Archive for July, 2012

French Food and Drink

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you hear the word “FRANCE”?  Do you think of the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, Seine River, Paris, Provence…perhaps you think of the beaches on the Mediterranean Sea?  Many of us think of food.  Yes, FOOD.

French fries in France….oh yeah….doesn’t get any better than that!

Salmon, potatos and vegetables….all really fresh and tastey.  Note the bread to the left.  There are no words to describe the bread in France….excellent, perfect…these words just cannot describe how good bread can be!

And the desserts….ooh la la.  Rodger is not a coffee drinker, but cafe au lait is very tempting in Paris.

We did not order this platter of raw meat, but the people at the table next to us did!  A small habitchi was brought to their table and the diners cooked the meat themselves.  (I did ask for permission to take this picture….they cracked up at us silly Americans.)

Breakfast at Domain de Rhodes was very special each morning.  Francoise set a very pretty and different table each day.  The food was fresh from local farmers.

Francoise presented sliced fresh fruit each morning.   This is pears with local honey drizzled on top with fresh berries.

The side table was even set perfectly at Domain de Rhodes.

Sharon will not like this picture!  My friend and I decided to drink some Absente.  I think this was the stuff that made Van Gogh go crazy!  Of course, it is not nearly as potent today, but still packed a wallop.  I only took a sip, as it tasted like NiteQuil….and not in a good way.  My friend drank the rest!!!!  He slept very soundly.

So what did we drink if not Absente?  Well, mostly wine!!!  We are not big rose wine drinkers, however the rose in France was excellent.

We saw lots of macrons and meringues in Paris.  These were the biggest meringues I’d ever seen.

Great salads with seafood.  They taste even better than they look and they look fabulous.

This was a little side salad made with slices of vegetables.

Sharon loves seafood.  So when she ordered jumbo prawns one night, little did she know that they would be served whole.  Little black eyes stared at her from the plate.  I had to take the heads off and the shells off for her.  They were scrumptious.  (That is the prawns were scrumptious, not the heads, eyes and shells.)

Another incredible dessert.  Did we eat dessert with every meal?  NO.  Boy are we upset with ourselves now!

I ate this type of salad whenever it was on the menu.  It is a Norwegian style salad with smoke salmon.  Yes, I am of Norwegian descent.  Just as wonderful to the taste buds as to the eyes.  Sharon thought it was pretty too, but was having nothing to do with what she called “raw fish”.

Sharon could not get enough of these galettes.  We even went back to this restaurant once for dinner and then the next day for lunch.   It WAS that good.

Finally, this is a picture taken a few years ago while we were in Paris.  This is a great Chicken Caesar salad.  In the USA, we do not make a Caesar salad like this, but I wish we did.  We ordered this one at the Cafe du Marche in Paris on Rue Cler.  It is a great cafe for food, wine and people watching.

Bon Appetit.

 

 

 

 

 

DISNEYLAND PARIS

This year Disney is celebrating the 20th Anniversary of Disneyland Paris (fka Euro Disney).  Sharon and I had the great pleasure of visiting Disneyland Paris this past May.  How do you compare Disneyland Paris to the original Disneyland in Anaheim?  We always say the same thing, “Familiar yet different.”

The entrance to Disneyland Paris (I’m going to abbreviate that to DP) is spectacular.  You do not see turnstiles, but an awesome chateau that is the Disneyland Hotel.  You enter the park underneath the hotel.  Photo ops are endless before you actually get into the park!

Tinkerbell greeted us upon entering the park with the magical 20th anniversary sign.  In France, Tinkerbell is called_____________?  Can you fill in the blank?

Main Street U.S.A. is familiar yet different.  You can catch the Paddy Wagon for a short trip down Main Street to Sleeping Beauty’s Castle.

Looking down Main Street to the castle.  Our excitement was mounting!!!!

Sleeping Beauty’s Castle is built into a hillside as you look to the left in the picture.  Walking up to the castle is breathtaking.  There is a slight curve in the walkway (not evident in this picture) instead of just a straight shot as is the case at Disneyland in CA.  Our excitement was growing with each step.

To the left of the castle is the entrance to AdventureLand.  It looks like Aladdin could swoop down on the magic carpet any second now. To the left of Adventure Land is FrontierLand.

Here is the entrance to FrontierLand.  Yes, you can walk into the fort and go up on the walkways.  I remember Disneyland in CA (I will abbreviate as DR for Disneyland Resort) originally the fort allowed us kids to go up on the walkways.

Phantom Manor is a great ride.  Very familiar to the Haunted Mansion in DR, but somewhat different.  We loved it.  The grounds surrounding the Phantom Manor were really beautiful.

In TomorrowLand we saw the “X Wing Fighter”.  This was just one of the many attractions in this land.

Here is a grand view of the Thunder Mountain Railroad ride.  We really like this ride in DR, but this ride in DP is fabulous.  Someway or another the ride gets out to the island….I’m not even certain how it happened, but it was GREAT.   LOVE, LOVE this ride in DP.

This was a walk-through “ride”.  It was a maze or Labyrinth.  Very cute.  Can you see the “spitting” water that you walked under?

In DR all of the horses are painted white, but in DP each horse is painted in different colors.  This is an awesome carousel.  Do you know the story of why every horse in DR is painted white?

Skull Rock greets you as you approach Pirates of the Caribbean.  This is another area of DP that I thought was outstanding.  The ride itself is really good and again it is familiar yet different from DR.

The Sleeping Beauty Castle has the most incredible stained glass windows.  There are a lot of them and they tell the story of Sleeping Beauty.  Each window is remarkable.  I really liked how the sun shone through the windows and the stained glass colors decorated the castle floor.  In addition, to these great windows, there were fantastic tapestries that told the story too.  But the best part of this great castle was…….

Yep, the dragon in the dungeon.

The dark dungeon housed the dragon.  I must have stood watching this  fabulous creature for 45 minutes and never saw it repeat a movement or roar.  I was like a little kid in a candy store!

As we waited for night to fall and stood in front of the castle,  so that we could watch the most incredible fireworks, water and light show on earth, the castle and nature put on its own show!

Goodnight Disneyland Paris….I miss you already.

So should you go to Disneyland Paris?  France is filled with wonderful historical museums, fabulous paintings and the countryside is terrific too….but again …should you go to Disneyland Paris?  OUI, OUI, OUI, OUI, OUI, OUI, OUI.

 

 

FRENCH COUNTRYSIDE

While driving in Provence area of France in May, we got lost several times.  These were perhaps some of our best adventures in France.  We saw the Provencal countryside that many tourists would miss.  It was great fun and gave us countless photo ops.  Here are just a small handful of pictures from the south of France while we were lost!

This one was taken while driving to L’Isle Sur La Sorgue.

I pulled over to take this picture of a small vineyard.  Where was I?  I didn’t know then and I still don’t know!

Just around each bend is another photo op!

We saw this small castle as we drove by on our way to Les Baux de Provence….yes, we were lost and grateful to have seen this beauty!

Incredible Plane trees lined our thoroughfare.

Then, we turned to the left and VOILA! a field of red poppies greeted us.

Finally, we parked the car in front of this magnificent view….where were we?  At the brocante in Avignon?  MAIS NON!!!

Were we in Uzes, Carpentras,  Pont du Gard, Cassis, St. Remy?   Still not sure, but I think St. Remy.  If you know where this last picture was taken, please let me know!  Merci!!!!