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Séjour en France. Ch 9. French Wedding. p2. Rehearsal Dinner. Le Clemenceau Restaurant

Updated on January 10, 2011

We made our way back from Beaune about ten o’clock. Steph's family thought we’d gotten lost, wondering what had taken us so long. It was just a matter of our lingering at the café in Beaune and enjoying our time there, before setting off.

I thought our plan was that  we were going to go to the hotel and then make our way to the house for a nightcap and then back to the hotel for sleep, readying to start the next day and the wedding. However, they called us on the phone and told us to meet them at the Le Clémenceau Restaurant, in Besancon. This is Philippe’s favorite place. His church, he told me.

When we arrived friends and family were gathered, sitting around the outside tables and chairs, drinking champagne, lots of champagne, beer and so on, with a some bites to eat, and all in full throttle conversation.

Steph was in the middle of it all, sitting with one of her favorite friends.

Jim got right back into conversation with, Gui, his new favorite talking partner, showing him some of his pictures from our excursion that day. Beside them Pete was looking over Mike's pictures.

It didn’t take long for me to dive right in and take off in talk with Steph's dad, Philippe, and the owner of the club. Those two are great friends

By now it was getting late. I figured before long we’d be making our way to the hotel. A bit of a nightcap before turning in. That was nice. A good way to end the day. And that was a good idea because I was really sagging. Ready to collapse and sleep for an eternity.

I’d been in country since Monday, perhaps over the jet lag and the six hours ahead in time, but it felt as if they were getting to me at long last. At that moment it is five or six in the morning, Boston time. But then, maybe I am adjusted. I don’t know. Impossible to tell. I’d been really busy with the excitement of it all. Let’s see, Monday, arrival, Paris, the Eiffel Tower. Tuesday the Notre Dame, the Shakespeare and Co bookstore, the Moulin Rouge. Wednesday the Montparnasse, the Dome and all. Thursday travel here to Besancon, and Friday, today, Burgundy country and Beaune. Back here in Besancon. So far it had been on the go or sleeping. Right now, as I say, I am partial to a bit of sleeping.

Just about the time we were, or I thought we were, ready to go, we were directed inside the restaurant where a table, a large table, long, thick, solid wooden, accommodating perhaps twenty people, was set for us. I see. Time for dinner? Yikes.

We gathered around talking and carrying on for a short while before sitting.

I see. Well, we found our way to our seats as champagne and wine was uncorked and passed around.There is Eve, Philippe's brother doing the honors in this instance.

And baquettes, lots of baquette's on the table.

Tonight the main course is mussels. Wonderful.

For Felista, being a vegetarian, they had a wonderful salad for her. She was really touched.

Finally, dessert. Wow. Outstandingly tasty and light as can be. It is like eating a dream.

The Boys with The Dad

Before heading into the bar I made my way to the men’s room. What a surprise I found. I found this small room where there is a man’s urinal directly in front as I came through the door. To the left a door marked hommes, for men. To the right of the urinal a sink and further to the right a door with the sign, dames, for ladies. Very different experience.

If I thought the night was going to end after dinner, boy, was I in for a surprise. After finishing eating we made our way to the bar for more beer and wine, and just generally carrying on and having a good time.

The boys, Pete, Jim and Charles, taking over the bar.

Pete, Jim, and Charles taking over the bar

A few more helping hands

And then the dancing began. What time was this? No way to tell. Time does not exist. The moment is to be fully lived and appreciated for what it gives us.

As much as I appreciate dancing and carrying on and all, I was so tired, the stimulation was too much for me and I went outside, onto the front patio, where it was more quiet.

But sitting outside and listening to the laughter and the music, I had to gather myself and did and went inside. I realized I was missing a pretty good time.


Somewhere in there, Gui’s wife, Jocelyn, grabbed me and before you knew it I was singing and moving around here and there and having the time of my life. Mike showed me a picture he had taken of me dancing at that moment, a huge smile on my face. He said, “Pete and I said, ‘This is dad happy.’”

At some point we were sent out onto the sidewalk, the night was coming to an end. Well, the bar might have been closed, but the party was not over yet. There we resumed carrying on and dancing. Wow, do these people ever stop? Where do they get this energy?


This next video shows Pete having his picture taken, which is the picture above.


Outside, more dancing and music of their own making.

Looks like we are finally getting ready to get going. By now I am not happy to hear it, I am delirious. Whatever happens is right.

At long last. The hotel.


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