My Canadian writer friend Laura lives in France with her handsome French husband and three adorable daughters with names that are as beautiful as they are. She is surrounded by the French countryside, is within driving distance of Paris (le sigh) and can get fresh baguettes and croissants and wine from the vineyards that are situated right there, in the surrounding villages. She and her husband offer vacation rentals in several homes they have restored over the years, and they arrange wine tasting tours. They even have a vaulted wine cellar in one of their homes for tastings, and you can search her blog to see photos of the restoration (look up Beaune Wine Cellar Project.) If she feels so inclined, Laura can hop over to a local chateau or two to just hang.
In my village, I can get my tires rotated and my clothes dry-cleaned. The only "chateau" around here is the one with the big neon sign advertising barbeque chicken and fries. We used to have an excellent local bakery, run by a fellow we referred to as Misogynist Mike but alas, he ran into a teeny bit of trouble, and the bakery floundered. A new pub/bakery opened up down the road, and while the beer is good, especially when served alongside a hockey game on the big screen, the fresh, flaky croissants au chocolat and chewy baguettes are not up to M.M.'s standards. We don't have vineyards but we can buy wine in our local depanneurs (corner shops) and grocery stores.
And so I live vicariously through Laura's wonderful posts and photos on her blog THE GRAPE JOURNAL. If you have not done so, I urge you to head over and check it out HERE. She's a brilliantly funny writer and captures that je ne sais quoi we all love about France.
My ultimate fantasy is to go and rent one of her beautiful homes for two months to just write and eat and walk and think and eat and drink and eat. Okay, strictly speaking that's not my ultimate fantasy, but it is in the top ten. Buckingham Palace, Johnny Depp and a royal sceptre feature prominently in my ultimate fantasy, but it's pretty darn close.
Bisous from Canada!