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Posts from the ‘France’ Category

Where the Oysters and Dunes Are

I shouldn’t be surprised by how quickly I developed a taste for oysters.  It wasn’t hard to achieve considering I was seated overlooking the water from which they came.  Paired with a sweet white wine, and served with a tin bucket of french bread and perfectly melting butter, this was a lunch to remember.  I was fixated upon the sophisticated French women surrounding our table.  Thin and naturally beautiful, and all puffing away incessantly on their cigarettes.   I quickly realized as i coughed from the second-hand smoke and finished a second bucket of bread, that I would never be like them.  At least though, I could relax in the same scene as them, downing oysters, toasting in the autumn sunlight, and counting sailboats. Read more

France Beckons Once More: Bordeaux

Champagne, Paris, Normandy, French Basque Country, and now Bordeaux; at the start of the year, I never imagined that France would reign supreme in my travels. And as I have done with all the French towns thus far, I made some more room in my heart for Bordeaux. Read more

Charming France and Spain in a Day

I am a sucker for the quaint and cute and so I think I was born to love Europe.  The charm of País Vasco has started to subdue my Sevillle obsession.  The Basque Country is just that amazing.  Whether it’s the French or Spanish side, my senses are completely captured.  Luckily for me I don’t have to chose sides and I can enjoy them both.  If I had to pick between St Jean de Luz in France and Hondarribia in Spain, I wouldn’t know what to do. Read more

Peace in Biarritz, France

It’s easy to miss San Sebastián and the ease of spending the day in both Spain and the south of France.  We made the short journey to Biarritz a handful of times and each trip, I seemed to lose all sense of time.  When you allow it, travel has a beautiful way of allowing time to melt away so that the moment is what matters not the minutes. Read more

Reflections of Pointe du Hoc and the American Cemetery

The morning of D-Day we set off knowing we were bound to have trouble getting around. With Obama and the Queen in town, the area was under tight security.  Just the day prior we had learned that a pre-ordered car tag was required to drive on certain roads during the morning and early afternoon of D-Day.  The road blockages just added to the adventure as we rerouted down one-lane roads coasting through the countryside. Read more

Remembering Grandpa at Omaha Beach

Simply said, Normandy will forever be a part of my top 5 travel experiences. There, the impact of D-Day revealed itself not in textbook pages and movie dialogue, but through a live scene of reverence and remembrance of the sacrifices of more than 9,000 Allied soldiers. Folded into a landscape of 1940’s France, we witnessed the lasting legacy left by the young men who spilled upon Normandy’s beaches to liberate Europe against Nazi occupation 70 years ago.  Read more

French Gratitude in Port-en-Bessin, Normandy

Shortly after my grandfather, a World War II veteran’s passing over a year ago, I heard my mother first express her interest to visit Normandy. The French shores where my grandfather met war in 1944 called to her— to remember, reflect and honor her dad and a whole generation. Read more

Scenes Along the Seine

It’s already June, school is out for the summer and I have the chance to go to work with my mom—to Paris. She has a deadhead to the City of Light, meaning she isn’t scheduled to work the flight back and if she gets it cleared with the airline, can find her own way home. The plan is to head up north to Normandy for the 70th Anniversary of D-Day (after a day in Paris of course), but it is all up in the air. I’m lucky to snag the one and only standby seat out of Chicago, so thankfully I’m up in the air, nestled under my cozy navy blue travel blanket in the middle seat. Read more

A Winter Escape in Reims, France

While it was certainly difficult to turn down spending Valentine’s Weekend in Paris, reaching towards a new French destination proved to be the right choice. Reims, capital of the Champagne region in northeastern France is best known for its Champagne Houses and its historic position in French history. Read more

Exploring Champagne

Bonjour, France. I’m baaaack!

It was mid February, the sun blazing and warming the air to a perfect 50 degrees Fahrenheit, a welcomed heat wave against the arctic blast of this Midwest winter.

And there I was, suddenly transplanted into the French countryside, riding shotgun along the Route touristique du champagne. Life just felt crazy, beautiful. Read more