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September 2016

À la Maison

by Richie
À la Maison

 

Pierrevert,France
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Nous sommes à la maison de Mous, Melissa et Sofia. Il est une belle maison!


Nous avons fait le tour de la region. Nous avons mangé dans beaucoup de bons restaurants. 

Et nous avons fait du shopping.



Il est si beau ici!

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Marseille

by Richie
Marseille


Marseille, France
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Draw a line about 4500 miles east and a little north of Kentucky, and you’ll end up in France. Or get on a series of airplanes and tick off 18 hours and you’ll end up in Marseille.

Marseilles

We are in southern France in the PACA region – Provence Alpes Côte d’Azur. Our loving family met us at the airport and promptly whisked us downtown for a splendid lunch at an outdoor cafe. Tim need a bit of help to translate the menu, and ended up with a grilled sausage the size of a stove pipe.

Marseille is a busy shipping port, and the downtown district was buzzing with folks on lunch break. There were scores of scooters lined up, a popular mode of transport, and everyone looked fit and thin. There’s a noticeable absence of obesity here, even though the meals served are huge.


Driving north from Marseille, deeper into the Provence countryside, we were struck by the arid climate. It’s like the high desert of the western states with scrub brush and gnarly pines, and white cliffs looming in the distance. Houses here are stucco topped with red roof tiles, and windows are open-air. But the highways and traffic look familiar, pretty much just like the US.


We’ll let the jet lag slough off tonite, and try to get onto local time tomorrow (6 hours ahead of eastern time zone.)

 

 

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Country Ham Days

by Richie
Country Ham Days

tractors

Lebanon, Kentucky
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Down the road a piece from our farm, past a dozen catholic churches (one for each little town) and past a bunch of bourbon distilleries (several for each county), is the charming town of Lebanon. It’s a bustling little burg, and I find myself there often – shopping the local stores, seeing a show at their excellent regional theater, or just for a cruise through the pretty countryside.

chd

This weekend was Lebanon’s signature event – Country Ham Days. It’s a big street fair with lots of events, including a famous ham breakfast feast. We didn’t arrive in time for breakfast but we did catch the Hog Hollering Contest and a great parade.

 

bull-rideWe scored a second floor window seat at Shiners restaurant and enjoyed lunch while the parade passed by. What a relief the air conditioning was! It’s still hot as Hades – in the high 90’s with unbearable humidity – even though the calendar says it’s officially Autumn.

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The parade featured one marching band, several historic tractor clubs, and all of Marion County’s fire trucks. There were a dozen pageant winners waving from convertibles and hay wagons – Miss Lebanon, Miss Teenage Lebanon, Miss Preteen, Little Miss (a child), Wee Miss (a baby), and of course Miss Ham Days. Then a similar collection of County pageant winners rolled by. That’s a lot of taffeta and tiaras in one parade!

parade-1

On the way home we stopped at Limestone Branch Distillery for a tour, and more importantly, a free sampling of their bourbon.

limetone

Distilleries are big business around here and operations are usually huge, with giant stills and dozens of large bourbon warehouses dotted around the countryside. But Limestone distillery is just getting started, so their rickhouse (the place where bourbon barrels are aged) is only a small trailer with little quarter-kegs stacked up. The Limestone owners are from the Beam family (as in Jim Beam) and are 7th generation master distillers. Our tour guide was one of the owners, and we discovered his great grandpappy had a distillery only a mile from our farm in the 1870’s. Old Trump was its best brand, and the ruins of the place are still there.

mcbeam

It was a great Fall day of adventure, even if the temperature didn’t coordinate with the calendar.

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