About PJ

Meandering Trail Media is a multimedia company focusing on world-wide travel, publishing, and psychology. PJ Adams, Meandering Trail Media's primary author, is a psychotherapist and best selling author who splits her time between California and Europe. Follow her on Twitter @PJAdams10Facebook, and YouTube.

For more information on Meandering Trail Media OR to schedule an interview or book signing, contact: Info@pjadamsbooks.com OR John Birkhead, PR Director, john.birkhead@pjadamsbooks.com,  +1 (760) 707-2577, Fax +1 949-258-8693.

See our professional photographs on Shutterstock: 

See our France books trailer HERE.

See the Intoxicating Greater Paris: Loire book trailer HERE. 


See the Intoxicating Southern France book trailer HERE 

See the Intoxicating Paris book trailer HERE     


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    PJ Adams

    PJ Adams is a psychotherapist and author in California.

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    Châteauneuf-du-Pape--Provence's Hub for Out-of-This-World Wine

    About seven miles north of Avignon in beautiful Provence, sits the opulent vineyard and enclave known as Châteauneuf-du-Pape. It was French Pope John XXII who built a cooler summer residence among his vines when he couldn't stand the heat of his main papal castle in Avignon. By this time, the vast vineyards were producing fabulous red papal wines from vines inhabiting every hectare of land within eyeshot.  

    “Châteauneuf"means “new castle” in French. A lively town sprang up around this "new castle" and thrived until the popes returned to Rome. With the departure of the papacy and during various wars afterward, the village and castle were pillaged. The remaining castle structure (donjon) served as an observation post for German soldiers during WWII. Just before they departed in 1944, they blew up the structure, but only the northern half of the tower was destroyed. Today, the southern half of the donjon rises defiantly at the pinnacle of this resilient town. The modern town of Châteauneuf-du-Pape is now a kind of “mini Bordeaux” or “Napa Valley,” with wine consortiums running up and down the main street. Wines are for sale here at fairly reasonable prices—and I never miss an opportunity to pick up a few bottles. These are some of the finest—and best-known—wines in France.

    The Châteauneuf-du-Pape AoC designation permits 13 different varieties of grapes in the red wines, but the blend must be predominantly Grenache. Modern Châteauneuf-du-Pape can be either a full-bodied, dark wine which can be cellared for up to 25 years or a more youthful and fruity vintage, ready-to-drink within a couple of years. As usual in France, the wine is named after the village not the grape variety.

    Article 10 of the appellation rules allows the use of a slightly bulbous Burgundy bottle, with the papal coat of arms embossed into the glass and the inscription “Châteauneuf-du-Pape contrôlée.” As such, it’s pretty easy to distinguish the wine bottles in the shops.

    Every time I’ve visited Châteauneuf-du-Pape, I see huge tourist groups and cyclers enjoying the warm sunshine and stopping for a wine lunch as they wend their way through Provence. Quirky wine note: There’s also an official ban on UFOs in the vicinity. In 1954, fears of ET’s and UFO’s were all over the news. Numerous sightings of foreign objects had been reported in Châteauneuf.

    The mayor of Châteauneuf, concerned about protecting his commune and their precious wines, issued a decree banning flying saucers (cigare volants) from landing, taking off, or entering the airspace of his community. Anyone caught landing on his territory in a spaceship would immediately be thrown into custody! As far as I know, there’s no record of anyone out of this world being incarcerated—although a few inebriated tourists have probably come close to fitting the bill. In 1954, the locals would have thought the frequent cycling clubs with their alien bike helmets were space invaders--not to mention some of the modern vine-tending apparatus!

    While you're in Provence, be sure to visit this charming wine area for some of this extraordinary, out-of-this-world wine. (Excerpted from PJ Adams's Intoxicating Southern France available where ever books are sold.)   


    France Off the Beaten Path Travel 

    I get lots of inquiries about tour companies that offer stellar tour venues in France. One I can highly recommend is France Off the Beaten Path Travel helmed by American Christy Destremau. Christy hails originally from Philadelphia but she met a charming French yachtsman, married him, and now raises her two teenagers in France.

    Christy began her tour company several decades ago and features a superb multi-day packaged tour experience that includes charming accommodations, dining and cooking adventures, and visits to some of the most beautiful sites in France. (I can recommend the tours as a recent guest myself. We enjoyed multiple cooking experiences, a variety of dining venues, eye-opening tours of various sites, and a real look inside intimate France with a guide who not only lives there, but is raising her family there.)

    Also a keen photographer, Christy offers the added bonus of a collection of stunning tour photos as keepsakes for each tour experience. France Off the Beaten Path tours include Provence, the Loire Valley, Champagne, and her new luxury tour of Bordeaux, world capital of wine.

    The Bordeaux tour features grand cru wine tastings, dining at some of the best venues in Southwestern France, and stays (and spa treatments if you like) at the fabulous Les Sources de Caudalie Resort and Spa (recommended in my book Intoxicating Southern France).

    Follow Christy on Twitter @FranceOTBP and on Instagram at https://instagram.com/franceotbp. For tour details, click on http://www.traveloffthebeatenpath.com. 


    Intoxicating Southern France Features Provence This Week

    Picturesque Provence. A lovely part of Southern France filled with lovely vistas, lavendar aromas, garlic-infused dishes, and delightful Provençal people. This land, dubbed the "Provinces" by Julius Caesar, is shaped as much by its quirky people and colorful culture, as by its agricultural landscape, peasant cuisine, and dynamic history.

    Situated between the French Riviera and the vast Languedoc, Provence is famous for its rosé wines, charming hill towns like Gordes, Menerbes, and Bonnieux, street markets, and medieval and Roman ruins. Peter Mayle famously wrote about Provence in his many books starting with A Year in Provence. And when you visit these Alpilles-lined plains dotted with lavendar and sunflowers, you too will experience the splendid country lifestyle of rural Provence.

    Among its many pleasures are peasant cuisine flavored with the precious "black diamonds" (truffles), filled with fresh vegetables and Mediterranean olives, and accompanied by artisanal cheeses and local meats like wild boar, farm-raised poultry, and hearty country pâté. Meals are crowned by memorable Provençal sweets like white nougat and frosted callison cookies. And it's all washed down with sun-kissed rosés or world-famous red vintages from Châteauneuf du Pape. Stars Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie famously own a vineyard here called Miraval, by the way.   

    The people live a charming life in Provence. They see bullfights in Arles at the still-utilized Roman Amphitheater. They gaze at the legendary paintings of Van Gogh who painted here. They climb the limestone fortresses like Les-Baux-de-Provence, and sail along the Rhône or the Gardon River alongside the Pope's Palace in Avignon or under the grand Roman aqueduct at the Pont du Gard. And they visit their wonderful open-air markets, like the popular Wednesday market in Saint-Remy-de-Provence. Nostradamus, seer and favorite of the great Queen Catherine de' Medicia, as well as Vincent Van Gogh loved Saint-Remy.

    And there is much to see, do, and buy here, from the blue, purple, and yellow provençal linens and faience (pottery), to the keepsakes for your home or closet with lavendar motifs, Provençal images, or locales logos like Aix-en-Provence and Marseilles. Art abounds here as well, such as magnificent pieces by Paul Cezanne, as well as Van Gogh and others.

    Intoxicating Southern France takes readers on a grand tour of these Provence delights from its pages. And, if you decide to travel here, you may wish to engage the service of local guide companies like my American friend Christy Destremau who lives in France and offers a stellar group of private tours at Off the Beaten Path, LLC. Christy's tours are wonderfully managed venues where you will experience the pleasures of Provence in comfortable style.

    Ultimately a visit to Provence is a memory-making experience. The verdant lands, the magical white horses and feisty black bulls of the Camargue, the ruins at Glanum, and the ghosts of La Coste--all add to the wonderful mystique of beautiful Provence. And when you journey through Provence--whether in person or on the page--keep in mind the words of Frédéric Mistral: "When the Good Lord comes to doubt about the world, he remembers that he created Provence." Santé!



    Intoxicating Southern France Features the French Riviera This Week

    The French Riviera is one of the most beautful and famous locales on the planet. Its harbors are breathtaking like this one near Monaco. It has sparkling beaches, legendary hotels, and memorable cuisine like Salade Niçoise, that delicious fresh tuna, egg, and green bean salad. 

    Of course visitors come for a variety of reasons: the Cannes Film Festival in May where trend setters in film and fashion walk the red carpet and present their newest flicks; the legendary Monaco casino and the red-roofed palace on the Rock once home to a Princess named Grace; the famous haunts and fooderies of Nice; or the beach-chic lifestye of Saint-Tropez, Cap Ferret, and Antibes. 

    Though the Riviera has a wealthy vibe, it's accessible to ordinary visitors too who can enjoy this lovely Cote d'Azur without breaking the bank. The hotels like the Carlton in Cannes pictured offer affordable luxury and delightful opportunites to dine, brunch, or imbibe in style. Along with the glamorous nightlife, there are also simple pleasures like lolling on the beach, fishing, boating across the Mediterranean, strolling through the open air markets, and visiting the wonderful art galleries and museums. Pictured here, for example, is the Promenade along Nice. It makes for a fun wander or a perfect place to catch some rays. I once ran into someone from my own hometown strolling along the walkway, by the way!

    And of course there are fun locals to while away the hours with--on the beach, in the shops, on boats, in the fabulous eateries, or in everyday life not only along this famed coast, but up in the marvelous hill towns like Grasse and Éze that overlook the sea from their coastline perches.

    People are simply friendly here--and they love visitors who also love the sunny vibe in this fabulous locale. They are more than happy to show you the delights of their pretty coastline, as well as their stunning perfumeries like Fragonard, their popular markets like Cours Saleya, and their historical places like Sainte-Margeurite island just off Cannes where the Man in the Iron Mask was held.

    You'll find all of these French Riviera delights in Intoxicating Southern France, now available on Amazon and elsewhere. Come and join us in this fabullous Cote d'Azur that F. Scott Fitzgerald loved for its "sea as mysteriously colored as the agates and cornelians of childhood, green as green milk, blue as laundry water, wine dark."



    Intoxicating Southern France: Uncorking the Magic in the French Riviera, Provence, Languedoc, Dordogne, and Bordeaux

    Happy 2015! We are happy to announce that pre-publication sales have begun for Intoxicating Southern France, scheduled for publication in February, 2015.

    It's our pleasure to bring you our coast-to-coast journey through the regions of Southern France. We’ll begin first on the French Riviera, home to sunny beaches, famous resorts, the dazzling Cannes Film Festival, and royal Monaco where gambling is king and starlet Grace Kelly became a princess.

    We’ll move on to lovely Provence and the lavender-scented hill towns of Gordes and Ménerbes where some of the most charming people in France call home. From there we’ll head to Van Gogh’s much-loved Arles, then on to medieval Les-Baux-de-Provence and the vast Camargue--home to feisty black bulls and wild white horses.

    Next, we’ll meander through the grand Languedoc where Roman might lives on in the Pont du Gard and Nimes’s Roman amphitheater, then on to lovely Albi where Toulouse-Lautrec was reared, and crag-perched Cordes-sur-Ciel, a medieval village in the sky.

    From there we’ll enter mythical Périgord where kings have prayed for miracles in Rocamadour and where the winding Dordogne River splits the land between warring 14th century Castelnaud and Beynac. We’ll descend into ancient caves to see art etched by primitive man. And we’ll float down the river on a barge and later dine on Sarlat’s famous foie gras and black Cahors wine.

    Finally, we’ll travel west to Saint-Émilion, ancient wine hamlet and purveyor of famous vintages. Then we’ll enter the noble grape kingdom that is Bordeaux. We’ll explore this vast wine domain that’s home to Lafite and Margaux—and some of the finest wines on the planet. We’ll tour some of the grands crus estates, learning from wine pros how the great Bordeaux vintages are made and taste the fruits of their labors.

    This book is about the history, food, culture, art, architecture, wine, lifestyle, and people who live in this fabled part of France. Above all, it’s a guide to the delights of Southern France for those who journey here--or dream of doing so one day. Come and join the fun at http://tinyurl.com/ISF2015PJAdams.

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