Happy Monday, friends! Things have been a little hit-or-miss over here on the blog for the last few weeks. I’ve been blogging for almost six years at this point and, to be honest, I think I needed a little bit of a break. There are more than 1100 published posts on my blog and I’m really proud of that number! But I think this time off from the pressure of publishing constantly has been really good for me- I have a new few post ideas brewing that I’m really excited about!

Ok, so since I took last Monday off as it was my last full day in France before coming home, today we’re covering the last TWO weeks! Lucky you :).

Aix-en-Provence photographe de voyager | Abby Grace

(This is the part where I pick up my iPhone and scroll through all the photos, Instas & Notes to remember what exactly DID happen over the last two weeks).

Firstly, I went to SPAIN for the first time! Yeah, it was only for about 45 minutes, but it still counts. See, Katherine‘s family lives about 10 minutes from the France/Spain border, so we popped over to grab groceries and do a little shopping. Katherine took me and her kiddos all around Ascain, Biarritz, Bayonne, & Saint-Jean-de-Luz. It was a side of France I’ve never seen before, and I loved every minute!

Plus, staying with an actual French family (instead of in an AirBnB) was the BEST- Katherine’s in-laws were the sweetest hosts, and I got to experience what true French meals really look like. I loved that Katherine’s father-in-law began every day with a run to the boulangerie for a few baguettes to last the day. And that lunches were something to be savored over a 60- to 90-minute period, instead of simply throwing down a sandwich at your desk and moving on.

Aix-en-Provence photographe de voyager | Abby Grace

During an afternoon escape to Biarritz, some of the seaside scenery literally took my breath from me- I can’t wait to get my film scans back so that I can show you all. It was unbelievably beautiful!

We saw a MULTITUDE of chateaux, from passing by the Château de Blois to strolling around the hillside fortress of Château d’Amboise, from rushing through Château Chambord (because I entered 45 minutes before closing- I don’t recommend that method if you have an alternative) to milling about the grounds and seeing the legendary stables of Château Chantilly. So. many. châteaus. And I’m not even a little bit tired of them!

I arrived home late last Tuesday night so Wednesday was a “dear-gracious-how-will-I-ever-catch-up-on-my-inbox” day, and then Thursday we had the wonderfully talented Sarah Bradshaw over to take a brand new set of photos for us! Which meant Thursday morning was spent running around like a crazy person trying to clean the house so we could pretend it always looked that good.

Sarah Bradshaw Photography

This past Friday afternoon we took off for some time at our favorite rest spot, Stone Tower Winery, and this weekend we took it pretty easy. AND, I cooked TWICE this weekend!! And I realized I actually LIKE cooking, as long as I’m making something I’m excited about!

As always, lessons learned/events that transpired over the past TWO weeks!

  • How do French women stay skinny with all the bread they eat?!?! I managed to fool myself that carbs don’t count when you’re in France and then reality slapped me in the face when I got home. See, they do this really fun thing when you visit the doctor- they make you step on a scale and then tell you how much weight you’ve gained since the last time you visited. It’s the best.
  • I tried escargot! I’d had it once before on our honeymoon but sort of felt like it didn’t count, as we were in the Caribbean. So Katherine chose this really fun restaurant in Paris for our last night and I ordered classic escargot: it tasted a bit like mussels. So now I know if I ever want something chewy and flavored with garlic + butter, I’ll just eat mussels instead. But all in all, it wasn’t bad!
  • Pain au chocolat is literally the best breakfast of all time.
  • Traveling with someone who’s fluent in French means that your own capability for the language gets better throughout the week, and you no longer have to be afraid of making a complete idiot of yourself when trying to order at a restaurant. Thanks for being a great teacher, Katherine!
  • Fact: the café crème is not a universally known beverage, as I’d previously thought. Order it in Paris? No problem. Order it in Blois? The woman behind the counter will argue with you that it’s the same thing as a latté, which it is not. Café crème = roughly 1/2 coffee, 1/2 steamed heavy milk, depending on your preference (pretty much the same thing as a café au lait). Latté = espresso + steamed milk, topped with a thick layer of foam.
  • On our last trip to France, Matt bought me Harry Potter & The Sorcerer’s Stone in French. I don’t mean to brag, but on my flight home last week, I spent a couple of hours working my way through translating, and I got an entire page done. Feelin’ PRETTY awesome about that right now.

I got a new iPhone! And I didn’t realize until right now that none of my photos from the last two weeks backed up on iCloud, which means I have no photos to share with you guys from France until my scans come in :). YAAAY! So instead, I’ll padded this post with a few frames from Provence. Can’t wait for you guys to see all the gorgeousness as soon as my film is back from The FIND Lab!

Aix-en-Provence photographe de voyager | Abby Grace

^ the very embodiment of what I love about the French. Lunchtime nap out on the rocks? Sure!

Aix-en-Provence photographe de voyager | Abby Grace

Monday Mash-Up

February 27, 2017

  1. Jean says:

    These are beautiful photos! Can’t wait to see your camera photos.

  2. Karen aka Mom says:

    Oh, I’m so jealous of all that you did on this trip! But, I’m not envious. I think it is wonderful that you can have these experiences and they serve several purposes for you. Hurry up with those photos!

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