Monthly Archives: May 2013

French Girl returns to the 1960’s with “Populaire” (Seattle International Film Festival, part II)

French Girl returns to the 1960’s with “Populaire” (Seattle International Film Festival, part II)

Bonjour les amis,


French Girl in Seattle here, reporting from the Seattle International Film Festival.

In Populaire, a debut feature from writer-director Regis Roinsard, Mad Men meets les Parapluies de Cherbourg (The Umbrellas of Cherbourg,) meets My Fair Lady.
Set in 1958 France, the romantic comedy tells the rags-to-riches story of 21-year old Rose Pamphyle (Déborah François), a small town girl who runs away from the quiet life her widowed father envisions for her (a marriage to the local mechanic and the life of a housewife,) opting instead for an exciting career as a secretary! 
Rose Pamphyle, secretary

She moves to the nearest town and applies for a secretary position with dashing local insurance man Louis Echard (played by Romain Duris, France’s edgy leading man.) Louis soon realizes Rose‘s secretarial skills are less adequate, but he finds out she can type at lightning speed. He becomes Rose’s Pygmalion and trains her to join the regional speed typing competition.

Rose and Louis at work


The plot is predictable (a common occurrence with romantic comedies,) but we take a guilty pleasure in following Rose‘s transformation into a speed typing champion and an elegant, self-assured, independent young woman, heralding the changing face of gender relationships in the 1960s. 




Visually, the movie, a delicious blend of charm and kitsch, is gorgeous: One is captivated by the soft and sugary colors; the vintage clothing on display during the speed typing competition. It is all so… elegant. Romain Duris, forsaking his trademark two-day stubble, channels Cary Grant and classic American romantic comedies. 






Lead actors and supporting cast (an excellent Bérénice Bejo of The Artist fame,) keep it all fresh and lively. Conversations sparkle like a glass of Champagne!

I do not want to include any spoilers, but this feel good movie will take you all the way to the New-York based worldwide speed typing competition, for a satisfying and uplifting finale.

The movie is in French with English subtitles, but characters occasionally skip from French to English. It seems Hollywood heavyweight Harvey Weinstein, who is not afraid of a challenge and successfully produced the Artist in 2011, is betting on Populaire‘s international career. And he may very well be right.

A bientôt.

Populaire
Regis Roinsard, 2012
Limited release date: May 17, 2013


Populaire movie Trailer:




Are you in Seattle?
Seattle International Film Festival
Some of the French-language movies playing this week:


  • Camion, Canada, (May 29 and May 30.) Details here.
Get a free ticket to the 6:30pm showing here.

  • Thérèse, France, a Claude Miller film with Audrey Tautou. (May 28 and May 30.) Details here.
  • Haute Cuisine, France, (May 31 and June 1.) Read my review here.

Book online or call 206.324.9996 and use Coupon Code FRENCH2013 for a $2 discount.



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35 Responses to French Girl returns to the 1960’s with “Populaire” (Seattle International Film Festival, part II)

  1. With “Haute cuisine” and “populaire”, it will be fun to finally watch good french movies. Maybe there will be more of them. I cannot wait. I might even have to go eat some french food afterwards.

  2. Ah, the 60’s, I remember them well and learning to type when I was 16. Looks like a delightful, fun and nostalgic movie and set in Paris, how can you go wrong? Your review is excellent, you have a new career!

    • Bonjour Cherie. I, too, learned to type a long time ago (I used to hate those big, clunky keys.) Like everything else I did in life, it came in handy later when I started using computers… And thank you for the vote of confidence. This has been a fun experience so far. 🙂

  3. I may not like sweets after dinner, but I’m all for a bit of light and fluffy confection at the cinema. As opposed to a fattening dessert, I always feel lighter and fluffier when I leave the theater. There’s nothing like an old-fashioned (even when new) romantic romp in a beautiful setting to renew one’s love affair with life.

    P.S.: I miss the 60s. They were so much fun.

    You clearly have a gift for reviewing movies. Brilliant, ma chère.

    Gros bisous, M-T

    • Light and fluffy this one is, M-T. No deep message there. Très reposant et amusant. Don’t miss it!

      PS: I was born in the 60s so don’t remember them that well, but my best years were in the 70s… To each his own. 🙂

      Thank you for the kind words. Movie reviewing is an interesting exercise. You want to say a lot, especially if you loved the movie, but you can’t reveal details in the plot… Difficile…

      Bisous

    • Ah, yes, that’s the trick. Pas évident. Leaves you on the horns of a dilemma, n’est-ce pas? But, ceci dit, you acquit yourself beautifully.

  4. I will check to see the UK release date Veronique – it looks right up my street (or should that be boulevard?)
    Thanks for the heads up.

  5. Joker! (a cause de R.D…)
    Par contre , je ne sais pourquoi mais ta page m’arrive en français traduite par google , et le texte est à mourir de rire (ou pas..)
    Pluie torrentielle hier soir, ce matin plein soleil… Le climat de ton sejour se jouera à quitte ou double, previsions impossibles!
    Trop super, ton nouveau collier , hein?! :o)
    Gros bisous!

    • Hello Marie. Oui, le traducteur Google est une vraie catastrophe. Ma mère l’a essayé, la pauvre et a du abandonner…

      J’ai pensé à toi en écrivant ma modeste critique de ce film. Ton acteur préféré: Romain Duris. 🙂

      Mon nouveau collier est magnifique. Le clou de ma collection. Mon mari n’était pas trop dans les bijoux (au moins pour moi 🙂 alors je fais ce que je peux pour compenser…

      Pour la météo, pas de problème, je prends Nice même avec la pluie. Ce sera quand même mieux que ma cambrousse de Seattle…

      Bisous

  6. This one sounds like a lot of fun Veronique and I’m a big fan of Romain Duris. I was very fast when I was a secretary but couldn’t have coped with the pressure haha! Will have to watch out for this one, I enjoyed the trailer..merci beaucoup Madam Critic 🙂

  7. A great review/ report Veronique. I’m a huge fan of Romain Duris and this movie sounds as if it won’t disappoint. It reminds me of the old mid-day movies I used to occasionally watch during the my school holidays as a treat. … Gigi, My Fair Lady, Doris Day…………..Thank you

    • Merci beaucoup Elizabeth. You are right: I remember thinking about the old Doris Day movies when I watched the movie… Don’t miss it. You will spend a very pleasant moment with our friend Romain Duris, who plays his part with a permanent scowl – and a twinkle in his eye! 🙂

  8. I HAVE TO SEE THIS MOVIE!! And yes, that statement required all caps because I’m freaking out by your review and the trailer. I want to jump inside the movie and live there. 🙂

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41 Responses to French Girl turns movie critic at the Seattle International Film Festival (part I)

  1. I can’t wait to see this … somehow I have missed it… and I am so looking forward to it…
    Enjoy the films, Veronique… and have a wonderful weekend… xv

  2. tres fabulous, Veronique. Lucky me, to live and Seattle and have YOU to guide me to the right films! I love the SIFF, but it can be overwhelming if you don’t have time to do your research. Merci et bon weekend! xo, ebh

  3. je n’ai jamais entendu parler de ce festival du film!!Trop super d’avoir été invitée comme jurée, le rêve!Et donc, il y a des equipes françaises de films qui sont là?.. tu as pu en rencontrer?..Tu en dis trop ou pas assez , j’attend la suite avec impatience! En tous cas , tu dois te regaler! Profite bien de cette belle occasion!

    • Merci Malyss. Oui, il y a des équipes de film présentes en théorie, mais pas pour tous les films, et j’ai découvert tout ça un peu tard cette année (mais je me rattraperai l’année prochaine…) Il y a par exemple le film “Je me suis fait tout petit” et la réalisatrice, Cécilia Rouaud, sera là pendant 48 heures. Les interviews, ça m’intimide un peu quand même, mais avec un peu de pratique… 🙂

    • Quand tu en auras vu un peu plus , j’aimerais bien savoir comment les Americains reçoivent et perçoivent les films français?..Même enthousiasme que pour les blogs sur Paris? recherche des clichés? interet plus historique? (Angelique-ben oui, finalement c’est terriblement français!)J’adore les films de cape et d’épée de cette époque, avec Gerard Barray! )

    • Ah, Gérard Barray. J’en ai passé, des bons dimanche après-midi en sa compagnie… 🙂 Jean Marais, Gerard Philippe, aussi…

      Les critiques des films français présentés jusqu’ici sont plutôt bonnes. Malheureusement, c’est l’accès aux films par le grand public qui est un vrai problème. Ils ne sont pas distribués dans tous le pays. Quelques mois plus tard, on peut y accéder par des services de location sur Internet (comme Netflix par exemple.) Il y a un grand producteur Hollywoodien, Harvey Weinstein, qui distribue depuis plusieurs années de nombreux films français. Il était notamment derrière l’excellent film “l’Artiste,” avec Dujardin et Bejo. C’est lui qui distribue et pousse “Haute Cuisine.” Si un type comme Weinstein est convaincu que les films français peuvent être rentables aux USA (malgré les sous-titres qui limitent la grande diffusion,) alors c’est une bonne nouvelle pour le cinéma français. Dans le passé, ils avaient plutôt tendance à faire de [mauvais] remakes des films étrangers, ce qui gachaît tout.

  4. Dearest Véronique,
    Lucky you for being chosen as a French movie critic. You will fit that role very well. I would have to pass as with our life style and juggling several languages we lack(ed) the time to watch movies. Next life I guess…? Our preference always has been historic movies like e.g. Angélique (yes, I do have that in French and LOVE it…).
    Enjoy your weekend.
    Hugs,
    Mariette

    • Bonjour Mariette. Well, I don’t know if I was chosen as movie critic, but I am grateful for the opportunity to see the movies before they are released in the United States 🙂 Ah, Angelique. A classic. I recently saw the first movie in the series on TV5. Michelle Mercier… Beautiful!

  5. This movie sounds perfect – I love all about France and food and cooking. I can’t wait to see the film here in Germany (which might be not so soon, I fear)
    Have a nice weekend, bisous, Monika

  6. Lucky you to get a press pass and see all these wonderful films – like you I love the cinema and this film sounds a real gem….I wish the Cannes festival had greater access to the ordinary public…although quite a lot of the films are already showing in Nice….enjoy reviewing….

    • I would expect the Festival de Cannes to be a lot more exclusive than the SIFF. It’s really not that difficult to see movies here. Time (and distance) are bigger problems to me than access. Enjoy this year’s selection in Nice…

  7. IL FAUT LE REGARDER, CE FILM! Oh Véronique, I have a huge collection of French films and this one is a must-see! What a fantastic opportunity for YOU to be a part of this artistic collaboration! You have now given me another movie to search for and watch on these cold nights we are having! BON WEEKEND! Anita

    • Bonjour Anita. This movie will definitely warm you up on cold nights and will make you laugh… well, with the exception of the scenes shot at the French Antarctic mission 🙂 They were not my favorites and slowed down the general pace of the story, I thought. But the [flashback] Paris scenes alone are worth the cost of admission! Let me know what you think when you see it, ok?

  8. What a delicious, and fun movie, and now a must see for me! Thank you for posting this Veronique. 🙂 And i for one think you would do very well as a full time film critic!

  9. Lucky you! What a great invitation and in old style theatres too. I remember from my post about our local cinema that you love these traditional ones. I shall have to buy this on DVD as your review has definitely sold it to me. It sounds like an easy to watch, entertaining film. I look forward to more of your reviews!

  10. How fun to be a critique at the festival! Enjoy! I’m looking forward to your reviews. Haute Cuisine looks great – a film about France and food?! Sounds fantastique!

  11. I am reminded of one of my very favorite films, “Le Festin de Babette.” Every time I watch it I am dissolved in tears at the end. It has my favorite ingredients: haute cuisine and opera. Could this new movie become one of my favorite delectations, as well? I can’t wait to see it.

    Merci beaucoup ma chère Véro,

    Big bisous, M-T

    • Ok M-T. This [budding] movie critic will be honest: This ain’t “Le Festin de Babette,” not quite the same category if you will, but still, good, enjoyable, popular cinema (minus the opera…) Let me know what you thought. Bisous.

  12. I love the press card Veronique 🙂 licence to watch loads of foreign movies and in lovely old movie theatres, bliss! I saw Haute Cuisine a few weeks ago with my sister, we both enjoyed it very much..it never ceases to amaze me the dedication the French nation has for food, inspiring!

    • Licence yes, but it is the time I don’t have. I will be much more organized next year, definitely. 🙂 It is hard to get organized when you are a single mom… and the kid always comes first. But as I said above, I have a great network of friends who help out whenever they can. And I am lucky for that.

      On another note, so glad you were able to catch the movie in your corner of the world. It seems destined for a successful (and well deserved) international career. A bientôt, Grace.

    • Merci de votre commentaire! Ce billet date en effet de plusieurs années. Il vient d’être re-publié par erreur lors de la préparation du nouveau site de French Girl in Seattle, qui sera lancé dans quelques semaines. Avec toutes mes excuses!

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67 Responses to To Catch a Thief: French Girl in Seattle’s tribute to cinema

  1. Oh the glamour of it all. Why didn’t those two have children together – can you imagine hoe beautiful they would have been?
    I think that you were born too late Veronique… at your peak in the 50’s would have been perfect!

  2. Have i seen it? You ask.. Veronique. Why yes. Yes indeed i have.. at least a dozen times, maybe a couple more. And i’ll never, ever have enough. Cary and Grace! One of the handsomest men in the Universe ever, and one of the most beautiful women. I think only Catherine Deneuve is more gorgeous, at least to me. And that magnificent blue chiffon gown? Gawd! Breathtaking. Now i think i need to watch the movie some night this week, with a delicious glass of champagne. Thank you for this post. And i shouldn’t admit it, but i love the intrigue of the jewel theft this weekend. I do hope, though, that the thief is apprehended pronto! 🙂

    PS.. i love your last photo of the dogs. I hope you’re having a great.. if chilly.. weekend!

  3. My, Grace Kelly is pure style . . . fads may come and go, but style is forever.
    Very interesting post:)
    Have a lovely day . . . here’s wishing you a week full of sunny days.
    Connie 🙂

    • Bonjour Connie. Coco Chanel would have agreed with you. In fact she did leave behind a few memorable quotes about style… I wonder if she ever met Grace Kelly? Thank you for stopping by and happy weekend to you too!

  4. I have seen that movie so many times. I am always blown away by the elegance. Nobody looks that good any more. That was everyday glamour.

    Thanks for the wonderful reminder 🙂
    Di
    X

    • Bonjour Dianne. How wonderful to meet you, thanks to Anita!
      I agree with you: Everyday elegance is harder to come by. And I live in the “laid back” Pacific Northwest so let me tell you, there are days when I think I will never see true elegance again. Granted it is harder to pull off when wearing a fleece-based wardrobe 🙂 All joking aside, I hope you have a grand time in France next week!

  5. WOW.

    Véro, you have captured a mesmerizing moment in this party for MOI! Like you, I have seen this well over 20 times! My husband always pulls it out from out collection as a favorite to watch on just the right weekend night.

    You are so right; the chemistry between the actors, the QUICK WIT (I love the scene when the two women meet in the water when Grant says, “It looks like my car went missing” and Kelley says, “No it hasn’t, it’s just become amphibious!” Then she says to the French girl, “OLD? Anything over 20 would look old to a mere child.” Then the smart French girl says, “CHILD? WOULD YOU LIKE TO STAND IN SHALLOWER WATERS AND DISCUSS THAT!” I tell you, that is SMART!

    Your photos, the way you introduce this story…..UN COUP DE GÉNIE!!!!!!!!!

    I am coming back for MORE! LOVE IT! Anita

    • Dear Anita. I love your enthusiasm. So happy you, too, can quote the movie 🙂

      At least now, with this brand-new story, I feel I have paid tribute to your wonderful France-themed party; the French Riviera; and my beloved movies…

  6. OH! Et je voudrais faire un commentaire à propos de ton commentaire chez moi….je t’embrasse ma chère, et je souhaite une vie pleine de grâce et de paix…tu es en train d’eprouver quelque chose très difficile, mais n’oublies jamais que tu as des amies qui t’aiment fort….Anita

    • Merci Elizabeth. Poor Maison Chopard indeed. 😉 It could have been worse: They still get to approach the movie stars at the Festival when they “accessorize” them before they step on the red carpet. And they are in Cannes, for crying out loud. Even with the rain, it’s still the French Riviera! 🙂

      Merci for your visit. Come back soon, ok?

  7. Dear Véronique,

    First things first, I am charmed to meet you and I have found this post to be truly fascinating and beautifully put together. Yes indeed, I have seen this film and agree with some of the comments above: the elegance and ‘classe’ of these talented actors is hard to beat.

    Thank you for taking the time to share this with us. A little interesting fact, I believe is that my cousin lives in Nice and has told me on several occasions that the month of May is often particularly rainy on the Côte d’Azur.

    Warmest wishes from your most recent follower,

    Stephanie

    • What a lovely name for a blog, Stephanie. Le Millefeuille happens to be my favorite French pastry 🙂

      I will ask my friend Malyss (another blogger,) if she confirms your cousin’s theory on Nice weather in the month of May (i had personally heard it about March, not May, but you never know…) — A bientôt

    • Bonjour Nana. You lucky birds: There is no Deuche in my neighborhood, that’s for sure! And limey green to boot! Wow!

      I will go and pay your friend Hélène a visit, c’est promis. Thank you for stopping by!

  8. How can you think of the south of France and NOT think of Grace Kelly? It was so much fun to see these photos. So romantic. By the way, I have long had a crush on Daniel Auteil. Crazy, I know, but I think he is so cute.

    • Hey, I like Daniel Auteuil too. He can be quite charming, and what a fantastic actor. He can do it all, comedy or drama. Definitely one of France’s finest. He was so cute on all the pics of the Festival Opening day. You could tell he was smitten with co-jury Nicole Kidman even though she towered above him! 🙂

  9. I think Grace Kelly (or Cary Grant, for that matter) would look far better in the stolen jewels than ANY of those “celebrities”! Hmmm, think I will rent the movie, it’s been years since I’ve seen it. That was fun!

    • I would have to agree with you Jeri. The jewels don’t make the star. I saw Helen Mirren try on some Chopard jewels for the Festival the other day. She looked amazing in them, very regal. But that’s Helen Mirren! 🙂

  10. Bonjour Veronique. Lovely post. I must admit I have not seen the movie but I will definitely do so now that I realize it was shot on location in the South of France. I also had never heard the story about how Grace Kelly met Prince Rainier. Thanks for sharing.

  11. Oui! I have seen this movie many times. It is still a favorite. As you say ~ a perfect pair with Grant and Kelly. The cute image of the two dogs is adorable. The driver looks like our Sadie girl, except she is not as dark. 😉

  12. The To Catch A Thief movie is truly glamorous with the perfect setting in the French Riviera. Princess Diana and Princess Grace were truly elegant and naturally beautiful women. We miss them. It must be a fabulous experience to be in Cannes during the Film Festival, the most glamorous Film Festival in the World.

    • Yes, it must be, except this year, most “festivaliers” look like wet rags when they go up the famous stairs — because of the rain. I even heard that most movie rooms where the movies in competition are playing smell suspiciously like a wet dog! 🙂

  13. Nice post of Cannes. We are very excited here, after many, many years a Dutch movie is in the race for a Golden Palm. The movie “Borgman” was shown last Sunday and the Press in Cannes was very enthousiastic! Keep our fingers crossed!

  14. Oui, vu et revu, et toujours avec plaisir!
    tu devrais faire un post sur les films tournés dans la region, de “Sans mobile apparent” à “Ronin”, de James Bond à Hercule Poirot, tu aurais de quoi faire..
    Aujourd’hui la pluie a enfin cessé, le …vent l’a chassée!:o)
    Les parasols vont voler sur la Croisette!!
    A bientôt,
    je t’embrasse.

    • Vous avez “la scoumoune” côté météo cette année. C’est drôle, à Seattle, les choses sont un peu plus calmes, une fois n’est pas coutume…

      Une excellente suggestion que tu me fais-là, dis-moi. Evidemment, ce sera plus difficile de “faire rêver” dans les chaumières avec les photos de Ronin, mais on peut essayer… A suivre.

      Bonne semaine, et gare au vent. Mort par parasol, ça peut être douloureux 🙂

    • De Niro et Sean Bean, moi ça me fait rêver! :o) mais bon, toi tu peux te concentrer sur les James Bond tournés ici, il te sera beaucoup pardonné!..

  15. Bonjour! Great post and such nice pictures! I love keeping up with the glamour of Cannes past and present. Can’t wait to see some of the big premieres at the cinema this year!

  16. Lovely to discover your blog, via Anita’s party.
    Thank you for sharing a fabulous post – I love the movie and Grace Kelly always was so elegant and beautiful.

    Happy week
    Carolyn

  17. Five days of rain in Cannes – looks like they are ‘enjoying’ some British weather for a change!! You have now convinced me to watch ‘To Catch a Thief’ again. I haven’t seen it for years and as for Grace Kelly, I have always admired her style and elegance. Somehow she has a very ‘modern’ look, a beauty which is timeless and many of her outfits wouldn’t look out of place today.
    PS I thoroughly enjoyed your list ‘Telltale signs you live in Paris’ which certainly made me smile.

    • No kidding! True English/Seattle weather on the Riviera these days. What gives?

      Reading all the comments here I wonder: Is there a single person who does not like Grace Kelly or at least her sense of style and natural elegance? 🙂

  18. Veronique, you have captured the true feeling of the Riviera in this post! It is the only part of France I have visited, but this took me back! This party is such fun and I’m truly happy to meet you!

  19. To Catch A Thief is definitely a favourite Veronique. Grace Kelly was a true beauty. Oh la! Seeing your beautiful black pussy cat made me miss my little Syd even more 🙁

  20. To Catch a Thief is really one of my favorites, Cannes can not be beat. I had an emergency while I was in NY and just got my french post up today. I loved this post. xxpeggybraswelldesign.com

  21. Hello French Girl, I’m just south of you…Eugene. Often in Portland. And Paris as often as possible. I LOVE that movie and you remind me that it’s been way too long since I’ve seen it. Grace Kelly is like none other.
    And I often try to post French news on my blog. Where do you get yours?
    So happy to finally meet you thanks to Anita! Will be back for more!
    Bisous, Kirsten

    • Bonjour Kirsten de Eugene, Or. So happy to welcome you here.

      I get my French news from TV5 (the TV channel I subscribe to,) and a variety of French and American websites I find browsing online. What would we do without the Internet? — Write books instead of blogging (maybe) 🙂

      A bientôt.

  22. Gosh, are you looking forward to the new Grace Kelly film with Nicole? I am but feel a bit apprehensive about the lead role. We’ll just have to wait and see, won’t we? 🙂

    • I guess so. When I heard of the movie, I thought the casting was interesting. I don’t see much resemblance between Grace Kelly and Nicole Kidman. Then again, how do you cast an actress to play such an icon? Impossible mission…

  23. Darling Grace…did anyone ever move as beautifully or look as regal as Grace Kelly? She was born to be a Princess. As you know, we were both Philadelphia girls, although our destinies diverged greatly. You do remember my story about “almost” meeting her, don’t you?

    Beautiful post comme d’hab.

    Gros bisous, M-T

  24. I have never seen those photos of Grace Kelly in that amazing dress with Prince Ranier. She looks amazing. Cannes is a very
    cool place and the Riviera buzzes with chic and excitement. Lovely to be reminded of that. Thanks to Anita for introducing us all to one another… love what you say about comments too…. they have introduced me to so many people!

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Wonderful small towns: Edmonds, WA

Wonderful small towns: Edmonds, WA

“This town of churches and dreams;  this town I thought I would lose myself in, with its backward ways and winding roads leading to nowhere;  but, I found myself instead.  -Magic in the Backyard (excerpt from American Honey, by Kelly Elmore)”    What does a big-city-loving-French-Girl do, when she can’t be in a big city? …

34 Responses to Wonderful small towns: Edmonds, WA

    • Mais oui. Several times. It is not that difficult to do. Mr Steves is very approachable, and a lot of people get to meet him during the fun and informative Travel Festivals he organizes in Edmonds a few times a year…

  1. My son lives in Everett and we’ve been to Edmonds just a few times. I did not know about the Savvy Traveler, so I’ll have to add that to the list for next time! How have I missed that?!

  2. Well Veronique, i’m a New England girl originally, and have always had trouble with roundabouts. :). So maybe it Is a distinctly American thing. My skills have nor improved after 17 years out west!

    I am a huge Rick Steves fan! Every week i catch his Best of Europe series on OPB. :). So much fun to watch, and he’s so very knowledgeable. I hope you had an excellent weekend! Hasn’t our weather been fabulous?

    • Now you tell me. I just assumed that in DC at least (a city famous for its roundabouts,) people would be ok driving in circles… Now I wonder… 🙂

      I love the Best of Europe series too. I have enjoyed the new episodes and watched them with my son this winter. I like the blend of travel information, cultural tips and humor. Watching Rick’s shows is *almost* like being in Europe…

  3. Bonjour Veronique, I love the views of the Pacific Northwest. I have been to Vancouver, BC which also face the Pacific Ocean. As you wrote, it is a great place to retire but it rains too much (sorry about that). Edmonds looks like a beautiful city to spend a lovely weekend. It’s funny that your car has a name too. Tonks is amazing. I love German cars too particularly VW and Audi. My car has a name too, she is Patsy, used to be a VW Passat but now an A4. Still the within the same family. Thanks for sharing this town.

    • My dear Pamela, I am with you about the rain. The only way I could retire here would be to be able to spend several months a year in a sunnier climate especially late winter/early spring. That is how a lot of “natives” handle things, actually. Many Seattleites have second homes in Hawaii, Arizona, or California.

      I bet Tonks would love to meet Patsy one day 🙂

    • My dear Mariette. “Spotting fabulous little cities” is what keeps me sane in my corner of suburbia. I live to spend time in towns or cities, and I am willing to work hard to get to them 🙂 I am glad you enjoy my reporting. I will try and find more good spots for you and my other readers… Hugs to you.

  4. It’s been many years since we were in the northwest, but we’ve been to Edmonds. It is a great town. Your photos make me long for a return trip. ‘-)

    • Ah… See? I am not surprised you remember cute little Edmonds. Worth a visit, definitely, and so easy to get to from Seattle. If you ever return to this area (wait for summer though,) I would love to meet you at Chanterelle for lunch and hear all about your life in Texas, Sarah!

  5. What a lovely looking town… and the weather was superb for you. The view over the water are mesmerizing! Lunch looked excellent too!

  6. Love little towns with sidewalks! And round-abouts! The powers that be have slowly been adding them to my area and people are really complaining. On my last trip I went around one three times before I figured out the right road to get off of. People were laughing….good naturedly I hope. 🙂 It was a true Chevy Chase movie moment. My niece just moved from the East coast to Washington. I hope to visit soon. Loved reading your post. Wish we had a Savvy Traveler around here. Have a wonderful sweet week. xo

    • Ha! Ha! Ha! At least you tried to FIGURE out the roundabout, Lynn, instead of rushing through it like some “Cowboys” in our neighborhood! I love that scene from the Chevy Chase movie: “Look, kids, Big Ben! [5 hours later] Look, kids, Big Ben!!!” 🙂

  7. Bonjour Veronique. Have not been to Edmonds Washington but I am sure it would be a favorite for me too if we lived in the Seattle area. I love great travel stores, good ones are not as easy to find as you might think. I used to be a big Rick Steves fan, but I am decidedly less so today. I think he is skating by on his fame. He use to publish new books on Provence every year and I would faithfully buy the latest edition. I started to check to see what was changing between editions and not much was and he wasn’t updating it with things that he should have.

    • Bonjour Michel. Wonderful to hear from you, as always.

      Loved to hear your take on Rick Steves. Very interesting. I do own an older copy of the book you mentioned. You know, I would definitely send an email to him and point out a couple of examples where the most recent edition falls short. Steves has a team in charge of updating the travel books (he could not possibly do that himself,) and it sounds as if the guy in charge of the Provence edition has been a bit lazy lately.

      Interestingly, a friend of mine recently applied for an editor position at Steves’ Travel Center in Edmonds. Her job would have been to edit several books in the line, so I know the company takes this very seriously still.

      Let me know if you decide to contact them, Would love to hear if you heard anything back.

  8. What a charming, friendly place! It just about has everything and looks like my kind of town with tidy pavements, cute independent shops, cappuccino and Chanterelle – the perfect lunch stop. The portion of fruit is a lovely addition to that delicious quesadilla! With my passion for travel, I could happily spend time (and no doubt money) in The Savvy Traveler too. Roundabouts would of course be no problem as we have so many of them here – and we are quite disciplined!
    http://missbbobochic.blogspot.co.uk/

    • miss b, I agree. The Savvy Traveler is a store for you… and Edmonds would no doubt entertain you for a day or two… but you are used to larger cities, as I am. Edmonds is no Dubai, but it is a lovely local destination, especially on such a gorgeous day. A bientôt.

  9. I think Rick Steves would be appalled at the amount of clothes I take to Europe…..but then……I don’t think he spends much time at the opera and ballet. You definitely need to look your best when you go to a performance. Parisian women always look “impec” and so must I, or at least give it a good try.

    You do have a wonderful way of making small towns look so inviting.

    Gros Bisous, ma chère, M-T

  10. What a gorgeous small town with beautiful views …. I could live there. We don’t have “Savvy Traveller” here but it’s the sort if shop I could spend many hours fossicking in.

  11. I love Edmonds…and feel so priviliged to actually work there, and I also lived there for two years…it was heaven. We only live a few minutes away now though so it’s an easy trip there.
    I love Chantrelle’s! My mom just visited from California and we ate there twice, she’s in love with their grilled cheese sandwich, so good!
    xo J~

    PS. I always wonder if I’m going to run into Rick Steves when I’m there but haven’t yet…how fun that you’ve been able to chat with him!

    • Bonjour. I did not know you were a local too. And you live close to Edmonds, lucky you. What a delightful place. I am going to make sure there are more days (and evenings) spent in Edmonds in my future.

      PS: Rick Steves has been traveling in the Middle East lately, so you and your mom would not have bumped into him. It is his joy and privilege to be able to spend at least three months each year traveling somewhere in the world, I am sure.

  12. Just stumbled upon your blog. Wonderful. Agree that Edmonds is wonderful. We lived in the Green Lake area and now in Yakima, so we visit “Mecca” only occasionally now. And, what is it about most Americans and “roundy-rounds” as my wife and I like to call them. And, putting stop signs at a roundy, what a travesty! As a result of our visits to Europe, we are lovers of roundys. So much so that we have been known to make several loops of one as we unexpectantly stumble upon one. C’est manifique!

    • “Roundy-rounds!” — I love it! 🙂

      Several loops on a roundabout just for fun, eh? You remind me of my brother. The only person I know who actually enjoys driving around the Arc de Triomphe in downtown Paris, at rush hour! He just about gave me a heart attack once!

      Thank you for stopping by…

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