Paris in July continues with books and photos

I met V when she and her husband were living in the Cleveland area and the four of us became fast friends. E is from France, came to the US for college and was working at his first job after. V is from Belgium, met E on a trip to LA and married him. Jason and I don’t speak French and what little I picked up from them I’ve forgotten. We were so sad when they left shortly after their first daughter was born so that they could be closer to family, but agreed to visit them two years after they moved. I’ll share some Lyon pics, where we stayed with them for half of our trip this week, but didn’t want to keep talking about Paris without saying why we went in the first place. To be honest, I had no desire to visit the country (oh, how wrong I was!).

Jason and I were lucky enough to attend the French Open on our 2010 trip. I purchased the tickets for us (and our friends who met us in Paris) months ahead of time as a surprise for Jason. He was thrilled and it was a great day to watch clay court play. I remember feeling the pregnancy more that day than any other, sitting in the heat so long.

I listened to The Paris Wife by Paula McLain, although you can see I have a copy of the book. McLain is local and I went to hear her speak a few years ago and had this and another of her books signed. Here’s the recap of the fun event.

This book is about Hadley, Ernest Hemingway’s first wife, and the time that she and Ernest lived in Paris. It actually started with their courtship in Chicago, but this is mainly about their life in Paris. I was surprised at how much I liked this one. Hemingway married four times, but this first marriage shows us the writer before his fame. The voices of both came through to show a marriage from loving beginning to sorry end.

Recommended for historical fiction fans, Hemingway fans, or those who like to read about history from a woman’s perspective. I admit that I’ve spent some additional time on the internet reading more about this fascinating family.

Any Hemingway fans? I’ve only read A Farewell to Arms. What about you?
Jules Verne, born in 1829 France, was a man ahead of his time. Often called the Father of Science Fiction, he merged science and literature and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea brought him international fame. He was a real visionary who loved adventure and writing. This book told a little about what he correctly predicted and what happened to his unfinished works after his death.

I’m not sure exactly how I’ve reached this age and never read one of his books.
What have you read by Verne?
I finally finished French Exit and am happy to put it behind me. I listened to over half of it and then switched to reading so I could finish it up an was surprised by how much more I preferred reading to book. Obviously the audio performance was skewing the characters for me.

Long story short, Frances, an eccentric widow, her grown son who still lives at home, and their cat who possesses the soul of her dead husband have lost all of their riches. They move to Paris and pick up a wide range of colorful characters. Something happens at the end and you’re done. I enjoyed some of the dark humor, but didn’t feel satisfied after I was done. I’m still not sure exactly what it all meant 🤷🏻‍♀️

The donuts are from my Instagram pic. I received the puzzle and the postcard on the same day 🙂

Visit Thyme for Tea for more Paris in July posts.

A look back, June 2010

In January I began a Kay inspired Bookish Nostalgia feature that I call A look back. I’m revisiting my 2010 blogging life and see what was going on. So far, this has been a lot of fun!  If you care to revisit your own blog in June 2010 and want to share your favorite post, I’ll add it here.

I posted a respectable 22 times. I wrote a half-year round up where I lamented only having read 44 books, lol (I’m currently at 23). I posted 3 quizzes (one of which I reposted yesterday), 3 Monday Movie Memes, listed 9 giveaway winners, wrote about my favorite film #12 Four Weddings and a Funeral, and reviewed 7 books!  I posted a Baby-to-Be Update that on any other month would have been my favorite post, but not this month. Why?  Well, Jason and I took a trip to France to visit friends 🙂

My favorite BookBlack Water by T Jefferson Parker

Merci is a homicide detective with her eyes on the sheriff’s office someday.  This will be hard since decisions made a year ago (in Red Light) have alienated her from half of the police force of Los Angeles.  When a case comes in about a probable murder-attempted suicide involving a fellow officer Merci is reluctant to believe the officer guilty, even though evidence points in his direction.  When the officer survives, but with bullet parts littering his brain, the case becomes more complicated since he remembers little to nothing about the crime and what he does remember may or may not be true.

My favorite post and my favorite pics will combine.  Read all about our France trip. We visited friends in Lyon here and went on to Paris here.  In a fun self challenge, I chose 6 favorite photos from the ones I posted.

France 262Since it’s French open time this one is fitting! Being there was a thrill.

France 137Pere-Lachaise Cemetery was perfection and a who’s who of famously deceased. We only had an hour or two but I could have easily spent a whole day there.

I still remember the breathtaking thrill of standing in the Sainte-Chapelle, built in the 1200’s.

France 026

Lyon from above.

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Gorgeous French countyside.

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Have you been to France? Share your pics! Looking at these posts has made me want to make another trip!


Saturday Snapshot – Versailles

We took a train from Paris to Versailles.  I want to say that it took about 45 minutes, but don’t hold me to that since it’s been a few years.  When we arrived we started to walk over and were told that they weren’t giving tours that day because of the rain.  We took our time and walked over anyway and were pleasantly surprised that the official looking lady by the train station had been wrong.  The ‘home’ was over-the-top opulence as you would expect and the gardens were so perfect that even the intermittent showers couldn’t diminish them.  I wish we’d had a whole, sunny day to discover all the nooks and crannies.

France 082France 094France 225France 215France 228France 229France 088(don’t tell Jason I put this one in, okay?)

Saturday Snapshot is hosted by Melinda of West Metro Mommy.  It’s easy to participate – just post a picture that was taken by you, a friend, or a family member and add your link on Melinda’s site.

(courtesy of Bookbath)

Saturday Snapshot – Lyon

France 018Lyon is the second largest city in France and its beautiful.  These were all from our 2010 trip. Ever been?

France 022France 028France 019France 032France 034

Saturday Snapshot is hosted by Melinda of West Metro Mommy.  It’s easy to participate – just post a picture that was taken by you, a friend, or a family member and add your link on Melinda’s site.

(courtesy of Bookbath)

Fave Film #46- Chocolat

Chocolat sheet.jpg(2000)

Cast-Juliette Binoche, Judi Dench, Alfred Molina, Lena Olin, Johnny Depp

Vianne and her daughter, Anouk, are travelers.  In 1959 they blow into a small, devout village in France and open up a chocolate shop at the beginning of Lent.  This angers the mayor and moral leader of the village and the two struggle against each other for their place in the community.

Why I Love It– There are so many things I love about this movie, but the thing that stands out the most is the mysterious and mystical storytelling.  It is magical realism with a message.  A story of the good (the godly followers) and the bad (everyone else) it was told in such a lavish way that it wasn’t the same, stale story we’ve seen before. There is whimsy but it also gives you something to think about.

I thought the casting was perfect.  Juliette Binoche was perfect as Vianne.  She was kind but almost eager to stir the pot.  The glint in her eye let you know that things were not as calm as they seemed.  And Judi Dench was flawless as usual.  I’ve seen Alfred Molina in many movies, but this is the role I usually associate him with in my mind.  And, Johnny, oh sweet, sweet Johnny.  He is a sexy man ‘cleaned up’ as a river rat.  His subdued performance was a change from some of his more flamboyant roles and he worked well with Juliette.

And the chocolate…oh the beautiful chocolate!  It made me want to go out and buy some handmade works of art.  Vianne liked to guess people’s favorite chocolate and I like to think that she would have chosen her hot chocolate for me.

There is  beauty on the screen and in the movie’s message.  I can’t say that the message of tolerance didn’t have its problems but I found them easy to overlook. I was too busy looking at Johnny and the chocolate to care 😉



France 287France 288Even though the movie was set in a fictional French town I can see Vianne setting up shop here, in the Montmartre area of Paris.

(courtesy of Bookbath)

Rainy Paris in July

It’s rained here every day for the last 16 days and yesterday I even had to wake up Gage from his nap to take him to the basement when a tornado warning rolled through town.  When we visited France in 2010 our time in Lyon was perfect but Paris gave us more than one day of rain.  Enjoy some gloomy pictures from around Paris and Versailles.  Paris, even is the rain, was still beautiful.

France 076France 165France 169 France 170 France 276France 225France 223 France 252

(courtesy of Bookbath)

French Actors Quiz – guessing closed

I’m going to leave up last week’s quiz for another week if you’d like to try your hand at Eiffel Tower book covers.  Eiffel Tower Quiz

I’m no expert on French actors and actresses, but when I started looking I was surprised at how many I knew.  Can you tell me the names of these talented thespians?  And you’ll get extra points if you name one movie they were in.

PLEASE join in the fun.  You can guess as few or as many as you want and you entered to win a prize at the end of the month.  No Googling please 🙂

1.   2.  3.  4.  5.  6.  7.  8.   9.  10.

1.Brigitte Bardot  2.Gerard Depardieu  3.Juliette Binoche  4.Olivier Martinez  5.Marion Cotillard  6.Jean Reno  7.Catherine Deneave  8.Vincent Cassel  9.Leslie Caron  10.Marcel Marceau

(courtesy of Bookbath)

Pere Lachaise from above. In 2007 #10 was buried in this cemetery.

France 137

Paris in July – Tennis anyone?

France 261Here we are at the French Open in 2010, the clay courts are cool, right?  The line was long to get in and then I didn’t have proper ID so we had to wait some more, but we had a great day, even if we spent too much time baking in the sun.  It was fun to get up close and personal at the smaller courts and in the earlier rounds that meant we saw some great matches. Another great day in Paris with friends.  (I look like I have an elf ear, right?)

I post this today in honor of Andy Murray’s Wimbledon win yesterday!  The first British man to win since 1936.  I was so happy for him and loved his emotion after winning the title.  We’re tennis fans here (Jason more than me since he’s actually a good player) and we’ve been to two of the four big tournaments, next up, Wimbledon!

(courtesy of Birdbath)

Weekends with Gage – Lola Goes to Work and Gage hits the hot tub

lolagoestoworkWe took a trip to Michigan this week to visit Jason’s family.  After visiting the Livonia and Flint areas we’re back home getting into our routine.

Jason’s dad has a big pool but Gage kept wanting to go in the little pool, aka  the hot tub, so I let him sit on the top step when nothing else would do.  I brought a few books to Michigan, Lola Goes to Work, is his new favorite, so it was awarded hot tub status.  Kathy wrote a great review of this one and then sent it on to Gage.  I wasn’t sure he’d like it since he doesn’t have any favorite books with photos, but from our first reading, Lola has been a hit.  He likes to finish reading each page for you, but I should mention that Gage’s  ‘Lola’ sounds suspiciously like ‘Lellow’, but no matter, it only makes her cuter.

Lola is a five-pound Yorkshire Terrier who wanted a big job so she worked very hard to become a therapy dog.  I wish I had taken a picture of the page I stress to Gage, “I learned to sit and stay, to lie down and wait patiently.”  Lola eventually passes her test and becomes  a therapy for the elderly and classrooms.

This is a sweet book that all ages can enjoy.  It was written and photographed by Lola’s mom, Marcia Goldman.  It’s 32 pages and even has a page at the end for teachers so they can better use the book in the classroom. Visit Lola’s website for some cute photos.

(courtesy of Birdbath) I know Lola’s not French, but I think she could pass with that sassy red scarf, don’t you?

France 102A friend we found at Versailles (you’ll probably have to click on it to see).  A few days later Jason and our friends would be dining on his family and friends.  I don’t understand how that is possible after meeting the little guy.

Saturday Snapshot- Notre Dame entrance

France 161France 244Notre Dame from a distance.

France 232A little closer.  Beautiful.France 233

I hope you click on them to see them up close.  The craftsmanship is amazing.



Saturday Snapshot is hosted by Melinda of West Metro Mommy.  It’s easy to participate – just post a picture that was taken by you, a friend, or a family member and add your link on Melinda’s site.

(courtesy of Birdbath) I’m having fun looking through our France photos again 🙂