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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