Tag: female expat in Uzes

Oyster Roasts, Magnolias and Pat Conroy

Oyster roasts, magnolias and Pat Conroy

This must be the “South”… USA, that is.

While away from my beloved France, I thought, perhaps, friends there and beyond might like to know how we spend time in the winter months in the southern states along the east coast.

In Beaufort, South Carolina — where I used to live– the Historic Society throws a party in January as a fund raiser for the organization. An oyster roast is held “down by the riverside” in front of one of the town’s most beautiful and historic properties — Marshlands.

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This year the weather was very agreeable with temperatures in the 50’s. (I’ve been to some when the temps were barely above freezing.) Unless there’s torrential rain, folks gather around each year, ready to put down bushels of steamy hot oysters, served by the bucketfuls.

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Oyster roasts, southern style, are accompanied by a spread of pork barbecue, baked beans, coleslaw and cornbread. For most of us, the main attraction is the plump oysters that are plucked out of the marsh-water beds that surround the town.

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Nothing like their oyster cousins in the south of France that are single-shelled and huge, the low country variety are small but, oh…so tasty. Short knives with wooden handles are put to action slipping into the crevices of the shell clusters. You know it’s worth the trouble when you take your first bite, with lemon slices, saltine crackers and hot sauce on the side.

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The tradition of serving steaming oysters on long tables by the waterway goes back to the earliest times of southern living.

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Truly, in Beaufort, old customs are very fitting. Here Spanish moss and ancient oaks have graced the landscape for centuries.

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Stately mansions have survived revolutionary and civil wars.

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The flags of five nations have flown over this town– Spain, France, England, the Confederacy and American.

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Novelist Pat Conroy calls this “home” and many of his books and movies have been rooted right here, including “The Prince of Tides”, and “The Great Santini.”

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“Forrest Gump” and the “Big Chill” were filmed in Beaufort, and at least a dozen more.

In Beaufort front porches, magnolia trees and quaint gardens are common along historic district streets.

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Breakfast patrons at Blackstones stand to pledge allegiance to the flag mornings at eight (see #3).

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Not far away are beaches and scrub grass and places to play.

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Yes, if there are beautiful destinations you want to see, head to one of the best on earth — Beaufort, S.C.

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Les Halles de Lyon Paul Bocuse and New Chaussures

Les Halles de Lyon

Day Two in Lyon was a rainy day so a perfect time to do some shopping. Not that I need an excuse to shop! First stop was the city market in Lyon , known as “Les Halles de Lyon Paul Bocuse.”

Les Halles de Lyon

The outside of the building is less than thrilling; the 50 or more merchants inside, however, make it colorful and more upscale than most city markets I’ve seen. Perhaps it’s Lyon’s reputation as a “foody” town that makes the presentation of meat, poultry and regional items look so interesting.

Les Halles de Lyon

Les Halles de Lyon

Les Halles de Lyon

Les Halles de Lyon

Les Halles de Lyon

Some things French will never be appetizing to me…like lapin (rabbit). I guess my boys raised too many cute bunny rabbits for me to detach myself from serving them as a meal.

 

Les Halles de Lyon

 

Many of the “innards” served in bouchon cafés were displayed in the meat cases. Fortunately I ate them before I saw them.

Les Halles de Lyon

Next Stop: New Chausseurs

Afternoon on the rainy day was spent where so many others decided to go, too — the shopping mall. Like its counterpart in the US! The mall in Lyon is big, multi-leveled and modern. Santa displays and other “Joyeous Noel” decorations were everywhere. Stores with French and American national brands were intermixed with movie theaters and eateries. If people around me weren’t speaking French, I might have been in any large city in the world.

My mission for the mall was to buy shoes (chaussures) for Nepal. After a day and a half following my six and a half foot son (2 meters) around Lyon, I knew I needed some help for hiking in Nepal.

By the way, in case you’re wondering about the physical training plan? Let’s just say I’m walking at least five miles a day…with lots of the trekking up hills. I had no idea that everywhere we’d go in Lyon would be up or down a hill. Hopefully the walking is helping to offset the wine and rich food diet

Finding hiking shoes in the big mall was no problem. Finding them to fit my size foot, stuffed with the recommended two pairs of socks, was an ordeal. Mon Fils suggested I try a men’s size shoe. Setting aside my female pride, I tried and bought a pair of Merrill’s men’s hiking shoes. Really? Who cares!

Happy Feet

Les Halles de Lyon

More about Lyon

What Does a Southern Gal Think of Lyon? “Hog Heaven!”

Lyon’s Musee des Beaux Arts: “The Most Elegant Woman in Paris”

Lyon: A Feast For the Eyes


Les Halles de Lyon

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