We Came, We Saw, We Ate

September 29, 2009

Well, we got back on Saturday evening from our 9 day no-kids sojourn to Provence and I must say, it was pretty fantastic. While we missed the kids, to be able to truly relax, drink great wine, eat long, amazing meals and to just hang out together was just what the doctor ordered. I woke up on my own! Uninterrupted sleep! That was just about the greatest birthday gift I could get.

We stayed in Aix en Provence, and that was an excellent home base. Our hotel Le Pigonnet, was lovely. It felt like we were guests at someone’s really beautiful chateau. The room itself was nice and not overly opulent, but the gardens in back were something special. (No wonder Cezanne used to go there to paint them.) Amazingly sculptured  with small fountains, with a main corridor that had leafy trees lining the way and fragrant flowers dotting the scenery. It was a terrific view from our window and a comfortable place to hang out late afternoon or evening. Aix was a great city — very vibrant, with lots of people out for drinks and dinner. It felt very alive and yet more laid back and younger than Paris. I mean, Paris is Paris, don’t get me wrong, but there was something more comfortable here.

We did day trips, hitting Arles, Marseille, Cassis, St. Remy de Provence, Avignon, a bunch of mountain towns, Gordes — we really covered the area in our week. The signage in the cities was horrendous but on the highways, once I figured out the system, it was easily navigated. We did one blow-yer-mind meal a day. I had cut out an article from Travel and Leisure and those recommendations became the basis for our days. One place specialized in basil, another was where bouillabaisse was invented. The creme de la creme, as they say, was a 9 course lunch at Maison Bru.

Maison Bru; patio.

Maison Bru; patio.

One plate after another of adventurous cuisine that made you wonder why anyone ever ate at McDonald’s. There was a “tuna club” that had seared ahi between two mini toasts with slices of foie gras and green apple sorbet — delicious. The patio in the garden with vineyards all around made it a definitely stop if an itinerary takes you down there on the Jean Malin, between Eygalieres and Orgon. I guess 2 Michelin stars do mean something.

The towns are charming with the painted shutters and the history is so much more intriguing and just plain old! We did a lot of walking and saw the big Picasso/Cezanne exhibit in Aix. We were always on the go, but in a good way, if that makes sense. Lots to do but at the same time nothing, which was perfect. The dollar is weak but I managed to do a little damage. Lots of fragrant soaps and perfume from Savon de Marseilles and items from Bensimon. I know you can find it online but they should really open a store here. Wearable but unusual colors in super soft sweaters cut like hooded sweatshirts and brightly colored canvas sneakers that every French woman seemed to own.

Once back home, while sad the trip was over, it was nice to see the little munchkins again. Addison asked if I was going to put her to bed the night we got home. “Of course!” I told her. “That’s gonna be awesome,” she said. And I had to agree.

Glee-full

To all of you out there who have recommended Fox’s Glee to me: I know! I know it’s probably great, I know I would probably love it, but between work, kids, home, marriage (oh, that), magazines, blog, friends, travel, working out, etc…I can’t add another show to my rotation!! So I don’t want to start watching because I am sure I will get sucked in. But for those of you looking for another great show, it has been well reviewed, people whose recommendations I trust love it, and it looks like it would be a fun and different program to add to the dvr…if only! (Airs on Wednesdays at 9pm.)

Etc.

Hope everyone had an easy fast, for those of you that observe. We were invited over some friends’ for break fast and at about 5:15 I was like, “OK, very hungry now, please take the plastic off the lox.”

Now that I’m back, Family Favs will resume its regular schedule. Enjoy!

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