Back home in Provence ( last part )

"Les Carrieres de Lumieres" is the one thing you don't want to miss when in Provence. It runs pretty much all year , every day except for january and february when they work on setting up the new show for the year . It is set inside the old quarries in between Les Baux and Saint Remy both main tourists attractions but not everybody knows about this amazing show . Famous paintings are projected on the quarry's walls and floor as you walk through them ...it moves , changes and surround you with moving amazing art . This year the represented painters are Monet , Renoir and Chagall .

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It's stays at a cool 15- 17C even in summer ...so make sure to bundle up before to get in .DSCN6595 [1280x768].JPG

The village of Les Baux . Parking is at the bottom of the village and all streets are cobblestones ...no handicap access so I cannot take my mum there ...but it is a beautiful view for our picnic !IMG_3869 [1280x768].JPG

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One stop in Saint Remy for a well deserved desert ...my all time favorite classic: Chocolat liegeois and coffee liegeois : cold chocolate milk with chocolate and vanilla  ice cream or cold coffee with coffee and vanilla ice cream ...all topped with whipped cream of course !  Not complicated but so delicious !!DSCN6618 [1280x768].JPG

The typical roads lined with planes trees .

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The popes palace in AvignonDSCN6538 [1280x768].JPG

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I am coming to see the exhibition of some of Louise Bourgeois massive master pieces shown inside the palace .Louise Joséphine Bourgeois, was a renowned French-American artist and sculptor, one of the most important artists in modern and contemporary art, and known for her spider structures which resulted in her being nicknamed the Spiderwoman.DSCN6516 [1280x768].JPG

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The Cathedral " Notre Dame des Doms ". The cathedral is going through some major renovations that started in september 2013 and are not yet finished so check before to plan a visit .DSCN6511 [1280x768].JPG

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Hiking up to the top of the "Rocher des Doms" that gave the name to   the cathedral. On top you have the best view of the famous           "Pont d'Avignon " DSCN6505 [1280x768].JPG

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One last meal before to leave ...has to be sweet breads " a la creme" with shaved summer truffles !! Summer truffles are very mild in flavor but the sweet breads sure were so sweet ! DSCN6814 [1280x768].JPG

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Sea snails with aioli IMG_4238 [1280x768].JPG

And some "choux a la creme" . We cannot finish dinner without a pastry !! We've had pastries every single meal...eat cheese , bread, meat ...so much food  . Not only we didn't gain a pound but we digest it all like a charm ...here a single slice of bread can give us a serious stomach ache :(  We know for sure now that it is not the gluten or the lactose the problem but something else , probably the grain itself and GMO products . DSCN7039 [1280x768].JPG

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01:47 Posted by Marielle Giai in Travel | Permalink | Comments (0) |  Facebook |


Back home in Provence ( part 2 )

Pascal and I grew up in Provence in the middle of the Cote du Rhone wineries . My little home town of 2000 people , Sainte Cecile les Vignes ...is obviously all about vineyards. I don't know what went "wrong" but both of us do not drink wine or any kind of alcohol as the matter fact !!  This is a serious social issue when you live there ... How can you not like wine or not drink pastis when you were born and raised in Provence!?!?! AND to make matters even worse ...we do not smoke or drink coffee...everybody there is puzzled by this "anomaly" ....here in California we are considered healthy ! 

Saturday morning is Farmer's market day and the village is buzzing . A basket in one hand and my mum on the other ...off we go !


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DSCN6833 [1280x768].JPGEverything looked delicious and fresh but there are very few organic produce stands . We do have really good produce in California but one huge difference was in the apricots ...so juicy and bursting in flavors . I must have eat a whole case during that trip ....

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The raspberries and strawberries were amazing as well ...still warm from just being picked up 

DSCN6838 [1280x768].JPGDried linden blossom and lemon verbena my favorites to make herbal tea

DSCN6857 [1280x768].JPGAnd all the spices to make a Moroccan couscous or tajine...

DSCN6858 [1280x768].JPGLemon confits are also a big part of north African cuisine....love them with fish or chicken. Here in San Diego ,I make my own since we have fresh lemons everywhere

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DSCN6840 [1280x768].JPGAll kinds of nougats , with candied fruits ....I have to try this next time!

DSCN6839 [1280x768].JPGThis sign is pretty funny : eggs are not large and extra large but       " medium and very big "

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DSCN6876 [1280x768].JPGHiro and I cannot resist the  espadrilles . Cute and comfy !

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Paella ready to go ! DSCN6835 [1280x768].JPG

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DSCN6877 [1280x768].JPGMorue sechee ( baccala for the Italians ) is a true specialty of Provence ...and a lot of work to desalt and prepare but you can buy some already ready to eat at the same fish stand . It is mixed with olive oil and turned into a creamy paste delicious with steamed potatoes ...ad a few truffles and it is really heaven !

DSCN6878 [1280x768].JPGThis is my catch of the day ! A stingray fin ...just steam it for 10-15 minutes. It is mild , moist and just comes off the large bone like shredded meat .

DSCN6881 [1280x768].JPGThis is also one of my favorite : scallops with their roe . I have never been able to find some here in the US but in France it is the only way they come ...so tasty and delicious . You just sear them the same way in a little butter ...yum !

DSCN6883 [1280x768].JPGBig raw prawns with head and shell ready to grill ...best part is to suck the skin and head where all the flavors are !

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Goat or sheep cheeses ...they are all good !

DSCN6859 [1280x768].JPGBut the ones I am taking home with me are these fresh fresh goat cheeses...made locally in the near by town of Valreas. Only a day old ; they are still in their liquid. Strain the cheese and eat with good "fleur de sel" and bread ...this is the most mild of all goat cheeses ...and can only be found where they are made since they are not yet aged ...this is all my childhood and the taste of home !

DSCN6885 [1280x768].JPGI make one last stop chez Thierry the very talented florist to pick up some fresh flowers .

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My mum own hydrangeas and wisteria

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Getting ready of a "cooking class" ...today we'll make an other recipe Pascal's grand mother taught me : " blanquette de chevreau" 

A blanquette is a typical french dish made with veal in a white sauce but I much prefer this "chevreau" version. We can only find young goats in spring around Easter . It makes this dish much more moist and tender with a very mild taste .


IMG_3893 [1280x768].jpgThis is what you'll need: Olive oil , butter, veal with some bone if possible so it is not dry , a shallot, 1 garlic clove crushed, corn starch, white wine, chicken or veal broth , bouquet garni ( bay leaves, thyme and parsley ), 1/2 onion studded with cloves, some whipping cream and 1 egg yolk .

DSCN6626 [1280x768].JPGTraditionally you would start the meat in cold water and bring it to a simmer before to clean the foam that comes up ....but we like to bring some more flavors so we sautee the meat in a mix of olive oil and butter , let it brown before to ad the chopped shallot and garlic.  Ad a tbs of cornstarch to make a "roux" that will help thicken the sauce in the end . Ad a glass of white wine , let evaporate before to ad water to almost cover the meat . Put 1 cube of chicken or veal stock , 2 branches of celery , 2 carrots, the bouquet garni and the onion with the cloves . Salt no pepper .
Cover and let simmer for about an hour until the meat is tender .

DSCN6641 [1280x768].JPGMy best student taking notes !

DSCN6637 [1280x768].JPGWhen the meat is cooked , remove the herbs and vegetables (except for the carrots) and ad some whipping cream. If the sauce is still too liquid ad an egg yolk being very careful not to boil the sauce at any point anymore .Mix gently not to mush the delicate meat.

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DSCN6673 [1280x768].JPGI am sorry if my plate doesn't look restaurant pretty but we are so ready to eat this ...we can hardly wait !!

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  I am taking my friend Hiro for a stroll in Vaison la Romaine but on the way I have to stop in Pascal's home town of Tulette at the local chocolate shop to buy some chocolate/crunchy hazelnut spread ...a much more delicious and totally addictive version of "Nutella" I specially love their old truck : "tube" made by Citroen in the 50's

It would be really cool to have one for Maison En Provence !!!


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 Vaison la Romaine is a very pretty little town with Roman ruins , bridge and amphitheater . The best thing is to actually enjoy the theater during summer months when they have concerts, local choirs performing and watch the fireworks for Bastille Day ! The farmer's market is also the best one in the region . As a tourist , you should wander in the old part of town...nice little restaurants, B&B and hike up to the "castle"

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Grignan is a hillside fortified village clustered tightly around a large Renaissance castle that dominate the top of the hill. Grignan was made famous in France by the Aristocratic Madame de Sévigné, remembered for the many letters she wrote in the 17th century. It is surrounded by lavender fields and host a very famous " festival de la correspondance" ( a book and writing event with lectures, exhibitions, vintage books market...) they also have plays and concerts in front of the castle all summer. Worth the visit if you have already been many times to Provence and want to explore an other little artist town .

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Last part of the trip ...coming very soon !

23:09 Posted by Marielle Giai in Travel | Permalink | Comments (0) |  Facebook |


Back home in Provence ! ( part 1 )

We are on our way to Provence ....enjoying a real baguette "jambon -beurre" sandwich at the train station ! and Pierre is sipping a cafe au lait ....

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First breakfast at my mum .... It does not get more simple than that : just good bread ,  good butter and mum's made jam ...Heaven !

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With my sweet little tiny mum !

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I will do a lot of cooking ...so many delicious things I have been dreaming to eat all year !


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A new propane tank in my grand parent's stove and we are ready ! You won't believe what great food you can cook in such an old fashion kitchen !!DSCN6805 [1280x768].JPG

First stop : Le boucher ...with the bakery , the butcher shop is the heart of the village where not only I can find everything I can't even dream of finding  in a city as big as San Diego but also catch up with all the news and gossips , bump into a childhood friend as most of them still leave there and get a bunch of invitations for " l'aperitif " by people who have not seen us for a while.

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It's not "just" a butcher shop ...but a "cremerie" with local cheeses ...DSCN6684 [1280x768].JPG

A great deli with all our favorites : Head pate , rillettes , vol au vent...DSCN6685 (Large).JPG

Real "poulets de Bresse" ...the best chicken ever ....DSCN6691 (Large).JPG

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And what I am coming for : some "tendrons de veau" ...a more fatty part of the veal that also has gelatine to keep it moist and tender.DSCN6689 (Large).JPG

As well as some fresh pigeons ...what a treat ! Pascal's grand mother always cooked some when we went to visit her in Forqualquier . This is more than a meal ...it's all those great memories in a plate .

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Pierre is taking notes on how to prepare the pigeons !

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One stop at the patisserie to pick up some delicious "eclairs "IMG_4246 (Large).JPG

After a little cooking and simmering : Voila ! Tendrons de veau a la Provencale ...the french version of an Osso Bucco without the bones .DSCN6554 (Large).JPG

A good Coulommier ( kind of Camembert but not as strong) and our ultimate favorite creamy cheese : Boursault ( never seen any in the US ...so try it next time you are in France )DSCN6555 (Large).JPG

 Some happy guests ! Mum and our friend Hiroko who came to stay with us for a few days and experience Provence more than visit it.

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Today I am meeting with some of my potters in their "atelier" . I have to pack and ship their beautiful creations before to leave .DSC07942 [1280x768].JPG

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DSCN9251 [1280x768].JPGLunch break in Lourmarin at the Cafe de la Fontaine . The owners are from Corsica and serve some of the region's specialties and it's all grilled in the open fireplace . Loved it .

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The "charcuterie plate " DSCN9276 [1280x768].JPG

The near by "Etang " de Cucuron ...very nice spot to eat under the plane trees in summer . Lots of very good restaurants in this tiny village  .DSCN9272 [1280x768].JPG

Now buying some beautiful bags made of antique hemp from grain sacs and recycled military belts .DSCN9311 [1280x768].JPG

The Mistral is blowing ....it is driving everybody crazy , me included ! I am not used to it anymore ...and the worst part is that it does not even stop at night and can go on for weeks .DSCN6565 [1280x768].JPG

Today I am going to the lavender fields on the high plateaux . It is a beautiful drive through small villages .This is where they grow most of the lavender , where bees make lavender honey , where our essential oil is made , our sachets come from ...

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DSCN6709 [1280x768].JPGThe fountain is really a central place in all villages . This is where the ladies where going to do their laundry , wash the linen with big blocks of "Marseille soap" .

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DSCN6721 [1280x768].JPGPierrelongue village just before Buis les Barronies . This is the northern part of Provence not as well known and not as jammed with tourists . I use to bicycle here in the summer with my high school girl friends and go from campground to campground .

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IMG_3996 [1280x768].JPGPerfect picnic spot under a linden tree in bloom . Linden trees make this thick foliage and their shade is said to get you a cold if you take a nap underneath on a hot summer day. These were smelling so sweet...bees were all over and we picked up some leaves to make some herbal tea later .

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My mum's home made pate with truffles ...this is no basic picnic !IMG_4006 [1280x768].JPG"les genets" flowers were also in full bloom...entire hills were yellow !

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The big hay wheels

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DSCN6765 [1280x768].JPGFinally after Saint Auban sur Ouveze ...we get to the fields ...but the lavender is not yet fully open . It's been an unusual cold spring and even if we are now at the end of june , the fields are not purple . Still beautiful !

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The spelt fields were dancing in the wind making big waves . I was surprised to see so much spelt growing here but someone told me that lavender fields had had diseases and farmers had switch to spelt witch is very much in demand right now like most gluten free products .IMG_4034 [1280x768].JPG

This ancient grain variety is called " Petit epautre du Ventoux" because it is grown around the Mont Ventoux . You can find it in every supermarket in Provence . I find it not as hard as spelt I find in the US and it also cooks faster . P6280319 [1280x768].jpg

Saint Roman de Malegarde and our old house with white shutters on the edge of the village ...DSCN6792 [1280x768].JPG

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La Callade - stone street goes up to the little chapel where we got married . Last week the communion ceremony had only 2 little girls ...about 100 people live in St Roman year round .IMG_4077 [1280x768].jpg

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Everybody has heard of L'Isle sur Sorgue ...this little town is just east of Avignon at the border of the parc du Luberon ....it is everything you would dream of Provence with it's canals , good restaurants, small cafes , trendy bistros ,sunday market and flea market . The quality of the antique stores is pretty phenomenal and there are a lot! You cannot see it all in one day and they are only open on the week ends . A must do on your list . Start as early as possible ...sun rise for good deal and the hopeless parking situation .

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These are old "petanque" balls . At the time they were made out of wood studded with nails to get them heavier .DSCN6959 [1280x768].JPG

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Chez Nicod the master of "mises en scenes " ... an eclectic mix that somehow always works . DSCN6968 [1280x768].JPG

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On our way back home we stop at one of our favorite spot , the picturesque village of Seguret . They have the most beautiful live nativity scene in their little church at Christmas . Midnight mass attract so many people you actually have to book tickets to attend ...and better know some locals as seats are very limited .

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In the back ground ...the "Dentelles de Montmirail" mountains that look like lace ...also near by the village of Beaume de Venise where they make some sweet aperitif wine named after the village ...delicious cold in summer .DSCN6995 [1280x768].JPG

Plane trees worked as a trellis ...amazing !DSCN6996 [1280x768].JPG

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Seguret is not a tourist trap kind of village ...there is no gift shops but a few artists who have their workshops , a couple of restaurants ( "la table du comtat" is the most famous one ...with beautiful views of the valley ) a couple of smaller cafes where all you want to do is sip a coffee , eat an ice cream and enjoy the peacefulness of this place .P6300394 [1280x768].jpg

Make sure you subscribe to our blog to be notified when I will upload some more photos as our trip to Provence has a part 2 !

06:50 Posted by Marielle Giai in Travel | 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 |


Paris Day 5: L'Opera, Les Grands Boulevards, Place de la Madeleine and Le Moulin Rouge

The "Pont Alexandre III" at sunrise

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The Opera....best to go for a show but there where none during our visit , even the opera itself was closed to visitors during the day for rehearsals so plan ahead ! DSCN1135 [1280x768].JPG

Cute water fountain for dogs !DSCN1141 [1280x768].JPG

Literature is everywhere ....DSCN1144 [1280x768].JPG

One of those covered passages ....( covered shopping street ).

Here the well known theater "theatre des Bouffes Parisiens" for stand up comedyDSCN1145 [1280x768].JPG

The pretty noticable delivery car for the very famous shop "Colette" . Colette is the trend setter , most hip boutique in Paris....always very expensive, unique , pretty beautiful or totally funky ....never indispensable !DSCN1151 [1280x768].JPG


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Fun phones that plug to your computer ...to skype in style !DSCN1158 [1280x768].JPG

Next door : The lingerie shop of Chantal Thomas ....like a real french boudoir...DSCN1153 [1280x768].JPG

We are at Angelina Patisserie and Cafe for lunch now....

Delicious steack tartare, fabulous pastries and a hot chocolate!DSCN1162 [1280x768].JPG

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Raspberry macaron with a rose and lychee flavored cream....yum !DSCN1165 [1280x768].JPG

Next stop : Fauchon with a new fresh look....we are packing up some more goodies for the road!DSCN1175 [1280x768].JPG

Yes it is COLD AND RAINY ....but we are still having a great time !DSCN1166 [1280x768].JPG

We thought ....we Have to see a show in Paris ...a real parisien show ...what else than the "Moulin Rouge " ! This would have never crossed our minds when we were leaving in France ( actually only 15% of the spectators are french , the rest being Americans, Chinese, japanese ) But we've been leaving in San Diego long enough now that we do want to see a French Cancan !!!

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There are plenty of  shows in Paris ( "Le Lido"  is suppose to be fantastic ...) but there is something special about the Moulin Rouge and its history .The decor is still just like a Toulouse Lautrec painting. It transports you in an other time .For that itself its forth going ....and the topless girls of course ! C'est Paris !!DSCN1188 [1280x768].JPG

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Returning to our hotel....one last look at the Eiffel Tower by night .

Try to make it at the hour to see it sparkle for 5 mns ...it's magical !DSCN1201 [1280x768].JPG

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05:23 Posted by Marielle Giai in Travel | Permalink | Comments (0) |  Facebook |


Paris Day 4: Le Grand Palais, Le haut Marais...

Le Petit Palais DSCN0817 [1280x768].JPG

And The "Grand Palais " ! This amazing place was built for the 1900 Universal Exibition . The construction is a mix of steel /glass and stone and was built in only 3 years. Later on this place was used as a "convention center " but it finally closed it's doors and was abandoned for many years . Some major renovation started in 2000 and were still going on until last year. Special events and exhibitions are held at the Grand Palais now and the only way you can visit this place. We were happy that 2 fantastic events were going on this april.


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First : The Tour Auto ....Vintage cars are displayed in the central Nave today waiting to leave at sunrise tomorrow and race through France for 5 days.Many of our friends are participating in this famous race and it will give us a chance to see them.

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You can read about the Grand Palais on their website :


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With our friend Regis Mathieu who's racing in a vintage Porsche . Regis owns a magnificent atelier in Provence where they restaure chandeliers from the National Monuments and create also beautiful lamps.


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Now we're going to the Helmut Newton Exibition in south wing of the Palais. We are big fans of Helmut and this was  really special to be able to see his photos . Fabulous !

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One more cute Confection Store with some Easter display

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"Merci " THE must go to store in Paris....the Anthropologie of Paris with a cafe, a library, clothes, furniture,accessories.....

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Piles of linen sheets in trendy colors

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Next block : Le Bonton ; a concept store for kids with a hair salon, bedroom furniture , fun toys with a vintage or hip twist and clothes of course...on 3 stories !

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Beautiful window displays in the Haut Marais...

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Time for our afternoon sweet treats . We are at "Pain de Sucre" patisserie ....cakes are amazing of course with unusual flavor mixes , the macarons are just perfect but the star of the show for us will be the fresh home made "marshmallow " or Guimauves flavored with orange blossom water ( the big cubes in the glass jar in the window....) We are still dreaming about those !

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G.Detou in french =I have everything ! Everything for pastry and cooking....I'm going to stock up !


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Centre Georges Pompidou known as Centre Beaubourg is the largest Museum of moderm art in Europe

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La bleue ...the real blue Mobylette ...the french moped

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The "Rue de la Grande Truanderie " was in XII Paris a very very dangerous street with lots of thiefs and pickpockets ....in one name : Truands !


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The beautiful streets of Paris .....


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06:20 Posted by Marielle Giai in Travel | Permalink | Comments (0) |  Facebook |