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)

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

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 🙂

Paris in July starts today

(courtesy of Bookbath)

I’ve decided to participate for the first time this year.  I plan on taking the month to show you pictures from our France trip three years ago, read a few books set in Paris that I have sitting on my shelves, watch a few French movies, and come up with some quizzes to test your France knowledge.  Oh, yes, and I have a few giveaways of things French.  Whew.  That seems like a lot doesn’t it?  I think it’s going to be a fun and I can’t wait to see what Tamara at Thyme for Tea and Karen at Bookbath have planned.

Jason and I had good friends who moved back to France in 2008.  We were sad to see them go and promised to visit in two years, so at the beginning of 2010 we started planning our trip, plane tickets and hotels.  And then a funny thing happened, at the end of February I found out I was pregnant!  We were going in April so I would be in my second trimester, but after a miscarriage a few years earlier and my advanced age (38 :)) there was still a decision to be made, reservations or not.  Thank goodness we decided to make the trip.  Yes, I had morning sickness every day, but who knows when we will be able to take another trip like this one.

We were there ten days and stayed 5 days with our friends in Lyon and 5 days in Paris.  It’s a beautiful country and Jason and I both fell in love with Paris.  I have to think that if we are able to go again it will only be better since I will be able to drink the wine and eat all of the cheese!  The pregnancy did slow us down, I made frequent stops to rest and even though we walked everywhere, I did it at a very leisurely pace.

I’m going to post a favorite photo everyday.  Hope you enjoy France 🙂

France 136We had already made our plans for Paris, but our friend recommended Pere Lachaise cemetery so we walked over after our train arrived in the city and I fell in love.  We only had an hour, but I could have easily spent a whole day admiring the chaos and the history there.  This is the metal door of an above ground burial house.  Can you see inside?  This cemetery had discoveries like this everywhere, much like the city of Paris.

Frenchy Quiz – guessing closed

Two years ago this month Jason and I were enjoying France for the first time (but hopefully not the last).  See if you can figure out these books set in France.

You have until noon Sunday to submit your answers as a comment.  Comment will be hidden until I post the answers.  No Googling!

This round will last til August.  The person with the most points will win a B&N gift card (total $ based on # of total participants, so please play) and a randomly selected participant will win a fun prize from me.

Have fun and Good Luck!  Last week’s Grisham quiz here.  Leaderboard and rules here.

1. A concierge and a school girl form an unlikely friendship in this book set in a posh apartment building in Paris. The Elegance of the Hedgehog

2. Jean-Baptiste was born without a body scent, and his search for the perfect scent leads to murder.  Perfume: The Story of a Murderer

3. This novel that alternates between 1942 Vel’ d Hiv’ and 2002 Paris, illuminating the horrors of the French Jews imprisoned on behalf of the Nazis. Sarah’s Key

(I have some old editions of a few of these that should make it fun)

4. Corked  5. Chocolat  6. Anything Considered  7. A Tale of Two Cities  8. French Lessons  9. The DaVinci Code  10. The Diving Bell & the Butterfly

Our French Vacation, part 2

Jason and I both loved Paris.  We were there from Tuesday-Sunday and Jason was a rock star in getting us around on the subway. 

Our first stop was one of the most visited cemeteries in the world, Pere-Lachaise Cemetery.  I don’t want to sound too terribly weird, but this was such a cool place and it is a who’s who of famous people. Loved it.


And we made the requisite trip to the Eiffel Tower, but we did not wait in line to go to the top.

We took a wonderful boat ride down the Seine River.  We were able to see much of the beautiful architecture of the city.

We both love museums, so on Wednesday we headed to the Louvre and saw the famous Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo. etc.  My favorite part of any art museum are the sculptures.

We took a short break from the Louvre and walked to Sainte-Chapelle, a church built in the 1240’s.  It has the most gorgeous windows I’ve ever seen.  Each panel tells a story of the Bible and the whole Bible is in there.

The next morning we headed to Versailles.

And Notre Dame, which was more impressive than I imagined.

We spent Friday at the French Open, where Eric and Virginie met up with us.  This is Jason and me after we had been baking in the sun all day.

On Saturday the four of us went to Centre Pompidou, a modern art museum.  It was hit or miss.  They have a fabulous exhibit there right now, Dreamlands, but it’s permanent collection was more disturbing than anything.  But hey, we were with friends 🙂

We headed to a great place to view the city, Sacre-Coeur Basilica and the Montmartre area.

We spent Friday and Saturday nights in the Latin Quarter which was an area full of restaurants, bars, and life!  Loved it. 

Thanks for travelling along with us to Paris.  Here’s one last picture of us in Versailles hall of mirrors.

Our French Vacation, part 1

We chose to visit France this year because friends of ours moved there almost two years ago and we thought it would be a great opportunity to spend time with them and have a personal tour guide (Eric’s French and Virginie’s Belgian).  We also had the pleasure of meeting the newest addition to their family, Solene, who turned one year old the day we arrived.  Camille was 10 months old when they left so it was like meeting her all over again too.  If you want to see how cute they are you should check out their blog.

Eric and Virginie live is a small village outside of Lyon, so we flew in to Paris and took the two-hour train ride to their home.  I love the ease of traveling by train in Europe.  Our first full day we went to see the third largest city in France, Lyon.   A view from the top…

This awesome fountain is by City Hall and the art museum. There was steam coming from the horse nostrils.  Oh, and that’s me and Jason.

We really enjoyed Lyon and our day there.  The next day was a hard one because I was sick pretty much the whole day.  It was my worst day there, but we still managed to visit Perouges, a village developed in the 14-15th centuries.  I loved the rocky streets and medieval charm…

On Monday we headed to Beajolais country and it was one of my favorite French excursions.  Here’s one reason why…

How beautiful is that?  The hillsides are dotted with vineyards and small villages.  We visited a few of the villages and I loved the quaint beauty.

Virginie and Eric were so very kind to let us stay with them, cook for us, and to show us around the region.  And the girls were so much fun!  Here’s a pic of Jason getting a little advance training…

I think he’s got it figured out 🙂  It was great to visit with friends and to ask all kinds of fun questions.  Did you know they still don’t use garbage disposals over there?  And did you know it is MANDATORY to vote in Belgium?  I could go on, but I’ll leave you with a cute picture of our friends.  Stop by tomorrow for the time we spent in Paris.

Thanks guys!  And Jif peanut butter is on the way 🙂

Off to France

Eric and Virginie have been our friends for over fours years and today they moved to Lyon, France with 10 month old Camille.  Jason and I will miss them and their friendship.  We wish them nothing but happiness and a house big enough for guests 🙂  We are already looking forward to our trip to France. 

Don’t be dismayed at goodbyes.  A farewell is necessary before you can meet again.  And meeting again , after moments or lifetimes, is certain for those who are friends.”     -Richard Bach

Camille saying goodbye to Max at our house.

The gals at the Cheesecake Factory yesterday.

The guys and Camille waiting for cheesecake.