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Provence: Day One

July 15, 2013
Awaiting our arrival in Provence!

Awaiting our arrival in Provence!

A plane, a train and an automobile. That is not meant to be an aphorism: that is literally the path we took. Flight from Boston, train from Paris, a rental car from Avignon, and we arrived at our gite: Mas Saint Antoine in Rognonas.

As I write this, a thunderously loud chorus of cicadas echoes from every direction. Local legend has it that God sent the cicadas as a penance for the locals’ laziness, so he sent “la cigale” to disturb their afternoon siestas. I don’t how effective that was, but I do know it didn’t keep our jet lagged bodies from sleeping in this morning.

Mas Saint Antoine is as lovely, welcoming and as relaxing as you would want from a gite in Provence. It is run by two New Zealanders (who clearly tired of paradise and decided to escape it by moving to paradise) named Keryn and Kerrin. We were welcomed with a bottle of wine, lavender sachets (the grounds are covered with lavender plants and plum trees) and an inviting swimming pool is a short walk from our apartment. One of the good things about being at a pool surrounded by British tourist–I am actually one of the least white and most fit men there! That’s right, Brits—get a load of this relative lack of pastiness and my Yoga physique!

In the evening, we wandered into town. Knowing it was Bastille Day, we expected it to be quiet, but we thought that would be a good way to check out what the town was like—and to scope out the local boulangerie. It was eerily quiet, and mostly empty…until we turned down a lane and stumbled upon the locals’ celebration: a carnival, several restaurants open only for those in the know, and a massive community dinner before an open air concert. The funny thing was that there was no sign advertising it, and you couldn’t hear it until you were almost on top of it. If you lived there, you knew it was happening, and if you didn’t…well, it wasn’t for you anyway.

They kindly allowed two interlopers to stroll through, lost in wonder at the hidden energy of Rognonas.

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