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Charming

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Architecture, Ardèche, Auvergne Rhône-Alpes, Blog, Charming, City, Dessert, Explore, Food, France, French, History, Holiday, Loire, marché, market, Rhone-Alpes, Saint-Étienne, Travel, Valence, Village

My First French Noël

Waking up between 5:30 and 6:00 before my family allows me to savor the tranquility of the early hours. Each morning is a solitary affair, embraced by the gentle glow of dim lights. With the onset of the Christmas holidays,…

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Ardèche, Auvergne Rhône-Alpes, Blog, Cafe, Charming, chestnuts, Dessert, Drôme, Food, France, French, Guides, History, Holiday, Loire, marrons, Rhone-Alpes, Travel, Village, Wine

It’s Been 2 Months of Living in France

A New Chapter: Sacrifices RewardedWe arrived in France on 16 August. After being married to someone who was married to a restaurant, we both desperately longed for “quality of life”. No more setting my alarm late at night to be…

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Architecture, Ardèche, Auvergne, Auvergne Rhône-Alpes, Blog, Cafe, Castle, Charming, Chateau, City, Dessert, Explore, Food, France, French, History, Inspiration, Travel, Vacation, Village, Wine

The Wine Towns of Tournon-sur-Rhône & Tain l’Hermitage

It was a warm Sunday and Olivier and I decided to spend the day in the charming towns of Tournon-sur-Rhône and Tain l’Hermitage. Just a short drive from our home, it was a pleasant change of pace.  Tournon-sur-Rhône is a…

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Ardèche, Auvergne Rhône-Alpes, Blog, Charming, France, French, Rhone-Alpes, Village

Settling in Ardèche

We stayed with my belle-mère (mother-in-law) when we first arrived in France. After three weeks, we finally moved into our own place in the Ardèche department. The Ardèche is known for its stunning scenery, including rolling hills, vineyards, and forests. We…

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Architecture, Ardèche, Auvergne, Auvergne Rhône-Alpes, Blog, Charming, Explore, France, French, Haute-Loire, Loire, marché, market, Rhone-Alpes, Travel, Village

The Big Move

Closing a restaurant, selling our belongings, and giving them away; packing and cleaning up the house for renters was an exhausting experience. I worried for months about how the cats, Toby and Summer, would travel, hoping that they wouldn’t be relegated…

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Blog, Charming, Explore, Food, France, French, Holiday, Inspiration, Shopping, Travel, Vacation, Village

Travelling with Kids: Haribo Candy Museum

While I’m anticipating our next trip to France, I’m thinking of the places where we visited during our last stay. In fact, we visiting some very interesting and fun villages and sites, but I neglected to post anything about them. Why? I’m ashamed to say it, but here goes: I was mad that I had to leave! Yes, I said it. It’s true. I didn’t want to think about it once I returned home. Not that normal life is bad – to the contrary, there is a lot to feel grateful for. We live in beautiful San Francisco, have a great house, a happy family, etc. But driving down the street while I do errands I might see any number of cute places and I think, “Oh, that would be fun to hang out there” and then I think, “When…?” Lack of time is a very real dilemma and a big reason to wish

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Ardèche, Auvergne, Auvergne Rhône-Alpes, Blog, Charming, Dessert, Explore, Ferme Auberge, Food, France, French, l'eau de vie, Loire, Lyon, market, Montpellier, Rhone-Alpes, Shopping, Travel, Vacation, Village

Food Shopping in France

Take butter for instance. There are so many brands: President, Montfleuri, Elle & Vivre, Grand Fermage, Reflets de France, le Marin, Paysan Breton, and the supermarket’s own brand, Carrefour. Whew, I may have even missed some. Within all those brands,…

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Blog, Charming, City, Explore, France, French, History, Holiday, Inspiration, Lyon, Puppets, Rhone-Alpes, Theater, Travel, Vacation

Puppets & Dentistry: Guignol de Lyon

What do puppets and tooth extraction have in common? Imagine a crowd has gathered on the street in Lyon, in about the year 1797; people laughing and clapping. You push forward to see what it’s all about and you see…

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Architecture, Blog, Castle, Charming, Chateau, Explore, France, French, Guides, History, Inspiration, Lyon, Rhone-Alpes, Travel, Village

A Visit to Hidden Malleval, France

On a winding road from Lyon toward Saint-Étienne, hidden in the high craggy hills, sits a magical little stone village called Malleval. Although this area isn’t famous for shopping and glamorous fashion, what you will find is the picturesque charm…

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Architecture, Ardèche, Cafe, Charming, chestnuts, Food, France, French, History, Joyeuse, marché, market, marrons, Rhone-Alpes, Travel, Village

Joyeuse: Summer in Ardèche

Joyeuse is a medieval village in Ardèche, France. It’s hard to believe that its population is about 2,000, because on Wednesdays the village is bustling with visitors attending the largest market in Ardèche. The market is held every Wednesday and there are over 500…

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