Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Add to Google Reader or HomepageTomorrow, Michael and Mary Ann arrive to spend a week with us. Hosting visitors is always fun because it gives me another chance to show someone why I love being here.

I should have the hosting responsibilities down pat but I find that there are too many attractions to fit into the times our visitors are here. Do we forfeit a trip to “Les Baux” – the 13th century castle-fort built into the rocks at the top of the mountain to go wine tasting? Will we have time to see the Alps (from Mt. Ventoux) if we want to have our visitors meet some of our French friends?

Guests/visitors bring their own perspectives. Paul and Denise had so many questions about Roman and French history for which I had few answers, I had to get busy and learn more about my environs. MB (EmBay) saw colors on shutters and buildings that I had walked past without a (recent) thought. She enjoyed meeting our French and English friends and marveled at the architecture and the landscape. Michael – who also owns an apartment in the medieval city – talked about wine tasting at vineyards that I want to add to my list. Betsy and Howard were so passionate about the area; all I could do was nod in agreement.

Michael and Mary Ann will get to see the Mediterranean Sea, the Rhone Valley, the Dentelles and the Alps and the two-thousand plus years of history of the Vaucluse – and then a few day trips that we think they may enjoy… Clearly, every visitor brings an extra bag of expectations. Hopefully, they will leave having exchanged expectations for expectations filled and experiences they will long remember. And, if we don’t fill their extra bag with the sights and tastes and sounds of Provence, in this instance, we will get a second chance when we go to Paris with them – “for Paris is a moveable feast.” (credit to Ernest Hemingway.)


  1. Mark,
    I think this is a particularly fascinating post. The adventure you have built for yourself and so many others brings out the best of life, friendships and the connections we all share. Most of all, while I listen to Sarah Palin bashing Obama on NPR, you are smiling back at me.
    What a great spirit you and Ellen share with the world. You make me feel good.

  2. Dear Mark and Ellen and dear friends of M@E,

    ...Same is true for me, our "obamaniennes amitiés"
    - Obamanian friendship-
    will stay, whatever comes ahead... all the more so in times of silent spaces of communication!
    each day gone is another epiphany.
    By the way, I feel writing a story:
    The hawk, the mirror and the prompter
    in a La Fontaine fashion!

    Thanks for your message, Mark...though I still wonder how I can copy the beetroot recipe you prepared.
    I am having a break and polishing a tale with an art teacher.
    Next week, a friend is visiting and we shall do some work (yes!) for our professional promo, it sounds good and motivating!

    Take great care!