Category Archives: Trip Report

Trip Report Normandy and Paris, Episode 101

Letitia Guy in front of the Eiffel Tower

Trip Report Normandy and Paris

On this trip report Letitia tells us about her first trip to France and outside of the USA. She was part of a big group who came to France to celebrate the 70th Anniversary of D-Day. Their group stayed in Granville as their home-base and went around to visit different places around Normandy.

Places mentioned on the show: Sainte-Mère-Église, Granville, Mont-Saint-Michel, Omaha Beach, American Cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer

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Looking for Unique Experiences in France, Episode 86

Looking for Unique Experiences in France
Janice at the Marathon du Médoc with the Flash Gordon runners

Janice is a retired (How is that even possible? Look at her!) Elementary School Principal who has a passion for France and has visited so many times I declare her to be an honorary local. When she’s not driving around France she’s working on her second passion, a travel website called France Travel Tips. In this episode we talk about the many unique experiences she’s had in France and some of the great tips she can share with us to help us have a better time in France AND save some money along the way!

Would you like to tour France with Annie and Elyse? Visit Addicted to France to choose an upcoming tour.

Places Mentioned on the Show: Pauillac, Marathon du Médoc, Marathon de Paris, Gordes, École des Trois Ponts in Riorges, the restaurant Troigros in Roanne, Music at the Sainte Chapelle, Music at Église Saint Germain des Près , Patricia Kaas concert Nancy, Olympia Concert Hall in Paris, Saint Malo, Biarritz, Saint Sébastien, Saint Jean de Luz, Toulouse, Albi, Carcassonne, Provence, restaurant La Truie qui Doute in Anduze, Saint Antonin Noble Val, Eiffel Tower, Pont de Bir-Hakeim, Collias, Pont du Gard, Inisttut du Monde Arabe
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Janice Tells Us About Her Two Marathon in France

  • Marathon du Médoc (see photo above with the Flash Gordon runners)
  • Marathon de Paris

The Médoc and Paris Marathons are very different, Janice explains what she liked in both. To run a marathon in France you need to get a doctor’s certificate that will state that you are fit enough to participate.

Studying French at the École des Trois Ponts in Riorges where she particularly enjoyed the informal conversations and the cooking classes.

Making Macarons at the Cordon Bleu with a teacher who only speaks French (translator provided) and helps the students make their own.

Janice also loves Angelina’s Hot Chocolate on rue de Rivoli, it’s topped with whipped cream, but it’s OK because she runs marathons the rest of the time!

Listening to Music in Paris at the Sainte Chapelle where she heard the Four Seasons. You can see the beautiful stained glass and hear approachable music at the same time. Janice also attended a concert at the Église Saint Germain des Près. To find more concerts in France go to a FNAC store or the ticket office at any large grocery store.

Side note on how Casinos in France have strict entry rules. You need ID to enter and Annie explains why.

Janice goes through a typical day for her in France. She likes to rent a Gîte from Gîtes de France or HomeAway, she likes to go to the market in the morning, go to a café, go visit a town and explore, take some photos, go to a restaurant, enjoy some wine (a pichet of wine).  We explain how restaurants often do not want to substitute anything for the wine that comes with the meal.

Driving in France: Janice got two speeding tickets on her last trip from radars, once for going 7 over the speed limit. Annie got one for going 3 over the speed limit! Don’t speed in France! Also, how do you pay for a parking ticket in France? Janice explains because she had to do it! Use cruise control so you do not go over the speed limit and you’ll be fine.

Spending New Year’s Eve in Paris and a typical meal for Holidays in France. The Eiffel Tower is blocked off but you can have a spectacular view of the light show from the bridge called Pont de Bir-Hakeim. Another Paris tip: you can get a great view onto Notre Dame and the Seine Lookingfrom the Institut du Monde Arabe.  Going to the top is free!


Trip Report Provence and Chamonix, Episode 83

Provence and Chamonix

Trip Report Provence and Chamonix

Let’s go to Provence and Chamonix with Matt, his wife and two daughters. Matt tells you what it takes to have a grand time in France with your children and shares what their greatest day in France was and why.  Let me warn you: it is NOT on any of the top 10 lists you may have read, this is one of those places that turns out to be a wonderful surprise.

Would you like to tour France with Annie and Elyse? Visit Addicted to France to choose an upcoming tour.

Food/Wine Mentioned on the Show: Tapenade, Brandade de Morue, Bergerac Wine, Tartiflette, Reblochon Cheese, Gruyère, Beaufort, Tome de Savoie, Cantal, Merguez,

Places Mentioned on the Show:  Provence and Chamonix, Toulouse, Port-Lauragais Rest Stop, Tarrascon, Beaucaire, Carrières de Lumière, Château des Baux de Provence, Côtes du Rhone Wine Driving Tour, Saintes Maries de la Mer, Tiki in Camargue, Vaison-la-Romaine, Suzette, Arles, Bull Games in Arles, Van Gogh Easles, Lubéron, Abbey de Sénanques,  Joucas, Le Sentier des Ocres in Roussillon, Le Pont du Gard, Musée Haribo (Uzès), Annecy, Alpine Slide, Chamonix, Aiguille du Midi, Mer de Glace, Le Brévent, La Flégère

French Tip of the Week: “attrape-couillon” = something that catches suckers.

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Episode Highlights

  • 4:35′ They had to drive through Toulouse, why didn’t they stop?
  • 5:30′ If you park your car somewhere in France loaded with luggage, will you get robbed? How can you avoid that?
  • 7:10′ Why is the speed limit around cities so low?
  • 9:45′ The Rest Stop Matt mentions near Carcassonne is called Port-Lauragais.
  • 11:30′ Tarrascon, not a touristy city, but a central location.
  • 13:10′ Provence Markets, Six kinds of tapenade and Brandade de Morue.
  • 15:00′ Beaucaire, its market, differences between life in Provence and the South West of France. Cicadas are loud indeed!
  • 17:10′ Carrières de Lumière at Baux de Provence.
  • 21:10 Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer. You could also get on a Tiki boat to see the Camargue from the marsh. The church is a must-see if you go!
  • 24:20′ Vaison-la-Romaine, that one was a bust for them because the kids had seen enough Roman Ruins! They weren’t impressed with French pizza either.
  • 25:30′ Côte du Rhone wine driving tour and the town of Suzette. Rosé Côte du Rhone. How wine is priced in France and what wines get exported.
  • 28:00′ Arles and the Bull Games. Those are no-kill bull races where men run around trying to get ribbons off the horns of the bull. Family-friendly atmosphere.
  • 31:00′ Parking in France is a lot easier when you know how to parallel park!
  • 32:15′ French Tip of the Week: “attrape-couillon” = something that catches suckers.
  • 33:00′ Lubéron. They intended to see Gordes, Joucas and Roussillon, but Gordes was too crowded, there was nowhere to park at Abbeye de Sénanque so they just saw it from the road. Parking can be a problem in those super popular areas. They stopped at Joucas and enjoyed it, there is a nice playground there.
  • 36:09′ Le Sentier des Ocres in Roussillon, this is a ocre cliff hike, 45mn, fairly easy.
  • 38:35′ Pont du Gard and Haribo Museum Kids weren’t impressed with the bridge, we discuss some ways to make it better.
  • 42:00′ They rented an apartment right in the middle of Annecy and loved it!
  • 44:00′ Tartiflette and Reblochon and many other cheeses such as Gruyère, Tome de Savoie, Beaufort, Cantal. What were the kid’s favorite foods on this trip? Saucisse de Toulouse, Merguez.
  • 48:00′ Luge, cows and bells. How you buy local cheese or wine  from locals in France.
  • 49:20′ How 4th of July and Bastille Day events compare. Hint: Bastille Day isn’t much to write home about!
  • 52:00′ Chamonix, Aiguille du Midi and Mer de Glace, magical activities. The other side is Le Brévent and Flégère, this was probably their favorite day in the whole trip!

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