Well, we didn’t exactly get a glass of marc, lean back in our most comfortable chair, and spend a delicious year in Provence as Peter Mayle did in his best seller “A Year in Provence”, but we did relish in all its French countryside glory. We started our journey with a visit to Chateau La Coste, a land of wine, art and architecture with evolving installations of works from some of the world’s most renowned artists and architects. That’s us in front of one of my favorite artists…Franz West. Every day was glorious as we settled ourselves into a Mas (old farmhouse) for the week in the charming town of Goult, a timeless village at the foot of the Luberon mountains. But our guide Stuart was anything but timeless! With eight girls in tow talking a mile a minute, he didn’t stand a chance but yet he did. He took it all in stride and managed to have a sense of humor for our adolescent belly laughing. The funniest being when we asked Stuart what they teach you in guiding school and he told us he could tell nancy’s weight if she stood on his feet and he held her close. We all fell for that one as he waited for the needle to rise! The hiking trails were pristine and well-marked as we walked through the village of Lacoste (think alligator shirts) all the way to Bonnieux (think Passion of Christ). It was too early for lavender but the poppies were everywhere in full bloom. Yum… the Cherries were ripe for picking and eating right off the side of the road with no shotgun in sight.
- We drank wine instead of water on the trail and with our picnic lunches complete with tablecloth…how civilized. The highlight of the week was the hike up to the summit of Provence, Mont Ventoux. Not only was it gorgeous from the top at 6300 feet with panoramic views of the entire chain of the Alps-French and Italian, it was challenging and WINDY.
My girls love a challenge. In fact, when we heard that the Tour de France rides up to the top, we all bought bike shirts and became a team. The nights were full of energy as we tasted wine and Yousef’s incredible French cooking. After dinner drinks, we still had energy left for dancing…pole (broom) dancing! A week was enough for us to turn the sleepy village of Goult into a party.