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5 Cities in 2 Days

Let’s blow the dust off this blog. It’s time to talk travel. We were fortunate enough to book 5 weeks in Provence, France (I know, you’re jealous). Part of the excuse reason we wanted to come is that Max doesn’t get to use the French he’s learned in his immersion school for the past 6 years enough. We wanted him to have an authentic experience again to use it in real life. In reality, we wanted to experience life in a petite ville without all the excitement and bustle of a city like Paris. We wanted a completely other experience.


Laying the Scene

So in addition to the three of us coming here for 5 weeks, my mother and her friend are visiting for 10 days, and then, my mother-in-law, sis-in-law, and niece are coming for another 10 days! I know; the more the merrier. We will get to show them the country we so love. And when Mom comes, we are going to Italy. I’ve been studying it for months and sono pronta di parlare.

Act 1

It took about 24 hours to get here. We flew from San Diego to Minneapolis (5 hr layover) to Paris (8 hr layover) to Marseille, then stayed overnight in nearby Aix-en-Provence. Yep. That’s 5 cities. Insane. We were unbelievably tired, then Tirrell and I suffered jetlag for about 5 hours last night. Lovely.

Act 2



We had a brief sojourn into Aix-en-Provence for breakfast. It’s amazing how wonderful even the simplest of foods can be. Pastries (called viennoiseries) and good coffee. Quiche. Orange juice soda. Heaven. Why don’t we have their equivalent in the US (trust me: we don’t)?

In town, we came across an interesting alcove with Roman statues. My Roman mythology is nonexistent rusty, but  we saw David after he’d slain Goliath (is that even Roman??), Dionysus, and some woman who was piercing a man’s head with a giant nail. Rock on.

Then we came across a huge market, complete with vegetables, plants, pottery, tablecloths, and, it being Provence, cheap lavender.


I’ve almost completely learned to let go so that these serendipitous moments bring the most pleasure. We so often get lost on our international travels, but now I know there’s a reason. There’s something fantastic around the next corner.

Act 3

We rented a large house (to accommodate all those guests!) in Pignans, France. It’s barely a blip on the map (and not at all on some), with a population of 3,000. I expect they all know we’re here by now. The house is perfect. Roomy and updated, with the juxtaposition of having a supporting wall built in the 1400s, as well as a chef’s dream kitchen.


When we arrived, the farmer’s market was shutting down, so we scurried over to buy some vegetables and fromage. Had a great conversation (en francais, naturellement) with the cheese lady. I brought a book that has all 400+ kinds of French cheese in it. My goal is to mark them all off my list! Today’s cheese was chevre en cendre (covered in ashes) and a brebis  (sheep) cheese. Tres bien!

Tirrell bought a rotisserie chicken from the vendor who was closing up. He gave us a cadeau of free roasted potatoes. Lunch was the next of many amazing meals to come.

A quick trip to the big grocery store in the next town, and we’re set.

Stay tuned for the next act!

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