The year we lived in Provence, we had a silly little expression every morning, when we would open our shutters to clear blue sky, bright sun and the scent of lavender oozing from every corner: “Oh just another boring beautiful day in Provence,” yawn, yawn.
So that’s how I feel about the trip that we just completed at Les Murets with six fabulous, dynamic and beautiful women, mostly from Baltimore: “Oh just another wonderful week with a sensational group of incredibly fun women,” yawn yawn.
I never doubted for a second that this would be a great trip but I don’t think I ever suspected it to be THIS much fun. Looking back on my emails from the group’s ring-leader, Ann from Baltimore, it’s pretty clear that it had all the right ingredients from the start. Then when you add six women who not only travel well and get along, but are all equally fun and interested in new experiences, and you throw in some delicious long lunches, some exquisite shopping and lots of exploring by a chauffeur driven van, followed by long dinners with a “sampling” (in case my insurance broker reads this) of delicious, sulfite-free wine, you’ve got the makings of a pretty wonderful week and the essentials for lifelong friends.
I’d like to introduce you to my new found friends:
Je m’appelle Laurie, with a wonderful contagious laugh.
Like all of our trips, this one had a bit of culture, a lot of shopping, a ton of dining, and a sampling of exercise (and wine!).
Here we are in some of our favorite Provence haunts:
Laurie, Denise and Sandra, windswept in Cassis.
Ann, Karen and Cheryl, windswept in Cassis.
Laurie, at the Bistrot du Paradou, who is smiling because of …
These were my commentaries. Now let’s hear what they had to say …
“I loved being with women who were intelligent and whose sole purpose was to embrace a new place …and I also liked dancing! However, I could have used not being locked in the toilet – twice!”
“I’m a planner and a researcher and this is the first time that I said this is it, I’m not doing it this. I’m so happy that I didn’t do any research because everything you did was what I would have picked it. I couldn’t have done it no matter how much research I’d done. It was perfect. “
“I’m not a planner when I travel and that’s what I wanted to do. I really wanted to do it this way, and not plan a thing. Also, I feel like I’ve been living inside a painting. The light and this house and all the little villages and markets and cafes, I’d read about and kind of pictured. But when you go and see it in real life, it’s like Oh wow, they really captured it. It hasn’t even changed. Oh, and I loved the long dinners and lunches too!”
“My whole goal on this trip was to have no preconceived notions. I loved that I was able to recognize where we were, after spending so much time looking at the topography and picking out landmarks. And I loved just being present and opening up my senses. For me, it was all about the experience of the walls, and the smells, and look, and being open to it. It really made the trip so multi dimensional and comfortable. I loved it.”
“I really liked having different one-on-ones with people and being a part of such a wonderfully dynamic and independent group.”
I think these three photographs pretty much sum up our trip: