Lavender and Vine is the new name for my business running small-group tours to France. We have been organizing “Experience Provence” tours with my partner and friend Lisa for over 10 years, until she retired a few years ago. I decided to continue under this new name “Lavender and Vine,” the quintessential crops of Provence.
I studied French at the University knowing I was more interested in using it for real-life experiences than to teach. My first full-time job was at a small tour company in Nebraska where I organized and then led bus tours all over the U.S. and Canada for nine years.
I first visited Provence in 1996 and fell in love with the landscape, the colors, its people, food and culture, and knew after that first trip that I wanted to create a life where "Provence" would play a leading role. Soon after, I started the business “Essence de Provence,” selling lavender products first at the local Farmer’s Market (in Lincoln Nebraska), through my website, and eventually supplying catalogs such as French Country Living, Gardener’s Eden and others with products made in Nebraska with raw goods imported from Provence. I moved the business to Washington D.C. in 2010 and sold Essence de Provence a couple years ago to focus on organizing and leading tours (my true passion) and more creative endeavors.
Our first few tours were designed for photographers, but we soon realized that people not only wanted to take pictures, but also learn about historical sites, the local wines, and most of all relax and discover their best self in a place where “joie de vivre” is an art. Our base of operations is a wonderful villa in a small village in the middle of the vineyards, with walking access to shops and restaurants. From there we drive guests to the traditional towns and markets in Provence.
In 2017 we also added a separate tour during the season to paint. There is art instruction and we spend every other day painting the beautiful landscape.
Watching others discover this magical place and lifestyle gives me the thrill that I have been lucky enough to experience for over 20 years. With many years of experience as a tour planner/guide, a fluency in French, and an intimate knowledge of this special place, I'd love to share this unforgetable place with you. Please join us to Experience Provence.