Category Archives: With Elyse

Paris Packing List, Episode 137

Paris Packing List

Fancy older woman wering a hat and jewelry
You may run into this person in Paris, but she’s the exception, not the rule.

Some people fret about what’s acceptable to wear in France, and it is true that there are some things you should NOT wear in France. Annie is in a good situation to talk about that because being someone who doesn’t worry much about clothing, she’s made every mistake in the book since moving home to France. But she’s working on it! Being an artist, Elyse worries a lot more about being stylish and has excellent tips to share. Click Continue reading to see our recommended Paris Packing List!

If you love our approach to travel and want to tour France with us, visit Addicted to France to look at upcoming tours.

Paris Packing List Episode Highlights

  • [4’11”] Americans tend to dress more casually than French people.
  • [6′] There is a Paris Style.
  • [7’50”] How to dress for Paris specifically.
  • [8’30”] No Bermuda shorts, sexy short shorts only for very young women.
  • [10’50”] Paris brings out the dressiness in people, but don’t get too dressy.
  • [11’30”] People don’t dress up to go out at night as much as they used to and you will not get turned away for not wearing a jacket and tie in Paris.
  • [13′] You can wear business casual even at the Symphony in France.
  • [14’10] Scarves will dress up any outfit as a decorative element for both men and women.
  • [15′] Practical tip: bring interchangeable items in dark solid colors and add colorful scarves or wraps. Women can bring summer dresses and capris.
  • [16’20”] Shoes: no sandals with socks, no clunky “nurse’s shoes”, but it’s OK to wear sandals and casual shoes.
  • [17’45] Men wear capris in France!
  • [18’20] Annie’s faux-pas at the Disneyland Hotel and at Louis Vuiton in Paris.
  • [22’44”] How to up your clothing game as a tourist in Paris: accessorize, wear a leather jacket (or a crochet jacket, or any sort of jacket), clothes that are cut closer to the body.
  • [24’20”] Change your outfit at the end of the day, women don’t wear t-shirts with words.
  • [26′] Some women in Paris wear dresses and high-heels, but they are not the majority. When walking a lot, wear closed shoes where your feet can’t move around too much.
  • [28’27”] No shorts for women over 30 in the city. Capris are fine. Sun-dresses and skirts are commonly worn in France.
  • [29’25”] Whatever you wear, you MUST have a bag that zips and goes across your torso. Men should not have their wallet in the back pocket of their pants.
  • [30′] Clean pants and a nice polo shirt works great for men, even if you are going to a nice restaurant.
  • [31′] A lot depends on who you hang out with. Fancy situations call for fancier clothes and accessories.
  • [32’44”] Layers are important in the winter.
  • [35′] French people wear fitting clothes, but don’t do it if you’re uncomfortable.
  • [38′] No baseball caps, berets are for old folks, Panama hats are stylish and can be worn by both men and women.
  • [40″] If you’re a “fluffy person” (aka fat) do what you want, wear what you want, don’t worry about what other people think. You don’t have to wear black.

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The Orangerie Museum in Paris, Episode 136

The Orangerie Museum in Paris, Go or Skip?


Couple visiting a museum black and white photo, Orangerie Museum

The Orangerie Museum in Paris is not one of the major museums that everybody feels like they need to visit, the question is: should you go see it or is it one of those you can skip?

If you like this episode, you should also check out Episode 102 about the Rodin Museum because it is also  a small museum that doesn’t take hours to see, yet offers amazing world-famous pieces that will blow you mind and introduce you to artists  who revolutionized their fields.

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

Orangerie Museum Episode Highlights

  • The Orangerie Museum Building [6’11”]
  • What’s an Orangerie Anyway? [8’30’]
  • Monet’s influence [10’40”]
  • How Monet Took Advantage of His Bad Eyes to His Creative Advantage [11:50]
  • Why you must look at Monet’s Paintings Up-Close and then at a Distance [13′]
  • A Space for Meditation [14’12”]
  • What else is there? [19′]
  • Giverny [23’47”]
  • Marmotan Museum in Paris [27’26”]
  • Annie and Elyse talk about the Inaugural Paris Tour [37′]
  • Conclusion: the Orangerie Museum is a lovely place to visit. If you happen to be at the Louvre, you can easily walk through the Tuileries Gardens to go to the Orangerie. Even if you don’t have the time to do that, we recommend taking that short walk through the gardens because it is gorgeous and there are a lot of places you can sit and rest or sit and picnic or simply watch the world go by.

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Gulf of Morbihan in Brittany, Episode 123

Gulf of Morbihan in Brittany

Malestroit, Morbihan photo Pierre Guezingar, Gulf of Morbihan
Malestroit, Morbihan photo Pierre Guezingar.

Click here to support the show on Patreon and get access to Lunch-Break French, designed to help you sharpen your French skills before your visit to France.
The Gulf of Morbihan in Southern Brittany is some of the most beautiful coastline anywhere in France.  Elyse knows the place well because her husband’s family owns a home right on the Gulf of Morbihan and they have been there many times. Today we talk about what she loves about the area:

  • The ocean, ports and boats
  • Wild beaches and tides
  • Crêpes,  galettes, and other Breton foods with strange names
  • Muscadet wine and hard cider
  • Dolmens,  menhir and other pre-historic attractions

At the end of the episode Annie and Elyse reminisce about crazy things they as older teenagers, and–you’re not going to believe this if you’ve been following the show for a long time–Elyse doesn’t have a museum to recommend in the area. Shocking!

Visiting Brittany? Find the Best Deals & Reviews at TripAdvisor.

Places Mentioned in this Episode: Gulf of Morbihan, Southern Brittany, Port-Navalo, Belle-Île-en-Mer, Presqu’île de Rhuyz, Île Houeic, Île-d’Houat, Locmariaquer, Côte Sauvage, Quiberon, Île-aux-Moines, Château de Sucinio (in a town called Sarzeau), Saint-Gildas-de-Rhuyz, Carnac, and Auray.


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A Detour Into Catalonia, Episode 117

A Detour Into Catalonia

Annie and Elyse in Catalonia
Annie and Elyse in Catalonia


On today’s Join Us in France Annie and Elyse take a detour into Catalonia because if you’re going to be visiting the southwest of France, you may want to spend a few days in nearby Catalonia. This is especially true if you are traveling with children because there is nothing young children like more than a lovely sandy beach with warm water and gentle waves. France has beaches too, but the French Mediterranean is more crowded, the water is colder, and it’s more expensive. So  the Spanish coast is worth considering.

Places Mentioned in this Episode: Figeras, Cadaques, Barcelona, Sitges, Vilanova-i-la-Geltru, Tarragona, La Joquera, Begut, Port Aventura.
Visiting Spain? Find the Best Deals & Reviews at TripAdvisor.

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Top Attractions in Lyon, Episode 113

Restaurant in Lyon at night, top attractions in lyon

Top Attractions in Lyon, Episode 113

Lyon is on the Rhone Valley and the second largest city in France. It is famous for its gastronomy and economic dynamism. But what is it like as a visitor? How much time should you plan to stay? What are the top attractions in Lyon? 

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

Hotels Recommended in this Episode: Annie stayed at the Ibis Styles Lyon Part-Dieu. It was clean, comfortable, quiet (despite the proximity to the main train station) , the breakfast buffet was good, the staff professional, and the nearest tram station is right across the street. We’d stay there again!

Episode Highlights

  • Musings on how to select a hotel in a large city
  • French tip of the week
  • Answer to a listener question on health care in France
  • The 6 most salient points in the history of Lyon
    • #1 The capital of the Roman Gaul
    • #2 Commercial hub during the Renaissance
    • #3 The French Revolution
    • #4 Top attractions in Lyon today
    • #5 Auguste and Louis Lumière
    • #6 The city during the Résistance
  • Annie’s visit
  • Traboules
  • Gastronomy
  • La Fourvière Basilica
  • A few other highlights
  • What else should you visit nearby?
  • Conclusion: food, wine, a beautiful downtown and a friendly athmostphere. These are the top attractions in Lyon!

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The Best of Sète, Episode 107

Canal in Sete photo sabin paul croce. The Best of Sète
Canal in Sète. Photo Sabin Paul Croce.

Sète

Sète is full of charm, history and genuine French culture. It is a favorite of French families who go to enjoy the ambiance, the canals, the sea and the sun. If you’d like to spend some time on the Mediterranean and not spend your whole vacation budget in two days, keep reading and listening, this is the city for you!

When Annie visited Sète after recording this episode, she stayed at a hotel called Le National. She found it comfortable, clean, the owner was friendly. This is a family-run hotel, the hotel lobby closes in the afternoon. The owner will contact you via SMS to confirm the details. Le National is a great budget hotel, in a good location, easy walking distance to the Canals, free parking is not difficult near the hotel. Skip the hotel breakfast (nothing special or “bof, bof” as we say in French) and go have breakfast at a café near the Canal instead.


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