La Vie Est Bonne

Picture a poster featuring a cat learning back onto a stone wall, using it as a chaise lounge. It’s got a glass of red wine held aloft and a kooky smile on it’s face. The words at the top: Le vie est bonne a Sarlat. (Life is good in Sarlat.) I must agree.

We’re a little over a week into our family vacation in France and currently relaxing in our rental apartment just outside of centre ville. The village is comprised of yellow, stone houses with dark slate roofs. It’s full of tourists yet still feels like a place people live, not just travel to in order to make money off the tourists. It’s not our first time here, though it’s been nearly 9 years since our last visit, made shortly after I graduated from college. Mind you, I don’t remember much of our last visit. Something about a giant market hall and a walkway slanting up towards a statue of a boy. And lots of duck and walnuts and their related products for sale.

The last week has been rather go-go-go. Matt’s the one who plans our trips and he decided to comprise the first part as a series of two night stays in places we’d not traveled to before: Honfleur and Bayeux in Normandy, Dinan in Brittany, and Amboise in the Loire Valley. It was really an experiment to see if we wanted to visit a given place for longer on a future trip, combined with seeing if Lizzie liked moving around that often. The last half of our trip is two longer stays, both in places we’ve visited – here in Salat and later in Paris. The verdict: Lizzie rather stay in one place for longer and two nights and we’re rather tired of Normandy apple juice and gallette. The chateaux, well, they will probably blur together if we visited more, though I think Matt would have liked some time to do a  formal Loire wine tasting.

Now that we have more than two nights in a place – and in a place with no hard and fast to do list of things to visit or see – we can relax. Cook a meal or two more complicated than eggs. Sleep in. Sit for an afternoon in a park or on the couch, doing not much of anything. The sort of thing you normally do on a long weekend, but without all those pesky chores hanging over your head.

Ahhh, life is good.

(If you want to see photos of our adventures so far, head over to my Instagram for photos and a little review of each day. I may re-post that here but not until we’re back. Trying to avoid the computer as much as I can.)