken, and, worst of all, we did not pack the power cord for the TomTom. After the initial panic, we located a suitable replacement at the LeClerc, and since have been navigating with our usual efficiency ("turn around, when possible"). 

We have been back for nearly two weeks now, and I have much to account for--Nice, Cote d'Azur, the Route des Grandes Alpes, Annecy, and now Chamonix, where we'll spend a few days. There is free internet at the Chamonix TI, so I'll post a bit more in the next few days.
Interior of the Grey Wanderer during unpacking; the
confusion is worth it, since

You get to camp at places like Savines le Lac, in the
French Alps

Or at the foot of Mont Blanc

Wedding Day For Rebecca and Jeremy

Saturday June 12th Rebecca and Jeremy were wed in Moss Beach. After much work by the wedding couple, Rachel and Will, the Mother and Father of the Bride, and others, it all came to pass, and was indeed the casual but elegant garden wedding we had all looked forward to. And it was a very expressive wedding, personally, for Rebecca and Jeremy, conveying their many mutual interests and much of what we all know and love about them. Many special friends and family attended, and it was indeed a joyous occasion. I took only a few pix, but will add a link to the wedding site (professional photographer) when it is ready.
Earlier in the week, Rebecca and Jeremy at
the reception her Castilleja colleagues,
especially Holly, hosted; it occurred on
our 42nd wedding anniversary, noted
generously by a toast

Wedding Day: the candy table

And the post-card table

The cake--for a bookish couple

Rebecca and Jeremy, following the ceremony; Rebecca
wore Vicki's mantilla

Maid-of-Honor Rachel, Bride Rebecca, Groom Jeremy,
and Best Man Damien

The rose-petal departure

A Day In San Francisco

Wedding Week got into high gear Wednesday with the arrival of Rachel and Will, Stacey, and Carole and Lexi. On Thursday, June 10, Vicki and I and Carole and Lexi and Stacey embarked on a day-long tour of San Francisco highlights.
Our tour started at the, um, interesting house we had rented
in Half Moon Bay
We actually saw and did Lombard Street, but, alas, my
camera malfunctioned much of the day; pictured above, of
course, is Ghiradelli Square, where we had, what else, hot
Down the street was the Buena Vista, whose Irish coffee we
eschewed (it being early in the day); but we did later ride the
cable car

And of course we did visit Fishermans' Wha
And saw one Bay Cruise you do not want to take
And The Rock (Alcatraz)
And the seals at Pier 39; and chowder at Boudin's for
some; In and Out burgers for others
Carole and Lexi at the Tomb of the Unknown Seal
Turning the cable car
Transamerica Tower from Chinatown,
where we spent a good bit of time
Rotunda of the downtown shopping center where we
shopped and dined; OK, it's not Galeries Lafayette

The city from the Golden Gate viewing area

And, the Golden Gate; it was now past ten,
actually, past 1 AM for the eastern time
zone crowd, and some were asleep before
we crossed the brige back to town; all in
all, a pretty action-packed and sight-filled

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

You Know You're In California When...

You're driving down El Camino Real somewhere near Palo
Alto, and the Google Maps Mobile is right in front of you;
actually, there were several; we followed them for a mile or
two, smiling, saying "cheese" all the way, and snapping a
few pix of our own

Thanks, Bob and Beth

Bob and Beth's place, on the Pond d'Oreille River, our
headquarters the past two months

Vicki, Bob, and Beth

Beth fixing Chicken Adobo, part of a Filipino
feast for us, neighbors and friends; too petite
to be a nurse, she became an MD instead and
worked many years for Kaiser Permanente

Adieu, Idaho; hello, California

Descending over SF into San Jose