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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.