The apartment here in Avignon was perfect: A spacious bedroom/dining area, adequate shower and functional kitchen. There were even enough outlets for our chargers. The complex itself was gated, with an inexpensive laundry and key entry for both the building and the apartment where we'd call home for the next six days. There were three grocery stores, well stocked with vins du pays within a minute’s walk. And one featured everything we'd need for dinners at home. The only luxury we lacked was a private patio. Since we were on the ground floor, Carol and I simply set about the task of creating one.
The facility included an outdoor terrace open to guests until 7:00 pm. That would cover happy hour, but not dinner and drinks later into the evening. There was a fence that divided the terrace into two spaces, with a door that could be latched. It was this area that we claimed as our own, and hauled over tables and chairs from the main section of the terrace to complete the renovation. The evening weather was perfect for sitting outside and the last issue was making sure we could safely access our new patio from the bedroom window.
Carol set up a chair near the bedroom side of the window and thought the cover from the bed would cushion the rough edges of the window casing. I put one of the patio chairs against the window on the patio side. Et voila as the locals say, we had our patio entrance. It wasn't trellised or arbored, but it was private. And we found we had just enough agility left in our “experienced” bones to climb up and over without breaking an arm or ankle. Avignon with all the comforts of home.
Carol thought candles would add the certain je ne sais quoi to the setting, so while I looked up the French words for “candle” and “matches and set out for the store, Carol laid out a wonderful cheese board and opened some wine for our first happy hour in our new home.
When I returned and before Carol could stop laughing, I quickly explained that the package of 100 votive candles I held in my hand was not the result of a translation error. “It was the only size package they had, and it was only one euro more than the 8-pack of the regular ones.
We wound up using them in every other accommodation on our trip, and I'm happy to say, we arrived back stateside with enough left over to survive a nuclear winter.
For three three week trip, we managed to stay in four apartments out of the eight places we stayed overall, but only one other - in Nice- offered a ready-made patio that did not require climbing through windows. That was fine with us. Carol would eventually stumble upon two slip and fall experiences that would more than compensate for not tumbling over and through our homemade patio in Avignon.