Thursday, August 18, 2011

I see London, I see France

Luckily for you, this post is not about underpants :)

We were recently extremely blessed to be able to spend a week with Jon's family in the South of France. Provence, to be exact. I now know why the British are all so obsessed with holidaying in France.  My favorite part? The temperature was in the 80s every day, nice and sunny, and NO HUMIDITY! Being from the Midwestern USA, I did not know that such a thing was possible. It was like a whole new world opened up to me. We sat outside for hours at a time, and it was enjoyable. I didn't feel like I was going to suffocate. The house didn't even have air conditioning, and that was OK. Sorry, we did do more that just marvel at the lack of humidity for a week straight. I'll try and move on.

Mostly we just hung out the whole week, really. Relaxed and spent time with family. The perfect vacation, really.

The house we stayed in:

Just kidding. That was the Papal Palace in Avignon. This is the house we stayed in. Good enough for me!

Complete with pool and plenty of loungers. 
The chairs, not the people. Although we did do our fair share of lounging.

Gus loved it there--so many places for him to explore!

Gus also, apparently, loves French food. Specifically, baguette and croissant. Those, fresh fruit, and a bit of cheese was basically his diet for the week, and he couldn't have been happier. Well, until he discovered ice cream and Chantilly cream! We gave him a bite of ice cream (if you can't eat a bit decadently on vacation, then when can you, right?) as we were walking one evening, me carrying him on my front in the carrier. And once he got a taste, he wanted more more more! Have you ever tried eating while keeping the food out of reach of a baby strapped to your chest? Not very easy. The next night at dinner, we ordered more ice cream, but we only shared the Chantilly cream with him then. Rationale being it was a bit healthier? He loved that as well, so he didn't mind too much. I didn't get a picture, but my almost-sister-in-law did, so I will post it when I get a copy from her :)

We visited Avignon, but didn't get to see much. It was hot, and it's hard doing touristy things with a baby that just wants to get down and crawl around everywhere!

Instead, we spent a lot of time in a town a bit closer to the house, Vaison la Romaine. It had a lovely medieval city, built on the hillside (the medieval bit is on the left).

 Gus enjoyed the town.

It was a hard slog up the hillside, though. I would not want to live there!

We also went to an amazing French town market, which was everything you would hope for in that sort of thing. You could buy almost anything there, much of it hand-crafted and/or local. And the fresh produce! I wanted to buy it all. But of course, we went to the market on our last day in France, so I got to buy none of it. We did get a wooden alligator pull-toy for Gus and some very yummy lavender honey for myself, so all was not lost.

The area we were in was a bit of a cyclists' paradise, apparently; there were people riding everywhere. So Jon, his brother, his fiance, and I rented bikes one day and did a bit of touring. Nothing too strenuous for me, but it was lovely to get out on the bike and see the countryside. I even went up a hill! (That means a lot for this Illinois girl, where there is hardly even anywhere to go sledding in my hometown!). Jon and his brother got the bikes out a second day and went halfway up Mont Ventoux. Much too ambitious for me, but they enjoyed it. I think they would have gone higher, but they ran out of water!

All in all, a great week. I'm saving my pennies to go back (and Jon has his heart set on getting to the top of the mountain!)

family pic from the hilltop in Vaison la Romaine


  1. Glad you had such a relaxing time! Love the family pic. Hugs from flat, humid Illinois.

  2. Just thought I'd stop by and say hello. I see we have some blogs we read in common . . . Dulce Le Leche, Code Name: Mama, Demand Euphoria, Conversion Diary, The Leaky B@@b . . . We are currently planning a trip to both London and France; possibly together or possibly two separate trips. Checking off more of our Must Do List while living in Europe. What brought you to England? Is it a temporary move, or permanent?

  3. Charlotte Rahn-LeeAugust 20, 2011 at 7:08 PM

    Aww! You're making me miss my time in Avignon! I also remember it being very hot but not at all humid. I'm glad you went and had such a good time. One of my favorite things from the region was also the lavender honey!