September 30, 2012

whisk me away

Best birthday ever? Yes, yes, I think it might have been. 

This breakfast table, glistening with rose colored (and flavored) confiture and delicate porcelain bowls, which greeted me on the morning of my 30th birthday, and the two consecutive mornings after, was almost better than a birthday cake. The whole weekend was better than a birthday cake, which is good because there actually wasn't any cake, just lots of chocolate mousse, cobblestone streets and cobalt blue seas. 

It was only a week ago that we were sitting down to breakfast - always the same table under the olive tree - but in the way that vacation adds perspective and a reference point to daily life, it feels like it was a lifetime ago. There we were then, basking in the amber sunshine, and here we are now, huddled inside with our tea cups and wools socks watching the rain and a movie. For a girl who loves a rainy day as much as a sunny day, it's been a great week. 30 is looking good so far, which shouldn't be surprising considering many of you told me it would be great, the best even.

Our hotel was wonderful, a little hillside hideaway near the village of Mougins. It is called Les Rosées, and I discovered it while poking around the Mr & Mrs Smith website. In the typical way that travel itineraries take shape in this household I spotted the hotel, checked flights and we were booked within a couple hours. 

It's a small hotel, only five rooms, one of which is a gypsy caravan parked in the garden. We stayed in the main house, on the second floor, in a room draped in luxurious fabrics and complete with its own terrace. The stone flooring topped with simple woven rugs, the lightly brushed ochre walls and the blush colored headboard and chair were relaxing just to look at. We pulled the heavy stone colored satin curtains closed at night and slept soundly in the still darkness, so soundly that we almost didn't make it to breakfast, just sneaking in by 10am.  It's nice to be pampered some times.

And see those roses that I photographed? Well that very same evening they were in our room, tucked in a vase with some sienna tinged foliage and tiny red berries falling from an elegant, reaching, twig. 
We are guilty of trying to do and see too much in such a short weekend. We spent more time in the car than we probably imagined, but we did see lots of hill top villages and coastal vistas, and all that time in the car tuned us into what the popular songs in the South of France are right now. We listened to the Virgin Radio (pronounced Ver-gene Rad-e-o) station, which played I Follow Rivers, the Lykke Li song, pretty much on repeat. We consider it our Cote d'Azur theme song. Although it might become our blanket fall 2012 theme song because we are listening to it right now too. 

"you're my river running high, run deep, run wild..."

(mom, you'll like this one, it's gotta good beat)
Somehow the swimming season passed me by without a dip in the lake here in Zurich, which upsets me to no end. I figured a swim in the Mediterranean would more than make up for it. We waded in, walking on the slippery rocks until they fell away and we fell with them. It was a memorable swim, bobbing there in the super salty water, the rocky shores just within reach. 

30 you are going to be good, great even!
As I end this post I want to say thank you, thank you for all your well wishes and birthday cheer. You showered me with love and ensured that this oh-so-scary milestone birthday was my best birthday yet. 

ps. still listening to the song, on repeat. That's the way I do music - find one song and loop it until I'm sick of it. Thankfully Zach is on board with this song. 


  1. Oh my gosh, Talley, every time I read your blog, I hate my life more and more. Can you please stop all of this?! Haha, kidding kidding. I love the kiddos and love my life, but your blog fills me with the worst kind of wanderlust. Beautiful post, beautiful pics. It's going to be a good year for sure.

  2. Your getaway looks like a wonderful time. I'm glad you had a fantastic birthday- hurrah!

  3. A beautiful trip to remind you that your life is just BEGINNING after thirty, not ending. Thanks for letting me pretend I was some place other than NYC for a few moments this Monday morning!

  4. What a beautiful trip! I love Mr and Mrs. Smith. They have the most amazing little hotels. We just got back from Sicily and stayed at all Mr. and Mrs. Smith hotels and they were so great. And happy birthday!!

  5. What a birthday weekend! Despite feeling so relieved to be home after 5 weekends in a row away, this post makes me want to book a trip and pack up immediately. What a trip! And 30 is definitely something to embrace (even if the number can be daunting).

  6. Dreamy, Talley, just dreamy--30 doesn't look so bad at all!

    My favourite photos are the one of the plums and the polka-dotted lady and the last one with the window. Lovely as usual.

  7. I just stumbled across your blog via Directory B, and I'm so glad I did - I love your photography! This post also made me smile, because not only do I have the best memories of childhood travels to Mougins and its surroundings, but I also plan our travels much in the same way as you do - starting with a hotel that is just too good not to book.

    A belated happy birthday to you, and I'll be checking in here regularly from now on!