Justin and I have been working on a project in South West France over the last 6 weeks, and we’ve managed to combine it into a sort of working vacation with Rosie.
For the first couple of weeks we stayed in a gîte in the Gers. We explored the ancient villages of Lecture, Fourcès, and Larressingle. We visited local Armagnac producers to taste their creations, and enjoyed breathtaking drives through the rolling hills and sunflower fields for which Gascony is famous.
We then spent a few weeks in a cottage in the Minervois. My Mum came to visit, we went wine tasting, and we ambled around the formidable medieval citadel of Carcassonne. We even made friends with the couple living next door, who joined us one evening for a fabulous night of dinner and cocktails!
This sort of 'slow travel' has been absolutely ideal with a toddler. We chose not to stay in hotels, which has allowed us to cook at ‘home’ and have more space to spread out and play. Instead of rushing around and trying to fill each day with tourist activities, we have slowed down and enjoyed the simplicity of day to day life like a local. The pace has been wonderful for Rosie, and very relaxing for us.
This past week we have been staying at Justin’s Dad’s home in Montlaur, a lively village in the Aveyron. Our time here has been all about hanging out with family and savoring the small things; delicious home cooked meals, drinking rosé in the afternoon sun, and leisurely walks through beautiful countryside.
We’ve eaten freshly baked croissants for breakfast each morning, sought out regional delicacies at local restaurants, shopped for seasonal produce at the farmer’s market, met neighbors in the village playground, gone swimming in the nearby river, and basked in the gorgeous summer weather. Here are some photos of our time in the Aveyron, if you’d like to see…
One afternoon we went swimming in the local river and tried to teach Rosie how to throw skipping stones.
We visited farmer's markets in the nearby villages of Camares and Saint Affrique. The quality of the produce was stunning.
Rosie had an absolute blast playing with her cousins.
We went for walks, played in the garden, and snoozed in the afternoon...
And we enjoyed many, many superb home cooked meals. There's a lot to like about slow travel :-)