February 2001


Photo of the restaurant Le Petit Prince




Julia Child said that eating is the national sport of France, and we feel like major league players when we visit our favorite country restaurant, Le Petit Prince.


A photo of a delicious entrée, Moules au saffron




Many Sunday afternoons have disappeared there, while  enjoying a delicious meal with friends.





We learned of this restaurant from a French friend, a cousin of the owner. Beautiful main dish of Magret de canardThe restaurant has been in the same family for generations, and the story of the restaurant's long history is written on the front of their menu.

We love bringing friends here, because everyone is always amazed by the food and the superb service. It is so wonderfully French to care so much about the quality of the food, its proper preparation and presentation, even in a restaurant in a village as small as Saint-Alban-les-Eaux.



A plate of several small yummy desserts

We have been here so often for lunch that when we ask for a reservation, they just say that they will make a note. They never ask our name, and we suspect that they just write down, "the Americans with the dog".




On the way home from our last leisurely lunch, we stopped by our local gympeople working out on machines in a gym to inquire about membership.

We were with our neighbors from the port, and we had all been talking about joining the gym for months. Going into town, we would walk by and look, but all alone we were a little intimidated to enter and ask about joining. We didn't know if we would feel out of place or be unwelcome because we are foreigners.

We gathered up our nerve that afternoon since we were all together, and we walked in and signed up.  We are glad that we did.


people sitting around a table having coffee and talking

 The first morning that we went to work out, everyone immediately made us feel welcome by introducing themselves and asking how in the world a group of Americans happened into their gym. We told them that we are wintering on our boats at the port, and a whole group of people stopped what they were doing to ask us questions about where we were from in the U.S. and what brought us to France. The members are an interesting group of fun loving people, whose desire to stay fit is somewhat challenged by their love of conversation and morning pastries.

We have noticed that there is always more conversation than exercise going on in this gym. There is quite a handsome couple from the gyma bit of joking going back and forth during the workouts, and then someone turns the joke into a longer conversation, and it is not unusual for the one and only treadmill in the gym to be tied up while the person who was working out gets into a long and interesting conversation that soon attracts a crowd.  No one ever seems to complain or interrupt the group, they just wait until the story is over and everyone has stopped leaning on the treadmill and gone back to their respective exercises.

We have never belonged to a gym before where everyone greets us with kisses as soon as we walk in the door. Christian and Gisele go out of their way to make us feel welcome, and we are becoming friends. They give us restaurant advice, tell us where to find the best produce markets, where they shop for wine, and we do all this while working out. Since food is what everyone else working out around us is talking about, we feel like we fit right in.