Ok, I am back on the road again, this time without Kevin, and with a friend who shares my love of France. Look for trips to the Vaucluse, Bordeaux and Paris with the focus being on food, shopping and history. We have credit cards and we know how to use them!

I hope you enjoy it, and make sure you check out Kevin’s blog (NZ4ME) at !

Europe » France » Aquitaine » Agen July 17th 2014

July 16 to 17 - Paris - All by myself….Wendy left this morning, so today is my day to sort and organize, and pack and last minute shopping. I have one errand left - to go to E. Dehillerin,d.dGc&cad=rja , Paris’ best culinary store, near Les Halles. But I recommend you go in with a shopping list…this is no place to just graze. I wanted Canele forms - copper - and knew this would be the place to find them. They were less expensive than Bordeaux. Let’s just hope they work for me. If not, they sure are pretty. E. Dehillerin has the most extensive supply of copper pots and pans and just looking at their website is a treat. Put it high on your list of places to visit in Paris if y... read more
Kitchen shop

Europe » France » Île-de-France July 15th 2014

July 15 - Paris - Wendy and I are starting to wind down, as she is leaving tomorrow to meet up with Ed and I take off the next day for friends and Dijon. But today is one of the highlights of our trip, something we started working on just after getting our plane reservations, and that is lunch at the Jules Verne restaurant in the Eiffel Tower. This is a Michelin One-Star restaurant, so food and service are both guaranteed to be wonderful. The weather promises to be good, so we put on our dressier duds and head out on the Metro (yes….) for our engagement. We arrived on time and got in the queue, where they verify you have a reservation. We couldn’t believe that there were actually two families, that came up separately, ... read more
Going up
The view toward Montmartre
With our desserts

Europe » France » Île-de-France July 14th 2014

Bastille Day - July 14- Paris - Being here, in this city, on this day, has been one of my dreams. Kevin had been here four years ago with Harrison, but I couldn’t and was very jealous. So, HERE I AM! Two major events are on the schedule for us today - the Parade down the Champs Elysee and the fireworks from the Eiffel Tower tonight with the Lauder family, or most of them. Firstly, the parade. It was a military parade. Of the French military. OK, I can hear the sniggers…what military? So, JUST STOP IT. There were big guns with women at the helms, and little tanks, with men driving them. And there were firemen, and policemen, and ambulances. And there were fly-overs by planes and helicopters. And the President came down the street ... read more
Are there words

Europe » France » Île-de-France July 13th 2014

July 13 - Paris - So, here we are in Paris, on a Sunday, it’s kind of rainy and we are shopped out. What are our options? MUSEUMS! High on our list was the Museum of Decorative Arts, behind the Louvre. It is probably the only museum in the city that doesn’t open until 11:00 AM but that was ok. We got there a little early and were able to access the gift shop, which was very nice but very expensive. We could only meander so much and then we decided to go to the entrance of the museum. The guards were very keen about their jobs, and loved being a little hostile about anyone standing within 5 feet of the door. Luckily, they decided not to take on the older foreign ladies. When they allowed ... read more
Baked avocado
Chocolate fondant... again
Wendy's tarte au pomme

Europe » France » Île-de-France » Versailles July 12th 2014

July 12, 2014 - Versailles - Wendy and considered today to be one of the reasons for our trip, and we were putting in a lot of research to get just the right tour to satisfy us. Both of us are very well-read on the history of France that was influenced by this Chateau, and the people involved in this period, so we were wanting a tour that would provide us with a good and knowledgeable guide. We looked at the very expensive tour, 375 euros per person, but decided there was no way we could justify it…We wrote letters, phone calls were made, all options were considered in making the booking, and still we got it wrong. But more on that later… The tour left from the Tuileries area at 8:45 AM, and we were ... read more
Hall of Mirrors
Chocolate Fondant

Europe » France » Aquitaine » Bordeaux July 12th 2014

Listen very carefully, I will say this only once... Saturday, 5 July, 2012 - en route to Bordeaux. I will warn you right now that the next week was filled with unpleasantries regarding travel and accommodation, and if you are squeamish at all about whines and rants, perhaps now is the time to turn away on this blog… After our experience of getting to our first hotel on arrival in Paris, we decided to take the Metro to the station. Getting the suitcases on the train was a bit of a struggle but we thought all would be good in Bordeaux. Not to worry…I then looked at my car rental agreement which said (as I had told them) that I would be picking my car up at 5:15 PM, and the office closed at 6. I ... read more

Europe » France » Île-de-France July 11th 2014

July 11, 2014 - Paris - Firstly, please refer to my entry about our lunch today at L’Ebauchoir today. That event deserved a blog in itself. Since we had to work around two meal engagements today, we decided shopping was on the cards. After a perusal of Ile St. Louis on the way to dinner last night, we earmarked those places we needed to go. Also, high on my list was a trip to Eva Tralala, a French designer who I discovered years ago here in Paris and always like to pick up a little something. After lunch, near the restaurant, was the needlework shop we had been in two weeks ago, so I had to load up on some more, didn’t I? And of course there were more sales, and more tee shirts, and ... read more
steak tartare
My veges

Europe » France July 11th 2014

July 11,2014 - Lunch at L’Ebauchoir - You might remember my mentioning two weeks ago that Wendy was so impressed with the restaurant that she wanted to come back for the Cherry Clafoutis they serve as their dessert du jour on Friday, so I made rezzers and came back today. We had the prix fixe menu with two items, and found out that we could substitute the clafouti for the regular menu for an extra couple of Euros. Wendy ordered the fish, a sea bass, for her main course, and I had Beouf en brochette with vegetables. Wendy’s fish came with (according to her) a great Calamata olive sauce/puree and my brochette had a bit of pesto on it. I was particularly impressed with mine as usually brochettes are done with tough meat and never cooked ... read more
Bass with olive puree
Cherry clafouti
beef brochette

Europe » France » Île-de-France » Paris July 10th 2014

July 10, 2014 - Paris, again - Wendy and I came to the conclusion that two “older” ladies, traveling on their own, really need a personal “Jean-Sebastian”, aged about 25-30, to do everything, including carrying their vast amounts of overweight luggage, for them. Unfortunately, we didn’t have one of these, and were reduced to schlepping all our stuff up and down stairs in train stations. Next time, we say to ourselves…. Upon arrival in Paris, we arrived in our TINY Ile St Louis apartment and got settled in, which included rearranging furniture so that Wendy wouldn’t encounter hazards in the middle of the night…Kevin had picked up a couple of Groupon coupons, similar to GrabOne in New Zealand, and the first one was for Brasserie du Louvre, in the Hotel du Louvre, part of the Hyatt ... read more
Chevre salad
The perfect steak

Europe » France » Aquitaine » Dordogne July 7th 2014

Sunday, July 6, 2014 - Font de Gaume - Off we went in my cute little automatic rental to Font de Gaume in the Dordogne. Font de Gaume is an art cave dating back to prehistoric times, much in the same vein as Lascaux, in the same area. Now, the interesting thing is that they aren’t taking reservations. Over 6 months ago I got online to them and mentioned that we were coming from New Zealand, could only understand English, and had to make many associated reservations in conjunction with the visit to Font de Gaume and I NEEDED reservations. I got them, but I don’t recommend you try it…There are many restrictions being put on the entrance to the cave now - visitations are limited to about 80 people per day to prevent further ... read more
Capsicum melange
Melon with ham and eggs
Magret de canard

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