Wow – October already…..it seems like I just got here…and its 2+ months later….how time flies.

With the wine aging nicely, I have taken a little time to start seeing the neighborhood, so to speak. I have already made it to Mt. Ventoux (in the car…no Tour de France for me) again, with the weather a bit better than the last two attempts..and today went south-east to the little town of Venasque. Its one of those small, quaint, charming, gorgeous hill-top towns…with a fabulous view of the surrounding countryside. And on this Sunday, with the sun out and the tourists all gone, it was great. And made a quick stop on the way back in Pernes. These are both towns with remnants of their Sarrazin background – they changed hands over the centuries a multitude of times, from Gaul to Roman to Anglo/Norman, to Roman to Provencale to French…and the towns have the architecture to show for it.

This upcoming week’s big adventure – a return to AMERICA!! I got notified by the French Consulate in San Francisco that my long-term VISA application had been approved, so I need to go back to the US to get that, and will wind my way up to Seattle for a couple of days before returning. I plan to only be gone a week all told – after all the wine is here – so I will only have 4 days in the States. I have asked the neighbor’s younger (17) son to look in on the wine in my absence.

They are an interesting set. He, Richard, is British – and teaches English as a second language – mostly technical translating into English – at the University in Aix en Provence. She, Doris, is Belgian, but with extensive family in Italy – and was working in Avignon as a translator. She speaks 5 or 6 languages fluently, and in conversant in several others. Their 2 boys, Simon(19) and Alan (17) are great – both speak French, English, Italian, and Dutch. And both are very smart – – Simon is off to University in Belgium – studying astrophysics, and Alan (my temporary cellar rat) is in his last year in school in Avignon. They have taken me somewhat under their wing – particularly Doris who is helping me with my French, AND is doing the translations for the website.

All for this week. Got to get ready to leave early Tuesday.