Was spent with good food and good company. From Saturday April 22 to Sunday April 23, my program traveled to Arles, Tarascon, Pont du Gard, Avignon, and Les Baux-de-Provence. I did a lot of walking, ate a lot of dairy, and celebrated my friend Caitlin’s 21st birthday! See below for my day by day itinerary:
SATURDAY APRIL 23: Departure by bus at a ripe 8 a.m. Most people slept, but I was wide awake, listening to some cool new bands I found on Spotify and thinking about what I should write for my screenwriting thesis….lol not rly sure why, I guess these songs made me feel #inspired. Pas de stress, I actually quite enjoy my major. 🙂
Our first stop was at Arles around lunch time. We were supposed to spend our first hour eating the “picnic lunches” our program was supposed to provide us with but DUH DUH DUH someone forgot to make lunches for the VEGETARIANS!!! -___- (smh, chef if ur reading this, you’re still not forgiven)
Luckily, this slip up could not have worked out better because the Marché Provencal (a giant farmer’s market) was up and running when we got there so I ended up getting the most DELICIOUS homemade Lebanese food that was a million times better than what any of the chefs would’ve made (sorry, not sorry). ESPECIALLY since the food was made by a woman who had been selling her goods at the Marché for 30 years.
…also she claimed to only speak 5 languages. Like, excuse et moi. I can barely speak 1. Show off.
I ended up getting 6 giant grape leaves, a hearty tub of hummus, and generous portion of tabbouleh. The woman gave me three forks thinking I was sharing with my friends who where there when I bought it. I politely took them, then after leaving, laughed and scarfed down all three containers by myself.
***Also tried some top notch goat cheese and crumbly as hell gluten-free bread! Spoiler alert, the goat cheese was better.***
Post meal, we checked out the Café Van Gogh which is THE EXACT CAFÉ HE PAINTED AS THE SUBJECT FOR HIS FAMOUS PAINTING “LE CAFÉ LE SOIR”. It was a very surreal moment. Especially since they put a picture of the painting right next to the point of view we stood in which was the exact point of view from which Van Gogh himself painted it!! The only thing that would’ve made this better is if we were looking at it at night like in the painting. It was 1:30 p.m.
Post Van Gogh, we checked out the Roman arena where my crazy friend Colette touched a dead scorpion and we climbed up a tower to see a beautiful view of the surrounding city. I also experienced leg sweat for the first time because we were told it would be a chilly day, but in 75 degrees Fahrenheit, my boots, knee socks, jeans, scarf, and jacket were NOT cutting it. My god, I don’t think I’ve dressed for something so wrong in my entire life.
Post Arles, we drove onward to Tarascon where we walked through the medieval castle that was built waaaaay back. Like I’m talkin’ during the first half of the 15th century.
After Tarascon we went to Pont du Gard where I posed for the picture above (!) and purchased a giant ass water bottle because even though I shed my jacket and scarf, ya gurl was not having it with this warm weather and wishing she had worn shorts!
Post Pont du Gard, we went to our final destination of the day to our hotel in Avignon. We had an hour to rest and then went to legit one of the best dining experiences of my life at Le Lutrin.
So here’s how dinner went (AKA one of the highlights of the trip): we sat down to a basket of bread, water, and a glass (or 2 ;)) of Provencal red wine. Then BAM my entrée of roasted eggplant salad came out. Which was SO REMINISCENT OF GREECE btw, read my spring break post for more details, but goodness golly goshes it hit the spot.
THEN my main dish of cod seasoned with the most delicious Provencal herbs served with a side of risotto came out. Which hit the spot even more. AND THEN my dessert of mousse au chocolat was placed in front of me that was so good, I struggled to not eat the spoon and bowl it came in.
When dinner finished, it was 3 hours until midnight which meant 3 hours until Caitlin turned 21! Unfortunately, there wasn’t too much to do with regards to the night life in Avignon so we (but actually just me) hit up the “best gelato place in Avignon” called Regal Glace where I grew a second stomach for a scoop (or 2 ;)) of chocolate gelato and then checked out the local Irish Bar O’Collins for some celebratory drinks and a very obnoxious/embarrassingly loud HAPPY BIRTHDAY (Caitlin can attest to this). 🙂
SUNDAY APRIL 23: Breakfast at the hotel (I tried to make consciously healthy choices because I def went over on my cholesterol count the day before with the cheese, fish, risotto, mousse, and gelato) and opted for three hard boiled egg whites, some pineapple, orange slices, an apple, and 1 and a half Americanos. IT WAS ALSO ALL DAY CAITLIN’S BIRTHDAY. #reasontocelebrate #yeet
After breakfast, we walked approx. 10 feet to Palais des Papes where we had an audio tour of the palace. Some cool things I saw: the skull of a man who was killed by arrows, the typical uniform guards during the medieval times wore, the room where dinners were held, the room where money was counted, and some royal bedrooms with frescos in freakishly good condition.
Post Palais des Papes, we were rushed to get a sub-par lunch before hopping on the bus to Les Baux-de-Provence. My conscious healthy-food-decision-making was put to the test because I was limited to a salmon sandwich that contained hard boiled eggs (scraped those suckers off), a leaf of lettuce, 3 miniscule pieces of smoked salmon, and half a tub of cream cheese. All on white bread.
I was hungry, so of course, I ate the whole thing. But sad story short, the sandwich was legit the size of my hand and since it was mostly cream cheese and bread, it was also the equivalent of zero calories. Ten minutes later, my stomach growled.
Luckily, ya gurl plans ahead and stashed a Monoprix BJORG dinner of lentils and carrots in her bag (AND a spoon and napkin) so once I got onto the bus, I gobbled that up. I also found an apple in my bag and my friend, Natalie, donated some of her crust from her pizza to me. So I gobbled those up too. When all was said and done, I was full for the moment, but definitely not satisfied. I looked to the horizon and knew there would be a second lunch to come.
Once at Les Baux-de-Provence, we checked out Carrières de Lumières which was an undoubtably life changing experience. Carrières de Lumières is a place that projects films onto the ceiling, wall, and floor of an old quarry. The theme of this years show was “The Fantastic and Wonderful World of Bosch, Brueghel, and Arcimboldo” which projected various stills of their work timed to some awesome music as well as a short showing of Georges Méliés’ film “The Cinemagician” also timed to some awesome music.
^^^Since the films were shown inside a cave, this was the coldest part of the weekend so I was happy I could finally make use of the coat and gloves I’d brought with me. ALSO important to note, that being surrounded on all sides and from head to toe by these images and music was something out of this world that made me literally feel like I was inside the Méliés film and paintings. This was hands down, without a doubt the second highlight of this trip that made me feel extremely proud to be a film student. And something I HIGHLY recommend doing if you ever find yourself galavanting throughout Provence.
Post film school appreciation, we went to our final destination of the weekend at Les Baux de Provence Village. At the top of the village, we watched some French guys dress up in medieval garb and exemplify how a catapult was used then explored the ruins of the medieval castle that was once there.
After an hour or so, my friends and I headed back into the lower part of the village where I bought my second lunch of a panini with goat cheese, olive tapenade, and tomatoes then a bag of biscuits, one of which was for me, and the rest was a happy birthday gift to Caitlin. 🙂 ❤
On the way back home, I tried a Mars bar for the fist time (finally) which was surprisingly CRAZY DELICIOUS…its basically a European Milky Way. But damn, I haven’t had Milky Ways or junk candy foods in so damn long. It was such a treat. Idk why I felt the need to document that. But this is a food blog, right? So THERE. HA.
When we got back, my friends and I ended the night by going out to an Indian food birthday dinner for Caitlin where I got some yummalicious vegetable curry and basmati rice. #foodcationaccomplished
I went to bed very full and with a plan to go to the gym the next day. That goal was met. And then I went to the gym again today (also stuck to a Vegan diet both today and yesterday, which for living in France, I feel is pretty hard to accomplish. We’ll see how much longer I can make this last haha).
Provence, France is a region with gorgeous views and delicious food. I ended up not buying post cards like I usually do, but instead bought a cook book that I am SO. STOKED. ABOUT. Although the trip was very tightly packed, we literally saw everything for which I am very, very, VERY grateful for <3. Shoutout to one of the best program directors in literally the world.
Now its time (minus the gym) for a week of rest and healthful eating to recover so that I am all game for my next weekend adventure! Any ideas of where I’m heading??? 😉
Thanks for reading and see ya in my next post! 🙂