Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Moulin de la Roque

The estate where we stayed in Provence is about 30 min from Avignon. A perfect location for exploring various areas around Provence for the morning, having an exquisite lunch some where, and then coming back for an afternoon nap, playtime in the pool and on the trampolines (or jump-o-lines as Sophia likes to call them), and a bit of Football on the grass. We also tried our hand at the Provencial version of Bacci Ball, but the balls are really heavy for a 2 year old. Dinner was always out on the terrace (except the one day when it rained buckets over us), and evenings were spent under the umbrella, surrounded by the dogs waiting for Sophia to drop food to them (they had their eyes glued to the floor under her chair).
It was a little bit of heaven, and a week was far too short...

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

The Monestary of Montmajor

The Abbey of Montmajor is actually a set of buildings constructed at different time periods—ironically, some of the newer ones (18th century) are in much poorer shape than the older ones (12th-14th centuries). There’s a crypt with very interesting vaulting which originally was said to hold relics of the Cross, as well as a church that dates from 1153. We spent a quick hour walking thru the ruins, it is just so amazing to see the remains of the dormatory and library from across the valley floor. Sophia loved the cloister next to the church, but other than that there weren't a lot of places where she could walk without us feeling like we were making a bad parenting decision.


Sophia in the Arena.
Moya & Sophia walking thru the narrow streets.
Sophia running thru a restored area of the arena under the seats.
Troy & Sophia on the stage of the ancient Theater.
Sophia running after the pigeons.

Today was a beautiful amazing day in the town of Arles... It is the ultimate in a small town with ancient, winding streets, lots of antiquity, an old theater, arena, baths from Ceasar's Villa, and a Roman Forum covered in outdoor restaurants. A place we can definately imagine going back to & staying in for a couple days just to kick back & relax & watch the world go by.
Sophia spent our entire lunch time on the main square running after all of the pidgeons that were trying to eat the left overs of her baguette, and has her first skinned knees to prove it.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Chateauneuf de Pape

After the slight disappointment of Orange, we were thrilled to see the little village of Chateauneuf de Pape. Just north of Avignon, it is a hillside town with the ruins of a chateau at the peak looking over the countryside of Provence. We wandered up the hill until coming to a bistro with a small terrace on the street where we could eat & Sophia could be entertained by the "goings on"around us. The lunch was exquisite! A starter of green salad with 3 fried Chevre Ravioli on top, 2 small lamb chops marinated in Provencial herbs & sauteed in olive oil served with herb potatoes and fried tomatoes, and a apple tart with vanilla ice cream for desert. All for 15 euro...
The wineries around the town were amazing, however we decided that it wouldn't be the best decision to take a very tired Sophia to try some wine tasting, no matter how good it would be for our French language, so we headed back to the esate for an afternoon of Bacci, "Jump-o-lines", football on the grass and swimming.
It's just so amazing to have dinner on the terrace, watching the sunset at 9:30, having the dogs under Sophia's highchair to pick up any of the fallen, and then watching her run until she collapses. It is a like a little bit of heaven on earth...


Our morning wandering around the ancient Theater of Orange. They are attempting to build a roof to protect the stage from the elements, but the rest of the building was so amazing. It overwhelmed everything else in the town.

Sunday, May 14, 2006


Our first morning in Provence was spent at the weekly market in L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue. Only a 20 min drive for us, we wandered through the narrow streets, inhaling all of the scents of the various stalls. There was everything for sale; including 5 paris of espedrilles for 20 euro, linens, clothing, herbs, AMAZING olives, vegetables, fruits, meats, smelly cheese, stinky fish, and anything else you could imagine... For a change in France most of the stores were open on Sunday morning & it was wonderful. Definately something to go back to, and an interesting town to see on a "normal" day in Provence. We had lunch next to one of the canals and the waterwheel, then spent the afternoon back at our apartment on the estate....