I just wanted to do a quick post about our immediate neighborhood. On any given day, there are lots of things to do within walking distance. Just a mile down the road is the Abbaye de St. Hilaire, a monastery built by the Carmelite Friars in the 13th century. Like most structures here, it has been “built upon” in ensuing centuries, and incorporates both Romanesque and Gothic elements. The Abbaye is a fantastic example of private philanthropy. It was bought by a couple, Rene and Anne Marie Bride, in 1961, after it had languished untended for centuries. Through a slow, careful and totally privately funded effort, the Brides have restore the Abbaye and opened it to the public.
About a half a mile beyond the Abbaye is a lovely vineyard, Domaines des Cancelades. The late afternoon light on the fall vines is so beautiful; I wanted to post a picture before those autumn colors are replaced with bare winter branches. (Following that, just a couple of pictures of those vines up close and the massive French oaks everywhere along the path.)