Every trip has at least one event, one moment, one experience that stands out above all others. Do you agree?
Whether the trip is a weekend long or several weeks or even months there are one or two experiences that become THE memory forever. Many things can make this moment or event stand out, and those things can vary greatly. For me, on this trip, it was our day excursion to the town of
Let’s start with this short video I did and had posted on Instagram that day:
The town is built around, and famous for, the Château du Grignan. I first encountered the name when, in studying French with a tutor in 2003, we (very slowly and haltingly) made our way through the book of Madame de Sevigné’s letters to her daughter in the mid-1600’s. It is definitely an uphill climb to read them in French (English versions are available!) but the “story” is fascinating. The loneliness, the isolation, the separation and, more than anything, the Mistral wind sweeping down the Rhône Valley was enough to cause depression and physical malaise in anyone.
We had been there years ago…maybe ten years?…. but it was rainy and cold that day so we hadn’t been into the château or done much exploring. I just remember having lunch in a lovely cafe and knowing I wanted to come back.
So off we went. This year we had gorgeous picture-perfect weather. And by early October the crowds are gone.
If you noticed the last few photos in the above video you can see the outside of the shop we discovered….
my find of the day:
Poterie Du Chateau
I fell in love with almost every piece here. I did know, from past experience, that it is just about impossible to have anything shipped from any small retailer in France. It’s such a shame. Anything you want you must hand carry home…or arrange, i.e. pack it yourself, for direct shipping. Ten years ago we had brought home eight dessert plates, pitcher and bowls from a small shop in Dieulefit but somehow I just couldn’t deal with doing that again. So we bought a few small pieces, and spent time in the shop with one of the owners. We watched her work at her wheel, with me overwhelming her with questions and not knowing the vocabulary in French for such technical work! It was a challenge and I loved it!
I am loving my pitcher filled with my gorgeous red dahlias. And the packing paper made a perfect backdrop.
There were other defining moments on our trip, bien sûr, that I will write about. But next up here, I will give you some travel tips and some of my dos and don’ts for what I ended up taking with me, what I found useful, and some new discoveries.
P.S. To read more about Madame de Sevigne’s life and her relationship to her daughter, whom she adored, here is a brief summary.