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Sunday, October 19, 2014

Chateaus and Villas



By Car through France and Italy.

Part I




Chateau De Chesne
Nohant En Gracay, Le Chesne, France.

Day one.  About 3 hours South of Charles de Gaulle Airport.

Perfect distance to get acquainted with our new rental car. 








Chateau De Chesne is located in a beautiful country setting.  The perfect stopover for the first night in France.





Here is a tribute to the longevity of hand made ceramic tiles.  








Owned by a charming and handsome French Aristocrat. 

A beautiful breakfast awaited us the next morning.  






On to La Pouyette.

Yes, the charming Karin we know from the blog with the same name. 




Karin and Mr R welcomed us like old friends.  






We stayed at La Pouyette in 2012. 
La Pouyette is located near the town of Perigueux.   



This very special spot is the perfect guest house from which to explore the very interesting and unique Dordogne region.








When we arrived Karin was shelling walnuts which she had gathered from her ancient tree.  

I joined in.  It reminded me of my younger days when I would sit in a circle with the older village women shelling peas, listening to the newest gossip.

  






As before, Karin prepared for us a most delicious French dinner.  

No one does it better, it is always a feast for the eyes and the palate.

La Pouyette is about a 6 to 7 hour drive from Paris.  The drive is  beautiful with many interesting sites and ancient villages to admire along the way.  






On to Arles, our longest drive, with many side trips.

By now I had figured out how to program our Mercedes Benz navigation system.  Much superior to my hand held GPS I brought from home.  






The Jules Cesar, is part of the "Small Luxury Hotel of the World".

We stayed at the Cesar more than forty years ago.  







Some of it looked familiar.







Some did not.








Don't remember these colorful tiles in our bathroom floor. 






Bright greenish yellow walls and colorful upholstered pieces in public spaces.   

No wonder, all recently designed by famous French fashion designer Christian Lacroix.





On to the French Riviera and to 

 the Hotel Le Roquebrune Cap Martin, France






Not even the  GPS could find this place clinging to the side of the Mountain and overlooking the Mediterranean, near Monaco and Monte Carlo.





Ah,  the Cinque Terre and Monterosso al Mare.

We stayed at the La Serra Sul Mare 




internet


The La Serra Sul Mare B & B  is located above Monterosso.  It has easy parking and reliable and frequent bus service into town. 

Excellent views, super friendly staff and some of the finest breakfasts in Europe.  







From the center of Monterosso it is only a short and picturesque walk to the train station. 









Once on the train you can visit the other famous Cinque Terre towns.  My favorite town is Vernazza.  Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore are also on the same line.  





Next stop. 

The lovely Etruscan town of Bibbona in Tuscany.


And one of the loveliest Hotels in all of Italy.  

More to come in a day or two. 

Have a great Sunday my dear friends.

Gina 




Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Redeeming myself.




My last post was about a WORM.



I would like to leave you with a more appetizing scene. 

See you soon. 

Stay well, 

Gina 


Monday, September 22, 2014

This is a very short story.




It has to be a very short story because it is a story about a




WORM.




There, he is trying to hide. 






He is the tiny monster that eats my Salpiglossis.






He waits until they are in their full glory and then he eats their roots...
and I can never catch him.  






He does the same to my pansies.  They are perfect one day and then the next day they are dead. 

And I don't even know the little beast's name.  DO YOU? 

Need to see another picture?






He is a tiny worm (see the acorn on the left).  When disturbed he turns into a tiny ball.  






I really have better things to do than take pictures of worms.  

I have to pack my suitcase for Gay Paree.

Au Revoir

my dear friends.

Gina



Saturday, September 20, 2014

He will never make it!




This little upstart of a Lakota squash.



There he is, only 2 days old.









Little further up on the stalk is a blossom wilting and the newborn, one day old squash. 








There are only a few blossoms in my Squash Patch.  All of the energy of the plant is going into making great big and beautiful Lakota Squash.








This fellow is one of the smallest. 









Those out in the patch are way too big.  I couldn't carry even one into the house.  








 Cucumbers "got away from us".  These are too big to eat and so they will go to the pig farmer down the road.  








My Asters showing off. 


As you might recall, I collected these aster seeds more than forty years ago.  

The Ancestors of my asters were growing through a fence by Lake Maggiore,  Italy.    








Little worms were eating my Salpiglossis, a flower I must have in my garden. 
 After removing all of the old soil, so far, the little beasts have not shown up this year...but they will, they always do. 








The "sky blue"  petunias have the most intoxicating scent.









It is easy gardening when your flowerbeds meet you half way. 








They go all the way around three sides of our house.  








"Madame Butterfly" snapdragons add a burst of color. 








Cosmos are taller than I am (which is not saying much). 



And I'm off to Paris.  

Thank you for reading me and thank you also for sharing with me your time and your creativity. 

Gina 




Thursday, September 11, 2014

Peaches and pears are ripe



Must bottle a few for cold winter months. 



If you can find the smaller, rosy cheeked, cling free peaches, those are the peaches you will want to can.   






A recipe of light syrup (6 cups of sugar to 8 cups of water) is perfect for peaches.  Not too sweet so you can still taste the delicate flavor of an Early Alberta Peach. 






Ready to be put away.







Must leave a few to eat au natural.


Have a great remainder of the week my dear friends, 

Gina 






Wednesday, September 3, 2014

My Book has arrived



A book featuring my hand painted Ceramics.




































































































Creating this book was a lot of fun.

It might inspire.

Gina


Book is available here