Becoming More Beautiful as Time Goes On
Tuesday, May 22, 2012 at 05:10PM
Ann Barry Burrows

This evening was the last evening my parents were in my area of France…my area, I like the sound of that.  We splurged and went out to a beautifully lit, wonderfully presented, gourmet French restaurant.  This restaurant was in a city unlike any we had been to before: it had a river running right down the middle of it.  The city also seemed like the antique hub of the world because there were back-to-back antique shops up and down the entire main street and our restaurant was even attached to an antique shop. 

 The restaurant was called "Le Jardin du Quai" and there were two fashionable young men who waited on us, one was French and the other was Canadian and spoke very good English.  At first we were the only customers in the restaurant because we are still crazy Americans who are ready for dinner at 6:30 (at least I am), but we were able to waste time weaving in and out of antique shops until our reservation at 7:30.  We were seated in a large room with round and square tables covered with crisp, white tablecloths and shiny clear glasses for wine and water.  We decided on a white wine for the evening, from the Luberon valley (the valley in my area), and it was the best white wine I've ever had in my life.  The waiter poured a small amount in my dad's glass and rolled the wrist of the hand with the wine bottle in it, smoothly splashing wine into my mom's and my glass at my dad's nod of approval. 

Each course was served to us with absolute precision, from the stacks of bruschetta crisps at the beginning, to the placement of raspberries atop the swirl of bright red raspberry sorbet and green pistachio mousse for dessert.  At the end of the meal I walked into the bathroom (one thing I must do at every restaurant, as an Interior Designer, and myself, is check out the bathroom) and the smell of a flickering, sweet gardenia candle drenched my skin and nostrils as I saw my reflection in the antiqued mirror of this secret place, as I saw my reflection in beauty.

 And as my parents and I left, exchanging many gracious words with the two men we were now close and cordial with, we stepped into the wonderland of the restaurant's garden.  No one sat there tonight, it was too cold, but still every corner of the garden twinkled.  We weaved in and out of each outdoor table, following the guiding vines of the ivy incorporating itself into the iron furniture, and I took one last look at the glowing place before the portal of the garden seemed to close forever, with me just walking away.

One the drive back to Lacoste the dark gray mountains were turning into deep blue sky.  The grape vines we had tasted were settling in for the night, and I said goodbye to my parents as I hiked up the steep stone hill, guided by the light of Café de Sad behind me.  On my way up to the dorm the voices of my friends Tyler and Carl called to me from a balcony above.  I looked up into the night sky and saw their silhouettes and the small red embers of their cigarettes fading in and out.  I told them of my wonderful dinner experience and they talked with me about the art installation they are working on for the Vernissage.  If I had to describe this experience of Lacoste, in one simple way could I do it?  If I had to, I would say: Lacoste is nothing but small twinklings in a black sky.  It is pink embers flying by, and glowing stones stacked on mountain homes.  Lacoste is grape vines sleeping and waking, and becoming more beautiful as time goes on. 

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