Over to the breakfast room for the petite dejeuner. There was a party – a group – of French couples on a golfing vacation together . . . I think they would have welcomed us into their group, but they spoke no English and we speak no French – aside from bon jour – so we got murmured greetings and polite nods and smiles while they gave each other air kisses and big hugs . . . once again, you have to admire they way the live . . . meet at the chateau, golf a little together, big lunch, golf a little more, rest and off to dinner (god knows where in that country . . . maybe someone else’s house), and back hours after we went to bed. . . 8^) . . .
So I set out as soon as after brekky as possible to get back as soon as possible . . . Walked straight out onto the first tee, no one else in sight. Played like the morning person I am . . . rotten . . . shot an even 46-46=92 . . . but there I was back for lunch before noon . . .
Mrs & I just wanted a leisurely lunch quickly, if you see what I mean, and the restaurant at the chateau was open and had a menu de jour, so we were all set . . . we thought . . . they had signs flapping in the wind advertising sangria, so we tho’t we’d try that . . . when the waitress finally took our order, I tried to give her this variation on our norm: deux sangria, eau minerale naturelle, et menu du jour, which seemed to go alright, but then she asked if we wanted wine, too?
I said no, but when she came back, to be sure, I asked (difficile with pig-french and gestures) whether the sangria had vin in it, too. She said it did, so ok. I’d be driving, and I didn’t want a load on anyway . . .
So, the plan for this vacation was to drive around hitting the Armagnac Ventres and buy a little wine, too, if the opportunity presented itself . . . driving around what turned out to be HautArmagnac, as opposed to Bas Armagnac, we discovered the truth of the matter that 95% of the Armagnac is in Bas Armagnac . . . I had been spoiled by the perfluence of Armagnac distillers & ventres around Cabuzon . . . around Tillac, there simply are very few . . . we drove around . . . tens of kilometers of tiny roads, directed by TomTom, till we crossed a major road that I took out of impatience, where we past a place I'd seen on the way down -- now, there's something to contemplate -- and whipped in . . . it had an industrial look to it, so no pictures, but it said Ventre et Degustation Gratuite', which is all I cared about . . . 8^D . . . this was just an "ordinary" wine store, not really a vintner . . . but we tasted some wine and some armagnac . . . bot some of both and hit the road, refreshed, looking for more . . . we had pamphlets from a Touriste Office in Tillac . . . where they were still re-cuperating from a big jazz festival, so the whole place was in sort of a post-festival stupor . . . but we learnt that you have to spell the Saint in St. Mont in TomTom to get where you're going . . . 8^D . . . evenso, following signs to our destination led us up a medieval road, precariously narrow, that had Mrs squirming as I viewed the downhill portion, so much that I turned around instead. . . and it was thus that we found what we we thought we were looking for . . . but they directed us elsewhere . . . I mean, the pamphlet says, this name in this town, but "they" say, no this name on the outside of town . . . 8^/ . . . so we wound up at this dimininutive, yet modern ventre, some sort of co-op, I think . . . the only armagnac they had was Cassaigne, which we planned to see the next day, so I didn't want to taste it . . . but we tasted several wines . . . had an interesting discussion with the charming young man hosting us, selected a cheaper red wine, from the Monastery St. Mont, partially because I couldn't tell it from the more expensive wine and partially because I liked the lable, which is covered in a starlit midnight blue sky. . . 8^D . . .
So, we were so many klics from home by then that we just headed back to chateau pallane. We went out on the back terrace, that overlooks the practice green and golf course, and had our picnic dinner: tapenade & bread, vin rouge, fresh fruit (white nectarines), brie. All as a presentiment, naturellement, of the chocolate, dried-fruit trailmix, and armagnac as we listened to music & read in bed.
I had to finish the Girl With The Dragon Tattoo . . . no two ways about it . . . but Mrs had only french decorator magazines to entertain her, since I had taken over her book . . . 8^D . . . so she went to sleep at a reasonable hour . . .