Just over 2 week ago, my boyfriend and I flew from Hong Kong to Paris to embark on our most spontaneous adventure yet. Ever since my brother started working for SCAD at their campus in Lacoste, France, I promised myself that I’d make a trip out to visit him. After countless times of thinking about it, I finally decided to make it happen with the help of my loving and supportive boyfriend of course. We hopped on a train to Avignon, where we then rented a car and proceeded to drive to the small southern town of Lacoste in the stunningly beautiful Provence region of France.
I really had no idea what to expect, having not been to France since my grandparents took my brother and I when we were quite young. Even then, we went to Paris and didn’t have a chance to explore more of the country. Provence was entirely not what I expected in the best way possible. Driving there, we were streaming past endless green fields, flowers, and lavender beds. The sun was bright and shining and I honestly felt right at home. It reminded me of the drives through the countryside of Georgia where I grew up.
We only spent 2 nights close to Lacoste at La Coquillade, a nice hotel overlooking its own vineyards that I was lucky enough to be able to run through both mornings we were there. On our first night there, SCAD was having a huge welcoming party at their Lacoste campus for the SCAD president who was in town. I wish I could express how amazingly magical the evening was. First of all, I was shocked by how quaint Lacoste was. It’s actually a tiny village that seemed very medieval to me. It used to be a hippie colony in the 1970s, before SCAD bought it out and transformed it into a modern paradise while leaving the history and natural environment in tact.
There were colorful balloons and paper mache flowers tied around the stone entryways and passages. Buckets were lining the cobblestone streets, filled with rainbow streamers, poms poms, and SCAD cardboard cutouts. The staff were dressed up in animal headdresses and bandanas, handing out bright pink and yellow lollipops and freshly made cotton candy. I felt like I was in a fairytale land. On top of all this, I was over the moon seeing my brother there in person as the leader of the welcome center, speaking fluent French directing people around. He went to France not knowing any French, but in a matter of just a couple of years is now perfectly fluent.
I felt like such a proud young sister. I couldn’t believe that was MY brother. As for the event itself, there was a parade with big life-size puppets made by one of the students. We got to go around the campus and look at other students’ art projects, listening to how they made them and what their inspiration was. Then, there was a reception after where we got to see the most stunning sunset. We stayed for the Euro Cup soccer game, which everyone in France seemed to watch religiously, at the cutest local salad shop called YaYa Bocata.
Our second day, we woke up and went to an outdoor market that my brother recommended. It was really interesting, with everything from fresh fruits & veggies, handmade soap, woven baskets, wooden tableware, and lavender filled pillows. After that, we drove to the neighbouring village of Bonnieux where we climbed to the town church at the top before going back to the hotel to swim and then meet my brother for the game. I’ll admit, I’m not a big soccer fan, but you can’t help but get a bit excited about it when everyone else is. They were having an outdoor BBQ at one of the staff member’s houses, so we relaxed there until the wee hours of the night.
It was sad saying goodbye to my brother after such a short visit. But we made the most of our time there with him and had such a blast. The next morning, we got up early to start our drive down through Aix-en-Provence and Marseilles to Saint Tropez, where we would be staying for 3 nights. I really wish I had more photos of Lacoste and the Provence area, but I was really living in the moment on this trip. I did take a lot of videos though, which I’m working on editing and getting up on my Youtube channel soon so stay tuned!