Three weeks on the road with Andrew Chen and suddenly he’s gone. Pas de Andrew. (No Andrew).
We’ve spent day after day developing our inside jokes, and now I’m repeating them to myself and laughing – even chuckled out loud at dinner tonight. Hope the guests this summer will join in the fun. One of our daily favorites goes like this: “Kimmie, Pas de fromage!” and as the day progresses, “Pas de chocolat, Pas de vin, Pas des saucissons, Pas de, Pas de” everything in France. We ban chocolate, cheese, croissants, butter, cream, and wine from our diets every day. And then religiously break at least one of our commitments by 9 AM in the morning, and the rest by day’s end. It’s impossible here! Photos below: Basque Cake (made of cream) and Basque Wine (delicious).
But Pas de Andy is a BIG deal – it means pas de the guy who compiles, saves and backs up gps, voice and photo data each day. It means pas de the driver who sags my rides when testing a route. Pas de non-paid consultant — this guy’s free advice is smarter and more well thought-out than all the Big Consulting Company team’s put together, and I get it daily! Pas de Dude Girl fan, who makes me feel like a superstar every day — sometimes those few pats on the back are all you need. Pas de Andy. He waved good-bye at 6 AM this morning. Photo below: Andy searching for a Wi Fi signal at 2 AM so that we can get online. (On this particular night, deep in the mountains, we drove for nearly an hour searching for a strong enough signal!)
Tonight, pas de dinner date. Took myself to dinner tonight to evaluate a restaurant for our group this summer, but also to occupy myself in the absence of my Compadre of the last three weeks. You know what I love about France? I love being seated for dinner knowing that there is only one seating for the evening. I can watch the light change over the Basque Bay in St. Jean de Luz as the sun sets for four hours if I want. There is no change of service. Nobody hawking you at your dinner table, rushing you along so they can make the next seating. I love Coffee as a course. Always served after dessert. Always accompanied by petit fours — bite-size candies or pastries offered as final crescendo to a long meal. Just when you thought it would never end, another sweet surprise! An oh-so-decadent luxury.
I loved the sunset out the dining room window tonight: one big fishing boat gently drifting away, and a small row boat bobbing. Just two floating vessels against a tired sun, still coaxing a twinkle from the sea. Andy often jokes that the French Government sets up the scenery for the tourists before they arrive, and then takes it all down again when they leave. I thought of that tonight as I watched the romance out my window, and smiled. Bon soirée Andrew! The Dude Girl guests will love what you have done here. Thank you. (And you are right, the Government is out taking down the charming set as I write!) Hope you don’t mind me sharing a bit of your email to me today during your layover in Paris: “Bonjour Kimmie! I got so hungry that I had a jambon fromage sandwich at the airport.” Andrew: tomorrow? Pas de fromage! Pas de chocolat! Pas de vin! I promise.