Thursday, June 30, 2011


I always tend to downplay the effects of jet lag in my head beforehand, and just assume "hey, if you're tired, you'll sleep, right?" Not the case if you are 21 months old.  E. Bean woke up this morning at 4am.  For good.  Try as we might there was no getting back to sleep for any of us.  And TH and I stupidly stayed up late last night to catch up on the last two episodes of The Killing that we missed while we were away.  Let me just say that I am so tired that I almost put conditioner on my face in the shower this morning.  I woke up just in time to redirect my hands to my hair, seriously.  
E. Bean was really super on the trip home, and only really lost it in the car home from the airport.  I must say that living 3 hours from the closest major airport is one of the big downsides to living in the country.  But he was great on the train to Paris, really great in the airport hotel last night (two nights ago? Who can remember?) and had a great time eating french fries and mayonnaise for dinner and watching airplanes take off.
But it is very good to be home.  Today is one of those perfect Vermont days of 75 degrees and sunny with a lovely breeze.  It looks like we are in for some good weather this week, which will be a nice change from how it was before we left!  Maybe we brought the sunshine back from Provence with us.  Now it is time to start getting serious about getting ready for the Gift Show, which is isn't until August, but that will be here before I know it.  Summer is always like that.  Too fast! 
I hope you all had a lovely past two weeks!  What have you all been up to?  I'd love to hear!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Monday, June 27, 2011

Seguret: one of the loveliest villages in France. (it even says so as you drive in)

Seguret is a very old village in the Vaucluse, and as you can tell by the size of the street in the first photo, it is pedestrian traffic only.  All of the streets are that size, except some of them have steps. The second photo from the top is the sign on the outside of the mayor's office, stating the weekly hours of the town office.  There are beautiful plantings all over town, as well as trickling fountains and pools.  It is up on the side of a very steep hillside with an expansive view from the top.  It was very hot yesterday when we visited, so we took refuge first in a church with it's origins in the 10th century, and then resorted to ice cream on the way back down.  It was Emmett's first ice cream experience.  He is a fan.  He was also a big fan of being able to run around freely without having to be constantly whisked out of the way of oncoming traffic by one of his parents.   It was a great place to go with a little one who needed to work off some extra energy!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Carrousel de La Belle Epoque, Avignon

A couple of days ago we took a trip to Avignon, which one of our guidebooks said was a "preschooler's paradise."  We didn't find that to be exactly true, but there was a pretty great carousel, which we all rode several times.  I love all the bright paint and lights, especially since it was actually raining at the beginning. You can see the rain streaming off the spinning carousel in a few of the pictures.  And the scenery behind the carousel wasn't bad either.

We have reached the part of the trip where it feels like we have just arrived and at the same time feels like we have been here for ever.  Isn't it strange how vacations are always like that?  We finally know comfortably how to work the oven and the dishwasher, which were both tricky, believe me, and we know how to find our house from several directions, which was no small feat either!  The house is located along a very narrow windy road in the hills with only room for one car at a time, so everybody has to either pull off or drive up on the grass to allow others their share of the road.
By brother's family just left this morning, which means we have been here nine days already which is very hard to believe.  It also means the trip is coming to a close soon, and now the house is very quiet and a little melancholy after the removal of four of our group, and all of the hubub of their young family.  Emmett is left with only grown ups to play with, but he seems to be taking it in stride.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A Walk in Vinsobres Village

Photos from a walk through our local village.  The last picture is of my adorable nephew with the flowers for his mom, his grandmother and me that he picked on the walk.  So cute! 

Monday, June 20, 2011

Cold Supper

Yesterday we had a confluence of unfortunate events, all related to being strangers in a strange land, which prohibited us from being able to buy any new groceries for Sunday dinner.  Apparently, the open-air market we meant to go to no longer happens on Sundays as our market book told us, and the 24-7 Intermarche (supermarket) is actually only open on Sunday mornings, but not afternoons. Anyhoo, it turns out to have been a happy accident because it gave us a much needed reason to clean out the fridge a little, and we ended up with a delicious cold supper.  Here are the pictures of what we pulled together.
Cheese plate, including garnish picked fresh from the gardens in front of the house.
In the end, it was just what everyone felt like for dinner, and now tomorrow we can go to the market in Tulette and restock guilt free!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Hooray for Dads!

Happy Fathers Day, to TH, RH, JH and all the best dads on this side of the Atlantic!

p.s. FYI, we actually took this picture today!  Best picture of TH and EH yet!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Vinsobres: Grapevines and Rolling Hills

So here is the house we are staying in!  We seriously lucked out.  
It belongs to the Perrin family, who are our partners in my family's vineyard, Tablas Creek, in Paso Robles, CA.  (For those of you who are interested in wine, but are unfamiliar with Tablas Creek, click here.)  Our partners are based here in the Rhone Valley and have been family friends for years, and have been generous enough to lend us the house on one of their vineyards for our vacation.  Pretty amazing, right?
The house is situated on a fairly steep hillside nestled among beautiful terraced vineyards in the wine growing region called Vinsobres, in the tiny town of Les Cornuds.  The house was basically in ruins when the Perrins bought this property and they slowly renovated it over a period of about five years.
 And because I promised you all gratuitous pictures of cheese, here is a pic of lunch on our first day!  I hope you are all having a great weekend!