It's good to be home in France. I have spent every day since I arrived in sweatpants and a big sweatshirt crouched over my work with a mug of tea by my side. We've turned the house into a writers den and have set a routine to work from morning to afternoon when we meet to discuss our work.
When my mom suggested we spend a night in Toulouse I figured I should probably jump at the chance to take a shower, get dressed up and have a good time.
We took the train into the city, around an hour away from our little country town, and booked into our favourite hotel in the downtown centre. My mother's real motive? A trip to Galleries Lafayette, a beautiful French department store, for their late night Christmas sale.
The store was dressed up for the event with Christmas trees, lights, women in ball gowns, and sale signs everywhere. We did our very best and managed to snag a few good deals before deciding that steak frites was more important than shopping.
When you're craving steak frites, there's only one place to go - Entrecôte. This gem of a chain restaurant serves one meal and one meal only: steak frites. Everyone receives a small lightly dressed green salad with walnuts to start, followed by steak served in their secret sauce (it's magical, and I've read the secret ingredient is chicken livers...shh) and all the frites you can handle. Seconds are encouraged.
We happily devoured our steaks and mountains of thin crispy frites paired with a hearty house red. To digest after dinner, we checked out a bit more of Galleries Lafayette's Christmas sale in their houseware store. I took great joy in the food section, especially the giant macarons and Nutella jars.
We both tossed and turned all night in our hotel room. Maybe it was the red, maybe it was the bed, but we awoke to make the best of the morning and the breakfast buffet at 6 a.m. We filled our bellies, drank bottomless cups cafe au lait, and strutted through the streets one last time before bundling up for the train ride home.
It was a fun escape from our sleepy little village, but we're already happy to be home and snuggled into routine again.
Now back to work.