Our Honeymoon: Provence Part II

Hi and welcome to another edition of “Honeymoon Wednesday.” ¬†That’s what I’m calling it now. ¬†Oh and is it cool if I do a day by day recap for the Paris portion of our trip? ¬†Because I’m obsessed with that city and I think I could talk about it forever. ¬†Anyway, today¬†isn’t¬†about Paris. ¬†It’s about our last two days in Provence.

After spending a week in Avignon, we packed up our little Fiat and drove north. ¬†To wine country! ¬†Where we spent two nights in Vaison la Romaine — part of the Cote du Rhone region — in a duplex where the bathroom and living room were on the first floor and the bedroom, sink and shower all shared a room on the second floor‚Ķ Oh and the shower didn’t have a curtain or a shower head. ¬†Just one of those handheld things‚Ķ

But the view!

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Vaison la Romaine is made up of the lower city and the upper city.  Our hotel was at the base of the upper city and had the most awesome view of all the cute houses and vineyards below.  The first thing we did after we checked in was… EAT!  Duh :)  There was a little town square in the lower city, with a row of restaurants so we grabbed ourselves some lunch.  France knows how to do salads right!

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After I had completely gorged myself on goat cheese, we took to exploring. ¬†We happened upon a little train doing tours of the town just as it started to drizzle so we took that as a sign and got on. ¬†I’m not going to lie, we loved that little train. ¬†Especially when it slowed down to a near crawl as it passed the Roman ruins and all the cars driving behind us kept honking.

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We had thought the distance from our hotel to the lower city required a car ride but after wandering around we found ourselves in the upper city and realized they maybe weren’t so far apart. ¬†The upper city is car-free with cobblestone paths so we were able¬†to wander around freely and eventually made our way up to an old church and then a little bit farther up, a castle! ¬†Europe has no shortage of either of those things :)

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Gorgeous isn’t it? ¬†It’s all fun and games until the sun disappears, the rain starts and you’re stuck on top a mountain in a dress and flip flops.

On our second day, we took a little drive to another city called Isle-sur-la-Sorgue. ¬†I was a little skeptical until we made it to the center of the town, where there were a billion tiny little restaurants, shops and views of the Sorgue River. ¬†It was the cutest! ¬†After we had spent a sufficient amount of time wandering around, we stopped at a little deli shop where we picked up some sandwiches, a salad and some mini cookies for dessert then we drove on to Roussillon and had a picnic.¬† Joey was none too happy to find a¬†bunch of tiny pickles on his sandwich but I thought they were the cutest thing I’d ever seen.¬†¬†Those baguette sandwiches — pretty plain with¬†a single¬†layer of meat, sometimes with cheese and sometimes with butter —¬†are EVERYWHERE in both Barcelona and France.

Oh and I may or may not have shared my ni√ßoise salad with a¬†kitty…

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On our way back, we stopped at a winery to sample some wines and buy a few bottles.¬† We took a Rick Steves recommendation and I was kind of disappointed in the experience.¬† That was my first and only winery visit but it felt kind of rehearsed and the owners turned out to be Scottish, not even French!¬† It seemed pretty catered toward Americans, which is great for that whole language barrier thing, but not so great if you’re looking for a more authentic experience.¬† Strike three for Rick!¬† The wine still tasted good to me, though :P

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In retrospect,¬†we probably should’ve just stayed in Avignon for the entire stay in Provence and made Vaison la Romaine¬†and Isle-sur-la-Sorgue¬†into day trips.¬†¬†I felt there wasn’t quite enough to do there to warrant switching hotels and staying for two full days, plus both¬†dinners we ate there were disappointing — we found the food in France to be pretty hit or miss, unfortunately.

However, then we wouldn’t have discovered the little bakery just near the town square that, despite¬†all the other shops being empty, had a line out the door both mornings.¬† This was our only repeat eat and it’s because the croissant and coffee for two euros deal was too good to pass up and oh my gosh, those fresh croissants!¬† I die.

And that brings us to the end of our stay in Provence.¬† On Saturday morning we drove back to Avignon, returned our dear little Fiat and hopped on a train to Paris!¬† Oh and then there was that part where I dropped my brand new sunglasses between the train and the platform and Joey had to stick his arm down there to retrieve them… my hero! :)

Weekend Things

Good morning!¬† How was everyone’s weekend?¬† Mine was great, because A) fall in Colorado this year seems to be more beautiful than I ever remember it being and B) Denver Rock’n’Roll weekend!

We kicked things off on Friday with a trip to the race expo.¬† Honestly, I usually love the expo — what’s not to love about free mini Larabars?! — but the turnout was kind of disappointing this year.¬† Aka no Larabars!¬† Actually, we barely saw any of the tents we usually see.¬† Joey had to shush me when, on our way out, I mumbled “Turn back, there’s no Larabar samples!” to those runners just heading into the expo :P

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Afterwards, we booked a weekend trip to Texas — should I regret this decision? — for the Cowboys game and went out to dinner with my family.

Saturday started with some sleep in action (for me at least…) followed by homemade Pumpkin Spice Lattes and pancakes topped with those apples I was talking about.¬† There’s a coffee shop nearby that makes their own pumpkin spice syrup (with REAL pumpkin!) that we originally planned on going to but my aforementioned sleep in set us back so homemade (still with real pumpkin!)¬†it was.¬†¬†A bit sweet but otherwise delicious!

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We spent the afternoon at a birthday party for Joey’s cousin’s son, complete with TONS of Ninja Turtles loot, a pi√Īata and a homemade pirate cake.¬† The weather was sooo nice that day so we spent a majority of the party outside in the backyard (I even wore a dress!)¬† I wasn’t kidding about fall being extra beautiful this year!¬† Afterwards, we spent some time cleaning up our wedding stuff.¬† Yeah, we still hadn’t done that… and I’m happy to say our backroom is officially cleared out.

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We kept it pretty low key for the rest of the night.  The worst part about running Sunday morning races is it means an EARLY morning and thus an early Saturday night.  But I still deserved a pre-race beer sample, right?

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5:45 AM came way too fast the next morning!¬† But I was ready to attempt a 10K after not much running in the past month and having not run 6.2 miles since the Bolder Boulder… The 10K start line was actually pretty close to our house and we got there and parked with a good amount of time to spare.¬† Um, that NEVER happens!¬† I almost always miss my race wave.¬† Go figure that there were no waves at this race.

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The race went really well!¬† I should probably stop letting myself believe that a 10K will kill me :)¬† Actually, the whole thing went¬†by relatively quickly.¬†¬†They only had the first mile marked so I had no idea where we were until we ran up to the state capitol building¬†(literally through the parking lot — so cool!) and I realized we were already at the finish.¬† The 1st place half marathoner finished RIGHT BEHIND us.¬† That is so crazy fast!¬† We stood by the finish line to cheer on the other runners and got to see the first female half finisher go by.

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I love this race.¬† I never fail to feel empowered and inspired afterwards.¬† Joey and I have already agreed to sign up for next year’s half.¬† I’m feeling ready to jump back into it and challenge myself.¬† Now if only I could work on that whole speed thing.¬† P.S. It was just a little bit colder than I would’ve liked it to have been.¬† I was fine mid-race but walking around afterwards I was freezing!

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We took ourselves to breakfast afterwards and just barely missed the Denver brunch rush.¬† No wait, the Denver Brunch Rush.¬† It’s real and it’s not to be taken lightly.¬† Last time we tried to eat at Jelly, we showed up and the restaurant was closed due to a power outage so we were excited for another shot at eating there.¬† I dove headfirst into a piping hot almond milk latte (see above comment about being freezing), while Joey treated himself to a Bloody.¬† I’ll be honest, I liked Jelly but it just seemed a little bit too similar to Snooze and between the two, Snooze wins by a mile!

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The rest of the day was spent grocery shopping (that Whole Foods bulk aisle, ay yi yi…), hanging out in the kitchen (more apple pie filling, some granola and pomegranate arils) and Joey chasing me through the house every time the Cowboys scored so that he could pick me up and yell (please send help!).¬† Plus some reading, Gilmore Girls-watching and spaghetti squash-roasting.¬† Have I mentioned how much a love fall?

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Happy Monday!

P.S. Does anyone have any good restaurants recommendations in the Dallas area?

What I’m Love-Hating Lately

Okay, it was about time for another edition of the “What I’m Loving Lately” blog series, but with a new spin, aka what I’m “love-hating.”¬† Because that it totally a thing.¬† And because it happened to apply to all the things I was brainstorming.

In other news, a happy Friday to you all.¬† I hope you get to spend your weekend enjoying perfectly crisp fall weather (is crisp a type of weather?), relaxing and not dying during your 10K race on Sunday.¬† Oh wait, I’m just talking about myself on that last one :)

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First and foremost…

Honeymoon Recaps!

Love because it’s an excuse to post that photo AGAIN (help me, I can’t stop!), to look through all the other photos we took and relive all the fun we had.¬† Hate because it reminds me that I am NOT in France, eating cheese, drinking full bottles of wine every.single.night. and having my mind blown over all the beauty.

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Morning Workouts

Love because something about getting up and getting my sweat on first thing in the morning makes me feel productive/confident/healthy/badass for the rest of the day.  Hate because that getting up before the sun thing, womp womp!

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This Whole Wheat Applesauce Loaf Cake Recipe

Love because it makes the most amazing muffins.¬† I think my nephew devoured about six of them two Sundays ago and we all know children are the real test of whether something tastes good because they are not afraid to tell you if it’s bad!¬† Hate because every time I opened to fridge I wanted to eat 10, but settled for one.

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Writing Thank You Notes

Love because the lost art of handwritten notes speaks to my soul and makes me feel giddy.¬† Plus it’s just another way for me to express my thoughts and emotions through the written word (as if I needed another way to do that…).¬† Hate because A) hand cramps and B) never enough room to fully thank everyone as much as I’d like to!

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Frye Flats

Love because hello beautiful leather, expert craftsmanship and impressive durability.¬† And in the words of the Nordstrom salesman who convinced me to buy them, my new pair “has everything that makes a¬†shoe fashionable; a pointed toe and a heel.” Hate because breaking them in is such a pain.¬† I very jokingly compared it to the pain of having your feet bound and then Joey’s face let me know how inappropriately insensitive¬†that comment was…

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Raw Apple Pie Filling

Love because the recipe is so simple, contains NO sugar (um dates are so amazing!) and is honestly just plain delicious.¬† Every time I use them to top oatmeal or yogurt I am like “how is this so good and so healthy at the same time?!”¬† Hate because I am almost out of the batch I made and it is sending me into a state of panic!

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Our Washing Machine 

Love because it’s finally fixed — did I mention that a hole burnt into the tub?! — and our laundry basket is no longer overflowing.¬† Hate because I kinda liked having a good excuse to let said laundry basket pile up.¬† Note: I don’t mind the actual washing/drying part, but folding clothes?¬† No.¬† I like to be conveniently busy when our laundry comes out of the dryer.

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Home Cooking

As in my own (though I certainly don’t discriminate against someone cooking from their home for me!).¬† Love: Because I think we ate out three meals a day for over a month and I missed my kitchen!¬† Hate: Because I didn’t miss doing the dishes (though I would gladly choose doing the dishes over folding laundry!).

What are you love-hating lately?

 

 

 

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