Tag Archive: France

Château de Chenonceau

It looks like Andy is standing in front of a painted set!

We went to this lovely castle when we were staying in the Loire Valley when our daughter, Samantha, joined us in France in the summer of 2012. The Loire Valley is dotted with beautiful castles, but this was my favorite!



The best part of traveling for me isn’t the cool historical sights or beautiful nature….it’s the people we meet along the journey.   This past July, we had just finished a busy nine days of seeing many beautiful towns in Germany and Italy: Dinkelsbuhl, Fussen, Lake Garda, Vicenza, Verona, and Venice.  Then we packed up, and drove four hours to stay with our friends Brigitte and Louis, who live in a lovely home at the foot of the Alps, just outside Grenoble, France. We arrived just before sunset, and were treated to delicious home cooked French food with champagne.

The garden

Nate was delighted to have a garden to play in!

The next day we just wanted to chill out and hang around the beautiful garden and take in the views all around us.

The front gate

The front gate

Who needs to go sightseeing when this is out your front gate?  Just going for a walk down the street is “sightseeing”.  So that’s just what we did: Brigitte, Nate and I went for a walk.

Going for a walk

Our street

Just a few doors down, Brigitte’s neighbor has goats, chickens, donkeys, dogs, and rabbits.



Brigitte’s neighbor wasn’t home so we continued on our walk.





What a beautiful place!  Brigitte and Louis are very blessed to call this place home!  We headed back to their house, and stopped by the neighbor’s house who was now home.  Nate got to play on the tractor…..


and pet a donkey…which was quite exciting for a city boy!


We ran into Andy just as we arrived; he was heading out for a bike ride.

This is just outside the front gate.

This is just outside the front gate.

Brigitte and Louis invited us to eat lunch with them in their garden.  They thought we were a little crazy because as the week went on we wanted to spend a large part of it just hanging around their lovely home and garden.  Can you blame us?!!

Life is good here!

Good food, good cheese, good wine, good company…life is good!

We slept in every day, and rarely left the house before noon.  We went for a picnic next to a monastery that was just a short drive away.

We found a shady spot with a view.

We found a shady spot with a view.

The view!

The view! We were the only ones having a picnic, so we had it all to ourselves.

We shared the view with these friends:)

We shared the view with these friends:)

The monastery

The monastery

Just below the monastery.

Just below the monastery.

More stunning views as we headed "home".

More stunning views as we headed “home”.

We also enjoyed a couple evenings together with Brigitte and Louis’ next-door neighbors, with more great French cuisine and wine.  We had a great time talking, playing pool, and enjoying French beverages of all sorts, late into the night:)  Andy and Louis relaxed the next day, watching the Tour de France on TV.

The summer "dining room".

The summer “dining room”.

All meals included French wine, and were followed by French cheese.  My favorite quote (from Brigitte’s father, I think) I heard was ” a meal without cheese is like a beautiful woman with one eye!”

While staying with Brigitte and Louis we also did day trips to Grenoble, Annecy and Mont Blanc.  I’ll post photos in future blog posts.

It was difficult to say good-bye to our wonderful hosts and leave this beautiful home.

It was difficult to say good-bye to our wonderful hosts and leave this beautiful home.

If you get the chance to visit this part of France, take it!  You definitely won’t regret it!! Thank you, Brigitte and Louis for such wonderful hospitality!

Utah Beach

Utah Beach, July 2013

The D-Day invasion of Normandy took place on June 6th, 1944. Utah Beach was the code name for the westernmost of the Allied landing beaches. If you continued walking down the beach, you would eventually  arrive at Omaha Beach, which saw the heaviest casualties of American soldiers (dramatized in the first scene of Saving Private Ryan). It was a sobering experience to walk on this beach, to imagine the hundreds of landing craft, and to remember the brave young soldiers who risked and gave their lives on the beaches of Normandy.


Lying 60km to the south of Lake Geneva, ANNECY is one of the most beautiful and popular resort towns of the French Alps. The delights of the town nowadays lie not just in its historical monuments, like the imposing Chateâu on the hill or the fort of the Palais d'Île closer to the lake, but also in the stunning scenery which can be admired from various points around the town. Surrounded by spectacular mountains and located on the banks of a sparkling turquoise lake, Annecy is about as close to a fairy-tale city as it is possible to get except in a children's story.


Annecy  is one of the most beautiful historic and popular resort towns of the French Alps.  The scenery around Annecy is  stunning!  It is surrounded by spectacular mountains, located on the banks of a sparkling turquoise lake.  We spent a lovely day here in July 2013.

, is the highest mountain in the Alps and the European Union.[1] It rises 4,810 m

Mont Blanc is the highest mountain in the Alps. It rises 4,810 m (15,781 feet)!

This was our view on a spectacular sunny day in the French Alps in the company of wonderful new friends!