* Between The Sea (the Med) and The Alps -- {Pronounce: ontruh la mair eh lay zalp}

Monday, June 29, 2015

A Weekend in Provence VII

Scenic Summer Solstice

Solstice 01The whole region making up Provence is quite picturesque, which is perhaps why there is such sentiment for it, both within France and internationally. 

We have the pleasure of driving back and forth through a particular section at least once a year, so we are getting a bit familiar with a few areas.  I don't take the same pictures every time, but I get a chance to perfect some I didn't like previously.  Sometimes I just don't catch them nicely, sometimes it's the wrong time of day.

Here's some of what we came across on our way home on the first day of summer.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

A Weekend in Provence VI

A taste of Provence

Taste 1Before we headed home from our weekend adventure, there was one more activity we were involved with.  While the town had its weekly market on Saturday, it had its annual book fair on Sunday.  That provided another opportunity to take Mamie for a stroll; otherwise the fair was rather boring.  If I had been interested in books in French, it might have been more entertaining, but even my French companions weren't overly excited.

However, this being a major wine producing town, the local vintners were also present for a wine tasting.  As the book fair info states, they were there to blend culture with wine culture!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

A Weekend in Provence V

Hanging out at home

At home 01When we visit our wine chateau friends, it's either as a drop-by overnight in passing on our way to somewhere else or for the whole weekend for their annual wine fete.  They have a big country cold luncheon for a ton of people; but the whole town is also doing wine tastings all over, and we've been taken to participate here and there.  So it's a very busy and involved weekend, with no time to be bored. 

This time, there were no big activities going on, and I was afraid a whole weekend might turn out to be a bit awkward.  Was I ever wrong!

Friday, June 26, 2015

A Weekend in Provence IV

A Mother's Grief

Grief 01Tragedy is never easy to confront, but usually we don't have a choice.  The reason for our weekend trip was to visit with and comfort this family who just suffered the loss of their adult son last month.

I thought I would show you a personal experience of visiting a French cemetery, as I followed the grieving mother around while she watered the remaining funeral plants.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

A Weekend in Provence III

Madame goes shopping

Shopping 01As part of our weekend get-away, I followed our hostess around as she carried on with her normal life.  Our hosts live just a few minutes away by foot from the center of town, so it's very easy to pop over for whatever needs may arise.

Saturdays are the big local street marché, and Madame consecrates her whole morning to shopping.  She goes back and forth multiple times, sometimes as often as four different visits.  As I tagged along, she went at least three times this particular morning, which didn't count the run to the bakery for our breakfast fresh bread.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

A Weekend in Provence II

Au marché

Market 00I grew up grocery shopping in typical supermarkets.  As an adult, I sometimes had access to a farmers market or two, but those were the exception.  My shopping experiences were just pretty average and standard.

When I moved to France, I discovered the typical street marché.  They could be once a week or up to three times a week.  Unfortunately, where I lived didn't have good access to one, so I still never learned how to deal with them, especially as I couldn't speak the language everybody was shouting at me.  However, our little weekend visit included their weekly market day, so I thought I'd take you on a little tour.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

A Weekend in Provence I

Village Walkabout

Around town 01We just celebrated both Father's Day/First Day of Summer by taking a weekend trip a bit west of us to visit our friends with the wine chateau.  We normally go for their annual fête during May, but it was canceled this year due to family tragedy.  However, since our yearly trek is often the only time we see them, we were invited to come over now.  It's nice to know that they didn't want to miss our visit and were willing to share their time of grief with us.

Because Provence is fairly different from the Riviera, I took a lot of pictures to show you another aspect of France.  This post visits, on foot, different parts of their village, in existence since at least the 12th century.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Mother's Day, French style

French Mother's Day 01Last week was the French version of Mother's Day.  As I will never be French, no matter how long I live in the country, and as I no longer fulfill any kind of a Mommy role, I decided to honor myself by admiring the results of all the hard work I've recently done in my gardens. 

However, the day started off with all mothers being given flowers at church, and I think I made a rather nice interior bouquet.  I don't normally cut my garden flowers and bring them inside, so this was rather pretty on my table.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

46 years and still counting

46 years 01Yesterday was another landmark date in our family.  Alpine Queen and Doc Leo have achieved another year of dealing with each other as a family unit.  While neither of us knew it at the time, we got married on the 25th anniversary of D-Day, so whenever that celebrates a major milestone, we are celebrating one ourselves.  This year was just average.

So what did we do?  Any normal and sane couple would have gone out to dinner or something similar.  As we are not normal or sane, we pressure cleaned a few rock walls in the middle of a heat wave!

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