Join us on a photo journey of France, Europe and beyond on our photoblog. Click on the photo or go to: www.france-and-beyond-photoblog.com
If you have an IPhone or IPod and are planning a visit to Chambery, buy my ITunes App. It will walk you through the city of Chambery to each historic landmark with walking directions, history, a map, and narrative. It's just $2.99. Click on the above photo of the elephant fountain for the link to the app.
CarolLee Miles started her career in 1986, and by 1990 she had already traveled to all 7 continents and developed a passion for cruising!Miles shares many professional, personal and philosophical secrets in Getting Paid to Cruise. If you’re looking for career change, this book is for you.
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Chambery Guide Book
Get my Chambery, France Guide Book free with the purchase of my Cookbook: 'French Comfort Food: Recipes of Savoie and the French Alps.' Get both for only $7.99. Click the photo to get more information or to purchase your books now.
A basic grammar and vocabulary review of the French language, as well as some informal & slang vocabulary and a special section on vocabulary for English-speaking expatriates living in France. Also included is an appendix on French pronunciation for English speakers as well as IPA transcriptions for most of the vocabulary lists and all of the verb conjugations.
Visit the Store to buy the e-book for $9.95 or paperback book for $24.95.
Join us on a small group tour of the French Alps on June 8-15th, 2013. I designed this tour to include the best of the region. Wander the Medieval town of Annecy, nicknamed the Venice of the French Alps, and take a boat ride on its crystal blue lake. Are you the adventurous type? Then parasail tandem off a mountain or take a cable car up to a 13,000 foot mountain near Mont Blanc. Are you a foodie? Taste local chocolates, cheeses, wines and hazelnut oils. Eat at two award-winning restaurants and have your private chef cook meals made with local products. Are you a history buff? Then satisfy your curiosity at Lyon's Old Town or Vienne's Roman Temple and excavated Roman city. Or just enjoy watching the parasailers and sunset while enjoying an outdoor aperitif on the top of a mountain overlooking Annecy's lake. See you in the French Alps! www.french-alps-tours.com
Get my ECookbook: 'French Comfort Food: Recipes of Savoie and the French Alps.'
51 recipes of the region, collected from friends and local cookbooks. This is the only English language Savoie and French Alps cookbook in print. Only $7.99 and includes a bonus book: The Chambery Guide Book.
Click the photo to buy yours now or go to the Cookbook Page on the Navigation Bar!
Videos, photos and posts can be used or posted noncommerically (this means you can't sell my films, photos or put them in or on anything you sell!), but everything must be linked back to this blog and must list me as the creator.
Two of our favorite activities while in Florida were the Babcock Wilderness Eco-Tour in Punta Gorda and the Sand Sculpting World Championship on Fort Myers Beach. We recommend attending them both but you can visit them in my videos too:
Okay, I admit that Florida is not known for its wines. In fact, it’s hard to believe that they actually produce wine at all. But being the open-minded people we are, we decided to try a couple of wineries. The first is the only winery in the Fort Myers/Naples/Sanibel Island area. It’s called Eden Winery (first video) and, while their vineyards are in the Tampa area now since the local vineyards were wiped out by a hurricane, the tasting room and production is in the Fort Myers area. We did a wine tasting and were actually surprised that they weren’t too bad. Not that great, but not bad either. We even bought a couple of bottles (around $12 each). We also got an education. Apparently, the native vines in Florida are resistant to a fungus that attacks and kills normal grapes which are grown in other parts of the world. However, the Florida grapes do not taste good and can’t be used alone to make wine. So they brought French vines to Florida and grafted them to the Florida vines about 60 years ago. It is these hybrids that are used to make the Florida wines.
The other winery we visited was in Central Florida, the Lakeridge Winery. We took a tour of the production area and winery and we knew we were probably in trouble when we saw massive bags of Domino sugar everywhere (second video). We attended the wine tasting, and frankly, they were some of the worst wines we’ve ever tasted. In fact, I couldn’t take more than the smallest sip and then had to throw it out. The wines actually had a pine sap taste to them, which makes sense since Florida is overrun with Pine trees. See the wine tastings for yourself.
This year we made two short journeys to visit both Greece and Spain…in Florida.
Tarpon Springs is a small town north of Tampa that was founded 100+ years ago by Greeks who came to harvest the sponges from the surrounding Gulf bays and depths. The sponge divers had very dangerous jobs since originally they dove unprotected to depths that could ultimately kill them when they surfaced too quickly, giving them the fatal ‘bends.’ Later they tried the use of diving suit and helmet with a hose to the boats above for oxygen, which allowed them to stay down longer. Tarpon Springs grew up around this industry and today most of the businesses are still owned by Greeks. You can buy imported Greek products and foods in many stores and hear Greek music on every corner. It was actually a nice change and a fun visit, even if it is ridiculously touristy.
St. Augustine, which you’ll see more of next week, is the oldest continually occupied European-settled city in America. It sits on the northeast coast of Florida and has a history dating back to 1545, most of which is Spanish. This video is of an evening we spent walking around St Augustine plus a lovely dinner we had, complete with what sounded to us like French Manouche Jazz. It’s a small world…
Saint Augustine is the oldest continually occupied city in the United States. It sits on the northern east coast of Florida and has a fantastic Old Town. You can tell from the name that is was established by the Spanish but the French also governed for a short time (unfortunately, being massacred by the Spanish), and of course, the Native Americans were there first. It has a fascinating history, much of it represented in the Old Town, architecture and old Fort.
The Flagler University in the second video was built by Flagler, an entrepreneur, famous for building the railroad from Miami to Key West, which was later destroyed by a hurricane. The University was built at the turn of the 19th century and originally was a Hotel for his rich friends that came to Florida for winter holidays. You’ll see some beautiful Art Deco examples, including magnificent Tiffany stained glass windows.
Here are a couple of videos that show some of St. Augustine’s history.
Nuit des Musées in Paris: French art shines bright at night
To most cinema fans, Midnight in Paris is just a film by Woody Allen. But if recent comedy blockbusters are not your cup or tea, your own idea of a midnight in Paris might just be that of a starry sky making the River Seine or the little Montmartre alleyways look even more magical than they are during daytime.
But hey, romance is not everyone’s cup of tea! Starry nights in Paris are all very well, but what about doing something that will completely change your nocturnal experience of the Ville Lumière? For those who, like me, live a few hours away from the capital, it’s really worth mixing the typical weekend trip with the unique events that only Paris can offer. This is of course also valid if you live across the border: cheap flights in this period are quite easy to find from all major European capitals.
The 18th of May, the Nuit des Musées will represent the perfect excuse for you to discover the cultural side of Paris from a different perspective. Taking place all around France and Europe, this is an annual event during which all the most important museums stay open at night, with free access to most of them. Adding to the traditional experience of some of the best museums in the world, will be selected special events such as shows of light and sound, concerts and screenings which will take place all around the city.
I have already written down a list of the few museums that you could potentially visit for the event: while the wider programme of the 2013 event has not yet been disclosed, the Musée d’Orsay has just recently presented its own programme. Open until midnight, the museum will host a series of talks about different artworks, from Monet to Mondrian. On top of this, Orsay will also host choreographic shows of dance and Indian music between 9pm and 11pm.
But nothing is written in stone yet: you might as well start the night a bit further out towards Versailles Museum – if anything like last year is to be expected, I’m hoping that the focus here will be events about astronomy and the wonders that the universe has to offer.
Elsewhere, the Museum of Natural History (Metro Austerlitz) with its great gallery dedicated to the evolution of the species, the iconic Louvre Museum and the Palais de Tokyo are all pretty safe bets, and I’m sure will have something unique to offer once their full programmes are announced.