Hi, my name is Mary Katherine. This week I am immersed at Virginie In Provence and we will visit many places in Provence. In this article I tell you about one of our immersion days.
Yesterday, Virginie and I embarked on a road trip! Virginie had organized to spend a few days with me along the French Riviera. Our plan was to head to Menton, and then we intended to visit the International Perfume Museum in Grasse. We had planned to spend the night in Grasse.
Day 1 - Two-Day Road Trip in Provence
a. Arrival in Menton - Two-Day Road Trip in Provence
We arrived in Menton by car, and I was overwhelmed by the spectacular views of the Mediterranean Sea along the way. We easily found parking and parked the car next to a small carnival. The parking meters were not working properly, but eventually, Virginie managed to get a parking ticket from the machine.
We crossed the street and noticed a lot of water on the ground, so we investigated where it was coming from. We later found out that the previous night, there had been an extremely high tide, which was the reason for the huge puddles of water all around the museum.
b. Grabbing a Drink in Menton - Two-Day Road Trip in Provence
We strolled along the promenade for a while and saw that several restaurants were open. I suggested we have a drink (it was 11:00 AM). When Coco Loco (the name of a restaurant) caught our attention, we took a table and ordered two margaritas. They were a bit strong, so we were quite pleased. A change in our itinerary, but a pleasant one.
c. Walk in Menton - Two-Day Road Trip in Provence
After our drink, we walked further along the promenade until it seemed to reach its end. Then we turned back. Several people had dogs, but my favorites were two French bulldogs. They were being walked by a woman who was constantly talking on her cellphone. After the walk, we headed to Grasse.
d. Arrival in Grasse - Two-Day Road Trip in Provence
Off to Grasse! Once in Grasse, we easily found parking. We weren't sure where the museum was, so Virginie asked a kind woman with a little boy where the International Perfume Museum was located. The very friendly woman decided to show us herself. Thank you, madam! We made a first stop at the Fragonard Museum. We wandered through the Fragonard Museum and found the history of perfume, through the ages, quite fascinating. The other two families known for their perfume are the Molinard and Galimard families.
e. International Perfume Museum in Grasse - Two-Day Road Trip in Provence
We walked to the International Perfume Museum. We joyfully walked through the many rooms and learned about the evolution of perfume over the centuries: its creation, manufacturing, and preservation. We saw old perfume bottles made of clay or glass, as well as antique bathtubs. After a busy day, we headed to our hotel.
f. Hotel in Grasse - Two-Day Road Trip in Provence
The hotel we stayed at didn't have a restaurant, so we stopped at Monoprix to buy some groceries. Monoprix is a small supermarket. We bought wine, a corkscrew, Roquefort cheese, ham, crackers, and Poilâne bread. To get to the hotel, we took a narrow road to a closed mansion that had been converted into a hotel. I don't remember the name. By now, we were completely exhausted from our day of travel. After a shower, we found ourselves in my room, enjoying a glass of wine and our earlier-bought treats. I think we both fell asleep as soon as our heads touched the pillow!
Day 2 - Two-Day Road Trip in Provence
a. Hotel in Grasse - Two-Day Road Trip in Provence
At 8:00 AM, the hotel caretaker brought us breakfast. We had coffee and tea, several types of jams, including grapefruit marmalade, orange juice, oatmeal, cream cheese, and pancakes. It was quite a feast!
b. The Mimosa Road - Two-Day Road Trip in Provence
At 9:00 AM, we were back on the road, this time heading towards the Mimosa Road. I knew these trees looked familiar. I found out they are called "acacias" in California. The Mimosa Road stretches from Bormes-Les-Mimosas to Grasse. This tourist route, recommended from January to March, is a symbol of the winter French Riviera. This region offers a mild climate, perfect for the blooming of this type of vegetation. We saw many mimosas in bud about to bloom, but only a few trees had the bright yellow flowers famous in this region. We followed the entire Mimosa Road and then headed home.
c. Return to Rousset - Two-Day Road Trip in Provence
The return to Rousset was beautiful! We made two stops to take some photos. I am continually amazed by the similarities between the plants and trees found in our region and those in the south of France. I was surprised to see the road lined with oaks. The oak in Provence is called the false holly oak because its leaves resemble holly leaves. I agree with that.
Back home, we enjoyed a quiche that Léo made with Alex. Thank you, Léo and Alex! Then, I got started on my homework! It was definitely a beautiful road trip!
If you are coming for an immersion stay in Provence, I really invite you to contact Virginie in Provence. She will be happy to make you discover the different aspects of Provence: landscapes and scents, but also culture, gastronomy... while helping you to improve your French.