We did a home exchange last summer with a very nice couple who live in Pebble Beach, California, one of the most beautiful places in the world. Emily has kindly agreed to write of her time in France as a guest host here on Frenchless in France while we are in the States for yet another grandbaby-number 7-and I will be posting a few things I have saved up but, in the meantime, I think you will really enjoy Emily’s writing and her delight with France.
We are here! After nearly seven years of watching on-line while the Paris apartment was being remodeled (the first time) and the house in Provence was being built and furnished, it’s as though – like Alice’s rabbit hole – we’ve fallen right through the computer monitor and landed in the middle of “Frenchless in France.” We’re dizzy from the sensation of “deja vu”…or maybe it’s the jet lag! I’ll be sharing with Linda’s readers some of the people and places we encountered during our stay in la belle France. Because I’m surely the last person in the western hemisphere to begin using a digital camera (this trip), my technique leaves something to be desired; my photos will be more touristic and less artistic than Linda’s. However, I hope that they will hold your interest in things francais while she is out of the country.
We’re located, chez Mathieu, in the eastern quarter of the “Parc naturel regional du Luberon.” We seemingly are so far out in the countryside that the birds have to stop and ask directions but soon we’ll be careening around the back roads as though we’ve always lived here. It’s lovely here on Linda’s mountain. We sit on the terrace in the warm sunshine nibbling cheese and swilling vin rose while looking over the green, green Luberon valley with “Cezanne’s” Montagne Ste-Victoire in the distance
The pool is warmed by the sun…but not much! While “monsieur” swims daily, I’m more content to sit under the shade of Linda’s new pool cabana. It also shares the wonderful view overlooking the green valley and red tile roofs. The soft salmon-colored stucco and vivid blue shutters of the homes in Provence, as well as the architectural designs are prescribed by the regional authorities; a wise decision for protecting the traditional charm.
Early morning in Provence! It’s very cool in the mornings but not too cool for sitting outside to munch on baguettes with jam, and sip a hot cafe creme while mesmerized by the view. Delicious!
At mid-day and even in the evening it still is warm enough to enjoy eating on the terrace, although we do have to share the space with very aggressive wasps. Maurice once told Linda that we have to be “one” with nature…or something like that. Well, I was “one” with a very large wasp today when he crawled inside my sandal and let me know who’s boss! The colorful Provencal tablecloths are sold in every open-air market throughout the region and it’s quite a quandary deciding which of the beautiful prints to buy. Because of the mistral winds which occur without warning, it’s necessary to secure the tablecloth with plastic clamps all around. (you’ll note a tiny blue clamp beside “monsieur’s” elbow)