Saturday, August 21, 2010

Favorites of the Summer

This summer has been busy, busy--chock full of laughter, fun and new experiences. Maybe my French suffered a bit from all the English speaking I've done (sorry Michele) but school is just around the corner and we'll all be back to business. Before it all becomes a blur of sunny happiness here are a few of my favorite moments.

Mom's visit and our girls' only--moi, ma fille, and grand-mere--trip to Provence.

We went to Arles, of Van Gogh's Starry Night and Cafe at Night paintings, on our way to Aix-en-Provence and stopped for a  cafe lunch under the trees, the view of the Roman amphitheater as a backdrop.

Roman Amphitheatre Arles

From there we headed to Aix and our hideaway gite; hideaway because neither I nor Nancy could find it and we had to work through a painfully frustrating telephone exchange with Francoise, the beautiful and patient owner in order to find our way.

I met fellow blogger Delana of du jour at the night market in Aix and it was wonderful to put a face and a warm hug to the life and experiences I greedily devour through her writing.

A scenic trip through the Luberon and a final stop in Gordes, one of the most lovely little hilltop towns you can imagine, had us all three oohing and aahing all the way up and down the mountain.


Les Estivales in Montpellier

Every Friday night the esplanade in the center of Montpellier turns into a food and drink festival. Wine vendors from the area come to showcase their best and a selection of festival food--falafel, white funnel cones of 20 saucissons, Nutella crepes and ice-covered plates covered with oysters on the half-shell provide dinner under the plane trees.You buy a glass for 4 euro and get three refills of any of the wines. Of course you can buy bottles too and each vingeron offers to have you visit their vignoble for personal tastings. That's on my list of trips to make and now I have a collection of flyers and cards of places to visit first. That's motivation to keep on my French.


Each May to September, beautiful beach restaurants take shape on the sand--paradises sparkling by the Med. They are elaborate constructions of wood, cloth and twinkly lights temporarily gracing the private sections of beach along the Grand Travers. Each have lounge beds thick with terrycloth cushions, sun umbrellas and attractive waitstaff. There are floaty curtains and grand banks of seats for those who come for drinks and dinner. We spent an afternoon having brunch sans enfants and it was magic. Pricey, but magic. And worth the luxury because like summer and its glittering moments, they'll be gone.

Paillote heaven

Vide Grenier

Or empty attic, literally translated are flea markets that take up entire villages. I've fallen in love with them and can't wait to visit on the weekends. The anticipation of what you might find, what little secret gem or perfect piece to add to a collection is bundled up in someone's van and driven into the village, displayed among the rows and rows of silver, doll heads, white monogrammed linens, stick furniture and dough bowls, just for you to find! Treasure! I've begun a collection of vintage parfum ads and my first is a beauty from 1948.

That's only four. I have a few more but the natives are getting restless. And boy is it a scorcher today....natives and pool beckoning.


  1. The most wonderful thing about traveling this area is..."the list of places I want to go to again". It was wonderful to meet you too Aidan...and your mom and daughter...but of course, the time was too short. We will do it again. We're practically neighbors!

  2. Great photos! And I just had a photo taken of myself in the same spot in Arles:-)

  3. Stunning photos! Looks like it was the perfect girls getaway!


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