Monday, August 15, 2016

Aix-EN-Provence ENcore

For various reasons, I am currently shackled within the boundaries of the French landscape. Well, when I say various reasons, I mainly mean visa difficulties, and when I say shackled I suppose I am mostly referring to the luxury of living abroad rent-free and being allowed to frolic around panoramic vistas on a daily basis... Poooooooooor me.  That being said, it is not in my best interest to surpass the French border at the moment which means that I had to regrettably and oh so sadly cancel my trip to Croatia this August in favor of two weekends galavanting around the South of France. (Thanks for nothing, easyJet! They refused to even consider assisting me with repayment or voucher when I had to cancel an expensive flight to Split and so now I publicly complain as a dedicated blogger.)

Moving on... Last weekend, my dearest French friend invited me to her home in Aix-en-Provence for the second year in a row. She too is "shackled" of late via her first big girl job without full French holiday time yet. So, a short weekend at her poolside home in sunny Southern France was all she could manage... We are such pitiable little waifs! Her family home is gorgeous and a mere five minute drive to the heart of Aix. We took an express TGV down last Friday night with another friend of hers as well. Our only real plans were to bake by the pool and drink rosé. I am happy to say that we were definitely A+ scholars in this regard.

In addition to our lounging and libations, we managed to dine at a lovely French restaurant in the centre ville after shopping at the Saturday afternoon open air market. We even made a very valiant attempt to spend the day at Gorge du Verdon, one of my my favorite natural phenomena in all of France. We got ourselves out of bed at an early hour on Sunday morning, picked up sandwiches, bottles of water, and hit the highway. It wasn't until over two hours later when we arrived in a small French village that the driver and navigator (neither of which was me) realized that we had in fact driven the absolute wrong direction and were now about 4 hours off course. Apparently there are two towns with the same exact name. What with August traffic, car nausea and a severe desire to escape the confines of the car, we ended up right back by the pool once again. I was sad not to see what I feel is akin to Middle Earth for the third time, but I will make my way back again I have no doubt.

I can't be thankful enough to a wonderful friend who allows me to share in the delights of summertime in the South. With three bottles of Domaine du Paternal, my favorite rosé from Cassis, adding substantial weight to my suitcase, we made it back to Paris after a truly relaxing weekend. Little did I know I would be back in the South just a few short days later. Huzzah for shackledom!

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