It’s always fun to have visitors. It’s enjoyable to be the local expert and act as tour guide to a region that is still new to us. And it is always interesting to see a place though the eyes of those who are new to it. The summer of 2009 appears to be shaping up as the year of the visitors. It seems we might have four groups, more likely three, visiting us this summer. They are coming a long distance; an eight hour time difference and a significant investment in time and expense. We are flattered.
The first group comes in July; my sister, her husband and their youngest daughter. Peggy and Tony have visited us before during the summer of 2007. Apparently we were good enough hosts that they will be coming again and bringing Katie. They have expressed an interest in going back to the Abbey for dinner, and how could we refuse? That first year, we visited Carrcassonne, Montsegur, and the cave art at Niaux, the markets in Mirepoix and Lavelanet and some other spots. They went on their own to Albi and the Toulouse-Lautrec museum. We are better equipped to be tour guides now and have a few more places in mind to take them and send them. Peyrepertuse is high on the list of new places to show them. And perhaps a trip to the Mediterranean Sea or the Pont du Gard.
The second group comes in late July and leaves in early August. These are friends from Moab and they share with us a connection to the National Park Service. Before visiting us they will be taking a hike around Mont Blanc. Imagine that. Unless they spend most of their time circumnavigating the peak at a very high elevation, it’s going to be a long walk. I suspect they will enjoy cooling their heels in Leran for a little while. They haven’t been to France before and we will escort them to the appropriate places. We’ll send them alone to Carrcassone and a few other locations that we’ve already been to enough times.
Both of these groups have their airline tickets in hand and are coming barring some unforeseen incident.
My old high school and college buddy, Bill and his wife Kathy, are planning a visit. She is a former employee of United Airlines and so they fly on standby at some kind of sweetheart rate. So they will just appear on our doorstep some afternoon in mid-August. They plan to stick around till we leave on August 27. We’ll save some exciting explorations for their visit. Perhaps a visit to Barcelona? A trip into the Pyrenees? Maybe we’ll get to ride the Little Yellow Train? Perhaps a two week visit to the Leran bar?
Then some friends in Colorado have inquired about coming to France to visit at some point this summer. We’ll see how that goes, but either way, we should have a richness……….a wealth of visitors.