Tag Archives: Shirley

And I Thought Italians Eat Big Meals!

Jen, Julia and I spent a few days exploring France – from the French Riviera (blog post HERE) to Côtes du Rhône (first blog post HERE).  I knew that the dining experience would be different than what we’ve grown accustomed to while living in Italy, but I think I underestimated just how different it would be.
I’ll point out a couple of the noticeable differences.  If you’ve been reading this blog, you’ll know that I have made many references to pranzo, or lunch.  While the literal definition is simply, lunch – it should be modified to be more along the lines of, large meal in which copious amounts of pasta are finished with meats and salads and where the act of gathering is as important as the meal.  Wine and grappa are a must.  Since lunch is usually the “big deal”, that means we partake in a very light dinner.  Whereas in France, dinner was the star meal of the day.  Although, many of our days in France we also had a big lunch, and so our stomachs questioned our brains when we sat down to a second coursed-out meal at dinner time.  Continue reading And I Thought Italians Eat Big Meals!

Trois Villages in Une Day

There once was a couple in France
Their kind invitation gave us a chance
To visit a wonderful land
And so a trip was planned
Soon it was wine we were drinking

And glasses we were clinking

Our good friends Michel and Shirley have a wonderful home in a small village in the Côtes du Rhône region of France.  They invited us to join them for a few days recently, an invitation we were happy to accept.  Google maps told me that the journey from our home to theirs was approximately six hours and so we decided a stopover at the beach for a night would break up the drive nicely (read about it HERE).  After a relaxing night in Beaulieu-Sur-Mer, we headed north to Sablet, France so that we could savor an enjoyable visit with good friends.

Sablet, France

We arrived in Sablet as scheduled, late in the afternoon.  However, I had misplaced all the phone numbers to reach Michel and so I wasn’t quite sure exactly where to go upon arriving in the village.  Michel gave me specific instructions not to attempt a drive directly to his home.  “The roads are far too narrow – many cars scrape on either side.  Don’t attempt it – park at the local bakery and head by foot”.  I only had his home address plugged into the GPS and admittedly, I had the words of Barney Stinson ringing in my head “I shouldn’t attempt the drive… challenge ACCEPTED!”  After creeping up, up, up, slowly, slowly, slowly – I made it to their home.  Luckily I made it with all car paint intact – but it was close.  I had been far too cocky and got lucky – I literally had centimeters on either side of my car at times.  We found their home and discovered they were just out at the local market, preparing for our arrival. Continue reading Trois Villages in Une Day

What’s the French Riviera Without a Gold Yacht?

It’s been a long time since I completed a blog post.  So long, that for some reason – I’m a bit nervous (strange, my friends will tell you that I love to talk about myself).  So I’ve been procrastinating.  I have organized my DVD drawer.  I carefully tended to the plants (I’ve discovered I love gardening…in small doses).  And the past few days, I have been playing Mr. Mom while Jen is in California for work.  I have done just about everything to avoid writing on the blog for the past month… and the only thing I’ve come to realize is that I now have a mountain of work ahead of me.

A mountain in Beaulieu-Sur-Mer, not completely unlike my mountain of work

It’s not that I’ve just been procrastinating.  We’ve been busy.  I mean, very busy.  Albeit, busy doing more of the same (traveling, eating, drinking, etc.) – but still always experiencing something new.  So, please grant me the excuse of allowing the experience to get in the way of the blog – just this one time! In the coming days and weeks, you will hear of our wonderful trip to visit our good friends in France; the visit from Jen’s family and the upcoming visit with my parents.  I’ll toss in a few food posts and hopefully a feature on where we’ve been living (which has been in the pipeline since I started this blog).  So let’s get this party started… no more delays.  And so, it begins with a trip to France… Continue reading What’s the French Riviera Without a Gold Yacht?

Sipping Espresso Got An Award!!

Our first award!  I’m excited, honored and flattered.  I would like to thank all the little people… namely Julia because she’s pretty little.

The Liebster Award was given to us by our good friend and fellow blogger, Michel.  You’ll notice that his blog, Our House in Provence is one that I follow.  I imagine if you spend just a few minutes reading some of his posts, you’ll be an avid reader as well.  His attention to detail and plethora of knowledge about his subjects puts my posts to shame.  Michel and his wife Shirley live in a beautiful home in wine country, California.  Michel’s passions include food (he owns a restaurant near his hometown, Bistro des Copains), wine (he is an expert in French and California wine), his family (he has two beautiful daughters and four bright grandchildren) and of course France; the subject of his blog (he owns a beautiful stone village house in Provence).

Michel and Shirley

Michel received his Liebster Award from another blogger I follow, Sara in Le Petit Village.  Sara is very plugged into the blogging community and has transformed her life in France into a successful digital collection of written word.  Her blog is one I admire very much.

The Liebster Award [in a nutshell] is one that is given among peers within the blogging community.  I found a blogger that spent hours researching the history of the award.  She had done all the heavy lifting and all it took me was scrolling half-way down page one of my google search.  My kind of effort.  If you’re interested in the origin of the award, click HERE.  The award comes with very specific rules and criteria, which I got from Michel’s post after he had completed all his hard work researching (I told you he was thorough).  So, I did not need to spend much time looking around for information about the award since I luck-boxed my way into everything I need to know. Continue reading Sipping Espresso Got An Award!!