I cannot believe I am about to say this on record… I am desiring of a return trip France. To be specific, I want to return to La Mandarine in the village of Bonnieux located in the Luberon district of the Provence region of France. More later on why I am surprised about by being on the record. Let’s get back to Provence.
La Mandarine is the five acre Lavender ensconced farmhouse estate owned by Wood River Valley locals Lyman and Debra Drake. Lyman and Debra are warm and inviting people who do a good thing for their community. They donate use of La Mandarine to local charities for auction. Estate sounds pretentious and La Mandarine is the opposite. Like the Drake’s the place is inviting, warm and simple. Lyman is an Art Dealer by trade and La Mandarine is filled with wonderful artifacts – but they are complementary to the setting not overwhelming.
In the 21st Century can there still be quaint mountain-top villages in the south of France with area residents working the land a good distance away from freeway’s, Big Box stores and Discount Outlet’s for Disney Character merchandise. Yes – Bonnieux. And then there is the village on the other side of the valley – Lacoste! What a history for this village as well, for which I have another complete set of images and it is only 3 miles from the Drake home.
Seeing there are multitudes of travel guide narratives available, I will offer a pictorial essay to support my reasoning.