C’est La Vie

Our return to France was punctuated by a short detour into one more country. We had hit most of the smallest members of Europe and despite the dismal weather, we were not going to miss the opportunity to pass through Monaco. Although not as small as the Vatican city, Monaco occupies only a small space in the corner of France.

Driving to Monaco.

Driving to Monaco.

Eating in Monte Carlo.

Eating in Monte Carlo.

Unfortunately, the terrible downpour prevented us from venturing too far from the car while we were there. Still, from the car on the drive there, through the raindrops running down the window, we were able to discern what would be beautiful views one a dryer day.

The view from the window in Provence.

The view from the window in Provence.

The state’s size does not correlate with its reputation. Monaco’s district of Monte Carlo is renowned world wide for its concentrated wealth. The extravagance of the small location has lured in celebrates, stars and royalty throughout history. The same luxurious presentation appeals to film directors. Monte Carlo has set many feature films and popular television shows. The streets of Monte Carlo can be seen in more than one James Bond film.

The cat next door sitting in our kitchen window.

The cat next door sitting in our kitchen window.

Jordan's cat visiting.

Jordan’s cat visiting.

Sadly, we weren’t able to see these scenes because of the deluge. Instead, we enjoyed a meal at a cafe before entering back into France. The rain followed us through France into Aix-en-Provence, the nearest city to our destination. About twenty minutes outside Aix-en-Provence, in the midst of France’s finest country sides, we found the house where we would be experiencing a little bit of French lifestyle.

Seamus relaxing by the pool.

Seamus relaxing by the pool.

The rain poured as our landlord, Jordan showed us around the property. The next day, in cheerful weather we saw better the house where we would spend the next month. The house and surrounding area was extremely pleasant and we had no trouble making  it into our temporary home. With the exception of a few day trips, we mostly kick-backed  and enjoyed the French countryside.

Meadhbh picking strawberries.

Meadhbh picking strawberries.

Fresh strawberries from Jordan's garden.

Fresh strawberries from Jordan’s garden.

There were a few things to attend to. Meadhbh buckled down on her school work while I managed some details for my first year at university this fall. Wanda practiced her art and Seamus arranged the final schedule of including our return to Canada.

The gaps between completing these tasks was filled with cooking and baking in the spirit of the French, lying by the pool and strolling through the country side.

Our fresh cherries.

Our fresh cherries.

The baking was particularity enjoyable. France’s grocery stores are undoubtably more diverse than the groceries in Canada. In addition to that, Jordan offered us full access to  her garden. With both these resources Meadhbh was able to try out some of the French recipes of Julia Child and she also made Seamus’s all time favorite French dish, canard a l’orange.

Canard a l'orange prepared by Meadhbh.

Canard a l’orange prepared by Meadhbh.

Choux pastry swans as prepared by Siobhan.

Choux pastry swans as prepared by Siobhan.

To accompany the meals, I attempted some new treats such as macrons and practiced some of desserts I’m more familiar with like lemon meringue and apple pie.

A neighbour thankful that Meadhbh doesn't know how to make escargot.

Our little neighbour who was lucky that Meadhbh doesn’t know how to make escargot.

The month flew by and every day was truly delightful.

 – Siobhan