Seven Nights and Eight Days

Bonjour Francia!

I am supposed to be in Belgium right now but tickets became outrageous and I was offered an amazing alternative for my Easter holiday. So four of us rented a little car and drove to Provence.

new friends. small car. where the hell are we??

J'ai Arrivee!

Just writing that sentence makes me swoon. I have traveled around  and I have even rented a car while doing so, but I have never had this feeling of whimsy that seems to come from living here and having the freedom to pop over to a new country for a few days before popping back to my other new country. Whimsy feels so good!

the view from my bed

So, yes. I had the absolute pleasure of spending seven nights and eight days in a beautiful small village called Oppede on the outskirts of Avignon with a Kendall and her wonderful Canadian family and 2 of my new classmates.

Birthday march through the country-side with the Gustavsons and Teddy

Opedde le Vieux

The Gustavson family decided to build their dream home in this space, nestled under an ancient ruin, surrounded by grapes and olives.

Future pool and outdoor kitchen, with pizza oven, of course!

Peaceful and sunny

Putting in the Olive Grove

We had the honor of helping, in little ways, to get the house ready for the summer holiday season and/or stay out of the way. We also spent our days traveling around beautiful hill towns, eating copious amounts of cheese and drinking many bottles of the local wine. Many. Bottles.

Testing our cheese noses



Starry Night's muse in Arles

La Coste.. pointing to de Sade's tower

La Coste

Teddy becomes one with the flamingos

12th century Senanque Abbey...still monking

In the evenings, we would come home from our adventures with bags filled with all variety of food, drink and little “must-haves”, wondering constantly how indeed this would all fit into the car for our 5 hour drive home. I discovered full-fat sheep’s milk yogurt and the most obscene Meringues…I have a new quest to recreate these things!

teeny-tiny little clams with spices and onions and herbs

French Radishes!

Nougat of all kinds

grape based hootch

candied citrus...abounds

WONDERFUL fruit and vegetable-based vinegars

Moira, Kendall’s mom,  also happens to be a master chef and our evening meals were divine. Beef bourguignon, spring asparagus and proscuitto quiche and enormous artichokes, roasted chicken and potato tart…oh this list goes on…for eight days and seven nights…pure heaven.  Total unabashed gluttony.

Making Kendall's birthday pear tart

These last weeks here in Italy have been full of awe, chaos, new friendships and lots of adjustments. A week in Provence just evened out the playing field. I made up my sleeping, spent the majority of my days out-of-doors and took many deep breaths. I am ready to dive back into my life in Bra with full intent! It feels good to be home.

look straight into the sun so i can take a photo