Blog Archives

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

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

Pizza here

No advertisements, merci!

No advertisements, merci!

A couple of times a week our mailbox is literally overflowing with advertisements from local businesses. Many (maybe most) of our neighbors post discreet little signs on their mailboxes saying Pas de Pubs meaning they don’t want all of these publicités but we figure these ads let us know what shops are near us and give us one more lesson in French. To be honest, we already look online at the weekly flyers from national chains anyway, but seeing what we think of as the mom-and-pops have to offer, who sometimes don’t have a website, is a real treat. Read the rest of this entry

Silly questions

Some of the chocolate we have in the house at the moment

Some of the chocolate we have in the house at the moment

Before we head off to the market a couple of days each week, Bill and I always check the refrigerator to see what fruits and vegetables we might need. That really is only the starting point since we kind of just say “yes, we need fruit” or “no, we don’t need potatoes but we have no other vegetables” and then just see what’s available as being in-season and a good value. Since the open-air market can’t supply everything for us, we do have to walk to the supermarket about once a week. Bill was checking the cabinets and asked me “Do you think we have enough chocolate?” as he held up the 7 large bars we had on hand. What kind of question is that? Read the rest of this entry

We’re getting a facelift

One of the many buildings getting a facelift

One of the many buildings getting a facelift

After over 700 years we could probably all use a bit of refreshing to our faces and that’s exactly what’s happening in Carcassonne this summer. The façades that we’re talking about here are for many of the buildings located inside what used to be the walled lower city laid out in 1260. According to the city’s tourist office, few structures survived the fire of 1355 but there are many examples of mansions, shops, and apartments from the 17th and 18th centuries when the textile industry rivaled only the King for power, that today are getting some help. Read the rest of this entry

Starry, starry nights…and days

La Barbacane Restaurant inside the hotel

La Barbacane Restaurant inside the hotel

June has always been a festive month for us because it’s when Bill’s birthday happens as well as our anniversary. This year is especially significant as someone reaches that certain age to start collecting Social Security benefits and I’ll post later about our plans of how we’ll mark 30 years together. Carcassonne boasts 3 restaurants that have earned Michelin stars for their quality of food and service, 2 of them within easy walking distance, so what better way to enjoy this month’s special events than by visiting those two? Read the rest of this entry


French Retirement Dream

A year in Périgord

The life of a British Francophile

Southern Fried French

Two American Guys & Their Dog Move to France


Two American Guys & Their Dog Move to France

Chez Loulou

Two American Guys & Their Dog Move to France

The Vicious Cycle

A man searches for between leg shavings

Post-Industrial Eating

Just another weblog

An Italian Point Of View

Alan and Tracy's Expat Adventures