Saturday, June 11, 2016

We Have Been Away~

About 8 years ago..Jacques and I had the opportunity to go to Europe..
It was my first time..we went to France..and Italy.. we loved both countries!
We traveled with friends  a few days after our arrival in Gordes,France.. their heritage is Italian..and w/out them in Italy..we would have been at a loss..

As soon as we came home..Jacques said he would like to go back to Provence ..
..because French is our mother tongue..he  knew we would feel very comfortable in France again on our own..
I agreed..
Things happened..and we were not able to go back..we had thought it would be nice to return for 1 week in Paris.. as we had never been..and 3 weeks in Provence..
all these years went by..

and my husband had a 75th birthday and we had a 42nd wedding anniversary.
And we wondered what to do..Maine? Massachussetts? Charlevoix..Mont-Tremblant...
..Just for a few days..

Our youngest daughter mentioned Paris..for her 40th birthday..
I mentioned that to Jacques..

Spur of the moment..Jacques started looking at Paris..ahh the power of suggestion...

in the span of 48 hrs we booked plane and appartment.

And started a planner..

I was thinking about posts from Hélène..chère Hélène..and Carol..who was such a huge influence..and Vivian's book..and Esme..and Ju:).. and Chris and Scott..Cathy..and..RITA:) and  other blogger friends that had been to Paris..

and Arlene..who graciously told me she had a Sony for me to replace the one I broke.

I brought hers.How nice was that?:)

I apologize if I am forgetting someone that inspired me..

..we read library books..and bought books..our eldest daughter had gone to Paris for her honeymoon about 10 years ago and lent us Cartoville..great book by the way..we bought Rick Steves..and I bought walking shoes..and bought Jill Butler's cute little book.

and Jacques Google Earthed Paris to bits..

he drew maps and walking itineraries..

he is my engineer husband who is a planner..

I knew we were different after we married..:)
..And we wallpapered..

He drew a plumb line..!

Oh lala..I just wanted to start at the corner and move on till it was done and pretty:)

I eventually did that when he was away..and had lots of patching to do:)

So obviously..Jacques planned..the less than 7 days..

and I aquiesced..w/ a list of some places je voulais visiter.

I took over 1000 photos..Oy..I had no idea..

I brought my  point and shoot from Arlene..and clicked while we walked..
more than 20 miles..sounds like nothing..

but we walked minimum ...6 hours every day.
But walking..and clicking..doesn't make for the best photos..

so bear w/ I JUST looked at them..and maybe ..I can use 10%:)

because I am going to try and share our week..

One wonderful..irreplaceable memory I will always that my dear friend Nancy was in Paris..while we were there..
..and we spent a day all 3 of us..under a bright blue sky..perfect day..together.
Nancy had lived in Paris..and had spoken of Paris to me many times..:)
I will never forget that day.

see that little pink card at bottom right? 

That was Nancy..she sent that when I told her we were going:)

I will  try and relate to you..our actual trip.. as even before departing..some disturbances had been reported..
and we

Let's see when we get apprehensions.

I have to look through my amateur photos..and come back w/ stories and sights that we captured..
but one thing I have to tell you right now..


what kind of person..comes home w/ empty baguette packaging instead of a Galeries Lafayette

We came home today..

our darling eldest daughter Mylène picked us up at the airport w/ Noah who was carrying a welcome home sign and a bouquet of pure white peonies..the first 2 to bloom from mommy's garden..
I had TEARS when I saw them through the glass!
Our youngest darling daughter Caroline had driven us TO the airport w/ her husband when we left.So nice!

J'adore ma famille.They are always first and foremost.

Before we left..this happened..oh..que mon jardin a besoin d'amour maintenant après une semaine de négligence:) lovely to come matter where you have been.


  1. How wonderful! Can't wait to hear more about it! I know it was amazing. How can Paris not be?

  2. I was wondering if you were on holiday to Maine but how exciting to go back to France! Yes it is so you to bring home baguette bags, I bet they will bring back more memories than a bag. Can't wait to see more photos and stories.

    1. I was late in telling you how very adorable K was :)
      Nothing cuter than a young grad w/ the cap askew:)

  3. Any problem with the floods that were all over the news?
    Well, I never got to Paris but at least my trusty old camera did. lol

    You should look at their latest point and shoot. It's had some very good reviews. RX10 III

    1. Yes some..La Seine..the walkway was closed and so the tour boats could not operate..Musée d'Orsay was closed for a few days as well as Le Louvre..
      I will check it out a point and shoot is always so handy to have..could not have seen myself with a heavy cam and lenses at all..
      TY again!!

  4. Welcome back! I SO look forward to your future posts of adventures in France. I LOVE J's map of where you were to tour! Some day you & I, J & H. We must meet. xoxo

    1. I have to look at them and get my story in order:)
      WE woke up so early of course..need a bit to feel the same time frame..seemed to fall into pace sooner arriving there..?
      Not sure!!

  5. Well, the fact that you made the decision and planned the trip so quickly, is a marvel in itself. You did forget me. It only took me 6 months to a year to plan a ten day trip to Paris with friends. But, even so, I bet you had every bit as fun as we did. Can't wait to hear all about it and see the pictures. Welcome home.

    1. Thanks Donna..

      what year did you go?

      Jacques was studying everything many hours of the day..he has a great sense of direction..I can get lost in a telephone booth..
      he knows his history..I preferred languages..
      oh night and day we are..

    2. I studied too. Wanted to know all the history of places we were visiting. The hotel reservations were the hardest as everyone wanted different accommodations and Paris is pricey to sleep in. We stayed across the street from Serge Gainsborough's home. I think that was his name. Many people came to view it. My biggest regret was I didn't go visit the crypt of Leonardo da Vinci when we went to the Loire Valley. Did not even know it was there. We went 5 years ago. It makes one wonder why we don't plan more trips and just go instead of planning every little thing. Did you meet Carol there?

    3. I didn't get meet Carol.I did see the area in which she lives and it's beautiful.
      Serge Gainsbourg..his daughter is an actress both Jacques and I love.
      I would have like to see a cemetary or two while there as the ones in Italy certainly caught my interest..but there were just so many walking hours in our days..
      I don't think Jacques could have a trip w/out plans.
      He had specific things he wanted to see..and I was happy he saw them..He loved The DaVinci St Sulpice church etc was one of them..He loved the movie Amélie Poulain so where she worked was also one of them..La Sorbonne..Notre Dame..etc..
      Certainly had we been there a few more days..I would have begged for Giverny:)
      As it stood we had no idea the buses and metros would be running.

  6. I have been very lucky that I spent 3 weeks in France, including a week in Paris and 3 weeks in Italy. I am so glad you had a great time. Were the floods in Paris a problem? If I am lucky enough to travel back to Europe I would love to spend on more week in Paris and then 2-3 weeks in Italy.

    1. The floods were a problem..the day before we left..still some walking areas of La Seine were closed..
      We are not seasoned travelers..this was rewarding in knowing that we walked and walked and walked..sometimes you can make yourself tired just thinking about it..
      this was like a job:)
      We would leave at 9 AM and walk till we dropped around 5..came home..and
      I hope you do get to go back..

  7. Bet you had the time of your life. Can't wait to hear all about it!

    1. The movie keeps replaing in my head w/ out a pause button..a trip does that..
      and it's been so many years!

  8. How fortunate for you and hubby, so glad you got to make this wonderful dream of a trip. You have a beautiful family because you are a beautiful person :)

    1.'re so nice to say those things..however I know a few truly beautiful people..and my name isn't on that list:)
      They're good kids..I think we would always do anything for each other.For this I am so grateful.

  9. I think was amazing and beautiful :) :)
    Im waiting for heard all ♡♡♡♡

    1. I will try and get my posts together while everything is fresh on my mind..

  10. I thought you had been away and figured it must be Paris by the pins. You were there for the flooding! So close and yet so far. I can't wait to read all about your trip. Like you I would be bringing back the baguette papers instead of a purse, lol. This is on my bucket list. Glad that you had a lovely time. Homecomings are the best. Your lovely family. You are so blessed. xoxo

    1. That little face behind the glass..:) With the sign..
      You know Marie..your Littles would be like that with you too..I can see them pulling on your apron strings♥I can.
      When all the kids are together..Jacques and I don't exist LOL..

    2. I think you and Jacques are very important to the littles! And rightly so. I think we get the life we deserve, and you deserve nothing less. God bless you both! ♥

    3. Oh Marie..Goodness oozes out of you.
      Please don't ever forget that I speak of the good things in our lives..
      I have parts I leave out:)
      I have enough thinking about things that if I wrote about probably would not be very good for me:)
      I just don't ever want you to think perfection and fairy tales reign in my life.:)x

  11. How wonderful for you. Lucky you your Jacques is a planner, even if it did entail walking all day. can't wait to see your photos. Aim & shoot on the hoof is usually my style, otherwise I'd never keep up with Mr France as I'm always stopping to take photos .

    1. Same here! Thank goodnes he had brought a a camera..

      we usually like to eat dinner one night watching his movies..we don't put family through looking at all the pics and movies..Oh he is aplanner and organized..My list was different than his:) But it all came together..

  12. Welcome home, Monique! Like everyone else, I can't wait to hear and see more about your trip. Wonderful to travel but always wonderful to be Home Sweet Home too ♥ I'm sure it will take a few days to get adjusted to the time change :)

    1. OMG I was awake at 2 AM..FULLY awake..cause that was 8AM Paris time..
      You should see the grass and gardens..just 8 days of neglect and whoa.
      Instead of writing emails..I am going to condense everything..w/ may bring yawns..:)

  13. I some how knew you were away. If I were to be somewhere else right now, it would be Paris. It holds my heart. Can hardly wait to hear all about your trip. Would love to know where you stayed, as we love booking apartments while there.

    1. There will be a link to Chris and Scott's blog..w/ the company they booked with...where I got the idea..

      We were very happy w/ the company..and I think my daughter that went on her honeymoon to Paris would like the appartment we stayed in..although it was in an old was all redone..small compact..clean clean.... not sure it's for you that particular appartment.I think Chris and Scott's would be better was unavailable with our short notice..
      I did see couples in and out of Hotel Cler..and that looked lovely.
      Rue so cute.

  14. What a wonderful adventure! We want to see every single one of your photos - haha. I am so happy you got to take that trip. Such a fabulous place to visit and it's nice that you speak the language!

    1. We do speak French..however ..our French is not the same as theirs..somehwre along the lines..our French became different..
      I find in France for the most part..the language is richer and I am sure many Canadians would not like me saying this..but to me it s true..
      It is so poetic.
      I can compare it to how I speak English to how soemone from Britain speaks English..I love their diction.

      We were delighted as to how helpful and smiling the Parisians we asked directions to were.
      In a café on Rue Du busy!!the young woman who served us our allongé:)..asked if we were Canadian and how she would like to visit because we all seemed so nice.
      I could have kissed her.

  15. Monique, I'm thrilled to read that you and Jacques had this wonderful celebration together. Sometimes the impromptu ideas are the best. My only regret for you is the flooding and the closing of some of the museums. LIke you, walking is what I like to do in Paris. It is such an adventure and feast for the eyes. Everywhere is beauty, and serendipity is the best guide. I can't wait to hear all the details, see your photos, and I suspect a beautiful sketch book. I see you mention Rue Cler. Was the apartment on Rue Cler? "My" neighborhood! I say that in jest, but the apartment we have always stayed in is on Rue Cler. It is such a perfect area, easy access to everything. Oh, I'm just bubbling with excitement that you took this trip. Rest up and relax, replaying every detail to enjoy again and again.

    1. We were right around the corner.They call it Rue Cler ..our will see the keychain..but we were right around the corner and of course walked rue Cler every Day.
      I will write about our trip and I won't leave things out..
      I loved the area ,it was perfect for us..and yes..close to everything.
      I thought of you there Sarah..
      I feel a bit discombobulated today..:)

  16. I wrote you a long message and it sadly disappeared. Can't say I'm crazy about the verification method used. Anyway, I'm so happy you are home. I have been looking forward to your photos and stories about Paris. I hope all went well and you enjoyed every minute.

    1. Ack do I have a verification thingie?
      I hope I don't..I've never put one on on my own..:(
      I am sorry this happened..and yes I thought of you and all your helpful hints:)

  17. I am so happy that you were able to go to France. That is number one on my bucket list.

    Sounds like you had a terrific time and really enjoyed yourself's. I am looking forward to seeing your post about Paris.

    enjoy the week.


    1. I will post our arrival soon..and post photos..I must admit to being a little weary for some reason today...
      The jet more tiring than the walking:)

  18. How fun Monique! Can't wait to see more photos... :) xo

  19. Monique, How exciting, a trip to Paris! So jealous, looking forward to hearing about your adventure!
    Welcome home! Hugs, Jody

  20. Oooooohhhhh! I have been so curious!! They say that the anticipation and the preparations are a big part of a trip such as this!! And the homecoming too!! I thought of you so much...Now you have inspired me, someday I will go back. I can't wait to see and to read more!!! Sometimes it takes a few days, or more, to get settled back, n'est-ce pas? Le décalage horaire...Félicitations on your voyage!! I think it took a little bit of courage, mais il vaut la peine!

  21. I love it a spontaneous trip. I am glad that I gave you some inspiration. Your photos are stunning and even though there was a greve (it is their national pastime I think) it seems you made the best of it. I cannot wait to read more. I have a friend leaving tomorrow. Welcome home.

  22. J'ai loupé ce billet-là aussi ? Oh, je ne fais attention à rien, en ce moment ! Contente d'avoir pu vous donner envie, cela dit ... Et maintenant, on vous attend en Provence ? ;-) Rebises

  23. Jill Butler's book is my go-to mini-Paris book -- small enough to take with! And Rick S. too. How wonderful to be able to experience Paris in this way -- with those you really love! I am looking forward to each and every post!

  24. How absolutely wonderful to come back to your blog after weeks of moving again and find you have been to France! I went when I was in my twenties - which is where I discovered French cooking! Eureka! Happy Anniversary to you two!