Right about now, when the days are dark and dreary, our thoughts begin to turn to all things French: specifically our fun 2017 trips to France. Our fingers start itching to pull up the Air France website to confirm seats on the 9 p.m. flight that leaves from Atlanta and we secretly start packing our bags.
We pine for the scent of lavender in the air and the way the light looks different in Provence. We make mental lists of what we need to stock up on in the Provencal markets: gorgeous linens, espadrilles, olive wood serving pieces, fun jewelry and soaps galore. We fantasize about the cheese platter at a certain restaurant we all love. Seriously.
And when we think about the City of Lights, we start obsessing about flaky croissants nibbled while meandering over Le Pont Neuf and mouth-watering and cozy meals at small, charming restaurants bathed in the glow of the Eiffel Tower. Oh and museums galore and sight-seeing like crazy.
Sounding good? Well, if you haven’t made your travel plans, keep reading about our 2017 trips to France which run the gamut from antique-shopping the Paris flea market to painting under the Provencal pines or shopping, eating and sightseeing your way through Paris and Provence.
We get plenty of questions which we’re always happy to answer:
We’ve seen trips with grandmothers, mothers and daughters, aunts and nieces. We’ve had delightfully rowdy groups of sorority sisters celebrating forty years or more years of friendship. We’ve had tennis teams, girl scout moms, neighbors and plenty of artists.
We’ve had CEOs, home-makers, frazzled mothers of young-ish children and irrepressible travelers of all ages who just want a taste of the delicious French lifestyle. We very frequently have people who don’t know each other but form deep bonds and friendships around a Paris bistro table or on the terrace at Les Murets. We kiddingly say it’s a little bit like grown-up camp…except in France.
What if I have a group of besties I want to travel with?
No problem! Give us a call and we’ll set it up for you, dates permitting.
Who leads the group?
The trips are a treat for us so we try not to squabble over who gets to go! But you’ll have Ann, Meg or Linda usually accompanied by a helper or two. We all speak French and know our way around so there are no worries for our “campers”.
What do we do on the trips?
What don’t we do? We’re pretty high-energy which means the agenda is packed full of lots of fun things to do. In Paris, you’ll call an elegant 7th Arrondisement apartment (or maybe a chic little boutique hotel) your home away from home, complete with views of the Eiffel Tower.
The itinerary is ramped up because the City of Lights waits for no-one and we have a lot of ground to cover in a short amount of time. Agenda: Up early. Croissants? Check. Museums? Check. We have some ideas and welcome yours. Ours include L’Orangerie, Musee D’Orsay and a personal favorite, Le Musee du Rodin. We’re always checking out the latest cultural exhibits or tours and we include them whenever we can.
What about meals?
Ready for lunch? We’ve got that covered. How about dinner? We make sure a meal is never, ever missed and we’ll introduce you to some of our favorite neighborhood spots that might include the most delicious steak-frites you’ll ever have. We’ll dine together a couple evenings and then you’ll have some free time to explore the dining scene on your own.
I like to shop. Do we have time for that?
Shopping (and its cousin, browsing) are a natural for Paris and Provence. We’ll hit the Avenue Montaigne, rue Faubourg St. Honore (a glorious combination of Madison Avenue, Michigan Avenue and Rodeo Drive), the Marais and its myriad of quirky streets and boutiques as well as plenty of charming spots and places unfrequented by tourists) Antiques? Of course. We have a whole trip devoted to that. We’re headed to the famous Puces to explore, covet and drool.
We might let you rest for an hour or two before opening a bottle of bubbles pre-dinner.
Our time in Paris simply flies by. If you’re antiquing with us, the trip lasts a heavenly six days. If you’re touring Paris and Provence with us, you can count on a magical three days of Paris before the train pulls out of la Gare de Lyon…but then, it’s off to Provence via the TGV’s spectacular scenery extravaganza.
Tell me about Provence
Home base in Provence is Les Murets, a beautifully set rambling French country house. Ann rebuilt and designed it so it’s got all the little creature comforts you’re used to plus a huge soupcon of Frenchy charm. Did we mention the pool, tennis court and terrace?
And what to do in Provence? Oh my, where do we begin?
I want to paint in Provence!
So do we! If you’re a painter, plan on the days being filled with top-notch instruction, plenty of practice time to perfect mixing colors, working on composition and trying hard to capture the incandescent light for which Provence is known. In 2017, we have two trips devoted to painting, both led by Huff Harrington Fine Art-approved artists. In June, learn the tricks of the art trade from Bethanne Cople, a seriously talented artist who excels in outdoor painting…and is adorable and fun, to boot. And, in October, the lively duo of Laine Francis and Helen Farson leads the group. Stay tuned for an upcoming blog on what it’s really like to spend a week in Provence painting to your heart’s content.
I’m ready! Sign me up…
Wonderful! Our trips time in heaven by anyone’s standards and it will leave your heart full of happy memories and a yearning forever for all things French. Drop us an email or give us a call and we’ll get your trip of a lifetime started for you.