Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Panne d'inspiration... (Lacking inspiration...)


Petite fille, Rueil Malmaison

Ah, the places I've been. The stories I could tell. The photos I could post.

Dommage. Panne d'inspiration. Lacking inspiration. 

We returned from our most excellent adventure a week ago. I have thought several times about writing a new story. The poor blog has been a tad neglected on this trip...

Thank goodness for Facebook: I would not have been able to stay in touch, otherwise.

I could use the standard excuse: I have been busy. 

And it is true, I have.

Junior if off sailing with his Dad on the Puget Sound, a summer tradition. 

This means I have the house to myself for 13 days. Youpie! (that's "Ya-hoo," in French, folks!) 

What have I been doing?

Catching up with mes amies, of course. You may remember the cowgirl. She has adopted a new furry friend. Sweet *little* thing, all 400 pounds of her. She has just arrived at the ranch, and she already follows the cowgirl around like a dog... A bit shy still, but she will get better. Naturally, I had to go over and meet her! 


Peeps, meet Calliope, the "mini-cow..." 

I have met other friends, too, and - as you might expect - there has been plenty of...

Is that an uplifting sight, or is that an uplifting sight?

I have also been re-engineering my house. From top to bottom. Room after room. Pulling out unused, unwanted items, and preparing two huge piles: One for Goodwill. One for the dumping station (I love taking stuff to the dumping station, don't you? So liberating...)

Once a Type A, always a Type A. Who says all big house cleaning has to be done in the spring? I say: "Why spend time outside baking in the sun like the rest of Seattle? I am being productive while protecting my baby skin."


Au revoir, la sorcière. So long, witch.
Hope you find a good home to park that broom!

Talking about which (no pun intended,) there are so many stories I could tell you about the trip... if I wasn't lacking inspiration.

There was the day I left the muggle world behind and visited my friend Harry Potter outside of London... I still haven't recovered. 

Recognize this neighborhood?
I always knew I would attend Hogwarts one day...

There was the day Junior and I drove around Paris in a refurbished "Deuche" (2 CV.) I can confirm: Everything looks much, much better through the window (or the convertible top) of a Deuche. That is a fact. 





There was the day I arrived at Marie-Antoinette's domain, in Versailles. I fell in love with the domain. Again. Later, I fell in love with the Sun King's Orangerie, a part of the castle I had somehow missed over the years, when I visited with my relatives as a child. Have you ever taken a walk in a beautiful garden, with endless vistas, surrounded by a hundred different types of orange trees, all in bloom? C'était quelque chose... It was something... Thank goodness, no tourists were picnicking there. Tourists can be so tacky and disrespectful... 

Le Hameau:
Wearing my nicest t-shirt in case I bump into royalty...

What a big ego, a lot of money and an awful lot of taste can do...

Have them (and their sandwiches) removed and sent to la Bastille!

There was the day I visited the lively, colorful, crazy world of London's Camden Markets... and went on a shopping spree at the cute Lily J. store. I even invested in a dress and a skirt. And my girlfriends know this French Girl does NOT do dresses! Wait until they see me wearing that lacy number...


Horse Tunnel Market: Best section!
Spooky. Choke-full of vintage clothing and accessory stores.

Chez Lily J.: Bad, Bad, French Girl!!!
Local fast food joint: Cooler seats than chez McDo!

There was the week I returned to my favorite spots in beautiful Nice, over and over again... 

Favorite breakfast place,
a hidden spot a few feet away from bustling Cours Saleya...
 
Favorite dinner spot: Le Gésu, Old Town...

Favorite market: Cours Saleya

Finally, there was the week we remembered why Spain remains one of the most popular destinations in Southern Europe...

Dalí Museum, Figueras 
Senor Pepé's Paella: A family tradition
La Escala, Costa Brava
Two grand-parents and their grandson looking at the "Big Blue"
Empurias, Costa Brava

Ah, the places I've been. The stories I could tell. The photos I could post. 

Dommage. Panne d'inspiration. Lacking inspiration. 

La prochaine fois. Next time. 

A bientôt.


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

49 comments:

  1. I find this post quite inspiring...........added a few more things to my "must see" list. Bisous

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  2. I loved tagging on for a few places of your holiday Veronique. What a fabulous trip - I'd be feeling a little low after going home after all that.
    Wonderful photos - my favourite being the "bums on scooters"!
    The cow is very sweet too.

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    1. Ah, yes, Craig. Bum on a scooter is an instant classic!

      Thank you for following me around Europe this summer (and always.) I hope life is good in Ayshire, even without the Big Guy... :-)

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  3. Oui, c'est vraiment ballot cette panne d'inspiration.. Quand je pense que tu aurais pu nous montrer où tu es allée, ce que tu as fait.Mais non, Madame fait son ménage!:o)
    (J'espère au moins que ça t'a défoulée!)
    La prochaine fois que tu vas chez ton amie , fais une grosse papouille de ma part à Calliope , que je trouve adorable!
    Ici, toujours la canicule..
    gros bisous !

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    1. Absolument. Ca m'a fait du bien. "Out with the old," comme disent nos amis Ricains.

      Je suis contente que Calliope te plaise. C'est vrai qu'elle est chou, mais un peu ronde. Ils essaient de lui faire perdre du poids en vitesse. Une vache au régime. C'est à voir! :-) -- Bisous ma grande.

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  4. I cannot begin to tell you how much I've just enjoyed reading Part 1,2 and all of your travel stories Veronique. Its pouring with rain outside here in Perth, its lovely and cosy inside, a cup of coffee and such beautiful pictures of London, Nice et Paris (Spain also oui) ..What a wonderful trip you have had and how brilliant to share it with your Mum and Dad, I miss mine so much. All I can say is if these are the kinds of posts you do when you're uninspired .oh la! We'd better hold onto our hats :) merci beaucoup..

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    1. Well thank you very much Grace. I had forgotten it was winter in your neck of the woods. The world is an interesting place... Our winter will come soon enough. As you pointed out, one of the highlights was the time we spent with family during the trip. It was heartwarming to see Alec with my parents, and his cousins. Good times.

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  5. PANNE D'INSPIRATION????????? MAIS NON!!!! AU CONTRAIRE!

    Véronique ma belle, bienvenue! Tu m'as manqué terriblement! Je me demandais où tu étais en France, et te voilà! Tes photos montrent un tas d'inspiration pour nous autres qui songent de ton pays natal....merci! Alors, es-tu prête pour l'année scolaire? MOI NON PLUS!!!!!

    BISOUS, Anita

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    1. Ha! Il faut blen plaisanter un peu, Anita :-)

      J'espère que ton été se déroule du mieux possible. Es-tu toujours en classe pour ton cours de poésie?

      Je ne suis pas prête pour la Rentrée, mais ça viendra... Bisous ma grande.

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  6. It is the summer doldrums. . .way too much sun for us to comprehend. I'm having the same 'lack of. . .' for my blog as well. But you are back. The sun is out. Somewhere two glasses of rose have our names on them and are waiting for us to meet and drink them. Check your calendar. . .lets start planning a rendezvous.

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    1. Well if there are glasses of rosé waiting for me, I should probably answer the call... I will be contacting you as promised, Jackie...

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  7. Lacking isnpiration?

    Mais voyons donc!

    So much of it right here..
    I need to clear out too..:)

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    1. Merci Nana. L'inspiration vient en écrivant... :-)

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  8. v this was great....maybe just re-entry let down-after vacation depression-my own made up diagnosis-I know exactly what you are saying- I admire the clean out-especially with no distractions-new start to the fall....chin up move forward- out with the old- in with the new-making room for new DREAMS-new adventures-new experiences-wishing you ALL good things and peace of heart and spirit!!! with love-g

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    1. Dear g. Thank you for the words of encouragement. As I have noted before, you are very perceptive. Not everyone is (see comment below...) :-)

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    2. I am not going to put it all out here... but I was thinking the same doesn't anyone sense between the lines or recall histories(stories) shared in the past see feel perceive v I embrace you with all my heart....

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  9. Ouf, what a post full of constructed superiority ( really, dismissing snacking on sandwiches when someone we know rushes to macdo first thing when back in the us? ), typical french arrogance and suburban syndrome of consumerism ( instead of talking about how invigorating it fells to dump stuff at goodwill, let's talk about how invigorating it would feel not to buy the witch, candy bowl and all the other chic and trendy stuff! ). We can see la panne d'inspiration, without any doubt, french girl in seattle. Disappointing! Hoping for better times and posts! A la votre! Anna, Versailles

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    1. Dear Anna in Versailles.

      It is not often I see negative comments on this blog. Congratulations. You are the first one I have received in a long, long time.

      First, I would like to say that in spite of the photos I post and stories I tell, do not presume to know me, or my life. I am happy to share these stories with my readers and friends in the [usually] friendly French Girl in Seattle's community because we all have a good time together.

      Second, do not be surprised I *consume* or eat chez McDo once in a while... I live in the United States after all. When in Rome... I feel I have to defend the big fat witch in my car trunk. She has been well loved and entertained my son and his classmates for years on Halloween. I went to Goodwill so she would find a new good home.

      As for my joke about the tourists in Versailles, I was not making fun of the sandwiches. I enjoyed many myself during the trip. You may remember the photo of the jambon-beurre I posted while I had a picnic by the Grand Canal. The difference between me and the tourists on the photo, is that I sat in a designated area in the grass (like most visitors,) instead of camping out on the doorsteps of the Château, in full view of all other visitors. It must be my French superiority indeed. I go to a place like Versailles, I like to see it treated with respect.

      FInally, French Girl in Seattle is just a fun little blog. Life is hard enough, and I feel for people who go through it without a sense of humor.

      Do not bother replying to this message. I will likely not reply or publish it. Ooops. Feeling all superior again. Editorial freedom and all. Bonne journée!



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    2. I AM OUTRAGED AT THIS COMMENT V -I REPLIED BEFORE READING THIS,,i admire you for even publishing this stuff-you know I am a constant faithful reader since the beginning and currently- sometimeS commenter-THIS IS AN OUTRAGE! my advice to anna go take your extreme superiority and judgement elsewhere or better yet if you do not have something nice to say DO NOT SAY ANYTHING AT ALL-- all the negative things enumerated do not reflect you this community or even the subject matter-this has really REALLY ANGERED ME!!!!!!!

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    3. There, there, my dear g. I am sure Anna has not been around for long. If she knew this blog - and the community who follows it - she would know we like to keep things light and fun here, and tend to joke around quite a bit. Maybe Anna woke up on the wrong side of the bed? Or maybe too many tourists have been eating their sandwiches on her Versailles doorstep this summer? :-) Big hugs to you, my dear friend.

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  10. Oh I've sat here with Meeps across my lap and just revisited all the grand places you enjoyed so much. Thank you for sharing again!
    V

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    1. You're welcome V. You need to get out to Versailles next time you visit Paris. Just don't eat your sandwich sitting on a statue of the Sun King or on the Château's front steps, and we will remain good friends (see comment above!) :-)

      Hugs to you and Meeps.

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  11. Bonjour Veronique. For lacking inspiration, your post is certainly very interesting and full of great pictures. Welcome back! A bientot.

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    1. Merci Michel. As for inspiration, you know what they say: It's a bit like the appetite: "Il vient en mangeant..." (It comes while you eat...) This post may have started slow, and meandered like a lazy river for a while, but it finished strong. I like that. Thank you for your support, as always.

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  12. Et moi...I've been too "busy" to even stop by your blog. I do hope you find time/inspiration to share more from Hogwarts and Privet Drive!

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    1. Ha! I knew some readers would enjoy to hear more about the Magical World of the Warners Bros. studios in London. What a visit that was. Let's wait a few weeks. Methinks this would make a good post for Halloween. What do you think?

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    2. Moi, moi, moi!!! I want to hear more! Sounds like it might be time to go back to London! But then, when isn't it time? :)

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  13. Hi Veronique! I have enjoyed traveling along with you vicariously on your lovely summer trip! Enjoy the days at home alone (even though I am sure you are missing your boys)! xoxo

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    1. My dear Sandy. Thank you for stopping by. I am too busy to miss my boy. He is having fun out on the water, and that is all that matters. As for me, how pleasant to follow my own schedule without interruptions. I know you understand :-)

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  14. Well, well, well. Clearly it takes all kinds, and I know exactly which kind I'd like taken. Your "typically French" sense of diplomacy (They invented it!) was beautifully on display in your response to Anna in Versailles. Bravo!

    Enough about that............

    En panne d'inspiration? J'ai vraiment du mâl à le croire.

    A la semaine prochaine, ma chère Véro,

    Big bisous, M-T

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    1. Bon d'accord, j'avais peut-être quand même un peu d'inspiration... Elle est venue en regardant les photos, en fait.

      Oui, à la semaine prochaine. J'essaierai de ne pas être trop diplomate quand même. Mes amis me préfèrent un peu plus directe je crois (ou peut-être pas...) :-)

      Je m'occupe du restau. Ce sera très sympa de vous revoir tous les deux. Bisous et bon voyage!

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  15. Dearest Véronique,
    Lovely post with the exact mix of melancholy that one lives with for quite a while when having visited the Old World.
    When you say to the 'dumping station', I do hope that indicates for it to be recycled and/or used.
    Oh, l'orangerie... and entire Versailles is a must see. I've been several times, once I took my Parents along. The fact that so many paid with their life for digging out that swamp is shocking though. Like you wrote about 'a BIG EGO'... Sad.
    So glad you had again great experiences together with Junior and your family.
    Hugs to you,
    Mariette

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    1. You are right Mariette, it is best not to focus on the lives (and money) it took to build a place like Versailles. Even so, it is difficult not to be impressed when one stands in front of the main building, while looking down at the gardens and Grand Canal. A unique place, that, according to my guidebook, is still the reference for châteaux everywhere. The Sun King knew he would not be forgotten after giving the world such an incredible place... Thank you for your visit, as always!

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  16. Bonjor Veronique,
    I know that feeling!
    It hits me with a thump when ever I return from a trip and although I adore my family and friends and know how very fortunate I am, there is still a longing that invades my "real life" day to day existence and unsettles me for a while ...
    Start planning the next adventure I say!
    You have reminded me that my cupboards could also do with a "Spring" clean ...
    Wishing you sunny days in Seattle from Joanna in wintry Perth,

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    1. Bonjour Joanna. Thank you for stopping by chez Moi.
      I am glad you understand how I feel... Funny you should mention planning a new adventure. I have been thinking exactly the same thing :-)
      Stay warm in Perth. I will have to come and visit Australia one day... A bientôt.

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  17. Welcome back, Véronique! I thoroughly enjoyed following along on your Europe trip and I was delighted when I spotted your new post. Panne d'inspiration - well I'd say there's plenty here! Your favourite breakfast place in Nice looks wonderful and how I wish we had had the time to vist Versailles again during our recent Paris trip (I've been several times but not for years) Your photo of the gardens is stunning! The Dali Museum is already on my list - I know we would find it fascinating. It's three weeks since we arrived back from Vietnam and once home, for some reason, I had a sudden urge to have a clear out - trips to the charity shop and 'spring' cleaning. Great minds think alike! A bientôt!
    PS Great photo of you both in front of the Deuche! That must have been so much fun.

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    1. Bonjour miss b. Vietnam, eh? It sounds as if I have to catch up on my blog reading. I can't wait to read about your adventures there.

      As for clearing out, I highly recommend it. One gets a strong feeling of achievement out of it... not to mention a whole lot of extra space! :-)

      Happy end of [hot] summer in England! It has been my great pleasure to return to your beautiful country this summer.

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  18. Welcome home! Rest up, enjoy your solitude, and you'll be inspired in no time. You can't keep a good writer down!
    ~ Sarah

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    1. Well that is very nice. Thank you, Sarah. It is not the inspiration that is lacking, as much as the time to write... but I will get there. Thank you for stopping by...

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  19. That's so cool that you got to go to Harry Potter's muggle house! I recognized it right away :)

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    1. Be sure to stop by when I write a DETAILED post about my adventures at Hogwarts, Sara Louise :-)

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  20. You almost got me there....this post takes me to inspiration and beyond! :))
    Thank you, chere Veronique, for sharing these gorgeous snapshots....and welcome home...
    Relax and enjoy your ME time.... :))
    That sweet vache is darling....and my daughter would go NUTS at the Harry Potter studio! I think I would get quite excited myself... ;)
    It is not easy coming back to "real life" after such a splendid trip....clearing out unused things is a great antidote, though....
    Fresh energy, if you will...
    Al the best...
    xoxo,
    - Irina :)

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    1. Fresh energy indeed, Irina. And it will be needed in the fall, for several reasons. I have had a wonderful time during my "staycation," and even though I am happy to see Junior again tomorrow, I am also a little sad to see it end...
      Take care.

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  21. It is so good to look at Nice again – your photos are great. I think if I did not have family here in the States I would go and live in Nice – what a city!

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    1. You and me both, Vagabonde, you and me both... :-)

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  22. You KNOW how envious I am of that 2CV rental- and your visit to what could so easily be my home- Le Hameau...
    Hope to see you soon~
    x

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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