Saturday, August 3, 2013

Warning - tons of pictures and very long post!

Yay!! I got my pictures transferred over!! Michelle, you had the perfect answer! lol Don't know why I didn't think of that?! I guess we get stuck in the "wireless" mentality, and don't always remember that we can still do things with cords! :) 

Ok, soooo.... 
after sorting through 1500 pictures (no, i'm not joking) about 200 of them are of signs :)  And many of the people that I spent ten wonderful days with... and many that are not usable, since they were taken in the car, going 70mph! LOL! 
So I figure I'm probably down to about 700 usable photos :) 
How many do you want to see?

I know if it were me... wanting to live vicariously through you on a trip, my answer would be ALL OF THEM!! :)  I am always hungry to see sights I've not seen before!  But I don't know if you all are the same way? 

I figure the best way to do this is to just blog one day at a time. Each day is packed with pictures. I'll try to be choosy and keep them under 30 a day... how's that?
I could talk for days on end about all that we saw and experienced. Literally. I really could! It was soo fabulous!! But I'll try to keep my chatting down to a bare minimum as well, and just give you quick over views of where and what.  hmmm... no promises on that though. lol  It's so tough no to tell you all kinds of things and wax poetic about every little thing!
 If you have any questions, or if I haven't told you enough, just ask! :) 

This set of shots is from our first day at the Baran. A place that is now near and dear to my heart!! It was our home away from home for 10 glorious days. Nestled in the southwest country side of France, right outside a little town called Puy L'eveque.  Everything about this area is just breathtaking. And by day three I was trying to figure out a way to move here!! 
We stayed at Domaine du Haut Baran, a wonderful chalet B&B that is relatively young for the area... only 300 years old. The couple that run it are amazing. William and Rosalie bought it 15 years ago, and set about renovating it. Every year, they upgrade a different portion of the estate. Adding on special amenities - like the swimming pool, and a year ago they added an art studio! 
And even though it's been renovated, they kept it authentic. All the rooms are decorated differently, with period antiques. A large dining room surrounded in cozyness, and food galore. We only had breakfast in there, as we mostly we ate out on the patio.
It is heaven on earth
I lost track of what day it was. I found a point of relaxation that I haven't found in ... oh... 23 years?  There is something so serene, so peaceful, and undenyable beauty here... 

 The big lavender bushes were alive with activity.

View from the patio... sitting and drinking your coffee in the morning... this is what you look out on...

I love the texture of these roofs, and the stone work!

 This dog was hilarious. There were a couple big fish in the pond... and he would come every day and swim a few times to cool off.. and then start scouting the fish!

 A nice view of the Baran

 Isn't it gorgeous?

 Flowers everywhere! William takes care of the grounds himself... and these little poppies... i love poppies!! They would bloom each day until noon, and then close up and come back the next day

 The new art studio, on the edge of the property

It kind of makes me sad seeing this pictures. I miss it already!!
But... that's the only sadness from this trip!
We were surrounded by 10 other artists, that came on the retreat. We had the BEST group of people ever!!
They were so wonderful! And funny. OMG. All we did was laugh! And eat! And laugh! And drink wine! And laugh! Oh and eat some more! :) 
And did I mention laughter? :)
Seriously, the best people!!

Now... on a note aside.. (I know.. I'm talking a lot. Sorry! I'm trying not to! lol But you kind of need to know this to understand the upcoming week)
This was a water color artist's retreat - put on by my father - Mike Bailey (check out his blog) - water color artist extraordinaire! He teaches all over the country, and once a year does an international retreat. 
Last year he called me in July... he had just gotten back from France - (third year there, but his first time at Haut Baran) and the conversation went something like this...
 "Hey!! How'd you like to go to France with me next year?"
me: "haha! I wish!!"
him: "Well wish no more! You're goin!"
me: "riiighht"
him: "no - I'm serious! I'm giving you a year to get ready. lol Think your family can live without you for three weeks?"
me: "no. I don't think so. LOL"
him: "well they better figure it out!!"
me: "Dad, as much as I wish I could say yes... it doesn't make much sense to take me, I don't even paint!"
he starts giggling
him: "I had a feeling you might say that... so... you wanna learn to paint?" 
I start laughing. 
"No. Not really. lol
I have my hands in too many other art forms at the moment, that keep me plenty busy!"
him:  "OK. But you're comin to France with me next year! Get your passport in order!"
Ayup. and that's how it went. LOL
ok, there were many conversations after that initial one. haha... and tons of excitement! But I still didn't think I was ready to embrace painting. I mean how could I ever be as good as he is? I can't paint! I paint like a kindergartner! lolol (not kidding!!)

So on this trip I was surrounded by other artists. People that I fell in love with. A country I fell in love with. A way of life that I fell in love with. 
And guess what?
I started painting :) 

Until tomorrow... Au revoir!


Jacque. said...

oh merde, maintenant vous allez peindre, aussi? WOW! Ces photos sont tout simplement stupéfiantes. Voyez comment je retombé dans mon français? Quand je vois toutes les photos, je crois que je suis là-bas. En France. Je suis tellement heureux que vous aviez cette expérience, Brenis. xo

WoolenSails said...

LOl, was reading Jacque's comment, yes I can still read french;) I just love the photos and everything about the area you stayed in, so beautiful and such a wonderful place to relax and be creative. And, I want to see what you have painted, even if you think it is bad;)


Tammy Burks said...

So do we get to see what you painted?
Yes, I can believe that would be totally heaven on earth!! I'm sure your family appreciates you even more, now that you've been away from them for 3 weeks....good for you...recharge those batteries girl!!
Can't wait to see the rest of the pictures!

Rugs and Pugs said...

Looking forward to more ...lots more! Love the story of how your trip came to be!
What a gorgeous place!
Hugs :)

Lindy said...

Oh Bren!!! Lucky you!! More them all and talk too!! Waiting for the next group!