South of France - ooh la la
Oh it feels good to be back on my blog. Merci to all who were watching for my posts. The wifi has been extremely unpredictable.
France ... the south of France ... is just gorgeous. Breathtaking. A real world treasure. I am blessed to have been able to drink it all in, along with the wine. Oh so much wine. And croissants. But those were inhaled.
Invited on a press trip by Air Transat and Transat Holidays, writing for The Toronto Star, I joined a group of four other Toronto journalists to the glorious regions of Marseille and Provence ... eight full days with virtually no stone left unturned, eight days of olive trees and glorious scenescapes and Roman history and grand architecture, and some of the most creative and delicious food that tasted as good as it looked.
Air Transat has kicked off a seasonal direct flight from Toronto to Marseille every Monday until Oct. 13, and it has increased its flights from Montreal too. And so we celebrated.
Sitting in Club Class makes the time go by nicely, especially with a glass of champagne in hand. A great flight ... even when you cry. Saving Mr. Banks will do that to you. OK to me, I mean.
My suitcase was way too big. I knew this. But problem packers are problem packers. This needs proper therapy. It will not improve after overpacking again and again. We don’t learn our lesson. We justify it by saying “Well the weather looks iffy”, or “We don’t know what we will be doing.” I knew the weather and I knew our itinerary, yet I still overpack.
At least I got to cart around all of the outfits I didn’t wear. And I developed a strong shell for oversized suitcase jokes.
I really should have learned in French how to apologize about my heavy suitcase to our drivers, but a big smile and sheepish “sorrrrry” seemed to suffice. Hopefully there were no hernias.
What there was though were laughs. Starting on the flight. A perfect icebreaker for our group, even though most of them had travelled together on press trips before. My seat mate, lest she be named, was telling a story and gesturing with her hands a little too close to the aisle and sacked a passing male flight attendant in the groin. Well that was it, our cork was popped, let the joking and banter ensue.
In Montreal we picked up our French connection, our incredible hosts, Mylene, our media liaison from Air Transat, and Marie-Andree, our extraordinary leader from tourist agency Atout France.
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Published journalist, world traveller, big thinker, fun haver