It’s officially over. It makes me sad, even though summer 2014 was not a normal Provence summer. Thanks to climate change, we had thunderstorms and cool, cloudy days. Too much wind and rain. The latter had a plus. July and August days are usually hot and sunny with almost no rain. This year we saved both money and time on watering all our flowers and trees. Still, I would have preferred a real summer.
Gone are those long summer nights when we could dine on the balcony by daylight up until 10 p.m. Soon many restaurants will close or drastically shorten their opening times. I am still swimming, but that too will come to an end before long. Tomatoes — those tasty gems I buy from farmers at the markets, will soon disappear and we will left with those tasteless Dutch hothouse tomatoes at supermarkets. Fall and winter are for cosying up with the cats by the fireplace — not as exciting as summer, but not so bad.
In spite of the less-than-perfect weather, we enjoyed some fun times and outings during summer 2014. The following photos are souvenirs of those good times.
Again I tried for the perfect lavender shot. Now that I have had photo lessons from friend and fab photographer George, there’s hope for improvement next year.
We joined fellow Americans for a Fourth of July party sponsored by Democrats Abroad in Avignon.
Then we joined the French for a Bastille Day fete in neighboring Vacheres. The July 14th sardinade (grilled sardines) is an annual event with plenty of wine, music and song – in addition to those petite fish.
On the cultural side, we joined a group from our town for a bus excursion to an outdoor piano concert in La Roque d’Antheron, also an annual event — preceded by a picnic in the park.
And, we went to Avignon for a day at the Festival d’Avignon which features almost 1,000 theatrical performances. The festivities in the streets are more than jolly.
And north to Sisteron for an outdoor concert under the Citadele.
I longed for the mountains, so we drove to a winter ski town that draws hikers and mountain bikers in summer. We rode a chair lift to the heights for an easy trek. Alas, riding a chair lift in summer minus snow and skis is not easy. Getting off I did not jump aside fast enough and was whacked in the back with the chair and knocked to the ground. Painful. We canceled the hike, but enjoyed beautiful scenery on the way home.
Another community meal – paella in our town, Reillanne. We love these events, good food and socializing.
Again this summer we tried our luck at a Vide Grenier (Empty Attic). It’s a flea market, but our hopes of making money on our no-longer-used possessions were dashed. We could not even give things away. There were still treasures in the box labeled “Gratuit” (Free) after the last customers had gone home.
Cannes on the Riviera was our destination for an event sponsored by the American Club of the Riviera – mind-boggling fireworks shot from boats in the harbor. We spent the night in Cannes and enjoyed a visit to the off shore island, Sainte Marquerite, the following day. Gorgeous. On the way home, a quick dip in the Med at Theoule-sur-Mer
Friends Mollie and David put summer to bed with a fabulous garden party.
Summertime is also for enjoying our pool and yard and flowers — and the SPPS (State Park Picnic Shelter). See previous post “Pergola — Or State Park Picnic Shelter?” Aug. 22, 2013. It’s looking better, thanks to the decorative elements painstakingly installed by Bob, and Ben’s suggestion that we we lighten the posts and beams. That made a huge difference. Thank you, Ben. You saved it– and our marriage.
Don’t miss the next post featuring our summer renters. We meet fun and interesting people who rent the guest apartment at Les Rosiers for vacation. And then… a post on Incredible Iceland. If you are not a Tales and Travel follower, sign up now at top right so you don’t miss future tales.
Please comment below. Share your thoughts.
Summer may be over, but grilling is not. One of my favorites which is always a hit with guests is grilled lamb. See column at top right for recipe.
18 thoughts on “Souvenirs of Summer 2014”
Thanks, Lynne. You are an important part of many special memories: summer, fall, winter, spring.
It’s always great to look back on the summer and realize how many special memories were created. And we even added a few in late September, like another trip to the lake. I’m already looking forward to NEXT summer, for you’ve whetted my appetite! Thank you! Lynne
Thank you Susan. Yes, Iceland on the horizon. I will be thrilled to have you forward the post to your relatives —
Maybe they will even sign up to be Tales and Travel followers.
Ah, yes, I now see your mention of Iceland as being “upcoming” …. thanks, looking forward to seeing it, as well as being able to forward it on for my relatives to see what a fantastic site you have!
Can you say “charmed life?” What a fabulous travelogue and memory-making adventures! Grab life by the throat and squeeeeeze! kudos to you both for embracing it all….Pat
Thanks, Pat. You and Gary do very well in Italy. We hope to see you next summer.
Wow, you packed a lot in this summer…I have to lie down after reading it😃
You and Martine seem to pack in plenty,too. We love taking advantage of all the great summer events here — well, many of them.
Not sure this year. In the past they just threw raw sardines on the grill and they were delicious. This yr. they were not as tasty. We wondered if they had been pre-cooked, then just warmed on the grill. Until tasting these several yrs. ago, the only sardines I knew were those horrible critters in cans. My father loved them. Yuk! He would have loved the real thing.
I want to know: how were the grilled sardines?
Hi Leah, Sorry, not finished …. Steph and Jeff travel and write as you do. They don’t have their own site, so I said I would send them yours, especially because they’re interested in Iceland. I remember seeing your report on Iceland, but now I’m not able to find it.
So perhaps you can direct them to the post on your trip to Iceland.
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Iceland has not been written yet — patience. I will get to it. It’s incredible.
Hi Leah, Really enjoy your tales! Brian’s brother Jeff and his wife Stephanie
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Nice souvenirs, Leah. Tnx.
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That paella! It looks sensational. I bet it was like butter in your mouth. Tell me more!
Yes .. it was delicious, chuck full of tasty fresh seafood from the Med, plus some chicken and sausage as I recall. Our village booked the paella chef and an accompanying singer: an event package that pleased all. Thanks for the comment, and for becoming a Tales and Travel follower.
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A wonderful collection of summer fun and events Leah and I think your Lavender photo is lovely! Sandra Eddy
Thanks Sandra. I am trying hard to improve my photos.