Wednesday, April 1, 2009

A Wealth of Visitors

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.


Peggy said...

Not that I want any competition for the best time slots, but Nancy and Doug are great hosts. When we arrived in 2007, Doug had a list of about 16 things that would be fun to see and do. By the time we left ten days later, we had completed and checked off 12 of those excursions! And we still had time for walks around Leran and visits to the local bar. We had a great time and look forward to this summer.

Anonymous said...

I am envious of the lucky people who are coming to Leran for visits! This year I have 2 weddings in Indiana and Illinois and an expected visit from my mother in my meager 10days of vacation have been spoken for! Perhaps 2010 will be my year...a 60th birthday present to myself! Time will tell!

It's obvious that you're going to have a wonderful summer and you'll have lots of adventures to report on the blog. I look forward to reading all about it!


Bill Minckler said...

Kathy and I just spent two days in Bisbee (AZ) trying to get ourselves up to social snuff for the visit. Do you have bikers and hippies in Leran?