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My Adventures in Provence: Part 3

Well, my God, I could not love all of any more than I already do for your honesty, your forthrightness and for your trust in regards to the previous blog posting. Thank you for divulging these very personal thoughts and wishes. As I was reading each one of them, all I could keep thinking was, “My readers are the coolest.” And I also kept thinking that birds of a feather flock together. Apparently, at the end of all of our lives, high thread count sheets, good food, alcohol, cigarettes, music and family are what matter the most. Isn’t that funny! Thank you so much for all of your comments and for your thoughts. That was a fun exercise!

Okay, lightening things up a bit this week because that was kind of a heavy blog, let’s get back to Provence, shall we?

Amongst the billion reasons why I adore my friends in Provence, is their absolute commitment to respect what is important in life. Family, friends, laughter… And animals. Let me set the stage…

The morning after we arrived in Provence, our host, The Apricot, was unable to join us for an early morning breakfast for a very important reason. The Apricot and the houseman, Joaquim, had a very important appointment in a nearby town to pick up some new members of the family. 30+ rare Japanese Koi fish.

Their arrival was the event of the day. These Koi fish probably have no idea how good their life was about to get. They hit the adoptive parent jackpot. They arrived in a big white truck ready to be plunged into their new home… An 18th-century pond surrounded by balustrades in the south of France. The foster Koi found there forever home.

The Koi fish joined their large extended family of other Koi appropriately named: Adorable, Orangette, Aurore, Jonas, Salome, Brumel, Larga, Stendhal, Cendrillon, Namani, Rosetta, Prince William and all the others.

Romy Grace and The Apricot celebrating the arrival of their new babies.
 A temporary tent was erected to shade the koi until the new chic custom canopy arrives.

Each fish was gently placed into the Koi pond with delicacy and the hope that it would adapt to its new environment. One by one, every fish seemed perfectly at home. And then, the grand finale… The last fish… As big as a small poodle, this particular Koi had to be hand carried, wrapped in a wet towel and gently placed into the pond. Everyone was holding their breath but voilĂ , the king of the pond figured that “this pond will do just fine.”

 Gently, the mac daddy of all the koi was hand placed into the pond.
Champagne celebration time. From left: My husband David, the husband/wife koi vendors, the house staff of Cristina and Joaquim, The Apricot and Romy Grace, Me and Gracie.

Of course, a round of celebratory champagne was had to welcome the fish to their new paradise. And that, my friends, was my second day in Provence.


  1. HOW EXCITING!Especially the part where they wrap the KOI with a towel..........fascinating!He does not move?Must fear for his LIFE!My cousin in GOLETA has KOI high up in those hills on a ranch with an AVOCADO FARM.He uses their POOP to fertilize!
    I think YOU TOLD US but I ALREADY did this SWEET MAN get the name APRICOT?I will go back and just is so CUTE!IS HE FRENCH?TOO MANY questions........I know!YOU ARE ONE LUCKY GIRL............YES YOU ARE!!!XOXOXO

  2. Ellie, your trip seems like it should be in a movie! I know we aren't supposed to compare other's 'outsides' to our 'insides', but it seems like your friends have one PERFECT LIFE!! Even though I don't know them, they appear to be wonderful people and fine guardians of such a beautiful home. I know they have to love having you, David, and Gracie around....such fun guests! Keep the stories coming of all your adventures....I love going along vicariously!!! Nan

  3. Your blog always teaches me something. Today I learned I can in fact be jealous of koi.
    They are so beautiful!

  4. Oh, that's crazy!! I love this. I loved seeing the Koi in Japan, and thought they were some special type of fish, until a Japanese friend told me that really, they are just overgrown gold fish, and that if you put a gold fish into a bigger and bigger bowl, they will grow to fit it, and voila! you have giant koi. I love how they come to the edge of the pond when they see you there. They are sure you are bringing food...just like my cats!

  5. They are beautiful! It must be so soothing to sit and watch them.. in a beautiful setting, too. Great photo of all of you. Gracie is so pretty, looks a lot like her Momma! Big hug.

  6. Viva la Koi ! Love a celebration of any animal related event - glasses raised for some lucky fish !

  7. Ellie I would have thrilled to have this experience with friends, Koi are such beautiful creatures! Its the little (or not so little) things in life that can make our day! Fun, fun!

    The Arts by Karena
    Painting Central Park

  8. Stunning! I thought that my koi pond was I need to order a custom awning;) Love love love this visit:)

  9. Wonderful; those koi!!!! Beautiful and they have personalities!!! I am pretty sure the canopy is to keep out the herons! (do they have great blue herons in Provence?) We have about a dozen baby koi; and we didn't buy them! My pond guy says they came as eggs on the ducks feet!!

  10. Hi Ellie, as always loved your adventures in Provence - would love to meet you - you are such an amazing person who is able to keep sane at a very difficult time in your the photos you include, your family and friends are amazing...

  11. Oh what fun! So glad you took me along for the adventure in Provence! I so enjoy living vicariously through you. The koi are beautiful but you, dear Ellie, look mahvelous!!

  12. Love the Koi and they were not little baby fish like I had to buy for my pond when I lived in California, but nice full sized beauties. They are not just fish, they have great personalities and bring so much enjoyment to us two legged folks. Thanks so much for sharing.

  13. Yup, just another day in Provence. ;) I think of all of the fabulousness in this post - and there is quite a lot - what I appreciate most is that they made such a happy even out of their Koi delivery. Champagne for everyone!

  14. What fun to have a real koi pond. I once had a small outdoor fish pond and had to keep netting over it. The local wildlife was really intent on eating my fish. It ended up looking very messy and when the fish finally died, I just didn't replace them. It was very unsatisfying.
    Now I have an aviary with doves and parakeets. They are much more satisfactory.
    It is almost time to start packing to return to France. I've started small piles in in my closet. You are sure that you don't need maple syrup or chocolate chips?