That’s ‘hi‘ in Gaelic. Yep, I’m in Ireland. Dublin to be exact. But honestly, I would never say hello like that. In Dublin, I say, “hiya“.
Mrs. London, The Husband and I arrived yesterday and have settled into our Auntie’s house. (Mr. London did as well but on a different plane, and we haven’t seen him yet because he’s busy preparing for Saturday’s match. Mrs. London’s brother and Mommy London arrive tonight, and Gatz gets in tomorrow.)
I’ve got a full day planned… shopping at Penney’s, getting my haircut, lunch at Wagamamas followed by tapas tonight with Mrs. London and a friend (The Husband will be at the Amlin Cup Final watching Leinster take on Paris… and yes, The Husband is rooting for Leinster). So while I’m getting my Dublin on, I’ll take you back to France with my friend Heather from Lost in Arles and her post about her love of the land near The LPV.
“Well, it is up to you to choose”, Remi, my companion, offered gallantly. The Easter Bullfights in Arles were fast approaching and so it was time to flee, to be anywhere but in the midst of the partying hoards that swallow our small town each spring. I had done my homework. We don’t travel as much as we used to, so I wanted to choose just right, certainly as we had gone through a stressful past few months and were in need of a dose of quiet. I had found an amazing cabanon, miniscule but beautifully placed on the Gardon River outside Uzes to the east. It was the definition of idyllic. I imagined dipping my toes in the cool water with a glass of rosé in hand as our two Goldens took their first swim of the year.
And yet…my thoughts kept returning to the Upper Luberon, the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence. We had gone twice in 2012, first as an escape for the September Bullfights (yes, thankfully they are only twice a year) but also a following visit just for the pleasure of digging in to what we had found.
I admit that I was thinking back to the food. We love to cook and were blown away by the regions fine, fine ingredients—the pungent ooze of Banon cheese wrapped in chestnut leaves, the free range lamb from the Pays de Sault and the tender porc de Mount Ventoux, lavender honey, the earthy Pays de Luberon red from the Sylla Co-operative in Apt. Did I mention that I am a bit of a sybarite? Guilty as charged.
But it was the lay of the land that forced my hand. There is an inherent peace in the rolling hills and an infinite variety in the trees that charm. Remi, who grew up in Grenoble, was happy to rediscover a smaller version of the mountains of his childhood while I was reassured by topography similar to our horse farm of my Ohio youth. What is it in that as we get older we want what we used to have? The comfort of the past with a dose of new was just what the doctor ordered.
And so we left the crowds behind and headed north. For there is relatively no one there. While the area that I love, around Simiane-la-Rotonde, is only a mile away from the border of the Luberon, it is a very different atmosphere. It is authentic, not trying to impress. Because it doesn’t have to. As we had on our previous trips, we drove and drove, exploring from the red rust dust of the Colorado Provençal to the zen garden stripes of sleeping lavender fields above Revest-du-Bion and the still powdered peaks of the Lure Mountain.
We hunted for cabanons to inhabit in our imaginations as we went but we knew it was a sign that this gorgeous land spoke to us. And that we would be heading back to the land near the LPV all too soon.