Provence, France Day 5

After another eight straight of solid sleep–wowzer!–it’s workout time on a balmy morning. I figure to start with some cardio with my man Shaun T. We’re kicking it when I notice ants on the patio where I’ve set up. Don’t want to stop, so keep going, trying to avoid stomping ants.

Finally pause, move down the patio. Start it up, pumping up that heart rate. See the ants have followed me. Finish the Shaun T, go for more cardio and some upper body work, and move down the patio again.

Into it! And apparently so are the ants. It’s not a swarm by any means but about a dozen who systematically move where I move. I think they must be attracted by the music. BW says it’s my feet hitting the patio so they think: Fresh meat.

Eeuuww.

Conclude with a short yoga session–ahhh–and just ignore my tiny companions.

During my stint, Kat and BW head over to breakfast, and Jason’s up. Housekeeping comes in. I finish just as the tech guy comes to look at the hot tub, which stopped working–and a couple of the AC areas. We want the AC off and the doors and windows open. Temps climb into the mid-80s, but there’s always a breeze.*  My French doesn’t include words like hot tub jets and AC, and our guy has less English than I have French, but the housekeeper translates.

I decide I’ll work at the pretty table surrounded by woods while techs and housekeeping do what they do. It’s lovely, really lovely to have an hour or two in the shade, in the fresh air, in the woodsy quiet to work.

Keeping the distance while someone works in her outdoor space. Photo by j a-b

Jason and Kat go for a walk, BW heads for his massage. It’s quiet, quiet. I work on and finish the scene I’d hoped to finish. And that’s enough.

Jason with an oven? A hive? Alien pod? Need answers! Photo by kat **
A view and reflection. Photo by kat
Sun in a break from the shadows. Photo by kat.
The grounds. Photo by kat
Fleur. Photo by kat.
A little taste of home. Photo by kat

Tech says au revoir, housekeeping’s done. Time for a hot shower and real clothes. It’s then I discover my charger cord isn’t in my case. It’s always in my case. I’m practically OCD about my writing tools. But it’s just not in the case where I carry my Surface for work. Huh. I worked on it at The Greenbrier, but can SEE myself unplugging to pack up. Maybe I got distracted and forgot to put it in the case. Maybe the ghosts slipped it out hoping I’d come back for it.

In any case, oops.

Kat checks on her phone on the walk to lunch, discovers she can order one and it should be here Wednesday. But first Jason will check my model, as I have no clue.

Lunch of gorgeous freshness. Photo by kat

Lunch is perfect, and so is the belini. A trio of little French kids are running around, chanting something at each other that includes the word poopy (spoken with great glee). Obviously poopy is, like math, an international language.

Person of letters. Photo by j a-b
Guardians of the fountain. Photo by BW

I need to add that I’ve challenged my traveling companions to a day-long Fit Bit contest. Jason notes that I’m leading by considerable. And he takes himself off for a walk after lunch. But not before checking my Surface. Kat orders me the new charger. We’ll see if it gets here.

Before the second walk, we stop by the front desk to make some bookings. We’ll eat at the main restaurant tonight, as it was booked until 9:30 last night. Too late for our American stomachs. We get advice on what villages to visit, and have one earmarked for today, as well as a market trip. And we booked a two and a half hour horseback ride through the forest for Wednesday. They actually offer a full day ride that goes to the lake (where you can SWIM the horses) and includes a picnic. But we’ll start slower and see how our butts handle it.

Back for patio sitting, hanging out, reading. It’s a good day to veg with warm air, blue skies, and that quiet.

Patio cocoon. Photo by NR

Jason has now passed me on the challenge! I come back, punt him, but he rallies. We’re neck-in-neck through the evening.

Dinner at our villa, and I have velvety tomato soup along with a salad. Then there’s creme brulee. I can’t finish it, but there’s always breakfast!

Tumble into bed shortly after. I think I might try out the hot tub, but ZZZZZ.

Discover this morning Jason’s nipped me by about a hundred steps! I’ll get him next time.

Writing this on the patio by the pool. A mourning dove swoops in to the edge of the water-she comes several times a day–takes a drink, flies off.

Time to work out, with or without ants. Then we’ll venture out and see what there is to see.

Nora

Notes from Laura:

*These “oh let’s open the windows, it’s 80 and there’s a breeze!” people consistently confound me.

**When there are few cues in the copy to help caption a photo, I kind of let myself go.

An answer from Kat about the necklace she wore in a photo on Day 2: It’s an anniversary gift Jason bought for her in Eze — and here’s an explanation of it (It’s so kat, imo): 

In today’s #randomkatness:

Orb. Probably the home of the guardians of the fountain. Photo by kat

17 thoughts on “Provence, France Day 5”

  1. Yes, fresh air, breeze, I am so there for that!!! Living in Western NY one tends to take full advantage of fresh air before the cold season and the need for heat are upon us!!!

  2. Love the photos! Especially the sneaky one of the author at work. I understand about the charger- I am equally as OCD about such matters. Here’s hoping the new one arrives- because I am selfish and I know that keeping the author busy keeps books in my hands. Loving the travel journal- living vicariously through the adventures of Nora, BW, Kat, and Jason!

    Best-
    Spoiled Happy Reader

  3. Thanks for giving us glimpses into your glorious time away. So jealous when I saw that rosemary growing. I live close to Lake Michigan, so my favorite herb is not a perennial in my garden.

  4. I look forward to your travelogue every morning. I’m jealous of the patio cocoon. It looks divine. The grounds there are fabulous. You need a person of letters statue at home. Re; the fitbit, my personal best is 17,720 steps a day- but I’m sure you and Jason have bested me plenty on that.

  5. That is THE coolest necklace – nice one, Jason! It does look like the TimeTurner. Maybe the orb escaped from the hive-pod? Actually, it looks like a drying oven. Bet there’s a place to crawl in and hang bunches of lavender. Laura, I am SO with you on the temps – my idea of Nirvana includes a constant temp of 75 or lower. Too cool to sweat, too warm to need a sweater. Low humidity is also a must, which is why I found my way back home to Colorado. Our week of monsoon is about over, so we’ll be heading back to our usual humidity in the ‘teens. Hope your charger finds you soon, Nora! Thanks, everyone, for the lovely pictures.

  6. Also wanted to say that patio where Nora was working was just amazing! What a beautiful spot.

  7. I hope the horse ride goes well for everyone and you see some beautiful scenery. You seem to find the best places to stay when you travel — who in the family does the research? I must have missed the picture of the necklace?? I will now have to go back and see what I missed. Kat is one brave person, and amazing, to navigate herself and Jason through the woods like she did. I’m impressed.

  8. Another lovely descriptive travelogue! Ants can be so annoying when they get a trail. I like the man of letters – a creative statue. Your villa sounds perfect – I like a good breeze with the windows open, too. The pictures are great and an enticement to visit the area. You have the best travel companions as everyone does his/her own thing as well as doing things together.

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