Sunday, October 6, 2013

Bits and pieces

I've been home for 3 days and finally slept a little longer this morning. Getting right back into my life here, which is a good thing but now with the benefit of wonderful memories from my amazing adventure in Paris and Provence. 

Before I end this blog, with a sigh, I wanted to share just a few more pictures. These didn't make it into the blog earlier but deserve to be included now. I may have repeated a few here but some do bear repeating. 


I know I shared this but one memory will be the Eiffel Tower every day and from many places. 


The arches in Ste. Chapelle. This was beautiful from every angle. 


Beautiful floors. It seemed that there was embellishment in so many spots all around Paris. It seems to be dressed for the party at all times. 


Driving down ancient narrow streets. 


Some a bit wider than others. And the colors, ah, the colors. 


Another picture of Pont du Gard. It was hard to take a bad picture that day. 


An updated Proven├žal kitchen. I want this!


Still life. The fan is so telling. Not much AC in France. But the fan adds to the charm. 


A find in someone's house. Their home used to be a bakery and this was the oven. 


Bakeries, in a word, bakeries. 


Mediterranean blue


Shutters in Cassis. 


Cheese. 


Another ancient narrow street. 


A wonderful trompe l'oeil window in St. Remy


Lavender fields everywhere. Sadly, not in bloom, but lovely and fragrant too. 


Old Proven├žal homes. So lovely. 

I'm ready to close the book on this adventure. I am so very fortunate to have had this opportunity and appreciate all of you who accompanied me by reading this blog. 

French is such a pretty language so I will say goodby in French but certainly not forever. If I could say I'll be back in French, I would, but instead, I will simply say Au revoir. 

Saturday, October 5, 2013

City home, country home


I woke up at 4:30 this morning and couldn't get back to sleep so I have been on the computer for a bit. Decided I would go ahead and write the next post that I planned to write. Before I end this story, I wanted to share the places I stayed. I really thought they were both perfect for their locations.


The apartment that Candy and Chuck are renting for the year is so very nice. Small and compact with a lot of charm. The apartment is on the 6th floor, with an elevator!, and gives that wonderful view of the Eiffel Tower. I mean, really, what more could you want.


The kitchen is also very compact but there is room to prepare that cheese and bread meal so who needs more space. See the "grass" on the cabinet. There were a few more cute appliques on the wall on the other side. Lots of care went into this apartment.


Don't you love the clock! It reminds me of the one that is on the front of Musee d'Orsay. Just the right touch with the cabinet below.


My room, well, it was for 4 days. Views out the window remind you that you're in Paris! Just right.


And, this was the door to the apartment, right as you got off the elevator. Wouldn't you feel like you were entering book lovers heaven through this door? And yes, there were a lot of books in the apartment. Just a lovely place.


Then on to Provence, where Elaine has created a lovely Provencal home. This is the front of the house, notice the tiled roof and the shutters at the window. These are charming and a security feature. It seems that insurance companies require the shutters, which latch inside, or bars at the windows. You can just barely see the bars at the kitchen window and the window to the powder room on the right.


This is the home of the one of the neighbors where you can see what the shutters look like closed. You see this on really old buildings too. I love the way these new houses mimic the architecture of Provence. I want these on my windows!



Here is a view into the dining area. Not sure my pictures can capture the charm of the house but I'll try. Loved this big clock too.


This is another view in the living room. The kitchen is to the right. The door leads to the stairs and front door. Charming, right?


This is another side of the living room. I took this picture the morning I was leaving and it was very early. No sunlight to light the room.


In the kitchen, this is the refrigerator!


The other side of the kitchen. Hard to take pictures of that.


And this is the guest room, or, I like to think of as my room while I was there. Isn't it charming? The bedding, etc. is much like mine at home. So serene.

I must say thank you again to Candy, Chuck and Elaine for opening their doors to me and giving me these homes away from home during my stay. And then being amazing tour guides for my trip.

Bye for now. Bits and pieces to be shared later.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Jiggety-jig

No, I couldn't give up on the themed titles. Without this one it would not have been complete. These are the  two videos I wanted to share with you. One takes you back to Paris to see the nighttime show at the Eiffel Tower each night. And I got to watch it out the window~


http://youtu.be/pAVRk8yURs0


The second travels back to Provence. I saw this man as we entered the market in Marseille. Really captures the flavor of the market and of France.

http://youtu.be/tacPLdjE6nQ

This was my first full day home and I did manage to make it with only one little power nap. Staying up again till 11:00 so maybe I can sleep a little later today.

I hope you enjoy the videos. I'll be back tomorrow with a few bits and pieces of the trip to share with you.

Au revoir!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Home again, home again...


The homeward journey has ended. I left Oppede this morning at 7:00 am (their time) and got through customs and passport control in Philadelphia by 4:15 (our time). I think the total travel time was over 15 hours and I can say it really wasn't too bad.

This was the scene this morning as we approached the airport in Marseille. One of the runways goes right out over the water. Ay yi yi. Only had to walk about 4 miles in the Frankfurt airport, go through  security again and passport control but I made the flight just in time. We left 10 minutes after I sat down! But the flight was smooth and we even arrived 30 minutes early!

Now to stay awake until 11:00 so maybe I can sleep past 3:00 am.

Stay tuned for those extra bits and pieces I saved to share when I got home. 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

To market, to market...


We were back on the road again today to go to market in Saint Remy de Provence. Don't you love the trees that line this road? Reminded me a little of the drives to plantations in the south. It was a very pleasant drive there which took us past a school with this amazing mural. 


This is only part of it but wouldn't that be a welcome sight for kids every morning. It reminded me a little of the murals in Philadelphia. 


This market is a little bigger than the one we went to my first day here. That one was in a village and this was in a town Hence the difference. And this is my last day before leaving so I was on a mission!


This is an artist I bought a small painting from. She was charming and had spent some time in California. Elaine is standing with her. 


As did the other market, this one had a wonderful mix of things. These pigs are an example of something we did NOT buy. Hmmm, wonder why?


There were just as many colorful and fun things to look at - spices. 


Olives - I wish you could smell the wonderful aroma. My mouth is watering just writing about it!


Yes, there was even Chinese food.  Nems are egg rolls.


Love these funny looking tomatoes. And the beans too. 


Can you believe these clementines? So pretty in the sun. 


The fish in the middle is the same that I ate yesterday, in its uncooked and skinned state. 


By far our favorite dealer. She is Irish and has lived in France for over 20 years. Simply charming!


After all that browsing it was time for a break. We started with drinks at 11:30 because they wouldn't serve lunch until noon. They are very precise about eating times here and will close down and re-open for the next mealtime. 


My last cafe meal was risotto with champignons. Delicious. We did see lots of different mushrooms at the market. These looked funny but tasted delicious. 


After lunch we headed to the St. Paul Monastery where Van Gogh was hospitalized from 1889-90. He painted 150 works while he stayed there but none are on exhibit anywhere near there today. 


We strolled around the grounds and visited the interior where there is a recreation of his room. I love this statue of him holding sunflowers. 


Van Gogh's room. There are still patients there and they frequently use art therapy with them. Some of their work was in display and some were copies of Van Gogh's work. 


These reproductions were hanging in the garden. 


One more sight to see on our way back to the house. We drove through Maubec, a town built in the Middle Ages. I keep having to remind myself that I'm in France and that's where it all started. 


These are just a few houses we have passed each day. Very Peter Mayle looking, don't you think?


Not unusual to see these houses everywhere in Provence. Elaine said the French hide their wealth so the exterior might look run-down but the interiors can be amazing. 

I'm so sad to be writing this post today. I'm leaving here in less than 24 hours. From Marseille to Frankfurt to Philadelphia. 

I'm taking many wonderful memories with me and will actually be posting a few more times because I just could not share everything I did and saw. Will be sharing bits and pieces after I get home. 

Today I'm ending with a HUGE  thank you to Candy and Chuck in Paris and Elaine here in Provence. Their very welcoming invitation to visit and heartwarming hospitality helped to make this dream trip come true. 

Merci beaucoup from the bottom of my heart!