Magical Watson Happenings

Trip Start Jul 05, 2006
Trip End Jul 26, 2006

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Thursday, July 20, 2006

It's not every night that a French grandfatherly gentleman dining alone offers to drive (in his spotless Jaguar) three Americans home from a restaurant during a sudden rainstorm. Not every night, that is, unless you have Watson Magic with you. Some people refuse to believe in fairy tales, in a golden touch, or even in luck. These people have not met Anna Watson.

Anna, my roommate and best friend from college, has joined us in the seaside resort of Biarritz in the sleepy southwest corner of France. Best described as Atlantic City with class, this town offers spectacular beaches overpopulated with sunbathing French families. (It also contains a few other characters, such as a scruffy American from Los Angeles who tried out the ever-inventive pick-up line of "So. Know any good clubs here?") If our trip through France up until this point has been about seeing how the French live and work, this week is all about seeing how the French play. Which brings us to our
miraculous dinner this evening...

Anna has joined us for a few days of well-earned vacation from her job as a personal assistant/cook for a famous British culinary expert who runs a French cooking school at her chateau in Burgundy. Anna, James, and I ventured out to a highly recommended restaurant for dinner tonight-actually my second meal of the day here, but that's a story to be left for a longer writing session-and pleasantly ate through a thunderstorm as we sat outside sheltered beneath an awning. Because we had Anna with us, and because, as everyone who knows Anna knows,she brings a unique potion of magic to life, the sole diner sitting next to us struck up a friendly conversation with her. At the end of the conversation he had warmly offered to drive us back to our hotel, which, with just a hint of trepidation over imagined kidnappings and gory dismemberments, we gladly accepted.

So for the first of three nights, we have finally caught a breath of fresh air in this seaside haven. Last night, the turgid 39-degree-celsius air cost us many hours of sleep and resulted in fanning our overheated bodies at 2am with a New Yorker magazine. (An guesses on who may have supplied that one?) The rain has ushered in a cooling balm to our sweating spirits. In one other stroke of Watson Magic, Anna has also brought with her the idol of our existence here in air-condition-free Biarritz: a fan.

***Will post pictures later.
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