I’m Loving…

Daffodils I got at the store (three bunches for $5!!) that seemed to explode with blossoms overnight. No joke — the night before this photo was taken, not a single flower had bloomed.

These black pumps I got in the mail, courtesy of ShoeMint! They’re regular leather, but amazingly enough, have a look and feel more similar to suede. Surprisingly comfortable too. Now if only this damn rain in SF would stop…I haven’t been able to wear them out yet! (PS — Similar to last month’s StyleMint deal, this month, get 15% off your first purchase with ShoeMint with the code CHEESE15. If you signed up for StyleMint last month, the same login will work!)

My grandmother surprised me by sending me a big box filled with magazine articles she’d pulled for me, as well as these four design/coffee table books she found (no doubt while antique shopping!). They earned an immediate spot on the shoe wall in my office.

One other thing I’m loving: we decided where we’re going on vacation this summer! I can’t tell you how helpful all your comments and insights were from this post. It was a tough call, and we went back and forth A LOT. But in the end, when we thought about it, we realized we’ve been talking about going to the south of France for years. So that’s where we’re headed! Incidentally, the photo above is of a gorgeous vineyard chateau for sale in Aix-en-Provence. Maybe if I can scrounge up the $22M between now and our vacay, we can stay there.

Our plan for now is to fly into Paris, stay for a few days to get reacquainted, then take the train south. We’re debating whether to stay in a place like Lyon or Dijon for a night before getting into Provence (thoughts?). From there, we’re thinking we’ll base ourselves out of a town like Aix, rent a car, then drive around on different day trips (including out to the coast, to see Nice, Cannes, Antibes, Marseilles, etc). Has anyone ever rented a car in France before? Is it expensive to rent an automatic car (neither of us can drive manual!). What are the must see/do things throughout this region? Any places we should look at staying? Also, the language barrier — I’ve heard that even with decent French, it can be difficult to understand and be understood in the South. How should we handle this? If you’ve spent any time at all there, I’d love your input!

{Image Credits: All images except chateau are by me. Cheateau from Architectural Digest}

 

Leave a Comment

23 Comments

  1. 3.15.12
    alyson said:

    What fun photos. Those heels really do look like suede, and SO thrilled for your trip! I’ve never rented a car in France… just visited Paris for a few days. I am so excited (and slightly envious!) to learn more about your trip. How amazing is that $22 million abode?? Dream!

  2. 3.15.12

    Oh my goodness this trip sounds absolutely incredible. I have never been to the south of France but I’ve always wanted to go! You should check with Julia (from The Urban Slant), she lived in France for a year.

  3. 3.15.12

    Gorgeous photos! Loving those black pumps. And your grandmother sends you the best stuff!

  4. 3.15.12

    your grandma sounds pretty cool!
    your shoes are BEAUTIFUL
    and I will live vicariously through your french vacation!

  5. 3.15.12
    Chelsea said:

    Part of our honeymoon was spent in France! We need to email about our favorite places. Also, how cute is it that grandma send books? Love it. xo

  6. 3.15.12

    A trip to southern France sounds amazing! Very jealous :)

  7. 3.15.12

    As a Francophile myself, good decision re the vacation! With regards to a car, automatic is more expensive and they have fewer options than manual, but you should still be able to find one (not sure on prices as they vary depending on when you go). One must see town.. Grasse near Cannes aka the world’s perfume capital! You can get perfumes (not l’eau de toilette) like J’adore and YSL for almost nothing!!!

    Hmm so much goodness to see there: Avignon- great covered market for shopping, Montpellier- awesome botanical garden, Antibes- Grimaldi Museum worth if to see some of the Picasso collection there.

    We’ll have to chat more closer to! Thanks again lady for your awesome guest post yesterday! xo

  8. 3.15.12

    Good choice — the south of france is my go-to holiday destination almost every Summer and I know you will love it! :) I will email my recommendations to you shortly xx

  9. 3.15.12
    carmen said:

    The South of France is wonderful but dont forget to visit Carcassone! Its such a romantic place!!!! :)

  10. 3.15.12
    viv said:

    South of France = dream. You two will have so much fun! And I’d go in with you on that 22M purchase. ha!

  11. 3.15.12
    Sarah said:

    You will absolutely love Southern France. Car rental in France is not as inexpensive as here in the US, but it is not terrible. I went last fall (we based ourselves out of Nice) and a car from Sixty (European rental company) was about $150/day. American companies like Hertz are also available and are comparable in price. There are usually some automatic cars available. If you go to Aix, you must try the pizza at Pizza Capri. It’s a stand (you can’t miss it) because it’s usually swarming with college kids. Delicious!

  12. 3.15.12

    Nice is beautiful – and would be a wonderful day trip. There are so many great places to explore around there!! You can also drive into Monaco for a day, which is really fun to see.

    As for the car rental, you may have difficulties finding an automatic. You know how car places promise you one type, only to arrive at the airport and get something totally different?? I’ve tried to rent automatics before with no luck. I would suggest trying to borrow someone’s car before hand, and practicing a little on a standard. That way, if you’re stuck, at least you will have SOME clue! Sounds like a wonderful vacation, have fun planning!!

  13. 3.15.12

    Ahh the south of France will be amazing. You really need to talk to Meg, she got married at a beautiful chateau in Lyon. (Photos on my Facebook!) So incredible. Love that shot fo the daffodils… beautiful!!

  14. 3.15.12

    So pretty! I gotta get me some daffodils-and a chateau in France. Your trip sounds like a dream, you’re so lucky! You guys made a great choice.

  15. 3.15.12
    Emily said:

    I am hoping to see my pumps in nude on my door step any day now, so excited to hear you like them!

  16. 3.15.12
    Laurence said:

    I’m french, parisian native to Marseille.
    South of France is gorgeous and there’s a lot of things to do. I can give you some tips but it depends on how many time you will stay there.
    Don’t hesitate to email me, I would be glad to help.

  17. 3.15.12
    Liz said:

    So exciting! I’m jealous of your trip. We rented a car at the airport in Nice in fall 2010 but it was a manual and we were under 25 so it was pretty expensive. The driving in France is much more tame than driving in Italy, so that should make it easier for you guys. We stayed at an agritourismo in Rognes near Provence. Best restaurant of our trip was Ma Cuisine in Rognes.

  18. 3.15.12
    Neda said:

    HOW EXCITING!!! I took French classes for about 8 years but by the time I took my first real trip to France, I had forgotten basic conversation. Everyone I met was so kind and supportive and just thought it was great that I was attempting to speak French. I think if they feel you are making an effort, they’ll do anything they can to help {this probably goes for any country}. :) PS: daffodils are gorgeous!

  19. 3.15.12

    living vicariously. gorgeous photos!

  20. 3.15.12

    I want to see more of those red shoes!

    Oh man, I’m so jealous about your upcoming vacation. How romantical.

  21. 3.15.12
    Steph said:

    Oooh, I’m so excited for you! When I did a semester abroad during the summer between junior and senior year, I lived in Dijon. I’d be happy to help if you end up staying in that area at all. (We also took a few side trips to Beaune, which I highly recommend since you like wine!) I also stayed in Avignon and visited Monaco, both of which were worth visiting. Aaaah, so fun! I want to go back!

  22. 3.15.12
    Becca said:

    You’re going to have an amazing time in France. I went to the south of France in high school and despite having taken French for several years they couldn’t understand me and I couldn’t understand them! In the end though we made it work. With all of the technology out there now you can probably get a digital dictionary.

  23. 3.16.12

    Don’t even stress about the language barriers. There’s always a way to communicate and people are sympathetic to tourists. You’re going to LOVE it!

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