Most days at the office, I don’t leave for lunch. I get into doing my work and I usually just end up eating my lunch at my desk and just keep working through lunch time. Sometimes I’ve even forgotten to eat lunch! Very American, right?? There have been only a few occasions where I’ve said, “This bites and I’m going to enjoy my lunch time”, but those have been few and far between occasions.
Well, the other day, Dude and I decided to cash in on my lunch savings and we headed for the local boulangerie. Like most boulangeries these days, they have something called a Menu Formule where you can have a sandwich or salad, along with a drink and dessert for around 7€50. That, folks, is a steal.
Dude opted for a salad, ice tea and a tarte framboise while I got the poulet cesear sandwich (which is oh so delicious with the dressing and feta cheese), a bottle of water and a tarte fraise with Chantilly on top. Grand total was 15€. Money well spent, I would say.
Then we headed off towards the beach in La Ciotat which happens to be about 5 whole minutes from my work. Luckily, the tourist season has not quite started yet and we were able to find some free parking close by. We only had to walk a short distance and we found a nice bench under some trees to shade us from the sun. Viola, a two hour “vacation” with a spectacular view.
It’s times like these while I’m quietly enjoying my lunch and looking out onto the Mediterranean that I ask myself why I don’t do this more often. I don’t think I’ve quite transitioned, yet, to the mind frame of taking a proper lunch to rejuvenate myself.
I was never able to do that since in The States you’re lucky if you get a whole hour for lunch (I have friends who only get 30 minutes!) and that doesn’t leave much time to enjoy your lunch when that one hour includes drive time to get to a restaurant! One always feels like their rushing and can’t really enjoy lunch let alone digest it.
I do vow to take more two hour vacations this summer. With this sort of view, how can I not?!
With summer upon us and the days in Provence becoming increasingly warm, we have opted to stay indoors during the mid-day to keep cool and venture out for our travels in the cooler evening hours. The bonus for us is that by the evening time most of the crowds and tourists have left and we get to enjoy the scenery with only a few others.
Last night our choice for an evening outing was to Le Pradet, a small village in the Var that is situated just next to the Mediterranean Sea. The village has installed a nice walkway along the water that stretches for about one kilometer and they have also put in benches so one can take a rest and just gaze out at the ocean. There are two restaurants in close proximity to the walkway, one it L’essentiel and the other is Le Samana.
Continuing south you will find some hidden away stairs leading down to the rocky beach. Once on the beach you can head left and you will come upon a Sentir Littoral. This is one of the many located here in Provence and it is a nice path that follows the ridge along the water on which you can stroll. Last night we only encountered a hand full of people, but mostly we were the only ones enjoying the lovely view of the sea from this advantage point.
The end of the trail leads you down to the port where there are a few restaurants. We stopped in for an evening snack of crepes abricot and refreshing drinks.
After our “dessert before dinner” snack, we followed the trail back to the walkway with the benches and finished the night off by watching the sun set. A perfect end to a relaxing evening.
I can never say enough how much I love the area in which I live. The minute I leave my house and turn down the first street, I am hit with the most magnificent views of hills and vineyards.
Dude and I have started taking evening strolls since the weather has warmed up and the sun hangs in the sky until nearly 10pm (I love that). We tried to take a stroll during lunch one day, but it’s now proving to be too hot so I guess we will stick to our early evening walks.
The center of town in our village is small compared to some, but there are many houses and streets that surround it. There are also some nice hikes in the area and one of them is easy to get to once I leave my front door. I heard from the town maire that our village consisted of only a little more than 1000 people in 1970 and over the last 40 years has grown to be around 6000. Even though that is still a relatively small number, the growth is impressive. I guess everyone else likes the surrounding scenery, too! As a result of the growth, there are a number of really nice areas in which to walk and take in not only the view, but all the different styles of houses. It makes for a very enjoyable evening.
The last couple of days and evenings we have been venturing out more often. Come and take a quick stroll with me. I love sharing what is literally, in my back yard.
On Sunday we headed off to the little village of Signes for their antique car show. The weather could not have been more perfect that day. Nice and warm, but not too warm, with a cool breeze.
Lots of car enthusiast turned out for the event and there were plenty of cars to see. We ended spending the afternoon looking at all the wonderful cars on display. Some were from France and Italy and some were of course, American.
Not only were the cars a treat for us to look at and enjoy, but so was the scenery. The village of Signes has some of the most picturesque hills surrounding it.
Here were some of the cars on display as well as some of the beautiful hills and countryside of the village.