Wherever life brings you, bloom with grace.
I may live in Los Angeles but I am a nature girl. Nothing makes me feel more alive than being fully immersed in the outdoors. In recent years I’ve experienced the Superbloom in Death Valley and the stunning almond blossoms on a total whim while driving up to the Bay area. It was a long time dream to see the lavender fields. I never really pushed to see Provence until my second summer living abroad in Paris. A girlfriend came to visit and we ventured out for a weekend in Southern France.
We took the morning train to Avignon and rented our weekend ride. Driving in Paris can be very difficult if you aren’t familiar with the city but I find driving in France to be similar to driving in the states. Just add a few more roundabouts. We took the slow road exploring the winding streets of the city, eating lavender ice cream + shopping a bit before arriving at our airbnb in the tiny provincial town of Robion. Our place was a three-story provincial home made of old stone and wood.
We stopped at a mini market to gather local fruits, vegetables, cheese + bread for our dinner. Wine and sunset views on the balcony topped off the first night in Provence.
The next day was our big journey. We packed up the car for our day trip and headed down to the coastal town of Marseilles. We spotted the Chateau D’If where Alexander Dumas imprisoned Monte Cristo in his famous novel. After some coastal views and soap shopping in the heat, we knew it was time to head back up to the countryside to find flowers. Our route was not a specific one, we knew our final stop was Sault but sort of kept it loose. One of our best finds was just outside of Carpentras when a field of sunflowers caught our eye.
Sault is one of the three main french lavender harvesting towns. As we drove into the valley it was easy to make out the little purple patches and easier to smell the fragrance.
We spent some time exploring the medieval hilltop town, seeing the selections of seeds, bushels + other lavender goods. We snagged some of the best organic Lavender ice cream ever before heading down to explore in the fields. Drove off the main road and through some of the back roads near all of the flowers. There were a few good pull-off areas to admire the fields up close without damaging any of the plants.
I remember being just smitten looking out to row after row of these beautiful flowers. The smells were incomparable, the sound of the busy bees was comforting + it was pure bliss being surrounded by this kind of nature. It felt so secluded, our own corner of quiet paradise.
The next day we took the train back up to Paris, my bag was packed with oils and lavender sachets and my smile was beyond compare.
ps: life + art go in phases. Noticeable gallery themes here were ice cream cones + taking photos of other people’s dogs.
Check out this Romantic Sunflower Engagement Session in Provence that I came back to photograph after this first visit!