Tag: French life

You are in France. What do you do when a native says the following to you: – On prend l’apéritif? or, slightly more familiar: – Vous venez chez moi ce soir pour l’apéro? What if you just received an invitation reading: – Retrouvez-nous mardi soir pour un apéritif dinatoire, 19H00. Apéritif. Apéro. A time-tested tradition in la…

Greetings from the land of snooty waiters! It has been a few weeks since I last wrote on the blog. Pardonnez-moi. My apologies. The first half of our trip, and two full weeks, have just gone by.  Paris, London: two fascinating European cities. Blending the old and the new, traditions and quirkiness, effortlessly. Embracing stereotypes, defying them. London, Paris:…

Les Noëls se suivent mais ne se ressemblent pas (Christmas celebrations pass by, yet each one is different.) Our family moved to Seattle in 1996, and slowly but surely, we settled into our new lives, building a career (le Husband) or a small business (Moi,) making friends, exploring the Pacific Northwest (on land or on the…

While I lived in Paris many years ago, it seemed much of my time was spent working, commuting to and from work, or lining up to get into movie theaters or other popular places. We were in our late 20s then, and had few responsibilities. Several times a week, evenings were reserved for relaxation, a good…

Il était une fois Bagatelle. Once upon a time, Bagatelle, a modest château surrounded by beautiful gardens, on the western edge of Paris’s 16th arrondissement. Tucked away inside the expansive Bois de Boulogne (twice the size of New York’s Central Park,) it is easy to miss. Many visitors do, because they don’t know about it. Even if they…

Bonjour les amis, We arrived in Paris a few days ago. Most of our time has been spent catching up with relatives. Fortunately for us, some live in areas where photo opportunities abound. Take my brother for example. He is based in Rueil Malmaison, a green suburb west of Paris where I used to work…

This story was written a few years ago. I share it every year on June 6.  France will never forget. – FGIS. On June 6, 1944, American, British and Canadian troops landed on the beaches of Normandy. The liberation of France and Western Europe had started, leading to the defeat of Nazi Germany a few…

Funny what happens when you let a story take you by the hand. This little tale started with a photo I found online a while ago. I looked at delightful Audrey Tautou, impersonating the great Coco Chanel, and I wondered how anyone could look this good, dressed as a man and wearing a black canotier…

Today, let’s talk fashion. Let’s talk la Marinière, known the world over as “the French sailor shirt,” or “the Breton shirt,” (named after Brittany, the rugged coastal region in Western France.) Every spring and summer, the striped navy and white shirt returns on runways and in the street. French women refer to it as un basique – a…

It is impossible to discuss French schools without mentioning la rentrée. This is a magical word in the French language, and a special time in French life. La rentrée is when tanned vacationers go back to work, government members go back to whatever it is they do for France, members of trade unions go back to planning…