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The Lavender Fields of Provence

Before us was a massive valley. Half of it filled with five-feet tall sunflowers and the other half with half mile long rows of blooming lavender.

This is what happiness looks like.

When I visited Aix-en-Provence a week ago, my sister suggested we go to the L’Occitan factory, 30 minutes outside of the city. My dad, mom, brother, little sister, and I, all packed in tightly to our car like sardines.

We hopped on the freeway after paying a hefty toll and made it to the factory just in time for our 11 o’clock tour. It was pretty interesting, but my sister enjoyed it more than all of us put together. My favorite part was buying stuff at the gift store.

My dad knew I was intent on seeing the lavender fields, so we got a recommendation for a restaurant in a little town an hour away and set off around 12.30.

On the way there, we saw lavender fields. I got out and took photos, but I felt really underwhelmed. They weren’t anything like the pictures I’d seen. However, we did race pass a sunflower field that became nothing more than a beautiful, yellow blur.

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We ended up at this incredible light blue lake. Bigger than our favorite Lake Shasta in Northern California, and picturesque like Faaker See in the Austrian Alps. We had lunch at a small Italian restaurant that overlooked a small cove.

After pizza and pasta, my family and I wandered around the town before heading back to the car. We were ready to drive through the hills and fields to check out a winery that my dad wanted to visit.

What we found was one of the most beautiful sights of my life. We came up upon a sunflower field and immediately pulled over to a dirt pathway. Before us was a massive valley. Half of it filled with five-feet tall sunflowers and the other half with half mile long rows of blooming lavender. The smell alone was intoxicating, but the sheer beauty of the scene was enough to shake me to my core.

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My sister and I walked through the rows of flowers, some of which were taller than our 5’5″ selves. We saw happy little bees pollinating the flowers and found a smiley face carved into a sunflower. That’s what happiness looks like.


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