Le Sud

It's funny to hear the Parisians speak about le Sud (the south). There is an air of nostalgia, of longing,  their shoulders visibly relax as they remember running around barefoot as kids chez mamie et papi or drinking a Ricard with friends as ados. 

Everything is better in the south: the sun shines brighter, the food tastes better, the people are nicer. 

Then depression sets in: why the eff did I ever move to Paris?! I had it so good as a kid! 

And while I didn't live in the south of France as a kid, I did grow up in southern California, where I barely owned a pair of jeans and a jacket was just out of the question.  I was worried about being too hot. Can you imagine?


Dancer friend is moving to Vietnam. I'm so excited for her, but it makes me sad to lose such a wonderful friend in Paris. Since she is essentially homeless until she moves to her new home across the world, she and her husband had the brilliant idea of renting a home in the south of France for a couple of weeks before their departure. Awesome right? Then, even more awesome, she invited me and another close friend to spend the weekend with them. Thankfully, I got over my commitment problems and got myself some train tickets stat. 

The minute we stepped off the train, we felt the heat of the sun, needed to put on our sunglasses and decided that sunscreen was in order. It was glorious.

After a quick stop in Aix-en-Provence to take in the Saturday marché (we got vintage plates and guacamole fixins!), we arrived at their little slice of heaven. 

Crisp rosé and bright-red tomato salads greeted us at the table, followed by BBQ chicken and fresh pain de campagne. Our feet were bare, our shorts were on and the air was exceptionally warm. It was divine. I kept asking myself why on earth I ever left Toulouse, why I ever left Cannes. What was I thinking?!

In-between pool time and playtime with their two little boys, we took a lazy walk into town and then a drive into one of the neighboring villages...


quirky doors in the south

A beautiful place for a dip in the water when it gets too hot

In the evening, we cracked open a big bottle of red, prepared the veggies together and seared the steaks on the grill.  

In the morning, this awaited us on the terrace:

I had to remind myself, that life in the south is perfect because we were on vacation. But truthfully, I was dreading Monday, when we had to pack up and leave. I took a minute to lie on the grass and soak in the sun one last time (with sunscreen!). 

As the train pulled into the Gare de Lyon, my friend and I looked out the windows at the grey clouds and bundled Parisians. Even though I was sad to have left the slow-paced, sunny south, a wave of relief washed over me - home feels good. There is something about too slow that can depress me  - and Paris will always be in action, always buzzing. I love that.

That doesn't mean that I don't totally want a country home! But, Paris is still my homegirl.

1 comment:

  1. I love how you captured this trip and this place! The doors!! I think this is a perfect vacay spot! So glad you are back....with TWO posts. :)


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