Countdown to Paris ~ Special memories

Each week I will post my favorite photos of Paris and the rest of France until I am once again in the City of Lights at the end of July.

A few photos that evoke special memories of Paris

An elderly Parisian stoops to water the flowers in the Marché aux Fleurs located on the Ile de la Cité, close to Notre Dame Cathedral

I find some Flamingo friends in the Metro

A young woman casts a critical eye on a Rodin statue in his museum.

Louis Vuitton remodels their Avenue des Champs-Élysées store using giant signature bags for scaffolding

Montmartre’s famous Le Consulat–meeeting place of the artists of Paris and home of the best moules et frites in France

Le Consulat–the proof is in the pudding…er…moules et frites

A great combo–my favorite car on my favorite Avenue des Champs-Élysées, available for tours

Countdown to Paris – Tour Eiffel

Each week I will post my favorite photos of Paris and the rest of France until I am once again in the City of Lights at the end of July.

I begin with the Tour Eiffel in all its colors and moods and dining at the Jules Verne restaurant which I hope to do again this summer

Window table overlooking the Trocadero in the Jules Verne Restaurant October 2004

December and a solitary ride to the top

The view

I love Paris in the springtime

Shimmering in the evening

The next generation

 

Chateaux of the Loire – Day Five: Chateau de la La Ferté Saint Aubin

aerial-viewThe history of Chateau de la Ferté Saint Aubin goes back to the 17th century. We found it a delightful place to visit not only because of the gorgeous restoration but because of all the marvelous things to see and do. My favorite was the exquisite doll museum with dioramas of antique dolls and children’s toys. img_2351 img_2350 img_2349 img_2348 img_2354 img_2353 img_2352

My daughter enjoyed the goats and chickens in the farm. img_2370

And we both loved the cooking demonstration of madeleines in the chateau kitchen using techniques of past centuries.  

On the way back to our car we discovered how they trim those enormous hedges that surround many of the entrances to the chateaux.

A delightful place to bring children–although my granddaughters were at their Centre Loisir that day.

Chateaux of the Loire – Day Four: Chenonceau

Of all the beautiful chateaux along the Loire, Chenonceau, built in 1513, is the one I have visited and loved the most. Which is why I can always go back again to walk that grand gallery over the Cher river, delight in the exquisite floral arrangements in each room, and read about the rivalry of Catherine de Medici and Diane de Poitiers and visit their competing gardens.Their iron, but very feminine, fists in their velvet gloves always preserved Chenonceau in times of conflict and war.

This year with my six-year-old granddaughter as my tour guide, I visited places in the 70 hectares that I had never seen before–the Maze, the extensive greenhouses and gardens where the flowers for those beautiful displays are grown and arranged (did I think they call 1-800-FLOWERS ??), the stables, the XVI century farm, and the historic display of the chateau’s use as a military hospital during World War I.

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The castle chef's at work

The castle chef’s at work

One of the many beautiful bouquets designed for each room

One of the many beautiful bouquets designed for each room

This lily pad display even mimicking the pond scum

This lily pad display even mimicking the pond scum

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The photo display of WWI as a military hospital

The photo display of WWI as a military hospital

One of many garden areas

One of many garden areas

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Enjoying the tour

Chateaux of the Loire – Day Three: Chateau Chaumont-sur-Loire

This is the third of nine posts about our visits to Loire chateaux this summer. Chaumont was distinctive for its annual International Garden Festival and a lovely lunch at Le Grand Velum which features spices, vegetable species, rare and relevant plants  from eco-agriculture.

Less than 200 km south of Paris, nestling between the cities of Tours and Blois, is a haven of poetry stretching out 40 meters above the wild Loire,  Whatever the season, Chaumont-sur-Loire, once the home of Catherine de Medici, Diane de Poitiers and Princess de Broglie, beckons visitors indoors to admire its cozy and lavishly furnished interior. Installations by an array of contemporary artists in the château and along the footpaths of the park catch you by surprise. Every year, more than 400,000 visitors flock to its International Garden Festival, held since 1992.

Our photos include the chateau itself with all its elegance and grandeur on the banks of the Loire, its fabled stables, its unusual eco-friendly restaurant, and, of course, the Garden Festivalimg_2321

Catherine de Medici's bedroom in her usual somber hues

Catherine de Medici’s bedroom in her usual somber hues

Modern stained glass art installation in attic niches filled with restoration materials

Modern stained glass art installation in attic niches filled with restoration materials

Grand dining room

Grand dining room

Huge stables filled with carriages and harnesses

Huge stables filled with carriages and harnesses

The chateau's floral borders

The chateau’s floral borders

Garden Festival entry portraying top of home sunken by nature's forces in this future themed competeition

Garden Festival entry portraying top of home sunken by nature’s forces in this future themed competeition

All that is left is the attic with the survivor's few precious belongings

All that is left is the attic with the survivor’s few precious belongings

Parfumery entry.

Parfumery entry.

Another unusual entry

Another unusual entry

Look closely for Maggie popping up in this one

Look closely for Maggie popping up in this one

And on to lunch at Le Grand Velum

And on to lunch at Le Grand Velum

Cushion of veal cooked like a boiled ham, with grilled bacon from  the  same  meat,  seasoned  with  lovage.  Heads  of  broccoli  and  duxelles of finely sliced chard served on home-made wholegrain  bread roll

Cushion of veal cooked like a boiled ham, with grilled bacon from the same meat, seasoned with lovage. Heads of broccoli and duxelles of finely sliced chard served on home-made wholegrain bread roll

Beef eye-of-round and Carrots cooked in mild  " ices (Voatsiperifery  pepper, paprika and turmeric), cumin potato bubbles and sa % ron  yellow zucchini, beef gravy and cress shoots to

Beef eye-of-round and Carrots cooked in mild
“ices (Voatsiperifery pepper, paprika and turmeric), cumin potato bubbles and saffron
yellow zucchini, beef gravy and cress shoots

Milk  chocolate  and  pollen  flavoured   # reusel  biscuit,  organic  honey parfait, served with a smooth peach-apricot cream. Sorbet  comprising the

Milk chocolate and pollen flavoured
streusel biscuit, organic honey parfait, served with a smooth peach-apricot cream.

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Chateaux of the Loire – Day Two: Chateau Sully-sur-Loire

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This gallery contains 17 photos.

Now THIS is what a castle is supposed to be! Visit the Chateau’s website and be sure to play the Presentation Clip and you too can experience what we did, traipsing up and down endless spiral stone staircases (hanging on … Continue reading

Chateaux of the Loire – Day One: Chateau Villesavin

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This gallery contains 18 photos.

This summer I spent three lovely weeks in Orléans with my daughter and granddaughters, ages four and six. During the week, the little girls, who are bilingual in French, attended a Centre Loisirs pour les enfants (see news photos here) … Continue reading

Looking forward to my journey to France

I will be joining my family in Orléans France two weeks from today. Here are some photos of the neighborhood of our Airbnb accommodations at the Place du General de Gaulle in the center of the city. 25526067 Pl de Gaulle - 5.2009 Pl de Gaulle - 9.2013And here is our lovely apartment with a very un-French American style kitchen, a delightful room for the granddaughters with a play area, and a couch for me should I still be sleeping sitting up for my broken shoulder. It’s got to hurt less in France! And all at an extremely reasonable price. Weekend trips to Paris, the Loire, and other destinations are very easy. And Drivy is our source for car rental (the European Airbnb for cars!). A nice elderly woman is renting us her car for the entire stay.

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My sleeping accommodation if I’m still sleeping sitting up

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Master BR

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BR for Grandmas and Grandkids

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Memories of France 2009

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This gallery contains 17 photos.

Getting in the mood–as if one had to work at getting excited to visit France! As I prepare for my lucky 13th trip to France this summer and a 3 week stay in Orleans with my daughter and granddaughters, I’ve … Continue reading

Last Day! Book FREE Kindle Downloads of MOTHER TONGUE and DEGREES OF OBSESSION

thank youJoin the 600 Book Lovers who have already downloaded my novels this weekend.

1000Bring me to my goal of 1000 downloads by Sunday midnight!

CLICK HERE FREE DOWNLOAD  DEGREES OF OBSESSION  

CLICK HERE FREE DOWNLOAD MOTHER TONGUE: LINGUA CORSA

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book trailersCan’t wait? View the heart-pounding DEGREES OF OBSESSION trailer 

WATCH the suspenseful MOTHER TONGUE trailer.