France Women’s Adventure 2017: Provence & Paris – May 5 – May 23, 2017


Imagine yourself strolling through streets in villages in the Luberon Valley of Provence.   Goult, Gordes, Lourmarin. Imagine sipping a lovely wine from the region, crumbs of a fresh croissant on the tip of your tongue. Imagine the smell of lavender, herbs de Provence, the baked goods waiting in the shop on the corner. Antiques at the market in Isle de sur La Sorgue. Visits to castles, abbeys, picturesque towns in the Provencal hills. Cafes and shops abound.

Roussillon DSCN1658

The red cliffs of Roussillon

We will begin with a week at a beautiful Provencal villa in Roussillon, with swimming pool, and garden benches, patios overlooking the Provençal hills. Day trips to Isle-sur-le-Sorgue, Aix-en-Provence, St. Remy, area wineries, Gordes and Goult. Springtime in Provence brings wildflowers, and the cherries are in season. Day-markets are in every town. Longer daylight allows for an evening’s relaxation outdoors with a glass of wine. Delicious meals are prepared with ingredients fresh from the village markets, enjoyed at area restaurants or by a personal chef at our own villa.

On to Gigondas and ParisThen three nights at Les Florets, a favorite and beautiful little inn just outside the town of Gigondas, north one hour from our villa. As we depart from the villa, we will stop in Sault, the lavender capital of Provence, and though it will be early for the lavender, it is in the air, everywhere.   A drive over Mount Ventoux affords us a spectacular view all around the valley from above.

Les Florets’ owner, Thierry, will serve us wine his family makes on the property, cheeses to die for, and dinners that will leave your palate watering for a week. Though we can certainly explore the village, this three-day respite from day-trips allows us to sit, read, write, become even cozier with our cameras, and relax into our next week in Europe’s great jewel, Paris!

At the end of our time in Provence, we will board the TGV, the “fast train” to Paris, one of the most stunning cities in Europe. With museum passes and Metro passes, you are free to wander wherever you want, whenever you want, visiting some of the most famous paintings in the world, or finding the tiniest galleries in back streets. Paper stores, button stores, bookstores, artwork sold on the Pont Neuf . . .  Just sitting outside the Louvre transports you to a different world. We will choose some sites to see together, including two walking tours of specific areas of Paris, the Montmartre and the Marais Districts. A trip to Monet’s house and gardens in Giverny is spectacular with all the flowers in bloom.


We will stay in a beautiful boutique hotel in the Rue Cler district, the 7th Arrondissement. The owner, Catherine, and her daughter, Charline, always welcome our group! From there, your feet or the metro or a cab will take you anywhere you want to go. Our hotel is just a few blocks from the Eiffel Tower. Sometimes lit in red, sometimes blue, the tower is an especially spectacular vision at night, walking through the park from our hotel!

Our trip will include AIRFARE FROM DENVER, 17 nights’ lodging**, train from Paris to Avignon and back, rental cars, gas and tolls, transfers to and from our Paris hotel, a 6-day museum pass, a 6-day metro pass, nine exceptional dinners, eight breakfasts, Paris Street-wise map, two Paris Walks walking tours, travel journals, and ME, your planner, guide, and all-around fire-extinguisher!

Cost for above, (including airfare from Denver) is $6450.00** A $500 non-refundable deposit holds your space. An early bird OR referral discount of $250 is yours for paying your deposit before August 31, 2016 OR for bringing a friend not on my list.

For questions, please contact Joannah L. Merriman, Lifeprints, 970-481-6339. E-mail me at and check out my travel blog, for samples of previous trip adventures!

**Double occupancy. Single occupancy available for additional cost.

Travel insurance is a must, I’ve found, but I will offer a policy for the full cost of your trip as well as for lost luggage, trip delays, medical coverage etc. Details about that upon registration. Bon Jour!



Have Resurrected Computer, Will Post!

May 17, 2012.  Why is it that the best laid plans of mice, men and women, really do come apart at the seams sometimes?  After transferring this blog to WordPress so I’d be really ready to keep track of our travels, I found myself with a completely dead 9-year old laptop last weekend, and nothing I could do would bring it back to life . . . until I completely left it alone for four days, removed and repositioned the battery several times, etc. etc.  For no particular reason, yesterday morning, voila!  I heard that distinctive chime that only means a Mac is booting up . . .

So, though I felt clearly lost without the electronics, I noticed several things:

1)  I reminded myself that despite the rain in France for a month before we arrived, and despite the forecast for several days of rain during our 16 days here, we have had simply beautiful weather, but for Tuesday, when we walked through the Marais District with a walking guide, umbrellas up against rain and gusts of wind . . .

2) I wrote a bit more in my paper journal about our activities, rather than try to deal with the French computer keyboard layout . . .

3)I finally made a firm decision to buy a new Mac as soon as I return home.

The writing and posting could be done at home, worst case, and my photos won’t go on this site, probably because of the ancient and now really dying system I have.  BUT . . . we definitely wouldn’t be enjoying our activities nearly as much if our weather had shown up as predicted.

So . . . there’s my introduction.  Now on to our adventures, which I will post in pieces, so you won’t have to make a sandwich before you settle in to read:

Provence, cont’d:  When last we left this website, Sunday, May 6, we had settled into our first day at our villa in Robion, in the Luberon Valley of Provence.  Indeed, we went to the market at L’Isle Sur La Sorgue, returned to our villa for relaxation near our swimming pool, and returned to L’Isle, etc. for dinner at Le Jardin du Quai.  It’s a beautiful place, and though the main course that particular night was a pork roast, not the best thing I’ve eaten here, the accompaniments were delicious, the garden cast a glowing light on all of us as the sun set late in the evening, and we enjoyed ourselves completely.

The drive back to the villa was under 30 minutes, and we eased ourselves into our respective villa bedrooms for a good night’s sleep.