North and South in Provence

North and South in Provence

Summer in Aix 2014

Interested in a Music and Markets Tour? We’d love to hear from you!  How about an unforgettable holiday with us at  New Years’ Jazz in Italy

Two more days to revel in the beauty of the south of France – how shall we fill them? First we head north to visit friends east of Vaison la Romaine. That’s an area we’re very familiar with, but the GPS routes us on country roads through deeply wooded hills and past an impressive chateau – with not a glimpse of anything we’ve ever seen before!

Stephen and Joy are in a beautiful stone mas (country home) and before relaxing out by the pool, we tour the breezy and lovely rooms – isn’t this a dreamy bedroom?

Their daughter, a photographer extraordinare,  has claimed the room above the living room for her studio – an inspiring place to work!

We’ve often spent time with these long-time friends in Paris, where they live, and they stayed in our home in Virginia earlier in August, but we’ve rarely an opportunity to just relax together, and the pool’s just the perfect place for that.

And then, lunch – in another blissful setting…

and Stephen has prepared his “famous whole fish” – stuffed with rosemary from the garden, grilled over the coals. Oh is it good!

The cheeses couldn’t be more local – from the village over the hill that was settled by “’68ers”  – those rebel students who gladly left Paris for a simple life in the south. Joy tells us that the Friday evening market is a don’t- miss and quite an experience.

She and I pick figs to eat with the cheeses – getting even MORE local!

Another hilltop beauty winks goodnight as we drive home.

Our last day – and we head south to the shore, not wanting to miss a glimpse of the sea on this trip!

The Calanque de Figuieres on the west end of La Ciotat boasts of being an independent republic, reminding us of the Conch Republic, the Florida Keys where we lived decades ago.
The view’s terrific, and so is lunch,

with figs (Figuiere is a fig tree) a part of every dish, such as my Salade “comme à Nice”  – like in Nice

and Kirk’s fork-tender Lamb Shank.

The open-air tables fill quickly as we eat, and after that delicious meal we walk under the fig tree

and down to the tiny beach.

All we know of La Ciotat is the big cranes hovering over the industrial port that we’ve seen from afar when visiting Jean Marc and Kristin on the other side of the big bay in St. Cyr sur Mer…there’s got to be an old part of town….yes, and what a beauty!

Well we’d better get back to Aix to finish the packing in time for a few more concerts….
A talented tango trio

in the beautiful courtyard of the town hall first,

then, strolling through some favorite squares, we’re hailed down by friends and join them at their front table to listen to a rousing brass group….

Au Revoir, Aix – we’ll be back soon!