happy anniversary card

France day eight

August 3, 2022

“Birthday girl”

pink flowers
botanical beauties

Originally, we planned to leave for France on Carol’s birthday. We pushed the trip up to the 4th, when neither of us felt like being part of a 4th of July celebration that seemed to be celebrating the birth of a MAGA demon child. Even though the France trip was the birthday gift, there was still the de rigueur provisioning of an appropriate card and cake. French pharmacies and grocery stores do not generally have a card section, and Googling “greeting cards near me” produced a result of the closest card store being over a mile away. But on our way to replenish room wine and food, my eye spied a shop prominently displaying birthday cards at the shop’s entrance. I had no idea what the card said, but there was a cake with candles depicted on the card’s face, and that was close enough for me. I bought an eclair at a patisserie, and birthday preparations were complete. 

I had no idea what the card said, but there was a cake with candles depicted on the card’s face, and that was close enough for me. I bought an eclair at a patisserie, and birthday preparations were complete

The day began with a bus ride out to the city’s botanical gardens, for which we chose the first day of the impending heat wave to stroll through them. I wilted a few minutes into the walk (the cinder paths were wreaking havoc with my sandals), and found a bench by a lily pad pond, while Carol fed her need to see flowers. The cinders affected her footwear the same as they did me, plus with the advancing heat, and we were shortly back on the bus and to our air conditioned apartment for lunch and a nap. We watched some more of Sneaky Pete until things cooled down enough to go back outside.

food
gastronomical beauties

The birthday dinner was a wood fired pizza. The accompanying Caesar salad came with chicken nuggets, which meant we had another complete meal of pizza and nugget leftovers. (All that and a bottle of rosé came to a grand total of the equivalent of $48 (the Euro trading at par, and the no tipping policy at French restaurants.)

Back to the river and the Ferris wheel, which Carol wanted to ride for her birthday (There wasn’t a bounce house available), and we wrapped up the festivities with a half bottle at one of the riverside bars known as guinguettes. This night we closed the tram system, but the walk back to Marrakesh was quiet and pleasant. We celebrated the final birthday activity with the eclair and rosé out on our balcony. 

carol the birthday girl
Birthday beauty

By now we’d settled into a most comfortable routine of doing almost nothing all day, followed by lunch and a nap, and then going back out after dark. This turned out to be the perfect way to beat the heat wave. It also made for a most peaceful sleep, drifting off knowing there was almost nothing on the agenda for the following day. Of course, the trick is to not say this quiet part out loud. I’m letting the heat dictate Carol’s planned itineraries, knowing her sensitivity to it. And the fact that most museums, cathedrals and chateaux are not air conditioned.

Pure bliss.

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