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good morning dear friends! i hope all is well with you. it feels like eternity since i’ve been able to sit and write. for the past week my family and i have been in provence on a trip my sister in law arranged. it’s the first time we’ve ever all gone away together and it was pure bliss. usually we get together once or twice a year on holidays but not since we were kids did we all live ensemble cooking, having breakfast and traveling.

the house was incredible, set on 17 acres of what’s supposed to be the best soil on earth, surrounded by flowers, mountains and ruins.

i got to be friends with the caretaker who actually did the renovations and says it was mainly a stall for horses and cows with just a little building for the proprietor. now it’s got too many beds and baths to really even count and looks completely authentic. we even thought the kitchen may have been original because they added a professional cuisine on to the back of a very country looking salle a manger.

last night was my brother’s birthday and we celebrated with a chef who jean found. after shopping the markets for fruit, cheese, fish, vegetables and wine, it all came to the house and they prepared it and even served and cleaned up. it was a feast and i doubt we’ll ever forget it!

each person was taught how to prepare french cuisine with a decorative flair. it was another late night (they all have been)! and this morning i just had to get here before this all becomes a distant memory.

the rest of the week was spent of course trying to get a little of the flea markets in…

(my nieces even got into it)!

but each day we spent in one or two little towns in the region. it’s a place i haven’t been in many years but now that i’ve touched down again, don’t think i’ll ever be able to give up.

it’s one of those incomprehensibly beautiful spots where history is still thriving.

a place that  can never really be understood.

but it’s definitely one i’ll be back to explore

between the aquaducts, arenas, stone huts and sole buildings on mountains, it’s mysterious and magical.

even though we missed the lavender fields the colors of everyday life were more vibrant than anywhere i’ve ever been.

needless to say we all had a ball

and this morning we’re packing and getting ready to catch the TGV to paris.

for more years than i can remember i haven’t been able to tear myself away from the city of lights and most of my trips overseas center around it. now that had a taste of provence there may be a bit of a personal struggle as to which is my new favorite. well luckily they’re both just a plane ride away and hopefully this time next year will be a whirlwind trip again. this time with a small group who wants to join me and explore this spectacular site. oh and shop the markets too of course! ok off we go. more from paris i promise!

ps here is the rental info: http://www.onlyprovence.com/villas/platanes

August 17, 2012. France, Provence. 28 comments.

behind the facade

hi guys, happy friday! the weekend is just about to start, full of infinite possibility.  i plan to enjoy it took my first chunk  and went thru some places my sister in law sent for me to look over. she wants to go to provence this summer with my parents. it’s beyond exciting and i never really indulged in looking through what’s available to rent but once i started it was like pandora’s box!

these images are all from one site, in one region, purefrance.com/provence-cote-azur. i could barely make it through this section and can only imagine what lies behind some of the other links i’ve yet to click.

suffice it to say i’m only too happy help hunt for the house but she’s pretty good at knowing what she wants. first and foremost is a pool for the kids.

what struck me about most of the houses and the grounds were how simple and opulent they were at the same time.

as some of you mentioned the other day, the negative space becomes its own thing

a little landscaping

of course gorgeous architecture doesn’t hurt

but somehow they’re still super simple

the lighter ones are just as pretty and inviting as the over the top

i’m not really a pool person but i ohh la la i can get into these!

so we’ll be there in august.  if you’re going to be there let me know. we’ll be shopping the antiques markets and i hope to meet with some of my blog friends in the area.

jean’s second requirement is a good kitchen.

and outdoor dining area

of course i’m all about the bedrooms

i like how the decor is paris taken down a few notches

there’s definitely an ease in the air. maybe it’s the light

casual and relaxed, a mix of old and a little new

i

if you get a chance i recommend surfing on over to the website cause this is the tip of the iceberg, i don’t know, it was like fresh air for me

of course i’m just thrilled it’s happening and i’d be happy staying in the tree house! well, i do have to shut it down now so i’ll bid adieu and hopefully see you over the weekend. have a great night!

March 17, 2012. Provence. 16 comments.

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