My calligraphy on an old 1892 Victor Hugo's book for one of his descendent !

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16:52 Posted by Marielle Giai | Permalink | Comments (0) |  Facebook |

Doormats !


16:46 Posted by Marielle Giai | Permalink | Comments (0) |  Facebook |

Our summer bags are in ! Perfect for the beach or the market...

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16:45 Posted by Marielle Giai | Permalink | Comments (0) |  Facebook |

Peonie season !

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Beautiful tablecloth from Garnier Thiebaut (Romance franboise )DSC02311 [1280x768].JPG

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16:41 Posted by Marielle Giai | Permalink | Comments (0) |  Facebook |


This is all you need to make my recipe of roasted apricots ! Lavender honey $ 14.75 - Organic culinary lavender flowers $ 18.50

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16:30 Posted by Marielle Giai | Permalink | Comments (0) |  Facebook |


From Paris to Provence....

Yes ! This at the train station: Gare de Lyon downtown Paris ..... No one should miss going to "Le Train Bleu " when taking a train even just for a coffee , wich is what we did ....but we promised ourselves that next time we'll plan so we can have lunch ! One last great meal in Paris in this amazing setting .DSCN1214 [1280x768].JPG

The Gare de Lyon was built for the Exposition of 1900 at the same time as the Grand Palais and  Pont Alexandre III . The exterior is much more simple than the Grand Palais but inside this restaurant you are transported to  "La Belle Epoque" ....pure 1900 style  from the murals to the furniture, lighting....DSC02023 [1280x768].JPG

The Bar Lounge area going to the bathroom DSC02024 [1280x768].JPG

The TGV ( train grande vitesse : high speed train) ....we'll go from downtown Paris to Avignon in just a little over 2 hours . This would take at least a borring 6 hours freeway drive ... Where ever you are going in France , you should stop over in Paris for a few days ( decompress , get over some jet lag) and then continue on by the most effective TGV . It is a lot less tiring and  much more enjoyable.DSCN1212 [1280x768].JPG

We are going at 200 mph and can't feel a thing .  Amazing !!!DSC02030 [1280x768].JPG

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Le Chateau de Ruth  in Sainte Cecile les Vignes ....my home town !  ( http://www.chateauderuth.com/ )  This is where I grew up , in the middle of the Cote du Rhone wineries ....yes wineries everywhere ...and I do not drink wine !!!   Vines haven't start growing yet ....it's still too early and chilly ...we are only mid april .

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Mum  , I'm home !DSCN1240 [1280x768].JPG

From the City Hall you can see the church.DSC02047 [1280x768].JPG

The chapel DSC02042 [1280x768].JPG

Pascal and his mum in front of a little fountain.DSCN1703 [1280x768].JPG

My mum's garden....wild wisteria DSC02040 [1280x768].JPG

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And lilac...DSC02048 [1280x768].JPG

The beautiful shop of the local florist Thierry .DSC02178 [1280x768].JPG

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It's May day .....lilly of the valley for everybody !

The tradition is to give a little "brin de muguet" as a good luck DSC02183 [1280x768].JPG

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My first dinner at home : a super fresh soft boiled egg from my aunt's chickens with a "mouillette" soft baguette topped with sweet butter that taste like butter :)DSC02064 [1280x768].JPG

Probably my very favorite french cheese !DSC02066 [1280x768].JPG

It's the presidential elections....and I am voting !DSC02062 [1280x768].JPG

Today we are going to Les Baux de Provence ....beautiful drive on roads planted with plane trees making a green tunel miles long.DSC02057 [1280x768].JPG

Les Carrieres de Lumieres in Les Baux are old quarries now used for art exibitions in the form of projections on the 45 foot tall stone walls. This is a phenomenal show . This year theme was Van Gogh and Gauguin 2 of our very favorite painters . The exibition is going on all year except in january and february when they close to prepare for a new theme .


The pre-show ...DSCN1334 [1280x768].JPG

Now Van GoghDSCN1350 [1280x768].JPG

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And Gauguin DSCN1358 [1280x768].JPG

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The old village of  Les Baux on the hill.DSCN1373 [1280x768].JPG

We are in Saint Remy de Provence for lunch....

( Stone war memorial  with a lady wearing the traditional outfit from Arles )DSC00364 [1280x768].JPG

Tonight , we are eating like kings ! And the chef is nothing else but my mum ! Not Alain Ducasse or Paul Bocuse but this sure is a 3 stars dinner on my Michelin .... a black truffle omelet and a green salad ...Yum !DSCN1649 [1280x768].JPG

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Picking up peonies and old roses in my mum's wild garden.DSCN1858 - Copy [1280x768].JPG

Today I'm shopping for Maison en Provence....DSC02096 [1280x768].JPG

Meet the artist  in her workshop ! 

Sylvie went to "Les Beaux Arts" art school and is a very talented painter in the first place . But her father and brother are potters and she soon learned how to make pottery and is now painting beautiful , whimsical water color scenes on her pottery. Now at Maison en Provence ..... DSC02100 [1280x768].JPG

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At last ... a very healthy lunch at a vegetarien restaurant ...no pork saussages or pate today !DSC02125 [1280x768].JPG

                        Doing some more buying  today....our best selling bags are coming back !!                                           3 sizes,  in many many colors and patterns. So practical and pretty !DSC02134 [1280x768].JPG

The perfect summer beach bag DSC02137 [1280x768].JPG

My market basket with a "lace" woven detail on the top and great leather shoulder strapsDSC02140 [1280x768].JPG

A new weaving style for this market basket with a flat botton and 2 great thick leather handles DSC02138 [1280x768].JPG

These kid's baskets have already been flying out the door ....so adorable !DSC02141 [1280x768].JPG

My "desk"...who said I was on vacation ?? DSC02049 [1280x768].JPG

Family dinner in Serignan....very nice restaurant and really good sweet breads ... I cannot resist the "cuisses de grenouilles on the menu tonight . Have to have frog legs in France !DSCN1496 [1280x768].JPG

Baba au rhum flambe this time .DSCN1499 [1280x768].JPG

THE best Grand Marnier souffle ever !!! DSCN1501 [1280x768].JPG

On our way to the small village of Saint Roman de Malegarde to visit Ron and Kathy the now owners of our old house who are here right now . (They are from San Diego and still rent the house ...)

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The fountainDSC00360 [1280x768].JPG

That paved street goes to the church were we got married 20 years ago this month .DSC00382 [1280x768].JPG

The "lavoir" where people were washing their linen by handDSC00366 [1280x768].JPG




And our old house !DSC03576 (Large).JPG

We are in the attic looking for treasures.... Pascal and his father's Citroen car dealer signDSCN1541 [1280x768].JPG

Finding treasures....DSCN1529 [1280x768].JPG

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An old old cook book: "The authentic family cook book  by aunt Marie....with 500 menus and the art of reusing left overs ! "DSCN1752 [1280x768].JPG

This is family style cooking : Pigeon with black truffles stuffing ( from my other aunt ) ,whole garlic cloves , mushrooms and roasted vegetables au jus .DSCN1475 [1280x768].JPG

The valley in between Vaison la Romaine and MalauceneDSCN1881 [1280x768].JPG

Les Dentelles de Montmirail ( lace looking mountains ).DSCN1883 [1280x768].JPG

Some are enjoying this scenic drive the french way ...in a 2CV or "deux chevaux" ( France's mythic car and also the slowest )DSCN1884 [1280x768].JPG

Stop for lunch in the village of SuzetteDSCN1902 [1280x768].JPG

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The City Hall  and "Cafe des Coquelicots" down belowDSCN1901 [1280x768].JPG

We have to eat inside as it is not yet warm enoughDSCN1896 [1280x768].JPG

             The good thing about all this cold weather is that we can eat all that heavy food !!                             Escargots in a tomato and spices sauceDSCN1898 [1280x768].JPG

Last supper...."Quenelles au gratin ". I've dreamed of this simple dish for a year....you can buy those "dumplings" at the boucher or grocery store ...they are made with egg whites and get very light and fluffy. It's  like a dumpling souffle flavored with either veal or fish.DSC02037 [1280x768].JPG

Time to go  :(DSCN1910 [1280x768].JPG

We got up at 5am , drove an hour 1/2 to Marseille Airport got on a plane to Paris at 9.30am ...DSCN1911 [1280x768].JPG

Connection in Paris Airport....murals have cream puffs , tarts and other things we'll soon miss a lot ! Time for one last lunch in France ....and one last patisserie :)DSCN1912 [1280x768].JPG

A Paris en 2CV !DSCN1914 [1280x768].JPG

Our plane take off at 2pm just an hour late ....we fall asleep until we hear someone saying " Did the plane do a U turn ?? "  That can't be  ?!?!?! We look in the window and with the sun position figure out that yes indead ...we are going east ...back to Paris ! We were 2 hours into our fly ...just over Ireland. They are having some technical issues , computer problem .... DSC02218 [1280x768].JPG

The plane is then zigzaging over the Atlantic to dump  the fuel before landing again in Charles de Gaulle DSC02216 [1280x768].JPG

It's 6pm ...12 hours into our trip and we are still in Paris....we ask to stay over night as we have friends who leave 10mns away and can pick us up ( the idea of one last night in France with some friends sound far better than plane food  right now ) But they will never let us go as we have checked bags .....( they've lost our baggages countless times before and so our bags have not been on the same plane as us  many times ....but this time they will not let our bags travel without us )  7.30 pm we have an other departure , for good this time ....of course we get in Detroit way to late to get a connection to San Diego or even have dinner and spend the night in a $39/night motel they provide.....

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39 hours after we left Provence ...we'll finally arrive in San Diego !DSC02221 [1280x768].JPG

02:22 Posted by Marielle Giai in Travel | Permalink | Comments (0) |  Facebook |

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