Posts Tagged ‘Provence’

Lavender is one of my favorite scents although many scents that advertise themselves as lavender don’t really make the scent grade. They just smell artificial. One year when in Provence, my sister-in-law, our younger daughter, and I took a road trip to an area where the lavender grew. It had been harvested but the scent still lingered everywhere. I gleaned a number of stalks at the end of the rows and managed, through packing them in bubble wrap at the top of my checked bag, to get them home mostly intact.

The trip was memorable in other ways as we were in a Mini Cooper convertible with my daughter and my s-i-l’s large Rhodesian Ridgeback male in the back. Every time we hit a speed bump, they levitated. If the top was up, the dog was vying with my daughter for the most direct line to the air conditioning as it was a hot summer. It was quite funny.

I thought where we lived now in Arizona would be close enough in temperature and humidity (or lack thereof) to grow lavender but after a few failed attempts, I found out that there are three types: English, French, and Spanish and in our particular area, Spanish lavender is the way to go. Live and learn but take time to smell the lavender this week.

The sense of smell can be a blessing or a curse, depending on what you scent.  The “aroma” of a skunk is pervasively terrible, especially if it’s on your dog!  The perfume section of a large department store assaults the senses as does the perfume on too many women.  Perfume should be subtle and attractive, rather than knocking you down from six feet.

I love the smell of napalm in the morning.
~Kilgore, Apocalypse Now

However, the world is filled with delightful smells.  When our girls were small, we stayed for several days in Nags Head, North Carolina in a small motel where our corner room was perfumed with the scent of jasmine from a large bush outside the door.  It was heavenly, the first time I’d ever smelled jasmine.


© janet m. webb 2011

© janet m. webb 2011

In 2011, my husband and I visited one of his sisters and her husband who were living in Provence at the time.  We also took a short trip to Normandy, where my f-i-l once landed on Omaha Beach on D-Day.  It was a memorable trip for many reasons, encompassing both the somber memories of WWII and the beauty of the south of France.

There were many attractive doors and doorways.  Here is one.

© janet m. webb 2011

In Provence, I can never decide whether doors or shutters are my favorite part of the houses. But who says I have to choose? I know this is the “Thursday Doors” challenge, but you’re allowed to enjoy the shutters as well. I certainly did.

And look! There’s a second, almost hidden door amongst the shutters and vines. Two-fers!

© janet m. webb 2011


I almost forgot to post my second door for the “Thursday doors” challenge. But while lying in bed for a few minutes this morning, I remembered, so here’s “Door number 2,” as we used to hear on “Let’s Make a Deal.”

Provence door copyright janet m. webb

Looking through my photos for something pink for this week’s Travel Theme, I realized that apart from flowers, there aren’t as many pink things in my stash of photos as most other colors.  However, one of my favorite photos from our 2011 trip to Provence is replete with pinks, so I offer it for your enjoyment.  If you’d like to see more travel photos, tomorrow I’ll be participating in the Phoneography Challenge (and my entries will feature travel), so feel free to stop back in, especially if you take photos by non-traditional means, such as with phones or an iPad, in which case, you might like to participate.


Today is one of the elusive fifth Mondays; hence, another opportunity for challenger’s choice. My photos are a combination of travel and architecture, taken during our trip to Provence and Normandy in 2011. What no doubt seems ordinary to the people of Provence appears beautiful to me–the lovely colors, the practical shutters, winding streets, flowers, the copious use of stone. Combine these with good weather, great markets and fabulous food and, in our case, time with family and you have a vacation that’s hard to beat. The first is one of my favorites of all the photos I took, but please weigh in and let me know your favorite and why.  Other entries are here.

P.S.  Full disclosure time.  I’m doing one of my epic driving trips (Chicago to Akron, Ohio on Sunday afternoon, Akron to Philly and back as far as possible on Monday, back to Chicago on Tuesday.  Virtually no internet time, so I prepared this post on Saturday….before we spent all afternoon looking at, then buying, a new Toyota Sienna.  Just as I was about to drop off to sleep, I realized both the photos were taken before I had my iPad, taken with a, gasp, small digital camera!!  But alas, I have no time to do another post for several days, so I’m throwing myself on the mercy of the Phoneography group and my readers to present these as photos I love that were NOT taken by phone of iThingy.  If this is the worst thing I do for the rest of 2013, I’m in good shape.  🙂  And thanks for understanding.  At some point on Monday, I’ll get some internet, set up a pingback and post this non-entry.



Everywhere you travel, you can find stone. There are even countries where people, especially woman, are still being stoned. Hopefully that type of stone that will disappear soon, although I don’t hold out much hope for that. But there are many beautiful examples of stone, made by God or man-made. Here are few examples from my travels, for the travel theme of this week, “Stone.”

This stone provides an excellent view of the Bighorn Mountains of Wyoming, a view we cherish every summer.  Elevation here is around 7,000′ and one of the special joys is that there’s no cell phone coverage unless you get closer to the edge of the mountain range, down the road and to your left a short distance.  There is now, however, internet, albeit slow internet, which makes my blogging life while on vacation much easier.


Imagine you’ve gotten rid of almost everything you own, packed the rest in a covered wagon, made your hot, dusty way across the Great Plains and as your team of oxen pull you slowly through South Dakota, you suddenly spot all this stone–the Badlands.  While it might be better and easier to get around or through than the Rockies, I can’t imagine it brought joy to the hearts of the pioneers.  However, it brings joy to a variety of animals and all humans who take the time to drive through and appreciate its beauty.

Glimpsed through a gap in an old Provencal wall, is a sight familiar to fans of le Tour de France. The top of Mont. Ventoux,  Windy Mountain, is bare due to trees being taken for ship-building, beginning in the 12th century.  Although areas are being reforested, the bald top rises majestically above everything else in the area.

When in Provence, it behooves you to visit at least a few wineries.  Our favorites, at least so far, are located in the appellation d’origine contrôlée (AOC), “controlled designation of origin”, of Gigondas and Châteauneuf-du-Pape.  During  visit to  Chateau la Nerthe, I spotted this bit of stone in the courtyard.  It was unfortunate that we could only bring back a few bottles of their outstanding wine, but they have begun importing to the US, so perhaps you’ll be lucky enough to find some for yourself.  If not, I highly recommend a trip to Provence to buy some.  🙂