I called it a crazy road trip. After all, we’re talking 3 stops in one weekend. How often does that happen?
First stop: Coustellet (Thursday night).
Things should feel like they’re winding down for the end of the year. They should feel that way but they don’t…at least, not yet. For D and me, it was a mad rush this past weekend.
First, we rushed to pick up our rental car. Oh, we had planned on leaving home at a certain hour but you know what happens to best laid plans, right? We did make it to the car rental place before it closed but, after my marathon walking session the day before, my feet were screaming in pain.
We arrived in Coustellet 2.5 hours later and had a late-ish dinner with les parents. At this point, we still weren’t sure whether we would be heading north to Montbéliard the next morning. D had been watching the weather reports and checking the road conditions online but still he wasn’t sure. We had to pass through Lyon and the Rhône valley and as more snow was expected we didn’t know what would meet us when we arrived there.
We woke on Friday morning and watched the news while eating breakfast. D decided we would go but if the roads were as bad as they were reporting we would turn back.
Second stop: Montbéliard (Friday)
So, we didn’t turn back and we went to the marché de Noël in Montbéliard. (The highway was clear for the most part and it snowed for 5 seconds. Slight exaggeration but I think you understand.)
Things at the marché were just getting started when we arrived in Montbéliard and it was, for lack of a better word, dead. The time of day was to blame as were to weather reports and the caution sent out to drivers. People elected to stay home.
Those who did visit the marché (things did eventually pick up) were greeted with vendors selling jewelry and knit-wear but also local meats and cheeses. My favourite treat that night: potatoes and saucisse de Montbéliard covered with cancoillote. C’est trop bon (it’s too good)! We did also sample some yummy chocolate, we indulged in waffles covered in Nutella (heaven), and threw back a cup of hot cider.
After indulging in a lot of what the marché had to offer and then being treated like royalty by D’s uncle and aunt, is it any wonder that I was wide awake at 4 am?
Third stop: Coustellet…again! (Saturday)
We left Montbéliard after a yummy brekkie of coffee, tartines, and lou toutché (a typical Franche-Comté cake). The drive was uneventful and we arrived in Coustellet and had tea and cake with les parents although D and I felt like taking a nap. We felt totally jet lagged and did our best not to pass out on the sofa. After dinner and conversation it was (thankfully) time for bed.
We woke Sunday morning to the sound of rain. Over coffee and tartines with la mamie’s home-made jam, we discussed the plans for the next two weeks. The day was a quiet one with the highlight being la mamie’s choucrote garnie and a lovely Riesling from Alsace.
After dinner, D and I packed up and loaded the car for the drive home.
Nice, it appears, is also in full swing for Christmas. While D is away this week — he’s off to Paris tomorrow — I plan on heading downtown to check things out. I also have some Christmas shopping to do and now is a good time to get it done. As we plan on leaving Nice on the 17th we have decided to do away with Christmas decorations. (Yes, it’s a sorry state of affairs when Christmas rolls around and you haven’t decorated your home.) But, my excitement for the holidays is still there. Yes, I have started my Christmas countdown: 19 days to go!
And you? Have you started your Christmas countdown?