Monday was Memorial Day in the United States and, thanks to the timing of Easter this year, it was also le Lundi de Pentecôte (Whit Monday) here in France. While Pentecost Monday was removed from the list of French state holidays in 2005, traditions die hard here and it made a quick comeback just a few years later. No one wants to be deprived of a three-day weekend, of course, and the French have rebelled for less. So, while my American friends were hitting the road to go to the beach or were gearing up for a weekend of barbecues and pool parties, I was doing the same.
My destination: the Burgundian countryside.
A friend of ours has a country home in Burgundy — an old farmhouse renovated into a magical little oasis far from the bustle of Paris — and we were invited along with three other friends to spend the long weekend there. How could you say no to that? So, Saturday morning, we headed off down the A6 and the A77 to western Burgundy, towards a little hamlet called Picarnon. And when I say “hamlet,” I mean it. Our friend’s country home is nestled among ten or so other houses located just off the main road, surrounded by rolling fields and woods. It was postcard picturesque and absolutely peaceful … even with the self-described “charming” neighbor, who seemed just a little too intrigued by the presence of six obviously gay guys splashing around in the inflatable pool next door. But she was nice all the same.