It has been a place I have wanted to visit for years, especially after reading Peter Mayle's A Year in Provence, but for some reason, the timing was never right (those 6 years in Asia kinda got in the way, too). Finally, we are here in this divine place.
And can I say for the record, that this is in fact, the first vacation place I have visited that I could actually retire to? I already hear the groans in "The Hachie" as I admit to this in writing. Honestly, I think any concerns are unfounded at this juncture but one can dream.
So, what have our first few days of glorious French Provencal vacationing been like? Well, still a little too much discipline to the work emails and the marathon training, but a marked improvement to this time last week, I am happy to report. To quote Jim K., "more play, less work". Amen, brother!
Pictures and stories of the charming places we visited will follow, but let me be your senses for just a moment a provide a sampling of the first few morning runs I have experienced in Provence:
* the rustle of tree leaves in the wind on a cool spring morning
* big puffy white clouds in a sky of baby blue, with the early morning rays of peaches and golden yellows peaking through the clouds
* gurgling brooks that meander through farmlands...yes, brooks in fact do gurgle
* the tinkle of bells around the necks of sheep being led by herders from one pasture to the next, and the occasional herding dogs barking their commands to wayward sheep
* the smell of antique rose buses, wild wisteria, and acres and acres of blooming peonies...fragrant mornings beyond compare
* and while we are on the subject of fragrant mornings beyond compare, the sweet little light brown donkeys (and their fragrant byproducts) who meander over to the fence as I run buy...those big brown eyes following me intently as I run up and down the farm road. Somehow, I don't mind the smell....
* the beautiful white Camarque horses that dot the landscape of every other farm, manes flowing in the wind
* the mist on the the fields after a hard night's rain that rises gently skyward as the morning dawns
* and my personal favorite....wild red poppies....bobbing their heads in the wind everywhere I turn, as if they know that red is my favorite color and they are personally greeting me to this corner of the world
I could go on and on but you'd just accuse me of making this up. As I said in an earlier facebook post, I am living a Monet painting this week.