Autumn in Provence- Through an Open Door

Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls. Joseph Campbell

IMG_8059

I adore this image from my most recent autumnal visit to Provence. It draws you in, wondering what could be on the other side of that passageway.

IMG_0305

It’s Friday and I am contemplating the doors that have both opened and closed in my life while sifting through photos and I am grateful for both.

IMG_0255

I am always curious about what is on the other side of colorful doors like this with grand adornments.

IMG_0271

When a door closes it can be very sad.  It’s like we are being pushed forward even though we might not feel ready; it’s times like these that faith and hope get us through.

IMG_0310

And just like that a window opens and things are better than you could have ever imagined.  I think this little kitty agrees!

Hope you have a wonderful weekend, hug someone you love today!

signature3-no-block-less-space

Autumn in Provence~A Trip to the Market

IMG_0408.jpg

Provencal markets are truly a magical place for food lovers.

IMG_0389.jpg

Gorgeous seasonal vegetables were relying only on their vivid color to entice buyers.

IMG_0387

Stunning eggplants begging to come home and become something wonderful on your plate!

IMG_0392

I adore the vegetables artfully displayed in sturdy baskets.

IMG_0393.jpg

Freshly picked thyme and bay leaves perched in this precious, red riding hood basket.

IMG_0378

The markets of Provence have much more to offer foodies besides just produce.

IMG_0375-1.jpg

Freshly made sausage is always a good bet to go along with a cheese and wine picnic perhaps?

IMG_0379

Nuts and dried fruits as far as the eye can see.

IMG_0382

And prepared foods like roasted chicken or this enormous copper pan loaded to the brim with Paella, just look at the size of those shrimp!

IMG_0409

Markets are bursting with jams, tapenades and spreads along with clothing, table linens, soaps and lavender. All in all a truly lovely way to spend a few hours and we did!

Travel with me next autumn! Two seats are available for

A Taste of Provence September 7-14th 2019

Reach out today for more information!

signature3-no-block-less-space

Autumn in Provence~Sunflowers and Van Gogh

IMG_0514

I was at Trader Joes this morning gathering supplies for my classes this week, French Foods of the Normandy Coast and 4 Course French Menu at the Arboretum on Saturday and I noticed the gorgeous sunflowers for sale.

IMG_0516

They reminded me of the lovely sunflowers I enjoyed while touring my A Taste of Provence group in September. Sunflowers are such a happy flower!

IMG_0517

So big and bold, they almost don’t look real.

Vincent_Willem_van_Gogh_127

The Provencal sunflowers surely inspired Vincent Van Gogh to paint this vase chalked full.  This particular painting was done while he lived in Arles, not far from our base in Saint Remy.

IMG_0582.jpg

One of the most interesting places we visited this year was the Van Gogh Clinic.  Van Gogh checked himself in and spent the last year of his life here in Saint Remy.

IMG_0585

He was very prolific and painted some of his most well-known pieces here, including Starry Night and Irises.  This is a look at the beautiful interior garden that inspired Van Gogh and many other residents.

 IMG_0593

This is such a beautiful view of the outdoor garden at the clinic, also a source of inspiration to the artists here.

IMG_8509

I thought this was such an interesting arrangement I came across while traveling in the area. The sunflowers standing so tall and proud!

Have a happy day!

signature3-no-block-less-space

Autumn in Provence- A Visit to the Fig Farm

IMG_8130.jpg

September in Provence is glorious.  I recently heard someone say that autumn in Provence is what springtime is to Paris and I wholeheartedly agree.  The crowds are gone but the temperate beauty remains.  I will be sharing some of my favorite moments from travel with my 2018 group in the coming weeks.  I hope you will stay tuned and enjoy!

Welcome to the fig farm.

IMG_0413-1962320785-1539716045393.jpg

Meet Frances who is a passionate fig farmer.

IMG_0421

He welcomed us with open arms to his farm.  Not only does Frances grow many varieties of figs here, his wife creates flavor-packed jams and condiments on sale in their tasting room. Frances is truly happy when visitors have tasted every last one of her concoction!

IMG_0423-1608249426-1539711837752.jpg

Look at this beauty, so ripe it’s falling off the tree. Locals pull up and buy fresh figs by the flat.

IMG_0416.JPG

Frances was eager for us to taste his figs. So many figs!

IMG_0419

Frances is definitely a fig expert.  Both of his children live in the United States; he confessed that when he flies over the pond for a visit, figs are always on his mind.  He enjoys visiting fig farms all over the US, learning about new varieties and adding them to his orchard collection.

IMG_0427

There is nothing technical about drying figs, just lay them out on a rack and let the sun do the work.

IMG_0412

The farm was a quaint location to enjoy a picnic of market goodies curated from the Saint Remy morning market.

IMG_0425

Definitely a great way to spend a few hours!

Travel with me in 2019, for all the details, CLICK HERE!

signature3-no-block-less-space