Postcards From France, Part 2: Welcome to Skylark

PFA_France

My Postcard #2 From Grasse: Skylark & Michael Kay

I feel like I found family in Grasse. Here’s how it all started…

I booked my stay in Grasse through Air BnB, as I usually do when staying somewhere for a few days… and found what looked like a lovely actual BnB. (you can a load of photos of the place – and book it for yourself if you want to from this link.) Little did I know that stay would change my life and expand my extended family of-the-heart!

As you may know, my back had been hurting alot all during Germany, Strasbourg and throughout the road trip south. By the time I got Grasse, it was improving a bit, but not enough to suit me. I was down from 4×400 mg of Ibuprofen a day to only one or 2, but I was still hobbling – and I was exhausted.

Getting There: the hair-raising which soon became normal…

I drove my rental car up the incredibly narrow and winding road which lead to where my GPS claimed that this BnB was clearly clinging to the edge of a cliff. It was hair-raising that first time! I honestly didn’t think it would fit through some of the gaps I drove it through… but somehow the paint on the sides of the car remained intact. I was horrified and fascinated all at the same time. The funny part is that once I did it the first time it was no big deal anymore, it seemed perfectly normal and I couldn’t imagine what my initial fuss was all about. Hahaha!

When I finally arrived, I took a deep breath and stepped out of the car. The view was stunning! I rang the bell. A gorgeous, British-accented voice answered on the com. I told him who I was. He said he’d be right up. An elfllike person appeared, introduced himself as Michael and said he wasn’t quite ready for me: it was now 1pm and check in wasn’t until 3. I mentally forehead-slapped myself and apologized: I’d totally forgotten that minor detail in the blur of driving, ibuprofin, lack of sleep and too much pain.

No worries, he said… he’d take the bags and I could come back in a couple of hours. I needed to stretch my legs anyway and appreciated the idea of a stroll through town.

He swooped in and airlifted my leaden bags as if they were feather-like and disappeared down the steps. I should say “cliff”… because that’s how they looked to me that first time! He gave me a map, showed me the walking shortcuts for the center of town and sent me on my way.

You can see the results of my first foray into Grasse here.

After feeling complete with my first afternoon of exploring, I made my way verrrrrry slowwwwwly back up the 300 steps to Michael’s place (affectionately known as “Skylark”).

I was welcomed with a big smile and a warm heart by both Michael, his partner Eric and Michael’s mother Lieke who was up from Cannes for a visit that day. We discovered that all have so much in common, with so many mutual interests in life, the arts, travel, health and so much more that I feel like I’ve found a long lost part of my family. Don’t you love when that happens?

Here are Eric, Michael and Lieke, from that first night in Grasse…

They are also the folks who helped me finally heal up my back! Lieke is a nutritionist and knew of a wonderful osteopath in a nearby town. Between her help getting back on a good diet again and the osteopath she recommended (who spoke NO English at all… Lieke translated over the phone during my appointment!) I had a fantastic jump start to get back to my snappy, energetic self. By the time I left, I was ready for action and my upcoming retreat. My love, appreciation and gratitude overflows for these people!

Those of you who know me, know what THAT means:  a video or two and whole ton of images! It’s just how I roll.

The Videos

First, meet Michael Kay. He was so trusting and brave when I said “Let’s make a video!” He looked at me reeeeally skeptically for a moment, then said “Okaaaayyy. I haven’t ever done one, but I’ll trust you to lead me through it.” And he did it! One take, first time. He was a little nervous to let me share it… but like I keep telling him (and it’s true!).. he did WAY better than most people I know who sit in front of a camera for the first time. He’s so natural, so heartful – and that VOICE!! Brilliant.

GO MICHAEL!! 😀

skylark:

I loved Skylark itself so much that I wanted to walk you through it – along with a bit of the story behind it. Again, it’s just with  my iPhone (like all my Postcards vids)… but you’ll get an feeling for this lovely place!

PS… it was a couple of days after the first one I did with Michael and he’d had a chance to accept the fact that I drag my friends along for the ride (all you regulars here know how I do!). So you’ll see an even more relaxed MK… which makes me think he should do a series!

The Images

Naturally, over the course of several days, you get a feeling for – and an impression of a place. At least that’s what always happens for me… and this was no exception.

So here are some brushstrokes from my Skylark stay…

Springtime lavender just getting started on the terrace…

FrenchLavenderInProvence

A view of the neighbors across the way, done K-Hutt fanciful style, using my Fujifilm X-Pro 2’s “Miniature” Advanced filter…

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The common living area…

SkylarkLivingRoom

Clothespins. Because… ummm, oh I don’t know! Just because I just liked ’em…

Clothespins

A morning’s repast, terrace doors thrown wide open, fresh springtime air wafting through…

Skylark_Breakfast

Coffee on the terrace? Yes please!

Skylark_TheTerrace

Skylark_UmbrellaTable

Just an abstract from the table on the terrace. Textures and light and shadow, oh my!

Skylark_OnLeTable

There’s an apartment at the top of the property… this frame is and the one after it are just so classic French country! I took them late one afternoon, when the light made everything glow golden…

Skylark_AptWindow

Skylark_OutdoorsAprt

The patio of the apartment on a cloudy afternoon…

Skylark_AptPatio

It being springtime, the flowers were just starting up… these guys always spring to life early!

Skylark_Flowers

A section of the 60 stairs that Michael mentions in the video… they’re like from some old French film with English subtitles, about a young girl discovering the meaning of her life in a rustic medieval town in the south of France. Hehheh…

Skylark_Steps

I felt like I was walking around inside a fabulous magazine… but it smells ALOT better…

Skylark_SpingTable

Life in the coy pond, all part of the relaxation/meditation area…

Skylark_Goldfish

And Finally… 

I’ll leave you with an iPhone video I made from my husband on my first morning at Skylark. I felt full of joy, wonder, love and gratitude… which I wanted to share with him and remember always! (I loved the sound of the birds every morning and the sight of the Mediterranean off in the distance…)

Click here to stroll through all of my Postcards From France 

Click here to watch all the videos from France so far!

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3 thoughts on “Postcards From France, Part 2: Welcome to Skylark

  1. Oh Karen…
    I’m all weepy and haven’t even finished reading all of this yet or watched the videos. I so love this, not just this, ALL of THIS you’ve been experiencing and sharing with us. What a wonderful adventure!

  2. Karen – what a great post. The pics the video’s – meeting Michael. I love my rainy Portland, OR but how nice to drift off to southern France for a mental vacation. Thank you for taking me/us there. That terrace/patio lookalike a pretty rough spot to do post production. Lucky you. Enjoy. Thank you.

    1. Ahhhh Amy… you live in SUCH a fabulous part of the world!
      I’m glad you enjoyed stepping into a piece of mine. I still miss that terrace! And I WILL be back. 😉

      You’re so entirely welcome.

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