"We are all wanderers on this earth...our hearts are full of wonder, and our souls are deep with dreams." ~ Gypsy proverb

Friday, June 1, 2012

Ici en France

It's 8am here in France and I have just sat down to my second cup of coffee (a want not a need :). This is the earliest I've been up since I"ve been here, and being the only one up right now and writing to you feels like home.

I've started writing the postcards I promised you, and I cannot explain the joy it gives me to offer you a piece of what I am experiencing. I originally put a deadline of last Monday for anyone that wanted a postcard, but now am opening it back up in case anyone else has missed the offer. I may still be writing on my flight home, but I don't think you will mind...

France is a slice of heaven, and we haven't even been to Paris yet. Being here with my children and my mother-in-law I knew would offer a different experience than when I was here with Hubs on our honeymoon. This time the emotions run richer, tapping into the simplicity of living purely by the senses. The crumbly stone architecture that promises to last another 100 years, the open fields of yellow wheat flanked by orange, purple and white wildflowers, the octogenarians hobbling on the streets that look as ancient and as resilient as the architecture they live in, the artisan baguettes that smell and taste like history--not just flour, water and yeast, and the language, oh that beautiful language that resonates invitingly all around me. Everyone here, everyone, says "bonjour" and "bonsoir", you can't help but want to say it, too...

Yesterday we visited the Chåteau de la Ferté-Saint-Aubin, a place that has existed since the 11th century...

the entrance
the stable's bridle room

the kitchen in the basement
the awesome kitchen again
the madeleine making demo
the servants' dining area
the dining room
the chateau's own gare station, with its attendant hee hee
the church in the backyard
And to keep it real with Monica, some things that have posed a bit of difficulty since being here in France:

the sun that just doesn't go down until after 10pm--

the pastries, OH MY GOODNESS, the pastries, and we have only just begun (my MIL tells me that I haven't even had a real pastry yet)

missing my hubs and wishing he was here

wishing I spoke better French

having my children (who have great French accents) tell me that my American accent is embarrassing...

Thinking of you and wishing you Bon week end!!


ps.  for your weekend: Time To Wander (Joan Of Arc Remix) by Gypsy & The Cat on Grooveshark


  1. Ohh so many beautiful pictures! It seems you have a great time there. :) And your not alone with the language barrier! French is my second language (at least that's what I've been told LOL!) but really, I can't speak it at all. Have a wonderful weekend!

  2. I love the church, how pretty!
    I can't never get my accent right either MJ, although like you, my children can, especially my youngest. Maybe as we age [gracefully] that part of our brains shrinks? I don't know, but I do know that you must be having an awesome time and I am looking forward to all your posts so I can pretend I'm there too. ;) Would you please eat a pastry for me? Oh, one of my weaknesses! Have fun.

  3. Beautiful photos! The church is absolutely gorgeous. So glad that you are having a fabulous time. Just keep on talking in French with your American accent, its okay. Some of us just can not ever get rid of it. I have been trying when I speak Italian, but it is what it is :). xo

  4. Those pictures are gorgeous! It all sounds so lovely. I was in Paris & Provence several years ago but I remember the pastries like it was yesterday! You are in trouble indeed :0

  5. Bonjour MJ! (Did you hear my lilting french accent as I said that?) Soooo happy for your trip and the time you have with your kids in such a beautiful and yummy place!

    Enjoy it all....so excited to receive my postcard! :)

  6. So exciting! What a lovely, lovely place and sweet adventure. Enjoy!! :-)

  7. And a Bon Weekend to you too. The last photo, the one of the church, I wouldn't mind being there. ;)

  8. what a great adventure! so glad to know you're enjoying it, it's a magical, magical place.

  9. Thank you so much for taking us along!
    I've been a few times, but not in so many years. I would appreciate it so differently at this stage in my life, as you clearly are.
    Your husband is French, right? So your MIL must be a great guide.
    I had such a bad French accent. Still do. All I can say from all those many years in French Class: Je vais a la plage.
    Sad, that.

  10. I hate to ask, but i would a postcard too! Your trip looks amazing- i am happy to check in each day and see what is happening!

    1. email me your address Amy!!!

  11. Wow. The stories those rooms could tell. I'm entranced by your photos. Keep having an absolute blast.

  12. oh the setting of that church!
    pastries. i would be a rolling tub of lard if i lived in France, lol

  13. I would be thrilled to receive a postcard from you.
    Cathy von Hassel-Davies
    7002 Raymon Rd
    Graham, NC 27253


  14. oh my how beautiful. you are such a gorgeous writer, i loved reading your words mj. and i love that you sat with a cup of coffee(LOVE that cup) in the early morning alone. and the servants quarters, what a stunning room. so glad you are having a wonderful time, enjoy those pastries dear, it's a requirement. :)
    xxx lori

  15. Looks like you are having a fabulous time and I think the older we get the more we appreciate life experiences. That set table is gorgeous!!!

  16. yes, I love that kitchen and would rather eat in the servants quarters, it's earthier! enjoy enjoy enjoy. I look forward to checking my mailbox in the new little bit.


  17. Stunning pictures! I love France! My paternal grandfather was French so I always feel at home there :)
    So happy you are having such a wonderful time!

  18. That kitchen!!! Oh, my goodness, how I love that kitchen! And the church, such idyllic beauty. love, love, love

  19. So awesome. What a great experience to see all of these things with your children! Enjoy the rest of your trip!

  20. Soak it up, if anyone deserves to sop up that Frenchness it be you! I forgot to request a p.c. it ok if I email you my address? xo

  21. Loving your photos. Thanks for a little insight into your adventures so far. Jacinta


“Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.”
~ George Bernard Shaw