Paris – An Unplanned Post

In reading emails this morning, I came across this video on “tongue in cheek” and so, decided to postpone my planned post for this one. I hope it puts a smile on your face, as well – made me “homesick” for Paris.

Let’s all strike a pose !

Fontainebleau & Hotel Recommendation

I recently stayed at the 4-star hotel, Aigle Noir, due to a off-season, reduced rate and its great location across the street from the Chateau de Fontainebleau.  When I checked in, my designated room was not yet ready; however, the very friendly young man at the front desk offered to upgrade my reservation to a suite (at no extra charge).  Why not?  I really just expected a larger room at any rate (pardon the pun).  I also noticed the charming lounge with a fireplace, just off the lobby and mentally noted to have a drink there later that evening.

The “suite” was indeed “sweet” and comprised two full bathrooms, very large bedroom with table/sitting area and desk, a separate living room, and a complimentary beverage area along the corridor – Wow – I was impressed!

First important test, though, was connecting to Internet via the hotel’s free wifi:  my netbook connected fine to wifi but “no Internet access.”  So, I took my netbook to the lobby to ask for help (ok, really to complain).  Fabian, the same young Frenchman at the reception desk, kindly spent about 20 minutes checking out my netbook settings, etc. (all in English) to solve the access problem, while chatting and with my translating in French (although he understood a little computer English)  Eh, voila!  OK, now I was doubly impressed – the customer service was great.

Although I only stayed one night here, Aigle Noir provided royal service and was well worth splurging a little — after all I was just across from a royal chateau!

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“De l’absurde au ridicule” – From the absurd to the ridiculous!

In my previous article about new anti-drunk driving laws in France, here is the latest, updated news:

“The government has delayed the full introduction of the controversial breath-test law, which would have penalized them for not carrying an unused kit in their vehicle. Interior Minister Manuel Valls has postponed “sine die” – indefinitely – the start of €11 fines for not carrying the tests. He had already delayed the start from November 1, 2012, until March 1, 2013, due to problems in supply and doubts about their effectiveness.”

(Source: The Connexion)

News About “Solitary Desire”

A little earlier than I expected, so pleasantly surprised that my book is now available in paperback format, as well as an ebook.  So, non e-readers, please check it out on these links:



“A story of a woman in love with all things French, who accomplishes her dreams through hard work and determination – driven by the overwhelming desire to be who and where she was meant to be.  Inspirational and engaging – the perfect read for those who wish to pursue their own life dreams.” (Maria D’Marco, Professional Editor)

Book Trailer Video:

“African Queen” – Not the movie!

signThere are many beautiful,  port towns along the French Riviera, and Beaulieu is one of them – situated between Nice and Eze-sur-Mer (not to be confused with Eze village).


I recently had lunch there at the well-known restaurant, African Queen. The juxtaposing views are breathtaking, with mountains on one side and the port on the other, as I entered the restaurant. The meal and service were good at this upscale restaurant; my only complaint being that the bottles of water (both flat and fizzy) that they automatically brought to the table was a Swedish brand that was 8 Euro a bottle!  My fault for not looking at a water menu, but never thought it would be this over-priced – lesson learned!


Skiing (sort of) at Auron

Only having skied three times in my life, I accompanied my French husband and friends to Auron, a well-known ski resort about 1-1/2 hrs. from Nice, BUT only to have a coffee, read, and relax while they hit the slopes.  The first problem was the windy roads, with all the switchbacks and turns, which made me nauseated.  It was a nice, sunny day, as I wandered about there being enough snow to ski, judging from what I was seeing on the way there; secretly thrilled, since I don’t like being cold.

As I sipped my coffee, ate croissants, watched the lessons on the baby/bunny slope just outside the warm, restaurant window, and read my Kindle, I was enjoying a great Sunday morning. During lunch, for some reason – call me crazy – I thought it might be fun to take a skiing lesson, not to mention learning skiing French vocabulary. Funny, I never stopped to think that not verbally  understanding something might compromise my physical ability during the lesson…such as, knowing the words for the *downhill and *uphill ski?!

Nothing like having a Frenchman put on your ski boots, since I couldn’t manage it myself, and then only remembering how to snowplow my way over to the baby slope lesson area to wait for Olivier, my French instructor.  I had taken a lesson in English in Taos, NM, years before, from (Frenchman) Andre, but now this would be a REAL French skiing lesson – I was nervous and afraid and that was the first thing I mentioned to Olivier, well…after “Bonjour.”

Lo and behold, by the end of the hour, I was skiing still mostly in snowplow formation, but also a little “en parallel” in between the turns – maybe it was the orange netting barrier and the little kids skiing by me that gave me a boost of confidence to put my skis in another shape other than a “V.”  Olivier said I was good enough to ski on the beginner slope, and all I needed was confidence (Le secret de faire du ski est la confidence!)  Yep, “confidence” is the same word in English and French!  My husband and friends had finished and were watching my lesson, got bored, and decided to go have a drink; I joined them in toasting my skiing triumph – OUI, even with skiing beside the 4-5 year olds on the *”Piou Piou” baby slope, but just a little in parallel !

* downhill ski = ski aval / uphill ski = ski amont / piou-piou = cry of a baby (chicken) peep

Book Trailer Video: “Solitary Desire”

I hope you watch and enjoy this short, promotional video made to whet your appetite in anticipation of reading the book – all comments welcome!

The E-book & paperback versions have launched and are available here!