As I sit in my near-empty, slightly cloudy, San Francisco apartment, I reflect on my summer trip to Provence, and can fully appreciate the relentlessly sunny weather that graced our time in the South of France. It really is my favorite place in the world, and I love every visit there.
This time, though, unlike in Paris, we did go sight seeing a little bit, with our lovely guide, and one of my good friends, Marie-Hélène. One day, she drove me through rolling hills, ripening vineyards, and blooming lavender fields to the village of Bonnieux, a little down-to-earth haven where celebrities, Parisians, and then the rest of us can get away from it all as we take in sweeping views of the Provencal landscape. We stopped by an outdoor cafe, where we could drink our Perrier with mint sirop in peace. True to its reputation, a (apparently) well-known French newscaster walked by us, giving us the “You’re supposed to know who I am!” look. Not being familiar with French news television, I didn’t know who he was. My friend vaguely remembered seeing his face on television. It took at least 2 hours before she could tell me who he was. To be honest, I can’t remember anymore.
As we strolled through the village’s quiet streets, I noticed that one of the grocers was having a tomato sale. The sign claimed 15 varieties of tomato. I guess I didn’t count all fifteen as photo-worthy, but I couldn’t resist some of them!
There were so many times that I wished I had a kitchen at my disposal in Europe. Alas, all I could do was look at the beautiful food. I couldn’t buy very much cheese because I had no place to store it, and I couldn’t buy much in the way of vegetables because I didn’t have a means of preparing them. I just have to get a European kitchen in Europe on day, that’s all there is to it.
It was almost a surreal afternoon, so peaceful, with only the sharp cries of swallows piercing the haze as they dove for their meal. Time seemed to linger over our drinks as much as we did.