Nouveaux Amis — New Friends in France

Travel brings out a love and curiosity for the world around you, sometimes in ways you aren’t even expecting. You relax into a part of yourself you haven’t seen in a while.

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New mermaid friends at Lisa’s house — the one with the killer views

During the French Muse trip, we enjoyed nonstop days of exploring the Provençal  countryside along with food, wine and special finds. But one of the best parts was the special new friends we made along the way. Each day our group headed out to different villages, enjoying a combination of outdoor markets interspersed with visits in the private homes of designers, artists and antique dealers.

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Corey with Nelly outside the chateau — you know you’ve met a good friend when they offer to keep the gorgeous “I can’t live without this frame” until you can return to Provence!
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We quickly became the best shopping buddies ever to pull out a handful of euros in the markets and encourage each other when we knew they just “had” to buy something, like Barbara and the red hat.

The people we’ve met have been so welcoming and warm, opening their homes to us as if we’ve been friends for a long time. Of course, it helped to have the introduction by our hosts, but each person has been uniquely gracious and immensely accommodating. Some are antique dealers showing us treasures in their homes or in a chateau. Some are artists who don’t normally open their homes, some are internationally known designers, artists or experts from different areas.

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Mo and her delightful family, so gracious to share her home with us along with her beautiful pottery creations.
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Along with the fresh cherries from her trees, whether we decided to eat them or hang them from our ears.

Each has allowed a rare glimpse into their personal lives and tolerated this American and our two fake Canadians to wander through their homes, ask nonstop questions, use their bathrooms and touch the rare finds that make their homes uniquely theirs. Each time we also sit down and share some wine and food and the time transforms from strangers traipsing through their house to enjoying a meal with friends.

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Joanna and part of her silk exhibit at her home
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And Eric so graciously sharing his family’s home with us at the Bastide.
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Corey is a fantastic wealth of knowledge on the history of every area we visit.  And sometimes trees.  Along with Ruth, they are the BEST at navigating the brocantes!
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Alain was a gracious host at the chateau and made sure the wine didn’t stop flowing during lunch.  A man after my heart (and Barbara’s too).
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Barbara and Ruth definitely enjoying the champagne outside Lisa’s house

I went to Provence in search of old treasures, but I came home with the most valuable thing of all — new friends to treasure for a lifetime.

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