If it’s Friday, it must be France …
Most importantly today, I want to offer my best wishes to everyone celebrating Easter or Passover.
This week I completed the final proofing of my new novel, The Promise of Provence, and I have to admit I’ve been struggling … so many pages, so many words … I’ve got to start writing short stories.
Okay, I’m kidding.
The real reason I’m struggling is due to the memories that were stirred as I proofread. There is a brilliant home exchange situation in the story and that got me thinking about some of the wonderful exchanges my husband and I have experienced. We have had seven memorable exchanges in the last ten years and are about to do another this September/October in Nice.
Taking a break from writing posts for my upcoming book launch blog tour, I went back through some of our photos. I love to do that, don’t you?
On this particular exchange below, we spent two months in a lovely country home in the middle of a a private vineyard. It was located in the Var area which is just west of the Côte d’Azur, part of southern Provence. Spend a day with me.
Terraced vineyards, stone walls, fruit-laden olive trees, trimmed lavender mounds … the urge to write was overwhelming, my camera shutter was steaming …
We drove a few minutes through a maze of narrow, winding roads to tiny La Cadière en Azur …
Strolling … dreaming …
While I snapped the inevitable shots of doors …
And windows …
Espresso, café crème, cappucino …
And then up into the hills above La Ciotat to drive La Route des Crêtes … spectacular …
Up steep switchbacks to the highest cliffs in France, Cap Canille, overlooking the rich wine-producing area around Cassis and on to the fjord-like Calanques that stretch to Marseilles …
Then a quick descent before getting bogged down in traffic in charming Cassis, overlooked by a 12thC chateau which dominates the ancient fishing port …
D’accord … overlooking the busy little seaport … lunch is a fine portion of frites and tartar de boeuf accompanied by one of the exquisite wines produced in this area.
The drive home is quick on the autoroute … another idyllic day well spent in this enchanting part of southern Provence.
Have you ever done a home exchange? If you have, I would love to hear your experience. If you haven’t and would like more information, I would be happy to direct you to some very helpful links. It certainly makes travel much more affordable and you meet the nicest people. Try it, you will like it!
Fine! I have just been ‘virtually’ yelled at by several people for not having any info about my new novel here. (I still haven’t learned to be the best marketer for myself.)
I’m very excited to announce that the ebook version of The Promise of Provence should be available within the next week. I promise I will let everyone know as soon as it is up on Amazon and then we can all bombard Amazon with downloads on the same day and send my stats skyrocketing! Deal?
Merci mille fois! Thanks!
What a wonderful way to spend time away. LOved the pictures, felt like I was there. We may consider a home exchange in the future.
You should look into home exchange, Darlene. It really is an excellent way to take a vacation.
Oh, big congratulatory hugs, Patricia! Great work on your novel, and absolutely do let us know about the e-release. (I’m still not up to speed on that myself, but will certainly spread the word.) Loved your photos; love imagining you experiencing such beautiful places!
Thanks so much, Tele! I’m so very excited about your publishing news! Do you have a release date yet?
Your France blogs always make me want to GO there!!
Pack those bags and get going, Anneli!
Oh, I’d love to!
Fabulous photos. I love France. Can’t wait to read your book.
Thanks, Fransi! It looks like the women’s trip to France will be organized for next June … I will keep you posted!
Oh, good for you. Much as I’d love to go, it won’t work for me this time. Look forward to hearing about it, though.
sheridegrom - From the literary and legislative trenches. says
I felt I was there with you. Terrific photos.
Thanks, Sheri! How goes the recovery?
Gorgeous pictures – I can’t wait to go to France!
Your trip is coming up soon, isn’t it? We will be waiting for more of your fabulous photos. Bon voyage!
I do love your photos Patricia – it’s making me very Francesick – that’s a bit like homesick, in that I need my fix and soon!
I love your term “Francesick” … may have to borrow it! I hope you do get your fix soon. I’m counting the days until we go back there in September.
Angeline M says
What a wonderful day! And I can’t wait for your book.
Brenda Moguez (@BrendaMoguez) says
Thanks for the virtual trip, Patricia. I am looking forward the book. I am in Paris in May, not quite the same as what I am seeing here, but once I have your book it will be an extension of my trip. I don’t think a picture fest is quite the same without the snaps of the doors. I quite like the one of the key slot. I had my mind wandering. (I know what you mean about marketing, I’m more of a ‘Build and they will come sort of person’, but it’s part of the job now.)
Brenda! Paris in May! Oh joy! Here’s a website I think you will enjoy. This site always makes me think of you … there’s that same wonderful ‘je ne sais quoi’ flair to it that you have on your blog. Check it out! http://peopleplacesandbling.com/2013/04/01/paris-tips-watch-your-back-on-poisson-davril/
What wonderful news about your latest publication, Patricia! Congratulations! And your photos of Provence are so evocative, it’s all I can do not to grab my bags and book the next flight to where I’m sure will be my new most favorite place on earth!
Thanks, Nancy! If you do go to the south of France, I have no doubt it will be your “new most favourite place on earth”.
Your pics always take me away. You make France look so beautiful and serene. I really need to go there soon. Congrats on the ebook!
Thanks, Phil! I’m sure you will get there one of these days. Keep believing!
Cancer in My Thirties says
Congratulations! And beautiful photos!
That place looks absolutely divine.
Gorgeous, Patricia! I may never get to France, but I feel like I have been through your photos!
Wonderful shots. Wow. Getting close to publishing. Congrats. We all are attaining to the point! PS: What a great way to vacation via exchange.
Tameri Etherton says
I love it. You know, as much as I enjoy seeing France, I would love to take a tour of your lovely city where you call home. I’ve never been to Canada and it’s foreign to me! I know, that sounds strange to you, but it’s true. Thank you for the lovely images of Nice, though. It’s a cold, blustery day here in California and it was very wonderful to take a few minutes and imagine the sun on my face, the smell of the vineyards, the taste of fresh cheese. Ah, I need to go there soon!
Your photos make me homesick for a place I have not yet visited, but hope to do so, soon. I certainly will visit via your book! 🙂
Claire 'Word by Word' says
Ah, sigh and I live here, but so appreciate your pictorial journey’s and accompanying words Patricia.