What started out as a girls trip to the lavender fields of Provence turned into an unforgettable adventure.

I’d found a use-a-sickle, harvest-your-own lavender field. After a leisurely morning, we headed out refreshed and excited. We’d grabbed just half a baguette each…because…France!

The drive was gorgeous, the sun bright and hot. Perfect sunshiny day. The lavender farm and distillery was idyllic. The smell was indescribably lavendery. We headed out with our little band of merry harvesters and struggled to wear and use our capes just right. Soon we got the hang of sicklening and putting the lavender in our capes.

Before I got tired of playing at farming, it was already time to put all our capefuls of lavender into one big jute bag. After we all marched out of the fields and into the distillery. A tractor hauled in our harvest. We weighed our bounty, and that was in French so I think it was fourty-hundred pounds. Then into The Bain Marie it went. It got washed and cooked and swirled and distilled until we had enough essential lavender oil for us all. Simply fabulous experience.

And then…Hyla realized we’d lost the keys. In the lavender field. With permission from farmer John, we ran back in. Only to stop in our tracks. “Our field” had been harvested. Still, we searched on hands and knees. No keys.

ADAC, our AAA, was no help. Hyla’s car is new with electronic everything. Volvo was less than no help. Finally ADAC found a guy who thought maybe he could open it. We thought maybe he could open it and give us a ride out of the field and into town.

Imagine our disappointment when an ATV showed up with not 1, not 2, but 3 Frenchmen! No room for us. No English for us. But we did get out of the cold and into the car. Sadly not into the glovebox holding my precious international drivers license. No car rentals for us.

Also no Uber or taxi to be found. However, Cujo had found us and was circling our dark car. It was definitely getting spooky in farmer Johns field. In desperation I called my sister Annelore. Her 5,000x better French found a lone taxi driver willing to find us and chauffeur us to safety.

Our Airbnb was too far by taxi, so I looked for anything close. I found a gîte (similar to a hostel) not too far and rang them up. No answer. Meanwhile, Cujo kept circling the car.

Suddenly I got a text! It was the gîte lady. Did we need something? I asked for a place to stay. She asked where I was. My whole story came out. She grabbed her car keys and came and got us! Annelore called taxi guy back, he was still far away, we owe him too.

Gîte lady is Beatrice. She scared away Cujo and bundled us up and into her car. She tried to get us pizza, but life in FarmVille is quiet for the night. Instead she brought us groceries from her own home! A feast fit for kings. Eggs, salmon, black baguette, crepes, cantaloupe!

I ate with ravishing hunger. It was perhaps the best meal of my life. Tomorrow Adam comes by TGV, spare key in hand. It’s been a hell of an day, but I wouldn’t change a thing.