Category: lulu/dogs/cats

April 25th, 2013 by ptinfrance

Spotted in Annecy.

Posted in lulu/dogs/cats, photos, Rhône-Alpes, signs

October 20th, 2008 by ptinfrance

poor labrador given to sarkozy

Montreal’s French community has given an adorable Labrador puppy named, “Estrie” to Nicolas Sarkozy, following a tradition of canine gift giving to French leaders. Doesn’t she look miserable?!?

tags: , , , , , , ,

Posted in lulu/dogs/cats, photos, politics, weird

May 16th, 2008 by ptinfrance

lucky boy the cat in carcassonne france
“Lucky Boy” (that’s not very French!) is probably one of the most chill cats ever. He’s the cute mascot of the B&B in Carcassonne, Aux Anges Gardiens chez Patricia and Andre where we stayed not long ago. He IS lucky to live where he does and in fact, he is so lucky, he rubbed a little luck on me and I wasn’t at all allergic to him, when normally, it’s another *sneeze!* story.

Posted in Languedoc-Roussillon, lulu/dogs/cats, photos, travel and places

January 5th, 2007 by ptinfrance
rolling labradour
Rolling in Rocamadour

I found this adorable labrador rolling around the pavement in Rocamadour. It’s a little blurry (sorry) but I didn’t want to get too close and disturb him from his blissful sunbath.

[Find more animals at The Ark, Mickey’s Musings & Sweetnicks]

Posted in lulu/dogs/cats, photos, travel and places

December 4th, 2006 by ptinfrance

Continued from last Friday…

cat france lulu
cat france lulu
cat france lulu
cat france lulu
cat france lulu

Posted in lulu/dogs/cats, photos

December 1st, 2006 by ptinfrance
cat window lulu ears
Window Displays in France

More photos in this series to be posted here on Monday

See other animals below:
Friday Ark, Carnival of the Cats, Carnival of the Dogs, WE DB

Posted in lulu/dogs/cats, shopping

November 27th, 2006 by ptinfrance
gourdon france
  photo courtesy of Wikipedia

While it is another village amongst the most beautiful in France, one of our favorite things about it, is how it looks from afar, majestically perched nearly a kilometer above sea level. It’s not too shabby close up either, though.Also called, “The Eagle’s Nest,” Gourdon solidly sits atop a granite mountain with a bird’s eye view of the world, seemingly. Visit this quiet restored medieval village and get an unforgettable regal view of practically all of the Riviera. On a clear day, you’ll be able to see Cap Ferrat, Nice, Cagnes sur-mer (the Hippodrome is easy to spot), Antibes, Juan les Pins, the Lérins Islands, Cannes, Mandelieu-La Napoule, St Tropez, les Maures and l’Estérel.

gourdon france la porte

Only 12 kilometers/about 7 miles (northesast) of Grasse, try to make a day trip from one of the bigger towns nearby where you might be based. It’s a perfect place to pack a picnic and enjoy it near the gardens designed by the renowned Andre le Notre, which are around the Chateau de Gourdon. There’s a Medieval Museum at the Chateau as well as a Museum of Decorative Arts and you can also take a guided tour of the castle.

gourdon france tower

gourdon france lulu

gourdon france

Gourdon doesn’t disappoint the happy tourist with lots of euros in-hand looking for souvenirs. They’ll be able to find lots of: regional candies and sweets, baked goods, glass and earthenware pottery/ceramics, provençal fabrics, perfume, products with typical Provence designs, scented water, soaps, dolls, paintings, regional foods.

Posted in lulu/dogs/cats, travel and places

November 20th, 2006 by ptinfrance
terrasson france

You might find yourself passing by Terrasson in Dordogne saying, “Wow, what a pretty town,” then driving right through it without stopping, but don’t do that. If you can stop and visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Jardins de l’Imaginaire / Gardens of the Imagination, you will not regret it.

About the Jardins de l’Imaginaire in Terrasson
Created in 1996 by landscape gardeners Katryn Gustafson and Philippe Marchand, the “jardins de l’Imaginaire” at Terrasson-la-Villedieu, a little town in the Dordogne, cover nearly six hectares of hillside. Powerful and simple at the same time, the garden invites you on a sensual tour in which the perspective, the plants and the ubiquitous presence of water highlight the site’s natural qualities. Finally, we might mention the town park of Issoudun (Indre), created by Michel Desvignes and Christine Dalnoky, and, above all, Erik Borja’s extraordinary Zen garden at Beaumont-Monteux, in the Drôme. This poet-gardener has punctuated a sea of swaying boxtrees with basalt columns which lead in successive waves down to a lake surrounded by Mediterranean species. An absolute marvel. [source: Ministere des affaires etrangeres]

jardins de l'imaginare

The Gardens of the Imagination overlook the Vézère valley. It is a modern interpretation of a classic form, the terrace garden, but with sculptured curves. Symbollically, there are ‘fragments of the stories of gardens': a Sacred Wood (sacro bosco), a Vegetable Tunnel , A Garden of Elements, a Theatre of Greenery, an Axis of the Winds, a Water Garden and a Rose Garden. The Axis of Winds has 12 metre masts with wind vanes. The Rose garden is a 1000 m2 suspended steel structure (and 2,000 roses). The Water Gardens form a coss with jets of water fed by a cascade. The Sacred Wood has 50 bells suspended from oak trees. The greenhouse was designed by the British architect Ian Ritchie and won the Stephen Lawrence prize in 1999. [source: Terrasson]

Les Jardins de l’Imaginaire
Place du Foirail
24120, Terrasson Lavilledieu France

Visitor Information

April-October – 9:50am to 11:20am, 1:50pm to 5:20pm

May-June-September – 9:50am to 11:50am, 1:50pm to 5:20pm

Closed on Tuesdays

July and August 9:50am to 11:50am, 12:50pm, 1:50pm to 6:10pm

Note: Guided visits only, buy tickets at least 10 minutes before the next guided tour; ticket office: Place du Foirail. Tours start there.

For more information – Jardins de l’Imaginaire
Rue Jean Rouby, Place du Foirail
24120 Terrasson-Lavilledieu France
Phone et
Tél :
Email :

Posted in garden, lulu/dogs/cats, travel and places

November 13th, 2006 by ptinfrance
carcassonne france lulu

I’m surprised there haven’t been more accidents on the closest autoroute to Carcassonne because it is really distracting while driving on it. From this vantage point, the incredibly beautiful crenellated medieval walled town of Carcassonne is the only thing your eyes want to look at…but keep your eyes on the road!

Carcassonne is separated into the fortified Cité de Carcassonne and the more expansive lower city, the ville basse. The folk etymology – involving a châtelaine named Carcas, a ruse ending a siege and the joyous ringing of bells (“Carcas sonne”) – though memorialized in a neo-Gothic sculpture of Mme Carcas on a column near the Narbonne Gate—is of modern invention. The fortress, which was thoroughly restored from 1853 by the theorist and architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc, was added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in 1997. [from Wikipedia]

Related Extras
1. There’s a board game “Carcassonne” by Rio Grande Games
2. The stamp commemorating the fortress of Carcassonne by the French Postal Service.

Posted in lulu/dogs/cats, travel and places

November 6th, 2006 by ptinfrance

cassis france
You can’t get much more postcard perfect with the Mediterranean bijou harbor village of Cassis, which is only about 10 miles southeast of Marseille.
cassis france lighthouse
It’s hard to believe that Cassis was at one time an old fishing town, only seen by the rugged fisherman and modest locals. It was an inevitable progression, though, that it would go from basic, to artsy to chic. Now, artists can’t afford to live here.

Cassis even has its own AOC status (granted in 1936) for its very dry wine that has a bouquet of rosemary and heather. The white wine, made from Bourboulenc, Clairette, Marsanne and Ugni Blanc grapes, actually has a very pale green tint to it. They say in Cassis that this wine received a divine quality when God descended from the heavens and shed a tear on a grape vine and voila, divine AOC wine from Cassis was born. Anyway, the Marseillais say that this is the only drink worthy of washing down bouillabaisse.
cassis france castle boats
I believe the chateau perched above the port is privately owned and is a gite or a hotel. If you’ve stayed there, can you post a comment or email me about it? Thanks.
cassis france sailboats
Cassis a good place to relax, have a provencal meal, people watch and take in the amazing scenery, or do something more seaworthy and take sailing lessons, go windsurfing or catch a ferry to the nearby famous Calanques (which I’ll write about after I sift through my million photos.)
cassis france plage beach
There’s a pretty but teeny tiny sandy beach with a stunning backdrop of cliffs, but if you try to go here during the summer, you’ll be lucky if you find a spot bigger than a stamp.

Posted in lulu/dogs/cats, travel and places, wine

October 31st, 2006 by ptinfrance
Whether or not you’ve seen gobs of photos of the famous aqueduct, Le Pont du Gard in southern France, I think you simply can never see enough. Sooooo…. here are some more! I sort of went a little crazy with all the shots but you’ll be happy to know that I’m only posting a fraction of the total number of photos I took.
pont du gard

We were surprised to learn that the Roman aqueduct, the Pont du Gard, from 19 BC, is the second most visited site outside of Paris; every year two million people come to visit it.

pont du gard france

Having a height of 157 feet, the Pont du Gard is one of the highest of all Roman aqueducts as well as one of the most well preserved in the world.

The Romans were apparently pretty obsessed with their quality of water, so it hardly phased them that the crystal clear spring water near Uzes, was in fact, 48 kilometers away. Roman engineers response: “Pfff! Piece of cake.”

pont du gard france

The resulting aqueduct winds around the landscape through hills and tunnels. Where the water had to cross the gorge just above the Gard River, they built the Pont du Gard.

The aqueduct is three tiers of arches made of golden stone without mortar, and while it is impressive any time of day, it is probably particularly dramatic and stunning around dawn and sunset.

pont du gard france

More info here: Le Pont du Gard

Posted in lulu/dogs/cats, travel and places

October 23rd, 2006 by ptinfrance

la roque gageac france
There’s not a whole lot to do in the southwest village of La Roque Gageac but it is still worth a day trip to see how pretty it is. It is just 9 kilometers (about 6 miles) from Sarlat, which is a perfect base (we think anyway) to explore Dordogne. La Roque Gageac is one of the 149 “Most Beautiful Villages of France” and rightly so.
la roque gageac france lulu
La Roque Gageac just out from the base of an ochre cliff.
la roque gageac france
As a vertical village, exploring it would mean climbing narrow, steep and twisting paths against the sheer cliff and the medieval stone houses squished against rock.
la roque gageac france
If you have acrophobia (a fear of heights), you can still enjoy the view of La Roque Gageac from below or from a boat ride in the Dordogne River – but! The view from above is spectacular.
la roque gageac france
Above La Roque is the 12th century Fort Troglodytique. It’s position and height were ideal to be able to withstand all of the British assaults during the 100 Years War. It’s 5 euros to enter the fort. Hours to visit: April – August 10:30am to 7pm; Sept – November 10am to 6pm; Tel: 05 53 31 61 94.

Posted in lulu/dogs/cats, travel and places

October 9th, 2006 by ptinfrance

Do you know how I’ve been talking about the most beautiful villages of France? There’s actually an officially declared list of the most beautiful villages in France granted by the Association of the Most Beautiful Villages in France. Let’s see how many times I can mention “the most beautiful villages in France.” There are a total of 149 villages from 21 regions et 65 departments with the official title.
collonges la rouge france lulu
It all started in 1981when a book was published, and it was called (yup), “The Most Beautiful Villages in France.” It was a way to recognize the importance of protecting these villages and also to share them with the world. The book was written by Charles Ceyrac, Mayor of Collonges La Rouge (southwest France), where we find Lulu this lovely Monday. Collonges La Rouge is on the list.
collonges la rouge france
As you might know, Rouge means red, and Collonges la Rouge definitely describes itself perfectly. It’s a red rock village exquisitely and pervasively red sharply contrasting against the surrounding verdant pastures, vineyards and orchards.
collonges la rouge france
Everything is red.
red house red car france
All the houses are red. This cute red house has terracotta plant pots lined up in front of it. They have a red car, too.
yellow flowers
Normally unnoticed and blended into the scenery, here these yellow flowers really stand out.
red trees
Even the trees are red!
Lulu Lundi* features Lulu our Boston Terrier, somewhere in France every Monday.

Posted in lulu/dogs/cats, travel and places

October 2nd, 2006 by ptinfrance
beynac france

Considered one of the most beautiful villages in Southwest France (yes, another one!), Beynac (pronounced BAY nak) with its château fort (castle fortress) from the 11th century, was even more so, with Lulu embellishing this medieval castle door. (We recently learned that by putting the leash handle on her back, Lulu stays fairly still. Good for her photo op!)

castle chateau beynac

Doesn’t this photo above merit a quirky caption? (I was too lazy to think of one.)

medieval stables beynac france

The medieval stables had a Georgia O’Keeffe motif. (that rhymes!)
view beynac france dordogne valley

One of the best things about Beynac is the view from Beynac. (the Dordogne River and Valley)

beynac france sign dogs

We appreciated this sign that said not to leave dogs in cars (for their safety) and that dogs were allowed on the premises.

Some Trivia: Beynac was one of the setting locations for the film, Chocolat with Juliette Binoche and Johnny Depp.
Lulu Lundi* features Lulu our Boston Terrier, somewhere in France every Monday.

Posted in lulu/dogs/cats, travel and places

September 25th, 2006 by ptinfrance

sarlat france lulu

Next to Paris, surprisingly, the Perigord probably has the richest heritage of historical monuments in France. The notable places to visit are somewhat spread apart, and if you’re only in the area for a week, like us, you have to choose your base carefully and organize your days as best as possible.

sarlat la caneda france

One of the ideal spots to choose as a base when exploring this area, in my opinion, is the medieval village of Sarlat. If you stay here, you most certainly will not regret it. You will not only be close to so many of the most beautiful villages in France, you will be staying in one as well. Also nearby are the most famous prehistoric sites (Lascaux, Les Eyzies, Fond de Gaume), 1500 chateaux, caves and more. We like to choose a base that we can call “home” and that we’re always happy to return to. I loved Sarlat, and loved having used it as home away from home.

sarlat france painter
I tried not to disturb this artist too much with my camera…

A little more than 40 years ago, Sarlat was a simple, quiet, unnoticed little hamlet town that resembled many of the other villages in the area. In 1962, the writer and then Minister of Culture, Andre Malraux, took notice of Sarlat, fell in love with its simplicity, lack of modernization and architectural unity and decided to take it under his wings to begin a gargantuan restoration project.

sarlat village france

It was a project that would last three years but once finished, there would be lots of oooohs and ahhhhhhs – and later Sarlat was scouted as a filmworthy location for the movies Cyrano de Bergerac and Manon of the Spring.

street musicians sarlat france

The winding streets are lined with foie gras, wine, walnut cake merchants and street musicians as well as several restaurants offering the local specialties of confit de canard, cassoulet and more. If that isn’t your thing, there’s an excellent restaurant called Le Gaulois, that caters to the locals who can’t constantly being eating foie gras, confit de canard and cassoulet.le gaulois The great thing about Le Gaulois is the atmosphere and how it feels like a restaurant not for tourists. I liked how the menu was written in chalk on mini chalkboards that many school children in France used to have in grade school. Two nights ago we had dinner there with friends who drove in from Paris and with the owners of where we stayed (which I’ll write about later) and ordered the Raclette (melted Raclette cheese, potatoes, jambon cru) and something called l’Assiette de loup, which was a melted blend of cheeses served with a small salad, potatoes, jambon cru, which was actually prochiutto from Parma, Italy. Everything was delicious including dessert and it was hard to stop eating when we were full.

sarlat at night france

We all needed to stroll around the wonderfully lit village afterward to walk it off.

Tags: hotels in dordogne

Posted in food and drinks, lulu/dogs/cats, travel and places, tv and movies

September 22nd, 2006 by ptinfrance

On our way to Sarlat and as we were approaching the small village of Terrasson (southwest France in Dordogne, part of the Perigord), we noticed a sign to this walnut mill and decided to check it out.

It’s a very small, independent, family-run producer of walnuts and walnut oil that sells directly to vendors and to the general public. Le Moulin Maneyrol is run by the man in the photo, his wife and his son.

moulin de noix maneyrol

All 13 hectares of walnut trees are on the property as well as the mill/press.

walnut press mill

Their small mill produces 8 liters of oil for each pressing. It is delicious, too. (They have free tastings.) The perk for you when buying products directly from the producers, is the savings, as their prices are usually very reasonable. Later in your travels, you’ll most likely see some of these walnut oil bottles in the boutiques in more touristy villages being sold for at least twice the price (usually much more).

pressed walnuts moulin maneyrol

These wheels above, about 30 centimeters (12 inches) in diameter, are the bi-products of the pressing process, after the final pressing. It is basically super compacted walnuts that no longer ressemble walnuts at all. They were for sale for 1.50 euros. They make excellent bird and squirrel feed.

bobby lulu moulin

Bobby, the mill’s mascot and pet beagle, fell in love with Lulu – even as she was giving him endless hip checks à la hockey player playoffs.

bobby moulin maneyrol

Bobby, the beautiful beagle kindly posing for his photo.

Le Moulin de Maneyrol (offers mill demonstrations by appointment)
RN89- Maneyrol
24120 Pazayac
Tel: 05 53 50 06 34

* * * * *
[More Dogs here: Friday Ark and Mickey’s Musings and WE Dog Blogging]

Posted in food and drinks, lulu/dogs/cats, travel and places

September 20th, 2006 by ptinfrance

Remember this dog bar in France? I found another one!

toutou bar dogbar france

Wait, look closer:

dog bar france

A slight improvement from the last one. I can’t wait to see the next.

Posted in lulu/dogs/cats

September 18th, 2006 by ptinfrance
roussillon france lulu

If ever you mention Roussillon to someone who knows France, they will likely say that it is one of the most beautiful villages in France. They would be correctomundo. Its striking beauty may come very unexpectedly if you’ve been exploring the surrounding area of Luberon, where normally you’re surrounded by white stone, like what you’d find in Gordes. Rousillon is very different.

trees cliffs roussillon france

Because Roussillon is in the very center of one of the biggest ochre deposits in the world, the first thing you’ll notice while approaching it would be the wonderful view of the ochre cliffs ranging in color from pale yellow to orange, wild red and brown. Coupled with the earthy tones from the mountains, the light, the lush green pine trees all around and the bright blue Provençal sky can often create an amazing combination of new colors of pink, purple and infinite shades of red.

clock tower roussillon france

For this very inspiring reason, Roussillon has attracted many artists and writers. Also, since there are several quarries and a pigment factory (for paint), painters come to stock up on their warm and beautiful natural earth pigments. (This is where Chloe, from Apres la Sieste got her pigments for her wall paint.)

streets roussillon lulu

Roussillon cannot help but put you in a good mood while wandering the winding, vibrant streets. Every door, window shudder, window shade, and wall is tinted with the most warm shades of color the earth has ever created.

houses roussillon
See the lining of cherries just under the roof? (click to enlarge)
cliffs roussillon france

Be sure to visit the Sentier des ocres, which is a natural park just beside the village of Roussillon. Take a walking tour of the park through the wide, dusty ochre deposit between magnificent wind-sculpted cliffs. The walk should take less than an hour. (Remember: this is not a good day to wear white shoes or white clothes.) Find the entrance to the park on the small hill facing the village, next to a cemetery.

Sentiers des ochres
Hours: 9am-7:30pm (July & August); 10am-5:30pm (Mar-Nov) – 2 euros admission
Note: From November to March, entrance is free. Closed on rainy days.

Tourist Office
Place de la Poste
Tel: 04 90 05 60 25
Hours: 9:30am to Noon, 1:30pm – 6:30pm Monday to Saturday and Sunday from 2pm to 6:30pm
Lulu Lundi* features Lulu, our Boston Terrier, somewhere in France every Monday.

Posted in lulu/dogs/cats, travel and places

September 8th, 2006 by ptinfrance
boston terrier france

I love when dogs smile. Ok. If you don’t think that’s cute above, we can’t be friends.

We went to the open market in Autun this morning. A woman saw Lulu and said, “Oh yes, that’s a Boston,” which surprised us because 99% of the people we meet think Lulu is a French Bulldog. So we chatted and she introduced us to her two Bosties, Popstar and Cheyenne.

popstar cheyenne bosties

Though the breeder was French, she sort of reminded me of some people I’ve met in L.A. (and in the entertainment industry) because she began to namedrop. She said she sold a beautiful and unusual, mostly white (with a little patch of black) Boston to Maxime Le Forestier (He’s a famous semi-old timer singer in France) and she sold another dog to Jean Yanne, who I didn’t know. (I had to look him up. He was a comedian and actor.)

She also mentioned that she, in fact, lived in L.A. for a while.

[Friday Ark and Sweetnicks and Carnival of the Dogs]

Posted in daily life, lulu/dogs/cats

September 4th, 2006 by ptinfrance
abbaye de senanque

L’Abbaye Notre-Dame-de-Sénanque in Provence is home to an active Cistercian community that is known for its 12th century monastery and surrounding lush rolling fields of lavender. The Senaque Abbey was occupied by monks of the Cisterian order in 1148 and they thrived for many centuries thereafter. In 1544, the abbey was targeted by revolting Vaudois heretics when the Religious Wars erupted, and during this time, the monks were hanged and much of the abbey was destroyed. The abbey struggled to recover over the next three centuries until the Revolution.

L'Abbaye de Sénanque provence

In 1986 the abbay was again restored and repopulated and is an active monastery. Today, you can take a guided tour of the abbey or even attend their masses open to the public. Also available at the abbey to purchase are lavender products (essential oil of pure lavender, a balm made with eucalyptus, thyme, rosemary, sage and lavender), honey and an herbal liqueur made by the monks called Sénacole.

If you’re feeling particularly adventurous in a calm, silent, inner spiritual kind of way, you can actually spend a day living like a monk with the monks for 28 euros. I imagine that’s a day full of praying and quiet monk stuff. (Make requests by emailing:

The abbey is only 4 kilometers from the village of Gordes, so be sure to make a stopover if you’re nearby.

L’Abbaye de Sénanque (Senanque Abbey)
84220 Gordes, France
04 90 72 05 72
Hours: 10am-Noon, 2-6pm -Mon – Sat; 2-6pm Sundays (March to October); Mon-Fri. 2-5pm; Sat/Sun 2-6pm (November to February)
Lulu Lundi* features Lulu, our Boston Terrier, somewhere in France every Monday.

Posted in lulu/dogs/cats, travel and places

September 3rd, 2006 by ptinfrance

dogs in france
More doggy goodness in France for Weekend Dog Blogging. It’s hard to see it in the photo but this dog is soaking wet after having taken a swim in the nearby fountain. I found it thoughtful of him to wait at the door outside this bar.

[See more dogs chez Sweetnicks]

Posted in daily life, lulu/dogs/cats

August 28th, 2006 by ptinfrance

avignon france lulu
Overlooking the Rhône River, Avignon, with its 14th-century ramparts, enloses a labyrinth of town squares, winding, cobblestone alleys, and narrow streets, and sits upon the beautiful white, rocky outcrop, le Rocher des Doms.

space invaders avignon palace
Palais des papes, invaded in Avignon

The golden Gothic palace, le Palais des papes (the Palace of Popes) in Avignon, was known as “the biggest and strongest house in the world” during its glory days some several hundred centuries ago. In fact, over 700 years ago, Clement V, the then homesick French Pontiff shifted the papacy to Avignon due to political dissent in Italy. Stunned Romans called the move the “Second Babylonian Captivity of the Church” and during this time, seven popes expanded Avignon’s palace to rival the magnitude of their previous home, making Avignon a “Rome away from Rome.” avignon lulu

In 1377 the papacy was returned to Rome but only for a very short period, then went right back to Avignon soon after. Avignon remained papal territory until the Revolution. Though the palace was looted during the Revolution, the interior is still remarkable and a worth a visit. Be sure to get the most incredible, detailed and comprehensive audio guide of the palace (available in 7 languages) included with the admission ticket. Admission is 7.50 euros (Nov 1 – March 14) and 9.50 euros (March 15 to Oct 31).

Palais des Papes

RMG – 6, rue Pente Rapide
Charles Ansidei
Tel : +33 (0)4 90 27 50 00
Website: Information for the Palais and Bridge

Le Pont St-Bénezet
pont st benezet lulu avignon

Le Pont St-Bénezet, also known as The Pont d’Avignon (The Avignon Bridge), is a 12th century bridge with only 4 of the original 22 arches intact. The chapel Saint Nicolas (dedicated to the patron saint of mariners), is housed on the second arch. The bridge was immortalized in a famous French nursery rhyme called “Sur le pont d’Avignon” and all French children know the song and the bridge. [More on the History of the Pont St. Bénezet]

Related Events in Avignon: Festival d’Avignon
Lulu Lundi* features Lulu, our Boston Terrier, somewhere in France every Monday.

Posted in history, lulu/dogs/cats, tv and movies

August 21st, 2006 by ptinfrance

I don’t think Lulu would mind very much that Lulu Lundi was pre-empted this week. Afterall, the theme is still a Boston Terrier in France.

This is the absolutely most adorable (next to Lulu) Boston Terrier, Bosco. He is sooooo cute!! I love the dot on his head. Unlike Lulu, Bosco was born in France and now lives in Southwest France with his dad, Greg.

You can find Bosco on the site called, Orr d’oeuvres, which is an interesting personal blog by a retired US diplomat living in France. Read about life in France, thoughts, experiences, food and adventures with the community of Lauzerte.

It’s always fun to see what other expats are doing in France…

Visit Bosco and Greg here: Orr d’oeuvres

Posted in lulu/dogs/cats, people, websites

August 15th, 2006 by ptinfrance

lulu gordes france
Click on photo to zoom out

So many villlages in France claim they are amongst the most beautiful villages, but Gordes is really and truly one of them. The perched village is known as “The Acropolis of Provence” with its fortified Chateau de Gordes’ crenelated bastions and round towers anchoring the structure’s four corners. The chateau and village date back to the 12th century and its narrow, winding cobblestone streets circle a rocky bluff above the Imergue Valley.
gordes france
Gordes was once in a state of abandonment by the 20th century but was revived by the Cubist painter André Lhote who lived in Gordes, from 1939-1948. Also, famous artists like Marc Chagall began visiting Gordes and spending his summers here and the Hungarian-born French painter Victor Vasarély, one of the founders of Op-art, became its most famous full-time resident. Victor Vasarély has a Didactic Museum here as an extention to the Vasarély Foundation in Aix-en-Provence. Gordes is now a popular summer residence for artists and Parisian media and film people.

Office de Tourisme – Tourist Office in Gordes

Tel: 04 90 72 02 75
Lulu Lundi* features Lulu, our Boston Terrier, somewhere in France every Monday.

Posted in lulu/dogs/cats, travel and places

August 7th, 2006 by ptinfrance

moulin a olives
Lulu is pretending to be an olive today and luckily this ancient Moulin à Olives (olive press or mill – for olive oil) isn’t functional. No Lulu oil?! We went to a tiny mill museum hoping that some of the old presses were working, but they were just for display. Besides, they don’t press olives in June (when we were there) and they NEVER press olive black dogs.

There are some very old olive mills in Provence and in the south of France. Some are open to the public and I’ll have to do some research about them and write a longer post with more information. For now, I don’t know much about them at all. (I know, I’m not very helpful. Sorry.)

Note: If you would like to see an olive mill/press in action in France, they do this around October/November, which is when I’ll try to get back down south to find some working mills. I’d really like to find some of the old ones, so if anyone knows of any, would you please send me an email or post a comment here? Thank you!

Lulu Lundi* features our Boston Terrier, Lulu somewhere in France every Monday.

Posted in food and drinks, lulu/dogs/cats

July 31st, 2006 by ptinfrance

lulu yawn
In French, the word potager means kitchen garden. I love how the whole idea “vegetable/herb/fruit garden” can be neatly consolidated into just one word, a perfectly wrapped delicious package. Like a lot of our French neighbors, we too, have a potager, but I’d refer to it as an UnFrench potager, and it certainly isn’t as neat as the word nor as tidy as our neighbors’ gardens. You see, our French neighbors’ potagers, my French inlaws’ potagers and all the French potagers I’ve seen thus far, have been perfectly manicured and lined up so precisely you could take a ruler and see that each plant is the exact distance to the next. Absolute straight lines. Right angles. Rows and rows of potatoes, leeks, onions, carrots, radishes etc. – are no less than impeccable. I could swear they used mathematical algorhythms and numerical equations to achieve perfect symmetry. By the way, French potagers always have gobs and gobs of potatoes and leeks.
Even if I were the world’s most brilliant mathematician gardener, which I’m not (and I’m just a newbie gardener at that), a perfectly lined up garden simply isn’t my style. Ours is very asymmetrical and unpredictable. Hardly anything is lined up and instead I’ve planted things along borders, in containers, in a triangular pattern, but mostly just randomly. That’s probably not the best method to gardening, but that is how it is for me. And everything has survived and things seem to be alright. You can see above how the pumpkin has grown right next to some tomatoes and there are 5 different kinds of tomatoes planted here and there. That is probably bad to do, too, in the garden world but whatever. Sidebar: Our winter was so long and cold and ran into spring, the tomatoes in this area are still not ripe. (except the cherry varieties).
Our one and only bellpepper is pretty cool (I think, anyway!) though it got splattered with mud after a hard downpour. It looks like we are only going to get just one this summer but I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

Behind Lulu in the photo at the top, there is a growing Japanese cucumber plant. Love those! Lulu isn’t very interested in them, in fact, one could say they bore her to tears, but she can always go for the sweet cherry tomatoes (we are growing 2 different kinds of cherry tomatoes). We might not get any of those if she devours them all. That’s fine with us. It’s a good source of vitamin C for her.
cherry tomatoes
Lastly (for this post, anyway) to add a little spice to the unFrench potager chez nous here’s our cute and wonderful chili pepper plant. There’s just one in the photo but it looks like more are on their way. Yay!
We have other veggies and lots of herbs that I’ll try to post in the near future – as a little reprieve from heavy environmental posts, issues related to disabilities awareness and other serious subjects I’ve been known to blog about! 😉
Lulu Lundi* features Lulu, our Boston Terrier, somewhere in France every Monday.

Posted in daily life, language, lulu/dogs/cats, nature

July 24th, 2006 by ptinfrance

cascade du sautadet lulu
Slightly off the beaten path in the southern department of France called Le Gard (in the region, Languedoc-Roussillon), there is a place called “La Cascade du Sautadet,” a breathtaking result of the artistic power of nature.
cascades sautadet
La Cascade du Sautadet is a large outcropping of limestone that happens to be in the direct path of a river, La Cèze. Over the years, the limestone has gradually eroded in a most unusual way due to the flow of the river, strength of the mistral winds and the abundance of rocks that were thrown around in whirlpools of water. This made large cavities in the stone, and the French call them Marmites géantes (giant pots). There are surprisingly very few falls here. cascade du sautadet
Most of the falls are to one side of the grouped outcropping and the water is relatively shallow on this side. The area is a great place to go hiking (wear shoes with good ankle support) and swimming. There are several swimming holes, the largest being an area on the other side, opposite the falls.
swimming cascade sautadet
You can also swim along the river in the small gorges, though this is not recommended especially during the months where the water level is high and the winds are strong. Summertime is probably the best time to go, as the water levels are relatively low and the winds are weak. The water was very calm, but is fairly cold! Actually, I read somewhere online that swimming at Cascade du Sautadet was strictly forbidden because it is too dangerous, but we didn’t see any signs at the site indicating this.
cascade du sautadet
If you like platform diving, you can do that here as well but at your own risk. There are tiny platforms located along the top of the gorges where the water is deep enough for divers. Again, we saw no signs discouraging this, and we saw several people diving at various spots.
dive cascade sautadet
For more information contact the nearest tourism office, which is in Bagnols sur Cèze:

Office de tourisme
Website: Office de tourisme, Bagnols sur Cèze
Bagnols sur Cèze
Espace Saint Gilles
tél: 04 66 89 54 61
Lulu Lundi* features our Boston Terrier, Lulu somewhere in France every Monday.

Posted in lulu/dogs/cats, nature, photos, travel and places

July 21st, 2006 by ptinfrance

pug in provence
Pugs are among my favorite dog breeds and I notice them everywhere. I liked how the paws on this one were spread out but then realized why they were like that: he was way too fat, which is so very, very bad for dogs especially short nose breeds, plus his nails were in desperate need of a trim. Please don’t overfeed your dogs no matter how piggish they are and no matter how pathetic they look while begging for food. Don’t fall for that game. Obesity will shorten the life of your dog.

Back to this post. At an outdoor market in Provence, where this adorable fat pug was spread out, we noticed souvenir linens, towels and napkins with the word “Provence” on them. Nice enough stuff and very expensive.

However, much like the origins of the Pug, these were also not originally from France but, in fact, from…China.
Does it matter? Probably not. I don’t know – To some, I’d imagine. People buy little Eiffel Tower key chains all the time, oblivious and indifferent that they were made in China. But if I buy something in France like a FRENCH SOUVENIR for someone, I’d really appreciate it if it were made in France. It’s just not possible sometimes, I do realize.

Just some travel irony for a scorching hot Friday. Stay cool, everyone.

[Related: More French Things Made in China: Truffles and Gifts from France – Soccer Jerseys]

[Visit Friday Ark]

Posted in lulu/dogs/cats, products, shopping, weird

July 17th, 2006 by ptinfrance

saint remy de provence
Saint Rémy de Provence, which is about 20 kilometers (12 miles) south of Avignon, hosts a street market, “Le Marché Provençal” every Wednesday and it is quite well-known all over France. You’ll find all kinds of items in shades of yellow, orange, green and red from baskets, pottery and linens to edibles like regional olives, oils, sun-dried tomatoes, tapenades and much more.

beltsIt’s worth a peek especially on a Wednesday, and a lot of fun with all the street performers and live bands outside – but don’t expect to find any deals at the actual Marché here. (unless, of course, you’re very, very good at haggling.)

For wine connoisseurs, Saint Rémy de Provence is included in the region of the appellation, Coteaux Baux-de-Provence wines. You’ll find one independent vignoble in St. Remy de Provence: Domaine Hauvette, chemin du Trou-des-Boeufs, La haute Galine, 13210 St. Remy de Provence, Tel: 04.90 92 03 90 (wine tastings made by appointment only)

saintremymarcheEvery summer in July, there’s a Wine Festival, and in August they have a “Feria Provençale,” a festival with fireworks and other activities. This year it’s from August 12 to 15. A bull run and bullfight is scheduled for July 19 in the town and at the Arènes Chomel Coinon (Bullfight starts at 10pm). The Provencal bull-fights apparently do not involve killing the bull. There’s a bigger Provencal festival that runs for six days (September 23rd to the 28th) celebrating the Provencal tradition with dancing, traditional costumes and bullfights.

This adorable Gallo-Roman village of Saint Rémy de Provence strangely has attracted famous eccentrics. It all started with Nostradamus; he was born in Saint Remy de Provence in 1503. Over three-hundred years later, Vincent Van Gogh voluntarily admitted himself to the Saint Paul Asylum in Saint Remy de Provence, where he painted two of his most famed works: Starry Night and Self-Portrait.

The little village is bursting with activity that I wasn’t able to cover, but please explore their site or their Tourism office for more information.

Website: Saint Remy de Provence

Tourism Office: Place Jean Jaurès, 13210 Saint-Rémy de Provence France
Lulu Lundi* features our Boston Terrier, Lulu somewhere in France every Monday.

Posted in lulu/dogs/cats, people, shopping, travel and places

July 14th, 2006 by ptinfrance

french flag bastille day lulu

[friday ark and weekend dog blogging]

Posted in events, history, lulu/dogs/cats