From Blooming Aix to Rosy Paris

Weekend of  January 22, 2017
Aix en Provence & Paris, France

Interested in a Music and Markets Tour? We’d love to hear from you!
We’re looking ahead to Spring – Aix en Provence for the Easter Festival.

We’ll hop on a train for Paris later today, but just have to take a market stroll one more time! It’s warmed up a bit, and the market’s back to life, with flower-sellers filling the Place de l’Hôtel de Ville as they usually do. Even though it doesn’t last very long, I bought some of that fragrant mimosa earlier this week – it’s such a winter-brightener!
In Place Richelme the daily market is packed – a few winter tourists join the local hordes, enjoying the life and color. All that you need for a warming pot of soup is right here! The thrice-weekly larger produce market has moved from Place des Precheurs  to Cours Sextius, and I notice a few newbies, such as this Corsican vendor. On a corner or two are individuals selling mimosa and violets – perhaps they’ve driven in from east of here, where mimosa grows in such abundance that there are festivals at this time of year!
Good bye to Aix, as we hop on the train to Paris. As we walk to our friend’s home for dinner, the sun sets over the Seine – remember, Paris is always a good idea!
A rosy sky greets us the next morning from our hotel balcony, and we quickly pack up and get ready to fly, leaving ourselves time for one last stroll around the City of Lights. Just around the corner is the Pompidou Center, and we wave goodbye to Dali – we’ll be back soon!

 

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Upstairs and Down in Aix

Week of  January 16-22, 2017, continued
Aix en Provence, France

Interested in a Music and Markets Tour? We’d love to hear from you!
We’re looking ahead to Spring – Aix en Provence for the Easter Festival.

One of Kirk’s favorite things to do in Aix is visit the vintage and consignment stores – he loves the hunt! Some decades-old wines and yet one more Cezanne book are his finds this time….early Valentine’s Day gifts!
Last night it was Lola, the adorable French bulldog belonging to our neighbors across the street, who came up the stairs for a visit. Today it’s Noelle, who came for coffee with Barbara, whom we “met” online through Kristin. After Kristin posted a photo of us when she and JM were over for lunch a couple of days ago, Barbara, her long-time friend, wanted to know where in Aix we were – so we invited her for coffee! Great ideas and hints flowed back and forth…we’ve now signed up for Scott’s Cheap Flights, and after hearing about the deals Kirk found at Oca Deco (that wine and book!) Barbara wanted to know where it was – “let’s go!” we said! And they both bought a few bottles more.
On the way back home – “Want to join us for our “clean out the frig” lunch?” was our next question – so the fun continued as we put together a yummy meal from all we couldn’t take with us on the train to Paris tomorrow! Kirk had some things to place down in the “cave” – our ancient storage place under the building, so downstairs the three of them went. That rosé from Jean-Marc will stay nice and cool til we’re ready to drink it next summer! Afternoon errands are a foodie’s delight….first find the best dessert to take to Xavier’s for dinner tonight, then select some Provençal cheeses to take to Paris for dinner tomorrow (well-shrink-wrapped so that we don’t scent the entire train!). Up the 90-plus stairs to Xavier’s rooftop apartment, and we’re well-rewarded with a feast of truffled eggs – Brouillade. Xavier made this for us a couple of years ago – I think it may have been the first thing made in our newly-renovated kitchen! “Don’t let a morsel go to waste!” we all urge – and Xavier happily complies. We take the long way home, savoring every last minute in Aix…

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Icy Fountains and Friends in Aix

Week of  January 16-22, 2017
Aix en Provence and Paris, France

Interested in a Music and Markets Tour? We’d love to hear from you!
We’re looking ahead to Spring – Aix en Provence for the Easter Festival.

When we were last in Aix in November, we left it all prepared for major painting, needed due to the damages suffered when our upstairs neighbor’s renovations caused a flood in our apartment in April. It took that long for the ancient walls to dry out enough to repair, and for the insurance company to decide on what to do. So we’re eager to see our good-as-new living room and study, and even though it’s after midnight when we finally walk in the door on Sunday night (Monday morning!) we walk around and take it all in, delighted with the result. The damage was mostly high up on the 12 foot ceilings, so was not immediately visible to anyone but us, so it’s hard to show the difference here – the entire rooms were painted. We can’t go to bed, late as it is, without putting a few things back where they belong, the antique trumeau (mirror with a painting) above the fireplace, the furniture where it’s supposed to be, a painting or two on the walls – but the rest can wait til tomorrow.
After sleeping late the next morning in our cozy warm home, we quickly eat breakfast and return to the beautiful lanes and squares of Aix, where the temps have not yet risen to freezing – not a common occurrence here! On Cours Mirabeau the water flows from one side of the Neuf Canons fountain, and remains frozen on the other. Winter seems to be a popular time for filming in Aix – perhaps because there are not crowds of day-trippers as in the warmer months. By the Palais de Justice a 70s crime show is in process – see the vintage police van and uniforms? And an episode of another series is filming on beautiful Place de Trois Ormeaux.
When we stroll by later at night all is calm once again…with Christmas lights still gleaming.
Good friends will join us for lunch, so out to the market I go early on Tuesday…but it’s so cold that all the flowers and produce are covered up! No wonder – they need protection on this 20 degree morning!
I return after a morning meeting with the painter, and find the market bursting with its usual rainbow of color.Jean-Marc and Kristi arrive with a decadent dessert and a prime rosé from their first official harvest at Mas de Brun – thanks to Kristi for these great photos! She also wrote about our time together on her lovely blog French Word a Day.
As the days pass, the market’s affected by the chill – very few vendors at our daily market on Place Richelme – the olive oil is solid rather than liquid, and  iced cherubs shiver on the Rotonde Fountain.
And we walk and walk, day and night, taking in the beauty of Aix – glorious whatever the weather!

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