Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Bonjour! I have been away♥

Below.. a sign that St-Rémy is so close..the plane trees make allées..these are simply magnificent..what they do to a landscape is so charming!

I know I have been remiss here and at your blogs.. my favorite reading places..but we were away.

Jacques and I went back to Provence..

We were there for a few days before visiting Italy in 2008 and had hoped to go back..the next year..

so many things have happened in the last 9 yrs..that getting away for  a longer period overseas..was out of the question.

Sept 2017..happened.

We left Sept 6th and returned Oct 1rst.
24 days.

24 wonderful days.

Provence spells ..Jacques et Monique..

AND..so many other people lol.

We are more country than city..

In 24 days we visited..over 30 towns.
30 lovely towns.

We rented a car..and Jacques drove and drove and drove..

and we LOVED everything we saw..

so the next few blog posts will surely be ..about our trip.

Sometimes..we felt we had to pinch ourselves.

We would leave in the morning..many days w/ a town, w/ a market on the itinerary..

Tour the market..have a terrasse lunch..and then visit the town more..

me clicking away..

looking up down..left to right..

so many charming views..

Heartbreakingly (I stole this adjective) beautiful..♥

I borrowed my daughter's pocket Olympus point and shoot..
her purse..lol..
and her Lululemon pants♥
Alain drove us to the airport..afternoon flight..

and Frédérick picked us afternoon..

We first stayed in St-Rémy de Provence..  which we loved and hope to return..to.

I packed a Holbein watercolor dot card that Articulations sent me w/ my Whiskey Painter's travel box..♥  a small non watercolor paper travel booklet  and a waterbrush..for what ..I didn't know..but it worked out well..
a small St-Armand's papery watercolor pad..
my Articulations kit filled..a watercolor pencil,eraser..and date stamp.

linen linen and more linen.
Dresses..all linen..pants linen.. and a top  all linen..and my grandmother's tablecloth linen apron.
A pair of jeans..wore them once.
A pair of caramel straight cut ankle length pants w/ black small polka dots..wore them once..
Black tees..white tees..a black tailored shirt..long..for over the jeans and pants..
Caro's Lululemon as she calls them life changing pants:) they are fun and now I have a pair of navy ones..
She found them for me second hand..she is quite the shopper:)

one PJ..all places had washing machines..


Keen's..walking  shoes..cutish..Mary Janey kind of..

and my Converses.

Croc flip flops(I only wore at home).
And a black all weather short coat/jacket as light as can be.

My blow dryer..yes most places have them..but I have had this one..many ..different versions  for over 35 yrs..I cannot live w/out it..I am the girl that leaves her hairdresser's with wet hair after she gets her streaks..I need to blow dry w/ that hairbrush attachment..it takes the frizz out..no blow drying w/ a round brush..I can't!

a straightener..

a power adapter..for Europe.

in 24 days I washed my hair 3 times.

I don't have greasy hair..it's dry and old.

So if anyone was to ask me what do people wear in Provence?


Anything goes..

There are so many tourists..

most European.

Many French..German..English..Nordic..Belgians..Americans...Canadians...

So you have people that are just people..wearing what they want to wear.
Whatever I wore..I felt on the feminine side of things because of my dresses.
I love loose linen dresses.
I know there is one pic of me somewhere and I'll get to it and post when I find it..
Shows you what I am comfortable wearing.

But you will find many backpack, short wearing ,pant wearing people.
And you will find..every other type too..

so just be yourself..
unless you blog about fashion and what's important to be wearing..what to be seen in.And that you will be showing pics of yourself in the best fashion.
Blogs like that are fun and beautiful!
It's just not what I blog about.
But I do love suggesting to you..what I perceived.

So apologies for not being present..

I was visiting a part of the world that takes our breath away..

where people welcomed us and complimented us..
Where people were friendly..helpful..funny..charming..adorable and warm.
Hospitable and generous.

Where going into a restaurant ..a second day in a row in a very busy resto.. Cour Mirabeau..on a busy Saturday market day.. in Aix -En-Provence where the hostess remembered us..the waiter smiled..and said..:"Salade César Madame?"♥It was what I had ordered and loved the day before..
And this was not the only time..

time and time again..the friendliest sweetest staff.♥
Merci Provence..Merci..

to be continued..of course;)

PS it took 6 hours to get there..  3 movies..

one of them..♥ Maudie..it might not be for everyone..but it was for me.

the other two..Paris Can Wait..  ..soso..but pretty scenery and Diane Lane is always lovely..

A Bag of Marbles..so good.So good.♥
And I love Patrick Bruel.

Coming home over 8 hrs..winds and things..  20 min late departure..

and OMGEE PET Airport..first time I have seen this..  2 hrs to clear customs and get baggage..It was absolutely chaotic with thousands of people en masse there.THOUSANDS..upon THOUSANDS..

And I am Miss Patience .

4 movies..none to write home about except a sweet one..

 Gifted...little Mary reminded me of Oli.

And looking at Rachel Weisz's face and costumes of the era in My Cousin Rachel..and Sam Claflin's face too..

So..I am catching my breath..catching up..gardens need to be put to sleep..we need groceries ;)I don't need tomatoes though..

and look..in my garlic bed..I had planted one of my dead seedlings of Dancing w/ Smurfs..it's now 6 ft by 6 ft and here it is after I picked the tomatoes..
sunflowers grew there that I never planted and cosmos and calendula..nice surprise..



  1. Oh Monique. That was a wonderful trip. One to remember forever. I never made it to Provence, just Nice. It was one of the most beautiful places I'd ever seen. 24 days was such a luxury. Can't wait to hear more about it. I have to wash my hair EVERY day or it looks horrible. Unbelievable, you don't have to. That tomato plant looks like one for Ripley's Believe It Or Not.

    1. It is a Ripley's how neat you thought of that!
      Jacques and I will never forget this trip..adventures :)
      Lovely people..the word is full of lovely people...
      I wish they were all lovely♥

  2. Oh, my, what a magical trip, Monique! I sit here with my eyes closed with the vision of you two frolicking across Provence. We, too, love Provence and have been several times. Longest we stayed was a month, and we had a convertible. Fresh air on our faces, wind blowing through our hair......what an adventure! The little towns and markets each have their charm. I'm eager to see more and hear more about this wonderful trip.

    1. I see you both there..:)
      I bet we would have seen and spoken to each other..that is how friendly I found people..one day..waiting for "la toilette"..I chatted briefly with a very elegant Australian woman..We saw her and her husband the next day and she said:"I told my husband..sometimes you meet someone and just know you could be friends"~
      That was so sweet of her to say..

      But that happens in St-Rémy:)
      I see you and Moonie:)

      Hair raising driving in many areas ...especially les Alpes Maritimes.
      Oh those plane trees♥

  3. Welcome back! I loved Provence when I was there. It sounds like you had a wonderful time.

    1. We absolutely did and have a great desire to return.♥

  4. Did you eat Chez Lolo in Provence? in the cave? See: https://www.dwell.com/article/mine-dining-10ba111c
    Quite the character.
    You must go west next time and check out Carcassonne! It will knock your socks off.

    1. Thank you for the recommendation..I will see how close Carcassonne is to where we may be.No didn't eat there.. ate out for lunch..I ate barely anything at night because one meal a day is enough for me.:)
      Will go check the link;)

  5. Bonjour Monique ! Nice to see you and read you again . Wonderful travel xoxox

  6. Welcome back !....happy autumn love Ria x ❤️

  7. Welcome home Monique! What an amazing, delightful, charming adventure you two had! I'm so happy you had this wonderful opportunity!

    1. I am so grateful we had this time..and thank you for asking about me.You are so caring.

  8. So THAT'S where you've been - welcome back! Looking forward to your wonderful photographs and so happy you had such a magical trip!

    1. When we came back..2008..Jacques wanted to go back right away..life has a way of halting projects.
      Very grateful we went again.
      Not fancy hotels..not 5 star Michelin restos..
      no guided tours..
      just a great adventure.
      You would love it.

  9. I am so so so très contente for you and Jacques!!!! You found your Place (among others...)!!!! So wonderful, all your town visits. And meeting nice people, of course they loved you all! I loved reading your experience and about your happiness, and I can't wait to read/see more!!! I stayed in St. Rémy during my last trip...did you go to the St. Rémy Market? Or Ile sur la Sorgue?

    Hope we get to see those Lulu pants!

    PS Je vais t'écrire très bientôt....Merci Merci!!!

    1. We went to almost all the markets..well..almost!
      And yes to both!
      I must say..I learned that Isle -Sur-La -Sorgue is one of the top 3 antique/brocante towns in the world..probably true..but the prices at the Cour Mirabeau market in Aix for vintage and antiquities seemed so much better!
      Oh my the antique soup bowls with blue flowers on the rim..3 euros each..treasures..and a gorgeous set of kitchen faience canisters..25...I thought those were excellent prices!
      I love St-Rémy..did you go to Maillane close by?
      F Mistral festival was on..❤️

  10. PS I am so sorry to say I HATED Paris Can Wait. It seemed to use every stereotype and cliché known! Oh dear, I felt so bad...I will look into some of the other titles you mentioned.
    PS So glad you packed your art materials!!

    1. Oh good you said it for me.I just like Diane Lanes face❤️Seems more natural than many stars..
      Maudie..and a Bag of Marbles.Those were good.
      Both touching .
      I bought some art materials too:)No antiques lol..some brushes .a book ..2 journals..and some ochres..I want no regrets anymore..like Sennelier!😔

  11. ooh 24 wonderful days, wow I thought that you must have been off somewhere wonderful, and you were in magical Provence,I look forward to seeing more :)

    1. It was almost spur of the moment..when you get older you start thinking..might as well go now..while legs still work etc..
      We have commitments with appointments during our year and Sept was free and my gardens were dry..
      There is such charm in Provence..and it seems to open it's arms to grace and contentment.
      It is unhurried..and untarnished.

  12. Welcome home! It must have been such a wonderful trip, can't wait to read more about it.

  13. I tried three times to see "Maudie." Every time I went to the theatre, it wasn't playing at the time it was advertised. I'm not sure who did their ads or website but I guess I'll have to wait for on demand or netflix or something!

    I'm loving every photo, every painting, every word of this post! Loving your trip, your observations, your wardrobe, your art, your pure joy at this wonderful holiday! Total heaven, I think.

    I know you probably still want to be there but I have so missed your blog and I'm glad you are home!

    Oh, have you read the book "Lisette's List" (Susan Vreeland). South of France, painting. You would love it.

    1. I have not read it and now I want to..I thought of you so often with ALL the CYCLISTS!!Oh you would love it Jeanie..love it..Maudie..Jacques didn't watch it but I noticed the man beside me on the plane watched the whole thing.
      You would like it:)
      I am going to see what I missed chez vous:)
      I find many people query what to wear..when in fact it's no big deal..just comfort..for hot and chilly and an umbrella in case..

  14. What a wonderful trip for you and hubby. So glad that you had a terrific time. Looking forward to reading more of your posts.


    1. I just have to sort through the numerous pics :) I am back in Oct..and Oct is always busy w/ drs and appts and gardens and etc..It will be fun for me to look through them.

  15. Welcome home Monique! What a lovely adventure you two had! My hubby would do anything for me, but I don't know if Joe would drive me around :-)

    1. I don't drive past the next town:)
      I think that's why we are doing it because he still enjoys diving(not some of the roads we took) and is good at it..trust me you need a good GPS.
      Joe would move mountains for you.

  16. What a wonderful surprise!! 😀
    Can't wait tosee and hear all.
    Every meal please, every bite!
    Every sketch.
    So far so good.

  17. Welcome home, Monique! It sounds like you had a wonderful trip this time, except for the long wait in customs. I'm so happy for you and Jacques. I know your last trip to Paris had its issues :( You have definitely found your 'spot' in France. I think the country sounds so lovely and peaceful. That shot of the trees making a beautiful alley ♥♥! I'm glad we'll get at least two more posts about what you did and what you saw :) You are indeed lucky to have married an engineer who likes to plan. Nice work, Jacques :)

    1. Yes we are still excted about our trip..I keep reliving memories♥
      More than 2 more posts;)..lol

  18. Sounds wonderful! I can just see you there in your linen, and am so happy that you were able to return to the place you love.💕

  19. I've missed your posts and this one was with waiting for! I can't help but look forward to your sharing your trip to France. How lucky you are!

    It's good to know what people are wearing on your travels. I always overpack and then I find people are much more casual than I. Yet I want to be appropriate going from sightseeing to a nice restaurant. I love simple dresses and some jewelry to dress it up. Linen is perfect.

    Jane x

    1. Me too simple w/ jewelry:)
      Big bracelets:) Many..:)
      I do feel lucky we could go..you know ho health is.. we just felt..do it.:)Because health is up and down ..and you have to run with it..;)

  20. Welcome back my dear friend! Tu me manque! (I think that is right, in any case you were greatly missed!) I am glad that you had a delightful time away and together. I look forward to seeing more photos and reading about more. I hate, HATE large airports now. Too busy. Too crowded. I find them stressful and frightening. I keep telling myself I will pack light and I try, but still I don't wear or use half that I bring, and miss what I didn't! I am so pleased that you are back and your artwork is so charming and well, I just missed, missed, missed you! I will have to e-mail you a peek at the cover of my book. Love you! xoxo

    1. I love the cover of your book:) There are 3 things I never wore..so I won't ever bring those again;)
      How funny to say we have many clothes eh?
      Clothes are everywhere..I see bins and they are overflowing..there must be such an oversupply of clothes EVERYWHERE.
      I have never felt weird in an airport..but then again I had never seen so many people!
      Not sure I liked that..but I just think..I can't change it..whatever it is it is...
      I am not that accepting of everything:)

  21. Dearest Nana, I can't wait to follow your road trip in Provence, as I actually have been in Aix la Chapelle last August. Perhaps we have been at the same place at the same time. Who knows?
    Lots of hugs

    1. We were there in September not Aix La Chapelle..just Aix:) Best market!

  22. How special. So glad you got to visit again. The photos are amazing. Looking forward to seeing more.

  23. Oh it sounds like you had a delightful time. We are in Europe at the moment and will be heading home next week. You have me dreaming of returning to France next year. I can't wait to catch up with you when I'm back in Florida.

    1. Provence is perfectly pretty to us:)♥ See you:)

  24. I love the photo of you and Jacques in the vintage car. What an adventure.

    1. It was an item at a brocante here in QC:) Thank you Amalia:)

  25. Dearest Nana, I do really need to spend 2 or 3 weeks down there in Provence. Perhaps next summer!
    I'following your lovely trip feeling a little jealouse, I must admit.
    Lots of hugs

    P. S. Why don't you use Google translator to read my posts?
    I believe it would be some kind of help. Try it, please!

  26. So beautiful Monique! Your trip sounded amazing! xoxo

  27. I hope that you can go every single year...back to this magical place that you love so...

  28. It's good to know what people are wearing on your travels. I always overpack and then I find people are much more casual than I. Yet I want to be appropriate going from sightseeing to a nice restaurant. I love simple dresses and some jewelry to dress it up. Linen is perfect.


  29. Awesome blog, i always enjoy & read the post you are sharing!
    Thank for your very good article...!