Cypresses, Cicadas, Chocolate, and Lavender


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Europe » France
July 31st 2016
Published: June 10th 2017
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Geo: 44.0563, 4.83163

As of last night we are in Chateauneuf du Pape, in the region of Provence. Our boat has docked in a most beautiful spot on the Rhone River, pulled into what looks like a little byway where no other boats could possibly moor. At least for awhile. And we are on the river side! So lucky this time, as we look out over a green peninsula on the other side, fish jumping, no trace of civilization, and no lights. Such a gift! I kept the door/window open so I could look out at the beauty of the night whenever I awoke, which was frequently, as lightning storms played over us while most passengers slept. It was a glorious, happy night.

But this morning I awoke to noise, and saw another boat pulling up next to us, blocking our most wonderful view. Ah, I thought; at least we had yesterday afternoon and the whole night. And, of course, we were taking a tour of Chateauneuf du Pape this morning, complete this time with a wine tasting paired with chocolate (!), sailing again when we returned to the boat. So I couldn't be too disappointed at losing our view since it would be for such a little while.

At the wine tasting there was a wine that I found truly delightful: it was from their Reserve Dedication, a Chateauneuf du Pape red from 2006 that cost 65 Euros a bottle. This was an exceptional wine! And bless Bill, he wanted to buy us four bottles, which was the minimum they would ship to the States, but he had forgotten to bring along a credit card this morning. I think maybe this was for the best, because the shipping cost another 115 Euros, so four bottles would have amounted to almost 400 Euros, an unfathomable amount even for a fine wine. The chocolates we tasted were created with lavender, one of my favorite plants; this was paired with the white wine, and thyme, paired with the reds. Who would ever have thought of mixing thyme with chocolate? What genius! This was a totally delicious Sunday morning.

Since we entered Provence I have heard one of the sweetest sounds in all the world: cicadas singing their beautiful music. I have always loved this sound; even since early childhood hearing cicadas has brought me great pleasure and delight. So I think Provence is Paradise to me: seeing the iconic and spiky tall cypresses dotting the landscape, hearing cicadas everywhere – all day and into the night, eating good chocolates and drinking fine wines, and always being warm. These simple things are requirements as well as gifts. So I hope we will find a little farm where we can live, plant a garden full of fruits and vegetables, and grow a field of lavender to delight the senses. This is my dream. Now I need to work towards making it come true. Then you can come visit and share your life stories, and I will give you a glass of fine wine.

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1st August 2016

It sounds like a wonderful way to end your trip. I am glad that you had such a lovely time.
1st August 2016

I will be glad to come and visit you in France. Love Janice

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