Love, Laughter, and Life

Adventures With a Book Lover


Leave a comment

Flowers in France #TBT

cimg1222

Ten years ago this spring, my honey and I spent 3 weeks in France. Most of our time we stayed in Paris, where flower shops and coiffured gardens displayed dazzling blooms. I loved gazing at the gorgeous blooms. And, according to my external hard drive, spent much time clicking photos to remind myself of their beauty.

cimg1223

The first two photos are favorites because of the price tags. Without those French words and Euro price tags, one would assume the flowers could be found on any continent during the proper season. Well, maybe not Antarctica or the Arctic.

at monet's water lilly pond

One of my most favorite memories was taking a day trip to Giverny, the home of Claude Monet. I have been a long time admirer of his impressionistic work. With settings such as these, how could he NOT paint? Breathtaking! If you squint, you can see his featured bridge back beyond the willow trees.

 

bedroom up, studio down

This is a part of Monet’s home. We took a walking tour inside. I don’t have any photos of the inside, I think because we were not allowed to take pictures. It was inspiring to see the places he worked, slept, ate, and enjoyed family life. I would move in in a second!

cimg1315

The flower gardens are all that-and more! One could spend days exploring and not see it all. Actually, I want to return one day and spend the entire day soaking in the beauty.

cimg1334

Oh, the flowers that grow! Below you can see the green bridge covered in tourists. Alas, I attempted photos without the crowds, but you can see I created a false impression. ūüėČ Plenty of others had the same ideas we did about a day in the country.

cimg1343

Have you been inspired to travel some place special? What captured your imagination and led you to visit and explore?


2 Comments

Food Time Machine – One Bite Whisked Me Back to a Favorite Place & Time

CIMG1238 (2)

Do you ever taste something and it takes you right back to a specific time and place?

That just happened to me. Tummy rumblings broke my concentration from a writing task, so I grabbed a slice of Swiss cheese from the fridge. At the first bite, I was instantly transported to France. Such delicious memories!

My husband and I were on a short-term missions trip in Paris. Near our motel was a wonderfully fascinating store, Auchan. Auchan had pretty much anything one could want or need at reasonable prices. The chocolate aisle and cheese cases kept us returning nearly every day for meal items. Yes. Chocolate and cheese do make a meal.

Today’s bite of Swiss cheese took me right to the cheese counter. The gentleman who worked the cheese aisle was so very kind and cut us off a chunk of Swiss from the large wheel. With our garbled French and hand gestures, he whacked off the hard rind and sliced the rest for us – perfect. He even gave us a bit to taste, just to make sure it was what we wanted. We wanted.

Fresh baguette, sliced Swiss, some fruit and veg, all the makings of a perfect meal. Thank you, Mr. Auchan cheese guy. You made our day.

How about you? What have you eaten that transported you back to particular event or location? I’d love to hear about it. Just so I know I’m not the only one who is consumed with love for food.

CIMG1144

Let’s not forget the crepes! Be still my hungry mouth…


Leave a comment

Throwback Thursday: Sunday Markets, I Miss You!

Summer farmer markets, oh how I look forward to you! Enjoy this throwback post from August 2009.

The fountain at Place Monge on Sunday Market day

Place Monge (Paris) fountain on Sunday Market day

In France, one of the things we truly enjoyed was the Sunday market held in the Place Monge town square. One could buy ANYTHING needed for eating, drinking, or giving. One Sunday we encountered a simultaneous flea market, but I could never figure out when another was going to be staged. I so wanted another chance at finding treasures!

On any given Sunday, there was no lack¬†of choices¬†for purchase at the market. Fresh fruit, vegetables, and flowers were squashed in among stalls of stinky cheese and fish, raw meat and poultry. Lucious¬†homemade breads competed for¬†the winning fragrance¬†award with occasional ‘meals made for you right now.’¬†The entire experience was a delight for the senses. Taking home the goods – mouth-watering sustenance.

flowers on Sunday Market

Flowers at Sunday Market

Meat vendor at Place Monge

Meat vendor at Place Monge

vegetable vendor at Place Monge

Produce vendor at Place Monge

Market fare from Place Monge

A meal comprised of market fare from Place Monge

Many years ago, in the Yakima Valley, a Sunday farmer’s market was hatched. Of course, being at church¬† most of each Sunday, we did not frequent the market. In fact, we boycotted it simply because it should be held on Saturdays (our opinion) so market workers and go-ers could attend church on Sunday. Granted, I don’t believe our boycott gained any new members of a church anywhere…

With our recent life change of full Sunday church responsibilities to experiencing ‘house church’ at a local park on Sunday mornings, we decided we would check it out – to see what the rest of the valley does on Sunday mornings. It seems that many residents take pride and joy at what is locally available, fresh from the fields, and the hands of gardeners, farmers, and crafters.

Sunday Market in Yakima

Sunday Market in Yakima

Pleasantly surprised, we found a plethora of aromatic and tasty produce, fruit, home-produced crafts, and food items. Mixed in was a variety of ethnic food stalls (I love the panset and lumpia) and shoppers galore.

Checking out the goods

Checking out the goods

An added bonus was musical entertainment. Steel drum music was such a wonderful accompaniment to the outing.

My grandbaby hits the Sunday Market

My oldest grandbaby (now he is 7) hits the Sunday Market

We encountered people we knew, interacted with community members, and socialized under the hot sun. Purchasing fresh produce and showing off our grandson were top prizes for the day.

Hayden with Papa at the Yakima Sunday Market

Hayden with Papa at the Yakima Sunday Market

I guess the boycott was a misguided waste of time. The Master Gardener did not stick Himself in church and stay there all day on Sundays. He was out among the people,¬†out in the community. Perhaps more productive to relationship building, making new friends, and reaching out is to be where the people are…not where we think they should be, but where they actually are.

A challenge to myself – where are the¬†families in my community on any given Sunday morning? Maybe it’s time I found out…and made some new friends.


2 Comments

Throwback Thursday: Parking in Paris

I so love Paris! I thought it would be fun to read (and see) about our stay in the City of Light back in 2009. Bienvenue!

bumper to bumper cars

Bumper to bumper cars

That’s it. As far as the eye can see, cars sticking bumper to bumper. I am SO happy to not have a car while living in Paris. The Metro is just perfect, thank you. Or my own 2 feet.

I am fascinated with drivers in Paris…it’s amazing how little damage actually occurs as people get from A to Z in as little time, distance, and space as possible.

Some observations about parking in Paris, just in case you want to drive and park while here:

no limit except vertical walls

No limit except vertical walls

Motorcycles, scooters, bicycles…pretty much can park anywhere. They are supposed to follow normal driving rules, but motorcycles have a secret lane between the outside 2 driving lanes, and both motorcycles and bicycles will pass stopped vehicles and get in front of them to get away first when the light turns green. Or if there are no pedestrians…

Optional parking on top of cones

Optional parking on top of cones

Your choice – between or on top of cones.

Space between vehicles is negligible

Space between vehicles is negligible

Bonus points are awarded for vehicles with minimal space between bumpers.

Accidents WILL happen.

Accidents WILL happen.

Expect some slight scratches or bruises

Expect some slight scratches or bruises

Clever drivers will gently ease into tiny parking spots, avoiding major warping and scrapes on bumpers and fenders.

And my personal favorite trick for in city driving ~

Always carry duct tape.

Always carry duct tape.

It’s true. Duct tape can fix anything.

Despite these captivating photos, drivers in Paris really are amazing. There are few accidents, pedestrians remain unharmed, vehicles stay on the road, and traffic flows in seemingly flawless pathways. Hats off to the competent drivers!

How about you? Where is your favorite destination? How are the drivers? We’d love to hear!