Friday, December 30, 2011

Sand Sculpting World Championship, Fort Myers, Florida

As you know, we've spent a few months in Florida this year in a home I bought during the housing market crash here in Southwest Florida (I paid $28K for it and it's nice!). We took full advantage of the wonderful things to do in Florida and the amazing winter weather. Fort Myers is my hometown and my family still all lives there so it's been nice to be able to spend time with them after 30 years of living thousands of miles away.  One of the festivals we attended was the World Championship Sand Sculpting Competition that took place in November. It's the first time the world championship was in Fort Myers and they chose it because it's one of the few beaches in the world that has the 'correct' sand for sculpting. Next week there will be more photos of the sculptures too.




People's Choice Winner



Friday, December 23, 2011

Cape Coral, Florida Christmas Boat Parade

Cape Coral, a large boating community in Southwest Florida, has a huge Christmas Boat Parade and competition every year. This year it was December 18 and we had front row seats to see it (at my sister's neighbor's home). It was festive and dazzling!

Bernard and I would like to wish you a very Happy Holiday Season and a Happy New Year! May your 2012 be filled with happiness, success and good health.






Friday, December 16, 2011

Visiting the Choranche Caverns, Vercours France

About 45 minutes from Grenoble in the Vercours region of the French Alps are the Choranche Caverns. We spent a day this summer visiting them. The beauty was beyond astonishing and the history also very interesting. They believe that they have been inhabited by humans for thousands and thousands of years. Take an inexpensive tour of the caverns, see the artifacts, and meet the eyeless salamanders. The salamanders were actually brought to the caverns by a student in the 1970's from Eastern Europe and are not native to the caves. It was difficult to take photos inside the caverns due to the lighting but here are a couple.
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Mountain range surrounding the Caverns



Friday, December 9, 2011

Blues Concert - Smokin' Joe Kubek & Bnois King

We're spending some time in Florida until February so I'll be sharing a few photos of the area. Here are fun photos from a Blues Concert we went to. The group is Smokin' Joe Kubek and Bnois King. And they definitely were smokin'!





Friday, December 2, 2011

Jura region in Savoie, France: Yellow Wine

There's a special wine that is only made in Jura - it's yellow wine. It's aged for 6 years with active yeast in barrels and then bottled in special bottles called clavelins. It will keep and continue to age for decades, if you like. It's a bit expensive but not too terribly. I've actually never tried it but I will someday. Here are photos of a yellow wine winery.

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Friday, November 25, 2011

Hotel Cordon in Chambery France

These are photos of the Hotel Cordon in Chambery, France. The original building dates back to the 1400's but has been added on and rehabilitated through the centuries. It's really quite exquisite.

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Friday, November 18, 2011

Snowy French Alps - Views of France

With winter just around the corner, I thought I'd show you our French Alps WITH snow and a reminder of things to soon come. We wish you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving next week!

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Friday, November 11, 2011

Manatee Park in Fort Myers, Florida





This is a departure from my France and Europe photos but we're in Florida now and I thought you might find some photos from the area interesting and refreshing. The manatees, an endangered species, can't tolerate cold water so they gather near an electrical plant which warms the water by its clean discharges. This is one case where industry helps nature.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Views of the French Alps

A hike in our beautiful Alps near Chambery, France. Click for a close-up. See them for yourself on our Tours . .










Thursday, October 20, 2011

Wine Museum of Savoie, France

There's a Wine Museum in Savoie called Musee du Vigneron. You can do wine tasting there but you can go inside and see some of the artifacts of bygones past of wine instruments, tool, and photos of the harvest and making of the wine. It was worth a look. See what you think. As always, click the photos for a better view.

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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Chateau de Clermont, France

Between Annecy and Geneva, sits the only Renaissance castle in the Savoie and surrounding regions. It's called the Chateau de Clermont and it was built in the 1500's. We found it by accident one day on a motorbike ride and took a tour with a lovely English-speaking tour guide. We found it quite interesting. Today, during the summers, it's used for concerts and performances. Click each photo for a close up.
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Thursday, October 6, 2011

Saint Mandrier, France

Saint Mandrier is a little town on the peninsula near Toulon, France. We took the ferry there and had dinner and it was a really wonderful night. The ferry was cheap and fast, the food and wine magnificent, and we saw the sunset on our ferry ride back. Here are photos of the evening - click each for a better view.
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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Marseilles' Basilica: Notre Dame de la Garde

Marseilles lovely basilica, Notre Dame de la Garde, was built in the 1800's in the Byzantine style and sits on the hill overlooking the city. It's worth a visit. See for yourself by clicking on each photo.

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Marseille