Thursday, July 23, 2009

4 days in St. Antonin - village life!

me in front of Maison Bleu in October 2008

Our good friends Bonnie & Bruce have a house in St. Antonin Noble Val.  Now, we met B&B only 1 month before we left for France, but when we met it was very strange, not strange in a bad way, but strange in a good way.  There were/are so many similarities between us (too many to get into) and the instant we met them we knew we’d be great friends.  The strangest thing is the fact that we had visited their village in 2007 when we first came to this region and fell in love with it.  It quickly became our favorite village.  Bruce even took a picture of their neighbor’s house and then painted it.  When we met B&B and found out they lived in St. Ant we were thrilled and shocked, not many Americans have houses here in St. Antonin (maybe 2 others), we were especially thrilled when they told us they’d be coming over for the month of July! 

We came to see then once they arrived and had an amazing lunch on the terrace.  It was so great to see them again and we picked up where we left off in September, not missing a beat.  Then they asked us if we were interested in staying in their house for 4 days, we jumped at the chance.  First, because Maison Bleu is lovely (8 years of hard work, creating this beautiful home, it was a ruin when they purchased it) and second because we have been living in the country (rural france) for 10 months and we thought it would be cool to get a taste of village life.  So here we are….right now…at Maison Bleu.  I’m outside on the deck and Bruce is doing the dishes (something he does every time I good…love that man).  It’s warm, we just finished dinner of salmon, salad and green beans, the music is going, we just had a visit from the neighbor (the one that owns the house that Bruce painted…he gave him the painting too), earlier we road our bikes, went to the café for a Pastis and had a great village day.  We arrived on Saturday afternoon and we’ll leave on Wednesday morning for Provence for 4 days (my next post).  Maison Bleu is also available to rent if you are coming to france for a holiday, if it's just 1-2 people I highly recommend it.

It's now Thursday and I'm in Provence, but finishing up this post.  So, on Sunday, B&B and their family (son, daughter, her husband and their daughter) wanted to come to St. Ant to the Sunday market (a tradition) and also their daughter had not been to Maison Bleu in 5 years, so she wanted to see it finished.  So, they came to the house and fixed us an amazing lunch. We sat outside for 5 hours and ate amazing food, laughed and laughed and drank some really good rosé.  We had a great day with some amazing people who are now super friends!

Tuesday we went canoeing with B&B and the family.  We all met in St. Antonin and canoed down the Aveyron river.  We packed a picnic lunch and stopped along the river for a nice break.  It took us about 4 hours and it was beautiful.   Bruce and I rented individual canoes and had a blast.  I'm waiting for B to send over pictures of the canoeing and will post them when I et them.

So what do I like about village life.  First, it’s waking up and walking 2 minutes to the boulangerie for fresh croissants, second it’s not having to get in your car every time you need something, third it’s seeing people you know and stopping to chat, fourth it’s walking 3 minutes to the café for a coffee, coka lite or pastis.  Plus they have great neighbors; they are quiet, respectful and very nice.  Now, would I want to live in a village full-time?  I think no.  Maybe just outside the village.  I really like having a big yard and space and so do the dogs.  But it’s great to try it out and actually we are having a great time.  Bruce said the idea thing would be to have a house in the country and a little place in a village…sounds good to me.

Bonnie left these in the house for us

Regis (their neighbor) who came for drinks
over the winter Bruce painted a picture of this house
and gave it to Regis 

view from the terrace

Back of Maison Bleu

limestone cliffs

another view of Maison Bleu


La Framéricaine said...

It is a funny coincidence because, having spoken to Bonnie in April,I knew they would be there in July, and I wondered if you and Bruce would make it over to see them. I can see that you did indeed do so, in spades!!! I'm happy for all of you. Beautiful photos!

Barbara said...

Hi Alisa !

I'm glad to be catching up to you.
It was nice to learn about your friends and this lovely vacation home that they have made in St Antonin.
Very nice !

I've been in Paris all of July & Aug will be the same. Enjoy your summer days :)
Bises XX

小生 said...
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