Welcome Words & Wine people!
We are finally ready to jump into the plans for the 2010 Words & Wine trips. Aren't you excited? Yeah, I know, me too. So 2009 didn't see a Words & Wine trip (what with the economy, the breast cancer, the economy...), that just means we need to do it up twice as well in 2010. We miss France and we're pretty sure France misses us. Okay, France probably doesn't miss Rachel and Raphael since they've been there all year, but I think you get the point... France misses you!!
And this time, those of you interested and pretty sure you'd like to join us will get to help plan the trips!! Woo-hoo!! (I know, it's a really clever way for me to get you to do some of the work. Shhh...pretend not to notice). If you look over to the right you'll see a poll. Yep, you get to let us know what sort of trip you'd be most interested in. And yeah, there's a choice that says in essence "2010 isn't going to be my year" and we'll be sorry to see that, but it's a fair choice.
We're thinking at least two trips. All trips will be in the Rhone Valley/ Provence region and most likely in late June. (When you vote, don't worry too much about the dates--yes, I know, that's kind of important but one thing at a time; first--let's narrow down the type of trip!). Oh, right, you're going to want to know about price. Hmmm...would it surprise you to know that will depend on the type of trip? Yeah, it will. It will also depend on the strength of the dollar. For discussion purposes, think $3,000-5,000 a person (that's all inclusive except airfare; do I look like Air France?? But it does cover ground transportation, accommodations, tours, winery fees, almost all meals and the wine--the wine you drink, not the wine you take home, let's be real people). Below is a description of what we are considering. Peruse, contemplate, salivate, cogitate, and then vote over there on the right. You're voting on the trip described below that you'd be most interested in:
1) Words, Whisks & Wine: This is the writing, eating, wine tasting extravaganza! a 10 day trip that would include cooking lessons, and food related day trips such as a visit to the lavender fields of Larnas (and the lavender factory and museum!), a demonstration of olive pressing, an early morning Avignon market trip with a chance to purchase the fresh ingredients to be used in your cooking class with a guest chef that afternoon, the chance to join a local baker to learn how the world's best bread is made, and/or garden tours. In addition, there would of course be vineyard and winery tours, a day at the seaside town of Cassis (great market there too!), and even some quiet downtime for writing (or relaxing and thinking about writing...hey, it counts!).
2) Whisks & Wine the short version: This is the same trip as #1 above but reduced to 7 days. That means...less downtime (hey, you can still write if you're so inclined, but this won't have a focus on writing).
3) Whisks & Wine the long version: I bet you can guess. Yep, this is like trip # 1, but we'll include more wine related stops--hey, we've got 10 days and you'll be too drunk to write! (Okay, kidding...Raphael always insists that we spit and toss during the tastings. We on the other hand have been known to say "a toss is a loss" and "spittin' is quittin'. Just so you know what you'd be in for on this trip).
4) Words & Wine--the original: The eight day 7 night original trip that is about evenly mixed with wine tasting tours and time for writing--with a whole lot of fabulous food (the French just don't know how to do it any other way).
5) Vine & Wine: This is the "all wine all the time trip." Probably an 8 day 7 night trip. The focus will be on the wine and the vineyards of the region, including a stop at the Universite du Vin. (Yeah, France has a Wine University. Of course they do.) There will be food--but you won't be cooking it. There will be sight seeing (and shopping; sorry, I can't help myself). But mostly, there will be wine. You'll meet the winemakers, tour the wineries, sip the wines, walk the vineyards and then get up (not too early, please) and do it all over again.
There are probably several variations on these trips. We'd just like to get a feel for what folks are interested in most so we make sure we have two good groups going. Yeah, I know, this is a public blog and all kinds of crazies could be reading and voting (not you; I don't mean you). That's why it's only open for a week--so those of you I emailed can respond quickly. Also, leave a comment and let me know your thoughts (um, not anonymously...that makes it hard to sort you out from the crazies, 'kay?) on which trip, things you'd like to see, when you'd like to go, etc.
For more info you can check out the website for Words & Wine and you can check out some photos from past trip in the post below (I'm so proud of myself for figuring out that slideshow! And yeah, those are my photos too). You can also email us.
Oh, and hey, why not sign up as a follower of the blog? That way you'll get all the updates and plus, you'll just feel so cool.* The good news is Chris and Rachel will both be posting to the blog too (um, but neither one of them is necessarily less wordy than I am. We're writers, remember?)
*your results may vary