Two Weeks in Provence

May 31st, 2018, 07:39 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 99
Boots, I enjoyed your trip report very much! You have a great writing style, and the addition of the photos was a nice bonus. Thanks for taking the time to write it. I did feel a bit bad for your poor DH, having to work during his vacation.
Gundy is offline  
May 31st, 2018, 03:24 PM
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Thank you for your kind words Gundy.

Re DH working while on vacation: he works virtually, so he can either stay home and work in his office, or do that same work in more interesting "offices" abroad.

Though they are quite dependent on him, his team members lightened his load so that it wasn't all work and no play. In the end, he feels privileged to have such a supportive team and a job that allowed him this most recent change of scenery in beautiful Provence.

boots08 is offline  
May 31st, 2018, 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by mjperry View Post
I've really enjoyed your blog! You have a nice travel writing style -- just enough detail and you keep things moving. I've had similar experiences where you can't get enough French or Italian movies to remind you of the fun you had on a recent trip. You might enjoy the following: Marseille (Netflix), Suburra (also Netflix) and Little White Lies (French, Amazon Prime).

Here is link to my travel blog if you are interested in taking a look. We've also enjoyed trips to Paris, Provence and the South of France: and

The houses you rented sound very nice. Would you be willing to post the rental listings or PM me for future reference.

Thanks again for sharing your trip!
mjperry - For some reason I missed your post and am only seeing it now.

Thank you for kind words regarding my report. I tried to include details that I would enjoy and appreciate - like the total prices of meals in France, or where to find necessities at which stores and what they cost. This might be helpful to those who like to stick to a budget.

I will check out your blog and your movie recommendations, plus will pm you the property rental listings.

boots08 is offline  
May 31st, 2018, 09:04 PM
Join Date: Jun 2014
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Boots, finally had time to sit down and read your trip report. Thank you for taking the time & effort to post it here. I really enjoyed it. I've spent 2 weeks on different occasions in Bonnieux, and am planning to go back soon. Really enjoyed reading your experiences. It's inspired me to think about trying a home exchange.
Jennifer_Travels is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2018, 10:20 AM
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Thank you for taking the time to read my report, Jennifer - I'm glad you enjoyed it

I was a bit trepidatious about doing a home exchange but after having done two in Provence and hosting a couple of families here at home, I highly recommend it. The universal motto "I will take care of your home as though it was ours" features prominently in members' profiles.

We spoke to the owner of very nice French villa who told us she doesn't list her place as a vacation rental because home exchangers take better care of her property. It's that culture of trust coupled with the money you save that's made it popular.

boots08 is offline  
Jun 4th, 2018, 01:01 AM
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 859
Boots, how do these home exchanges work, is there an agency which oversees and regulates them? I suppose the exchanges don’t have to be lateral, you register your details and dates while looking for something suitable.

Thanks again for taking the time to write about your experiences as well as the beautiful pictures, we’ve all had fun ride along with you 😊
geetika is online now  
Jun 4th, 2018, 01:54 AM
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There are several home exchange agencies, some more legit than others. I've done this and found it laborious but in a couple of cases worthwhile. In terms of effort expended, I don't consider it a major way to save money; that's assuming my time is worth something. I think I'm very good at travel bargain hunting, and I can arrange a really nice vacation in Europe on a meager budget - home exchanging often would cost me more at the end of the day than what I can piece together on my own, and would be more restricting. JMO
StCirq is offline  
Jun 4th, 2018, 03:40 AM
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I tend to agree with StCirq and don't that I'd want to try a home exchange. I was just curious about how it works...
geetika is online now  
Jun 4th, 2018, 02:17 PM
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In addition to being featured on, one of the houses we stayed in in Provence was listed on for 200+ euros a night. We liked the look and location of their place, they liked the location and look of our place, and agreed on an exchange. That was a saving of 2000+ euros at our end for accommodations.

An added bonus is that we hit it off with the hosts and have established a friendship through ongoing correspondence.

As far as the time put into securing an agreement, I enjoyed the prospecting. For me it was similar to house hunting - looking at different properties, adding my favorites to a folder, then reaching out to see if they have any interest in coming to California. (We've gotten a lot of interest from Europeans.)

Our house in California would be empty for 3 weeks in May. My plants need to be watered, the mail collected. We were more than happy to host a family from France who would enjoy a stay at our place while tending to the above. And vice versa.

I respect that it may not be for everyone, but it works great for us, and look forward to more prospecting.

boots08 is offline  
Dec 3rd, 2018, 06:51 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 22,168
Many thanks for this wonderfully expressive and informative trip report – you and your husband are both extremely gifted in bringing moments to life. I'm just beginning to plan a trip to this area, and have found inspiration and a thousand useful details in it.

BTW, in case it helps you on any future trips to France, or helps anyone else who reads this thread, Patricia Wells developed on awesome glossary to help English-speakers decipher French menus that you can download for free.
Glossary ? Patricia Wells
kja is offline  
Dec 4th, 2018, 01:37 AM
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Lucky you kja, enjoy the planning and later on your actual visit. We’ve been to the Côte d’Azur quite often but the Provence hinterland is something else, we so loved our stay we want to go back again in 2020...😊
geetika is online now  
Dec 4th, 2018, 09:50 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
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@ geetika: Thanks for your kind words! The entire area will be new to me, and I'm thrilled to know that I will finally get there. I enjoy planning my trips, so I have begun browsing a stack of guidebooks and consulting the internet to check this or that, and am finally indulging in delightful trip reports about the area -- like this one. When I finally post about my plans, I hope you'll contribute your insights.

@ boots08: I hope you don't mind a bit of a side-track!
kja is offline  
Dec 5th, 2018, 07:50 AM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 156
Thanks for this - I haven't had a chance to read it all, but will definitely do so! One of the best bottles of wine I've had in Europe was a Domaine Tempier Bandol, enjoyed on my terrace near the Nice promenade. Ah, la France....
Rocket79 is offline  
Dec 5th, 2018, 01:30 PM
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Originally Posted by kja View Post
Many thanks for this wonderfully expressive and informative trip report – you and your husband are both extremely gifted in bringing moments to life.
As someone who struggles with writing, thank you for this compliment. I'm delighted to hear that some of the details will be of use to you in your trip planning

boots08 is offline  
Dec 7th, 2018, 07:35 PM
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 43
Loved your report. We will be staying in Cannes for 8 days in May with friends. Your report has motivated me to start some planning.
txtravelmom is offline  
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