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Nous sommes heureux que vous soyez ici! Je vous remercie.

Si notre français doit être corrigé, envoyez-nous vos commentaires. En 2014, nous avons traduit l’entrée quotidienne du blog en français. Mais pour 2016, ce sera tout de suite dans un certain temps. Habituellement, le blog ne sera que en anglais.

Pour 2017, ce sera un blog hebdomadaire, espérons-le, publié dimanche. Ce ne sera probablement qu’en anglais. La traduction en français n’est pas difficile, c’est tout le reformatage du texte et des images qui le rendent difficile.


We are glad you are here! Thank you.

If our French needs to be corrected, send us your comments. In 2014 we translated the daily blog entry into French.  But for 2016 that will be just once in a while.  Usually the blog will only be in English.

For 2017 it will be a weekly blog hopefully published on Sunday.  It will probably only be in English.  The translation to French is not difficult, it is all the reformatting of the text and pictures which makes it difficult.


 

le semaine se terminant le samedi 30 septembre 2017 – the week ending Saturday September 30 2017

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This is the last blog for our trip to France in 2017.  A little sad, but there is next year! Back in the USA.

le lundi 25 septembre 2017 – Monday September 25, 2017

Sandy walks through the Place du Marché aux Légumes her way to the boulangerie each morning. She noticed today that the trees lining each side of the place were full of birds. There was a lot of chirping, singing, etc. She wondered if they were getting together here in France as they do in the USA just before they migrate.

We had our final tutoring course with Christine for this year. Sandy has learned a lot from her and she makes learning fun. On the way to Christine’s house we went past a chocolate shop with a funny sign in the window.

mon cul fait mal - quoi? in Paramé

mon cul fait mal – quoi? in Paramé

 

While we were waiting for the bus to return a delivery truck stopped across the street at the butcher shop. We could see right inside the truck when they opened the doors. Two full size pigs were hanging by their feet inside. They had been skinned and the head removed. Too much visualization for us. Our bus trip to her house and back was uneventful and not crowded.

After lunch Sandy organized our prescriptions. She made a list of the kind and quantity of medications left in our apartment. That will make packing for next year a little easier.

le mardi 26 septembre 2017 – Tuesday September 26, 2017

Today was our final haircut in France. The coiffure is very skilled and we like the way she cuts our hair. We wished her farewell and a good winter. We told her we hoped to see her next year.

Sandy shopped for the last time at the marché. She told Monsieur Alix she would see him next year. He will also begin his vacation on Friday.

After lunch we returned Sandy’s last book from the library, mailed a letter at the Gare and bought a baguette to have with meatballs for dinner. We sat by the harbor for a while and the temperature was warm. Much too warm to even wear a light jacket.

le mercredi 27 septembre 2017 – Wednesday September 27, 2017

Our final day! Sandy brought home a baguette for breakfast to help us finish the butter. We cleaned, washed clothes, put away, sorted, and finished packing everything we could for today.

We took a last walk around the ramparts and spotted a cruise ship in the harbor. It was called Marina.

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Marina cruise ship in the harbor

On the ramparts we found a lot of gulls.  Sandy had some leftover bread in her pocket so she feed the gulls.

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Sandy feeding the gulls

While walking the 1 mile around the ramparts, we saw the court.  Our friend Alain was not playing today.

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looking down a the Bretonne Boules court

We did take time to get a picture of ourselves on the ramparts.

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on the ramparts with the sea behind us

We called our friend Alain, and emailed other friends to say farewell for this year. We checked our travel plans, train, hotel, airlines, and rental car. Our condo building distributed new door FOBS while we were gone and the old one we brought with us to get back into our building in the USA won’t work. Hopefully, our son left a new one so we could find it.

le jeudi 28 septembre 2017 – Thursday September 28, 2017

We were up, showered, dressed and walked to the boulangerie for breakfast before 8 am. It was still dark outside and Sandy was glad Phil was with her. We enjoyed delicious baguettes, croissants, orange juice and grande cafe creme for breakfast. We told the boulangere good-bye for the year and we would see her next year. We finished a few things in our apartment and walked to the bus stop. We got on the 9h35 #3 bus to the Gare. We waited just a few minutes, boarded a RER local train and departed. The train made 5 stops in 55 minutes before we arrived at our destination of Rennes. Rennes is a large city and the capital of Brittany. There was a lot of construction at the station and the noise was very loud.

We bought a sandwich to eat on the train, waited 55 minutes and boarded the train to CDG in Paris. Our trip was very uneventful. We traveled in 2nd class. The train car and seats were similar to Amtrak. We then took the CDGVAL, which is a tram that runs between Terminals 1, 2, 3 and long-term parking. We reserved a hotel room at the IBIS Styles hotel which is literally between the IBIS and Pullman hotels. It was just a few feet outside of the airport doors in Terminal 3. We had checked in online and our key was waiting. The hotel had been built after 2014. It was a decent sized room for Paris standards, was clean, everything worked and was very convenient.

We had dinner in the hotel dining room which was fairly small. There were 3 choices for a meal and 3 choices for a sandwich. We tried to check in online for our flight. We both received messages that said we were unable to check in and needed to see an agent. We didn’t understand this.

le vendredi 28 septembre 2017 – Friday September 29, 2017

We were up and eating breakfast just after 6h30. The breakfast was included with our hotel and was fine. The restaurant was busy even at that time.

We took the same shuttle from the previous day to Terminal 2A and were ready to get in line to speak to an agent. has many kiosks for self-service check in. There was an agent at the kiosks and Phil explained our need for an agent. He said he would help us at the kiosk. There was no problem checking in and printing a boarding pass. We dropped off our luggage to be checked and headed for TSA. In less than 45 minutes, we checked in, went through border control, TSA, and were headed for our gate.

However, we were very early (3 hours before boarding) because we thought we’d have to wait in line a long time to see an agent. We were relieved! It was almost boarding time when they called many names to see an agent – ours included. It seems Sandy was one of the randomly chosen people for extra security screening. We found out that the screening was the reason we couldn’t check in online. When we looked at our boarding passes, Sandy’s had printed on it. Phil’s boarding pass had different letters, none were an S. Sandy and about 20 other people were taken individually, to a spot at the top of the boarding ramp. She was asked to lift up her shirt at the waist to show she didn’t have pockets. She was asked to lift up her pant legs and roll down her socks. She had to open her purse and backpack, take both U.S and French cell phones out and lay them on the table. She and her items were scanned then the scanner was checked on the computer. After passing these measures, she and the other people were not allowed onto the plane or back in the waiting room. They waited about 20 minutes together before boarding the plane ahead of all other passengers.

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Gate A38 flight from Paris to Chicago then on to San Francisco

The plane ride home took off on time, was uneventful and landed 40 minutes early. We paid extra for first row of so we would have seats. It was definitely worth it! Phil stretched out his legs completely and there was no one in front of us. The meal that they served was delicious and the snacks were fine. Phil reminded Sandy that the food was prepared in Europe and that may have been the reason they were better to the food served on the way to France.

We landed at 13h40 local time which was 20h00 Paris time. We stopped at the Passport kiosk to print our re-entry ticket, waited to go through customs, picked up our luggage, stopped at the border control booth, and were in the rental car shuttle in 35 minutes! We were given a Jeep SUV for the ride back to Holland.

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Jeep rental car

The road traffic on a Friday afternoon was bumper to bumper on the tollways, but we had been in worse. Indiana highways were still under construction, but the traffic thinned out in Michigan. We stopped at a McDonald’s for a yogurt parfait, Family Fare grocery store in Holland for breakfast items and were in our condo parking lot by 20h00. We were exhausted after being awake for 20 hours. As soon as we put the clean sheets on our bed and unpacked necessary items we were in bed. It was a relief to be back.

le samedi 30 septembre 2017 – Saturday September 30, 2017

We both slept fairly well. The 6 hour time difference between Michigan and France is difficult. The eating and sleeping schedules are awkward. We returned the rental car and stopped at the grocery store for fruit and a few more food items. We took it easy and rested or napped a bit. We both still felt like our bodies were in motion.

le semaine se terminant le dimanche 24 septembre 2017 – the week ending Sunday September 24, 2017

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Monday September 18, 2017 – le lundi 18 septembre 2017

It was quite cool when Sandy bought our breakfast. The temperature was 9C / 49F. The boulangère at La Fournée Malouine reminded Sandy that she will be closed tomorrow on Tuesday, so with a quick <<À mercredi.>> (See you on Wednesday), she was on her way home with our croissants.

We expected a package to be delivered before noon, so after it arrived at 11h00 we were on the bus at 11h07 to shop at the Intermarché grocery store for the final time. Like many stores in France they close for lunch between 12h30 and 14h00. We arrived, completed our shopping and were back in our apartment by 12h00. We love those quick shopping trips. Trips to the supermarket in the USA usually take a long time, but they do have more choices in the stores.  We can make do with fewer choices.

After lunch we spent some time on the harbor. A construction company had used fencing to fence in many huge bags of sand and a cement mixer. All of the benches close to the edge of the harbor were within the fencing so people can no longer sit near the edge. We heard sirens approaching and watched as three fire department rescue vehicles sped in front of us towards the mole or breakwater. Apparently someone fell over the edge of the wall. High tide was in 3 hours so we hoped the huge rocks below the wall were covered with water.

We did see a small cargo ship unloading in the basin.

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cargo ship unloading in the basin

Next we saw the ship Belem come into the harbor and sail right into the ecluse or lock. We waited for it to come through into the basin. It is a very pretty ship and moored just outside Porte Saint-Louis.

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BELEM

Tuesday September 19, 2017 – le mardi 19 septembre 2017

Cloudy, cool, and windy today! Sandy shops for our breakfast at the Cathedral Boulangerie since our usual boulangerie is closed today. It is always a visually and aromatic delight to walk into this boulangerie. It is owned by two young men, pierced nose, lips, etc, but they make fabulous breads, viennoiserie, and pastries.

On her way back to our apartment she greeted our hairdresser, the poissonnier (fish seller), and waves at Monsieur Alix at the marché. Already it is a wonderful day to be up and out in Saint-Malo.

We took the bus to a stop near the hospital and walked up the hill to the Secours Catholic (Catholic Charities). They operate a small clothing and household goods store and we had some clothing to donate. Sandy also saves the 1 and 2 centime coins each year when we’re in France and we gave them a sandwich zip-lock bag full of coins.  Our walk took us past our friend Alain’s residence, so we took a quick picture.

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the gate at Alain’s residence

Next we walked to Saint-Servan to visit the butcher at the marché. He was on vacation for 2 weeks and this was his first day back. The building is being remodeled and his designated spot is under construction. There was a sign on the wall saying he was located near the poissonnerie area. We found him with a long line as usual but he had less refrigerated case space and we noticed a smaller amount for sale.

We walked back to the Intra-Muros and enjoyed a coffee at Charley’s Bar. Around 2 pm our friend Alain stopped by to say hi. He told us he was playing boules this afternoon and we watched for over an hour. When the sun was out, the day was nice and warm, but when clouds came by, it felt cold.

Wednesday September 20, 2017 – le mercredi 20 septembre 2017

We took the bus to the La Madeleine center to buy a replacement fluorescent circular light ring for our bedroom ceiling light. The Carrefour Hypermarche did not carry that style so we went to Kandella, a lighting store. We purchased paper towels and some caramel sauce to eat with apples while we were out. The sun was brilliant, warm and there was a light breeze.

After lunch, the clouds rolled in and even though the temperature was 19C / 67F, it was cool. We tried to buy Phil’s last prescriptions at our usual pharmacy. All non-prescription items were 50% off since they are closing October 14 for good. They didn’t have the medicine and aren’t ordering any more.

We tried the pharmacy across from the Cathédral but it needed to be ordered. We will pick it up tomorrow.

Our friend Denise called from Paris in the evening. We sent a birthday package to her at the end of August because her birthday was September 2. She just received the package earlier today. It wasn’t much of a gift, just a remembrance for her to know we thought about her on her birthday. We were glad she received it.

Thursday September 21, 2017 – le jeudi 21 septembre 2017

Our final week in Saint-Malo. Today we mailed a package to our friend Jean in Paris, had a coffee, and arrived back at our apartment before it rained. Sandy is organizing our remaining food so we finish everything that might spoil before we return next spring. We also have to finish all refrigerated food because we turn the refrigerator off for the winter.

Friday September 22, 2017 – vendredi 22 septembre 2017

Bright and sunny but cool when Sandy shops for our baguette. Normally Friday is our tutoring day with Christine. She changed the day to Monday because she is having some painting done and there are very strong odors in her house. She was aware of Sandy’s allergies and postponed our session until Monday.

We took a walk from our apartment to the north end of the digue and back. It was a wonderful day outside with a high temperature of 66F / 19C and little wind. The tide was very far out and we could see rock formations and small islands that were new to us.

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low tide

When Sandy washed the lettuce to make a salad for dinner, Phil had to remove two snails for her. She doesn’t mind mud on the lettuce after a rainstorm, but she can’t stand the snails. They were tossed out the kitchen window into a hedge.

Saturday September 23, 2017 – le samedi 23 septembre 2017

Sandy could tell as she walked to the boulangerie that the Brittany Ferry had recently arrived. There were several groups of British tourists walking through the street with their luggage. She also passed 4 English girls trying to use their phone to navigate, but the walls often interrupt signals and it is difficult to find your way through the streets. When she entered the boulangerie there were 2 English men looking at the patisserie case and talking to each other about what to order. They were in front of Sandy and should have been waited on first. However, the boulangère saw Sandy, quickly moved over to her, said “Bonjour madam”, and took her order. It is important to be well-known at the boulangerie to insure the wonderful quality of food and to be waited on quickly.

After breakfast we took the bus to the Paramé Mairie bus stop to go to the Paramé marché.  We needed to buy a piece of pork roast for dinner. We told the butcher this was our final shopping trip, wished he and his assistant a good winter, and returned to our apartment. We have not found any meat in the USA that even comes close to the flavor of meat we find in France.

Around 2 pm we took the bus to the Gare for the annual Braderie de la Saint-Michel with around 220 stall holders. It was quite entertaining, a gorgeous sunny day, but we didn’t buy anything. After an hour and a half we headed back to our apartment.

Sunday September 24, 2017 – le dimanche 24 septembre 2017

It was very quiet and calm when Sandy bought our breakfast. She was the only customer in La Fournee Malouin boulangerie at 9h40. It was sprinkling as she walked back to our apartment.

We walked towards the Gare to go to the second day of the braderie. It was less crowded at 11h00 but it was cloudy and the forecast was for light rain after noon. We saw the general  in his “security” clothing. He also had not made any purchases at the braderie. After looking around for an hour, we took the bus back to Intra-Muros.

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the crowd at the Braderie de la Saint-Michel

Sandy spent a couple of hours organizing and packing one piece of our luggage. She also put away the decorative items we enjoy in the kitchen when we are here.

la semaine se terminant le dimanche 17 septembre 2017 – the week ending Sunday September 17, 2017

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le lundi 11 septembre 2017 – Monday September 11, 2017

It was not raining when Sandy shopped for our breakfast. The forecast today was for very strong wind this afternoon and tonight. Possibly over 40 mph. That is strong enough  to cause interruptions in power or along roads that are next to the ocean. The weather channel had issued warnings due to the wind. Usually, we don’t hear much wind since our building is made of granite. We shopped at Intermarché grocery store, arriving one hour later than in the past. There were a few people in line to check out in the two open lanes. There were almost no other people shopping. When we were ready to check out, we waited for 2 minutes. We caught the bus and were home almost immediately. There was a really strong wind blowing. We will not walk out on the mole / breakwater today.

An apartment in the building next to us has been under remodeling. One of the worker truck drivers forced the parking pole out of the concrete in front of our apartment building so he could park there. It took forever last year to get it replaced after the street was re-blacktopped. How inconsiderate of the worker to remove it.

The big news for today; it was cool enough for Phil to wear trousers instead of shorts! Fall must have arrived.

le mardi 12 septembre 2017 – Tuesday September 12, 2017

This was a day for strikes in France. Some businesses and bus lines were affected. <La Fournee Malouine Boulangerie> was closed today. Sandy told the lady yesterday she’d see her in the morning and the madame said that’s right. However, today there was a sign on the door saying closed on Tuesday. We had croissants from the <Cathedral Boulangerie> instead. They were delicious!

We walked to Saint-Servan. On the way there we passed the cruise ship called <National Geographic Orion>. It has been moored in the basin since Sunday. Last year we checked the price of the cruise and it seemed very expensive to us.

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national-geographic-orion-in-the-basin

Next we walked over the ecluse/lock and saw a freighter coming into the basin. It was sitting very low in the water so it must have been full of cargo. We proceeded to Saint-Servan to look around at the marché. Our butcher is still on vacation so we could not buy any meat but we could buy black olives. There were few stands outside. The only stand that was interesting contained two baby wild boars.

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boar piglet at-the-march-in-saint-servan

The vendor was trying to sell some kind of French lozenge or candy. Sandy did not taste any of the samples because the man held them in his bare hand. She did find the boars interesting to look at.

After returning to the Intra-Muros we enjoyed a coffee at <Charley’s Bar>. It was very windy outside the walls but inside the sun was shining and the wind was blocked. A lovely day to sit outside! There were many people driving around but few people walking around. We watched the worker install the housing sign on the former bibliothèque (library) which is now a housing unit.

le mercredi 13 septembre 2017 – Wednesday September 13, 2017

Yeah! <La Fournee Malouine Boulangerie> was open today. Click here to read about the bakery on Trip Advisor. The photo you see on the Trip Advisor site is our granite kitchen counter, our butter dish, glass of cranberry juice, red handled knife and white plate. We took the photo and posted it on their site. Yesterday we decided that the <Cathedral Boulangerie> does have the best croissants here in the Intra-Muros. But, <La Fournee Malouine> has the best baguette. We buy a baguette <Le Festival> which has a very crispy crust but is soft in the center.

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The forecast for today is heavy rain and strong wind until after 15h00. Sandy had books due today at the Mediathéque so our plan was to be there when it opened at 10h00 since the rain was predicted after 11h00. We stepped out of our apartment building and it immediately started to sprinkle. By the time we arrived at the library and got off the bus it was raining enough that we needed our umbrellas.

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inside the mediathèque / library

Same thing on our return trip. However once we walked through the walls, the rain had almost stopped. The rain resumed and kept up continuously the rest of the afternoon. Good thing we had library books to keep us occupied.

le jeudi 14 septembre 2017 – Thursday September 14, 2017

Two weeks left – boo hoo! Sandy bought our usual croissants for breakfast but today included a croissant almond. See the photo that she took. They are made from croissant dough, have a thin layer of custard and almonds, dusted with powdered sugar lots of butter and sliced almonds on top. They were delicious!! It is cold today. The temperature was 9C / 48F. It rained off and on until lunch time. Sandy hung some laundry on the balcony but after a few minutes of sun brought it inside when it started to rain again.

After lunch the sun came out and it was beautiful. We took the bus to the <Carrefour Hypermarche> at the <La Madeleine Center>. We wanted to recycle Brita filters and printer cartridge filters. They take both items that the smaller grocery stores don’t accept. We also bought some caramel sauce to have with apples and white dryer sheets that Sandy folds between the clean sheets and towels over the winter. In 2014 she had used blue dryer sheets only to find out that the blue comes off onto the fabric after a while. She had lots of laundry to do while trying to remove the stain a blue dryer sheet made.

le vendredi 15 septembre 2017 – Friday September 15, 2017

It was cold today! The temperature was 10C / 50F when we walked to catch the bus. It was not raining on our way to the bus stop, but as a precaution we had umbrellas with us and wore our rain coats. It was almost time for the bus to arrive and it started raining even though the sun was shining. We boarded the bus at 9h36 and Sandy took this photo of the rainbow over the ramparts.

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arc en ciel – rainbow

We spent two hours tutoring with Christine and walked back to catch the bus. It had rained while we were at her house but it stopped for our walk. We sit in her dining room looking out the window at her garden for tutoring. We spotted two Pies (magpies) hopping around. They are fun to watch.

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Pie – magpie

le samedi 16 septembre 2017 – Saturday September 16, 2017

It was unusually quiet this morning. Sandy bought our breakfast and made it home before rain shower began. It was raining in the front of our apartment with the sun out, the basin side but not in the back of our building or the ocean side. It only lasted for less than one minute but we still find it unique.

This weekend was <European Heritage Days>.

The European Heritage Days offer a tremendous opportunity to discover public and private buildings that open their doors for the first time or in an exceptional way, revealing their backstage, their unique history or their secret collections.

Many buildings all over France are open to the public for free.

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tour-solidor

We walked to Saint-Servan to visit the <Tour Solidor> which is a lovely ancient tower (from the 14th century) with panoramic views.

 

 

 

 

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tour-solidor – our selfie at the top of the tour solidor

There is a museum inside the tower.  There are 6 levels in the tower and each level has a display and information.

MUSEUM OF CAPE HORNIER dedicated to long-haul sailing trips (late nineteenth, early twentieth century). Models, charts, instruments

tour-solidor_37259553955_oWe returned to Saint-Malo along the beach at low tide and stopped at the <Porte de Dinan> to see the <Association Doris Emeraude Rance> which is a local group that invite the public to discover these long narrow boats used for cod fishing in Newfoundland. Doris boats were originally made in Massachusetts USA in the 19th century. The sun was brilliant and the temperature had risen. We enjoyed a small glass of cider while sitting at the harbor. It was a beautiful day!

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Around dinner time, we had to turn the heat on in our apartment. The temperature was down to 18.5C / 65F in the apartment.  Outside, it was rainy and cool. We are able to turn on the heat in each room separately so our bedroom and the living room felt great!

The usual delicious desserts from <La Fournee Malouine Boulangerie>.

le dimanche 17 septembre 2017 – Sunday September 17, 2017

The apartment was much more comfortable this morning. On Sandy’s way back from buying our breakfast she kept hearing someone tapping on a window. She kept looking up and around but didn’t see anyone. Finally she realized there was a gull sitting in the window of an apartment tapping on the kitchen window. It must have been waiting to have breakfast served out of the window.

After breakfast we toured the Mayor’s Office in the <Hotel de Ville>. It was open today as part of the <European Heritage Days>.

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Hotel de Ville entrance

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fireplace in the mayor’s meeting room

After the Hotel de Ville tour, we enjoyed a coffee in <La Licorne> (the Unicorn) restaurant in the <Place Chateaubriand>.

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Stopped at <La Licorne> restaurant for a coffee

After that, we waited for a parade of old cars that was to begin around 12h30.  We had enjoyed the parade in the past. Unfortunately, they didn’t arrive even though we waited for 30 minutes later than the scheduled visit.  However, Sandy did see a snail taking in the sun on a flower right next to us.

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Snail on a flower in the Saint-Vincent esplanade area

This evening we had two delicious desserts from <La Fournee Malouine Boulangerie>.

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Desserts from <La Fournee Malouine Boulangerie>

 

la semaine se terminant le dimanche 10 septembre 2017 – the week ending Sunday September 10, 2017

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le lundi 4 septembre 2017 – Monday September 4, 2017

It is <<Labor Day>> in USA and the end of a 3 day holiday.  In France it is the return to school for children. It is drizzly and cool when Sandy walks to the boulangerie to buy our breakfast. First a quick stop at the <<poubelle>> (garbage bin) and recycling center to drop off garbage and recycling. At the boulangerie, Sandy purchased a pepito for our breakfast. A pepito is croissant dough filled with creamy yellow custard and semi-melted chocolate chips. It is rectangular in shape and big enough for two people to share. Delicious!

pepito

pepito

We had nothing planned for today so decided to go to the <LIDL> store. The store is advertised on the television, in the newspapers, and on billboards. From the advertising, we expected it to be similar to a <<Target>> with clothing, household goods, and groceries. We took the bus from Intra-Muros to the Gare (train station). Then we transferred to the #4 bus. We passed the <<E.LeClerc>> store and the IUT school. We got off at the stop called <<CAP SUD>, walked across the street and found the <<LIDL>> store. It is smaller than the <<Intermarché>> grocery store where we usually shop or about the size of the <>. It looked similar to an <<ALDI>> but seemed to have more variety than the <<ALDI>> we shopped at in Holland, Michigan. We looked at everything, but we didn’t buy anything. The prices were slightly cheaper than at Intermarché and Carrefour. It was easy to get to, no problem with the buses and a good excursion.lidl-le-blocus-des-agriculteurs-leve_2497184

By the time we returned, it had stopped raining and the temperature had risen. The streets were starting to dry.

 

 

There was a cruise ship moored in the basins called <<Variety Cruises>>. It arrived around 5h at high tide and will leave later this afternoon during the second high tide of the day.

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Variety Voyager

le mardi 5 september 2017 – Tuesday September 5, 2017

Sandy shopped for our breakfast croissants and as usual this time of year is amazed at the number of high school aged students she passes walking on the streets that live here year around. They were walking towards the <<Porte de Dinan> to catch a bus to school. You can never tell from walking down the streets during the summer, to the beach, or around the town just how many local citizens there really are living here.

First a brief stop at the marché for fresh fruits and tomato from the vendor <<Monsieur Alix>>.  Then we were on our way to the Intermarché grocery store. We needed cereal, juice, Perrier, etc that we can not buy at a market. The forecast is for a high temperature of 23C / 74F, but it was cool and cloudy during our shopping trip. There is another cruise ship moored in the basin called the <<STAR PRIDE>. It was at least 3 decks higher than the <<VARIETY VOYAGER> ship moored here yesterday.

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Star Pride cruise ship

le mercredi 6 septembre 2017 – Wednesday September 6, 2017

After breakfast we caught a bus to the Gare. We wanted to return library books to the <<Médiathèque>>.

Next we walked to the Intermarché grocery store. We were invited for an aperitif tonight at our friend Alain’s house. It is customary in France to take a gift when you visit people. We wanted to take some flowers.

France has school for 4 and a half days a week with students leaving early on Wednesday. As we walked past the middle and high school equivalent, we saw students pouring out of the building.

It was cloudy all morning but in the afternoon the sun came out of the clouds and the day was very nice. Sandy took advantage of the nice weather and brushed off the outdoor furniture from our balcony. We will store it in our second bedroom over the winter. It made her a little sad to have to put it away already for the winter season.

Our friend Alain picked us up and took us to his apartment. It is very near the hospital but in a gated area. There is only one building in his complex and it is surrounded by trees. Thee is a very pretty rocky wall behind his building and there are private houses on the other side of the wall. We sat at his round dining table which is in the middle of his salon. He has lovely furniture and decorations. He and his wife have lived there for 15 years. They have a fairly large balcony and feed many different kinds of birds on it. We enjoyed a glass of <<Pineau des Charentes>> for Sandy and Porto rouge for Phil. He prepared 3 different plates of appetizers. One was salmon(saumon), one of tuna (thon), and one of chicken (poulet). Some had pickles (cornichons which are pickled cucumbers much milder than USA cucumber pickles), cherry tomatoes from his yard, and some <> (fish eggs from the lumpfish, an alternative to sturgeon caviar). We really enjoyed our time and the conversation. He brought us back to the <<Esplanade Saint-Vincent>> where we took a bus to the <<Dugay Trouin>> stop just around the corner from the destination restaurant..

We met our friends Jean-Louis and Claudine at the restaurant L’Oliver for pizza. It was high tide at 20h22 and very windy. The streets had barricades on them with warnings of water on the pavement. We looked out the window just across the street at the waves going over the walls. The conversation and pizza were wonderful!

le jeudi 7 septembre 2017 – Thursday September 7, 2017

The forecast is again for cloudy and cool. Our friends told us last night that summer is over for this year. Last year everyone was still swimming and sunbathing this time of year. After breakfast we mailed a letter and stopped in at the <<Hotel Quic n’Groigne>>. We visited with Marie Dominique and Michel while drinking a cup of coffee. They are already fully booked for the <<Route du Rhum>> race in November 2018. Bravo for them!

le vendredi 8 september 2017 – Friday September 8, 2017

Sandy shopped for our breakfast and at the marché for fruit before we took the bus to Christine’s house for tutoring. The bus left <<Esplanade Saint-Vincent>> two minutes late, then we changed drivers at the Gare before arriving at the <<Paramé Mairie>> bus stop which is our destination, almost 10 minutes late. We walked quickly to Christine’s house. We were later than usual and the wind was quite chilly! The forecast is for rain later in the day and it did not rain on us.

On our return trip the bus stops at the Gare. There was a car stopped in the road, letting cars out of a parking lot and blocking the bus. The bus driver blew his horn at it. The man driving the car did not like it and decided to let several cars out of the parking lot just to irritate the bus driver. The bus driver leaned out his window and yelled at the car driver. The car driver got out of his car and came to the door of the bus to yell at the bus driver. All of the passengers were quite interested. Several passengers got off the bus with the bus driver to look at the location of the car. After another 5 minutes of yelling, the car driver got in his car and drove away. The bus driver continued on his route. It was an interesting trip for tutoring today!

le samdi 9 septembre 2017 – Saturday September 9, 2017

We wanted to go to a flea market in the Découverte area of Saint-Malo, but it was cloudy and drizzly when we woke up today. Since it really did not rain around 11h we decided to take the #2 bus to see if the flea market was open. It was a quick bus ride, but no one had set up any tables for the flea market. It began to sprinkle as we walked back towards the bus stop and the Intermarché grocery store located at Découverte.

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2 magpies (pies) across the street from our bus

We hurried to the store and picked up a light bulb, ice cream, and small macaroni. We waited 10 minutes for the bus and returned to Intra-Muros. The rain held off.

We had been home getting ready for lunch when it started to rain very hard. Living in a building made of granite prevents a lot of noise from reaching us, but we did hear this rain. It was over quickly.

After lunch, the sun came out and we spent a bit of time at the harbor. We saw the pilot-boat lead the <<Commodore Goodwill>> out of the channel and the shuttles from a cruise ship make trips back and forth from the dock to the ship. The ship was called the <<Silver Muse>> and was too large to enter the locks and the basin. Even though the temperature is cool, low 60F’s, the sun was wonderful and the air, as always, was fresh.

le dimanche 10 septembre 2017 – Sunday September 10, 2017

Around 6h there was a lot of noise coming from the apartment downstairs. As Sandy walked to the boulangerie she saw the lady and her older son from downstairs getting into their car. It appeared to be fully packed with shopping bags. We have noticed that people in France traveling by car take shopping bags instead of luggage. People use luggage when traveling on the train, planes, or ferries, but not cars. Our thinking is that cars are almost half the size here compared to cars in the USA and there just isn’t room in cars here for passengers and luggage. The younger son, from the apartment downstairs, was still in the apartment since there were windows open. They usually only stay one month and they had been here one month this weekend.

It was cool and sunny. We took a walk on the digue (sea wall by the beach) since the weather forecast was for no rain. It was sunny but very breezy. High tide had just occurred and the sea was crashing over the wall. We walked across the street for a while so we didn’t get wet. There were many people on the digue.  Some were walking, bike riding, jogging, rollerblading, and riding on a Segway. We also saw several dozen people in the water on surf boards. The wind was behind us as we walked towards the digue but on our return trip it was in our face. Very cool! It’s a wonderful walk that we both really enjoy.

For dessert, Sandy had purchased a couple of tarts.  One was a lemon custard tart and the other was an almond tart.  Very good!

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la semaine se terminant le dimanche 3 septembre 2017 – the week ending Sunday September 3, 2017

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le lundi 28 août 2017 – Monday August 28, 2017

Today is forecast to be hot! The weather channel predicts a high of 27C / 81F. The problem is that the wind is only 2 mph which is almost nothing. Normally there is a great cool breeze coming from the north-west off the English Channel.

We shopped early for groceries and the store felt cold because of the air conditioning. So few places here are air-conditioned, that when you enter a business that does have it, it feels shocking.

We mailed a package and wanted to stop at Charley’s Bar for a coffee. Not today! This is the first day since we arrived in France that they have been closed. They must think the tourist season is over. There were also very few people walking through town. Monday is often a slow day but maybe the predicted heat is keeping them away.

We did see a cat on a window sill across the courtyard.  Hopefully it had good depth

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cat on a 4th floor window sill

perception.

 

Our apartment stayed cool, under 24C by closing up the windows and shutters by around 11h until the sun moved to the west. After lunch, a cold sandwich and fruit, we walked outside of the walls to watch our friend Alain play boules. After exiting the gates, the air felt like a blast from a furnace. We said hello to him, watched a few minutes and headed for home. Too hot for us!

We had a cold “chef” salad for dinner with ice cream for dessert.

le mardi 29 août 2017 – Tuesday August 29, 2017

It is much cooler today. The forecast is for a high of 24C with a breeze out of the north by afternoon. Sandy shopped at the marché for fruit and salad. We walked through town stopping to buy a bottle of sweet cider, and a <<Kouign Amann>> cake on the way to mail a letter. Then we climbed the stairs to walk around the top of the ramparts/walls. When we looked over the walls at the ocean we could see fog (brume de mer). There was a cruise ship named the <Crystal Symphony> moored in the harbor and the Brittany ferry had just departed. The fog makes everything look spooky.

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cruise ship in the fog in the harbor

After a lovely stop for coffee and people watching at Charley’s Bar we headed home.

While Sandy was hanging laundry to dry on the balcony, we listened to jazz music from a musician playing in the <<Place du Marché aux Légumes>>. Entertainers often perform there and ask for donations from all of the people sitting on park benches, eating, or drinking in the restaurants and bars. Our apartment is so close that we benefit from all of the music.

Later in the afternoon the temperature started dropping. It was much cooler.

le mercredi 30 août 2017 – Wednesday August 30, 2017

Sandy wore slacks and a jacket to shop at the boulangerie. The forecast is for rain this afternoon and a high of 19C / 66F. We love these temperatures! All morning it drizzled and turned cooler. We watched pedestrians walk by in coats, with hoods, up and many carrying umbrellas. We stayed in our apartment, sorted out brochures and newspapers for recycling and read.

le jeudi 31 août 2017 – Thursday August 31, 2017

The temperature was 12C / 53F when Sandy shopped for our breakfast.

We took the bus to the Rocabey marché to purchase chicken breasts, farcie meat to make stuffed peppers, ground steak to make a little chili. and pork filet mignon de mariné.  Sandy asked the lady assistant about the pork. She said it was new this year, was not spicy hot, and tasted very good. We’ll try it tonight.

After returning to our apartment and leaving the meat in the refrigerator, we took a different bus and got off near the hospital. The Red Cross boutique was having a half priced sale on most items. We like to look at everything. We bought a short-sleeved, button up the front shirt for Phil, a <<Trivial Pursuit>> game, and a <<Scrabble Junior>> game. The two games should help us with our French.

On our way home we got off the bus at the Gare (train station) to purchase our bus passes for September. However, the line was VERY long with it being the end of the month and school starting on Monday. There are no seats to wait, so Sandy took the bus home and Phil stayed in line. He arrived home about an hour later than Sandy. But, the passes had been purchased!

The new purchase of <<filet mignon mariné>> was delicious! The pork here has such a wonderful flavor and is always tender. The marinade was not spicy but very tasty!

le vendredi 1 septembre 2017 – Friday September 1, 2017

It is drizzly and the temperature was 13C at 7h45.

Today we spent two hours with Christine for French tutoring. We did not see her neighbor today.  While at Christine’s house, it rained the entire time. Lucky for us it started after we arrived and ended as we left her house.

School resumes here Monday, but today must have been an orientation day. There were many students coming and going on the bus wearing new-clean shoes.

Our friend Alain stopped by this afternoon and invited us to have an aperitif at his apartment on Wednesday at 18h30. We are looking forward to that time. The sun came out as Alain was leaving, but it stayed cool today.

le samedi 2 septembre 2017 – Saturday September 2, 2017

The forecast is for sunny and 19C / 66F.

Today was the day for the <<Banque Alimentaire de Saint Malo>> garage sale and also the flea market at the Hippodrome or horse racing track. We have been to both in the past and really enjoyed them. There are so many huge wooden pieces of furniture at the <<Banque sale>> and they are very reasonably priced. You would need a huge home with extremely high ceilings to be able to use them. We are interested in the hinges, the hand carving decorations, the location of cupboard doors, and the keys that fit into the locks. Most are truly antiques.

At this sale last year, Sandy purchased a pewter two piece chicken for an euro. Then later in the year in Winona, she found a matching duck made out of the same material and in the same style.  Earlier this year she found a similar but smaller duck at the Paramé flea market.  This year she found a duck, similar to the one she bought in Winona and Paramé, but much smaller still. It was priced at 1€ just like the other pieces.

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July duck on the left and new September duck on the right

We have come across a variety of characters in the years we have been coming to Saint-Malo. One gentleman we nicknamed the <<General>> used to be dressed in a French navy officer’s uniform. We have also seen him in French military camouflage colored clothing, and last year security clothing. He has cartoon style and length eyebrows and walks with a distinctive swing in his arms, but very upright.

We just commented this week that he must have moved away. While waiting for a bus to return home after the second flea market, he came out of his apartment building, crossed the street, and waited for the same bus that we were waiting for. This year he is dressed in <<secure incendie>> (fire brigade t-shirt) and trousers. We noticed that he had a monthly bus pass this year. In the past, he boarded the bus without a ticket. When the individual conducting the occasional bus company security checks saw he didn’t have a ticket, they would make him disembark at the next stop. At least he is legally riding the bus this year.

After lunch we watched our friend Alain play boules.  Then we sat at the harbor and watched the  passenger cruise ship <<Herbidian Sea>> as it left the basin to enter and then exit the lock as it headed out to sea. It had come into the basin at 5h this morning during high tide.

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 Herbidian Sea leaving the lock and heading out to sea

This was an absolutely beautiful sunny and cool day!

le dimanche 3 septembre 2017 – Sunday September 3, 2017

It was good that we were able to attend both braderies/flea markets yesterday because it was raining today.  It was also very cool and not pleasant to walk outside for very long.

On her way back from the boulangerie today Sandy passed a group of British tourists that  were walking to meet the ferry. They had dressed inappropriately for the day since they wore t-shirts, shorts and no jacket or umbrella. Good thing they were just 15 minutes from the dock.

Sandy did get two lovely desserts for dinner.36828815082_51b92efe17_o

 

the week ending Sunday August 27, 2017

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le lundi 21 août 2017 – Monday August 21, 2017

This is the second Monday in a row that we shopped at the local Intermarche grocery store early in the morning. We caught the 8h40 bus, walked the 4 blocks to the store, finished our shopping, walked back to the bus and took the 9h20 bus back to the Intra-Muros. We only waited a couple minutes to check out and they had only 2 of their 3 lanes open today. It is cloudy and cool, with a very light breeze, and the temperature is 21C / 70F. The predicted high temperature for today is 73F or 23C. Tomorrow the forecast is for sunny and 85F / 30C.  A big difference!

Our friend and tutor Christine invited us to take a “La promenade du Clair de Lune – Ville de Dinard”.

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La promenade du Clair de Lune

The whole walk is full of flowerbeds, trees and shrubs. There were colorful lights among the trees and shrubs. The entire walk is along the ocean, often without a railing or barrier at the edge. We could hear occasional singers and jazz musicians. It was a beautiful night, not too hot or cool, and we really enjoyed ourselves, even if our feet were tired. We slept great!

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The sun setting behind a view of Dinard from the promenade du Clair de Lune

le mardi 22 août 2017 – Tuesday August 22, 2017

The forecast today is for a hot afternoon! We opened the shutters and windows on the east side of our apartment early in the morning. As soon as the sun rose above the neighboring buildings and reached our french doors, we closed everything up until it cooled off in the evening. (After 23h, the wind changed to the north and it cooled off.)

Today was the day of “highest tides” for the month of August. It was scheduled for around 9h and 21h . At low tide, 15h30 the tide is farther out than we have seen it in a long time. We went to the beach to walk in the water in the afternoon. The water between the beach and the distant sandbar was only ankle deep. We hadn’t been on the sandbar before. The air temperature felt like 88F but the water felt great, around 70F. There were many people enjoying the water and also many sunbathing  Some of the sunbathers will not be enjoying themselves tomorrow.  Too much sun and not enough sun screen.

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Sandy on her way to wading in the water.

There was an odd shaped yacht moored in the harbor, most likely waiting for the locks to open later in the day when it is high tide.

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An ugly super-yacht in the harbor.

le mercredi 23 août 2017 – Wednesday August 23, 2017

It was much cooler when Sandy bought our breakfast. One of our friends told us the croissants from the boulangerie on the “Grand Rue” are the best. It is also very close to our apartment, so we tried them today. We decided that they taste very good, are very buttery and flaky but not as tasty as the croissants we buy from “La Fournee la Malouine”, our usual spot.

Today we had our hair cut for the 2nd time. The “coiffeur” is very kind, patient, and skilled. We love being able to rely on a hairdresser for the same cut each time. We made one more appointment with her for the 3rd week in September.

Next we took the bus to the Mediatheque. Sandy had several books that were due today. After checking out her new books, we walked across the street and literally stepped right onto the bus for our return trip. Excellent timing today!

We saw a Czech Republic license plate in the parking lot.

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a car with Czech Republic license plate

On our walk back to our apartment, we walked next to the “ugly super yacht” that we had seen yesterday in the harbor. It looks like someone took a cargo ship, cut part of it away, and topped the remainder with a few levels. We noticed that they have a small cabin cruiser sitting on top of the deck. Guess they can lower the small yacht to use for fun. The name of the super yacht is the “Grand Rusalina”.  Some information found online about the yacht can be found here. The “Grand Rusalina” is owned by Rustem Teregulov.  Teregulov is the founder of the Development Capital Bank in Moscow. He also owns the Moscow Raceway. He purchased the yacht for 50 million dollars.  He owns a bank in Moscow, but he has the boat registered in the Cayman Islands.  The Cayman Islands are notorious for being a place to hide your money so it is not taxed in your country.

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The Grand Rusalina and its little cabin cruiser.

le jeudi 24 août 2017 – Thursday August 24, 2017

Sandy shopped for breakfast at the “Boulangerie De La Cathedrale”. It takes her one minute longer to walk there than her usual boulangerie. She wanted us to taste the croissants from the other “boulangeries” while they were all still fresh in our minds.

We shopped for meat at the Rocabey marché. The butcher’s assistant told us they would be on vacation from September 1 through September 15.

A few weeks ago, Sandy sent a note to the local bus company telling them the bushes at the Rocabey bus stop are hazardous to pedestrians when they exit the bus. There wasn’t room to step off the bus without being hit in the face by thorns on the branches. Today, we noticed that the bushes had been trimmed in the last few day. There was room to step off the bus and actually walk on the sidewalk. Big improvement!

This afternoon we heard a lot of noise in the street. The “pompiers” / firefighters were parked just outside our apartment with their fire truck which has an aerial work platform extension. They were practicing using the extension to rise above the apartment building next to our building. First they put stabilizers next to the front wheels, then use the jack to literally lift the fire engine truck  off the ground and level it. One fireman put on rescue apparatus and climbed onto the platform. Another fireman raised him above the building roof line. It took quite a while and created an audience in the street during their practice. Interesting to watch and glad it was just a practice. Last year we watched them lower two individuals through the windows while laying on stretchers.

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watching the firemen – pompiers

For dinner we bought two kebab sandwiches from Chez Marcel.  We ate them sitting on the stairs near by so we could listen to the “CHANTS DE MARINS AVEC LES CORSAIRES MALOUINS” perform at 20h30. The stairs allow people to sit down while listening to the singers. “Les Corsaires” are an amateur group of men that were born in the Intra-Muros and still reside here. There were about 18 singers, one accordion player, one guitar player, one clarinet, and a keyboard player. We stayed to listen for about 45 minutes then left for home, a 2 minute walk. Great free entertainment every Thursday night in July and August.

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Sandy sitting on the steps with the singers in the background.

le vendredi 25 août 2017 – Friday August 25, 2017

Sandy shopped for our breakfast, and then after breakfast went to the local marché for fruits and vegetables.

We had tutoring with Christine today.  On the walk from Christine’s house to the bus stop we saw her neighbor and talked to him for just a minute. He is very nice and very willing to talk with us.

From Christine’s house we took the bus to the E. LeClerc hypermarket. We were looking for a gift for a friend, bars of soap to take to the USA, and coffee. We especially like their coffee from Brazil and it is priced at 2.23€ for the equivalent of 9 ounces. It has a wonderful flavor. The ground coffee we buy in France seems to have a better taste compared to the coffee we buy in the USA.

After shopping, we had to wait 15 minutes for the bus, but it was a lovely, sunny, day with a temperature of 22C / 71F.

The gas station at Leclerc was advertising a liter of gas for 2.75€.  There are approximately 4 liters in a USA gallon, so the gallon price would be around $11.

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gas station by E.Leclerc with advertised prices for a centiliter of gas

le samedi 26 août 2017 – Saturday August 26, 2017

It was cloudy and a very pleasant temperature when Sandy bought our breakfast croissants. There were many people up walking around which is quite unusual for the time of day. Usually she sees just one or two other people walking around. School starts here on Monday September 4th so maybe everyone is trying to have one more day of vacation. The streets may be very crowded later on.

We walked along the ocean on the digue. This is a cobblestone and blacktop walk between residents, hotels, and the ocean. It is always a beautiful walk and you find many benches, bicyclists, pedestrians, people with roller blades, and strollers, Today we walked both directions for a total of 4.25 miles / 6.8 kilometers.

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People enjoying the digue.

We took some photos of the milk carton we buy in France. Milk is normally, not refrigerated. The expiration date is Nov. 25th, and we bought it two days ago. You can buy an individual carton or 6 cartons that come plastic wrapped altogether. The only milk that is refrigerated is BIO which expires sooner than the other kind.

 

le dimanche 27 août 2017 – Sunday August 27, 2017

It is a beautiful day. The forecast is for a high of 25C / 77F. A perfect beach day! High tide was at 11h30 today so at 13h we headed for the beach. Our goal was to walk in ankle deep water from the “Plage De L Éventail” by the castle to the about half way down the Digue. The tide was going out fast as we walked and we had to continually walk farther away from the street to stay in the water. It was wonderful! We walked for a total of 6 kilometers / 3.7 miles in just about an hour in the water. There were many sailboats out and people enjoying the day.

This is a photo of the dessert Sandy bought today to have after dinner and a photo of the bag that the “boulangère” puts our croissants into each day. Very pretty!

Tonight’s dessert!

le dimanche 20 août 2017 à Saint-Malo – Sunday, August 20, 2017 in Saint-Malo

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le lundi 14 août 2017 – Monday August 14, 2017

The temperature is 11C / 52F. However, the forecast is for a high temperature this afternoon of 25C. Quite a warm up.

Yesterday, “le dimanche 13 août”, two French people stopped to talk to Sandy and ask her a question. The first gentleman stopped her on the way to the “recycling” deposit area. He saw that she was carrying one of the city yellow plastic bags and asked her if she was going to the “poubelle” area (garbage can). She said “oui” then he proceeded to tell her it was full and ready to explode. She wasn’t sure what it would look like when she arrived, but he was correct in saying it was full! She left her bag tied together and leaning against the recycling container as a few other people had already done. The other person stopped her just as we exited the bus yesterday on our way to the craft fair. She asked where you caught the return bus to the Intra-Muros. Sandy gave her the answer. She then asked if we knew  anything about the craft fair. Phil replied, yes we had been there at least 3 times. It has more jewelry than we prefer to look at, so it does not take us long to look around.

Today, we took the 8h40 bus to Intermarche. We finished our shopping and were back on the bus at 9h30.

It is a gorgeous day! The temperature is very nice, sunny, and breezy. We have all of the windows open and there is a wonderful breeze blowing through. No grassy smell, no farm animal smell, just clean air! Sandy hung clothes to dry on the balcony and began to clean the outside window sills and window frames.

Last year we bought pancake mix from the “Maison du Quebec.”  We still had some so Phil made pancakes for our lunch. They are similar to buckwheat or whole wheat pancakes in the USA. They were delicious!

After lunch we watched our friend Alain play boules by the ramparts. It was a beautiful afternoon.

On our way back to our apartment we followed a man with a tiny dog in his backpack. It is very common to see French people with their dogs in a purse, or recyclable sack. This backpack was specifically made to carry a dog. The dog appeared to be a Yorkie and looked very content not to risk being stepped on by people.

le mardi 15 août 2017 – Tuesday August 15, 2017

Today is a French national holiday based on the Catholic holy day of the Assumption. The buses will run on a holiday schedule (less frequently) and there are many more people in town. When Sandy returned to our building after buying our croissants, the man who is renting the ground floor apartment was standing outside in his night-shirt. This was at 8h45. He is older than we are and quite rotund, so it was quite a shock and not a particularly attractive sight either.

Sandy shopped at the marché and bought flat peaches and green plums.  They taste very good.

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flat-peach-and-green-plum

We walked to Saint-Servan along the beach to the “Tour Solidor”. On Tuesday they hold a flea market and antique market. It is a lovely spot to view another harbor.

While walking back towards the Intra-Muros we spotted a bicyclist holding a dog on his lap, towing a small wagon with two more dogs inside. It was very cute and they sped by so quickly we didn’t have time to take a photo.

After lunch we watched our friend Alain play boules. Some of his team were the same teammates as yesterday and some were new. We do not understand all of the scoring or rules. A lovely afternoon with perfect temperature and sun!

le mercredi 16 août – Wednesday August 16, 2017

The forecast high temperature is 25C / 77F a great beach day! High tide is 14h06 this afternoon, so by 16h00, there should be enough beach to walk in shallow water.

Sandy shopped at boulangerie “Simon” for our breakfast. They also have some of the most beautiful and delicious pastries. She bought a “Royale choco-pistache” dessert to have after dinner tonight.

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dessert from “Simon”

Look at the lovely box it is put into for carrying home as well as the dessert itself. A lot of effort goes into each lovely piece. She had to wait a minute to pay for our breakfast because the patissier / boulanger was making and labeling some pastries to go in the oven.  He put the tray into the oven, closed the door and waited on her.

We had all of the French doors and windows open in our apartment and it was a fabulous day for drying laundry.

After lunch we watched our friend Alain play boules by the ramparts.

Then we walked towards the mole (breakwater with a lighthouse) to look at one of the beaches. We had thought about walking in the water but it was not hot at all today, so we enjoyed watching boats come and go in the harbor. We will save the ocean for a warmer day.

le jeudi 17 août 2017 – Thursday August 17, 2017

It is cloudy and drizzly. We are on the bus at 8h50 to go to Rocabey marché. Sandy bought “les olives noire sans noyau” so she doesn’t have to remove the pits. Black olives are very flavorful here and are sold by the gram or kilogram. She bought 200 grams. We stopped at the butcher for “faux filet

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rilliettes and other aperitif food

” which is a delicious cut of steak, 2 slices of ham for sandwiches, and “farce a tomato” which is the stuffing that comes in stuffed tomato here. We are very fond of tomato farce and often buy yellow or orange peppers to put the stuffing in. We took a photo of some of the “rilliettes” and other aperitif food sold by our butcher.

 

We saw a cruise ship, the Star Legend,s had come into the basin through the locks early this morning. It is from the Windstar line in case anyone wants to cruise to Saint-Malo.

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Star Legend

 

 

le vendredi 18 août 2017 – Friday August 18, 2017

Sandy got an early start by shopping at the marché before 9h00.  She bought some fruit and some green beans.

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It is our day to tutor with Christine. We stopped to talk to Christine’s neighbor on the way to her house. He likes cats and said his cat is 21 years old. He was very friendly again today.

Michel, Christine’s husband, had rented a carpet shampooer and was out on the terrace shampooing the dining room and living room area rugs.

After lunch we went to the pharmacy to refill prescriptions.   We found out the pharmacy has been sold.  The owner “Philippe” has sold the pharmacy to the owner of the pharmacy by the Cathedral. We do not know if our pharmacy will remain open or if it will close.  We will find out next month.  The sale date for the pharmacy is 31 October. Another change!!

The afternoon was forecast for rain, but the sun was shining, the sky was blue, the wind blowing and it was gorgeous! About 66F / 19C.

le samedi 19 août 2017 – Saturday August 19, 2017

It had rained earlier this morning and was 13C / 55F. Quite cool!

As Sandy walked to the boulangerie to buy breakfast she noticed many people wearing rain jackets and carrying umbrellas. There wasn’t even any rain predicted. Weather constantly changes when you’re near the ocean. Every table was full in the boulangerie. Perhaps a ferry had just arrived from the U.K. or the Channel Islands. She could hear a lot of British English speakers enjoying their tasty French breakfast.

We walked to the Rocabey post office to mail a letter and took the bus home. We stopped in to say “bonjour” to our friend Jean-Louis at his boutique.

After lunch we watched our friend Alain play boules by the ramparts and then walked to the harbor to look at the boats.

The day had alternated between clouds and sun all day. At one time we even saw it rain really hard for about 30 seconds. The day ended with beautiful sunshine and breezy coolness.

le dimanche 20 août 2017 – Sunday August 20, 2017

Sandy purchased lovely looking desserts when she shopped for our breakfast. They were purchased at “La Fournee Malouine” and cost 2,50€.  They were an euro less expensive than she paid at the other boulangerie/pattiserie earlier in the week.

We walked across the ecluse/locks and along “la plage des bas-sablons” to the “Solider Metier des Arts” which is a yearly art fair. One of the exhibits used wooden shoes as part of the art. Sandy didn’t think she would see wooden Dutch shoes in a French art fair!  Funny! The weather was perfect! No jackets or umbrellas needed today.

After walking round trip, and browsing we were ready for a cold drink at Charley’s Bar. Sandy had an Orangina and Phil had grenadine syrup with water. Orangina and other  soda type drinks are tastier in France. They are less sweet and taste more like the fruit they are made from.

We had the lovely desserts after our mid-afternoon dinner.

 

le dimanche 13 août 2017 à Saint-Malo – Sunday, August 13, 2017 in Saint-Malo

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le lundi 7 août 2017 – Monday August 7, 2017

The temperature is 12 C or 53 F. Chilly! Today is the day for the Intra-Muros braderie (flea market and store clearance sale). Sandy walked to the boulangerie (bakery) to get our breakfast at 8:15. The Place du Marché aux Légumes  was already full of tables, and blankets where individuals had set up their items for sale. A super interesting morning! First we saw our friend Marie-Dominique with her twin daughters and her oldest daughter. They arrived to secure their prime selling location at 5 am!! Next we saw our neighbor who is from Paris. He set up his table at 5:15 am.

To see the braderie, we walked down the main street, rue de Dinan.  As we were walking, a camouflage dressed soldier carrying an automatic rifle politely said “pardon madame” to Sandy.  Another first!

After a coffee at Charley’s Bar with a pain au raison and some people watching, we headed home.

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empty seats at Charly’s bar – people are always coming and going – within 5 minutes all the seats were taken

In the afternoon we walked to the harbor. The streets were jam packed with people shopping at the braderie tables. We actually had to stand still a few times to wait for the path to clear. In the harbor we spotted what looked like a military yacht moored in the bassin (basin). It was actually a private yacht called Skat and registered in the Cayman Islands. It was flying a Cayman Islands flag. It’s only 70 meters long and 14 meters wide. You can learn more about this super yacht by clicking here.

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SKAT berthed at the North Mole, Port of Gibraltar, By Moshi Anahory – http://www.flickr.com/photos/mosh70/9248727609/, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=27198522

le mardi 8 août 2017 – Tuesday August 8, 2017

It was raining hard enough that Sandy had to hold an umbrella open on her way to and from Maison de Pain which is the closest boulangerie to our apartment. Good thing she had remembered to bring a bag for the croissants and baguette or they would have been wet. We had set our alarm and woken up early to do some shopping.

Sandy was at the Intra-Muros marché before the veg and fruit vendor, Monsieur Alix, had even displayed all of his prices. Peach plat (flat peaches) are one of our favorite fruits here that we can’t buy in the USA. His fruit is always good and it is wise to take his recommendations.

After the marché we were on our way to the bus stop. We didn’t need our umbrellas, but our glasses were covered with rain drops. We took the 8:40 bus to La Madeleine Center which is where a huge Carrefour Hypermarché is connected to a mall which has smaller shops. The rain stopped by the time we arrived. We had a lot of unusual things on our list like Brita water filter, specialized light bulb for our kitchen ceiling light, mixing bowl, and shower squeegee. We finished our shopping just as Darty (similar to Best Buy) opened at 10. Phil was looking for a small battery operated radio but couldn’t find one today.

Next we walked across the parking lot to “GoSports” (similar to Sports Authority) to look at athletic socks. Sandy had good luck searching for socks. Three pair of just slightly above the ankle socks were 6€.

Back to the bus stop. On one side of the street the wait was 15 minutes, on the other side of the street, the wait was 7 minutes. It doesn’t matter which direction we travel, since both bus lines end at the gate to Intra-Muros so we opted for a 7 minute wait.

After unloading everything we were off to Charley’s Bar for a coffee.

None of the individuals had put out their items for the second day of the braderie due to the early morning rain.

Sandy made a delicious BLT sandwich for our lunch today on a baguette. We wanted to mail a letter at the “post office” so walked in that direction at 3 pm.

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Flower beds near the Post Office.

The streets were jammed full of people! Since everything had dried out, people brought out their wares to sale. Next we stopped at the Hôtel de Ville (city hall) for yellow recycling bags. They are provided free of charge as they are in the USA. Afterwards we went to the harbor to see what was going on.  A small weather front was coming in across the bay from the direction of Dinard.  The clouds were low and threatening, but no rain developed.

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le mercredi 9 août 2017 – Wednesday August 9, 2017

Sandy noticed the brick missing as she left our building. There has always been one brick against the inside entry wall so people bringing luggage etc inside could keep the door from closing.

The forecast was for rain in the morning and clear in the afternoon. That’s not what happened! It was sunny until 9:45 then the clouds and rain moved in. Every time that the rain stopped, the street dried, and we decided it was okay to take a walk, the rain started again. The temperature dropped and stayed to just around 60 F for the remainder of the day and night. If Sandy hadn’t gone to buy our breakfast at 8:30, she wouldn’t have left the apartment for the entire day.

We think the neighbors from Paris who own the apartment at the top of our building arrived last night.

le jeudi 10 août 2017 – Thursday August 10, 2017

It was definitely cool when Sandy bought our breakfast. People are wearing what appears to be winter weight jackets. We took the bus to Rocabey to pick up a few items from Intermarche grocery store. When we buy Perrier it is heavy to bring home, so we try to buy it when there isn’t other weighty items. I also had a discount for a shower squeegee on the fidelity card so we picked that up too.

Next we walked to the marché to stop at the butcher. While we waited in line (lengthy today because of tourists in August) Sandy asked Phil if he’d eat any of the rillettes (rillettes are a preparation of meat similar to pâté) as an aperitif. His answer was he’d probably have to be intoxicated for it to happen. Rillettes are a preparation of meat or pork or poultry (goose, chicken) or fish (salmon, tuna, etc.), or even crustacean (crab for example), cooked long over low heat in the fat. Then the flesh filaments are easily detached and form “rillettes.” By cooling, the grease goes up. It looks like a large dish of cold, congealed, light gray in color mixture; formally referred to as “Brown Pig Jam”. Not appealing or appetizing to finicky eaters. We ordered a small pork tenderloin, two slices of ham for sandwiches, and a thick piece of ham to have with a sweet potato. His meat has such a delicious flavor, it’s always a treat to eat.

A visit to the wine shop in the afternoon to pick up a couple of bottles.

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Sandy’s favorite white wine from the wine merchant – Cave de l’Abbaye Saint-Jean – 2 minutes from our apartment

After putting things away we enjoyed a coffee at Charley’s Bar. However, the temperature had dropped, now 57F, and we stayed less than an hour. At home, even Phil was cool enough to put on a fleece pull over.

le vendredi 11 août 2017 – Friday August 11, 2017

Sandy brought our breakfast croissants home and shopped at the marché for fruit and vegetables. Monsieur Alix advised her to try green plums today. They were delicious to eat with our lunch. We were out the door of our apartment by 9:20 to catch the bus for tutoring at Christine’s house. It is always entertaining at her house and we were tired after two hours of serious concentration. We had a few good laughs today when Sandy misunderstood one of Christine’s questions. She was soon straightened out.

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beautiful flower garden on our path to our French lesson

After lunch we walked to the quay where the 7 single engine boats participating in the VOR (Volvo Ocean Race). It is a race of 65 ft long single engine boats that are fully crewed. Beautiful boats!!

le samedi 12 août 2017 – Saturday August 12, 2017

The weather forecast is for 0% chance of precipitation and cloudy with a high of 19C or 66F. We walked to the harbor just at high tide (11 am) to see if the boats involved with the Volvo race were sailing. We watched several small birds, we don’t know what kind they are, dive into the sea, go completely underwater, then fly out of the water and away. They are fascinating to watch and since the tide was in, we could see the birds a few inches below the surface and through the water.   When we returned to the apartment we researched the diving birds.  They are “sterne_pierregarin” (a tern) and more information on them can be found at this link.

We also saw some new gulls wandering around the harbor.  They always look a little lost.

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Young gull

All 7 of the boats were waiting to go through the locks and the temperature began to cool off. Sandy walked back home for a heavier jacket for herself and a light jacket for Phil. She was back for maybe 2 minutes and it started to drizzle. Looking towards Dinard we could see the rain approaching. We headed for our apartment instead of a walk along the beach towards the Solider Tower.

In the afternoon we walked to the Plage Salbons (Salbons beach) area which is just south of the harbor.  It is a charming little area with a beach, boats, paths and cafes.

le dimanche 13 août 2017 – Saturday August 13, 2017

Today the weather is great.  Our challenge is we want to go to an outdoor marché which will be difficult to get to for us.  It is Sunday and the buses do not run frequently.  As it turns out we spent about 3 hours going and returning from the marché.  We only spent an hour at the marché.  The 3 hours of travel were really time spent mostly waiting for the buses.  There were severe delays and some buses just went missing.  Still it was an interesting and pretty place to visit.

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MARCHE DES CREATEURS DE ROTHENEUF Aire du Nicet – Avenue de la Varde

The marché is set right on the cliffs which descend to the ocean.  A really pretty area.

On our return to the apartment we met our neighbor from the top floor.  He was on his way out.  We had a nice little discussion and caught up on what was happening in his family.

6 août 2017 à Saint-Malo – August 6, 2017 in Saint-Malo

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le lundi 31 julliet 2017 – Monday, July 31, 2017

Sandy walked to the doctor’s office to make an appointment for Phil. He will see another “sub” doctor at 16:45 this afternoon. Then Sandy made split pea soup with carrots, potatoes, and a little ham. We had some for lunch.

After lunch Sandy took at walk to the harbor. There was a very long line of people waiting for one of the Corsair Ferries to take then to Dinard.

Good thing it was cool today or they would have gotten sun-burnt waiting in the sun for their boat.

Next she stopped at the boules area to watch a game. She recognized several players, but our friend Alain wasn’t one of them.

We walked to Phil’s doctor appointment, saw the doctor, stopped at the pharmacy for 3 prescriptions priced at 25€ and were home within one hour. That was the fastest medical appointment we’ve experienced here. Phil has a sinus infection, lungs sounded good the doctor told him.

le mardi 1 août 2017 – Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Sandy shopped for fruit at the Intra-Muros marché and Monsieur Alix told her that there were no more strawberries due to the drought and hot temperatures. Phil is still resting in our apartment. She took the #8 bus to the Courtoisville Carrefour Market to pick up a couple items and look at the beach on the way.

She walked to the Gambetta bus stop and returned on the #3 bus, all within the 90 minutes use of one ticket.

After lunch Sandy spent some time on the beach walking in ankle deep water. She forgot just how shocking cold the ocean is. The air temperature was 69 F or 21 C and sunny. Great temperature to be outdoors. She saw a jelly fish laying in the sand (the tide was going out) as large as a dinner plate.

le mercredi 2 août 2017 – Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Phil woke up feeling much better today. Hurrah!

It was raining fairly hard this morning so Sandy purchased our breakfast from Maison du Pain which is very close. The lady in front of her bought the last 2 croissants so we had pain au chocolat for breakfast. Delicious!

After it stopped raining around 11:30 we took a walk to the Gare to purchase monthly bus passes. This allows us to ride as many times on the bus as we want within the month of August. It is much more convenient.

Then we crossed the street to go to the La Grande Passerelle Mediatheque, also know as the library.  We brought our most recent utility bill so our address could be verified and we could renew our library card. Sandy checked out a few books in English to read for pleasure and a few non fiction children’s books written in French to help her with vocabulary etc.

After lunch Sandy walked to the boules area to see if our friend Alain was playing. Surprise! The boules area was under water. We forgot how much it had rained in the morning.  A man was using a spade like shovel to scoop water off the field. Maybe it will be dry enough tomorrow because we were having very strong wind after the rain.

le jeudi 3 août 2017 – Thursday, August 3, 2017

Busy day.  We bought train tickets for our trip back to Paris as part of our return to the USA in September.  Shopped at Intermarche grocery store. The cashier told us to put my fidelity card number on the phone app.  We did download the app and will use it the next time.

We bought steak and chicken breasts at the butcher in the Rocabey marché.

We put the groceries away, and then walked to Charley’s Bar and spent the next hour people watching.

Charly's Bar

Charly’s Bar

After lunch, we reserved a hotel room at the CDG airport for the night before we fly back to USA.

We watched the “course des garçons de café” at 4 pm.  Waiters from the restaurants race with a tray on which was placed a filled class of water and a bottle of water. The goal is to finish the race with your tray intact.  Not an easy thing to do, especially down the stairs!

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course des garçons de café

That evening we had a delicious steak dinner and after dinner, stopped at L’Entre Deux Verres to reserve a table for tomorrow.

We then listened to Les Corsaires Malouins.  They are a local group of singers who specialize in sea shanties. They do a free concert each Thursday evening in July and August.  The crowd gathers on the steps and enjoys a great little concert.

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Les Corsaires Malouins

le vendredi 4 août 2017 – Friday, August 4, 2017

Our 44th wedding anniversary!

This is first day for French tutoring with Christine.  I forget from last year just how exhausting it is to continuously concentrate for two hours!

On the way to the bus stop after tutoring, we admired the garden of Christine’s neighbor. Last year, we thought one of the shrubs in the yard had kumquats on it. The owner was out in the yard and Phil spoke to him. The shrub we had been admiring was a Passion shrub. The blooms are beautiful and the fruit resembles a kumquat. Interesting! We enjoyed a 10 minute conversation about his yard, then we had to hurry to catch the bus.

We were very tired when we arrived home. Had some lunch, took care of necessary chores, took a tiny nap and then had a coffee at Charley’s BarCharly's Bar.

We celebrated our anniversary dinner at a restaurant we’d looked at before, but not eaten at.  It was called L’Entre Deux Verres which translates to Between Two Glasses.

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L’Entre Deux Verres

We counted 14 tables which comfortably seated two people at each table. There is seating outside, but it was too cool to enjoy eating there. We toasted our anniversary with red fruit billinis and sauvignon blanc. Phil had a kind of souffle fish and potato starter. Sandy chose lobster linguine for a main dish and Phil had chicken in a pastry with grains and vegetables. For dessert we had apple caramel tiramisu and pistachio crème brûlée. We had a 19:30 reservation and the restaurant didn’t fill up until sometime between 20:45 and 21:30.  A lovely way to celebrate an anniversary. It was delicious and a new dining experience for us.

le samedi 5 août 2017 – Saturday, August 5, 2017

Today is the grand braderie or flea market of Saint-Servan. We walked across the lock/bridge and the wind was fairly strong. Sandy wore a light jacket but Phil did not. Looking at all of the items for sale was interesting. We bought a brand new cutting board for 1€ and a book on the origins of all the Saint-Malo streets 10€.

Saint-Servan flea-market

Saint-Servan flea-market

le dimanche 6 août 2017 – Sunday, August 6, 2017

It is a beautiful day. After breakfast we walked to Rocabey for their flea-market. All of the tents with items for sale were from a charitable organization.  We didn’t purchase anything today. We did see every kind of aperitif glass imaginable!

We returned to Intra-Muros by walking along the Sillon beach. There were many people enjoying the cold water! The temperature of the ocean is about 17 C or 62 F. Too cold for me. We stopped in at Jean-Louis J’s store on the Grand Rue to make a couple small purchases. His boutique is very cute and everything is nicely displayed. As usual in France, he individually wrapped each item even curling the ribbon for a decoration. After lunch we walked to see if Alain was playing boules. While the course was in much better shape than the last time I saw it, no games were being played today.

Later in the afternoon, we walked to the beach and had an Orangina drink at the bar which is right on the beach.

30 julliet 2017 à Saint-Malo – July 30, 2017 in Saint-Malo

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Monday July 24 – Saint-Malo, France

Monday July 24, 2017 – The day started out gray, cloudy, and overcast. We walked down the main street to window shop. The stores are still holding sales as July is one of the “sale months” in France. Phil wanted a pair of slip on shoes, not for hiking, just for walking close in town. He had good luck a few years ago at the Bessec store. Again, he was lucky to find a pair at half off the regular price.

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blue but not suede

Sandy stopped in the Carrefour city for

Une bouteille de pineau des Charentes.

Une bouteille de pineau des Charentes.

Pineau des Charentes, butter, and salad dressing. Next we walked to the harbor. Last night, this morning, and tomorrow are the days for the grand maree this month. We could see where the tide had been very high up on the ramp where the Corsair Ferry docks. Stopped at La Fournee la Malouine for a fresh baguette to enjoy at lunch. Then to Bar Charley’s for a coffee. The waitress greets us with “deux cafes and deux verres d’eau” as we find a seat.

After lunch we again walked to the harbor to see if Alain was playing boules. He was not, but a bench was open in the sun. This was the nicest and warmest day so far since we arrived. After 20 minutes in the sun, to avoid becoming burnt, we returned to our apartment.

Tuesday July 25, 2017

Sandy shopped for melon, peaches, green beans, strawberries, and tomatoes at the Intra-Muros marché. We were on the 8:55 bus to LeClerc. We wanted chili beans but they were not available. We purchased things such as laundry detergent, coffee, spot remover (comparable to “Shout”), and Couscous. The next stop was at Bricorama for another 3M Command picture hanging kit. We were back on the bus within the 90 minutes allowed to use the same ticket.

Spent some time at the harbor watching the Condor ferry dock, Corsair ferries come and go, and the harbor pilot boat escort a Dutch cargo ship out of the locks.

Coffee at Bar 36048935961_f269a22d98_zCharly’s then home for lunch.

Housekeeping chores then took garbage and recycling to poubelle area before stopping at the post. Enjoyed an Orangina and the (low tide) view at the former Bar de Soleil now called L’Embraque.

We heard a noise in the kitchen all day coming from the vent to the roof. After dinner, Phil opened the window, closed the door from the kitchen to the hallway, and opened the vent. Did not hear anything after that.

Wednesday July 26, 2017.

Phil awoke with a raspy throat. It’s hair cut day. The lady coiffure told us that yesterday, there was a snake going down the road outside her shop. Rainy and cool today.

After haircuts bought a baguette, 2 croissants, and raspberry macaroon at Cathedral boulangerie. Enjoyed coffee and our croissant at Bar Charly’s.

Two sparrows were inside the bar eating croissant crumbs. They panicked and were trying to get out a window. Phil and another customer helped them escape.  The bar has French doors and they are always open, so birds come and go.

Phil had to repair the curtain rod on one of our kitchen windows.

Thursday July 27, 2017

Sandy walked into  La Fournee la Malouine to buy a baguette for breakfast. The lady that waited on her last year, short, petite, blond, straight hair recognized her right away and greeted her warmly. When she asked for a baguette “tradition” the lady said “no, Festival” which is the kind of bread she ordered everyday last year. Funny, how the lady remembered her, but very nice too.

We rode the bus to Intermarche grocery store for the ingredients to make chili (neither LeClerc or Intermarché carries chili beans this time of year so we substituted red beans) and dried split peas to make soup. Then walked to the Rocabey marché for meat, potatoes, carrots, and garlic. We were on the bus back to Intra-Muros within an hour. Not bad for our one euro bus ticket. Sandy made the chili in the afternoon. Phil still has a sore throat.

Finally got a couple of pictures hung on the walls in the master bedroom.  We had purchased them last year but did not get around to hanging them until this week with the 3M hangers.

Friday July 28, 2017

Sandy shopped for our croissants and after breakfast shopped at the Intra-Muros marché for a melon, yellow pepper, two pears, and a small eggplant. Phil made a double batch of meatballs.  Yesterday at the butcher he had made a mistake in converting a recipe from pounds to kilograms and had ordered twice the amount of ground beef required.  So a double recipe. They turned out delicious!

After lunch we walked to the Médiathèque to renew our library card and check out books. Cool and cloudy with both of us wearing a light jacket. Phil wore shorts but Sandy a light pair of slacks. Lovely weather! Not successful. They require a tax or utility bill to prove you haven’t moved since last year. So we had a nice walk, one mile there and one mile back. We’ll return tomorrow. Phil had a terrible night coughing. He is sick!

Saturday July 29, 2017

Sandy ate breakfast alone and tried to stay quiet so Phil could rest. She woke him up at 10 am and took his temperature – normal, but he is sick! Very bad productive cough. She went to Carrefour City for Popsicles and ice cream treats. It is warm today, 26 C and breezy. The sun came out in the afternoon. Lots of people enjoying the beach.

Sunday July 30, 2017

A quiet Sunday with Phil still under the weather and planning on going to the doctor tomorrow.

Sandy saw the “lobster” and the “octopus” being set up by Bar Charly’s in the Place du Marché aux Légumes.  They are very popular with the little kids.  A great picture taking opportunity for families. 35344988704_5ef162f8b6_z

Sandy went out to see if our friend Alain was playing boules in front of the ramparts, but there was no game today.  We will try again on Wednesday to meet up with him.

16 julliet 2017 à Saint-Malo – July 16, 2017 in Saint-Malo

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Hi, this is the start of the blog for 2017.  It will be published weekly on Sunday.  Hope you enjoy our little adventure.

Sunday July 16 – Holland, Michigan, USA

Today we will drive from Holland, Michigan to O’Hare airport in Chicago, Illinois. From O’Hare we will take an American Airlines flight directly to Charles de Gaule airport in Paris France. We will walk to the train station in the airport to take the train to Saint-Malo. From the train station in Saint-Malo we will take a bus to the entrance to the Intra-Muros part of Saint-Malo where our apartment is located. We will walk the last few hundred feet to the apartment.

So to get to our secondary home in France we will have 1) driven in a car, 2) flown on an airplane, 3) ridden on a train, 4) traveled on a bus and finally 5) walked to the apartment. Just a few different modes of transportation. This trip did not include a cruise. 🙂

So that was the plan. Here is how it turned out.

First we drove a rental car from Holland to O’Hare.  This did not turn out as planned. The trip is usually a 3 hour drive. Today it took us 4 hours. Good thing Chicago is in Central Time zone and Holland is in Eastern Time zone. The problem was construction on the highway throughout the 30 or 40 miles we travel in Indiana. It was construction from the Michigan-Indiana border all the way to the Indiana-Illinois border. Stop and go all the way. It was no fun at all.

We had checked in online for our flight the night before.  We quickly checked one small luggage each and breezed through TSA precheck.

The flight on American Airlines (at 18.30) was interesting. Sandy had used the majority of our frequent flyer miles to get both of us free tickets. We only had to pay the taxes which was $80 each. The problem was the tickets were in economy class, in the middle of the plane, in an aisle row and a middle seat. They were next to each other. The plane itself was wonderful, a brand new Boeing 787 Dreamliner. The economy class amenities were pretty good, but the seats are incredibly cramped. At six-foot three-inches and 250 pounds I was really molded into the seat. I was unable to move and actually could not get my legs under the seat in front of me because the seat came down so low. But Sandy had told me to keep repeating the phrase “the ticket was free” over and over again. This did not help much.  Sandy, as a fairly normal sized person at five feet five inches and 125 pounds was able to move around a bit, but was not comfortable at all. She had trouble sleeping and kept getting cramps in her legs. So while the flight was very uneventful, it was not much fun.

Monday July 17 – Paris, France

We left the USA on Sunday and we arrived in France on Monday. Our scheduled 8 hour flight was completed in 7 hours and 30 minutes.  We had a good tailwind.

Upon arrival at CDG in Paris at 8:30 our plane was parked in the extra-parking area away from the terminal without a jet-way. We had to take buses to the terminal. This is not a big inconvenience and we had a lot of time until our train. We got through French customs very quickly and also got our luggage very quickly.

We then walked to the SCNF train station in the airport. We had second class tickets on the TGV which left at 12:40. A few interesting things happened while we were waiting for the train.

A man setting next to us was reading the Anthony Doerr novel “All the Light We Cannot See” which is largely set in Saint-Malo. I thought that was an odd coincidence. He did not travel to Saint-Malo as he got on a different train.

While we were waiting we saw the usual heavily armed military personnel walking through the train station.  An announcement was made asking whoever left a blue luggage by the RER (regional train) north platform to please retrieve their luggage. This announcement was repeated three or four times over the next hour. Then we heard a couple of loud whistle blasts, several SNCF police and military personnel appeared, and we were asked to orderly move to the south platform of the train station. That was where we were already, so we did not have to move far. The police and military kept us from leaving the area. About twenty minutes later we were allowed to return to the waiting area and the police and military left the area. We were not given an explanation. We can speculate that the authorities ended up moving the blue luggage and moved us to the south platform while this was being done. Not a real fun experience, but not a surprise given the world today.

Overall, sitting in the train waiting room at CDG is people watching at its ultimate level.

Our train ride was great. The second class train seats had lots of leg room, the seats were very wide, and by this time we were really tired (neither of us slept on the airplane). We had a quick connection from the TGV in Rennes to the TER train to Saint-Malo. We were a bit concerned because there was only 10 minutes to catch the TER and our train was running 3 minutes late. It turned out that our TGV train came in on the opposite side of the same platform as the TER train. So we had to walk 10 meters and were there in plenty of time.

At the train station in Saint-Malo we were able to immediately get on a bus to Intra-Muros. We even got seats. This ride is short, 5 or 7 minutes, depending on whether the bus has to stop at the one stop light on the route.

Our walk from the Intra-Muros gate to our apartment gave us a surprise. We were already talking about making reservations at our favorite restaurant, DIVERS’ CITE, and hoped to see the owners on our walk to the apartment. The surprise is that the restaurant is GONE! Apparently they sold it and are looking to do something different for a while. At least that is the story I got from the owner of the tabac next door. It was a real surprise, but we wish them well.

While I was in the tabac Sandy waited for me outside of the door. Someone drove by in a car and yelled “Sandy.”  It was our friend  Marie Dominique from the Hotel Quic-n-Groigne.  What a surprise in France to have someone recognize you.

The apartment was in good shape. Better shape than us. We were really tired. It was exactly 24 hours since we left Holland, Michigan. It was a busy and tiring 24 hours, but it was worth it.

We went out to eat at “Chez Marcel,” the kebab and fries place two minutes from our apartment. It was very good as usual.

After that we were basically useless and after putting clean sheets on the bed, we climbed in around 9PM.

Tuesday July 18 – Saint-Malo

We slept straight thru to 8 am.  We planned to have breakfast at La Fournee Malouine boulangerie on Rue de Dinan. After breakfast we went back to bed.  We did some house work and then back to bed.  At 11:30 we went to the Carrefour City market. Stopped in to see Marie-Dominique at the Hotel Quic-n-Groigne. Had spaghetti bolognese for dinner.

Wednesday July 19 – Saint-Malo

Early in the morning we stopped by the hair place to get appointments for next week.  Then we stopped at the doctor’s office to get an appointment.  The appointment was for later in the day.

Our friends who live on the fourth floor are in Paris and may not be able to visit Saint-Malo this year. They have their cousin Alain check on their apartment, water the plants and collect the mail. On his way up he stopped at our apartment and was surprised that we were there.  It was good to see him again.  He understands a lot of English and it is very easy to talk with him.  We exchanged some news and promised to stay in touch.

In the early afternoon, we stopped in to see Michel at the Hotel Quic-n-Groigne.  Then we spent some time looking around and watching boats in the harbor.

The appointment with the doctor went well.  I needed to get prescriptions for my medicines to get them filled at a local pharmacy.  That went well and the trip to the pharmacy was easy. However, Dr. Tuloup has retired. I saw a “sub” doctor and the new physician will arrive in October.

We had pesto pasta for dinner.

Thursday July 20 – Saint-Malo

We were up early to take the bus to Intermarche supermarket in Rocabey.  Here we got some canned goods and other items which are not available at the local markets.  Then we walked for about 4 minutes to the Rocabey market.  We went to our butcher who represents the “Ferme les Aubriais.” He and his assistant always have a meat counter in side the market.  It was nice to see them again.  He has gotten more and more friendly over the years.  Unfortunately, today my mouth and brain were not working well and I forgot how to order a pork tenderloin.  My verbal stumbles did get a smile from the butcher.  We got our tenderloin, a couple of chicken breasts, and two slices of ham for sandwiches.

We reused the bus ticket to ride home and then walked to Le Charly’s bar for a coffee.

On the way back to the apartment we stopped at the local fish seller’s shop.  We purchased a large chunk of cod.  We had the cod for dinner.

After dinner we went to a movie at the Maison du Quebec.  It was a fairly interesting French Canadian movie with English subtitles.  The subtitles were a nice bonus for us and the price is always great – free!

Friday July 21 – Saint-Malo

The small goal for this morning is to walk around a bit and then go to the Intra-Muros Carrefour City market to pick up some small items.  After the market we went to Le Charly’s for a coffee.

We had the pork tenderloin for dinner.  Very tender pork with a wonderful taste.  More about the food in France in a future blog entry.

Saturday July 22 – Saint-Malo

The forecast is for rain in the afternoon.  So we got an early start on the bus number 3 to go to the E Leclerc shopping area.  Our first stop was at Bricorama, the local hardware store. There we bought AA batteries and 3M Command strips to hang some pictures and our broom.  Then we walked across the parking lot to E. Leclerc where we bought printer paper.  After a short stop at the WC, we headed for the bus stop.  We had a short wait for the number 3 which took us to Paramé which was having a big flea market with 300 stands.  The stands are mainly local residents selling their goods like at a garage sale, but each stand is actually about 10 feet of street and curb on which tables and / or blankets are set out with their goods.  There is always a  lot of children’s clothing and toys, ladies shoes, and miscellaneous household goods. We purchased:

  • two DVD for 3€
  • two new bath towels for 6€
  • a duck miniature for 1€
  • cat metal key holder for 1€
  • a wallet for 1€
  • two pain-au-chocolat for 2€

At the flea market, we were lucky enough to spot our old friend Jean-Louis J.  He had his wares spread out on a blanket near the round-about in the center of town.  We have know Jean-Louis for 7 years now, having first come across his shop in Saint-Malo in 2010.  He no longer has the shop, but he does sell at flea markets.  It is always good to see him.

We took the bus back to Intra-Muros and walked to Le Charly’s bar for a cup of coffee, espresso.

Sunday July 23 – Saint-Malo

Today it is supposed to rain in the afternoon, so we have all our outdoor activities planned for the morning.  We walked to the Rocabey part of Saint-Malo to see the war memorial monuments.  The city of Saint-Malo, as it is now, was created 50 years ago when the cities of Saint-Servan, Paramé and Saint-Malo were combined under the Saint-Malo name.  Each city had their own war memorial.  The war memorials were very simple, but they do contain the names of all the deceased.  In 2017 Saint-Malo decided to relocate all 3 memorials to one place in the Rocabey quarter of the city.  We took a couple of pictures and read some names on the memorials.  Sandy stepped inside the church which faces the memorials and gave herself a tour.

On the way back we walked to the street which runs parallel to the beach.  It is a great walk with all kinds of interesting things to see.  We walked around the base of the castle, through Place Chateaubriand, through route Jacques Cartier to the tabac to purchase a newspaper.  Then we walked up the stairs to the Place du Marché aux Légumes.  It was a busy place as usual.  For today we went into Le Charly’s bar for our coffee.  Good coffee and good people watching. The coffee is priced 20 centimes cheaper if you drink it inside the bar instead of outside on the terrace.  The view is the same.

After coffee we went back to the apartment, sorted some socks and hung two pictures in our bedroom.

For dinner Sandy prepared chicken with risotto and eggplant.

It has been quite a week.  We are really glad to back in Saint-Malo.

FINAL- 10 octobre 2016 à Saint-Malo/Paris/Winona – October 10, 2016 in Saint-Malo/Paris/Winona

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This is the last blog for our 2016 trip to France.  2017 plans are up in the air.  Hopefully there will be more to come!

Monday October 10, 2016 – Saint-Malo

Monday October 10, 2016 is Columbus Day in the USA.  Many businesses had the day off from work.  Malls and stores use it as a day to begin holiday shopping.  Today in France the temperature was 6 C  or 41 F when Sandy walked to La Fournee Malouine to buy our breakfast.  This boulangerie is listed on the Saint-Malo tourism site as being one of the locations referred to in Anthony Doerr’s book All the Light You Can Not See.  It is one of our favorite boulangeries.

We mailed a card at the post office, stopped at the syndic to pick up our keys to the cave that he borrowed, and looked at one of our “potential gifts” from yesterday.  Unfortunately the box containing the gift says “made in China” so we decided not to buy it.

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Corsaire ferry approaching the ramp in the Saint-Malo harbor

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A nice three mast ship in the harbor

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The three mast ship compared to the Condor Ferry

Tuesday October 11, 2016 – Saint-Malo

Tuesday October 11, 2016 is 5 C!  Cold!!  We spent one hour today with Christine for our final tutoring session with her.  She has helped us a lot!  We saw the kumquat bush her neighbor has on our way to and from Christine’s house.  It was shaped and trimmed as a hedge but full of both kumquats and flowers.  It was lovely to look at.  We know that people can keep geraniums here outside all year without harm, but didn’t realize it stayed warm enough for kumquats.

On our way back we stopped at the Carrefour Market in Courtoisville to shop for a few items and while waiting for the bus sat next to an older gentleman.  He was reading the Ouest du France newspaper from today and read the same article to Phil three times.  When another lady joined us on the bench he read the same article to her three times too.  Phil had a short conversation with him about the weather, the bus etc.  He seemed to understand and responded correctly.  It’s always interesting when taking public transportation.

On our bus ride back, we spotted two of the Corsair ferries in the basin.  One of them, the open boat, was completely covered with what looked like a white plastic tarp.  It’s in the harbor for the winter.

Sandy needed to go to the doctor today.  She was able to make the appointment herself but the doctor available was neither of the two doctors she had seen earlier in the year.  The doctor was okay, not as personable as the previous two she had seen and did not speak English, but figured out what was needed and we were off to the pharmacy.  The cost of the visit was 35 euros and the two prescriptions were 8 euros. Hopefully, problem solved.

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Hungary license plate in the car park near Port Saint-Louis

Wednesday October 12, 2016 – Saint-Malo

Wednesday October 12, 2016.  Sandy had a much better night and of course, so did Phil.  Phil shopped for our breakfast today and the temperature was 7 C.  Definitely cool, but not much wind.  Phil returned Sandy’s library books  to the Mediatheque and almost froze.  The wind had definitely picked up.

Later in the afternoon we took the recycling to the center and found a gift we wanted to purchase.  It was sunny but cool so we soon headed for home.

Thursday October 13, 2016 – Saint-Malo

Thursday October 13, 2016 was the day for our last hair cut in Saint-Malo.  The coiffeurese hasn’t completed the sale on her building and didn’t sound too happy about the situation.  We took the bus to the IUT stop across from E.LeClerc.  Phil took care of changing our mailing address at the utility company and tax office.  Sandy dropped off batteries and light bulbs for recycling then purchased 6 items we needed.

We were back home using only the one bus ticket in the hour and a half allowed time frame for each ticket.

Friday October 14, 2016 – Saint-Malo

Friday October 14, 2016 was cloudy.  Sandy shopped for our breakfast and purchased a croissant amande for the first time in quite a while. They are delicious!  Full of almonds, a thin layer of thick custard, made with croissant dough and covered in powdered sugar.  We think they have at least 1000 calories per piece.  However, they aren’t available in the USA.

We took the navette bus to Saint-Servan.  We wanted to wish the butcher and his assistant a good winter, thank them for delicious meat, good prices, and tell them goodbye.  Sandy spoke in French to tell the assistant when we were leaving and when we hope to return.  Phil bought a piece of filet mignon to cook for dinner with the last of our french fries.  He wished the butcher a good winter and the butcher told him they await our return with pleasure.  Lovely French expressions.  We waited one minute for the navette to return to Intra-Muros.  We were away from our apartment less than one hour.

Our filet mignon at dinner time was probably the best and most tender piece of beef Sandy can remember.  Tres, tres, bon!!!

Saturday October 15, 2016  – Saint-Malo

Saturday October 15, 2016 was again cloudy and cool.  Sandy hurried to take her shower and walk to the boulangerie before they were ready for their break at 9:00.  She was crossing the street  at 8:52 am as both of the boulangers walked outside their door.  They greeted her warmly as usual and the younger of the two went back inside to help her.  They had just placed a tray full of chou a la creme in the patisserie case and she bought one flavored with framboise and another flavored with chocolate for our dessert.

Later in the morning we shopped at Philippe Bouvier Chocolatier and took the rest of our leftover bread to the Place du Marché aux Legumes.  We threw all of the bread into the grassy-flower area and watched sparrows, pigeons, and a gull enjoy the bread buffet.

We intended to watch our friend Alain play boules for the last time in the afternoon.  However, just as the game was to start it began to rain fairly hard.  So, game cancelled and we stayed inside.  By 17:00 the sun was out and the sky was blue.  Too bad the rain cloud arrived at the same time as the scheduled game.

Sunday October 16, 2016 – Saint-Malo

Sunday October 16, 2016 was our last full day in Saint-Malo.  Sandy had a short conversation with the boulanger at Simone boulangerie when she shopped for our breakfast.  She told him we were returning to the USA.  He asked where we were from in the states and he knew where Minnesota was located.  He wondered if we were returning to vote.  He also volunteered that he and others in France hope Hilary will win.  It’s interesting to hear how other people in the world care about our country and what goes on there.

We walked to the hotel Quic-en-Groigne and told our friend Marie-Dominque farewell and made the first of a couple stops to the recycling-garbage area.  She told us to have a good trip and they hope to see us next spring.  We hope so too.

We ate in the middle of the afternoon at the Fish + Chips shop.  Delicious and a huge quantity of both fish and fries.  Very tasty and it was warm enough (19 C) to eat outside.

After eating we spent the rest of the afternoon cleaning, packing, and organizing.  Lots to take to the recycle area in the morning.

Monday October 17, 2016 – Saint-Malo & Paris

Monday October 17, 2016.  We woke up before daylight and walked to La Fournee Malouine to have breakfast. after Sandy put all of our sheets and towels in the washer.  We told the propritriece that we were leaving this morning and thanked her for being patient with our French and for preparing such delicious baguettes and patisseries.  We walked to the harbor to look at the high tide which had a co-efficient of 114.  It was almost even with the street.  The Brittany ferry moored in the harbor looked like a cork because it was floating so high.  We returned to the apartment to unplug everything, cover all of the furniture and bedding in plastic.  We turned the mattresses over so they would be ready for our next visit.  Sandy took one more bag of recycling to the center and stopped in the Place aux Legumes to give the birds our last pieces of bread.  Phil ran the vacuum for the last time and we rolled down all of the shutters.

Our friend Jean-Louis picked us up a couple of minutes after 11am and drove us to the train station (Gare).  It was a gorgeous day, sunny and a temperature of 18 C. We visited with him and his wife Claudine, posted our tickets, and found our seats on the train.  We had reserved 1st class tickets with our seats facing each other on the aisle.  There were two types of seating available, the type we had with only one seat width on the side and 4 seats facing each other with a table in the middle on the opposite side.  The ride was fine, less than 3 and a half hours and we were in Paris at station Montparnasse. It was sunny here and 19C.  Sandy did not bother to wear her coat in the taxi.  We took a taxi to the hotel Plaza Opera on rue de Maubeuge and checked in.  When we were here in March we had a very nice room.  There were two twin beds next to each other as a queen sized bed.  There was a desk, one arm chair closet area and a luggage rack.  In the bathroom was a huge bathtub with shower.  It was one of their premium rooms and was on the 3rd floor.  This time we were in a larger room but it is L-shaped.  There was a king sized bed, a desk, arm chair, two stools, nice sized closet area with shelves and a luggage rack  There was a full sized shower stall in the bathroom. We had two french doors leading to a “Juliette” balcony.  We could step outside to look around and see the Eiffel Tower.  The room also had another single sized bed that could also be a pull out trundle bed.  We had requested a simple room with the two twins which made a queen bed.  No extra view, windows, or space.  We’re not sure whether we were given a nicer room because of our return  visit within 8 months, or because the owner is good friends with Marie-Dominique and Michel from Saint-Malo.  It was a luxurious room and huge in comparison to Paris sized hotel rooms. After settling in our room we walked to Galeries Lafayette Haussmann.  Just like when we were here in March security officers were checking bags and under men’s coats before allowing you into the store.  Sandy loves looking at the gorgeous stained glass center of this store.  We made a couple purchases at the Paris gift area and walked back towards the hotel to find a restaurant for dinner.  Our hotel is literally surrounded by hundreds of restaurants. We had a delicious Italian dinner at Cafe Rizzo next door to our hotel. Sandy had read about it on Tripadvisior in March but it happened to be closed the night we intended to visit.

Tuesday October 18, 2016  – Paris

Tuesday October 18, 2016 It was sunny and 15 C when we woke up.  We enjoyed breakfast in the lower level room at the hotel.  Sandy had pre-booked the breakfast at a special price.  We enjoyed baguettes with butter and 5 different varieties of confiture, croissants, pain au chocolate, several types of bread to be toasted, hot chocolate, coffee, tea, warm milk, yogurt, fresh fruit, canned fruit, two types of cereal, soft boiled eggs, ham, cheese, and freshly squeezed orange juice.

After breakfast we walked literally across the street to catch the #42 bus to the Charm du Mars which is at the Eiffel Tower.  Such a beautiful day to be outdoors.  The area around the Tower is fenced off.  If you want to purchase tickets, have tickets, or want to access the restaurant you must go through security.  We caught the #69 bus which is a scenic route according to Rick Steves’ book.  It is a long but lovely ride past the Lourve, Musee d’Orsay, Seine and boats, Bastille, Place de la Concorde, Hotel d’Ville.

We got off, enjoyed a lovely lunch on a terrace.  Sandy had a croquet monsieur with salad and fries.  Phil ordered chicken with a creamy mushroom sauce and rice.  We walked around a bit, got back on the bus and returned to the hotel.  What a great day in Paris.  It was raining by the time we were ready for dinner.  A quick duck underneath the canopy and we were at Cafe Rizzo again.  Phil enjoyed steak à point on top of a bed of salad and freshly shaved parmesan cheese.  Sandy loved her homemade ravioli filled with mushrooms served with a light, thin, creamy mushroom sauce.  For dessert Phil had a traditional Tiramisu and Sandy had Tiramisu with fruits.  They included raspberries, currents, strawberries, blueberries, and black raspberries.  They were delicious!  Back to the hotel to finish packing, etc.

Wednesday October 19, 2016 – Paris

Wednesday October 19, 2016 was sunny but cool.  We had breakfast at the hotel and inquired about our car service to the airport.  It was scheduled for a 9 am pickup.  We checked out and waited in the lobby for the car.  There was a lot of traffic that morning and the car was about 10 minutes late.  The driver was from Libya and spent the entire 35 minute ride explaining to us about his country and the troubles his family had.  He had a wife and son and was planning to move to the U.K. where he would work at the bank HSBC.  It was a very informative ride to the airport.

We checked in, checked our luggage and headed for TSA.  Phil forgot to put his French Opinal pocket knife in our luggage before we checked them.  He handed it to the agent who immediately disposed of it.  That was disappointing for sure.  Now we had 3 hours to wait. There’s always a lot going on so we were fine.  However, the boarding time for our plane came and went and we were thinking of out tight connection in Detroit.  Finally they began to board the plane.  We were in the “Sky blue priority” so didn’t wait much at all.

However, as we descended the ramp what was waiting for us was a bus, not a plane.  After crowding as many standing passengers as possible in the bus we took off.  Sandy doesn’t do well holding on to the railing and frequently looses her balance on buses when standing, so it wasn’t an easy ride.  After riding around the airport for almost 10 minutes we arrived at the bus only to have it begin to rain.  We made it up the stairs and onto the plane.  Our premium economy seats were fine.  Still really not enough leg room for Phil but so much better than economy.  Sandy prefers the 4 rows of seats that are “curtained” off from the rest of the plane.  It took a long time to get everyone on board and we departed 45 minutes late.  We had little hope of making our connection.  Arriving in Detroit, we were the first passengers off the plane.  Sandy had talked to the head stewardess and she explained what we needed to try to make the connection.  A lady seated in front of us had a similar situation.  We first waited in line for passport control, not too bad, then had to wait for and pick up our luggage which had been marked “priority” for a tight connection.  Air France is good about that.

Delta made the decision (told to Sandy by one of the Delta employees) not to pay attention to the priority status and put our luggage with the general population instead of using a priority carousel.  Finally got our luggage after an employee worked 4 times to get the carousel working, headed for Immigration control then to have our bags rechecked.  Our next surprise, not planned or informed of, was we had to be completely rechecked at TSA.  We hadn’t left the secure area of the airport having just arrived from Paris, where security is high, and we had to remove shoes, take liquids out of hand luggage, walk through a screener and Phil had to be patted down.  Our Sky Blue status with Air France means we don’t remove shoes or liquids and are usually in a shorter line.  Not so in the USA!!!  It was now 10 minutes before our connection departed.  We quickly scanned a flight board and saw it was still boarding.  We literally raced, walked and ran to the gate only to see that it had already departed.  We joined many other travelers at the Delta Help Desk.  After speaking in person to an employee, she took us to one of the help phones, had us talk to a Delta representative since we’d come from an international flight, then printed the boarding passes for us.  We were booked on an 8:30 pm flight.  Phil called Hertz to tell them about our time change, we ate a McDonald’s fruit parfait, tried to calm down and relax then were able to board our flight.  We were given premium economy seats again on the Delta flight but both seats were at the window in different rows of 3.  It’s only an hour and a half flight from Detroit to Minneapolis, so no problem.

When we arrived in Minneapolis we were at one end of the airport.  The baggage claim was at the other end.  During our running in Detroit, Phil hurt his right heel.  Now it was so painful he had difficulty walking. We weren’t sure if our bags made it so while Phil stood at the carousel, Sandy talked to the “luggage help” employees.  Believe it or not, one of our luggage made it onto the flight we missed.  The other piece was on the later flight that we traveled on.  So, with both pieces of luggage we walked back to the other end of the airport to the rental car desk.

Our name was not on the “Gold member” hertz board so Phil spoke to one of the employees.  Seems like Phil’s call to Hertz didn’t register with Minneapolis so they cancelled the reservation as “no show”.  The employee arranged for a car, parked about 4 blocks away so another painful walk for Phil.  We were in the car and out of the airport.  However, neither of us remembered to ask for a map, the car didn’t have gps and it was now 10:20 at night.  We’d been up and awake for 22 hours straight.  The gps on Phil’s phone was ridiculously re-configuring and after a couple of wrong turns we were headed for Rochester, MN.  We took 55 south to 52 south then in Rochester, took 90 west towards Winona.  There was very little traffic but after exiting the highway on the Winona turn off Sandy spotted several deer next to the side of the road.  Phil slowed down and we were both on the look out.  We arrived at the Alexander Mansion B + B at 12:30 am on October 20, 2016.  We’d been up and awake for 24.5 hours.  Sandy looses her balance with lack of sleep and has trouble concentrating.

Thursday October 20, 2016 – Winona, Minnesota

Thursday October 20, 2016 we woke up in Winona.  Sandy was able to sleep to 7 am (14:00 in France time) and Phil slept until 8 am.  Phil’s heel is still very painful to walk on.  Sandy feels discombobulated.  There were quite a few changes to the apartment. Everything had been painted.  A new tv, mirror, table, chairs, and sofa were in the living room.  There are new gardens planted outside.  It feels nice to return to a lovely apartment that feels like home.

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An autumn fog hiding the tops of the bluffs in Winona.

 

9 octobre 2016 à Saint-Malo – October 9, 2016 in Saint-Malo

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Saturday October 1, 2016

Saturday October 1, 2016 is drizzly and only 13 C when Sandy shops for our breakfast.  Our dinner last night at Diver’s Cite was delicious!  But, we discovered that their little white male dog thinks the terrace is just like being outside in the way of “marking” his territory.  It will make me think twice next year before asking to be seated on the terrace.  We wanted to look at local Bretagne gifts and took the bus to the area near the Aquarium to shop at the Atelier D’Emelie.  We stopped at the Carrefour La Madeleine first to buy super-glue then got back on the bus.  It was just one stop to the Atelier D’Emelie, but the bus was at the stop and it would have taken us 5-10 minutes to walk.  As we approached the shop we could see the shutters were closed.  The sign on the window said they were closed indefinitely.  What a disappointment!  Sandy had searched the tourism site just before we left to make sure they were open.  She sent a note to the tourism center informing them of the closure.  Their reply was, since the tourism site was unable to reach anyone by phone they couldn’t remove the listing, but they did indicate that the shop might be re-opening in the fall.  At least others will see the note and call before leaving home.

Sunday October 2, 2016

Sunday October 2, 2016 is again drizzly when Sandy shops for breakfast.  The high temperature for today was 16 C.  Our apartment is also cooling down and with windows closed is just above 20 C (68 F).  We took a walk over the ecluse (lock) and walked along the beach towards the Tour Solidor in Saint-Servan.  The tide was out, way out!  The sun was trying to peak through a large bank of clouds but the day was pretty cloudy until we were almost home.  Then it was a bright sunny day.  There was very little wind but the air still was fresh and clean.

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At the Plage Solider with a dark set of clouds passing + approaching

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Beautiful white cloud floating over Saint-Servan

After we returned Sandy made eggplant parmesan and spaghetti for dinner.  Delicious!  We talked to our son over FaceTime and were even able to see his kitty.  She appears to be a bit larger than when we left last March.

Monday October 3, 2016

Monday October 3, 2016.  Sandy shopped at La Fournee Malouine for our breakfast and the propritrice told her they would be closed the next two days.The low temperature was 8 C. Good thing Simon boulangerie is only closed on Monday.  After breakfast we took the #8 bus to the Kennedy stop (north end of digue) and walked back.  The sun felt nice and warm, there was little wind, the air was clean and so clear we could see for miles.  This is one of our favorite walks as we are directly on the ocean front the entire way home.  It was a good day to enjoy chili for lunch.

Tuesday October 4, 2016

Tuesday October 4, 2016 is very chilly as we walk to the bus on our way to Christine’s house for tutoring.  Phil wore a jacket and Sandy had on a fleece sweater with a jacket on top.  After getting off the bus, Sandy wore her gloves and ear bands on the walk to Christine’s house. Fall is here!  The forecasted high temperature was 19 C but the wind was very strong making it feel much cooler. We haven’t turned the heat on yet, but Christine said their’s had been on at night.  As we walked out of Christine’s front yard, Phil grabbed Sandy’s jacket to keep her from being hit by a car.  Sandy recognized the driver as Anne B our realtor (immobilier) that helped us buy our apartment here.  We talked for just a minute as Anne was already late for an appointment.  How funny to see her in a residential portion of Parame. On our walk back to the bus, we saw a kumquat plant in Christine’s neighborhood.  It must have gotten fairly cold last night because the heat turned on in our bedroom.

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Kumquats

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Kumquat blossom

Wednesday October 5, 2016

Wednesday October 5, 2016.  The predicted high temperature for today was 20 C although the day started very cool.  We took the 9:20 #8 bus to the Courtoisville stop to shop at the Carrefour Market.  We were almost out of everything except yogurt, so we had to buy some food.  We purchased cabillard  (cod)  to have for dinner, salad, some fruit, and a few other items.  Just two small handheld recyclable bags, so not too much.  It takes 5 minutes on the bus to reach the store but we missed the bus returning by 3 minutes.  Rather than wait 35 minutes for the next bus, we took a different bus to the train station (gare) and waited to transfer.  However, there must have been a delay on several other lines because we waited 15 minutes then two different lines showed up at the same time.  Both of them were going to the Intra-Muros.  Oh well. Phil is wearing his heavy coat that he leaves here and Sandy is wearing a fleece jacket underneath a nylon jacket and gloves.  After lunch we took the recycling, glass, and garbage to dispose of then walked out to the harbor.  The tide was low so there was a lot of “muck” or mud visible with sea weed laying on top of it.  We watched a seagull, probably a goeland pick up sea weed with it’s beak, move it or throw it to another spot, then eat something that was hidden underneath.  He was a very smart gull.

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Quiet afternoon by the harbor at low tide.

Thursday October 6, 2016

Thursday October 6, 2016 is almost cold.  The low temperature was 8 C with a sensation of 6 C.  Sandy shopped for a croissant for Phil’s breakfast and the boulanger at Simon saw her coming down the street.  He had a warm baguette waiting for her as she entered the boulangerie.  Great service here! Late in the afternoon we walked to the harbor.  It was very windy and we were glad to be in full sun.  The high temperature reached 17 C.

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Sandy feeding the gulls on the digue

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Looking down the digue

Friday October 7, 2016

Friday October 7, 2016 the low temperature was 8 C when Sandy walked to the boulangerie.  She could tell that it was much cooler as this was the first time that the door to the boulangerie was closed.  It wasn’t even hot inside with the ovens running, so it must have been cool outside.  After breakfast we walked to Saint-Servan to shop at the marché.  The ship Hamburg entered the ecluse (locks) while we were eating breakfast and they were taking walking tours and bus tours of people to sites as we walked by.  Since so many vendors are on their annual conge (vacation) here, Sandy tried new stands and new foods today.  She bought red grapes  from Italy without seeds, brown mushrooms, and tangerines.  All of them are a different variety than we are used to.  The omelette Sandy made for lunch was delicious.  The “new” mushrooms were tasty, yet seemed to have a forest type flavor, if there is such a thing.  They were definitely stronger than white mushrooms, but good. It was cool enough that Phil turned the heat on in the living room and dining room in the evening.  Much better!

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Some interesting cauliflower at the marche this morning

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Cruise ship HAMBURG in the basin

Saturday October 8, 2016

Saturday October 8, 2016  was warmer than yesterday.  It was 12 C when Sandy shopped for our breakfast.  After breakfast we walked to Saint-Servan.  The city had organized a “National day of commerce” to feature the boutiques and invite the community to shop in a new neighborhood.  Sandy thought she had seen a few items she’d like to take back to the U.S. so we headed there.  We wanted to take the navette bus from Porte Saint-Vincent but missed it by 30 seconds.  It pulled away as we arrived at the stop.  We walked there and back for about 4 kilometers.  The two shops Sandy wanted to visit were both closed for their annual vacation.  Instead she purchased a pizza from the Au Panier Italy and we enjoyed the pizza for lunch.  One of the shops reopens Tuesday so she has time to visit.  Later in the afternoon we walked to the harbor.  Sandy is continuing to feed left over bread to birds and took a few slices with us.  We watched a man row his dinghy back to the ramp, put it on his trailer and went full speed up the ramp.  A very funny thing happened though, he was almost to the top and the trailer came unhitched.  Good thing a pedestrian saw it and kept it from rolling back down the ramp.  Someone might have been hurt.

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Sun glistening off the harbor – a dark cloud moving left to right kept the sparkling water moving away from Saint-Malo toward Dinard

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Dark clouds moving over the harbor from left to right.

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A Pie (magpie) near our bench at the harbor

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A sparrow is the benefactor of Sandy’s old bread feeding

Sunday October 9, 2016

Sunday October 8, 2016 is 11 C when Sandy walked to buy our breakfast.  There is very little wind and it feels cool and fresh.  In the afternoon we took the recycling to the center and walked up and down rue de Dinan on the main street.  We were looking for gift ideas to take back to the U. S.  It was easy to walk around because the streets were not crowded.  Very enjoyable!  We saw a couple of things worth considering but only one of them was made in France.  Seems silly to buy something made in Spain when we’ve been in France for 8 months.  We’ll think about our options and decide tomorrow.  Sandy cooked a pork roast for our Sunday dinner with new potatoes, peas, and apple sauce.  For dessert we had caramel ice cream.  Delicious!  This is our last week in France.  There are many things to be put away, washed, and organized.  We’ll need to take two days worth of clothes to wear in Paris, and probably one set of clothes for our first morning back in Winona.

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Place du Marché aux Légumes

30 septembre 2016 à Saint-Malo – September 30, 2016 in Saint-Malo

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Thursday September 22, 2016

Today was sunny and bright, yet only 13 C.  We were up early since we expected the painter between 8:30 and 9:00 today.  He arrived at 8:40 and we were finished eating breakfast and had cleaned up the kitchen.  He worked for 3 hours in the morning before stopping for lunch.  He covered everything in the kitchen and shower room with large sheets of plastic.

There was no way for us to get to anything in the refrigerator or kitchen cabinets so Sandy bought a ham sandwich (jambon beurre) from La Fournee Malouine  boulangerie for us to share at lunch.  We had already made plans to meet friends for dinner, so that was fine too.  Phil worked on homework while the painter was here in the morning.  Sandy took the bus to the Rocabey stop and tried to refill a prescription at the Rocabey pharmacy.  Even though they carried the medication in July, it was now unavailable according to the pharmacist all over France. She also walked around the Rocabey marché but didn’t buy any meat since she couldn’t get into the refrigerator to keep it cold.  Maybe tomorrow.

After lunch we had our hair cut and scheduled another appointment in three weeks. That will be right before we return to the U.S and “Great Clips” for a hairdresser.

For dinner we walked along the sea front/breaker walls to L’Olivier pizzeria.  It was a medium-sized restaurant because it had 19-20 tables for two persons.  We were seated in front with the windows open to the sea.  The margherita pizza was delicious!!  The crust was very thin, with tomatoes and a little pesto sauce drizzled on top.  Phil ordered lasagna boulangaise which came with a small green salad.  We shared both and loved our dinner.  Phil had tiramisu and Sandy had one boule of ice cream (glace) caramel for dessert.  After almost two hours of eating and talking with friends, we walked home.  It was a lovely evening.

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A gull came to visit at the bedroom window.

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Fort National at low tide

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Sun setting behind Grand Be and Fort National

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Sun setting behind Grand Be.

Friday September 23, 2016

Friday September 23, 2016.  We’re up early so we can have breakfast before the painter arrives at 9:00.  We walked to La Fournee Malouine to have the “formula petit déjeuner”.  Since all of our kitchen cabinets and appliances were stilled completely covered in sheets of plastic we weren’t able to prepare breakfast at home.  Not a problem here where we frequent a delicious boulangerie and tea room.  We enjoyed a grande cafe creme, orange juice, a demi-baguette, and croissant with butter and with groseille (red currents) or apricot jam.  We were back home by the time the painter rang the door buzzer at 9:00, right on time.  He finished the two rooms, cleaned up, and left by 12:30.  We will need to keep his name on file as he was extremely neat, very quiet and calm, and did a great job.

After lunch we vacuumed, dusted, and washed the windows before Phil re-hung the curtains and moved the furniture back into it’s usual location. Since the painter did most of the clean up all we really needed to do was dust or pick up powdery bits of left over plaster.  Not bad at all.  Late in the afternoon Phil found out that a large yacht was moored in our basin.  We walked out to see “A” a mega-yacht, one of the largest and most expensive  yachts in the world.  There was a helicopter hovering around it and we thought it was probably a news reporter taking photos.  It is owned by a Russian billionaire and when searching online costs 300 million euros and has a staff of 37 people. It has 8 floors including an underwater observation room. It did not come into the ecluse/lock but stayed out in the harbor.  It certainly has an interesting shape.

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Really expensive yacht “A” (300 million Euros) in the harbor.

Saturday September 24, 2016

Saturday September 24, 2016 we took the bus to the Mediatheque to return Sandy’s library books then caught another bus to Parame Mairee. Sandy wanted to make chili and split pea soup to eat before we leave so we needed to purchase some meat.  When we returned she made the chili and after lunch we took a bus to the Gare.  Today began the 2 day Saint-Michel braderie and it is a very large event.  Several blocks down each side of the street plus two rows in the middle are filled with items for sale.  We didn’t buy anything but we did see our friend Jean-Louis J. who wished us a good winter and he looks forward to seeing us in the spring.  We wished him the same.  Delicious creme/chou, from Simon patisserie, for dessert filled with pistachio for Phil and framboise for Sandy.

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While Sandy was in Simon patisserie I took this picture of the building across the street.

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While Sandy was in Simon patisserie I took this picture looking south down the street.

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While Sandy was in Simon patisserie I took this picture looking north up the street.

Sunday September 25, 2016

Sunday September 25, 2016 is sunny and 13 C. Sandy walked to Simon boulangerie for our breakfast.  Just as she was about to cross the street to enter the shop, the boulangerer stepped out of the door, locked it, and walked towards the tabac for a smoke break.  The time was 9:10.  This is the second time this has happened so she needs to adjust her breakfast shopping time.  She walked back up to La Fournee Malouine and purchased a croissant and pain au chocolat for our breakfast.  While she was in line, Anne and Elizabeth daughters of the Quic-n-Groigne hotel proprietres walked into the boulangerie and asked for their poulet/chicken.  It was being held for them in the cooler where the boulangerese sells sandwiches.  Interesting things going on here.

After breakfast we walked across from the casino to look out at the sea.

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Fort National at low tide.

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A lot of sails on the water.

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Waves going in on the Sillon beach.

On our way back, we walked past the basin where a German ship M1068, Datteln, has been moored for a couple of days.  The DatteIn is a minehunter ship.  We ended up by Port de Dinan and spent some time sitting on a bench and looking at the harbor.  There’s not a lot going on today, very quiet but beautiful and sunny.

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German minehunter ship DatteIn in the basin.

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German minehunter ship DatteIn in the basin.

Monday September 26, 2016

Monday September 26, 2016  Today was the day when Simon boulangerie decided to close on Monday.  They had been telling Sandy  for a few weeks that they would close on Monday, but they never decided on a specific date.  Today was it!  So, she walked a little extra and shopped at La Fournee Malouine.  After breakfast we took the #8 bus to the Courtoisville stop to shop at the Carrefour Market.  It is larger than the Carrefour City we have Intra-Muros, but not as large as the Intermarche.  However, they carry all of the Carrefour products that we like.  We purchased about 6 items and were back home within an hour.  The bus ride home took 4 minutes.  Sandy made split pea soup with ham from the butcher, panne cotta, and did some laundry.

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Carrefour Market in the Courtoisville section of Saint-Malo.

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Condor ferry starting its turn before backing up toward the dock.

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Corsaire ferry tied up by the ramp, waiting for the next crossing to Dinard.

Tuesday September 27, 2016

Tuesday September 27, 2016 and Sandy shopped at Simon boulangerie for our breakfast.  The baguette and the croissant were hot from the oven.  Delicious!  She shopped at the Intra-Muros marché for fruits and vegetables and Monsieur Alix confirmed that after Friday, he will be on vacation for the next two weeks.  Too bad for us!!  It was drizzling as Sandy walked back from the marché so we took our umbrellas with us to catch the bus to Christine’s house.  Good thing we did, because we would have been wet.  We had a lengthy conversation with Christine and checked our homework.  Sandy told her about the visit to the mayor’s office and how impressive it was.  Christine hadn’t been there and wanted to be sure she remembered to visit next year when it was again open.  Christine had organized a large picnic on the beach last Sunday and the menu was galettes.  She had a lot left and gave us four to take home.  We had them for dinner with sausage inside. While Sandy was preparing dinner, she looked out our window towards the Place de Marché du Legumes and saw a large group of Asian people with microphones, placards, movie cameras etc.  There were close to 30 people.  It appeared to be a “movie making group”.

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South Korean film crew shooting a scene for their television program.

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A stunning flower we saw in Parame.

Wednesday September 28, 2016

Wednesday September 28, 2016 was forecast to reach a high temperature of 23 C.  We needed to buy milk, yogurt, and butter within the next 2 days. We decided to shop at E.Leclerc since it is next to the hardware store Bricorama.  Phil needed 3 or 4 items from the hardware store to repair the curtain rod in our bedroom and we needed a door stop.  While waiting for the bus, we saw the same Asian group filming besides the carousel near the moat and castle that Sandy spotted the night before.  They were definitely filming. We took the bus and commented how there are always a few additional passengers besides us on any bus we take.  There are many people here that do not own cars.  However, after shopping and boarding the bus to go home at 11:55, we remembered that Wednesday is always a half day of school for students here.  It took 35 minutes to reach the Intra-Muros from Leclerc, when it usually takes 15 – 20 minutes.  We stopped at many stops along the route and 10-15 students entered the bus each time we stopped near a school.  When we reached the gare/train/bus station, it was mobbed!!  There were students waiting at all the bus stops.  As we pulled away, we counted more than a dozen other buses, all either full or nearly full of students, departing for areas outside of the city.  Most of the communities here have maternelle (elementary) schools, but few have college (middle) schools or lysee (high) schools.

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Corsaire ferry still going back and forth to Dinard.

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The pilote (pilot) boat returning after escorting a ship out to sea

Thursday September 29, 2016

Thursday September 29, 2016 Sandy shopped at Simon boulangerie for our breakfast.  She asked the boulanger if they were now closed on Monday and his answer was yes. We decided to go to the Rocabey marché for olives and a little meat.  Sandy will purchase yellow peppers tomorrow to make stuffed peppers to eat over the weekend.  She also bought white mushrooms and cooked them in an omelette with potatoes for lunch.  One hundred fifty grams cost one euro and 5 centimes.  Very reasonable!  After lunch we spent a little time in the Place du Marche aux Legumes feeding bread to the little birds.  We purchased the bread earlier in the summer, used it to make meatballs, then froze the remainder.  Since we turn the refrigerator/freezer off when we’re gone, it needed to be used.  The birds were very happy with it!

Friday September 30, 2016

Friday September 30, 2016 andSandy shopped for the last time from Monsieur Alix’s stand in the Intra-Muros marché. He will be on vacation until we leave for Paris.  Sandy thanked him for wonderful fruits and vegetables this year.  He wished us a good winter and said he hopes to see us in the spring.  Another French shopper was talking to Sandy in English and French.  She told Sandy that she spoke in French very well.  That was a first! We started with a bus ride to the end of the digue and walked back.  Sandy took some of our left over bread and the gulls enjoyed it.  It was very clear today and you could see a long way out into the ocean.  On the way back we made reservations to have dinner at Diver’s Cite.  Good thing, because they start their two week vacation on Sunday. Delicious dinner accomplished!

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Example of a typical bus, looking toward the driver.

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Example of a typical bus, but with Sandy seated by the window.

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Sandy feeding the gulls on the digue

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Looking toward the Intra-Muros from the digue.

 

21 septembre 2016 à Saint-Malo – September 21 in Saint-Malo

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Wednesday September 14, 2016

Wednesday September 14, 2016 is very breezy and cool.  The temperature was 16 C when Sandy bought Phil’s croissant at Simon boulangerie.  After breakfast we took a walk to the basin where the ship National Geographic Orion was moored.  It came in around 5 am this morning during high tide.  The lock is only open about 2 hours before to 2 hours after high tide, which occurs twice a day.  It will most likely depart between 16:30 and 20:00 tonight.  For anyone wanting an expensive cruise, the web site lists the price from $8,000 to $16,000 for an 8 day trip.  Of course there are many, many activities included.  We were able to see kayaks stacked on the deck of the ship and bicycles parked on the dock.national-geographic-orion_29561430162_onational-geographic-orion_29591221021_o

Thursday September 15, 2016

Thursday September 15, 2016 is drizzly and cool.  For the second day in a row the temperature was 16 C when Sandy bought our breakfast.  Today, the boulanger gave Sandy two madeleines as a gift.  They are similar in texture and taste to a cake donut.  They have a distinctive shape and come in a variety of sizes.  They look like a raised, fat, pointed in the middle mini loaf (US loaf pan).  Phil dipped his in coffee.  It rained lightly until about 14:00.  We took a walk later looking at the low tide and many people walking out to Fort National.  We stopped at the wine shop (they were out of our usual white wine last week) and the tabac to pick up the weekly edition of our local Pays Malouin newspaper.

Friday September 16, 2016

Friday September 16, 2016.  Sandy had to wait until the sun rose before she shopped at the boulangerie for our breakfast. It had been raining and was very gray. It was as if summer was over today. Phil wore trousers for the first time in at least a month and Sandy wore a jacket. The high temperature was 18 C and the wind speed was up to 40 kph. This is the weekend of the grande marrée or high tide and the wind will make the tide more dramatic.  The sun rises at 7:46 and sets at 20:15.  We are losing 4 minutes of daylight per day.  On our way to catch the bus, we saw where the city had piled huge sand bags on the street to try to prevent severe flooding at high tide.  We spent two hours with Christine for tutoring and she continued our “brain work-out.”  On the way back to our apartment we stopped and Sandy made a reservation for us to have dinner tonight at Divers Cite.  It’s a good thing she did because with our reservation they were “complet” for the evening.  We shared an entree of crab fritters (accras de crabe) on a bed of salad, Phil had sea bass for his main dish (plat), and Sandy had beef steak.  A very delicious two hours!!

Saturday September 17, 2016

Saturday September 17, 2016 is definitely cool!  Sandy wore a jacket and slacks to buy our breakfast baguette since the temperature was 14 C.  Chilly!  Sandy took the bus to the Rocabey marché to look around and buy black olives.  On the way back she walked by Gomina coiffure to see if the shop was still in business.  The door was locked and everything looked as normal with products in the window etc.  We’ll need to return on Tuesday to see if our hair cut will take place in the shop or the owner’s apartment.

Sunday September 18, 2016

Sunday September 18, 2016 is cloudy but warmer than yesterday.  Sandy walked out the Porte de Dinan just after high tide to look at the sea.  The Corsair ferry was actually disembarking on the street level because the co-efficient was 110 and very high.  She walked to the end of the ramparts as far as the beginning of the Mole des Noires and could see where the waves had washed sea weed up over the wall onto the pavement.  That must have been a spectacle to see.  She purchased our breakfast from La Fournee de Malouine before heading for home.  This is the weekend of the “Journées Européennes du Patrimony” which is explained as: “The European Heritage Days offer a great opportunity to discover public and private buildings open their doors for the first time or exceptionally, unveiling their wings, their unique history or their secret collections.”  Sandy visited the office of the Mayor which was inside the castle and was a gorgeous, huge room.  Then she went to the exposition of the ship Le Pourquoi-Pas which was constructed in 1907 and sailed to the arctic on over 15 different missions.  The exhibit is presented on three levels of the Tower Bidouane within the rampart walls.  She visited a public school where a braderie was held but didn’t purchase anything.  For dinner Sandy shopped at our local butchery alone and bought tomate farcie and pork chops.

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Monday September 19, 2016

Monday September 19, 2016 was the last morning for the Grandè Mareè for September.  We walked towards Porte St. Vincent to look at the tide, but it was not extraordinary.  While the co-efficient was 111, there was no wind or storm at sea so the sea was very high on the ramparts, but moved with gentle waves.  We took the bus to E.LeClerc to do a little shopping.  Not too much since we’re down to less than a month before we return to the USA.  Sandy took care of housekeeping chores and homework after lunch.  We did see the painter who told us he’d be at our apartment on Thursday morning.

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High tide at Fort National

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High tide at the Plage du Sillon

Tuesday September 20, 2016

Tuesday September 20, 2016 is sunny and cool.  The temperature was 13 C when Sandy shopped for our breakfast.  She’ll have to start using the hair dryer if the temperature stays this cool in the morning.  After breakfast she walked to La Poste to mail a letter and watched workers assemble a huge crane near the park/playground.  There were also a few people still demonstrating the closing of the Intra-Muros post office with banners, flags, and signs.  She stopped by Gomina coiffure to make sure the building was still open for our haircuts on Thursday.  The proprietrice talked to Sandy and said she would still be in this location for our appointment. Most of the rue de Dinan (main street through our part of town) is closed.  Holes have been dug near the sidewalk and barricades surround the hole.  When we stopped at the pharmacy to refill one of Sandy’s prescriptions, the pharmacist (Philip) told us they were working on the gas and electric lines.  The delivery men trying to drive large trucks down the street were not happy.

Wednesday September 21, 2016

Wednesday September 21, 2016 is the first day of fall in the U. S.  The temperature in the morning is 13 C (in the 50’s).  In the afternoon the high temperature reaches between 19 C and 23C depending on a sunny or cloudy day.  After breakfast we took the # 8 bus to Rotheneuf.  It is a very pretty village/quarter.  They have one boulangerie, one wine shop, one tabac/bar, one creperie, one restaurant, one chocolate shop, and two traiteurs or catering (ready to eat) food. We walked around, enjoyed a cup of coffee seated outside and returned on the bus.  It is a lovely sunny day with little wind and a temperature of 19 C.

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Le Rotheneuf bar – presse in Rotheneuf centre

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View of Rotheneuf from the bus stop.