Saturday, October 13, 2007

Zee South of Fraaaahhhnce

My mind was open to what we would find on our trip to the south of France. The drive was beautiful and much easier than I had thought it would be. No one had a tantrum (except for the mister-- and that was to be expected).

Down to Ticino (Switzerland's Italian region), up, around and through the Alps, by-pass Milan, then south further still to Genova, hang a right and curve along the cliffs of the Mediterranean from Italy, quickly through Monaco and finally into France.

The views were spectacular! The water, well it is aptly named Cote D'Azur-- deep indigo gives way to crystal clear teal, finally brilliant turquoise laps at the beaches and white cliffs above. I was glad not to be driving, so that I could just absorb this warmth of colors.

We arrived around dinner time. Aunt Gretchen's kitchen was filled with the fragrance of fennel, thyme, oregano and chicken roasting in the oven. We had a cold glass of dry rose and sat down to eat, talk and catch up.

The following days were dominated by seeking out small villages along the coast, but also up in the hills of Provence-- chasing outdoor markets from one small town to another. Incredible assortments of olives, cheeses, fresh fruit and vegetables and bags upon bags of spices were what caught my eye. The kids liked looking at all the costume jewelry. We all enjoyed many stops in Boulangeries; pain au chocolat (chocolate croissants) for the kids and a simple baguette (to go with the piles of cheese that we bought) for the mister and I.

I had hoped that everything would be sunny and warm and beautiful-- imparting sea colors into my atumnal, gray life (as it were). I was overwhelmed at the beauty there, along the Mediterranean, in 'Zeee South of Fraaahhhnce'. I understand now why it has been visited and adored by so many for hundreds of years.

I hope some day to go back.

Links to towns that we visited:


Grimaud and Port Grimaud
St. Tropez

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