Ruth, my wife, and I had a great time on the Nov. 7 Rhone River cruise. Seven days on the Provence and being in France in November, when most tourists have left, were two of the highlights. Our cabin was very comfortable, the food and service aboard the Provence were excellent and we had no rain, which was a very pleasant extra. Our director, Raphaele Charre, was knowledgeable and inventive. She comes from the Ardeche, an area on the west bank of the river that we passed through. In Lyon, before taking us to a Sunday morning market, she gave all 40 travelers in our group two euros to spend on a food item (no alcohol, no bread). Afterward, we shared a big buffet of all the purchases before dinner. Raphaele added some pastis to get us in the Provencal mood. Before we left Lyon on Monday morning, we had visitors. An 88-year-old man who had been active in the French Resistance in Lyon as a student told us some of his experiences, and two people from a workshop that manufactures silk scarves and ties told us of the process they use, which can involve as many as ten colors, each applied to the fabric individually. Another highlight for me was our visit to the American military cemetery at Draguignan, where more than 800 servicemen and one woman are buried. Most were killed in the August 1944 landing in southern France. I also enjoyed our visit to Arles with its Roman sites as well as the hospital where Van Gogh was hospitalized at one time. lt is now a small, pleasant mall, but the colors of the building and the flowers have been kept much as they are in his painting of the scene. I hope to take the Seine cruise in 2013.