The trip ended up being one of those obnoxiously picturesque vacations that I had always assumed only other people could take - you know, where you rent a 200 year old farmhouse in a tiny town in Provence, amid olive groves and vineyards. We pulled figs from the trees and drank wine under vine-covered arbors. We had tiny cups of espresso at sidewalk cafes while the locals read the paper and smoked smelly French cigarettes. We picnicked at the calanques in Cassis, where my insane friends dived off the cliffs into the Mediterranean. It was like being in a magazine spread.