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01 June 2012


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Laura McHugh

I would love to see postcards of the Mediterranean, Cassis, Marseilles. That color of water is so unique, it seems and warm! That is different from California.


I know the answer: French men. Post cards of French men will help everyone understand why we are here :)


I read a couple of books written by Nadeau and Barlow, two journalists. They say that France is a popular destination because of the lifestyle of the French. Their savoir vivre, the food, the language, the beautiful countryside, the sophistication of Paris, the attitude towards meal times...

I have to agree that I confer with the authors on these points. That is why it is OUR destination of choice, and why we decided to have a second home there.

28 sleeps to go!

Sharon Mattern

Corey, we just got back from two weeks in France....so what keeps drawing me to France? All that you mentioned... colors, food, sites...draw us to France, but also the warmth of the people. I would like a feature on perfume. We did not make it to Grasse this year, so a story or pictures of Grasse's parfumeries would be great. Also, I'd like photos of Aix-en-Provence and surrounding villages, brocantes, etc.

Franca Bollo

Les chats et les chiens de la Provence, s'il te plaît.


How to blend in with the French when I visit. I stick out like a sore thumb that says American.


I would love postcards of Provence gardens. The ones in private homes. Also photos of casual French fashion. You have mentioned before that French women have a certain style that might be just the way they wear a scarf, chic but simple. The few photos of you let us see of yourself always look interesting with lovely light weight cotton dresses over pants, etc. More photos like that.

Laurie SF

Market days in Provence. The heads of lettuce! Holy Guacamole. Can they be any larger? The rows and rows of fruits and vegetables, artfully displayed by the farmer. The au natural clothing in shades of gray and white, which I purchased and stuffed into my suitcase, along with my best find, a whimsical, blue and white, polka-dot number. If I had a dime for every time a San Franciscan woman asked where I got that top. I'd be a rich woman!

Would love for you share some links, that would lead us to 'market day' type dresses, tops, skirts, pants...

A good weekend to you, my friend..xo


It's funny... I, too, think that there are some similarities between France and California. I love both very much. We live in the south of England and so -- thankfully -- it's not TOO difficult to pop over to France but we just don't get there often enough. I love France for all the reasons you gave: the beauty of the place, the laid back lifestyle, the history and culture... also, to my American ear, the French language just sounds beautiful.

I love seeing photos of village life and also of French interiors. Also of food. Oh yes. That too.

Laurie SF

Oh, and more photos of FH.

Brenda L. from TN.

The above comments seem to dispel what I am going to ask....

I agree the French men DO seem to be a major attraction and the lifestyle, language and scenery IS beautiful....but...

I keep hearing about how all France hate Americans....is this really true? and why?

Is it because we can't speak the language?
Can it really be that silly of an reason?
So much of the world hates us now, makes one afraid to travel....

(I apologize if I have offended anyone on here. That is NOT my intention)

Franca Bollo

It's political not so much sociological. Eight years of Bush did us few favors abroad. Don't let that impede your travel.

Kathie B

Well yeah, there's that too. But as I told an ecology-minded distant cousin I met in the Azores in 2002 when he asked why the US wouldn't sign the Kyoto Accord, "A culpa não é minha. Votei para Gore."

Franca Bollo

Yep. I'll leave it at that.

Off topic. Would you mind sending me your e-mail address? I have some questions regarding the Azores, specifically regarding genealogy. Should I just e-mail your through your website link?


Kathie B

Corey will give you my email address. Meantime, you (and anyone else) might enjoy reading a bit about Azores at:

There's also an Azores Genealogy Group at:

Patrons are no longer allowed to handle genealogical source materials (baptismal, marriage and death register books) at the 3 Regional Archives in the Azores. They just let patrons use the online scans of them -- which are just as available on your home computer! The homepage is:
(Warning: Not all materials for all islands are online yet)

Franca Bollo

I didn't realize Corey was your secretary. ;)

Thanks for the links.

Kathie B

;-))) Not that, it's just that I don't want to post my email address on the Intrawebs.

Kathie B

Brenda, we went to Paris (and Provence) a year ago. At the conference in Paris, several North American attendees commented on how nice the natives were toward us, even going so far as to wonder if the government might've recently run a PR campaign to encourage such behavior (since tourists = money).

Ironically, the rudest person we encountered in Paris was an American panhandler on the Pont Neuf, a 30-ish female who was verbally abusive when we wouldn't give her money. We later spotted her under the bridge along the banks of the Seine, apparently counting her evening's take.

Kathie B

Farmboy Husband is the most foreign-language-challenged smart person I know, and even he was able to shop and sight-see in Paris on his own. Mostly he'd just point at what he wanted, then hold up the number of fingers corresponding to how many, they lay Euro bills on the counter (since he's still flummoxed by the coinage).


ooh my gosh what postcard.. Le promenade Anglais in Nice, a picture of my half brother and his family in Digne (now that's a really crazy thought), a picture of a Carambar (i miss those, are they still around?), more blue shutters, this sounds strange but a photo of a hors d'oeuvres cart, do they still bring those around?, cypress and birch trees... okay i'd say i'm pretty homesick for Europe now.. back to work..

Kathie B

Besides all the things that others have mentioned, more photos (and stories) of Annie.


France is my #1 favorite place to travel. Oh how I wish I could travel there every year, but alas sometimes I must visit other places too and give them a chance. But my heart comes back to France.

French blue attracts me, have you explore Lecture de Bleu? (I think that is the company name). When I was there the last time, we went by the buy some bleu paint for our greenhouse door and they were closed. I wanted that woad color. I see it on shutters and small accents everywhere throughout France.


I am a needleworker and regularly visit the French blogs and the beautiful work they do (not to mention the Italians). The thing I like about their work is that it has a purpose. It isn't just somehting you make and display, it's something you use, and can be traditional or modern in design. I believe they have fairs and markets, which I would love to visit. They repurpose old materials and value all. If you ever saw any of these works of art I would dearly love a picture. Thank you for taking me somewhere I will never go.


You know, it does remind me of Northern California, the rolling hills, the beautiful colors of the crops, etc. Maybe that is why I'd like to move to Northern California, as pretty as parts of France, but almost everyone speak English. Oh and both places have access to the sea/ocean. The true blue of the Mediterranean in photos/postcards is mesmerizing. It may be warmer than the Pacific,but both bodies of water are beautiful.


Meredith's answer of French men is a good one. But, I can't say that is what keeps me coming back. I've visited France about 12 times. I love the lifestyle. I love the feeling that family is important and meal times are important and anything that we want to talk about can be worthwhile. People take the time to listen to each other. They don't watch so much TV. So for me, the lifestyle is what draws me to France.


What is a typical day like in Provence compared to the US? How is it different? I've been fortunate enough to visit, but did not get a true sense of what daily life was like.


Pictures of churches and their history-more on the saints of France, food, vinyards and clothes-what is in this year.

Linda G.

I love the natural, linen-y look of much of your wardrobe, Corey. It becomes you so. Can you give us any sources for these lovely things? Also, I am an artist and have read of many painting workshops in France. Do you know of any in your area?

Nicole Eads

History, romance, the old white church steeples surrounded by the villages all across the countryside. I was in France about 15 years ago. My grandmother and mother took my older sister and I to see our birthplace, Verdun, France. The feeling I was left with when in Verdun was a reverence for the history that walked the area, soaked in the ancient walls surrounding the village. There was a sadness, the day was gray and overcast and all was quiet except for the church bells. Corey, more of what you share is all I ask. You have a way of sharing that relays the feelings that may have been felt many years ago.


Hmmmm France I could go on and on. What I love? Paris - the people watching, the style, the pace, the architecture, the magnificence of it all. Oh forgot food and wine. The countryside - the friendly people, the markets, the scenery, the smells, the simplicity. Some towns I'd love to see featured that were our favs - bonnieux, seillans, st. Remy. I love roses as well. I think someone mentioned gardens. I assume u are well received as u r married to FH. does anyone ever give u the American snub? Love living in France thru your eyes. MERCI

French la Vie


I have never felt snubbed in France because I am an American.



French la Vie

Hi Linda
Thank you!
Most of my clothing I either had made in China, or from the markets in France: Marseille, Cassis, St Remy, St Maxime, Aubagne, Aix....
The linen and cotton clothing that I wear is easy to find at the markets.
I thought of offering some on my online shop.
Thanks for asking,

French la Vie


Carambar... How many teeth have I lost eating those, lol! You cannot stop with one!

French la Vie

Facebook each other, for each others emails and info on Messages.


French la Vie


Try Facebook for sharing personal info and messages. Glad you two are connecting.


French la Vie

Hi A

Wear high heels.
Fitted clothing, with an extra button un buttoned.
Classic clothing, with chic accessories (belt, watch, purse, sunglasses...)
Neutral colors with one seasonal splash.
Pout lips.
Hair styled or pinned up with the perfection chic mess.
Stand straight.
and make very few facial expressions.
Admire each other without getting caught,


French la Vie

Meredith and I are both married to French men.


Traditions in history, cuisine, culture and architecture are comfortably grounded jere in a culture which is filled with modernity of techology, mass culture. I love the contrast which traditions still abound here.


When I was a kid, I loved Louis Defines films - very funny. Then Jean Paul Belmondo and Alain Delon. Then my older brothers worked on a farm in France during a few summers. They told me stories about French food, baguettes and cheese. Then there was music: Edith Piaf, Jacque Brell, Charles Azanvour and Gilbert Becau. Later on the movie "Amelie" and Peter Mayle's books. Can you photograph some places mentioned in Peter Mayle's books?
Have a great weekend.


I once asked a waiter at an outdoor cafe in Isle sur la sorgue if he could easily spot the Americans. Oh qui Madame many Americans wear casual sports clothes. When I probed for more details it was the classic warm up and white tennis shoes! Ugh. LOL. I pack and wear black when traveling in France. Throw in scarves for a punch.


We will be in Provence for the first two weeks of July.
Taking my granddaughter and 3 daughters for their first trip to France. I know the lavender will be in bloom, but I'm wondering...are there any sunflower fields around Provence too??? And any ruined, tumbling down castles....standing abandoned in a field... a field of poppies..... :) I love the abandoned, rich in history, trembling with stories to tell....ruins. I CAN NOT WAIT!!!


I would love to k ow more about the life of the villagers. When you go to a small French village I always wonder what they do all day, how they make their living, if they are retired, etc. Sometimes it seems so quiet during the day and then in the evening everyone comes out to the restaurants, etc.
I guess more about the people as I love hearing everyone's stories.


What draws me to France is how we do the same things, cook, eat, live in houses, grow gardens, have roads and shops and restaurants, drink coffee... yet much as we do the same things, we do them so very differently. France is personal, and here in North America, there was such a strong trend to adopting the latest and greatest, modern and convenient, we have lost much of the personality of living with our past.
I love the shutters and doors, the ironwork and the flowers. And the cafes... I have always liked your pictures of the cafes.

La Contessa

THE FRENCH............they just do it all with APLOMB.


Just keep doing what you're doing...it's the life we love! The slower pace is reflected in every task from food to decorating. Funny, here the decorating magazines throw some wrought iron, a blue table, an eifel tower centrepiece and a papier mache waiter into a room and call it French decor. We mimic. You live. Everything is a quiet, simple, effectively beautiful approach to life. I sense that the French don't 'flip' houses. ?


hey corey! my favorite posts have been when you had detailed explanations of cooking with your mother in law, learning french culture and manners... anything that i can catalog to help me become more french!! I think you had a post once describing when to put your napkin in your lap and other subtle things like that. I want to learn how to blend in with the customs. Ooh, or like how to order a baguette or something. ha, i hope these are usable ideas. I wonder if you could go tour a farm or something or do a bio on the owner of your favorite café. thanks for asking for input! you are too good to us! :)

John Powell

What is it about the France? It is the butter!

Brenda L. from TN.

Thanks to Kathie B. and Franco Bollo for answering my questions. This DOES make me feel better!

I think the French exude a lot of confidence and are "comfortable in their own skin"...they just KNOW who they ARE....

sharon morrison

What you are doing is just perfect. Reading about your life, where you go, what you see. I know, I want to see women who are in their 60's not wearing high heels, or pout lips...you know, just "women of age."
It seems young is everywhere and once you are over 60, you don't exist to many people.

Show us your new apt. in Paris. The before of it and it's surroundings.

jennifer heck

Thanks so much for asking about what your readers might want to hear about..... would love to hear more about doing Provence on a budget, a "retired" budget! Are there B&B's that are better than renting an apt, for example? I'd love to come for a couple of weeks, "doing" the brocantes, eating in local restaurants, taking some lovely hikes/walks,biking some town & country routes, seeing local shops for whatever!


I want to know what the average French girl eats every day. How can she stay so slim eating pastries, pate and macaroons??!!

French la Vie

Hi W

The French eat regular meals:
Small breakfast,
Main meal at noon,
A snack at four,
Light dinner around eight.
They eat balanced meals in small portions.


French la Vie

Hi J

Trip Advisor is a good place to look and compare.
There is a chain hotel called B&B it is very inexpensive. Basic. With a small kitchen and sleeps up to six. Usually they are outside of the city. But the price cannot be beat.


French la Vie

Hi S

I will show every detail, when the renter leaves and our children have moved out... in about a year.

I am talking about women 50 and older... French women don't stop being chic women after fifty, or sixty!

French la Vie


lol! You got that right!


French la Vie


Yeah that description is so not French (eiffel tower, blue cloth...)
French don't flip houses, or go with monthly holiday themes either.


French la Vie

Thank you Nicole and Everyone for the many great ideas!! I will work on them.


Eileen @ Passions to Pastry

For me, it's the old versus the new, and how they come together so beautifully.


Definitely just keep doing what you're doing - you are wonderful! What I love most about the French culture especially how you describe it - is the simplicity of daily life, the architecture, and enjoying the everyday without all of the rushing around and keeping up with the jones. I live in California and strive to live simply and every each moment. xxoo


having returned on saturday from France, I would be interested to know about normal day to day things.

Shopping at the supermarket, the prices of everyday products. How schools and education differ from the US, how long it took you to learn the language and if you took lessons, or just picked it up naturally...

I could ask a million questions...

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French la Vie Creative Journeys in France. Please join me in 2023 to learn more click here
French La Vie started in 2005. I have the "Brocante Bug," which means antiquing is my cure; France can do me no wrong when it comes to treatment ° 35 years living in France with my French Husband, whom I met while dancing in San Francisco ° Two children, now in their early thirties, amour et joie ° Come join our journey either vicariously through my blog or on a French La Vie Week Retreat in Provence °