Other French pastries and desserts
French sauces, especially the buttery ones!Brittany caramels and house-made caramel sauces
Spanish tapas (the idea, rather than the execution; some of the cheap, tiny portions of potatoes or sausages were pretty sad)
Gazpacho—sooooo much better than at home
Oysters caught daily on coasts of Atlantic and Brittany
Wildflowers of every color; spring was a cool yet beautiful time to be here!
Old castles, houses, Roman villas and bridges, and whole medieval villages made of stone
The day's harvest at Finca La Paz, Andalucia, Spain
Big, golden yolks of just-laid eggs on farm in Spain
2-euro bottles of wine in both France and Spain
Ancient winery at Chateau St Martin in Provence, and their expensive rosés and "cooked" wine (similar to port or sherry)
Amazing marinas and harbors on Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts, which Pope wants to return to!
High quality of hostels in Barcelona
Salt-water pools instead of chlorine
Iron work on balconies and windows
Poodle plants and other eleganct touches in formal French gardens
Failure to find one of the elusive human pyramids (castellers) during Spanish festival of Saint Joan
Weak wifi everywhere
Complicated and inconsistent car rental contracts and insurance coverage
Gavage, the process of force-feeding ducks through a 12-inch-long steel tube crammed down the throat and all the way into the belly to produce foie gras
The ducks flapped and struggled, with the whole tube inside, pouring whole kernels of corn straight into the tummy
What we learned
Schengen visa laws are at least somewhat lax; no one was around to stamp our passport re-entering France from Channel Islands, so no one will know how long we’ve been here. (But we still wouldn't take chances and overstay.)
Intermediate language skills are not sufficient to conduct business beyond accommodation and transportation--such as renewing a cell phone plan by phone; understanding recordings on answering machines; negotiating a refund; filing a police report.
Two months is enough to be on the road. After that things went downhill; afer two and a half months, we were tired of traveling and ready to go home.
Dancers are friendly everywhere!
Cajun dancers, Chatillon, France