I cannot describe how France has changed my life. I have always taken a keen interest in European cultures, particularly in their architecture, foods, design and fashion. However, after being in France for a few weeks, experiencing the lifestyle there, it is safe to claim that I have completely fallen in love with it.
We started off our journey in Paris and stayed in a very chic boutique hotel right in the heart of the city, practically a baguette's length away from the romantic and majestic Eiffel Tower. We had business meetings and events to attend to, which went very well, but the rest of our time was spent primarily on foot simply exploring the city of lights. Between the 3 of us we took over 1,000 photos of everything from architecture (which is all outstanding just as I knew it would be) to desserts and even a bride and groom who were having their wedding photos taken on a beautiful Parisian afternoon. Paris was a dream.
My favorite part of our trip was the undoubtedly driving through and staying in Provence. Paris was stunning, but at times more commercial than expected. Provence was refreshing and we experienced the real, true French lifestyle there. We stayed in Chateau de Mazan, the castle that has claimed the village of Mazan for hundreds of years...it sits proudly and majestically above the townspeople and as we found out from a local, was meant to watch out for the village and foresee any trouble that might arise ahead. The locals were warm, quite social and very family oriented. Over the two weeks we had French lessons from anyone and everyone we encountered and they didn't seem to mind our attempts at speaking their language. I can't describe waking up in the morning to such beautiful sunshine, throwing open our room's shutters and viewing the Provence landscape and village life in all it's glory. We spent time exploring a few other villages in Provence (I loved Avignon) and spent hours driving through the south. (nothing is more beautiful) We even went to the Mediterranean sea, explored Merseille and ate the most unbelievable seafood. I could go on forever about the food, the adorable children and even the scorpion we encountered, but it would take days. The three of us have incredibly funny stories, experienced beautiful and unexpected moments, and even some trauma at the end of our trip, but overall, had such a wonderful, life changing experience. I was so happy and grateful to be traveling with such fun, adventurous people!