While in Paris we continued our Tiny Living lifestyle …. in the form of tiny places we found on AirBnb in the Marais section of Paris. So we felt right at home with not an inch of space to spare ! But being in the Marais was perfect and magical and we could hardly believe we had just come from 3 weeks in Kenya and then we were both in France – the first time for both of us !
Being the nature loving women that we are, Paris was really amazing and beautiful, even in the cold, gray mid November timing that we got to walk the streets and saunter along the Seine … but it was our trip to the South of France that captured us in a way that makes us want to return and explore much more there. Plus, there was a special reason that we had planned to spend half our time in a beautiful Mediterranean area surrounded by mountains and vineyards just North of Nimes in the South of France.
Lisa has known one of her mother’s best friends from childhood her entire life. And it just so happened that she lives part of the year in the French countryside near the villages of Monoblet and Les Montèzes. So the trip to stay with her had been pre-planned as soon as we decided to make a stop over in France before returning home after Kenya.
Getting our rental car at the Train Station in Nimes, and then trying to navigate in French to Melinda’s home, was a pretty comical experience ! But, miraculously, we did make it to her place just before dark the same day our train arrived from Paris.
We loved our time with Melinda and learning all about her life there in France, her art, and her home – which she and her hubby had gutted and restored a few years ago. It was an old (and I don’t mean old like old-South-Antebellum-old) stone farmhouse with its oldest section built around the 7th Century. The restoration they had done was breath taking. Melinda took us to some of her favorite little villages nearby, so of course “the girls” had some French shopping time together … as well as lots of fun evenings out for dinner during our stay !
She also gave us ideas for lots of places that Lisa and I ventured out to explore on our own. Our hike not far from her home was one of the highlights – at the top of a steep hike were the remains of a 13th Century Chateau. The views were magnificent. I look forward to a return visit to see the landscape below in all the glory of different seasonal colors as well ! Melinda says that she can use some help planting the garden in the Spring, so we don’t think she’ll have much arm twisting to do to get us back again – any time of year! Thanks, Melinda, for such an incredible time with you and for making us feel so welcome. I wear my cool new boots almost every day and it’s a rare day that Lis doesn’t wear her awesome “French” jeans ! So we did great on our fun shopping spree with you in Uzès.
Lis and I are STILL pinching ourselves at the journeys we got to make a few months ago. We actually got to stand on the Equator in Africa! That still sounds pretty surreal to me. We saw something recently that seems quite true to us after reflecting on our extended international trek. “You should experience being Foreign at least once.” I think we learned a LOT during our trip. We certainly saw a lot and experienced a lot. I think we’ll continue processing some of it for months to come.
Onward, Friends !
Karole (and Lisa)