Sunday, October 02, 2011
The day has almost arrived! TOMORROW I leave for France for the first time since 2003 (I think!) I never thought I'd return, and for me France is the most beautiful country in the world. Granted, my travel experience has not been extensive: Italy, England, Holland, Spain, Switzerland in addition to many visits to France, including a year abroad there as a college student. Since we have family in France, many of our trips have included visits with them and/or to various regions where we have imbibed freely in Burgundy, Dordogne, Paris, Provence, Annecy, and more!
In March I was incredibly fortunate to WIN a workshop at the Chateau Dumas in Auti, in the Tarn-et-Garonne region near Toulouse, thanks to the encouragement of Christine Marshall (Krishenka on Etsy!) I "met" Chrissie online when I purchased some of her vintage buttons several years ago. I follow her blog in which a textile workshop was offered as the prize....and the rest is history! I WON!!!! I selected the Festive French Country Workshop (scroll to the near the bottom of the page) and invited a friend to come with me (bc my DH will no longer travel abroad). WE LEAVE TOMORROW!!!
Also fortunate to have family in France, we will arrive (finally!) in Marseilles and spend 6 days with my SIL and BIL in their summer home in Ceyreste, a gorgeous spot way up on a hill overlooking the Mediterranean, where the food is exquisite (SIL, who was my roommate in college, is a fabulous cook and co-conspirator in fun!) and the visit will be perfect! Then we train to Montauban (near Toulouse) and are retrieved for passage to the Chateau Dumas. The workshop begins on October 9 for a week. We return home on October 17 to husbands and friends.
And when in France, of course, we will savor the food, the wine, and the words of wisdom we encounter from the textile workshop which is focused on holiday designs with vintage materials. Included (in addition to all the food, wine, and accommodations in this charming chateau) are visits to markets, shops, and hat museums and factories. My suitcase is packed with room to spare for acquisitions and handmade creations (mine and others!) along the way.
France is especially dear to me: lived there, taught the language for many years to American high and middle school students, spent lots of time with family there, traveled with friends to many of the incredibly gorgeous and historic regions of France, spoke with les Francais in their language, drank freely of their regional, local, famous, and not so famous wines, and indulged in huge quantities of magret, foie gras, escargots, croques monsieur et madame, pain, pain au chocolat, et beaucoup plus! J'ai etudie le langage et la litterature. I lived with French families and totally immersed myself in everything French. My first pair of contact lenses were bought in France! My husband and family have enjoyed Christmas and New Year's in Paris; we've been to the Crazy Horse Saloon; we've visited all the amazing landmarks of Paris......and the list goes on and on. The best trips have been two barge trips in the Burgundy areas with friends from RI - never to be forgotten!
This one is special because I truly never thought I'd get back to France - due to the many cardiac (and other) issues of my DH's health. But he's well and completely self-sufficient right now (he does most of the cooking for us anyway!) - and he's looking forward (I think!) to two weeks with his pup, lots of rounds of golf, and the peace and quiet that most likely will exist with me away!
Adieu jusqu'au retour!
Posted by Louise Giordano at 8:38 AM