In November 2009, we took a trip to Provence. We left our son with my mother and family, because we thought he wouldn't do so well in France. These are my letters to him.
We woke to rain in this normally dry region. We had meant to hike, but as none of us wanted to get wet, we opted to get treats from a boulangerie (bakery) in Les Sablettes, the village closest to us. After that we drove on a really twisty road through some villages with tiny streets to get back to a village we had visited before. We liked the shops there and knew they would be open. On the way we got to see a windmill, one of the older ones, but we didn't get photos because we couldn't get close to it. There must have been a way. Your dad decided not to try very hard because the rental car has some noisy brakes, which can mean that they won't last very long
After the hilltop village, we drove some more to Bandol, a seaside town. The girls took off their shoes and socks and walked on the beach and dipped one toe into the water. Tres froid, they declared. Way too cold. Our host told us that when it is sunny, people do go swimming at this time of year. I can't imagine doing that, though. Those must be some tough people to swim in that water.
In Bandol, we saw some more boats, big ones, small ones, wooden ones with old fashioned sails, and large two masted sail boats. There was even a boat that has a clear bell in the middle between two hulls so that whoever rides in it can see underneath them. They can see in the water. It wasn't for hire, but I can bet that we would have done it.
The rain did stop, so we could wander the streets and look here and there in the two places we visited. In the hilltop village we saw so many cats. They lounged in the shops, on the walls, and lurked in every corner. There were also dogs. Some walked with their people on leashes, but there were just as many waiting outside the shop of their people. I remember a black lab, covered in mud, who wanted to snuggle with the girls; then another black dog that wanted to get petted, but was prevented by another dog; that last dog was a yellow Lab who couldn't get enough of us. When we would stop petting her, she would push her way between someone's legs to get more attention. As we left the village, she followed us! As we got outside the walls of the town, she went elsewhere. We worried that she wouldn't leave us alone.
Tomorrow is our last day. We'll stay close to this house. There is still a cathedral on a mountain we would like to reach. We have to hike to it, which is why we didn't do it today. There is also a fort just north of us that we might visit. We'll have to have everything packed tomorrow because we leave very early for our first of three plane flights home. Sunday will be a very long day with lots of sitting. While we want to get back to New Orleans, we aren't looking forward to the travel involved. I wish we could just push a button that would take us home.