I think that the highlight of this week was our Thursday’s promenade with Dave. We piled into the van with only the vaguest idea of what the day would hold.
Dave told us that we were going to a nearby town called Lambesc, but before we got out our painting supplies we were going to drop in on one of the program’s former French teachers, Danielle, who lives on the side of a beautiful mountain.
We looked up at this picturesque hill and immediately put aside or painting plans for the moment and decided to climb it.
After a slightly frightening and very entertaining bit of rough driving we hiked the rest of the way up to the top and set out our picnic blankets (which are always in the back of the van- just in case).
The view was spectacular. In one direction we could see Mt. Ste. Victoire and in the other, Marseille.
The sun was beautiful and we just enjoyed the moment, in no hurry to rush through the experience. We watched an air show team practice their routine, it was as though they were performing just for us.
We then climbed back down and painted the little hill, set against the brilliant blue sky. We got back into the van sun burnt and tired but ready for another adventure. We asked for directions from a shopkeeper in Lambesc, but somehow still ended up somewhere unexpected.
We were driving down this little dirt road and suddenly looked up and saw a castle. It took us completely by surprise but of course we had to get out and explore.
It was called Chateau de la Barben and had the most incredible gardens. We learned later that the gardens were designed by André Le Nôtre, the same man who designed the gardens at Versailles. What I realized when we got back to the house, hours after we had intended, was that neither of these adventures were planned.
Anna back home
Ben back home
It didn’t matter what our vision for the day was before we left. Here, we get to live in the moment and explore. It is these unexpected moments that give us the most memorable experiences.
Here are some final pictures of our weekend.
Painting in the same place as Cezanne in unexpected rain.
Walker being prepared.
Emi and I right before it started to pour.
Saturday night performance of a truly “performance art” production.
”Carnival” in Aix
Nathan going solo on our mountain: “Tête du Marquis”
Even in France we can enjoy an American cookout. Happy Spring everyone!