Happy Sunday! I hope you’ve had a relaxing weekend so far and enjoyed a somewhat lazy Sunday morning (like I did)! How are you doing? Are you taking time to check-in with yourself and give yourself the care, love, and attention you need? If not, it’s perfectly okay to set aside time for yourself to do whatever you want/need to do during ‘me time.’ Maybe your thing is yoga, meditation, running, paddle boarding, reading, tending to a pallet garden you built, sewing some pillowcases for your home decor, making a dress to match your homemade mask, paddle boarding, refurbishing furniture, tooling around with some new tools, or even playing animal crossing with family and friends, but whatever you want to do during your assigned ‘me time,’ make sure you’re doing it and giving yourself a break.
If you didn’t get a chance to read yesterday’s post - “pastis and the French Riviera” - you can click here to read about my first time trying French Pastis on an island off the coast of Marseille! Otherwise, if you’re all caught up, buckle up and let’s continue this journey together! In the spirit of continuing the trend of where I was this time last year, let’s continue our time together in France!
My first few memories of this trip to France included a boat ride out to a remote island where we spent time on the beach, ate dinner, and enjoyed a Pastis-filled sunset. It also included children crying bloody murder on that boat ride, which while in the moment, was sad for the kids, but now, a year later, is pretty funny. No, I don't think it's funny when children are upset, but there is an element of humor to it knowing that their fear is probably the last thing they remember about being on the boat. Memory is very funny that way, especially with kids.My first full day in France involved waking up with coffee in a cozy, airy AirBnB in Aix en Provence. A leisurely morning not unlike the one we had this morning, my now-boyfriend and I had coffee while we listened to French music, got ready, and headed to his brother-in-law’s family house. Upon arrival we were greeted by one of the most wonderful families ever with plenty of food and drink to enjoy ourselves.
We all gathered at the house as a meeting point before we all bopped off for a hike, a picnic, and an incredible swim. We first took a leisurely hike to a waterfall at the base of the French Alps where we admired the beautiful blue of the water and took some pictures. After the waterfall, we hiked back up to explore some caves, which reminded me a bit of my time visiting Montana on my USA cross-country road trip. Having spent a good portion of the day up to that point working up an appetite, we found a picnic table where we ate some of the most delicious homemade French food I’ve ever had - including this savory tomato cake that my boyfriend’s brother-in-law’s mom made for me to take home while she was visiting North Carolina from France this past Thanksgiving, a cake for which I have since obtained the recipe and made at home.
Having eaten our fill of savory cakes, breads, and cheeses, our next stop was to a swimming hole in the French Alps, the most beautiful kind of public pool I’ve ever seen. We had to walk through some large fields and hike down some steeper hills to get to the swimming hole, and some of us got separated and lost along the way, but eventually we all found each other and enjoyed the beautiful, cool water.
Have you ever been swimming in one of nature’s very own public pools? Let me know! Subscribe in the e-mail submission box below and reach out, follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and reach out to me on the “contact” page. I’m so happy you're here and that I’ve been receiving a lot of really incredible stories, questions, and feedback from a community all over the globe! Other people’s stories that I’ve gotten to read via e-mail, text, tweet, DM, etc. recently bring me such smiles, and I am so grateful for all of it! I hope I get to hear all about whatever stories you’ve been thinking about as we’ve been on this virtual journey together! Also, I've said it before and I'll say it again, if you have any restaurants/eateries/pubs/coffee shops/ice cream joints/theatres/lookout spots you would recommend in other countries or even in your current home town or city, I'm absolutely 100% all ears!! I couldn’t do this without you! So THANK YOU! From the bottom of my heart, truly, thank you.
P.S. - If you want to catch up from the beginning on this series of travel adventures, here's a cheat sheet to the posts (in order in which they were published):
1. Won't you join me?
2. grateful for starbucks and sandymount strand
3. Once Upon a December in the National Gallery
4. plant a smooch for that gift of gab
5. may the 4th be with you: Dingle style
6. cinco de mayo: the best Mexican food in Dublin
7. pizza in roma
8. mussolini’s window and the philosophers’ metro stop
9. father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife
10. it's the vatican, not the vatican't
11. spoiler alert: i did not lose my hand
12. more pizza and gelato and Neptune, oh my
13. craft beer, romper season, and volcano magic
14. bus singalongs and the okey dokey karaoke origin story
15. the beginning of the journey to the land of outlander
16. the boy who lived and the musical rapper
17. oh i just can't wait to be kingggg
18. fudge and haggis, quite the dynamic duo
19. the banshee labyrinth... or, my first time trying buckfast
20. the world's most magical toilet
21. gwyneth paltrow's (improv) sliding doors
22. scottish sombreros and jam, thank you
23. bob seger, a cèilidh, and arthur's seat
24. the next maxim cover girl!!
25. you can vote now!!
26. kindness at… the airport??
27. conversations with strangers and #basic meals
28. aren't gas stations amazing?!
29. not just mac's... supermac's
30. American vs. European Cell Phone Providers
31. brown bread ice cream
32. Black Lives Matter
33. technology and theatre
34. a love of Dublin pizza: Manifesto
35. a love of Dublin pizza: Dublin Pizza Company
36. a love of Dublin pizza: with my dad
37. Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness
38. thank you! round 2!
39. a love of Dublin pizza: and every other pizza
40. ahh-oooooh werewolves of london
41. a special london edition nerd alert
42. defying gravity is a WICKED good time
43. that wanker Van Morrison
44. The Cursed Child at the Palace Theatre
45. LA girls love London green juice
46. Super Bowl LII Champs at Wembley
47. champagne fizz and fruity cocktails
48. How-to: DIY Pallet Garden
49. dublin tattoo magic
51. thank you! Maxim round 4!
52. dublin bog bodies
53. dún laoghaire ice cream
54. local celeb sighting
55. 13.1 in Dublin
56. thank you! Maxim round 5!
57. every girl likes a bad boy
58. poolbeg lighthouse
59. conflict, bias, and propaganda in belfast
60. bow to your lord mayor
61. HAPPY HAMILTON DAY!!
62. Maxim Cover Girl Quarter-Finals!
63. gulliver's travels in belfast
64. all aboard the HMS Caroline
65. all aboard the RMS Titanic
66. you know nothing, jon snow
67. cave-born shadow babies
68. afraid of heights?
69. giants and their egos
70. the Kingsroad
71. sunsets in Donegal
72. derry dining chains
73. Maxim Cover Girl Semi-Finals!
74. Spontaneity is Key
75. Dear Nana
75. blasket island centre
76. Nana's blue tin cookies
77. a dance lesson in Dublin
78. dublin to Royal Portrush
79. Shane Lowry's Open Championship
80. maxim and Belfast Chinese food
81. Irish beachy wild women
82. my Irish love, Cork
83. my Irish love, Cork: hot chocolate
84. my Irish love, Cork: knit life
85. my Irish love, Cork: English Market
86. my Irish love, Cork: Blackrock Castle
87. one year ago today
88. pastis and the French Riviera