St Cyr Sur mer, Provence-Alpes, Côte d’Azur, France – May 31 – June 4, 2018

Hell of a weekend. Lots of hang time for 3 days in southern France, but a good time for sure.

It got off to an ominous start on Wednesday when Delta delayed my flight out of Detroit. We were already on the tarmac when they made us de-plane and told us it would take 6 hours to fix. We were supposed to leave at 3:30 for CDG and the new flight was 9:30 which meant I would miss my connection from CDG to Marseille. I was originally supposed to make it into Marseille at 9:00 am on Thursday morning. That would give me a full 4 days there, with the wedding on Saturday and a flight back home on Monday morning. Now on the new schedule I would not get into Marseille until 6pm.

But then Delta re-routed me on a flight to LHR that left at 5:00. On this itinerary I was scheduled to get in to MRS by 4:00pm. I accepted the re-route with the reasoning that once I was on the European continent I would have more options. Big mistake. I arrived in LHR on time at 7:00 and my British Airways flight was scheduled to leave at 1:30. I got through immigration and had breakfast and glanced up at the board to see that BA had cancelled my fight. No reason was given. My new flight to MRS was only at 5:30 getting in at 7:15 pm. I checked with Delta, Virgin and BA and I had no other options to get to MRS or any other airport reasonably close to where I needed to be. Ultimately, this flight would leave almost two hours late—I finally landed at MRS at 8:45 pm. Sjoerd and Onah picked me up at 9:45 pm. We got lost several times trying to get through Marseille because the GPS kept putting us on a highway that was closed. We finally got to the house at 11:30 pm. So I lost an entire day of my 4 days in South of France.

But the weekend was very nice in spite of Delta’s attempts to thwart our fun. In the house was me, Sjoerd, Onah, Laetitia, Stefan, Sylvie and Veronique. When Sjoerd, Onah and I arrived, they had waiting for us a delicious dinner of ribs, chicken, salad, bread, fruit and of course wine. The house was lovely; 4 bedrooms with a nice kitchen, hot tub, pool, living room and snooker table. We sat outside and chatted over food and wine Thursday night until around 3:30 and then we all went and slept. All very nice people.

Friday morning we mostly all slept in. Stefan, Sylvie, and Veronique went shopping for dinner items while Sjoerd and Onah and I had a terrific long lunch by the sea and then a little walk. It was nice and relaxing to sit and look at the sea and enjoy good food and company. Later, back at the house, we swam, played bocci ball (I forget what the French call it) and Sjoerd and I had cigars and martinis. We also drank our way through a whole bottle of gin with gin and tonics. Stefan, with help from a few of his associates cooked another lovely dinner of shrimp, fish and local sausages. Of course also veggies, bread and salad and wine. Another beautiful meal under the stars.

Saturday was wedding day; In the morning we mostly relaxed by the pool (except Sebastian and Laetitia who were busy with anxiety and preparations). We all had a lovely lunch of fruit, salad, baguette, and rose from the local wineries and then Laetitia and Sebastian went off to the official ceremony. A bit later we all joined (except Sjoerd and Onah — they went out for a b-day dinner for Onah’s birthday). We did all sing to her at lunch.

Sunday was a brunch at the home of Caroline’s parent’s where we ate the biggest pan of paella ever assembled. Along with bread, wine and sausages. Afterwards, Sjoerd, Onah and I drove up to Le Castellette and walked around a bit. We had a very disappointing coffee but happily ran into Stefan and Sylvie there and we all chatted a bit before heading back to the house. More relaxing and lots of Champagne and finally yet another lovely dinner of sausages, salad, roasted vegetables and wine. Since we had been up until 5:30 am the morning before, and were all set for an early departure for the airport, this was a shorter night. We all started drifting off to bed by around 11:30pm.

Monday morning I rode to the airport with Stefan and Sylvie who had rented a car. The long flight home. This time Delta only delayed me one hour out of Detroit.

Young Sebastian is married off. Now we must find someone else to get married so we can repeat this experience in a year or two.

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