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Monday, June 29, 2009

Breakfast on the Terrace - Monday, June 22

Sounds of the morning include...

...birds chirping from the tree next to the terrace that overlooks a forgotten courtyard, a gentle breeze rustling the leaves of the trees and sweeping over the sun baked terracotta tile roofs, church bells clanging in the distance, the rattling of a heavy metal chain that holds the gate shut, a cheery "bonjour, madame" from the nearby baker, the bubbling up of hot water and eventual "ding" as I heat the water to make morning coffee in the "French press" coffee maker, and finally, the incredible sound of crunchhh and craaack that comes from slicing into a fresh baked baguette!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Welcome to France!

Miracle of miracles we took the right exit for our destination and found our way to the little wine-growing village of Armissan in the Languedoc-Roussillon region of France (the southwest coast of France close to Spain). Our "home" is a renovated old stone barn. It's roomy, up to date, private and has a large terrace that is perfect for painting on the afternoons when we're too tired to stand up any longer! The view which overlooks the vineyards and foothills is wonderful. The only (and very small) downside is having to climb (and haul our gear up) the 25+ stairs. The butcher and the baker are located just down the street (closer than the corner of my home in Birmingham).

This photo I call my "eye of God" photo. I saw this on my first afternoon of exploring the area around Armissan. I felt like this was a "Welcome to France" present!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Lunch in Spain, Breakfast in France!

In order to take the "romance" out of that title, let me quickly note that lunch was at McDonald's - but there's a reason! With heads still cloudy from jet lag and little sleep, Betty (Wentworth) and I turned off the autoroute on our way out of Spain (heading for France) in search of the Salvador Dali Museum in Figueres, Spain. Good signage is lacking for such a major tourist attraction. Rather than leave, we stopped at a handy McDonald's to grab a bite and ask directions. I asked a darling Katherine Heigl look alike if she could help us and she jumped at the chance to be of assistance. We never would have made it without her and her fellow Latvian companions (actually one guy WAS Spanish).

The Dali Museum is in a word - WACKY! Wacky beyond belief. I really want to go back and take my kids. At the last minute before leaving the USA, my mom said she wished I could go to "her" museum. So I did! Thanks, Mom!

Click here for a few shots of the Dali museum.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

On Your Mark, Get Set, ...

I am about to GO on my big adventure of painting in France for two weeks with 3 other artists, meeting my daughter's French "family" in Marseille where she'll be a church intern, traveling to Assisi, Italy to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary with husband Ed and finally, journeying to Scotland where we lived and studied for a semester after seminary 28 years ago. Wow! I can hardly believe this long-awaited adventure is upon me.

I'll do my best to keep this blog up to date over the next six weeks. The next posting should be from the Languedoc-Roussillon region of southern France, Armissan to be exact! Bon voyage to me and bon été (good summer) to you all!