Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Little Bits of Progress . . . January 18

Summer travel plans are progressing and that’s exciting. Nothing like a good Plan A to make me happy. (More about Plan Bs in a later blog ...) I took a-once-in-a-lifetime Jeanne Mills’ Scrap Basket Tour, inspiration for quilters, in 1999. At a once-in-a-lifetime week of intensive quilting instruction at Empty Spools Seminars at Asilomar the year before, I’d picked up a bookmark with a graphic of the Eiffel Tower on it with its brief ad for the tour, and the prospect lit up my life.

Inspired by Monet, l'Orangerie
May, 2008

So much for once-in-a-lifetime seminars at Asilomar and quilters’ tours to France. This year I’m embarking on my 10th trip with Jeanne’s tour, the 9th of these to France. You might guess from this that I love France. It actually goes back to a trip in the college years with my first husband, one of those angst-filled journeys on a shoestring, during which Paris came to feel like home. This year’s trip will be to the Dordogne and Basque Country in the southwest with a finisher in Paris.

Lee in Paris, May 2008

But no Provence. Not in the past two years. Paris is my favorite city in the world, but I love Provence and I need a Provence fix. So my sister, who’ll be retiring shortly, and I are heading for an Experience Provence tour, the "lavender tour" I went on in 2008. It’s based in a villa in the small town of Ste Cecile-les-Vignes, from which we fan out over the region for photography and markets. (There’s still one room with queen-sized bed available: .)

Artichoke, not lavender
L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, June 2008

Lavender field
Ste Cecile-les-Vignes, June 2008

With all this travel in France, I’ve also needed French lessons, both here (home) and in France. In France it’s been at a residential program in Provence -- twice -- and the good news I got is that my unconventional proposed schedule can be accommodated to return there for a few days of language immersion right after the lavender tour. I’m just stoked!

Students of French at the
Musée Mistral, June 2008

See you tomorrow.


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