Sunday, July 14, 2013

A European summer (Part 1)

A Sunday in the country, somewhere outside of Paris...
(two French ladies, charmed by a young man in a hat...) 

Greetings from the land of snooty waiters!

It has been a few weeks since I last wrote on the blog.
Pardonnez-moi. My apologies.
The first half of our trip, and two full weeks, have just gone by.
Paris. London. Two fascinating European cities.
Blending the old and the new; traditions and quirkiness; 
... effortlessly.
They embrace stereotypes; they defy them.
London. Paris. Two favorite ladies of mine. 
I miss you already.

Paris... I once called you home. 
 and have visited you once a year for the last 17 years.
You have changed... un peu
but I still know you.

From my hotel window on Place Dauphine,
Ile de la Cité

Paris... How I love watching your people...
People say they are morose.
Peut-être. Maybe.
But some things will never change.
They still walk; bike; enjoy their city.
In the evening, they still go home carrying a warm baguette.
In short, they still have their priorities straight.

Seen by the Promenade Plantée (Paris' High Line walk:)
"This space is reserved for walking.
Joggers are tolerated as long as they do not disturb walkers..."

London... You have changed a lot. 
Queen Victoria may not recognize you.
So modern, yet so traditional. 
So predictable, yet so eccentric.
You keep surprising us.
London, you rule!

The hip and lively Southbank 
Europe's tallest building, the Shard, dominates the London skyline
Elegant Chelsea...
The crazy world of Camden Markets, North London 
Watching the world go by through the window of an ice cream parlor,
Notting Hill

In London and in Paris,
There have been precious moments,
spent with relatives and friends.
I did my best, 
but I still could not see everyone on my list.
L'année prochaine, c'est promis. Next year, it's a promise. 

A grandmother, and her grandsons
Parc des Buttes-Chaumont

For the next two weeks, 
our most excellent European adventure continues.
For now, Junior and I have relocated to the French Riviera.
La Côte d'Azur, and its ruling queen, Nice.
My family's roots are firmly planted by la Grande Bleue (the Big Blue.) 

We have to climb six flights of old, steep stairs, 
to reach the "Crow's Nest,"
our apartment in the heart of the Old Town.
But the view and small terrace are worth it.

Getting acquainted with la Baie des Anges (the Bay of Angels...) 
A home with a view... 

I will be back in a few days with more stories...

In the meantime, 
keep visiting the French Girl in Seattle's page on Facebook,
for daily photos and updates.
Thank you for all your comments, and emails over the last few weeks.

Have a fun, warm, and safe rest of July!

Off to pour another glass of chilled rosé wine... Santé

A bientôt,
-- French Girl in Seattle --

All photos by French Girl in Seattle.
Please do not use, reprint,  or Pin without permission.


  1. Je savais que.. it was your mom:)

    Great sharp shots!
    Good for you~
    Love the joggers quote!

    C'est beau! Le tout!!

    1. Merci beaucoup Nana. I prepared this post on July 14, sitting on my terrace in Nice, and waiting for the fireworks to start... A bientôt.

  2. Wonderful photos of two amazing cities and many familiar sights - as you know from my blog, I was recently in Paris and earlier this year London. What a lovely view from your hotel on Place Dauphine and the jogging sign made me smile. Looking forward to more stories! We too have been drinking rosé here in our garden - enjoying glorious sunshine - real summer weather in the UK - what a treat! Santé et Bonnes Vacances!

    1. Bonjour miss b. I need to go back to your blog (and others) and catch up on my reading. Wifi connections can be hard to find here, as you know, and time has not always been on my side, but I will get there. I knew that sign would be a hit. Only in France... :-)

  3. Two beautiful ladies ... Paris and London ...I love them both. Thank you for sharing these wonderful snippet, they have put a smile on my face. Merci Beaucoup.

    1. You're welcome Dianne. I am so glad you enjoyed hearing about these beautiful European ladies and genuine grandes dames...

  4. Oh this sounds lovely. I hope that you have a fabulous time with your family and friends!

    Be safe, Elizabeth

    1. Chère Elizabeth. It has been a wonderful summer so far, even though I have not been able to keep up with my blogging as much as I was hoping... C'est la vie...


    OK....I love Paris, no matter what her reputation. London? I do not know her, but I know I could grow to embrace her history and people, for blogging has introduced me to the world. Your people, your family....oh what charm. To see you again ma belle is so wonderful as I sit in my garden, pretending to be in France as I listen to my fountain sing like the way Marcel Pagnol describes in his, Le Château de ma Mère. I pretend to be in Provence as my husband and I eat un civet au poulet au vin blanc, laced with thyme from my garden.

    Thank you for posting and keeping us updated; enjoy your stay with your lovely family!

    Bisous, Anita

    1. Chère Anita. Très heureuse de t'avoir fait rêver et voyager pendant quelques minutes. Ton jardin m'a l'air tout à fait accueillant. Quant à ton menu du soir: Miam! On en mangerait... Bon été à toi. J'espère que tu profites bien de ton cours de poésie. A bientôt!

  6. And happy 14 juillet to you! Viva la France!

    1. Merci beaucoup Liene. The fireworks show in Nice last night was shot directly from the water, above the Bay of Angels. It was beautiful! Hope summer is going well for you on the East Coast.

  7. Hello Veronique

    Lovely to see you are back home and enjoying all that France is offering. Your accommodation in Nice sounds marvelous. I love the image of your sons and their grandmother. Continued joy as you explore and retrace your steps

    Helen xx

    1. Merci Helen. The best part about this trip is that we get to spend time with family (and even, on occasion,) with friends. Another wonderful perk is to be able to explore old and new places and to return to fabulous cities. How I love cities! Hope Florida is treating you well. Nice felt a little bit like Florida yesterday: It was so hot and humid-- but no bugs! :-)

  8. Oh, what a wonderful post, my friend. I've vicariously traveled along with you.....your words and images make me smile. How I long to return to Paris for another visit, and La Côte d'Azur.......I'm a touch envious! Think of me as you wander the Monday antique market. '-)
    ~ Sarah

    1. Dearest Sarah. Merci for your generous comment. I will, indeed, think of you later on this morning as I peruse the wares at the cours Saleya. I will not be able to buy anything, as our bags are heavy enough right now, but looking has never hurt anyone :-) I hope Texas is not too hot (but fear it probably is...) A bientôt.

  9. Dearest Véronique,
    What a lovely post... Those bikers made me feel almost at home. The Netherlands has so many bikes and it such a usual sight but not here in the USA.
    Enjoy your time together. Junior is growing up and he looks very happy so you have passed down your passion-genes for La France!

    1. Dearest Mariette. Thank you for stopping by. Junior is, indeed, growing up fast. He is as tall as I am, and will be taller before the end of the year. He is a good traveler, very interested in France and the French culture. He will start studying French for the first time in the fall and seems excited about it. He knows he needs to be able to read and write it as well as he speaks it to become truly bilingual one day. A bientôt, dear friend. Say "Howdy!" to Georgia for me.

  10. Vive La France aujourd'hui et toujours!! Beautiful photos, chere glad you are having a magical holiday!
    A dear friend of mine is heading to Nice next lucky ladies!! :)
    - irina

    1. Merci Irina. Your friend is a lucky lady indeed. She will be very hot here, in Nice, for a few days. That is for sure. But I would never complain. I will take the heat of the Mediterranean coast any day, over life in the Northern latitudes... It is so beautiful here, by the Big Blue! :-)

  11. Oh, enjoy your stay. I love the update and hope to see more. Merry Bastille Day! Love the sign protecting those who promenade!

    1. Well, you certainly know this area pretty well by now, don't you? Had dinner at la Tavola, Cours Saleya, last night. I don't like pizza much, but the wood-fired oven pizza they make here is simply to good to pass. Ah, that thin crust! Hope summer is treating you well, wherever you may be.

  12. You are missing some wonderful sun and blue skies in the Seattle area, but certainly see that you are having the same on your travels. Continue having a wonderful trip!

    1. But of course I am, Jackie. Seattle is always at her best when I am away... Nice has outdone herself. It is very HOT here, but I am not complaining. I will have Nice in any weather, for better and for worse. That is what true love is :-)

  13. Oh wow, Veronique...what an amazing vacation you are having!!! Thank you for sharing...I love your photos!

    1. Merci Sandy. I am very lucky, and I know it. I will look back on this trip next winter, and the photos and memories will help me pull through until spring returns...

  14. Great to read your news Veronique and hear how wonderful your holiday has been so far. And now you are in your beloved Nice - life is good for you. I look forward to reading much more.
    By the way, I especially like the view from your Paris hotel room.

    1. Bonjour Craig. Just saw your post about old Boris feeling like a youngster again in the warm weather. So happy for him, and for you!

      Yes, i am happy to be back in my beloved Nice. When I saw my friend Mary earlier, I involuntarily said: "Je suis rentrée samedi soir," instead of "Je suis arrivée samedi soir." -- Un lapsus révélateur, as the French say... A bientôt!

  15. Coucou ma chère Véronique,
    De retour après une éternité - passée à développer ma ligne de foulards en soie made in France bien sûr...
    Toujours le même plaisir à lire tes blogs et à voir tes superbes photos. quel bonheur que cette bouffée de France (sous le soleil. Wow!). Tu me donnes envie de prendre un billet pour la France tout de suite ;-)
    Savoure ton séjour. Et rapporte nous quelques photos sympas du marché de Nice.
    Bisous d'une revenante,

    1. Merci de passer me dire Bonjour, Anne. Quel plaisir d'avoir de tes nouvelles... Félicitations pour le lancemement de ta collection. Les carrés Hermès n'ont qu'à bien se tenir! Je passe au marché Saleya tous les matins car notre appar' est à deux pas. Toujours un plaisir. J'essaye d'y arriver avant les foules estivales, et je m'installe en terrasse pour prendre le petit déjeuner, mon panier rempli de produits frais à mes pieds. Bon été à toi et toute ta petite famille!

    2. Donne moi ton adresse... J'arrive!
      Allez, savoure autant que tu peux. Fais le plein de bons produits du marché et surtout de soleil et reviens nous en super forme.

  16. I've always found French waiters to be quite flirtatious, not rude at all. Love the affiche du jogging!!!! So French in so many ways! Have a lovely vacation.

    1. The waiter pictured here was definitely flirtatious! I asked him if I could take a photo of him and he asked me to wait so he could grab his "canotier" (straw hat,) inside! :-) A bientôt, Connie.

  17. Effectivement, la Parisienne en vélo... :o)
    Là, dans tes photos, je me ressource en regardant Londres, que c'est beau sous le ciel bleu !
    Le reste , Paris, Nice c'est la routine.. :o))(joke)
    Quel plaisir de pouvoir te dire "A demain! "

    1. Eh oui, c'est difficile d'éviter la routine pour les photos à Nice ou à Paris-- quoique... Je suis assez fière de la photo avec le message à l'attention des joggers! :-) Only in France... Moi aussi, je suis ravie de pouvoir te dire: "A demain!"

  18. Bonjour Veronique. Looks like you are having a good time and good weather at least from the pictures. Enjoy Nice, it should be hot.

    1. Excellent weather, and so, so hot, Michel! This morning is a bit wee overcast and everyone breathed a sigh of relief :-) Such is life in Nice... Enjoying every precious minute of my time here. Hope summer is going well for you as well...

  19. Wow, you visited my two favourite cities in Europe. Next time, I will spend more time in Notting Hill, London. I love Chelsea in London. The townhouses there are so pretty and super expensive. So I just daydream! Paris is another enchanting City. Lots to discover and eat! Again, amazing photos Veronique.

    1. Thank you Pamela. I used to go to London quite often when I still lived in Europe. I love it even more now. London has turned into such an amazing, modern city. It is serious competition for Paris. I am glad I get to go to both capitals and enjoy them. How I love those big cities. Come back soon...

  20. Love your vacation pics. We just returned from three weeks divided between Paris and Theoule-sur-Mer! *sigh*...cannot wait to get back next summer!


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