Que veut dire “l’art de vivre?”

I asked my host Maman what that means. She simply shrugged her shoulders and said “Don’t work too much. Always make time for yourself, your family, and your friends, and good food. Don’t let stress rule your life.” I would say she gave a great nutshell version of why the French are adamant about having…

How many cheeses in France?

General de Gaulle once quipped “How can you govern a country that has 246 varieties of cheese?” As I research this question, I find that no two answers are the same…kind of like the topic itself: French cheeses! So, I will quote Wiki ” Traditionally, there are from 350 to 450 distinct types of French…

Argot = Slang

Here are slang terms I have learned: 1. Choette! (Cool!) 2. C’est dang ca. (That’s dumb.) 3. C’est chien. (That sucks.) 4. Merde (Good luck on your exam. P.S. If you say thanks, then you loose your good luck. So, you are not supposed to give a reply at all.) 5. Mec/gar (a guy) 6….

Hats off to our tour guides and bus drivers!

I will be forever grateful for our tour guides Adele, Benjamin, and Pierrette (She told the most hilarious animated stories in French!), and our bus drivers. All staff mentioned surely possessed the patience of saints!!! No doubt that they had days where they must have felt as if they were herding cats and waiting for…

My Bucket List

Forever grateful are the only words that express how moved I was to experience sooooo many lovely places in France. Although every tour felt rushed, I realize that, had we spent more time in any one place, we would have never been able to visit so many. My bucket list has been revised to include…

A gargoyle’s view of Paris by night

Music pulsed below as crowds cheered for street performers and the red, white, and blue French flag colors were displayed against the facade of a building, reminding me of those who’s lives were lost when hatred was given a place. Seeing Paris by night as the Tour Eiffel strobe lights lit up the sky felt…

Dinner in France

While in Bernay with French friends on two different weekends, I was surprised to learn how many lovely hours had passed between when the appetizers and wine had begun to be served and when dessert and coffee was offered. Typically, appetizers began around 6:00pm and we were clearing the table around 11:00pm! Friendships were deepened…

French vacation

Having posed the question to several French friends regarding how many weeks of vacation the French are allowed each year, the most common response was the same. Typically, if one has worked for an employer the required amount of time, French employees are given five weeks of paid vacation annually. In addition, my friend Djhad…