Friday, October 30, 2009

le petit dejeuner

Le petit dejeuner, our breakfast almost every morning for three weeks.
It always included a baguette and croissant, plus most often a chocolate croissant.
I adore bread, but after awhile it was almost too much bread each morning.
Now that I am home I do wish someone would bring this to me. Wouldn't it be a lovely breakfast in bed?
It was just delicious and definitely "my cup of tea".
The tea most often served was Lipton Yellow Label, which was pretty good.
We would save the baguette for later in the day and then add some cheese, cold cuts, and fresh fruit for a picnic.
I do love le petit dejeuner!
Have a great Halloween weekend and I hope you are all served breakfast in bed.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

La Madone

Arriving in Provence we stayed at La Madone in Apt in the Luberon Hills.
The apartment was a welcome sight and a lovely place to relax for a week.
I found La Madone through Corey's Tongue in Cheek blog.
We had hoped to meet Corey, but she was traveling too.
La Madone was a lovely home to travel each day for new discoveries and sights.
Looking through magazines one day at La Madone, I found this very kitchen in a home decorator magazine. What fun to stay in such a beautiful apartment. Thanks Nathalie for your gracious hospitality.
The view from our window of Apt.

One afternoon we took the time to sit by the pool and soak up some of the beautiful Mediterranean sun. It was just lovely and so peaceful after our time in Paris.
From here we took daily excursions to little villages and hill towns.
I highly recommend a visit to La Madone.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Last Night in Paris

Our last night in Paris we walked, we took a river boat tour on the Seine, and had a lovely late night dinner at a local restaurant near our hotel. It was a lovely evening indeed.

Fascinating to me was to see all the young adults hanging out along the river picnicking, drinking wine, listening to music, visiting with friends, and waving at the people floating by.

The food, oh what can I say, it was amazing. This evening I had a wonderful cheese souffle with mushroom sauce and for dessert a savarin with ice cream and a lemon liquor - delicious.

We move on to Provence tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Handicap International

Returning to Paris from the Ham Fair we came upon a peaceful demonstration in support of an organization called Handicap International. People were throwing shoes into the pile to be sent to those injured in war. We chatted briefly with one of the organizers and she told us about the schools they have built in Afghanistan. There were exhibits showing mine fields and pictures of innocent children hurt by war. It was very touching.

There were many people visiting the booth and picking up brochures.
Many people were out just enjoying the day.
I just visited to learn more and find they also help with people dislocated from typhoons and natural tragedies. Most often I share things that delight me. What delighted me this day was seeing the people donating their shoes and taking part to do something for those less fortunate than themselves.

Monday, October 26, 2009

A Special Teaparty

Today I am taking a break from sharing pictures from France.
We had a very special celebration here on Saturday. My friend, Caryl, was celebrating her 60th birthday. We had a tea party with the special ladies in her life. Caryl had an opportunity to tell these ladies how special they were to her and it was a fun time of sharing over multitude cups of Jardin du Luxenbourg tea and food.

The menu:
Smoked salmon in endive leaves
Egg salad sandwich
Calla lily sandwich
Dried fruit on raisin bread
Pesto pinwheels
Cream scones with cream and jam
Lemon bars
Chocolate cupcakes
Lavender raspberry cakes

Caryl shared several pages of poems and words that meant a lot to her.

Here is one that I also have shared in the past.

Maybe nothing is more important
than that we keep track, you and I
of the stories of who we are
and where we have come from
and the people we have met along the way.
Because it is precisely through these stories
and all their particularities,
as I have long believed and often said,
that God is known to each of us (and others)
most powerfully and personally.
If this is true, it means that to loose track of our stories
is to be profoundly impoverished
not only humanly but also spiritually.

From Listening for God
by Frederick Buechner

Friday, October 23, 2009

Ham Fair

Tara of Paris Parfait was so generous in her gift of tickets to the Antique and Brocante Jambon (Ham) Fair in the village of Chatou, not to far by train from Paris. So on our last day in Paris we ventured out to experience the Ham Fair. It was a warm day for walking in the sun, but at a leisurely pace was delightful. I was so excited to get to experience this fair in France.
The most amazing thing to us, as Americans, was the fact that everything stops from 12-2PM for lunch, even at the Ham Fair. We finally realized we had to plan this event into our everyday schedule. Then evening meal doesn't start until 7:30PM. Both meals are taken at a leisurely pace and enjoyed thoroughly by the french.
So eventhough we were looking at their wares, we had to come back to shop after lunch time. It had the feeling of intimate family and friends gathering for a dinner party. I was totally intrigued.

We decided to walk through the food section and view some of the beautiful hams.
Finally we gave into the lunch time event and enjoyed a ham sandwich and the afternoon slower pace.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Chocolate and Pastry Tour

The Meet the French Chocolate and Pastry Tour is what brought us to Paris. We had planned on taking the tour a year ago, but when we had to cancel the visit to France, we decided to come back and take the tour this year. It was a delightful afternoon of visiting chocolate and pastry shops; some of them I had heard of such as Pierre Herme (see the line waiting to get in there) and some I had not heard of such as Pascal Caffet. All were wonderful to visit and samples were enjoyed in each shop. At Poilane bread was lovely to taste and you can see the cookies made in the shape of spoons, plus small loaves of bread with individual names on them. We didn't stop by Laduree, but walked by and I couldn't resist a picture. If I make it back to Paris someday in the future I will know the best chocolate and pastry shops to visit.

Enjoy walking with me through the St. Germaine district of Paris visiting chocolate and pastry shops.

Chocolate and Pastry Tour

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Paris Sights

The entrance to a small museum at the Sorbonne, The Cluny Musee.
Inside were lovely medieval treasures including the tapestries of the unicorn.
We visited this museum early in the morning, then strolled on to arrive at the Luxembourg Gardens in time for lunch.
It was beautiful, sunny day and many french people were sitting enjoying the day.
We had brought along the baguettes from our breakfast, a little cheese, and an apple; so we sat and enjoyed the lunch time sunshine with a small picnic of our own.
A beautiful fountain found at the gardens.

The leaves were just beginning to turn and the day was spectacular.
In the chateau on the grounds you will now find the French Senate.
Now onto a very special afternoon of chocolate, which I will show you tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Stroll in Paris

Walking and observing were the main focus in Paris. Enjoy the slideshow as we strolled through the streets of Paris. You will see a violin maker, color, and end with the windows of Saint Chappelle. The evening we went to Saint Chappelle we enjoyed a Bach and Vivaldi concert, which is so amazingly beautiful sitting amongst the stain glass surrounding us.

Stroll in Paris

Monday, October 19, 2009

Mariage Freres

Afternoon tea at the Mariage Freres is the best afternoon delight, especially when it involves meeting a blogging friend. We met Tara Bradford of Paris Parfait and had a lovely afternoon visit in the Marais district of Paris. Tara's blog is one that delights and educates me and I couldn't wait to meet her.
The Mariage Freres is one of my all time favorite tea rooms; so it was a doubly blessed afternoon.
The sandwich you see in the picture was served with green bread (hard to tell in my picture), the sandwich had a combination of salmon and ham with herbs and a creamy goat cheese. A shrimp was attached at each end with a pretty skewer. My husband's plate was salmon and he also thought his was delightful. Dessert was a raspberry mouse. A perfect end to a perfect afternoon.
My tea that afternoon was a light Darjeeling, which was very good.

We brought home a new small teapot with tea scoop and several teas. My husband's favorite is Marco Polo, so that came home. Then we brought the tea mentioned last week, which was a high end Yunnan called Aiguilles d'Or. Finally another tea was Opium Hill, a floral Ceylon tea. Each tea is a treasured delight and brings back memories of a lovely afternoon with each sip.

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Louvre

The entrance to The Louvre, taken from a window. I loved seeing the city scape from the window too. Having visited The Louvre twice before I still found there was much to see, it could take weeks to see everything.

A room full of color.
The textures of the building alone are amazing.

The sculptures and lighting in the courtyard were beautiful.

It is exhausting to try to see it all and can only be taken in with several visits. Our main focus this time was Egyptian art, but as you see we did walk through several other areas too.
The Louvre is a "must see" in Paris for anyone on holiday in this beautiful city.
After The Louvre we walked to Angelina's to pick up chocolate to bring home, and
then onto the Mariage Freres for afternoon tea with a friend.
Oh my feet are hurting me just remembering the walking done in Paris.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Chairs, Colors, Churches, & Chateaus

Arriving in Paris, we took a walk to acclimate.
I love chairs and this setting was sitting outside a lingerie shop.
Oh, the colors from a pastry shop window.
Sunset over the Seine River.

And churches galore. This is the Notre Dame.

As I sit at my desk this morning, still slightly jet lagged and sipping a premium Yunnan tea from the Mariage Freres; I am overwhelmed with the beauty of my first peeks of the 1500 pictures that came home with me. The letter "C" described in the words above is prevalent in describing our trip. Their were indeed chairs, colors, churches, chateaus, and even caves, candy, and cats. It is difficult to know where to begin to share with you. You were all in my thoughts as I traveled along, snapping pictures; so I hope you enjoy for the next few weeks travels in France and a touch of Barcelona.

For the tea lovers here, I did bring home several lovely teas. The one this morning is called Aigilles D'Or, translated Needles of Gold. Isn't that a lovely name?

Monday, October 12, 2009

From Barcelona

Today is our final day and we leave for home tomorrow. A free computer in the hotel, so I will just say a little hello before we are off to MontSerrat this afternoon. Thanks for all your comments and thoughts.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

From France

Dear Friends,

Due to computer issues I will not post until I return in Mid October. Look forward to wonderful stories and pictures. Right now I am in Provence; in the Lin Apartment.