the week ending July 7, 2019 – la semaine se terminant le 7 juillet 2019


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lundi 1 juillet 2019 – Monday July 1, 2019

Sandy wore a jacket to walk to the boulangerie since the temperature was 15C (59F). The city was quiet and it appeared that many of the visitors from the weekend had departed.

As we left our apartment building we saw a new sea gull (goéland). It still had a lot of downy feathers. When they are ready to leave the nests, which are often on the rooftop of buildings, the parents literally push them over the edge. We have seen them flutter their way to the ground in previous years. They don’t learn to fly for a few weeks after leaving the nest. They are spotted brown in color for two years until they fully mature.

new gull

We continue to have problems with car drivers removing the parking posts around our building. Today we took copies of photos showing damaged or missing posts, including the street addresses to the Hôtel de Ville (city hall). We talked to the lady at the reception desk for several minutes. She was very sympathetic. She tried to phone the people she thought would be responsive to our request for repairs, but no one was available. She told us she’d pass on our request.

Next we purchased bus passes for the month of July and headed to Jardiland to look at plants for our new planters. We took photos of several and will talk to our friends about the possibilities.

We took the bus halfway back and walked back on the beach. Our return walk was over 6 kilometers – a great walk. In the afternoon we were invited to Denise and Gilles’ apartment. They served a variety of cookies, peach flavored Coca-Cola, Schweppes agrumes (citrus flavored) and Badoit sparkling water. We enjoyed their conversation and friendship. They return to Paris on Wednesday and don’t plan to return to Saint-Malo until September when it is quiet.

mapmywalk map of our return from Paramé – 3.72km

mardi 2 juillet 2019 – Tuesday, July 2, 2019

On our walk back from buying our breakfast croissants, we passed Charlie’s Bar and spotted the waitress named Sophie setting up chairs for the day. This bar is just up the sidewalk-staircase behind our apartment building which leads to the Place du Marché aux Légumes. It’s one of the nicest tree lined spots in Intra-Muros (in the walls) for people watching, or enjoying a beverage. The last two years we loved having a coffee break there. Two years ago, a wonderful waitress named Sophie worked daily and knew our order by heart. Last year Sophie wasn’t working. When we spotted her today she recognized us immediately. We asked her where she was last year. She told us she’d had a baby and in France, paid maternity leave is for one year. The baby was now old enough to leave at the crèche (daycare) and she was back at work.

We picked up fruit at our local market and bought a sweet potato (patate douce) for dinner. It is bright purple on the outside and yellow on the inside. We also bought a box of Gariguette strawberries. They have a distinctive shape and are delicious!

Next we wanted to walk to Saint-Servan to go to the butcher. We had to wait a few minutes for the sliding bridge to close before we could walk across it. We watched 3 sail boats enter the lock (écluse) before we continued our walk. The butcher had a new assistant today (too bad) but the line wasn’t too long. While Phil waited in line, Sandy looked at the many other stalls inside the building. At the fromagerie (cheese shop) she saw Comté cheese which we like. It came in 3 different prices and lengths of aging. The least expensive had been aged 12 months, next in increasing price had been aged 24 months, with the most expensive being aged 30 months. All three of the pieces looked similar to her.

mapmywalk map of our walk to Saint-Servan and the return – 5.61km

After lunch we watched a boules game. We talked to Alain about Denise returning to Paris tomorrow and told him to knock on our door when he arrived. We’ll help carry their luggage downstairs. A large group of students, about middle school aged, arrived to watch the boules game. The players actually let almost every student try to throw at least one ball. The boules players all agreed that this game didn’t count towards their score.

mercredi 3 juillet 2019 – Wednesday 3 July 2019

We were up early to do some grocery shopping. We walked to the bus, took the bus for 2 stops, walked to the Intermarché grocery store, completed our shopping and returned to our apartment all in an hour. On our way to the store, we spotted 3 new goéland (seagulls). Usually there is only one or two that survive to get pushed from the nest.

Three new gulls crossing the parking lot by the Post Office in Rocabey.

While buying canned pineapple today to go with a slice of ham, we learned that canned pineapple in France comes from both Thailand and the Philippines. There wasn’t much difference in price, but the label clearly states where the pineapple comes from. Is it the same in the USA? The store wasn’t crowded and our list wasn’t too large. At 11h, Alain arrived to take Denise and Gilles to the train station. They are returning to Paris today. We were so glad to see them and enjoyed our visits. They don’t plan to return to Saint-Malo until September, after we have departed. Sandy washed windows inside and outside in our bedroom, kitchen, and the shower room. At least the first few layers of salt and dust have been removed.

A taxi from Torino (Turin) Italy parked in front of our building today. It was probably just the owner of the taxi and wife coming here for a visit. Otherwise it was an expensive taxi ride, 693 miles, 1,115 kilometers.

the I on the left side of the license plate is for Italy – the silver plate on the bumper is his taxi medallion from Torino (Turin)

After lunch we watched the boules game for awhile. One of the players congratulated us on the USA women’s football (soccer) win over the French. A lady, Yvonne, shook our hands and said bonjour, and another player, Josette, said bonjour. Another player Philippe, who owns the little white dog named Gavroche, talked to Phil for a few minutes. It’s nice to be acknowledged.

We took a walk on the beach at low tide and came across hundreds of crab shells. We try not to disturb sea creatures on the beach. Some of the crabs had been turned upside down and were empty. They must have been caught between tides. The wind was very strong, over 20 kilometers per hour so we didn’t tarry.

low tide exposes many rock outcroppings which the gulls frequent

This is the week of the Folklores du Monde. Six countries are invited here to entertain and share their native music and dance. There is a parade through the Intra-Muros each day at 18h. We watched groups from Ghana, Serbia, and Kazakhstan sing, play instruments, and dance. Highly entertaining! It was almost impossible to hear anything over the music.

jeudi 4 juillet 2019 – Thursday 4 July 2019

Happy Fourth of July USA! 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸

We walked to Rocabey to buy meat from the butcher and look at the plants in the outdoor area of the market. The flower vendor had quite a few geraniums so we bought 3 to put into our new boxes.

on our walk to Rocabey to buy meat we saw this fine looking sailing ship

Around lunch time the man Phil had hired to clean out our cave (basement storage area) arrived with a helper. They quickly cleaned up the old straw, bags, and other remains from the previous owner.

Sandy left for tutoring and shopping with Christine at 13h20. When she arrived at the bus stop, our neighbor Jean-Michel was there. They greeted each other and Sandy offered her hand to shake as they had in previous times. He said no, “bise” meaning let’s kiss on our cheeks, so he’s officially our friend.

After two hours of French conversation and lessons, Christine took Sandy to Jardiland to purchase our plants. Christine bought a new car in April. It has air conditioning, a sun roof, automatic transmission (almost unheard of here) and it’s a hybrid. It’s a Toyota Yaris and much bigger than her previous car. Very nice. At Jardiland Christine talked to the employees and made sure the plants Sandy had in mind were tolerant of the winter here and would do well in boxes. We loaded up Christine’s car and were on our way home.

Phil met us at the apartment door and he and Sandy carried the plants up using a giant IKEA blue bag.

The city repairmen weren’t quite finished repairing the parking posts. But since we just notified the city of the problems on Monday their presence today was a good sign.

city workers repairing the parking post by our building

For dinner, Sandy heated the rest of the ham steak with the pineapple from Thailand. Very tasty.

vendredi 5 juillet 2019 – Friday 5 July, 2019

Any early visit to the marché right by the apartment building for fruit and vegetables.

After the marché Sandy put the plants into the boxes. Several people stopped on the street and told us how nice they looked. Even the man sweeping litter from the street stopped to help her sweep up the spilled dirt and said in English “green looks good here”. Let’s hope they last. Too bad we didn’t buy a sprinkling can. Taking water up and down in half liter discarded water bottles takes a long time.

samedi 6 juillet 2019 – Saturday July 6, 2019

The boxes look good this morning and do brighten up our doorway. Phil made meatballs this morning. Delicious!

In the afternoon we watched the boules game for a few minutes then took a nice long walk on the beach. It’s sunny and 23C (73F) and the beach had more people on it than we’d seen this year. All of the parking lots were “complet” (full) so there must be a lot of people around.

the large underground parking area which holds about 500 cars is full – complet

In the basin there are a lot of boats from Jersey. They are usually very large cabin cruisers and sail boats. This is one of them.

You might wonder why the tiny island of Jersey, with a population of 100,000, has so many luxury boats. Well it is because Jersey is one of the top FOUR tax havens in the world. There are a lot of wealthy people stashing their money in Jersey.


dimanche 7 juillet 2019 – Sunday July 7, 2019

Today was the final day of the Folklores du Monde. They always hold a grand parade of nations from the Rochebonne beach to the Parc Des Chênes where they each will give a final performance. We’ve attended the final performance a few times but never the parade.

WOW! We watched the almost hour long parade today. You know “you’re not in Kansas” any longer. Very interesting hearing all of the bagpipes, horns, seeing the various costumes and enjoying the humor of others. Interesting to note, as in Holland, MI, where costumes include wooden shoes, some Bretagne groups also wore wooden shoes. However, big difference here was the wooden shoes were trimmed and appeared to be lined in black leather. They also had heals and the toes curled up similar to shoes worn by Jesters. Since this area of France was settled by Celtics, bagpipe playing is popular.

We loved the parade and walked home along the digue (sea wall) since it was high tide and the beach was under the water. A wonderful three and a half hour trip!

How to find all our photos from our visit France, June 9 through June 30.

You can view the album of photos by clicking on the following link. It will open in a new browser window with the photos.

Click here for all the June pictures in France

How to find all our photos from our visit to La Roseraie Sainte-Anne

You can view the album of photos by clicking on the following link. It will open in a new browser window with the photos.

Click here for pictures of La Roseraie Saint-Anne

How to find our photos from our visit to Paris on June 10, 11, 12, 13, 2019

You can view the album of photos by clicking on the following link.  It will open in a new browser window with the photos.

Click here for the pictures in Paris

the week ending June 30, 2019 – la semaine se terminant le 30 juin 2019


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🇫🇷 HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: If you are reading this blog in your email app you might want to switch to a browser to view it more easily. Just click on the title above (the week ending…). The blog will open in a browser window which will be easier to read and navigate. 🇫🇷 🙂 🇫🇷

lundi 24 juin 2019 – Monday June 24, 2019

It was raining when we woke up so we chose not to purchase fresh croissants for breakfast. The forecast for this week is extremely hot. A heatwave (“canicule” in French) is coming up from the Sahara desert. The forecast for Paris is high temperatures of 33C to 39 C (91F-102F) for six days. The forecast for here in Saint-Malo is 21C to 33C (69F-87F) with only two days being hot. There are few buildings air conditioned in France. The newer major hotels are air conditioned, but many older ones are not. Saint-Malo is located on the ocean or English Channel in the northwest of France. We almost always have a breeze, usually from the north or northwest which keeps it cool. When the wind is from the south or southeast, it is much warmer. Our apartment building is made of granite. We have shutters similar to hurricane shutters on all of our windows. When it is hot, we keep the windows and shutters closed and the apartment is fairly comfortable. It almost always cools off at night. We’ll see as the week continues. The high today was 19C (66F).

In the middle of the afternoon, tea time, our friends from upstairs came for tea. Denise and her son Gilles, age 62, brought a bouquet of fleur-de-lis. I didn’t have a vase that was tall enough, so Denise went upstairs to loan one of hers to us. We had a lovely conversation of French mixed with English for about 90 minutes. Denise and Gilles live in Chennevières-sur-Marne
which is a southeastern suburb of Paris.

You can click on a photo to see a larger image.

We had a bowl of chili for dinner that Sandy had made over the weekend. Different from the USA, but delicious!

We took a walk out on the mole, watched the Condor ferry depart and headed for home as it started to rain.

mardi 25 juin 2019 – Tuesday 25, June 2019

Sandy wanted to shop at our Intra-Muros marché before we did anything else today. She bought a melon, appears to be a small cantaloupe, but the variety is “Bowl of Honey.” She also bought brown mushrooms. They are similar in size to the white mushrooms sold in the USA, but have a stronger taste. Delicious when cooked with chicken. She also bought a lot of fresh fruit; cherries, peaches, and apricots.

Next we took the bus to the gare, waited for a #5, then took it up the hill, past the hospital to the Tréhouart stop. We were on our way to the Secours Catholic boutique and depot. We had a difficult time last year finding the new location that they moved to. We wandered through all kinds of neighborhoods, up steep hills and were hot by the time we located the building. Secours Catholic is the French version of a Catholic Charities shop or the Community Action House General Store in Holland. In three rooms are clothing for men, women, children, purses, shoes, small bags, and household linens. Sandy wanted another table cloth for our dining room table. The one we are currently using is similar to oil cloth purchased at a market in 2012. She also purchased aprons for Phil and herself. We wear aprons at church in Holland and thought it would be nice to have our own. She was also looking for a tall vase, so she could return Denise’s vase to her. We were directed downstairs to the depot. The depot is where breakable items are sold in addition to a few articles of clothing, shoes, beds, etc. They had several vases that were the correct size and we chose one made in Portugal. We also spotted an oven mitt and a decorative glass cutting board. Today is the final day the Secours Catholic boutique is open until September. Since we leave on September 1, this will be our one and only visit until next year. Au revoir jusqu’à l’année prochaine.

On our walk to and from the Secours Catholic we saw several flowers which were worth taking pictures of.

The temperatures are still unbearable in most of France. The high temperature here in Saint-Malo was 20C (68F).

In the afternoon we took a walk out Port Saint-Louis to the môle (breakwater). It was a nice day and resulted in some pretty good photos.

We had chicken, ratatouille, risotto and mushrooms for dinner. Chez Sandy restaurant! Delicious!

chicken, ratatouille, risotto and mushrooms

mercredi 26 juin 2019 – Wednesday 26 June, 2019

We planned to go grocery shopping today but had to make a stop at the doctor’s office on the way. Phil realized last night that he was having problems with his ear. While we were in Paris he had trouble with it for a day but it improved. Today we needed to make an appointment with the doctor. The receptionist remembered us from previous years. He was given an appointment for 11h40 and we were on our way to the local Intermarche store. When we boarded the bus, our neighbor Jean-Michel was there and he and Phil chatted until our stop. We were able to buy everything on our list today except for Cheerios. They had Cheerios two weeks ago, but nothing today.

We took the groceries home, put everything away and walked to the doctor’s office. The office only took cash in the past but today had a machine for credit cards. The diagnosis was an outer ear infection so we needed to fill a prescription for antibiotics. The pharmacy near the Carrefour City was still open at 12h15 (stores normally close between 12h and 14h for lunch) and we had the prescription in less than 5 minutes. The antibiotic is a powder that needs to be mixed with water before taking. Let’s hope they work!

After lunch we watched Alain play boules for a few minutes. The temperature was 23C (74F). It is warm in the sun but still a nice breeze blowing in the shade. All schools were closed in Paris today due to the extreme heat of 38C (100F) since school isn’t out for the summer until next week, and none of them are air conditioned.

boules court

After the boules match we walked to the harbor to watch the boats. The Corsaire Ferry was approaching the ramp on its return from Dinard.

Corsaire Ferry returning from Dinard.

jeudi 27 juin 2019 – Thursday 27 June, 2019

The forecast for all of France, except around us in Brittany, was for another day of the heatwave (a “canicule” in French). Our peak temperature was 28C (82F). Sandy had made arrangements to see Christine, her tutor, an hour earlier due to the heat. As with most things here, the buses are not air conditioned and they are hot.

Phil took the same bus and picked up a few items at E.Leclerc hypermarché.

After lunch, they watched Alain play boules for about 30 minutes. There was still a nice cool breeze in the shade. This is the first year that other boules players have acknowledged us and a few are even initiating conversation. After 8 years, they must have decided we’re okay.

We had our first haircuts of the summer later. The owner of the shop, Studio 3, cut both of our hair. Sandy took photos with her from last year to help the stylist. We were both pleased with our haircuts.

vendredi 28 juin 2019 – Friday 28 June, 2019

Today, we felt the heat. The forecast is for a high of 34C (93F). We have kept our windows closed and the shutters and curtains drawn when the sun faces the windows. Our second bedroom, dining room, and living room windows face east. The kitchen, shower room, and our bedroom face west. We always have daylight coming from one side of the apartment even with the shutters down.

After breakfast and a trip to the Intra-Muros marché we took a walk on the beach. Low tide was around 9h30 so the sand was fairly hard and dry an hour later. The temperature was great, low 20’s and the wind was blowing. We came across a fairly large group of people all digging in the sand. A closer look showed about 7 teams, with around 5 people on each team.

Bank of France employees from Paris in the team building exercise.

The man who appeared in charge was speaking English to some groups and French to other groups. Phil asked a lady who was taking photos what was going on. It was a group of employees from the Bank of France in Paris. The man speaking French and English was a champion sandcastle maker from Canada. They were in Saint-Malo for two days doing team building exercises. They were very lucky to escape the Parisian heat and enjoy the beach here. Interesting to watch.

These are pictures from our walk on the beach. The wide beach, sailboats, Brittany Ferries, walkers in the water and team building with staff from the Bank of France in Paris. Quite a few different things happening.

By the time we were ready to return to our apartment it was hot! We stayed inside the rest of the day. Jardiland phoned and said they would deliver our planters, gravel and dirt between 8h30 and 10h30 tomorrow.

samedi 29 juin 2019 – Saturday 29, June 2019

At 7h it was wonderfully cool! The outside temperature was 17C and 23C in our apartment. We opened all of the windows and the temperature inside dropped quickly. On her way to the boulangerie, Sandy wasn’t able to see the ocean through the city gates. Fog was rolling in from the ocean. No wonder it’s much cooler today.

Phil waiting on the balcony for the Jardiland delivery

Our delivery from Jardiland arrived around 10h. Since we had already cut the black liner, the job went very smooth. Our neighbor above us, Madame Bertin, arrived and talked to us about the planters. She thought it was a nice idea and hoped it helped. We had one extra bag of dirt which Phil took to our cave (our basement storage room). The job was complete in less than an hour.

the new planters in front of the apartment building and Sandy

The temperature warmed up and it was hot in the sun. The high was 26C. Late in the afternoon the temperature dropped quickly and by 19h Sandy had a jacket on outside. Almost everyone walking around had changed from shorts to long pants and added a jacket.

We enjoyed a kebab sandwich and frites at the Chez Marcel restaurant. Every restaurant in the Intra-Muros was crowded. People had been enjoying Saint-Malo all day. We saw on the news where the heatwave in the south of France had destroyed many of the grapes on the vines. The photos they showed were dried up grapes, still hanging from the vines, with the appearance of raisins. A potential catastrophe for wine makers.

dimanche 30 juin 2019 – Sunday June 30, 2019

This morning we went for a walk around 10h30. We are invited to Denise and Gilles’ apartment for tea on Monday. We are shopping for a small gift to bring to them. Since they are leaving for Paris on Wednesday we won’t get them flowers and because of the heat we decided against chocolates. So we bought a small box of specialty cookies.

On the way back to the apartment we met Denise coming out of the butcher’s shop on rue l’Orme. We talked for a few minutes about our plans for the day. When we left her we started to head back to the apartment and met our friend Jean-Michel from building #6 next door to us. He was returning from a swim in the ocean. He apparently does this every day of the year! The water temperature is around 15C (60F) which is just a tad to cold for us. Ha!

Around noon we went for a walk on the beach. It was very interesting as usual.

You can always click on a photograph to enlarge it for easier viewing.

How to find all our photos from our visit France, June 9 through June 30.

You can view the album of photos by clicking on the following link. It will open in a new browser window with the photos.

Click here for all the June pictures in France

How to find all our photos from our visit to La Roseraie Sainte-Anne

You can view the album of photos by clicking on the following link. It will open in a new browser window with the photos.

Click here for pictures of La Roseraie Saint-Anne

How to find our photos from our visit to Paris on June 10, 11, 12, 13, 2019

You can view the album of photos by clicking on the following link.  It will open in a new browser window with the photos.

Click here for the pictures in Paris