Our parsley-eating, French friends invited us to an evening Sound & Light Show - he'd drive. Just before sunset they whisked us through the countryside to an outdoor performance. We joined other ground-sitting spectators on the terraced hillside overlooking the theatrical village.
At dark a surprise drizzle canceled the performance. Projection lights beaming from behind inspired our ever-ready imaginations to bend our fingers making giant rabbits appear on the stage.
Camille, our Normandy Auberge host, eagerly awaited our return. As we parked he came out with a bottle in hand, a skip in his step, his white hair bouncing, and an impish grin on his face. Proud of his homemade applejack (apple brandy), he stated he didn't share it with just anybody.
Our daytime outdoor table, with its red and white checkered cover, looked magical by candlelight with four tiny cups and a sugarcube perched on each saucer. With flair, Camille poured a short tablespoon in each cup with instructions to dip the sugarcube and suck it.
His eyes twinkled. "How is it?" Apples on fire! Unable to breathe, we sort of nodded approval, which I would regret later. (Hard liquor and I don't get along. I tried it at seventeen and thirty-seven, and gave up.)
Savoring each mini-sip, sharing our life's joys and sorrows gave our friendships time to blend and deepen. We went to bed smiling over this chapter of our French travels: shadow pictures and applejack.
copyright 2005 Red Convertible Travel Series