You can run, but….

Tax office

By living 4000 miles (6400 kilometers) from Washington, DC we can escape some of the news that revolves around the White House but once people here learn that we’re from the US they definitely want to talk politics. That’s been the case over the last 25 years that we’ve been visiting France no matter who the president was/is. So while we may be a long way from the Oval Office at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, there’s an address right next door at 1500 Pennsylvania Avenue that’s as close as your bank account. The Internal Revenue Service knows where we live. Read the rest of this entry

Paris? Not exactly.

Is that the Eiffel Tower?

If you’ve only seen pictures of the capital of France, you might easily mistake some of the photos that go with this blog post as having been taken there since they appear to show familiar sites. Even if you’ve visited the City of Light, you still might wonder why the Eiffel Tower was now standing next to Sacre Coeur or since when was the Seine lined by all of those tall apartment buildings with terracotta roofs you typically find in the south of France. That’s because instead of being in Paris, we were recently in Lyon. Read the rest of this entry

Pick up

A bottle of wine and a bed, please

A bottle of wine and a bed, please

We don’t have a guest room, as such, in our new house and that fits in well with the “Double or Nothing” philosophy we adopted when moving to France. In a nutshell, it just means that anything we buy here to replace something that we’ve left behind in the US must do more than one thing. For example, the top of our wine rack, right by the front door, gives us a place to empty our pockets after being out for the day and the drawers below that give us storage for pens, paper, maps, and notebooks. We needed a mixer for the kitchen so we got a “robot” that transforms into a blender, food processor, juicer, and a grinder. The patio table converts into a workbench. With the possibility that friends and family would be staying with us, we needed some kind of bed to turn the den into a guestroom. Ever-resourceful Bill ordered one and popped down to the wine store at the end of our street to pick it up. Read the rest of this entry

Vitamin PP?

Vitamins in milk

Vitamins in milk

Here’s a photo of the back of the milk carton that’s sitting in our refrigerator. While I’d certainly heard of vitamin D and maybe B1 and B6, I’m not so sure about B9. If taking B5 makes you look like that, give me two helpings please. But vitamin PP? That’s definitely a new one for me. But then, living in another country means that almost every day you learn something new, so it’s fun to see by the time you go to bed each night what you now know that you didn’t when you got up this morning. Read the rest of this entry

What a deal

All part of the 1 euro rail network

All part of the 1 euro rail network

Earlier this month I wrote about a day trip that we had taken over to the Mediterranean seaport of Sète. Since we both enjoy train travel, half the fun of that trip was the journey itself, even if it did start at 6:45 AM. The reward for that early start, besides getting to spend even more time in a pretty town, was that the round trip transportation only cost 2 euros per person. For comparison purposes, when we stop at a sidewalk café for a coffee or a glass of wine, the total bill is around 3 euros, so we’re not talking about a lot of money for that one-hour trip along the coast. To our delight, we discovered that the regional trains (TER) of our part of France offer 1 euro tickets https://www.train1euro.fr/ every day to almost every destination on this map wrapped around the Mediterranean Sea. Read the rest of this entry

Secret road trip

Sally helps owner Patrick tally up our wine purchases

We don’t have a car and I can honestly say that after having had a driver’s license for nearly 50 years, and an automobile to go with it for most of that time, I don’t miss it at all. That probably goes double for Bill who’s typically been the one behind the wheel. The costs alone including substantial monthly lease or purchase payments, license fees, insurance, fuel, and upkeep are enough to make us grateful that we no longer have to budget for any of that. Add in the hassles of navigating narrow Medieval streets laid out 800 years ago, trying to avoid solid stone buildings inches from you on one side of the street and rearview mirrors sticking out from parked cars on the other plus attempting to squeeze into a pocket-sized parking spot, should you be lucky enough to find that, and the advantage of being on foot becomes even more apparent. Having said all of that, the instant that a friend with wheels invites us on a day trip outside of the city, we’re on it! Read the rest of this entry

Bistro Dallas?

Bistro d'Alice

Bistro d’Alice

Once a week we’ve been getting together with friends Sally and Larry to try out a restaurant we haven’t been to before. From what I just saw on the Carcassonne tourist office website, we could visit a new eatery, including Michelin-starred ones, every single day for almost a year before we would return to the first one. It was our turn to make the choice for the week and what I heard Bill say was that he wanted to go to Le Bistro Dallas. Now, I knew that a lot of French people are fascinated by the history of the old American West, so I wasn’t shocked to hear a restaurant called that, but I was very curious to see what was going to be on the menu. Read the rest of this entry

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