Monday, July 28, 2008

Welcome Baby Jay

Stacy and Sacha missed The Wedding
having a baby on The Day
is a fairly good reason for absence, yes?

I'm thinking Min looks très confortable with a baby...hmmm...far be it from me to put any pressure on the newlyweds...heh heh...

Our heartfelt congratulations to Stacy and Sacha!
(and, please, can I babysit?)

Friday, July 25, 2008

My Beautiful Daughters

What are we telling our daughters? Click here!

My Daughters Are Beautiful. Yes, they are. Their beauty has turned heads and their grace is overt. BUT. My daughters are beyond beautiful. They are wise, creative, gentle and strong. They are caring, loving and sensitive.

I hope, deeply, that I have given them this message: Your beauty - the beauty I see - is in your presence and within: be Who You Are, always and in all beautiful, wise, creative, gentle, strong, caring, loving and sensitive t'aime!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Recollections: 10 May 2008

I want to remember
the gorgeous flowers

sweet smiles

and my baby becoming a Bride.

I want to remember
Sister Giggles

and family love.

I want to remember
''Jubilant Grandma''

and Tommy needing a button sewn
tout de suite!

I want to remember
this breathtaking venue

All American cuisine

the marvel
of a
Bride and Groom

and the difference,
the joy,
in the world
because of
Mindi and Tommy.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Bride and Groom: Encore!

Hundreds of photos were taken and there are more to come!

Today I am posting my favorite Bride and Groom photos

I will be posting family photos during the week

so keep checking back!

Maybe you want to take a guess...

which Bride and Groom photo

will be displayed

in our home?

Saturday, July 19, 2008


Before our luggage was unpacked, before phone calls returned, before email read, before we could say It's Good To Be Home, two unexpected B&B guests arrived for a 7 night stay.

So. We shrug, wink and smile...get on with it!

Notre Petite Vacances

We had originally planned to drive to Paris, but, with the price of fuel and not really wanting to navigate through the City of Lights, we decided to take the train. That was a good choice until we decided to taxi rather than walk to the studio apartment. I thought I was doing well with my French accent - ha ha and sadly not so - because we landed at 27 rue des Bouet rather than 27 rue des Bluets street. Naturally we didn't realize the mistake until the cabbie was well out of sight. Before we realized we were at the wrong address, we tried the code on the door, several times, and could not understand why it was not functioning. I went to purchase a phone card so that we could contact the apartment owner. Tony stayed at the apartment building guarding our heap of luggage, continuing to try to open the door and no doubt coming up with the conversation he would be having shortly with the owner. By the time I returned with a phone card, a young lady helped us into the apartment building. She told us that the code we had was definitely wrong and she gave us the correct code. When we entered the building, Tony and I looked at each other and in unison we knew we were not in the right place. We checked the building number. 27? Yes. Street name? oops. Fortunately, very fortunately, we were not far from the correct address. (note to self: must practice French pronunciation a bit more!)

The only photos I took were at Père Lachaise Cemetery. (French: Cimetière du Père-Lachaise -officially cimetière de l'Est “eastern cemetery”). It is the largest cemetery in the city of Paris, 118.6 acres, although there are larger cemeteries in Paris suburbs. Père-Lachaise is one of the most famous cemeteries in the world. It is reputed to be the world's most-visited cemetery, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors annually to the graves of those who have enhanced French life over the past 200 years.

The popular graves at the time of our visit were
Oscar Wilde

Edith Piaf

Jim Morrison
Frédéric Chopin

Our petite vacances was magnifique...strolling through local markets, watching the world go by at sidewalk cafés, fresh croissants every morning outside on the terrace, dining with a view of the Eiffel Tower, no agendas, no alarm clock...just being, just bliss!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Bonjour Paris !

Just a quick post to let you know we arrived Monday morning. Even though my laptop refuses to connect (this post is via internet café) all is superb here! Will post stories and photos upon our return.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Back from and with Champagne!

After taking Elsie to the airport, we drove about an hour east of Paris, following the Marne River Valley. This is an area we visited in April to see ''Champagne Country'' and, of course, taste and purchase champagne.

ENORMOUS thanks to Lin
for loaning us her mobile phone
so that we could contact Elsie upon her arrival in America!

It was 11:00 p.m. on Thursday when we found out that Elsie had arrived safely in Minnesota and was, at that time, happily on her way to the Dairy Queen with Keith and Sue. We fell asleep feeling both relief and gratitude!

We stayed at a B&B (photo above) operated by an American couple. Bill and Meredith have lived in France for over 25 years! Their B&B is a beautifully restored old stone farmhouse with stunning hillside views over villages and vineyards of the Marne River Valley. It is located in the heart of the champagne region between Reims, Epernay and Château-Thierry. Click here for more information regarding their B&B. Bill and Meredith have an impressive website with loads of travel info, tips and links.

The Champagne Alain Navarre has been a family business for three generations. (Joelle and Alain Navarre pictured above). Their champagne house is located at Passy sur Marne, a small village in the valley of the Marne, west of Epernay. Their grapes are grown on sunny slopes ideal for all three Champagne grapes: Pinot Meunier, Pinot Chardonnay and Noir. Click here for their website. Prices for shipping, in France, are very reasonable!
Note to Min:
the rosé has been carefully stored in our cave just for you...
And note to Brian and Rosemary:
your precious cargo is also being well guarded!
Next week:

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

à bientôt !

We'll be on the road to CDG airport soon!
Elsie departs for America tomorrow. This will be her first trip back to Minnesota since our move here in 2005. This is also her first solo international flight. Nervous parents + excited teen = a bit of drama. If we could just board the plane with her...or simply take her to the gate! Leaving her at the point of security does not make me feel all that ''secure''. Apparently there is a slight chance that we'll be able to go through to the gate with her. I understand it depends on who the security person is at the time: if their mood is good, if they sympathize with my anguish, if lunch was satisfying...could be anything - and probably an odd thing - that would determine an okay or no way from Security Person. I really, truly, deeply miss the days when EVERYONE could go to the gate and my 10 oz. tube of toothpaste was not considered a danger.
Do you think we've packed too much?

Upon Elsie's departure, we are heading to Champagne. I'm looking forward to replenishing our stock of bubbly and enjoying northeast France. We'll be back on Friday with Relief (Elsie will have arrived in America without a problem).
à bientôt !

Monday, July 7, 2008

Le Tour

Le Tour de France
is going through Iffendic,
a village located near, very near, to our holiday house,

I'm disappointed
we're missing it this year
watch this space...
we're going
Champagne and Paris!
(that sort of makes up for missing the tour)

Click on the link below
for Le Tour de France news

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Just Play Nice

I recently surfed the 'net about How to Operate a Successful Bed and Breakfast. We are now well into our 3rd season and, consequently, I thought it was a good idea to see what the ''experts" say about running a B&B. Maybe I should have done this sleuthing a few years ago?

There are loads of how-to-books, seminars and conferences offered throughout America and Europe about the B&B business. For a cost ranging from hundreds to thousands, you can attend a B&B conference and learn Everything You Need To Know, or, buy books starting at $19.95. Dare I confess I have spent ZERO on any of the aforementioned?

I did spend time taking a B&B quiz: Will Your Bed and Breakfast Be Successful? I happen to think our B&B is successful so naturally I took the bait. 8 Questions. Easy! I zipped through that quiz with a big grin and complete confidence. But all that confidence quickly deflated as I clicked on Check Answers and, one by one, each box I had ticked, was wrong. Wrong! What?!
After I scraped my self-esteem off the floor, I agreed to receive the correct answers via email, one per day. I never actually got an answer. What I did get was a response stating why each choice in this multiple choice quiz was incorrect. And, for $12.95, The Experts will send me The Correct Answers. On the 9th day, The Experts asked why I had not ordered their $12.95 book. (Can we all say s-c-a-m?)
So. I figure we are going to carry on as always. Hospitality Plus and Just Play Nice. That's us. That's what we do. We also, occasionally, help the guests with the household chores and the washing up. They like that. And I think they like us. Now if I could just pass that Quiz...