Sometimes the best kind of trips are the ones you had absolutely zero involvement (planning-wise) in. It took almost two years to figure out a date that would work for my family to travel to France together and once we locked in the date I let my mom do all of the planning. My guy and I just made sure we didn’t miss the flight. It wasn’t until we were boarding the plane to Paris that I realized I really didn’t even know what she had planned–and that made the trip all the more fun.
Above | The city of Gordes as you drive in (you must pull off on the side of the road for this photo op)
As mentioned, we spent the first leg of our trip in Paris (I will be sharing those photos as soon as I finish editing), and the second week exploring the quaint towns throughout Provence. Provence is the region in southeast France stretching from along the Rhône River to the eastern Italian border. This historic area is primarily known for it’s Roman archictecture and because of this, I think, has a very Italian feel.
We took the fast train from Paris (a 3 hour ride) to our home base for the week ~ the charming city of Avignon. I have to give my mom props for choosing this as our home base as it was nice to not have to unpack and repack every couple of days. Instead, we explored the neighboring towns by foot, car, and bus.
No need to worry about getting bored by staying in one place! I was pleasantly surprised by how much there was to explore just in this town and the neighboring area. We spent one entire day walking (~ 8 miles) to Fort St. Andre and had the best time. I was also impressed with the amount of shopping in Avignon. During one free afternoon I discovered John Mood and my day was made. (I made quite the shoe haul!.. thank you dollar to the euro exchange rate.)
Provence is also well known for its lavender. Sadly we were just a couple weeks too early to see the blooming purple fields but that just means we will have to return. (Apparently July is the best month.)
Hidden cafés and al fresco dining around every corner. Simply doesn’t get better… pass the rosé!
Above | The square in Arles where Van Gogh painted the Yellow Cafe + Below | Romanesque architecture of the amphitheater in Arles
At the end of the week my family unanimously agreed that the highlight was simply our drive through the enchanting countryside. I only wish we had kept our rental car longer and ventured further as the green rolling hills and gorgeous châteaus made for the dreamiest of drives.