Bourdon Patate Douce


So our mystery vacation was to Provence, in the south of France. Landisdad’s mom, who has been responsible for our last four trips out of the country, outdid herself this time–it was even better than when she got us a count’s apartment in Rome. She rented a six-bedroom mas with a pool, terraced gardens, and an honest-to-goodness olive grove.

We ate a great deal of excellent food, including an almost-incredible amount of chocolate. My only previous trip to France was to Paris, and I confess, I don’t remember having chocolate with every meal there, but I think that the south of France is (in the words of the Bee) “crazy about chocolate.” Not that there’s anything wrong with that. There was a daily intake of wine that may have greatly endangered my liver. The Potato also developed a fondness for citron presse, although that probably didn’t damage his liver at all.

There were daily trips into various parts of the countryside, including a 12th-century abbey, and some nifty stone huts that have been continuously occupied for 3,000 years. The kids climbed around on the rocks at the Pont du Gard (that blue dot in the picture is the Bee)–the Potato was a little worried that she might not come back, so he shouted for her. We wandered through the local farmer’s market, and the kids held up the doors of a building with some statues. We also visited an ancient Roman ampitheatre, a fishing village on the Mediterranean, and the Palais de Papes in Avignon. The kids both developed a fascination with the various knights in armor that were featured at various gift shops. (Here, the Bee models the shield and sword of a gladiator.)

In addition, the kids got to swim every day. The Bee spent hours practicing her underwater handstand, which is a recent obsession. She wants her legs to be straight up and down, like mine, because, “yours are like a sixteenth of an inch not-straight.” The Potato ventured out into the deep end at every opportunity, wearing his swimmy vest.

The nights were light so long–the kids stayed up until about 10 every night. After dinner, they’d wander around the garden making stew in a garden pot, mixing together stones and flowers and sticks, being on their best behavior to avoid going to bed while it was still light out. Our stick collection was impressive, although we did convince the kids to leave the sticks in France. Fortunately, the late evenings led to some late-morning sleeping on the part of the Potato–we slept until 8 every morning.

And best of all, there was no drama. Of course there were moments of minor annoyance, but overall the trip–including the two ridiculously long travel days–was fabulous. I’m sure that we won’t all remember the same things–the Potato, for example, may remember this bus trip longer than anything else–but we will remember the love and good feelings for a long time, and that’s what’s really important.


July 29, 2007. family life.


  1. chichimama replied:

    Oh, so jealous! It sounds fabulous!!! So glad you guys had such a great trip!

  2. Suzanne replied:

    Wow! What an amazing vacation! Photos are terrific.

  3. guerson replied:

    wow, it sounds great!! alan and I were very upset we didn’t get to explore southern france during our year in Barcelona… but we will go back!

  4. Sandra replied:

    Wow. World’s best mother-in-law much?

  5. Jeff replied:

    How funny! This is where we vacationed in the Fall of 2006 when our daughter was 2 1/2. Spent a week in St. Remy de Provence (rented a house) and a week in Paris (rented an apt).

    Pont du Gard is beautiful. Did you climb up the mountain/hill on the opposite side of the welcome center/food/gift shop? Great views from up there.

    I am so jealous. I want to go back now more than ever.

  6. Library Lady replied:

    Add me to the jealous brigade 🙂
    It looks gorgeous and I’m glad you all had such a good time!

  7. Ashley replied:

    Welcome back! I didn’t make it out of country, but it looks like we both had a grand time!

  8. thordora replied:

    Wow! Count me in on the jealousy!

  9. Mary Tsao replied:

    Sounds like my dream vacation, especially the part about the lack of drama. Bravo!

  10. Staci replied:

    Oh the South of France sounds just like my kind of place. Maybe Landisdad’s mom would like to hook me up too? Or maybe not, but I’m adding to my list of places to go.

  11. BBSP at five years, the remix « Bumblebee Sweet Potato replied:

    […] happy that we’ll be going back to one of our all-time favorite family vacation locations this […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback URI

%d bloggers like this: