Hello everyone,

‘Ca va’ means it is going well, here in France. It’s been a bit of a bumpy road, but it still goes well.

I was so sad last night when I heard that the woman with the chateau was expecting me and had dinner ready and lunch the next day! What a confusion that was. When she didn’t respond, I didn’t want to be a pushy American, so I let it go. It turns out that if I’d called even one more time, it would have all gone through.

But I have to trust in the way things turned out, something I learned again from John O’Donohue. So even though my hotel room was only a tiny step above a youth hostel, it was where I ended up and I had to know that somehow it was right.

I called Adeline, the woman from the chateau/winery and we had a great chat and I told her I would work on getting a great assignment about Var region wines and then come back, this time with it all worked out way in advance. It seemed to smooth things over from all the missteps we took. If I had a cell phone here, it would have been so much easier. I have to try to figure that out for next time.

The sound of the sea was lovely last night and I had my windows wide open. I would have gone in again this morning, but it was cloudy and a bit chilly, so this time, I let my mind win that battle.

I’m waiting for a taxi to take me to le petit village of La Cadière d’Azur. It is so small that the place where I’m going is the only hotel there. It is called L’Hostellerie Bernard and it has a one star Michelin restaurant and an aromatherapy spa. Since one of the articles that I’m doing is ‘Sensory Provence’, that should really fit. The proprietière of the hotel seemed pleased with the fit.

So it is a gift to my body today to have some pampering. Dragging bags along bumpy streets and up and down stairs–no elevators in the last two hotels–is a total work out. But the swimming was grand yesterday, both times, and today should be good too. After the spa, it will be taxi/train/bus and then rolling bags for 15 minutes along the streets of Aix to my hotel.  But if I get there in time, I can go to a party tonight with old friends from when I lived in Aix. If not, then that’s alright too.

Just today and tomorrow to enjoy this journey and then back on the plane early Sunday to come home to San Francisco.  It all seems heightened, knowing I’ll be leaving again soon.

The hotel where I am is across the street from an École Maternelle, or school for tiny tots. I saw three-year olds playing as I walked by. Have you ever noticed how children scream in joy when they play? What a beautiful sound. Such music. I just had to stop and notice. When did we lose that capacity to express ourselves like that? We could/can learn so much from them. That’s my belief and why I love spending time with my grandchildren.
Love to you from here. More soon,

Diane

The hotel that I booked is one that I chose for my friend Janna and her family when they came to Aix. It is called Le Manoir and was an abbey and has these wonderful arches and old wood beams in the ceilings. It is just a few blocks from where I lived, so I know the neighborhood well.

Diane Covington

'Fall in Provence' 2008

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