There is almost nothing that I love more than stopping on the side of the road to buy stuff. Flowers, junk, fruit, I’d really stop for anything, except the prostitutes lining the A6. That’s some junk I don’t want to buy.
When we were in the Loire Valley, we took a detour on some back roads and ended up in the epi-center of roadside buying. First we ran across the famous wine caves. While I don’t feel like I’m the least educated person out there, I was somewhat surprised to find out that these wine caves were actually caves that had been carved out of a giant cliff and were lined up all along a road. The winemakers put modern doors on them and “voilá” a wine cave, perfect for not only aging wine, but also selling it to the masses. The caves kind of reminded me of an ant hill or some sort of Frenchified Machu Pichu. Awesomeness.
While the kids were good sports, they weren’t loving the wine cave experience. They started to realize that we weren’t really there to look at the cave – we wanted the wine. That, and the French wine makers did not appreciate 2 little American boys exploring in their wine caves. Absolutely no spelunking allowed.
The next thing we ran across on the road was one of the best things I’ve ever had the opportunity to buy on the roadside. Fresh cherries! That’s right. Apparently France is known for it’s cherry farms and we were right in the heart of cherry country – DURING CHERRY SEASON! Holy crap! An unplanned move of genius on our part. At the first farm Tim got out of the car to make the purchase and came back to the car with 1kg of the most amazingly sweet and perfectly ripened cherries I had ever tasted. When I asked him why he didn’t get more, he responded, “I didn’t want to get too many and have them go bad.” Sometimes his clear mind and moderation are a disability.
We proceeded to eat those cherries for the entire day and by night, they were gone. On the drive home, I had a singular purpose – get more cherries. When we found a cherry stand, I realized I needed to take matters into my own hands. I was buying the cherries this time.
The older woman at the stand chatted at me in French the entire time she was weighing my cherries on her antique scale – I had ordered 2kg. When she got to 2kg, I asked her for a little bit more, since I was salivating at the site in front of me. She told me that she didn’t have the ability to do a little bit more, because she couldn’t calculate parts of things, so she asked me if I would like 3kg. Since I am not a woman of moderation and I have a particular weakness for cherries, I responded, “Oui, merci.”
When I got back to the car and Tim saw the bag of cherries (that was at least twice the size of my head), he had no choice but to laugh – and then grab a handful of cherries. During cherry season in France, moderation is for weanies.
Here is a picture of the joy. I know it’s blurry. It’s called art.