Bonjour – Hello


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 dimanche 17 juin 2018 – the week ending Sunday June 17, 2018


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le samedi 9 juin 2018 – Saturday June 9, 2018

We had arrived in Saint-Malo on the 27th of May with our friends Caron and Donna.  While they were here we had the pleasure of showing them around Saint-Malo, so we did not perform all our normal housekeeping.  But they had left on the 6th of June, so we were starting to settle into a routine.

In the morning it is raining and the forecast is for an all day rain. We had hoped to attend a flea market but changed our minds. The flea market was to be held at a former middle school which required a 15 minute bus ride then a 6 minute walk. We preferred to stay at home and dry. Phil worked on our blog and Sandy washed all of the windows on the inside.

Washing the outside of the windows was on hold.  When we left last September we left the geranium planters on the balcony.  While we were gone a pigeon decided to make a nest in one of the planters.  She must have made the nest just a week or two before our return. In any case, when we pulled back the curtains on our arrival on May 27th to look at the balcony we saw this pigeon on the nest.  The pigeon had a mate and at certain intervals they exchanged places sitting on the eggs.  Sandy spotted the mate because one bird was a bit white and the other much darker. During one exchange Sandy saw there were two eggs in the nest.  We decided to try to not disturb the nest and to stay off the balcony.  According to Wikipedia,  it takes about 3 weeks for the eggs to hatch.

So by now the pigeon was on the nest for two to two and a half weeks.  The outside windows will have to wait for the pigeon family to finish their business.

pigeon parent on far left of the planter

pigeon parent on far left of the planter

le dimanche 10 juin 2018 – Sunday June 10, 2018

Foggy conditions with a light drizzle this morning.  This is the 3rd or 4th day of early morning fog rolling in from the sea. Our friend Alain and his wife Marie-Yvonne were our guests for lunch today. They met us at the Brasserie Armoricaine at 12h30.

Sandy had a nice 3 course lunch which included a starter (entrée in French) of crudities which consists of cubed pickled beets, grated carrots in a vinaigrette, lettuce leaves, sliced tomatoes, diced cucumbers in a vinaigrette, diced purple cabbage all arranged on the same plate. It is very pretty to look at and delicious to eat.

starter of crudities

starter of crudities

Her main dish (plat in French) was roasted pork with diced potatoes and broccoli. For dessert she chose chocolate mousse.

Phil had the same entrée as Sandy but had turkey in a mushroom sauce for his plat dish. He had floating island for dessert.

Our friends are patient when we speak French and don’t worry if we make mistakes. They speak slowly to us and it helps Sandy understand almost all of the conversation. Everyone had a very good meal and experience at the Armoricaine.

By around 17h00, the sun was shining and the sky was blue. A very enjoyable day despite the morning fog. Later in the evening, Sandy noticed the bird from the nest on our balcony fly away. She looked at the planter and discovered two yellow mustard colored chicks. Apparently the two eggs from Friday or Saturday had hatched! It’s odd that the chicks have yellow feathers when the pigeon parents are gray, blue, and black.


two squabs – baby pigeons

le lundi 11 juin 2018 – Monday June 11, 2018

It is a difficult day for us. Today would have been David’s 40th birthday. Some days are much more difficult than others, today is one of the more difficult ones.

We decided to take the bus to E.Leclerc, the hyper supermarket. We were looking for a few items that aren’t available at the other stores and trying to keep busy. Sandy bought chili beans at this store in 2016, but couldn’t find them last year or this year. When she makes chili, she now uses haricot rouge (red beans).

The forecast has changed from rain all day to cloudy all day. It is still jacket weather but umbrellas aren’t needed. We walked out to the harbor later in the afternoon and the temperature had dropped. Even Phil was too cool to be outside for long. Of course, he had on a short-sleeved shirt and no jacket. Sandy wore two jackets. On the way back to the apartment we stopped in the Place du Marché aux Légumes and took a picture of the newly planted flower beds.


 new flower beds in the Place du Marché aux Légumes

We stayed inside for the remainder of the day.


le mardi 12 juin 2018 – Tuesday June 12, 2018

The temperature was 14 C, in the 50s F. The forecast is for sun, we shall see. It stayed cloudy all day and was a very difficult day for both of us.

le mercredi 13 juin 2018 – Wednesday June 13, 2018

We awoke to lovely sunshine and a temperature around 16 C, middle to upper 50’s F.

We took a #8 bus to the Kennedy stop along the beach. Then we walked back on the digue du Sillon. The digue is a walk-able breakwater which is really beautiful! There were a lot of runners running on the concrete and the sand. The tide was very low and way out so a lot of beach was available. We noticed several large mansions were being painted or being repaired. Probably the “rich” getting ready for the summer season.

english lesson and beach exploring for students

english lesson and beach exploring for students

le jeudi 14 juin 2018 – Thursday June 14, 2018

We took the bus to the Rocabey stop and walked the 3 blocks to the Intermarche grocery store. Last week, Sandy wanted to buy a demi-baguette (half of a baguette) and we couldn’t find the bread section. The location where we expected to find the bread was empty. But today, the bread and bakery section were in front of the store just to the right of the opening. They previously sold magazines in the same space. We didn’t want any bread, but at least we know where it is. The empty space from last week, the former bread aisle, is now the International Food section.

In the afternoon we went to Studio 3 for hair cuts. Our friend Marie Dominique from the Quic en Groigne Hotel recommended this hairdresser. We were very pleased with our hair cuts. So, we now have a new coiffure (hairdresser) for the rest of the summer.

le vendredi 15 juin 2018 – Friday June 15, 2018

We walked uphill through Saint-Servan to the La Roseraie Sainte Anne. Sandy had taken Caron and Donna there about 10 days ago. Not too many roses were in bloom at that time. Today there were many more roses in bloom than last time. It is a gorgeous spot to view flowers and reflect.


La Roseraie Sainte-Anne

On our way down the hill we stopped at the marché to purchase meat.

Back at our apartment, Sandy’s phone showed she had walked almost 8000 steps. She’d walked to the boulangerie and back and to our local marché for fruits and vegetables.

After lunch we walked along the ocean towards the Sillon Beach. We missed a delivery of a package on Wednesday and we needed to pick it up at the local depot. The wind was blowing and since we were walking in the shade it was very cool. The temperature was 16 C, 58 F. The pickup point was a Tabac/Presse (tobacco-newsstand shop). After retrieving the package we returned to the boules court to see if Alain was playing. We didn’t see him, so after watching a few minutes we found a bench at the harbor.

Today was to be a “Grande Marée” (high tide) day with a coefficient of 102. Six hours before the high tide, there is a corresponding low tide about 6 hours earlier. All of the boats in the harbor were sitting in sand and the boat ramp was completely out of the water. We watched a white crane, sea-gull, and cormorant all fishing for a late afternoon snack. The temperature was much warmer in the sun!

In the evening around 21h00 we walked out to see the high tide.  It was interesting, but without a wind there was not much really going on at the wall.


high tide, see the water marks on the wall, but not really much to see


le samedi 16 juin 2018 – Saturday June 16, 2018

We had read in our local newspaper that there was to be a large braderie (flea market) in Paramé today. It is sponsored by the Secours Association (charitable association) in Saint-Malo. They advertised new clothing, shoes, purses, suits, glassware, household items, games, toys, books, and CD’s. They opened at 9h00. Since it was a beautiful sunny day, though cool, we decided to go. We arrived just before 11h00. There was a line of 25 people at the door.  We realized the line was because there was a limit as to how many people could be in the building at one time. We waited in line about 5 minutes and the door opened. A volunteer counted the number of people he allowed inside and closed the door just before it was our turn. In another 5 or 6 minutes, the door again opened and we were included in the 20 people allowed inside. It was packed with people!!

We spotted a brand new still in the package cheese grater. It was a French brand of kitchen items that we like called Moulinex that is good quality. Sandy spotted a vase and a volunteer wrote out a ticket for us. Two items for 3 euros. The check out line was a little long. Phil got in line while Sandy tried to look at some of the tablecloths and men’s shirts. She was trying to find a blue striped “Brittany” shirt for men. She gave up not being able to squeeze through all of the people. She did see a dressing room with a very long line. All of the clothing had new tags on them and were donated by local stores. She found a striped short sleeve shirt for herself and purchased it without trying it on.

Next we walked across the street to a charcuterie (delicatessen) that Sandy saw earlier in the month. They had gratin de crabe in the window along with many other tasty looking items. They were very busy and after waiting in line a bit, we bought two gratin de crabe. The actual crab shell was used as a dish to hold the gratin.

Our friend Alain phoned after lunch and Sandy answered. She doesn’t like to have to speak French on the phone but managed to understand and answer.  He was going to play boules in 5 minutes and did we want to come and watch? We said yes!

The weather had changed significantly! It was cloudy with a strong cold wind straight out of the south and everyone was bundled up. We didn’t stay too long.

The crab was already cooked and just needed to be warmed in the oven for 15 minutes.


gratin de crabe

We ate the crab as a entrée for dinner.


le dimanche 17 juin 2018 – Sunday June 17, 2018

Sandy shopped for our breakfast at her normal boulangerie, La Fournee Malouine.  There was a sign saying the boulangerie would be closed for a vacation starting tomorrow and reopening on Wednesday 28 June at 7h00. The boulangère made sure Sandy saw the sign. She is a very nice lady.

Around noon we took a walk around the ramparts to get some exercise.  It was cool but still a very nice day.


The harbor during our walk on the ramparts.


trois semaines en France, se terminant le 6 juin 2018 – three weeks in France, ending on 6 juin 2018


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This is the first blog entry for our trip to France in 2018.🇫🇷  We are looking forward to returning to our home away from home!  Back to Saint-Malo.

This entry will tell the story of our first three weeks in France with our friends from Illinois. Future entries will discuss the rest our stay in France which lasts until September 13, 2018.


mercredi 11 avril 2018 – Wednesday April 11, 2018

FIFA U-20 Woman’s World Cup in France.

Today we had an interesting experience using Skype.  A month or two ago we had applied to be volunteers at the FIFA U-20 Woman’s World Cup which will be held in France in 2018.  The matches will be held in Brittany, our region in France, during August 2018.  Some of the preliminary matches will be held in Saint-Malo, our town in France.  So, we decided to try to volunteer for the events.  We will be in Saint-Malo in June, July and August this year so the timing is good.

We initially submitted written applications through the FIFA Volunteer Portal website.  The applications resulted in interviews which were held on Wednesday April 11.  The interviews were done via Skype.  A very nice person at FIFA did a lot of adjusting of his schedule to do the interviews with us.  Sandy did the first interview at 8h00.  I had the second interview at 8h30.  Hopefully we will be accepted as volunteers.  The biggest obstacle to our getting selected is the requirement for “intermediate French language proficiency” which we may not possess.

Anyway it has been a good experience and we will hope for the best.U-20 WOMAN'S WORLD CUP FRANCE 2018 DisplayImageHandler.axdU-20 WOMAN'S WORLD CUP FRANCE 2018 B DisplayImageHandler.axd


A different start to our visit to France

We are scheduled to fly to France in the middle of May 2018.  We will be traveling with our friends Bill and Caron B.  Bill and Phil have been friends since college (many decades ago).  Caron’s father was in the US military and she was born in France.  They left France when she was a small child and she has not been back.  So, Bill and Caron are going with us to France.  We will spend a week or so in Paris, then travel to Strasbourg for three days, then on to Saint-Malo.  They will be spending around three weeks in France.  We do plan a Normandy D-Day site tour as part of our agenda.

We and the B’s have been planning this trip for quite a while.  We purchased our Air France tickets in November of 2017.  We will be traveling to their town in the next week or so to finalize the plans.

Bill’s surname is of French origin.  He does have French heritage via Canada.🇨🇦

mercredi 16 mai 2018 – Wednesday May 16, 2018

“the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry”

We are leaving for France today.  We will arrive in Paris around 8h00 on Thursday the 17th.  Our friends will not be flying with us.  Here is the story.

Bill B developed a leg problem about 10 days ago.  It caused him quite a bit of pain and discomfort.  It also seemed to baffle the doctors for a while.  The end result was that Bill’s doctor could not give him any guarantees about his ability to travel or about how he would feel in France.  So, Caron B came to the tough decision to continue her plans for France but without Bill.  Caron arranged for her cousin Donna to accompany her on the trip.  The airfare was a problem because Bill’s ticket could not be given to Donna.  She would have to purchase a new ticket.  Only 7 days before the flight the Air France ticket price was $3,200.  So, Caron cancelled her and Bill’s Air France tickets and got their money back because they had insurance.  Caron and Donna ended up with very reasonably priced tickets with Iceland Air and WOW.  They would fly via Reykjavik Iceland to and from Paris.  They would arrive in Paris just about 4 hours after Phil and Sandy.  All the rest of the planned arrangements, hotels, tours and trains, would be okay with Donna substituting for Bill.

So here we go!

jeudi 17 mai 2018 – Thursday May 17, 2018

Day 1 in France, Paris

Our Air France flight arrived almost an hour early.  As usual with a real early arrival our gate was not clear.  At Paris Charles De Gaulle Airport (CDG) when this happens they park your plane a good distance from the terminal, place a staircase by the plane, have you exit the plane and descend to the tarmac using the staircase, and then board a bus that takes you to the terminal.  People with a lot of carry on baggage had some difficulty. More fun after an 8 hour flight.

With our plane landing early we headed to the passport control area.  Here we queued with passengers from other flights for about 45 minutes before getting passed through to get our luggage.  Luggage was easy, it was waiting for us when we arrived at baggage pick up.

Our plan had been to take the regional train (RER B) into Paris, drop off our luggage at the hotel and then return to CDG to meet Caron and Donna as they exited baggage pick up at their terminal.  But with the long delay at passport control we had to give up that plan.  So now we had about 2 and a half hours until their plane arrived.

We took the CDG shuttle called CDGVAL (it is a light rail train between the terminals) to Terminal 3.  First we bought 20 tickets which would be good on the Paris metro and Paris buses.  Then we walked to the Hilton Hotel which is only about 100 meters from Terminal 3.  The restaurant was closed, but we were about to get breakfast at the bar.  So our first croissants were eaten at the bar in the Hilton.  We stayed a little over an hour at the bar. They had comfortable chairs, it was quiet, and their restrooms were free, close to the bar, and clean.

Then we took the CDGVAL to Terminal 1 and waited for Donna and Caron to arrive.  They were on time and had little trouble getting their luggage.  The good thing about flying through Reykjavik was they went through European Union passport control there instead of Paris.

We then took the CDGVAL back to Terminal 3 and rode the RER B train.  The trip was direct, with no stops and only took about 30 minutes.  We arrived at the Paris Gare du Nord without trouble.

Our next step was to take the number 26 or number 43 bus to the hotel.  We got lucky and a 26 bus was at the stop.  Using the tickets we had already purchased we took the bus to the hotel.  The trip was only about 10 minutes.

Checking into the hotel was easy.  Around 18h00 we headed out to visit the Galeries Lafayette Haussmann which was about a 15 walk from the hotel.  Well a couple of wrong turns caused us to walk a bit extra, but no harm.  After all it is still Paris!

After the Galeries Lafayette we walked back toward the hotel.  We ate at a nice restaurant called Abradavio which was only a couple of blocks from the hotel.  Sandy and I recognized the waiter from our visit here a couple of years ago.  A very nice man.

If you are looking for pictures of France you will have to click on this link 2018-France.  Our 2018-France album at the Flickr website will open in a new window. We have not sorted all the photos to put in the blog since there are almost 750 pictures currently out there. Maybe we’ll get around to it later.

vendredi 18 mai 2018 – Friday May 18, 2018

Day 2 in France, Paris and a trip to Bourron-Marlotte

Why a trip to Bourron-Marlotte?  Well Caron B was born in France.  Her father was in the US military at the time.  She and her parents lived in France for a little while before returning to the USA. Bourron-Marlotte was and is a little village near Fontainebleau which was the site of the US military base where Caron’s father worked.  Many of the US military personnel were housed in Bourron-Marlotte.  Caron had not returned to France so this was her chance to see the village where she and her parents lived.

We planned the trip to Bourron-Marlotte.

  • take the number 7 Paris metro line to Opera station
  • take the number 24 Paris metro line to the Paris Gare de Lyon train station
  • take the RER R train to the Bourron-Marlotte Gerz train station
  • play it by ear from here

We started out around 9h30. All went well and by approximately 11h15 we were standing at the Bourron-Marlotte Gerz train station with no taxis in sight.  Phil talked with a man and found out that it was about a 15 to 20 minute walk to the center of Bourron-Marlotte.  The man was Portuguese and was very helpful. We also talked with the train station attendant and got the same direction.

So we took a walk into Bourron-Marlotte.  We walked past farm fields, past horses and donkeys, and past the entrance to the Château Bourron estate.  We will have to save that for another day.

Our first stop was at a brasserie called Le Martingo.  We got some soft drinks and had a nice rest in the shade.  Then we started walking again.  We were headed for 151 Rue Général Leclerc.  Leclerc was a hero of the French army in World War II.  The street we were on was Rue Général De Gaulle.  De Gaulle was the leader of the French army in World War II.  He later became president of France.  The map showed us that Rue Général De Gaulle turned into Rue Général Leclerc in the middle of town, so we were headed the right way.  Our walk took us past the local Office de Tourisme where we stopped in and checked our directions.

A few minutes later we came to the address 151 Rue Général Leclerc.  The house Caron had lived in had been torn down.  She already knew this from viewing the location on Google Maps.  The house had been replaced with a modern looking home from perhaps the 1960s.  There is a high wall and high shrubs around the house and little could be seen.  We could see through a window in the house that someone was home. A small cow bell was hung on the gate and Caron rang it a couple of times, but the person in the house did not seem to hear it.  So after a few photos we headed back to the restaurant for lunch.

We had a very nice lunch at the Le Martingo.  By this time it was 15h00 so we headed back to the train station.  We got back to the hotel around 17h30 without any excitement.

samedi 19 mai 2018 – Saturday May 19, 2018

Day 3 in France, Paris

The plan today is to visit Notre Dame in the morning and then figure out the afternoon while eating lunch.

As usual the line to get into Notre Dame was quite long.  Sandy guided Caron and Donna through the process, but did not accompany them into Notre Dame.  She and Phil kept busy people watching by the statue of Charlemagne until Caron and Donna returned from their visit.

With all of Paris to see and just a few days to get it all in, we decided to investigate one of the hop on hop off bus tours, Big Bus.  We ended up purchasing the two-day Big Bus ticket which included a Seine boat ride.

So for the rest of the afternoon we took the Big Bus around Paris.  It was actually quite nice.  Each person was given earphones to plug into the audio description of the sights.  They had about 8 languages covered.

dimanche 20 mai 2018 – Sunday May 20, 2018

Day 4 in France, Paris

Today we will use the Big Bus to get us to the Arc de Triomphe.  It was fun taking the bus again and we did not have to wait long to get into the Arc de Triomphe.  The only issue was that while we thought there was an elevator we could not find one.  We ended up walking up a +300 steps to the top of the Arc de Triomphe.  It is a wonderful sight to look out over Paris and the massive roundabout below.

After the Arc de Triomphe we walked down the Champs-Élysées to the Cafe George V.  We got an outdoor table and had a nice lunch.

We returned to the Big Bus stop by the Arc de Triomphe and saw more of the city.

lundi 21 mai 2018 – Monday May 21, 2018

Day 5 in France, Paris

At 6h30 we took a taxi from the hotel to PARISCityVISION at 2 rue des Pyramides for our day trip to the D-Day memorials in Normandy.

Our tour took us to the following locations in Normandy.

  • the D-Day memorial museum in Caen
  • the Pointe du Hoc where the US Army Ranger Assault Group landed
  • Omaha beach where elements of the US Army landed
  • Juno beach where the Canadian Army landed

It was a very interesting tour and very emotionally moving.  We returned to the hotel at 21:30 that evening.

mardi 22 mai 2018 – Tuesday May 22, 2018

Day 6 in France, Paris

Today is PARISCityVISION Skip the Line Tour of the Eiffel Tower.  We took a bus to the Eiffel Tower area and walked around until we found the meeting place for our tour.  The tour was not due to start until around 16h00.  So we looked around and did some souvenir shopping.

Around lunch time we stopped at a local restaurant and had a very nice lunch.

The weather forecast was for afternoon showers.  As the day progressed the sky got more and more overcast until it was a dark gray.  As we started out with the tour group it became pretty dark and started to sprinkle.

By the time we got to the second level of the Eiffel Tower it had started to rain.  Rather than stay at the second level we took the elevator to the Summit.  Here it was really raining hard and small hail was accumulating on the floor.  So we were at the top of the Eiffel Tower in a thunderstorm.

We still managed to look around the Summit level.  We got to see more storms coming our way which was quite interesting.  We eventually found the Champagne Bar at the Summit and had a flute of champagne to celebrate.  Then back to the ground level.

It continued to rain as we walked toward what we thought was the nearest bus stop.  It was close, but it was also not operating due to road construction in the immediate area.  So we headed to the next stop, but that was about 10 minutes away.  By the time we arrived there we were pretty wet. At least the temperature was in the 70’s F.

The bus ride home was interesting.  By this time it was around 17h30 and there was a lot of traffic.  The bus got caught in a traffic jam at the Opera.  We were stopped there for almost 20 minutes.  A tour bus from Italy was trying to go the opposite direction and the driver was getting frustrated.  Twice he got out of his bus to direct Parisian drivers to move their cars in an effort to unblock the jam.  Caron saw another Parisian directing traffic.  He was NOT a policeman.

Rather than going to the hotel to dry off, we walked towards the hotel and headed to the Abradavio restaurant for dinner.  We even ate inside the restaurant to try to warm up from being so wet.

We had intended to take our Seine boat ride after the Eiffel Tower tour, but with the rain it was a washout.

mercredi 23 mai 2018 – Wednesday May 23, 2018

Day 7 in France, Paris

So today is the day to do some laundry.  Donna and Caron were going to explore the Opera area which was near the hotel.  Sandy and Phil had made plans to visit their friends in Chennevières-sur-Marne a suburb of Paris.

To get to Chennevières we took the Paris metro line 7 from Cadet to Opera to take the RER A train to Chennevières.  We were early for our 14h30 visit to our friends apartment, so we had lunch in a very nice restaurant near the train station.

According to the map, we had about a 20 minute walk to our friends apartment.  Unfortunately the map did not indicate that much of the walk was straight up the side of the valley created by the Marne River.  So after a 40 minute breathless walk we found our friends apartment.  We had a wonderful and emotional visit with them.  It was well worth our time to get to Chennevières.

If you are looking for pictures of France you will have to click on this link 2018-France.  Our 2018-France album at the Flickr website will open in a new window. We have not sorted all the photos to put in the blog since there are almost 750 pictures currently out there. Maybe we’ll get around to it later.

jeurdi 24 mai 2018 – Thursday May 24, 2018

Day 8 in France, Paris and then on to Strasbourg

We took a cab to the Paris Gare de l’Est for our train to Strasbourg.  Unfortunately our train was a victim of the labor strikes being held by the SNCF (French state train company) workers.  We were able to get on the next train and had to just spend a couple of hours in the train station waiting.

We had a short 10 minute walk from the train station to our hotel.

For dinner we went to an interesting Alsace restaurant called L’Ami Schutz (Friend Schutz).

vendredi 25 mai 2018 – Friday May 25, 2018

Day 9 in France, Strasbourg

As has been the pattern in the past when flying to Europe, Phil has always developed a sinus infection a few days after arriving.  So, today is the day the sinus infection really set in and disrupted his stay.

Sandy took over the translation, navigator and tour guide duties that she had shared with Phil.  So while he stayed in the hotel room, Sandy, Donna and Caron toured hot Strasbourg.

Strasbourg is in the Alsace department in eastern France.  Alsace has bounced back and forth between France and Germany for the last few hundred years.  It is very close to Germany, only separated for it by the Rhine River.  But being this far east it is affected by continental air masses which come in from Germany, Poland, Russia, etc.  So the weather is often hot and humid in the summer.  And so it was during our visit.

The ladies walked through an outdoor market featuring ready to eat food, fresh vegetables, fruit, cheese, and meat.  They inquired at the tourist office about visiting the Strasbourg Notre-Dame Cathedral and the astronomical clock, and a boat ride on the river Ille.  They took a “petite train ride” learning about the area, and “Petite France” the historic part of Strasbourg.  We bought our lunch at the French department/grocery store Monoprix and took it back to the hotel to eat.

We had reserved a half day wine tour while still in the USA which was scheduled for the afternoon.  Donna, Caron, and Sandy met the tour guide and two other Americans in front of the post office.  They enjoyed 4 hours of driving through the Alsace region, stopping at two family run vineyards and sampling 4 or 5 different varieties of wine at each location.  Phil, rested in the hotel.

samedi 26 mai 2018 – Saturday May 26, 2018

Day 10 in France, Strasbourg

Phil is still not feeling well, so the ladies are on their own again.

Today the temperature was 29 C – very hot!! The ladies walked to the Strasbourg Cathedral to reserve spaces for the astrological clock presentation at noon.  Reservations are only available each morning until space is sold out.  Sandy relied on her French to ask questions and make reservations.  She thanked the lady at the Cathedral for speaking slowly and clearly. Her practice all winter on Duolingo French (a language app) had helped.

After making the reservation for the clock, they walked to the Batorama boat tour office.  They reserved spaces for the 15h00 tour that afternoon.

There was a flea market going on so they walked through all of the tables and looked at everything.

Then it was time for the noon astrological clock presentation which was very interesting.

Sandy left Donna and Caron on their own for lunch so she could check on Phil back at the hotel.  She again purchased lunch at the Monoprix while Caron and Donna ate burgers and fries at a cafe.

The boat ride in the afternoon was on an enclosed, air-conditioned boat with glass sides and ceiling.  It sailed by the European Capital building and many other interesting places.

dimanche 27 mai 2018 – Sunday May 27, 2018

Day 11 in France, Strasbourg and then on to Saint-Malo

Up early to walk to the Strasbourg train station for our train to Saint-Malo.  This train ride was pretty uneventful.  Our Strasbourg train took us to Rennes and from Rennes transferred to another train for the last hour to Saint-Malo.

The biggest problem on this leg of the journey was the lack of taxis at the Saint-Malo train station.

When we got to our building at 4 Rue de la Coudre in the Intra-Muros part of Saint-Malo we found Monsieur and Madame Roussel waiting for us.  We had rented the Roussel’s ground floor apartment for Bill and Caron.  So now Caron and Donna were able to use the apartment.  Phil rested and the ladies enjoyed dinner at one of the local restaurants on the Place de Marché aux Legumes.

If you are looking for pictures of France you will have to click on this link 2018-France.  Our 2018-France album at the Flickr website will open in a new window. We have not sorted all the photos to put in the blog since there are almost 750 pictures currently out there. Maybe we’ll get around to it later.

lundi 28 mai 2018 – Monday May 28, 2018

Day 12 in France, Saint-Malo

Sandy went early in the morning to get Phil a doctor appointment at 11h15.  The doctor was impressed with the severity of Phil’s sinus infection and prescribed mass quantities of antibiotics and vitamins.  A visit to the pharmacist completed his morning.

Sandy, Donna, and Caron took a city bus to the Intermarche grocery store.  We bought items for breakfast, lunch, and essentials.

mardi 29 mai 2018 – Tuesday May 29, 2018

Day 13 in France, Saint-Malo

Sandy, Donna, and Caron shopped for fruit at our neighborhood market.  Sandy was glad to see Monsieur Alix, vegetable and fruit vendor, and he recognized her immediately.  They took a city bus to the Saint-Servan Rosarie to look at the beautiful rose garden.  Then they walked down hill to the marché to buy meat.  The butcher and his assistant were glad to see Sandy and they asked about Phil.

Next Sandy took Caron and Donna to the Condor Ferries office to see about visiting the Channel Island of Guernsey.  They were able to reserve spaces and a hotel for Friday night, returning at 9:30 pm Saturday.

mercredi 30 mai 2018 – Wednesday May 30, 2018

Day 14 in France, Saint-Malo

The ladies toured the Saint-Malo castle museum and walked out on the sand at low tide towards Fort National island.

In the afternoon Phil felt well enough to accompany them on a bus ride to the La Cite d’Alet.  It poured rain on the bus ride but the sun came out by the time we arrived and it was a lovely afternoon.   We walked on top of the Alet which has a the German bunker with a museum.  The walk on the Alet goes past 6 German at the military pillboxes, each pillbox weighs 47 tons. The wonderful ocean views are in contrast to the military relics.  It was a long walk home but we stopped at a beach cafe for ice tea and lemonade before returning to our apartment.

jeudi 31 mai 2018 – Thursday May 31, 2018

Day 15 in France, Saint-Malo

The ladies wanted to take an Island cruise on the Corsaire ferry but found out it wasn’t available until 4:30 pm.  So, they took the boat across the bay to Dinard.  They walked through the market, admired the 4 story bell epoque mansions, cliffs, and had lunch at a beach cafe.  They took the ferry back in the afternoon.

vendredi 1 juin 2018 – Friday June 1, 2018

Day 16 in France, Saint-Malo

Donna and Caron took the Condor Ferries ferry to Guernsey for an overnight stay on the Channel Island. Phil and Sandy took the bus to the Intermarche for another grocery store trip.

samedi 2 juin 2018 – Saturday June 2, 2018

Day 17 in France, Saint-Malo

Phil and Sandy took the bus to Paramé to shop at the market for meat.  The butcher and his assistant were glad Phil was feeling better.

Donna and Caron returned from their trip to Guernsey.  The ferry arrived a couple of minutes late at around 21h00.  We met them at the ferry terminal and walked them back to the apartment.  The reports from Guernsey were good, including a high tea, a nice hotel, and a visit to a castle.

dimanche 3 juin 2018 – Sunday June 3, 2018

Day 18 in France, Saint-Malo

We went to lunch at the Hotel Brasserie Armoricaine.  The Armoricaine is a traditional French restaurant.  White table cloths, old-fashioned decor, traditional Sunday menu and a professional wait staff.  We had a very nice lunch as we always have had in the past at this restaurant.

lundi 4 juin 2018 – Monday June 4, 2018

Day 19 in France, Saint-Malo

Sandy joined Donna and Caron for lunch and some tourist shopping. Back at the apartment Phil made meatballs.

We had Donna and Caron over for dinner this evening enjoying the meatballs with spaghetti.

mardi 5 juin 2018 – Tuesday June 5, 2018

Day 20 in France, Saint-Malo and a trip to CDG

We all took a taxi at 9h30 to the train station.  Caron and Donna’s first leg of the trip back to CDG was on the local Brittany TER train.  That train would take them to Rennes where they would get on the SNCF TGV train for the trip to CDG.

Later in the day Caron called from their hotel at CDG.  They didn’t have any problems getting on the second train in Rennes. However they got lost in the train terminal at CDG.  They went up and down escalators and asked for directions. The escalators are hazardous with luggage and you can easily lose your balance. Caron fell down the escalator with her luggage landing on top of her.  Donna yelled for help and another traveler stopped to help them up.  They finally made it to the hotel and were ready for a rest.  Caron was a bit bruised but a trip to the hospital was not needed.

mercredi 6 juin 2018 – Wednesday June 6, 2018

Day 21 in France, CDG and Reykjavik, Iceland, and Chicago, Illinois, USA

Caron and Donna left France almost two hours behind schedule.  Apparently there were weather related delays at CDG.  They were flying WOW airlines to Reykjavik with a connecting WOW flight from Reykjavik to Chicago.  WOW airlines got them on the flight to Chicago and they landed at Chicago O’Hare Airport a couple of hours late.  But they made it!

A special note should be made that according to Caron’s Fitbit, Sandy, Caron and Donna walked around 5 miles each day in France!

So ends the three week soujourn of Caron and Donna.  Well done!

If you are looking for pictures of France you will have to click on this link 2018-France.  Our 2018-France album at the Flickr website will open in a new window. We have not sorted all the photos to put in the blog since there are almost 750 pictures currently out there. Maybe we’ll get around to it later.


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.


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.


Sandy feeding the gulls

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


looking down a the Bretonne Boules court

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


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.


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.


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.


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.



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.


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.


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.


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.



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.

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

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.



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.


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.


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.


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.



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






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!


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>.


Hotel de Ville entrance


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>.


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.


Snail on a flower in the Saint-Vincent esplanade area

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


Desserts from <La Fournee Malouine Boulangerie>