One day two years ago, we locked ourselves out of the house. For most of that day we wandered around Thouars trying to figure how to get back in. Our friends Aaron & Wayne had an extra key, but they weren't home. So we walked around the market, tried to find shade, and eventually ended up at La Toscane, a restaurant not far from where we were staying. We were warmly greeted by the owner, Corinne. She listened to our plight, sent locals to our table to discuss the matter and see if they could shed more light on the situation, brought us food and refilled our wine. One local suggested calling the firefighters with their tall ladders, but we decided to wait for the return of our friends. We stayed sitting at the table for a very long time, and when it came time to pay, Corinne made sure to give us a lot of what we had consumed "on the house". We never forgot her kindness.
We bought a beautiful panoramic book of Canada and thought it would make a great gift for Corinne, in appreciation for her kind heart. But when we arrived in Thouars, we discovered that La Toscane had closed and Corinne was gone.
So the sleuthing began.
We asked anyone who might know her where she had gone. She had left Thouars almost two years previously. Some said she had opened a pizzeria "on the way to Parthenay". Others said she wasn't far, still on the Thouet River. Our best lead mentioned a town - St. Loup sur Thouet. We checked the map, entered the location on our GPS, and set off. We would find Corinne!
We found the town.
a tower that is ready to crumble;
and beautiful old buildings.
It was chilly and windy, but we were determined to find Corinne.
There was wildlife, to be sure!
And perfect water lilies that triggered thoughts of Monet.
The reflections off the Thouet were so peaceful. We stopped for coffee and commented to the barista that it was a quiet town. With much wisdom, she replied, "People who come here want peace and quiet. If they want noise, they stay in the city." Quiet just about sums up St. Loup sur Thouet!
Ah ha! We found the one and only pizza place in town but L'Expresso was closed.
Still seeking the elusive Corinne...