Tag: Memories tour

South of France Memories Tour 2019: Only 4 Spots Left!

Sign up now for the South of France holiday you’ll never forget.

While the Barefoot Blogger has been distracted with a move to a new apartment in Uzes and NO wifi, my friend and cohort Patricia Sands has been busy gathering our next new best friends for the 2019 South of France Memories You Promised Yourself Tour 2019. 

Only 4 Spots Left!!

We’ve done all the trip planning.

The “South of France Memories” tour itinerary was created by one of the top experts in travel in the south of France — Absolutely Southern France. It is designed for all travelers — veterans and novices.  Our itinerary includes some of the most visited places in the south of France — and some that are just getting on the travel radar. From the Côte d’Azur to village markets to historic towns to wild life sanctuaries, we’ll experience it all.

Here’s an overview of the destinations for our 2019 women’s tour. It includes 12 days of exploring, touring, eating, drinking and making new friends. For all the facts and cost, click here.

  • Stroll the seaside Promenade des Anglais in Nice and tour the colorful city
  • Meander through cobblestone streets of Saint Paul de Vence, filled with history, galleries and charming shops
  • Discover Eze and the spectacular gardens of Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild
  • Explore the ancient harbor town Antibes, Patricia’s home away from home
  • Walk in Cézanne’s footsteps in Aix en Provence
  • Savor vibrant, trendy Sète and a culinary adventure
  • Live in Arles among roman treasures, world-renowned  architecture and the spirit  of Van Gogh
  • Enjoy a safari to observe the Camargue’s unique flora, fauna and rose-colored salt marshes
  • Experience market day in St Remy de Provence & the spectacular Carrières de Lumières in les Baux de Provence
  • Peek into the Barefoot Blogger’s world in Uzés, Pont du Gard
  • Join harvest time and taste the wine

Life is short.

Sometimes you have to get packing and make memories you promised yourself.

visit the south of France

 

 

Memories Tour Day 12: A Wine Harvest Finale

How do you cap off an unforgettable twelve day tour of the South of France? By taking part in a wine harvest done the old fashion way, of course.

To make the day extra special, Nick Martin of A Wine Affair arranged for the “sensational sixteen” to visit a fifteenth century Mas and vineyard to experience grape picking and stomping.

Patricia Sands, author and tour leader, tells about the final day which ends with a spectacular dinner party in Arles.

And what a day this was! Have you dreamed of a mas in the south of France like this? Everyone in our merry band of travellers agreed they had.  This was a dream come true (Click here to read more)

Memories Tour Finale

Memories Tour 2018: Camargue and Aigues-Mortes

Just because I didn’t make it to the last part of the Memories Tour 2018, doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the fun and adventures. Join my co-tour leader and buddy, Patrica Sands, as she and the “sensational sixteen” ladies continue the tour and the story.

As you recall, I was on the Memories Tour in the South of France when I fell and broke my hip and shoulder. Every tour leaders’ worse nightmare. Click here for Part One

Patricia’s blog picks up where we left off. Click here.

Memories Tour

Our day in the Camargue got off to an exciting start. We were ready to explore the world of the fictional Jacques de Villeneuve, from Drawing Lessons, and eager to see the legendary horses, bulls, and flamingos of this unique region…

memories-tour-2018-camargue-and-aigues-mortes

Memories Tour Interrupted

When the Barefoot Blogger sets out for a new adventure, it’s hard to predict the trouble I might get into. On the eighth day of the South of France Memories Tour with author Patricia Sands and sixteen lovely ladies, I ended up in a French hospital.

Broken bones! 

A tour of the French medical system was more than I bargained for, yet, here I am.

French hospital tour

French Hospital Tour

It all started in Aigues-Mortes, the ancient walled city near the Camargue. Patricia and I were on our way back to the bus after finishing our guided tour and our lunch. We were running a bit late.

When we walked out of the main gate of the town, we saw the tour ladies had already boarded the bus. They were waiting for us. As we hurried across the busy street, laughing that it was the tour leaders who were holding things up, Patricia stumbled and fell. Out  of the corner of my eye, I saw her falling.

Next thing I knew, I tripped on the street curb. My face was headed straight for the sidewalk. I threw out my left hand to catch myself, then rolled to the right. My shoulder and hip pounded the pavement.

Immediately, I knew I was hurt. I was nauseous. It was just like I’d felt seven years before when I fell off the countertop in my kitchen.

French Hospital Tour

Since that fateful day in Aigues-Mortes, I’ve had surgery to put pins in my hip. My right arm is strapped to my side so the broken shoulder will heal itself, without surgery.

I’ve spent twelve days in the hospital. First the university hospital in Nimes. Now I’m in a rehab hospital that’s in a field somewhere between Nîmes and Uzés. Really. That’s all I can see.

French hospital tour

View from my private room at the rehab hospital

The medical care I’ve received — from ambulance to emergency room, to surgery and aftercare– has been superb. I couldn’t ask for better. The rehab hospital where I am now is brand new and modern. I’m in a private room.

Promise, I’ll write a post about the whole hospital experience later. Like me, some of you who travel worry about accidents. She far, so good.

Clipped Wings

Needless to say, I was really sad to leave Patricia and the Memories Tour. We were having a ball. The group of women that joined us from the US, Canada and Australia were an extraordinary bunch. It was like we were made to travel together.

French hospital tour

Nancy McGee of Absolutely Southern France, who made all the arrangements for the South of France Memories Tour, dropped all she was doing to stand in for me the last 3 days of the trip. Along with Patricia, they made certain that everything went along as planned.

The good news for the ladies was that they gained the benefit of a seasoned travel pro on their tour. In addition to her destination planning company, Nancy is known for her walking tours in Sete, Montpelier, Pezenas and more, and she teaches classes at the university in Montpellier to future travel agents.

French hospital tour

Sad News All Around

As discouraged as I was about my plight, I was distraught to hear of the damage done by Hurricane Florence back in the US. The storm hurled through areas I’d called “home,” causing friends and family to flee to safe places. To any of you who were affected, I pray you are faring well now.

Memories Tour Continued

Now that I know I can type with the thumb of one hand on my iPad, I plan to pick up where I left off on documenting the Memories Tour. My accident is not the memory I want to leave you with. Instead, it’s the friendships and experiences we had that I will be remembering for a lifetime.

Stay tuned …

French hospital tour

South of France Memories Begin in Nice

Around and About Nice: Memories Tour Day 2

Hot Spots on the Côte d’Azur: Memories Tour Day 3-5

 

Hot Spots on the Côte d’Azur: Memories Tour Day 3-5

Day 3-5 of the “Memories You Promised Yourself” tour revealed friendships and alliances were forming among the sixteen ladies who joined the Barefoot Blogger and Patricia Sands. We happily made our way through the hot spots on the Côte d’Azur: Grasse, Tourrettes Sur Loup, Saint Paul de Vence, Eze Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat and Antibes.

Hot Spots on the Côte d’Azur

From our perfectly located hotel in Nice, the Beau Rivage, each day we jumped on our 20-passenger bus to explore famous towns and vistas near Nice. Our guide, Stephanie, and Rene the driver led the way.

Hot spots on the Côte d’Azur

Hot spots on the Côte d’Azur

Grasse

Known as the perfume capital of the world, there was no doubt our tour of ladies would love Grasse. The Parfumerie Fragonard was our main stop.

 

Here we learned the way perfume was made in the eighteenth century and which techniques remain the same today.

Hot spots on the Côte d’Azur

Over 6,000 bottles of perfume are produced daily in the Grasse Fragonard factory, along with soaps, lotions, eaux de toilette and other fragrant products.

Hot spots on the Côte d’Azur

Smell testing the different florals and scents used in perfume products

Tourrettes Sur Loup

A short distance from Grasse was Tourettes Sur Loup, an artist village of less than 2,000 residents.

Hot spots on the Côte d’Azur

Hot spots on the Côte d’Azur

Hot spots on the Côte d’Azur

It was the perfect place for lunch and a quick look at the artisan shops before heading onto the main attraction for the day, St. Paul de Vence.

Hot spots on the Côte d’Azur

Hot spots on the Côte d’Azur

St. Paul de Vence

St. Paul de Vence is a small, medieval village on a hill that is bustling with tourists and dozens of tiny shops, art galleries and cafes.

Hot spots on the Côte d’Azur

Hot spots on the Côte d’Azur

Hot spots on the Côte d’Azur

At the entrance to the town is a petanque game square where locals gather and tourists who dare.

Hot spots on the Côte d’Azur

Hot spots on the Côte d’Azur

Hot spots on the Côte d’Azur

Hot spots on the Côte d’Azur

St. Paul de Vence was a simple medieval village until a cafe and modest inn was opened by a local resident, Paul Roux, and his wife in the 1920s. The inn attracted many artists who had discovered the area during the time between the world wars, like Matisse, Picasso and Chagall. They stayed at the inn and, as payment for their lodging, they often left behind pieces of their work. The priceless painting are still on the walls of the Colombe d’Or. The hotel and the town are now world famous for art and galleries.

Hot Spots on the Côte d’Azur

Eze

Memories Tour Day 4 morning was free for all to rest, shop, visit the Chagall or Matisse Museum, or for more sightseeing.

After lunch we were off to the village of Eze.

Riding by bus along the Moyenne Corniche, northeast of Nice, the views of the Riviera coastline became more dramatic the higher we climbed.

Hot spots on the Côte d’Azur

In Eze we continued to climb. Not by bus but by foot. We determined the town with its steep hills was meant for serious walkers.

Hot spots on the Côte d’Azur

Hot spots on the Côte d’Azur

Fortunately there were plenty of shops to browse through when we needed to catch out breaths.

Hot spots on the Côte d’Azur

Hot spots on the Côte d’Azur

The highlight of the visit was the Exotic Garden located at the top of the village a mere 429 meters above the Mediterranean Sea.

Hot spots on the Côte d’Azur

While walking along the landscaped paths of succulent plants, the views of the sea were breathtaking.

Hot spots on the Côte d’Azur

Hot spots on the Côte d’Azur

Hot spots on the Côte d’Azur

Hot spots on the Côte d’Azur

Leaving Eze we passed through Beaulieu and Villefranche-sur-Mer. Real estate along this stretch of the Riviera, to Our next stop, St. Jean-Cap-Ferrat is among the highest priced in the world. Homes of celebrities and billionaires dot the hills and seascape.

Hot spots on the Côte d’Azur

Villa Rothschild

The elegant mansion looming high above the Mediterranean in St. Jean-Cap-Ferrat was the next stop on tour of the high road of the Riviera — Villa Rothschild.Hot spots on the Côte d’Azur

Built by Baroness Béatrice de Rothschild, wife of banker Baron Maurice de Ephrussi, the rose-colored villa is in the image of a Italian palazzo.

Hot spots on the Côte d’Azur

Hot spots on the Côte d’Azur

With its priceless antiques, art and porcelain collections, the interior of the villa is stunning.

Hot spots on the Côte d’Azur

Hot spots on the Côte d’Azur Hot spots on the Côte d’Azur

Hot spots on the Côte d’Azur Hot spots on the Côte d’Azur

Hot spots on the Côte d’Azur Hot spots on the Côte d’Azur

The gardens, however, are truly magical. Both formal and meandering, they were strategically designed to enhance the best views of the sea and the villa.

Hot spots on the Côte d’Azur

Hot spots on the Côte d’Azur

Hot spots on the Côte d’Azur

Hot spots on the Côte d’Azur

A water show set to music was all it took for me to escape momentarily into my fantasyland. My life as a baroness on the Riviera.

Hot spots on the Côte d’Azur

Hot Spots on the Côte d’Azur

Antibes

Day 5: Readers of Patricia’s “Love in Provence” book series were especially excited about the Antibes part of our tour. Here they could envision Kat meeting Phillippe at the colorful Provençal market in the center of town.

Hot spots on the Côte d’Azur

Antibes didn’t disappoint the Barefoot Blogger even though this was my fifth visit.

Hot spots on the Côte d’Azur

Hot spots on the Côte d’Azur

Hot spots on the Côte d’Azur

The scenery and conviviality of the town are so uplifting.

Hot spots on the Côte d’Azur

Hot spots on the Côte d’Azur

For sure, the Memories Tour gals were taking it all in

Hot Spots on the Côte d’Azur

Just a little drama…

To prove there is always a bit of drama wherever the Barefoot Blogger roams, one evening before dinner we lost one of our travelers. In the hotel. In the elevator.

A power outage that struck the hotel just prior to our meet-up in the lobby had trapped someone in the elevator. Sure enough, when we did our attendance count, Margaret was missing.

Never fear. The nice Nice pompiers saved the day!

Hot spots on the Côte d’Azur

Margaret was such a good sport. The firemen loved her!

Stay tuned …

South of France Memories You Promised Yourself Tour 2018 with the Barefoot Blogger and Best Seller Author Patricia Sands

September 10-22

South of France Memories Tour 2018

Day 1: South of France Memories Begin in Nice

Day 2: Around and About Nice: Memories Tour Day 2

Day 3-5 Hot Spots on the Côte d’Azur: Memories Tour Day 3-5

Day 6:Aix-en-Provence in One Day

Day 7: A Perfect Day Trip to Sete: Gourmet Tour and Oyster Farming

Day 8: Memories tour/18 ~ Day 8 ~ Arles

Day 9: Memories Tour/18 ~ Day 9

Day 10: Memories tour/18 ~ Day 10 – St. Rèmy and Les Baux de Provence

Day 11: Memories tour/18 ~ Day 11(part 1) – Pont du Gard and San Quentin la Poterie

Day 11: Memories tour/18 – Day 11, part 2 – Uzés

Day 12: Memories tour/18 ~ day 12 – Wine Harvest

Memories Tour Interrupted

Hot spots on the Côte d’Azur

Around and About Nice: Memories Tour Day 2

The “South of France Memories You Promised Yourself” tour kicked off yesterday with ladies from the US, Canada and Australia arriving in Nice for 12 days of fun and adventure. Join us for Day 2…

Around and About Nice

Vieux Nice

Patricia and I, along with our wide-eyed tour guests, were up early to meet our guide Stephanie. Today’s itinerary: around and about Nice.

Around and about Nice

The colorful old town (Vieux Nice welcomed us with its bright flower and food market and its baroque architecture.

Around and about Nice

Around and about Nice

Around and about Nice

Around and about Nice

Everyday business was going on in the streets, mixed with historic monuments and landmarks that told of the city’s rich past.

Around and about Nice

Around and about Nice

Around and about Nice

Around and about Nice

Around and about Nice

Around and About Nice

Hop on Hop Off

A tour on an open-air bus that runs daily through Nice was the perfect way to see the highs and lows of the city. The two-hour ride took us through the town, along the sea, then up to the summit of Villefranche-sur-Mer where the views were spectacular.

Around and about Nice

Around and about Nice

Around and about Nice

Around and about Nice

Around and about Nice

Around and about Nice

Around and About Nice

Afternoon Delight

Where do eighteen lovely ladies go to spend the late afternoon in Nice? The Negresco, of course!

Around and about Nice

Around and about Nice

A pedicab back to the hotel for some…

Around and about Nice

A walk along the promenade for others.

Around and about Nice

Around and about Nice

Then a dinner fit for queens, topped off with the most wonderful tarte tartine.

Around and about Nice

Stay tuned… Bonne Nuit♥️🇫🇷

South of France Memories You Promised Yourself Tour 2018 with Patricia Sands and the Barefoot Blogger  September 10-22

Day 1: South of France Memories Begin in Nice

Day 2: Around and About Nice: Memories Tour Day 2

Day 3-5 Hot Spots on the Côte d’Azur: Memories Tour Day 3-5

Day 6:Aix-en-Provence in One Day

Day 7: A Perfect Day Trip to Sete: Gourmet Tour and Oyster Farming

Day 8: Memories tour/18 ~ Day 8 ~ Arles

Day 9: Memories Tour/18 ~ Day 9

Day 10: Memories tour/18 ~ Day 10 – St. Rèmy and Les Baux de Provence

Day 11: Memories tour/18 ~ Day 11(part 1) – Pont du Gard and San Quentin la Poterie

Day 11: Memories tour/18 – Day 11, part 2 – Uzés

Day 12: Memories tour/18 ~ day 12 – Wine Harvest

Memories Tour Interrupted

 

Memories Tour Nice

Memories Begin in Nice 👍

The South of France Memories You Promised Yourself Tour kicked off today. All signs say it’s going to be an amazing 12 days with these fun-loving ladies. What better way to start? Memories begin in Nice!

Memories Begin in Nice

Memories Begin in Nice

You know it’s going to be an extraordinary event when a bird lands on your head in old town Nice.

Nice

No kidding!

 Nice

After only a few minutes being with the tour ladies at our “welcome dinner,” I knew I’d met my new best friends.

Memories Begin in Nice

Memories Begin in Nice

Today was the “meet and greet” and a relaxing seaside dinner The Beau Rivage hotel where we’re staying has a restaurant and bar right on the beach! What a thrill to stay right in the center of all the action. Tomorrow we take on the town. Memories begin in Nice!

Memories Begin in Nice

Tour Highlights

Nice

Grasse

St. Paul de Vence

Eze

Villa Rothschild

Antibes

Arles

Sete

Camargue

Aigues Mortes

St. Rémy

Les Baux

Pont du Gard

San Quentin la Poterie

Uzés

The South of France Memories You Promised Yourself Tour 2018 with Patricia Sands and the Barefoot Blogger

September 10-22, 2018

Day 1: South of France Memories Begin in Nice

Day 2: Around and About Nice: Memories Tour Day 2

Day 3-5 Hot Spots on the Côte d’Azur: Memories Tour Day 3-5

Day 6:Aix-en-Provence in One Day

Day 7: A Perfect Day Trip to Sete: Gourmet Tour and Oyster Farming

Day 8: Memories tour/18 ~ Day 8 ~ Arles

Day 9: Memories Tour/18 ~ Day 9

Day 10: Memories tour/18 ~ Day 10 – St. Rèmy and Les Baux de Provence

Day 11: Memories tour/18 ~ Day 11(part 1) – Pont du Gard and San Quentin la Poterie

Day 11: Memories tour/18 – Day 11, part 2 – Uzés

Day 12: Memories tour/18 ~ day 12 – Wine Harvest

Memories Tour Interrupted

 

Traveling by Train to Nice. Nice!


 

Traveling to Nice by trainTraveling to Nice by train for a weekend at the beach is a piece of cake. The low cost train fare makes the trip a “must.”

Low- cost train fare

Now that I’ve learned how easy traveling by train to Nice is, I planning to travel a lot by train in Europe, I’m glad to have the “senior” rail pass. The senior discount on the fare from Avignon to Nice makes the trip incredibly affordable–  roundtrip, first class. Getting to the train station from Uzes, I have two choices. Drive “Lucy” to Avignon and park her with her 4-wheeled friends at the train station; or catch the bus from Uzes to the train station in Avignon. I prefer the first option. Even with paying for parking at the train station, the total cost of transportation is less than driving back and forth to Nice. Plus, I don’t have to worry about parking places in Nice after I arrive.

Traveling to Nice by Train

The TGV train from Avignon to Nice in the first-class coach is a treat. If you’re lucky, you’ll get a seat with no one beside or across from you. You can stretch out as much as you please. 

As you skirt along the Mediterranean from Marseilles to Nice, you get a glimpse of the beaches and the coastline villas.

There’s  a blue-sky sunny day with only a few clouds.

From one side of the train you see sunbathers stretched out on mats and lounge chairs on the beaches. The temperature is in the high 60s.

The view from the left windows reveals town people walking busily down the streets wearing leather jackets.

MarseilleToulon. Sainte Maxime.

Stretches of low forests with cedars, olive trees and pines are interrupted by occasional towns. Beaches appear from nowhere as the train speeds along.

The sea draws closer to the tracks. It darts away again.

Yacht coves appear below rocky cliffs

Cannes. Antibes.

Train stations with familiar names click by alerting passengers that Nice is ahead.

High-rise condos and apartment buildings are beginning to crowd together on the hills to the left of the train tracks. More are packed together towards the sea.

Old and new, unkept and clean; the contrast of tan, yellow, reddish-brown and, occasionally, green stucco and concrete structures seem to blend together in perfect harmony.

 

Traveling to Nice by train

Traveling to Nice by train

 

Arriving in Nice

This is the real deal: The French Riviera


Traveling to Nice by train

The beach in Nice

Traveling to Nice by train

 

Traveling to Nice by train

City of Nice

 

Traveling to Nice by train

The beach — the Riviera

 

 

Traveling to Nice by train

Reliable transportation. Rent a bike.  Nice France

 

More about Nice

Nice is Nice. Marc Chagall Makes It Nicer

Heading for a Beach in France? Nice!

City Side of Nice: Favorite Finds

Uzes to Nice: Nice!

Traveling to Nice by train

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