Monday, July 16, 2012

Collecting a new Award and trip planning...


Bonjour mes amis,

The week is off to a good start. 

After I dropped off Junior and a friend at sailing school earlier today, I read some of my favorite blogs (a daily routine when I can,) and was surprised - and très heureuse - to see my friend Katelyn, from Pure Panache, had sent a blogging Award my way. I give you... the Sunshine Award, for "bloggers who positively and creatively inspire others in the blogosphere."


These delicious candied clementines from Nice's Florian confiserie
deserve the Sunshine Award, too!

First things, first... Merci beaucoup Katelyn! You have a knack for finding fun and unique objects and shops online, and then you share them with all of us! I think of you as my personal shopper, and if I ever decide to redecorate my house, your website will be one of my go-to resources. 

Second, merci, dear readers. I read each and every comment you leave on this blog (and do my best to reply when I am not traveling.) Thank you for your continued support, your enthusiasm, and most importantly, your friendship. I have finally figured out why I happily spend several hours a month blogging chez French Girl in Seattle: With a second year of blogging well underway, this uniquely creative endeavor has enabled me to justify spending time doing what I enjoy most in life these days... Traveling and exploring; sightseeing; people watching; taking photographs; and writing. Making friends all over the US (and the world,) and getting to meet some of you in person, has been the icing on the cake, or the proverbial "cerise sur le gâteau." 


Jilly, a new friend, in Menton
(her blogs are listed below)

Now, Awards may come with strings attached. The Sunshine Award is no exception: Several steps are involved. 

First, you must thank the person who sent it to you. I just did (see above.) 

Second, you must recognize 10 other bloggers who deserve the Award and link back to their websites. I am happy to name ten friends, old and new, who have positively and creatively inspired me since I started blogging. Please visit their sites when you get a chance. You will not regret it.

The photographers: This budding photographer is learning a lot from you and as an expat, is grateful for your daily captures of her homeland.


Virginia, from Paris through My Lens.
Genie, from Paris and Beyond.

The versatile bloggers. they snap away. They research. They write entertaining stories or poems... These guys can do it all:

Owen, aka "Mr Toad," from Magic Lantern Show.
Martine Alison (and Leo le Toucan,) from My DollHouse joue un grand air de peinture.
Natalie, from Jewel Yet to Find.
Peter, from Peter's Paris.
M-T, from the French Touch.

Third, the Sunshine Award recipient must answer 10 personal questions following a pre-set list. Now I had a problem with this one. I couldn't imagine that you might be interested in reading some of the answers in the pre-set list (favorite color? favorite flower? favorite number? etc.) So, being French, and - to be perfectly honest - pressed for time (see reason below,) I thought I would... ahem... bend the rules a bit. So, dear readers, here is my suggestion to you: If there is one thing you would like to know about this French Girl, or her blog, please feel free to ask in the comment section, and I will do my best to answer. Ca marche? How does that sound? 


Phew. Aren't you glad? I just saved you a very boring read about my Dulce de Leche ice cream/Handbag/HarryPotter/dog addiction!


Psssst! I've got a scoop for you: This French Girl loves dogs!
(photo by Jilly Bennett) 

For now, time to look ahead. I realize Junior and I have just returned from Europe, but by the end of the week, a great Northwest summer tradition will call us away from the house, once again: This family will take off for a long-awaited cruise on our sailboat. This trip will take us to Washington state's Olympic Peninsula, the San Juan and Gulf Islands before we return at the beginning of August. I know some of you will inquire about the pets: The Yellow Dog will not be joining us this time, but she and Felix the cat will be in good hands, and will stay home with a house guest. Oh, and should "the Bad Men" decide to return, they should know the house alarm is now activated at all times. Don't attempt it, F@#$%^%s, or you will get hurt!

For now, Le Husband has concocted a fun itinerary; I am in the process of stocking the boat pantry; and we can't wait to move on board with our gear/toys/electronics/Nutella/wine selection at the end of the week. I will try to stay in touch (I have been promised a WiFi connection for the duration of the trip,) but who knows what will happen? One thing is certain: I will be shooting away and will return with many photos of the Pacific Northwest in all of its estival splendor. Let us pray for sun, margaritas, fair winds and following seas. Happy summer, wherever you may be. 

A bientôt. 

Au revoir, Seattle!





51 comments:

  1. Félicitations! And have a lovely time sailing. On one of our trips many years ago we took my father-in-law out on the water and he just loved it. We've taken the Frenchlings too out a few times in past years to fish for salmon. Quite an adventure and certainly something they couldn't do in Paris. :-)

    Here's my question: What aspect of living in Seattle did you find the most difficult to adapt to?

    Victoria in Versailles

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    1. Bonjour Victoria in Versailles. Thank you for saving my French derrière and for asking a question so I can fully deserve my Award :-) You and I know how much fun summer boating can be in the Pacific Northwest. Our 16 Seattle summers would have been a lot slower and more sedate with our boats!

      Now to your question: The most difficult thing to adapt to when I moved here would NOT be the rain (surprise, surprise!) mostly because we moved from Paris and were used to grey skies a lot. No, I'd have to say the biggest adjustment was to have to drive literally everywhere, even just to buy milk or bread. I love walking in cities, and have somehow managed never to live in a real urban area here in Seattle. Another big adjustment for this French Girl (related to the first one) was the lack of good public transportation in the area. Appalling. Other than that, I have adjusted just fine to strange American ways, I think :-)

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  2. Aahh, sweet fun on the water...enjoy!

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    1. Merci beaucoup, and I will! Happy summer to you too!

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  3. Right about now I am quite envious of your adventures at sea! My grandparents lived on Mayne Island and I spent my summers there as a child. The Gulf Islands are near and dear to my heart so I am excited for you to spend yet another summer there.
    Meanwhile, I shall be here, patiently waiting for our classes to begin...
    Patiently...
    ... waiting...
    xx

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    1. A famous Jean-Jacques Goldman song starts like that... "Elle attend..." :-) You reminded me of it. I hope to be able to post some pics of the islands while underway. Not sure where Mayne Island is exactly, but I bet the husband knows... Happy summer Kim! Enjoy "the Farm" and your boys!

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  4. Merci beaucoup mille fois mon amie! You are a dear to give me such a kind award. As has been my practice for many years, I will also thank you on my blog but there are too many dear blog friends now to choose. And besides, many of your choices would be mine as well.

    Now I"m very excited to get to tag along with you on this watery adventure. Can't wait!
    V

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    1. Bonjour V. I knew you had already received hundreds of these. How could you not? :-) I like how you do it. This award business is almost a full time job, isn't it? I think I might adopt your strategy in the future. A bientôt, V.

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  5. Bravo, Veronique! So well-deserved. Have fun sailing the high seas - we haven't gotten up to the San Juans yet this summer, but are hoping to do so next week. Thanks for pointing me toward Owen's post - love seeing his lions, too! XO

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    1. Bonjour Jeanne. The San Juans are always a lot of fun, and part of summer living in the Pacific Northwest. We are privileged to visit them in our "floating home." There is something special about waking up in a new cove or marina every morning. Glad you enjoyed Owen's post. He is an amazing photographer, isn't he?

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  6. How kind you are and I'm in such great company. Great honour and thanks so much. And I do like that photo you took of me and am chuffed you show the one I took of you, plus Rottweiler!

    You will find something for you on Riviera Dogs in the next day or so!

    love and thanks Jilly xxx

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    1. So happy you are "chuffed" thanks to me, Jilly :-) I am chuffed I learned a new [Brit] expression thanks to you... Will forward that pic to you. You look smashing it it, and the Rottie pic is one of my favorites of the whole trip. I do not have too many pics of myself I enjoy. This was one of them! Merci encore.

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  7. Enjoy the trip Veronique, happy to see you remembered the Nutella!! I hope you have the WiFi but if not relax and enjoy being incommunicado! Looking forward already to seeing your pictures.

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    1. Merci Grace. Are you kidding?! Of course I remembered the Nutella. We would not want to run out now, would we?! These marina stores on tiny islands may not be well stocked, you know :-)

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  8. I wish you fair winds,(most necessery for sailing) lots of sunshine ( not to much) and fun. You will have that when you have the two first.

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  9. Dearest Véronique,

    Congrats on your awards, you are a very lively and bubbly writer and share great posts with us.
    Have a great trip!
    Love,
    Mariette

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    1. Merci Mariette, and thank you for your continued support. Signed: Veronique, the "lively and bubbly" writer (I like that, actually :-)

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  10. Ha, je m'absente une journée, et quand je rentre , un joli cadeau m'attend! Merci beaucoup, Veronique!Cet award sera precieusement gardé, en tant que souvenir d'une tres jolie rencontre, petit aide-memoire pour la bonne entente et la complicité que nous avons partagées.
    Je te souhaite "Bon vent" pour ton voyage, et tacherai de te suivre au gré des vagues du Pacifique nord, histoire de partager un petit peu de ton rêve!
    Bises et à bientôt!

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    1. Merci Malyss. Cet Award était bien mérité, car toi aussi, tu entretiens au moins trois blogs! Impressionnant... Amuse-toi bien en famille pendant le reste de juillet, et restons en contact, via satellite, email, ou par le biais des blogs. Bisous

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  11. Very excited to see the photos of your sailing trip and to hear all about it. While in Oregon I was contemplating the islands and then elected instead to drive the entire Oregon coast. Either would be a great choice....such gorgeous nature. Congrats on your well earned reward! Bon Voyage!

    Question: If you take only one memory from life to live with for eternity--what would that be?

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    1. Ahoy Suzanne. The Oregon coast was a great choice too. I have followed it in the past and found it absolutely breathtaking in sections. Very rugged, like the Brittany coast you love so much. (Weather is similar too :-)

      As for your question, I confess I had to think long and hard about it. My answer today would be: A group of friends, grown ups and kids alike, with a couple of dogs thrown in for good measure; Jimmy Buffet playing in the background; all hanging out on a dock by a beautiful boat, on the coast somewhere; watching a sunset; drinks in hand; and laughing their heads off... -- Yeah, that's it. That would be a fun memory to hang on to for all eternity. :-)

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  12. happy for the award-and wishing you the best of times on the "new" sailboat-i don't know,.... i think those silly little questions say/tell a lot about us! o- well.... i shall keep it simple 2 questions-favorite non high end handbag (i know Madame Coco is probably your 1st choice)-favorite color-mine is red always has been-and one more so really three questions-all time favorite perfume-enjoy your vacation en famille-looking forward to pictures commentaties upon your return!

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    1. Merci, dear g, faithful reader! Thank you for asking three questions: You have helped me get closer to the Award (I need to answer 10, so only 5 to go now...) Here we go:

      1. Favorite non high-end handbag: Any bag in the Longchamp Pliage collection, especially with shoulder-length handles. Best value, most versatile, best travel bags, e.v.e.r. (just got a new Denim color handbag while in Nice a few weeks ago...)

      2. Favorite color: Even though I have been drawn to shades of purple lately, I'd have to say orange remains my first love. Most cheerful, positive, uplifting color. Don't you just love the sight of these candied clementines? It just make me happy looking at them :-)

      3. All-time favorite perfume: Surprisingly, not a Chanel. I like to switch among a collection of a few light, usually citrusy fragrances, but I always keep a bottle of Issey Myake's "L'Eau d'Issey" handy... a very enticing summer fragrance.

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    2. v- how about the new line of leather pliage-simply beautiful-your answers like you and those clementines are so sweet-

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    3. Very nice indeed, but pricey! I do love the original line, but they have more colors available in Europe than in the US, so I always get them there.

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  13. Oh my goodness! Dear Veronique thank you so much for a reward and the sweetest e-mail. Your kind words mean a lot to me. I'm delighted and certainly will post THANK YOU on my blog and the further list of rewarded blogs shortly.

    At the moment I'm packing for Paris and since this is a pas de trois for 10 days with junior it's a lot of packing to travel light.

    Here's the question not from the list but nevertheless: how to avoid so ridiculed hiking shoes traveling in Paris and survive 10-12 hours of walking in style?

    Meanwhile I wish you a wonderful and safe boat trip and can't wait for your reflections and pics.
    Bone voyage Veronique!

    Natalie

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    1. Ah, so happy for you. Paris is always a good idea, as Sabrina (Audrey Hepburn) used to say... and the good news is that summer seems to have arrived in the French capital at long last. Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy! Can't wait to see your pictures!

      About your question. I had two wonderful pairs of shoes for this trip and they both worked out great with hours of walking and sometimes unpredictable weather: First, a pair of very simple, but cute, Keen leather sandals (you can see them on the photo above when I am walking next to the dog in Menton.) The sole was so comfortable I could literally wear them for hours. Second, for cooler days, a pair of dressy leather tennis shoes by Joseph Siebel (the Caspian model, in Imola nature leather, available on Zappos.com.) They looked great with capris and shorts, and would look nice with a skirt too. My very Parisian mother in law loved them so much she wants to order a pair for an upcoming trip. Voilà. You have your answer.

      Bon voyage!

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    2. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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  14. Hi Veronique !
    Un millier, non, des millions de "merci"s modestes, tu es d'une magnanimité mirifique... voilà, et oui, merci pour ce rayon de soleil, car ici le soleil commence à nous manquer serieusement.

    Je ne sais pas si j'aurai le temps de suivre le protocol de tels "awards", mais quoi qu'il en soit, je suis bien touché par ta gentillesse.

    Et te souhaite de fabuleux temps sur l'eau en bateau, et de bons petit-dejeuners nutellisés... :-)

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    1. Tu es trop modeste, cher Mr. Toad!
      "De bons petits déjeuners nutellisés..." -- J'adore! :-)
      A bientôt et profite du soleil qui est revenu à Paris.

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  15. Have fun! Can't wait to hear all about it and see the gorgeous pictures you always take! You are always so kind to me, I'm not sure it's deserved! But I appreciate it all the same. :) I felt silly answering those questions too, but being a hopeless rule-follower, I couldn't muster the strength to bend the rules. Bravo to you!

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    1. Dear Katelyn. Of course, it is deserved. Silly girl! Now go and do the French thing. Aim to break at least one rule tonight! :-) PS: An easy one to break is to eat half a jar of Nutella with a spoon... Ha! ha! ha!

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  16. Off on another fabulous adventure! The first question that leapt to mind was "How can I have your life?" No, just kidding! Here's my real question: Has your stay in an English-speaking world ever affected the quality of your native French (i.e. accent, forgotten words or phrases)?

    Oh, and do you use any kind of text for your French classes? (This is not really a fun, bloggy question...I'm not entirely happy with the book I'm using for my French Conversation course, but have had a tough time finding anything small and reasonably-priced with lots of examples and exercises for speaking practice. I'm beginning to think about creating my own course packet.)

    Merci, et bon voyage, encore une fois!

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    1. Bonjour Alison, and thank you for asking a question. I can almost touch that Award! :-)

      Has my stay in an English speaking world affected the quality of my native French? I don't think so. My French accent is still there (people often comment on it,) and since I teach the French language, I have to stay pretty current on things like grammar, pronunciation, spelling etc.

      I use a variety of materials with my students. A great book for intermediate to advanced students I am happy to recommend (for grammar practice at least) is "The Ultimate French Review and Practice" by D. Stillman and R. Gordon. For vocabulary and pronunciation (same levels) I recommend Bien Dire magazine, with CD. Costly, but worth it. It's a bi-monthly.

      Hope this helps. Thanks again for stopping by.

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  17. Your sailboat adventure sounds like a fun time. Safe travels and enjoys the beauty of the area. I look forward to seeing your pictures.

    Now for the question, how is it that you a French Girl ended up in Seattle?

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    1. Merci Michel. This French Girl followed her husband - who was transferred by his company - to Seattle 16 years ago. For the record, we both wanted to live in the United States (to be honest, I did not expect our "American stint" to last quite that long! :-) So I quit a successful career with American Express France - I was ready for a break from the corporate world - and two years after we arrived here, started my French Language tutoring services. Voilà. You know it all, and thank you for asking!

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  18. OMG, Chère Véronique, I am both touched and honored by your Award to my Blog. Recognition from someone you admire and respect is worth all the moments of wondering, "Is anyone out there actually reading the stuff I write?"

    Now I have to get my little "derrière" in gear and do a post to thank you properly, choose my Awardees and come up with some questions about myself whose answers might be vaguely interesting....or is there a formal set of questions I need to use, which you so charmingly decided to ignore? Nobody breaks rules with more charming insouciance than the French. I love them for it.

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    1. Congratulations, M-T. It is well deserved! So, for the list of questions, just visit our friend Katelyn's site, Pure Panache (there is a link at the beginning of this post.) Good luck!

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    2. Well, I have done my part, made my picks and thanked you properly for nominating me for the Sunshine Award. Check out my new post. Merci beaucoup.

      We'll cyberchat soon. M-T

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  19. Congratulations!! Those candied clementines look amazing! Enjoy your next trip!

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    1. Merci beaucoup. I can't wait to be on the boat...

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  20. Je te remercie ma grande voyageuse pour l'attribution de ce trophée... Je suis heureuse chaque fois que je te rends visite... Toutefois, j'espère bien que lorsque tu iras à nouveau en France que nous puissions nous rencontrer...
    De ton bateau envoie-moi un signe, prépare-nous de bonnes recettes de poissons et surtout n'oublie pas une bonne bouteille de vin. Et lorsqu'elle sera vide, jette-la à la mer avec un petit message.
    Je suis certaine que tu vas nous régaler de nombreuses photos... J'ai hâte de voir tout ça!...

    Je risque parfois de m'absenter durant cette période estivale. Je dois partir pour mes diverses expositions dans le sud de la France... Mais je serai présente régulièrement dès la mi-septembre.

    Gros bisous et encore merci.

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    1. Ah, le beau commentaire. Je n'en attendais pas moins de l'amie de Leo le Toucan! On dirait que tu vas etre bien occupee pendant l'ete; et le sud de la France... quel plaisir! Je te souhaite beaucoup de succes, Martine! A bientot.

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    2. Dans ma dernière publication je me suis autorisée un petit lien concernant ton blog bien charmant...

      Gros bisou,

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    3. Et tu as tres bien fait, Martine. Je viens d'aller faire un tour chez toi. Ravissant, comme d'habitude (et merci pour le message.) Bisous et a tres bientot, Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

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  21. I'm late, but as you may know I have had some problems with my PC. I appreciate a lot to be on your list! Sincere thanks!!! I don't know if I will follow all the "rules". What will then happen if I accept the Award anyhow? (I may take the risk.) :-)

    I wish you and your family a very nice sailing tour in the beautiful Northwest!

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    1. You are so welcome, Peter. You were one of the first bloggers I met who did so much research for their posts, and I always learn something when I read them. Now, I have to say though... You have been in France way too long if you are considering "bending the rules" too -- Does "le Systeme D" apply to Swedes too?? ;-)

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    2. I guess I'm now more French than Swedish ... at least in this respect! :-)

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  22. Why am I always so late to the party? Geez. But your getaway sounds so fantastic! Remi and I have been dreaming about having a boat and I will look forward to seeing all of the beauty in your part of the world through your eyes...Bon Voyage!

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  23. Congratulations Veronique.... What a wonderful award... You are pure sunshine... xv

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Bonjour! I love hearing from you, my readers. To quote a fellow blogger, my friend Owen, "Comments are the icing on blogcake... Comments are the UFO in the twilight sky bearing news from other planets... Comments are raspberry vinegar in salad dressing... Comments are the cool balm of after-sun moisturizing lotion... Comments are the moment the band comes back out onstage to play an encore... Comments are the gleam in the eye across the room in a smoky bar... Comments are the rainbow after the rainstorm..." Merci for your comments! French Girl in Seattle