I do not know if you are like me but when I visit a place I automatically think of the "soundtrack of my life" at that particular moment.  And if I was in my little dream heaven the soundtrack of my life would be John Barry's Until September.  This is one of my favorite movies starring the very talented couple of thierry Lhermitte and Karen Allen.  I love it not only because it is set in France but because it is a gorgeously simple and stirring composition.  Here is one of the pieces for your enjoyment. 


There is a place within the fogginess of a French dream where I long to go, away from the greys of Paris and sunny Provence.  It is a place where bucolic rusticity and modern met.  Where the romance of the old world makes you believe that in this sometimes manic world, one can find a thinly veiled cocoon where beauty just takes your breath away.  Where tranquility exists and for a few moments time can stop.  For me that place is the town of Saint-Emilion in the Bordeauz region of France.  

St. Emilion is renowned as much for its beautiful buildings and scenery as for its wine, this charming town is what French country dreams are made of.  From the iconic 13th century Tour du Roy standing like a centinel above the city, to the steep, narrow, cobbled streets-- everything is a reminder of the rich history of the town.  

I have been in love with this town from afar for many years.  It is my favorite long distance relationship.  So much that when I wrote my first novel in college, this is where it was set.  And once I had the perfect location the words just flowed naturally.  Maybe one day the world will know of my love for this town through my words.

The charming town named so in honor of the monk Émilion, a traveling confessor, who settled here in the 8th century, is best known today as a mecca of wine-making in the world.  A business of commercial wine production that started by the monks who followed Émilion here.  As a History major with a minor in European History, and as a wine lover and someone who appreciates food history, this place is the perfect place where all these three intersect. 
A stroll through town would allow me to visit little stores, talk to the locals and make delicious food finds.  And if I am really lucky, I would look through a window and spot the lovely (and my foodie inspiration) Mimi Thorisson from Manger, on a day trip to town as she peruses for new products.  Of course she would take time to give me all her food photography secrets and recommendations on new cheeses to try. ;)   

In this wine enthusiast's dream, I get the opportunity to tour the town's best chateaux vineyards and leisurely stroll through them learning all about the history of the place.   

In underground lime caves I would be able to learn about how a particular vineyard came to be, how this particular terroir affects the flavor of a wine, what food pairings go best with a particular wine from the region.  This would be living wine education at its best.  The foodie in me would have a heart bursting with excitement at trying the cuisine from the region.  And if these images from My French Heaven are not enough to pique you appetite curiosity I do not know what will.

Lastly I want to touch on fashion.  One of the things I love the most about people in the French country area is that effortless chic style.  Remember Mimi Thorisson?  I would definitely ask her about her style.  I love it.  It is simple yet classy.  It is a style that says good living. 

I cannot tell you what fills me with this longing to visit this place.  Perhaps it the pull of the blood from my French ancestors who came to America from the region.  Perhaps it is because history, beauty and tranquility move me in a completely different plane that other things do.  Whatever the reason, to be able to visit Saint-Emilion one day would be my dream come true.  And if I could bring Jack, my Wheaten Terrier, with me.... then I probably would never return to America.  :)
Not many people know about this dream of mine.  But now I have shared it with you-- others with the same wanderlust and longing as me.  For those of us that dream of a place away from home that in our imagination makes us feel like we are indeed at home: keep dreaming.  You never know when the distance between your dream and reality are only a plane ticket away.  Au revoir, mes amis. 
I have the pleasure to be joining Anita from Castles, Crowns and Cottages for her Europe: Simply Irresistible Link Party all this week for more travelers and stories of wanderlust.  Have a beautiful week!



  1. Lovely to discover your blog and many thanks for visiting mine.
    I enjoyed your French post and all the reasons why we like France so much - thanks for sharing.
    so much to see and do there.
    Have a great new week

  • Oh my goodness, what a gorgeous dream!

  • Mon amie, this is a post NOT to be missed; I so hope that the party-goers will catch this because this is a beautifully composed post and the music, it is ethereal and sets me right into a French novel. There is that "Je ne sais quoi" about the country of France and it's that which led me to study the language and teach it. You have chosen well, Mimi is the epitome of an artful juxtaposition of elegance and simplicity. When one thinks of elegance, opulence and over-the-top comes to mind, but Mimi shows us that elegance starts with the fruits of the earth, the gifts of La Terre....dream on, and make your lovely presence known if you have the time, so the others can see your post is live. JUST GORGEOUS! Anita

    1. Anita, thank you for your kind words and love that you love Mimi also. She is such a classic beauty and has that air of casual sophistication. She is lovely and talented.

  • Bonjour Chere Maria! I thank you so much for leaving a lovely comment on my Cotswolds post...and I am having such a fun time visiting all of the brilliant participants...thank you dear Anita... :)
    Maria...your post is gorgeous. This music...along with your love letter to St. Emilion...this brought tears to my eyes! May your dreams come true!! I wrote my post on England (and I really love it) but my heart will always be in first love...
    And Mimi is just fabulous...I subscribe to her blog as well!
    Thank you for this touching and glorious journey...
    - Irina

    1. Irina, thank you for your sweet words. I am so happy the post moved you as it moved me while I wrote it. I think when you write from the heart it comes through and that is what I aimed at doing. And yeay for another Mimi fan! :) Have a lovely day.

  • What a dream! Between the music and the glorious food and sights, I'm ready to be there... I there!! :)

    I'm excited that you will also be in Norway and marrying into a Norwegian family. The traditions, flavor and culture of Norway are woven into who I am. I am from California, but married a Texas, so I love all 3 places dearly! Alice Waters?? YES to her food, her salmon and wild rice salad will be in my kitchen this week.

    I'm so glad I came over here and dreamed to the music as we visited the Bordeaux region of France. Perfect!!!

  • Love sight seeing over here with you my dear, such flavors of France and the connection to the beauty within.
    Love the walls of crusty old and the rich rustic living. Oh my dear how grand you dream.

    Thank you for gracing your beautiful self over at my place to enjoy my French home life in the purest of tone on tone. I can so relate to my French roots when dreaming of a life in France.

    Beautiful post,



    1. Thank you Dore. Your words are always so kind. It is amazing how in our dreams we can go anywhere, isn't it? :-)

  • Oh I would love to go to that sweet town of My imagination.Now this town will be in My dreams also.I'll put it on My list of destinations to learn about.I will need to return to this one post during that list and research-Hugs -Denise

  • This is a beautiful place. Maybe you can go for your honeymoon! Your post was my favorite of Anita's tours!

    1. I am already working to see if we can add this after visiting Norway for our honeymoon. But it is going to be a hard sell since I think he already has Scotland after Norway. :-)

  • Thanks for sharing your dream, your photos took me to places I would love to visit. I am familiar with Mimi and her chic country French look, so lovely and yes so effortless. I love your music and now I want to see the movie. Great post for Anita’s link party. I’m so pleased to meet you.............

  • An exquisite post!! The words, the music, the images all brought together so warmly, ripening the imagination and carrying one right along with you! :-)
    I truly enjoyed my visit here, thank you for sharing, (and having our dear Doggies along with us
    is a Blessing indeed)!
    Many many Blessings, Linnie

  • Simply beautiful and such wonderful photographs too...I hope your dream comes true and your dog travels with you...thank you so much for your kind words on my's a pleasure to meet you.
    Have a great week!

  • The food, food, food, would make me want to visit here. The photos are scrumptious. It's a good thing to treasure a secret dream in your heart, but even better to share it amongst kindred spirits. I hope you make it there soon. It's so lovely to meet you.

    ; )

  • Bonjour Maria,

    Thank you so much for your kind message on my blog.
    And bravo for your post. It's lovely, elegant, the photos are gorgeous, I am really touched by the love of so many Americans for France, and by the way you capture the essence of our country.
    As far as I am concerned, there are so many things I dream of in the States!!!
    And thank you for allowing me to discover the blog "your French heaven".
    Have a lovely day,


    1. Marie-Paule, welcome! I am glad you stopped by. Yes, French Heaven is one of my favorites. Beautiful food photography and recipes.

  • MON DIEU !!!

    Absolutamente EXQUISITO !! Muchas gracias por compartir tu sueño y mostrarlo con tanta BELLEZA.
    Quiero decirte que he leido, y releido tu maravillosa manera de narrarlo, he escuchado al menos cinco veces esa maravillosa música, también es una de mis películas favoritas Until September.

    No puedo sentirme más emocionada! primero porque al fin puedo expresarme en mi idioma, pero también porque quiero confesarte que Saint-Émilion fué un lugar que disfruté y recorrí de la mano de un antiguo amor.Y de nuevo me has transportado al pasado , y esos bonitos momentos que pasé, he olido su comida, saboreado de nuevo sus buenos vinos, paseado por sus calles,saboreado los quesos maravillosos y sus patés,,,, TÚ MI QUERIDA AMIGA me has TRASLADADO INSTANTÁNEAMENTE a ese mágico lugar , lleno de encanto natural y que has sabido reflejar con tanta sabia exquisitez.

    Afortunadamente te he descubierto gracias al Party de Anita. Permíteme felicitarte por tu extraordinaria narrativa, sensibilidad y por regalarme tantas emociones !! GRACIAS y mis más sinceras felicitaciones por descubrir el post que más me ha tocado el corazón.

    Dios te bendiga por tu extraordinaria sensibilidad!
    Have a good day!!


  • Hola Luisa, gracias por tus hermosas palabras. Wow, al fin conozco a alguien a quien le gusta Until September. Es una de mis peliculas favoritas. Wow la pequena historia de tu antiguo amor me encanto; tan conmovedora. Espero verte de luego otra vez. Cuidate y que Diosito te bendiga a ti tambien!

  • Really,really.really great post,dear Maria!
    THANKYOU for share your dream here....:)))
    France is one of my passion and absolutely amazing to be there on vacation!
    Beautiful photography here by you!
    THANKYOU so much for your visit :)

    Greetings from Holland,

  • you make France sound wonderful,I shall have to pop back sometime,thank you for your visit,xx Rachel and Speedy

  • I can see why you want to visit so looks absolutely beautiful there! I love all the pictures. I had no idea you have written novels, that is too cool! Are you published as well?

    1. Lauren I am not. But that is one of the things I'm working on this year. Reviewing it and sending it out. So at least I don't have to wonder "what if". :)

  • What lovely photos, who wouldn't want to go after reading your stunning post! Every picture highlights the beautiful...people, architecture, food, landscape and even kitties! ;) What a fabulous dream destination!

  • Hello good life girl! How fun to have you stop by my blog and now I've enjoyed this glimpse of France from you. This is a gorgeous collection of inspiration you've created! Congrats on the promotion and 'just say no' to the haters. You go girl!

  • This was just lovely, I feel like I went on a mini-vacation to St. Emilion...I can see why you think it would be a perfect setting for a novel! I would love to visit it some day soon! I'm also part of Anita's party, hope you will stop by.
    xo Mary Jo

  • Bonjour Maria!
    You have portrayed your dream destination so beautifully!
    My visit here has enriched my heart and my soul! I loved every moment at St Emilion and on your blog!
    Congratulations on your promotion! Being from the home of Starbucks, I am touched and proud that the barista's flourished your first celebration libation! Thank you for your service!