Wednesday, October 31

Day 9 Amazing Market tour and more amazing Provence!

Ok, if you are ever in Provence, look up Curious Provence and book a tour with Ashley!  She’s amazing!  Even if you don’t come to Provence, follow her on Instagram. It will inspire you to come to Provence!  We had a market tour for the 7 of us in St Remy de Provence. The town that Nostradamus is from and the town that they sent Vincent Van Gogh to after he cut off his ear in Arles. It’s a beautiful city with a great market on Wednesday’s. Having someone like Ashley to take us around was perfect!  She is Canadian, so she speaks perfect English.  She speaks perfect French and she worked as an assistant to vendors at the market so she knows all of the vendors and took us to the best ones.  We got to sample amazing cheeses, great sausages, amazing local olive oil, olives, tapenade and all sorts of other spreads and goodies. We even got to eat fresh oysters right from the Mediterranean. At least the brave ones of us! LOL  it was supposed to be a 2 and a half hour tour but she spent well over 4 hours with us and made an amazing picnic for us of the things we got at the market as well as a ratatouille tart and salt cod in puff pastry that she made for us. What a sweetheart!  We also had fantastic wines from the next village over and just had an overall amazing experience!  It was supposed to rain all day today but it didn’t rain for the whole time we were walking through the market. Then, as soon as we went inside for our picnic, it started pouring!!  The great market tour was watched over by the heavens to make sure it went perfect. Again, thanks Ashley who is the site Curious Provence for being awesome. Please follow her, go to her!  You won’t be disappointed!  After that, we went to Les Baux, a ruined castle on the top of a mountain with a whole village around it. What a great place!  It looks like you’ve left Provence and are on the moon!  We walked around there for a while and got blown all around by some crazy winds before the lightning and the thunder started coming. So we left and went to the Carrieres de Lumieres, a quarry that they’ve turned into a theater for a cool multimedia experience. This year it was featuring the works of Picasso mainly. It was really cool!  We have seen a lot of Picasso this tour!  Even our van is a Picasso! We drove back to Avignon after the Picasso show and relaxed and warmed up and dried out for a bit before going to dinner at L’Epicerie. A lovely restaurant in a gorgeous square close to all of our AirBnbs. It was one of the best meals of the trip!  Absolutely delicious!  Check out the pictures and know, the steak was the best we have had all trip and the cheesecake was probably the best too. We had more amazing wine at dinner!  If you have bad wine in France you’re doing something wrong!  So that’s today, it was really a great day!  Now if we can just get the weather to cooperate a little more it’ll be even better!  Tomorrow should be another fun day! We are going to Avignon’s farmers market then some wine tasting and finally we get to visit the Palace of the Popes!  The main reason people come here to Avignon!  We also have a reservation at a really special place for dinner so get ready for some good food pictures tomorrow!!!  It means the world to us that you all keep reading our blog!  We hope it inspires you to go out and see the world!  We would love it to be with us, and we would love this to inspire you to come to France, but the important thing is just to go out and travel. See how the rest of the world lives. See how we may not always do things the best where we live. There’s a whole world out there that has their own ideas of how life should be lived and I must say, the French do a damn good job of it!  

Tuesday, October 30

Day 8 Provence just has a way of charming people!

Emily and I just love it here in Avignon!  We always talk about buying an apartment and renting it out as an AirBnb for most of the year and then having a great place to come anytime we can. Coming here with a group only underscores the fact that Avignon has that effect on everyone!  It’s wonderful here!  The pace is slower, the town is smaller, but still big enough to have everything. Amazing food and wine is everywhere. And then you have all the old and ancient buildings. It makes for a magical atmosphere. Today we went and picked up our rental van!  A Citroen!  A French van!  Perfect. It’s a 7 person van that’s pretty small. Fortunately we have 2 people who are also pretty short to sit in the way back!!  It’s a blast to drive it!  Heck, it’s a blast to just drive here!  At least once I get out of the city. LOL  We went to Orange first to see the ancient Roman theater. The most intact Roman theater in the world. It’s a favorite of ours and even though the acoustic wall was behind scaffolding, it still is an amazing place. The group really seemed to enjoy it also!  It was a beautiful day today, that just made it even better. We spent a good amount of time there and then we drove home. Grabbed some snacks and then went for the Avignon City walk that we had to cut short because of the rain. It was perfect. We always love that walk. It really shows the different neighborhoods and personalities of this great city. We stopped for wine at a local wine bar and we all had glasses of fantastic local wines with some charcuterie. Always a wonderful way to end an afternoon!  😜. Then we went to find a place to eat. No reservation tonight so we went to a place we loved before and found out that they were totally booked. It’s much harder to find tables with 7 people!  So we made reservations there for tomorrow and looked quickly for a replacement option. We ended up at a nice local place that was buzzing with business and had lots of French people eating in it. ALWAYS a good sign!  It ended up being a good meal.  Not a great meal, but definitely nothing to complain about!  The desserts were definitely a highlight. The Salted Caramel cake was a showstopper!!  We also splurged on some nice wines with dinner tonight which was very nice indeed!  They definitely have some good wine around these parts!  After that we all went back to our homes to get some rest because we have to get up early tomorrow. We have a tour through a woman who has a tour company called Curious Provence. We are VERY excited to meet her because we have been following her on Instagram and she seems amazing!  Definitely someone that we need to get to know better!  She is taking us on a market and city tour of St Remy de Provence. The town where Van Gogh spent some time and where Nostradamus was from!  Unfortunately it’s supposed to be rainy and yucky again tomorrow. That’s gonna make for an interesting market experience!  But the weather can change on a dime and possibly can end up being fine!  We shall see. Either way, it’s great to be in Provence!!!  More to come!  Thanks for reading!!