Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Provence Highlights

What can I say about my women's club weekend in Provence?  It was wonderful! It was four days filled with friendship and laughter, wine at lunch and dinner, art and history, beautiful scenery, and shopping.  We visited the charming towns of Aix en Provence, Arles, Les Baux, Nimes, Avignon, and Cassis.  I practiced my very, very rusty French,, and developed friendships with some wonderful women.
Gorgeous Market at Arles
The highlight for me was visiting the sites associated with Van Gogh.  I felt as if I had stepped into one of his paintings when I saw the garden he painted at the hospital in Arles, and when we ate lunch at the cafe featured in this street scene.  And visiting the St. Paul asylum in St. Remy where he painted some of his best known works was really fascinating.  I also visited the workshop of Cezanne in Aix en Provence.  What a striking difference between the lives of these two men!  Cezanne, the son of a wealthy man,  worked in his purpose built atelier with a wall of windows looking out over his beautiful garden.  Van Gogh had his workshop in a mental hospital which also overlooked beautiful gardens but obviously had a very different feel.  It was overwhelming to realize that Van Gogh painted 142 masterpieces during the 13 month period he resided at the asylum.  It is absolutely amazing.
Van Gogh in Arles
The weather only interfered with our plans on the last day when torrential rains cancelled our planned boat trip and we took shelter at a local winery for tasting session.   Not a bad way to spend a rainy morning!
Such a beautiful weekend in Provence!
When I arrived home on Sunday evening I felt refreshed and relaxed.  I was so happy to see my family!  The boys had made signs for me and all 3 kids were waiting at the door with the biggest smiles and the biggest hugs.  I am so glad I had the opportunity to go away for the weekend, and so glad I have them to come home to.  I hope you had a beautiful weekend, too!
 

14 comments:

  1. Beautiful! What a fun adventure!!

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  2. Your pictures are lovely! I can only imagine what it must have been like to see everything in person . . . AMAZING! Thanks for sharing :)

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  3. glad you enjoy your weekend =)can't wait for my vacation...

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  4. Beautiful scenery and I like how you made the photo collages. I plan to do more with AWBS (especially trips and outings) next year.

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  5. Oh, that sounds SO wonderful! What a gift to have a group of lady-friends that are committed to making trips like this happen. I'm sure you came back feeling so refreshed!

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  6. the colors! the farm fresh fruit! so fabulous!

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  7. Jenny, I am drooling at the sight of those red cherries!! It does look like you had a fantastic trip!! Amazing pics.

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  8. I must echo everyone else's thoughts about your beautiful photographs and amazing experience. Even better is the fact that you were only a few hours flight to France rather than 12+ coming from the states (minus jet lag.)

    THAT is one of the major benefits from living abroad.

    What I would like to ask is HOW you put your photo collage together. What/how did you use? Most importantly, how long did that take to do?

    I have a MacBook Air and have fiddled around with adding pictures with links to the website, resizing, etc. and that can take as long as writing the post!

    And a final note...found you on SITS girls. It was one of the true pleasures!

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  9. Thanks for all the kind comments! Tanya- you should absolutely sign up for some of the trips next year. I heard a rumor they might be going to Russia! As for the collage- I'm almost embarrassed to admit how easy it is to do- I used picmonkey.com. Takes 5 minutes tops! xx Jenny

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  10. Thanks for the tip Jenny. I'm headed over to picmonkey.com RIGHT NOW! Easy is always best. Also, spent more time on your blog and loved discovering the expat blog with the various links. What a wonderful experience (no matter how befuddling it can be) to live in a foreign country. And I thought moving to Austin, TX from No. Cal was a big adjustment!

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  11. Just had to come back and say - THANK YOU for telling me about picmonkey. I can't wait to play. This will shave hours off my photo editing. Do you know if it will let you add a URL to photos or does that have to be done after the fact?

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  12. oh my gosh....sounds like a dream vacation come true!! lucky you!! how funk to get away without kids and come back missing them!! good for you!!!
    I am your newer follower..pls follow back if you can.

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  13. It looks awesome! I was a bit disappointed, though, to see that you only drank wine with lunch and dinner. Breakfast is, after all, the most important meal of the day. ;-)

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  14. I have been dreaming about markets in France...thank you for putting pictures to my daydreams. Magnifique!

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