Provence and Paris: Here I Come!

It started on a road trip in June 2015. It will end in Provence and Paris this summer.

After the school year ended in 2015, the CompostMaster and I grabbed our then 10-year-old nephew and loaded him into a car. We drove from Richmond, Virginia to Saint Paul, Minnesota where we had a nice visit with my stepdaughter and her husband. Along the way, we stopped in Charleston WV, Detroit (we saw Canada from our room), Milwaukee (can you say Harley Davidson Museum?), and St. Louis. We ate amazing food, saw a good portion of the country, and had a lot of laughs. Road trips are highly recommended.

Family in Saint Paul

The gang at the Grandview Grill in Saint Paul, Minnesota

To pass time on the highway, we bought a set of cards. Each card contained a question for discussion, things like “If you could stand at the top of something and look down, where would you want to be?” I learned a lot about my nephew (and my husband) playing this game!

If Money was No Object, Where Would You Go?

One of the questions that came up was “If money was no object, where would you like to go on vacation and what would you like to do there?”

I immediately said I would go to Provence and take Patricia Wells’ cooking class. I fell in love with Patricia’s style of cooking and philosophy of eating when I helped promote her book Salad as a Meal. I also adore Vegetable Harvest and The Provence Cookbook (affiliate links).

Guess what I got for Christmas in 2015? Feel free to swoon.

Making Dreams Come True

My one-of-a-kind husband outdid himself that Christmas. He bought a ton of French berets and created a video of everyone in the family saying “Bonjour!” one at a time. He even got our niece in California and our nephew in Oregon involved. On Christmas morning, he played the video on the TV. The kicker? At the end of the video Patricia Wells (sans beret) made an appearance and said she couldn’t wait for me to join her in Provence!

I was speechless. And feeling a little bit guilty about that wrapped box of underwear my husband had yet to open.

Shelby with Patricia Wells in 2011

Shelby with Patricia Wells at book signing in Raleigh, NC in 2011

Provence & Paris

The first slot Patricia had open was June 2017! You’d think with so much time to prepare, I’d be ready.

Tomorrow, we head to Provence, ready or not. We’ll spend a week getting our bodies acclimated before the class starts. There will be a opening night dinner, a trip to a local farmers’ market, a tour of a winery, and much Mediterranean-style food. You know the Mediterranean Diet is one of the best for people with diabetes, right? I can’t wait to experience it first-hand. And about the wine? I typically don’t drink alcohol at all, but I asked my endocrinologist if I could indulge. I mean, it’s France, right? I will drink wine in moderation, while eating food, with his blessing.

After we leave Provence, we’ll take the train to Paris and spend about 10 days before heading home. This will be the trip of a lifetime, thanks to the amazing man who loves to make my dreams come true. I feel so, so lucky.

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