The Daily Diary of a Wandering Restaurateur
May 12 - Wandering

This is our last day where we actually have a choice of what we do ... or don't do. On the "Do" list was a last load of laundry and some final shopping. On the "Don't Do" list was a lot of driving. So particularly since it was a cloudy day, we kept it simple and stayed close to home.

We had heard that there is a Friday market in the town of Carpentras, a few miles north of here, so at the crack of 11:30 we headed off in that direction. I don't suppose there is anything available at a market that isn't also available in regular retail shops but the prices seem to be a little better and the ability to look everything over without running in and out of little stores makes the selection seem larger.

The market was huge and we arrived just before they started breaking down. Margene was looking for a tablecloth to match some seat pads we got at the Sunday market in L'Isle sur La Sorgue ... and we found it just in time.

Since we were going out for a final dinner tonight, we really didn't want a big lunch, so we picked up a few goodies at a couple of the food stands -- roasted potatoes, slices of pizza -- found a table at a sidewalk cafe, ordered a couple of drinks and made that our lunch. I wouldn't dream of trying something like that in the US, but here they have no problem with it.

By the time we got back to our town the shops were closing for the afternoon, so we headed home to do a little more packing, take a nap and wait for them to open up again. A little after 4:00 we headed back down our bumpy dirt road and found the last of what we were looking for. Then it was back down the bumpy road (unlocking and relocking the gate each time!) to organize a bit more and hang out until it was time to go to dinner. As in Italy, the better restaurants don't even start serving until 8pm.

Christine Conrad, the ex-pat realtor we met on our first day here, had recommended Le Jardin du Quai across from the train station ... and it proved to be an excellent suggestion. We didn't know what to expect when we arrived and after they told us the evening's menu (in French, of course) we realized that not only did we not understand what she had said the evening's menu was, we also didn't have a choice!

So we just surrendered to the process and thoroughly enjoyed the several courses without being weighed down by the knowledge of exactly what they were! A nice bottle of Cote du Rhone and the evening was a delightful way to end our visit to Provence. The only thing more we could have asked for was a warm Provencal night so we could have eaten in the garden under the stars. Maybe next time ...


Le Jardin du Quai

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