Thursday, June 2, 2011

Day Zero Countdown to Provence: See You Soon In France

Picture this meal in Provence

Tonight my husband Jake and I board an Air France flight from Washington, DC bound for Paris and then on to Marseilles.  Saturday morning when we arrive, we’ll hoist enough luggage for a three month stay onto a shuttle bus to Aix-en-Provence. 

Forty minutes later we’ll meet Christina, the friendly English-speaking owner of our one bedroom apartment.  As always on our trips to France, we’ll speak as much French as we can muster, but it's reassuring that we have a sympathetic English speaker nearby.  I can’t wait to see our apartment in the center of one of the most beautiful small cities in France.
If you haven’t yet visited southern France, you may be wondering, where is Aix-en-Provence?  Aix is a jewel of southern France that isn't far from the seaside village of Cassis (of black currant liquor fame) and the Mediterranean Sea.  As a university town, Aix boasts one of the most beautiful boulevards in France, the Cours Mirabeau, lined with stately plane trees and plentiful side-walk cafes.    Not surprisingly the cuisine features fresh seafood and delicious local produce.  Watch a short video if you’re curious about the lovely Aix.  Months ago, I found just the lodging we desired by going to the Aix tourism Web site which showcases a treasure trove of information about what to do and where to stay in Aix.

Provence makes up a large swathe of land that stretches from Orange in the northwest to the Italian border in the east and includes the Côte d’Azur (French Riviera).  Provence is known for lavender fields and other flowers, wines, gorges, produce, and stunning countryside, and seascapes.  Take a look at a map and you can’t help but notice the many choices Provence has to offer from the old papal palace at Avignon to large cities like Nice. 

The trip is sure to be full of the tantalizing tastes of Provence.  Les Florets Hotel and Restaurant immediately comes to mind.  They served us our most memorable and sumptuous meal in a garden located in the wine country in Gigondas (Côte de Rhone appellation wines).

Remember that I promised you that I’d report back about whether I gain, maintain, or lose weight during the trip?  Rest assured I weighed myself today, will do so upon my return, and let you know how I fared.  Some of you may know about my deep love for chocolate and cheese, so let’s see if I’m up to the challenge of maintaining my current weight. 

I have a trick or two up my sleeve including my secret weapon.  As a lifetime member of Weightwatchers I record what I eat and my physical activity on most days—a quick way for me to stay accountable.  I’m at my goal weight now; what about when I return from France?  Btw, thanks for helping me stay on track.  Reporting back to you is a big incentive to follow through on good intentions!

A bientôt!  (See you soon)

Yours in joy and health!


Gorges du Verdon 

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