We knew this was a small village before we got here, but assumed there would be more to do. You know it’s small when everyone looks surprised to see you, when you drive into town. They all kind of look up, startled.
My mom’s friend Julian rented the house to us, which he bought as a ruin and renovated into a three-story guesthouse. He chose it for the solace, for his writing, and we all agreed it was good for that. But we wound up leaving a day earlier than planned, and now we’re spending two nights in Aix en-Provence, returning via a different route to Germany.
For one, the house was hard to work with for the kids. As you walk in, there’s a steep spiral staircase that leads down to the first floor (kitchen, bedroom, etc.). So we had to do a makeshift baby-gate for the staircase, tying a boogie board around the stairwell and wedging a chair against it. Upstairs, there’s a loft – but the stairs are so steep we couldn’t trust Charlotte on them.
We did alright, despite, and the one scorpion I saw inside the house my mom handled with a paper towel. She just picked it up with the towel and tossed it into the garden. I took care of the mummified bat by scooting it off the balcony with my foot, also into the garden. So overall, the place had a quiet, primitive feeling to it. We were thankful for a nearby playground, which the girls loved. It had only three features to it (a slide, a see-saw and a fish that rocked back and forth), but it did have hundreds of red beetles in the dirt, which the girls loved.