Sunscreen tatoo’s

kids tatoos_____

On a hot lazy summer afternoon you wont need much to provoke a dip in the nearest body of water! This was the case for our last Friday afternoon in France,  after walking the sweltering market in Lourmarin (Friday mornings and my favorite so far!).

market

market2

market3

One website that I spotted described market timing like this: “everyone says ‘go early’ before it gets crowded, but then everyone still goes at 11”. We showed up at about 11:30~ It was hot a crowded but we still made out pretty good.

great market finds

After the market we headed to Etang de la Bondefor a picnic and swim.

lake

Because the water in the area is so chalky and mineral rich the lake has a beautiful mint green color. There is a muddy beachy area that all the “rednecks” congregate, and while it’s no riviera, it was conveniently located and easy to find. While we stayed cool, we used our friend Amanda’s long blond locks to paint on sunscreen tattoo’s. It’s fun and except for the little bit of burn around the art work.

tough girl amanda___

And after the “beach” gelato is always a good idea.

gelato is always a good idea

dave ohhh this is sooo good

ohhh this is sooo good

After the market is gone and the crowds have disappeared Lourmarin is a lovely little town with narrow alleys, cute shops and some really good ice cream.

lots of signs

long alley 2

granny sign

old fountain

olive trees

street in Loumarin2

dave and sophia in street

ohhh this is sooo good

Lunch date in Bonnieux

bonnioux distance2

On Thursday afternoon Spartacus and I went to lunch… In Bonnieux FRANCE! How fancy does that sound?! Ooh La La!  As with most of Europe, and especially picturesque midievel walled cities, parking is not easy. These streets were built before cars were invented. We parked at the bottom of a tall hill and when we pulled up this is the first thing we saw:

lover for rentA LOVER FOR RENT

None for me thank you, I brought my own today (being the natural hustler I am, I have to admit wondering what I could rent Sparticus out for. He is often grumpy, but when he’s in the right mood he’s got mad skills- haha).

bonnioux dave and hollee

 We drove up to the quiant hill top city, strolled around, walked a million ancient steps up to an old church, took a ton of photos, did some shopping and then stopped for lunch overlooking the beautiful valley pictured below.collage2

 

collage1

Because we rarely eat beef in Switzerland, we ordered a entrecote with frites and a lovely layered aubergen au fromage (sirloin steak with french fries and layered eggplant with cheese) to share. We also had a big salad with chicken, avocado’s, and toasted sesame seeds- bon appetite at the Terrace restaurant- al fresco.

 

bonnieux bells

Bonnieux bells

dave & Hollee lavendar field • Luberon Valley, France • moxiblog.com

lavendar field Provence France • moxiblog.com

No romantic lunch date in France would be complete with out dessert. It was simply too hot for Crème brûlée or profiteroles, but its always a good time for glace’.

dessert

Curcon and Fontaine de Vaucluse

market at center Cucuron, France moxiblog.com

Tuesday we visited Cucuron market, a small bite sized gem, with exceptional quality food and confiture, as well as great finds on beautiful clothes and treasures.

Cucuron, France moxiblog.com

Keeping market time under 2 hours is ideal for our family and even better if the area has a little open space or a water feature that the kids can play near.

Cucuron, France moxiblog.com

Cucuron, France moxiblog.com

Cucuron, France moxiblog.com

Cucuron, France moxiblog.com

Cucuron, France moxiblog.com

olives Cucuron, France moxiblog.com

paella Cucuron, France moxiblog.com

rabit anyone_Cucuron, France moxiblog.com

fish monger Cucuron, France moxiblog.com

fish monger2 Cucuron, France moxiblog.com

fish monger3 Cucuron, France moxiblog.com

colored pottery Cucuron, France moxiblog.com

cucuron market Cucuron, France moxiblog.com

cucuron market 2 Cucuron, France moxiblog.com

Another trick to keeping the content was letting them shop a little too.

cucuron market me and coco Cucuron, France moxiblog.com

cucuron market Cucuron, France moxiblog.comSophia got a hat, Gabriel bought a wooden top and I taste tested my way through the confiture. My favorite was the anise-melon!

cucuron market Cucuron, France moxiblog.com

After the market we headed to Canoe Evasion in Fontaine Vacluse. We canoed the crystal clear water of the Sourge River. Its source is located in a gorge of the Plateau de Vaucluse and even on the hottest days of summer it is freezing cold. It is one of the largest springs on earth, a steady, strong flow of crystal clear water, 13C (55F) warm in winter or summer.

Have you ever been standing in water so cold that it quickly starts to hurt? Meet the river Sourge. I was told that Jacques Cousteau tried to dive to the bottom and never found it. The depth still has not been determined! It was a refreshing way to spend the day.

Fontaine de Vaucluse France, moxiblog.com

Fontaine de Vaucluse France, moxiblog.com

Fontaine de Vaucluse France, moxiblog.com

Fontaine de Vaucluse France, moxiblog.com

petite paddle Fontaine de Vaucluse France, moxiblog.com

Look at the petite oar! CUTE!

our summer crew Fontaine de Vaucluse France, moxiblog.com

mossy water wheel Fontaine de Vaucluse France, moxiblog.com

Fontaine de Vaucluse France, moxiblog.com

Fontaine de Vaucluse France, moxiblog.com

Fontaine de Vaucluse France, moxiblog.com

Hope you enjoyed the photo journey! Plan a visit for yourself. Or perhaps you have some tips to share with me?!

Viva la france

photos on the go

I have so many photo’s to share! I can’t help my self I love FRANCE!!!

provincial sunflowers Provence France • moxiblog.com

provencal sunflowers

truffles for sale Provence France • moxiblog.com

honey, lavender and truffle store

grape vinyard Provence France • moxiblog.com

vineyard

views from bonnioux7 lavender Provence France • moxiblog.com

Can you see the lavender fields?

It’s stunningly beautiful almost everywhere (toilets are a disturbing exceptions) . By-the-way can anyone please explain the deal with toilets in France (Italy is a close second)? While we are on the subject, I ask you, how is it possible that they can be so primitive, so disgusting? After all, modern toilet seats have been mass produced for years! And what about plumbing, I can only remember using (in America) an outhouse once in my adult lifetime, it was in a remote state park in Utah during off season. During the high season when plumbing wont freeze, more modern facilities are open, and cleaned often! I digress….. France is beautiful! France is expensive! France is worth it!

Lauris France Provence France • moxiblog.com

Lauris France

landscape copy Provence France • moxiblog.com

Luberon Valley

Luberon valley Provence France • moxiblog.com

Luberon valley

To enjoy a week in this beautiful country, we are doing a few things to economize.
1. We chose a small farmhouse accommodation on about a half hour from the area we were ideally hoping to stay in. I really love the farmhouse, the photos will have you falling in love too.

path near house Provence France • moxiblog.com

  The fireplace is massive limestone centerpiece in the large living room with original wood beams exposed on the ceiling.

fireplace_1

old hall window  tiny stairs

dining room

kitchen wide angle

The floors are beautiful old terracotta tile, and help keep the house cool during high afternoon temperatures (over 100).

old tile

Remarkably we do not have air conditioning. The crystal clear pool helps keep us cool and makes hot afternoons fun and bearable.

pool time6 Provence France • moxiblog.com

pool1 Provence France • moxiblog.com

In hindsight though, I would probably try and find something closer to the “ideal zone” next time, and my strategy is to book it early for a better selection of moderately priced properties. If you are interested in where we stayed – email me- I would happily recommend Madame Flaconer Beautiful-Authentically-French-Farmhouse.

2. We are self catering all week. We arrived late on Saturday night and spent Sunday at the Lisle Sur La Sourge market (the largest antique market out side of Paris) so we enjoyed a few meals at local french restaurants before stocking up for the week at the market and large mega stores. I spent a few hours on Monday combing the isles of the supermarket and absorbing all of the delightful french delicacies. I was overly ambitious and while I love cooking, I also love lying by the pool and exploring medieval village markets. SO I have tried to balance my time and enjoyed delighting my family with regional specialties every night. Roasted chicken and couscous, Salad Nicisoa, and Grilled swordfish and Gambas ( huge huge shrimp).

Can you see the size of these shrimp!Provence France • moxiblog.com

Can you see the size of these shrimp! That’s a normal sized lemon compare it to the giant head on the shrimp!!!

It's a tow fister! Provence France • moxiblog.com

It’s a two fist-er!

Provence France • moxiblog.com

nicoise salad Provence France • moxiblog.com

nicoise salad

Ahh, the olive vendors have be hanging on every sample! We have a fridge full of cheese, saucisson, and fresh regional fruit.

nectarines

We ate dozens of fresh nectarines- right from the farmers!

mystery mellon nicoise salad

This is the most amazing mystery melon! I think in France its called verde melon or Bollo melon. It looks a little like a watermelon (smaller) but it looks like a honeydew melon on the inside. It has the most sweet, fragrant amazing taste.

juicy cherries Provence, France • moxiblog.com

juicy cherries

How did he end up with cherry juice on his nose? Provence, France • moxiblog.com

How did he end up with cherry juice on his nose?

Of all the provincial culinary delights the locally grown fruit is “better than candy” according to the children. We have eaten melons that we have never seen before. We are gorging our-self’s on nectarines and ripe cherries. It is a glorious pleasure.
more on our itinerary to come….