Provence á la Disney
Story and Photos by Dennis Hensley
Bon Jour! I'm coming to you from France, somewhere between Provence and Paris on a Train à Grande Vitesse, which means "Train of Big Speed." No kidding. The countryside is whizzing by like the first few seconds of Space Mountain.
I'm four days into a 7-day Adventures by Disney tour. My boyfriend works for them and we're taking part in a dress rehearsal of their new "Flavors of France" itinerary. So far, so bon.
Adventures by Disney takes the Adventures part of their name seriously. We've biked through a cedar forest, played the lawn bowling game pétanque (and lost miserably to my boyfriend's parents who I think might be ringers), tasted wine at the Chateau de Beaupre vineyard and kayaked up the Gardon river to the majestic Pont du Gard.
Our journey started in Aix en Provence, home of the famous French impressionist Paul Cezanne. We visited the hillside where he painted the Sainte Victoire mountain something like 84 times. Apparently, he just couldn't get it right.
The best sites so far have been the quaint hillside villages, like Gordes, where we lunched at a charming outdoor café/shop called Le Jardin that had rainbow flags in the window, flirty sales-guys and a breathtaking view of the countryside.
Speaking of lunch, I've discovered that Americans are bread-phobic and the French can't get enough of it. They carry it around like a purse or an iphone and yet, they're not enormous. How does that work? I'll have to see if I can find some answers in Paris. Stay tuned.