Ocean Therapy amid Corona-Chaos

Ocean Therapy amid Corona-Chaos

First off… I hope you’ll allow me the latitude to not go into a “Coronavirus in France” update. It’s as crazy here as it is elsewhere. I think we all need a bit of a Corona-break, don’t you?

Let me focus on an incredibly positive part of the week instead. Deal? 🙂


Last weekend began like any other, but then on Saturday night I realized that we were going to need to change to things up on Monday, rather than following our normal rhythm… well, at least for Sophie & I.

Let me explain…

Continue reading

“Snow Day” in Angers

“Snow Day” in Angers

If you’ve been following the blog for any length of time, you’ll know that the chances of having an actual snow day are slim to none. You will also have seen me use the expression back in early December when I had an unexpected Saturday respite from travel to the Paris region.

What do I mean by a “snow day”?

Growing up in the throws of a Canadian winter, snow was just part of the drill. You dressed a little warmer and on a good day, you got a fresh bread bag to slip your feet into before placing them in the snow boot. This wasn’t a “poor” thing, it was a “keep your feet dry despite snow getting into your boot” thing… and very effective.

Getting a snow day was when it had snowed particularly vigorously overnight, snowplows hadn’t reached all of the primary & secondary streets and the school board deemed it precautionary to cancel school for the day.

In other words… you woke up fully prepared and expecting to go to school (or work) and then… surprise, surprise… your day was completely yours… total freedom.

Those days happen less as an adult, but they do happen.
Let me tell you about mine yesterday…

Continue reading

Chateau de Brissac… the upper floors

Chateau de Brissac… the upper floors

In my last post, I introduced to to the Chateau de Brissac and showed you the principal rooms on the main floor. Today I want to take you further.

As promised, I’ll take you through a dramatic episode in the history of the French monarchy, we’ll talk about the arts and I’ll reveal how it is that hunting at Brissac is not reserved for men only! I’ll also tell you about how you can spend a night there and live like a Duke or Duchess yourself!

Let’s go!

Continue reading

Chateau de Brissac… a stately country home

Chateau de Brissac… a stately country home

The road between Châtellerault and Angers takes you through portions of three French departments (la Vienne, l’Indre et Loire, la Maine et Loire) passing by wide swaths of agricultural land and, as you approach Angers, field after field of vineyards. For the past seven months I’ve been making the 130km weekly, with the exception of school holidays, in order to teach English at a business school there.

Each trip makes me a bit more familiar with the general surrounding and from time to time my schedule allows me to explore points of interest along the way. Regular readers will recall that I first stopped in Brissac back in January, but was unable to visit the castle as it was closed for the season.  Last week was different… last week I had a guided tour.

Continue reading

A Walk through Brissac-Quincé

A Walk through Brissac-Quincé

It was a grey, winter afternoon and my teaching day in Angers was an unusually short one and since I had some time to kill, I swung off of the D748 at Brissac.

Time and again, I’d driven by and seen the large highway sign highlighting the tallest castle in France – with its seven stories no less – but not had the time to stop. Today was different.

Continue reading

Chateau de Chambord… a closer look

Chateau de Chambord… a closer look

My first visit was in 1995 and I’ve probably been there a dozen times since then… but never inside. I’m not sure why exactly. Perhaps is was a lack of enough time to do it justice, perhaps the combined entry price of a family of five scared me off (although they’re not as much castle-goers as I am… “You seen one, you seen ’em all”, while not entirely an accurate summation of their feeling, is not totally inaccurate either), or perhaps it was those who told me that it was rather empty, or unfurnished, compared to other castles. Whatever the reason, I’d never been in… until recently.

Continue reading

French Crêpes… not just dessert!

French Crêpes… not just dessert!

It’s the monthly #TravelTuesday post and today we’re talking crêpes.


Crêpes are not part of my native culture. The thin and very adaptable base so common in French culture was virtually unknown to me until I was in my teens. In its stead, growing up in eastern Canada, we had “pancakes” (or “flapjacks”) a much thicker & more filling version of the crêpe (or is the crêpe a thinner & more refined version of the pancake?)… Either way, where they were not part of my native culture, they’re a major part of my adopted culture!

Continue reading