Sunday, November 16, 2008


One thing we have discovered about France, something that the whole family enjoys, are the brocantes. These are similar to the Flea Market in Santa Cruz, although the vendors are mainly selling antiques.

There is a huge brocante in Pezenas every other month, and we like that one! That is definitely mostly antiques. The first time we went, Debb and Reed went with us. That was super cool because they educated us about many things while we browsed.

Josey’s big bargain that day was a set of 4 glass jars to hold her shell collection. She was thrilled because she was going to buy one of the jars for 1 euro, then the woman offered the whole set for 2 euros. Josey loves those jars!

I found this gorgeous light, which will some day grace the walls in our next Santa Cruz home!

There is a weekly brocante in Marsellian-en-Plage, which is about 20 minutes away. We went to this brocante for the first time last weekend, and it was a hit! This was much more like the Santa Cruz Flea Market, so there was a lot more to interest the kids.

Their amazing “finds” were small Buddha statues. They were remembering Dado’s cool Buddha back in the US – the one whose belly they used to rub for luck – as soon as they saw them. Then, the goal for the morning was to find the best Buddha for the best price.

This is a great reflection of the kids’ personalities! Max decided to buy a single Buddha from one vendor because he thought it was the coolest one that he saw.

Josey decided to buy a set of 6 Buddhas from a different vendor because she could get 6 for 4 euros, and that was a great deal. Josey is planning to use most of her Buddhas for gifts.

Both kids were so thrilled with their purchases that they brought them to school the next day for show-and-tell. Yep, they are fitting in well enough that they can manage show-and-tell now!!

Dado and I made our own amazing finds! Mine is this antique glass jar that was used to dispense bubbly water and lemonade (d’eaux et limonade gazeuses). I’ve seen many of these at different brocantes, and I love them. The color is a beautiful blue that will look perfect in Santa Cruz some day. It will live in a window somewhere, and every time I look at it, I will think of France!

Dado’s amazing find requires some back story. While we were in Paris with my Dad, we noticed some signs for Absinthe. We thought it was illegal! When we got back to Bouzigues, we asked Sandra. She said it’s illegal in France, but they sell it in Spain. Quick trips to Spain are common for Bouziguades because the “Frontier” (border) is only 90 minutes away, and you can buy many things there for 50% less than the French price. For example, cigarettes are more than 7 euros a pack here!! That is about $9-10 US – per pack! In Spain, they are a little over 3 euros a pack. Alcohol is the same.

An adventure was born!! Dado and Sandra just had to try Absinthe. They weren’t worried about the potential side effects of blindness or the hacking off of an ear (remember, Van Gogh was drinking Absinthe when he cut off his ear!). They talked about it for weeks before we made our trip to Spain. Dado bought two bottles of Absinthe – one for France and one for the US.

At the brocante, I noticed an actual Absinthe glass! Apparently, the correct way to drink Absinthe is to place a cube of sugar on the metal “spoon”, pour the Absinthe over the sugar, and add water to your own taste. Now Dado has his own cool set.

As for the Absinthe tasting . . . Degoutant! That is “disgusting”! Sandra and I really didn’t like it (I had to taste it!). The smell is much like Nyquill – complete with the black licorice scent. Dado kept trying to make it better by adding water and sugar, but he preferred it straight. Jean-Louis is the only one who seemed to enjoy it. He drank his whole glass.

Love to all!!

No comments: