Take one Canadian girl in les Alpes.
Add the ups & downs of living in France.
Cover with melted cheese...
Et voilà !

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Soup season

We're all about the soup around here.

A while back, we bought this soup-tastic (!) cookbook, 
after having thumbed through a copy at a friend's house.

image via here
What's not to love about this cookbook?

Not only does it feature a monk cooking up a storm,
it has simple, delicious recipes,
& cute quotes about soup inside, 
like this French proverb:

Eat soup first and eat it last, 
and live till a hundred years be past.

My favourite thing about this cookbook, however,
is the fact it is organized according to months.
It's divided into twelve chapters
& each month features ten soups or so, with seasonally-appropriate veggies.
This thrills me to no end.  (Why, yes, I am a Virgo... why do you ask?)

FQ likes to tease me by threatening to make an "April" soup when it's only January.
or a "December" recipe in mid-March.  He's crazy like that.

Now that it's getting darker a bit earlier & there's a definite chill to the evenings,
it seemed like the time was right to get our soup on.

Plus I start my new job on Monday
& having soup in the freezer to heat up for a quick dinner
(avec une baguette et un peu de fromage, bien sûr)
is always a good plan.

So last night FQ made two huge pots of soupe,
potato - leek - carrot
cream of celery.

All that chopping & cooking took place while I was in the other room
teaching my Skype student & then talking to my parents.

So I guess going back to work isn't so bad
when you've got dinner all sorted out in advance
& a sweet soup-making husband to come home to.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Dear oh dear...

Dear Weather,
Could you please be less fantastically gorgeous?  
I need to do all sorts of lesson-planning for my new job that starts next Monday, 
but you make it nearly impossible to hit the books.  
All I want to do is go for bike rides in the sunshine.  

Dear Lac d'Annecy,
Do you think it would be at all possible for you to be not quite so scenic? 
 If your water wasn't so blue, your ripples were less soothing 
& the mountains surrounding you not so beautiful, 
it would be easier to tear myself away from you 
& go back to the apartment to get some work done.

Dear "International Express" Textbooks,
Please stop looking at me like that.
I'll open you tomorrow.
I promise.


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

As French as it gets...

I went out on my bike to do a few errands this afternoon & came home looking like this:

How's that for a cliché?

Unfortunately I was not wearing a beret or a striped black & white shirt.
Next time!
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Monday, September 27, 2010

Mullet Monday

OK, so I'm not really going to feature a Frenchie mullet photo on this blog every Monday, 
but these two hairstyles 
(note:  I use the world "style" ironically here)
were just too good to pass up. 

I spotted them at the bar of a little café we stopped in at on Sunday.

Oh cell phone camera!  You're so handy for spying on the locals, but you give me such horribly grainy results!
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And, if you were wondering, 
yes, they are both men, 
yes, that's a glass of beer on the counter 
& yes, it was well before noon. Wowee!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Who are you calling a doormat?

Yesterday was beautiful. (Sunny & warm.)
Today is not. (Cold & drizzly.)
Guess that's autumn for you!

I don't mind the rain, though.
I quite like it.

It also gave me a good excuse to go & buy this fabulous doormat.
I'd had my eye on it for a while.
Speaking of fabulous, how much do you love the tiles in our entryway?
Très retro, n'est-ce pas?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

C'est l'automne!

Hey, happy first day of autumn!

Fall is my favourite season.  
What's not to love about crunching through leaves, wearing cardigans, 
breathing in the crisp air, being just the right amount of chilly
& making soup?  

This will be my first fall in Annecy.  I have a feeling that autumn + Annecy will = fabulous.

The leaves are just starting to change.
Here are a few photos I took of the Canal du Vassé & the Pont des Amours this afternoon.  
These are two of my favourite spots in town (so far...)

Late-afternoon sunshine.
Could this photo even be any more autumnal?

That's the famous "Pont des Amours" in the background.
Bridge + lake + mountain love.

Looking back at the canal from the bridge.  Swoon!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Annecy has a bike rental service called Vélonecy.
(The name comes from "vélo" + "Annecy", but you've probably figured that out already,
because you're clever like that!) 

I had been wanting to try it out ever since we arrived in town.   

Today was the day!   

So off I went to the train station where the bike rental office is located, 
armed with several pieces of mail to prove that I am a local resident. 
(The rental rates are very reasonable if you live or study in Annecy, 
or if you have a train ticket to or from the Gare d'Annecy.)
Faux ami alert!  "Location" means "rental" in French.
Aren't they cute?  I love the colour.  And the baskets.
Once the correct photocopies were provided,
the necessary forms were filled out,
& the cheque was written,
I was on my merry way.  
I headed out of the train station, through the old town, 
& straight to the bike path that runs along the lake.  

It's divided into two sections, one for walkers & one for those of us à vélo.  
Just like the Seawall in Vancouver!

"Shared space"... isn't that nice?

I set out, feeling a bit wobbly.  It had been ages since I'd been on a two-wheeler.  

But it really is true that you never forget how to ride a bike, isn't it?  
I was zipping along like Lance Armstrong (or his much slower distant cousin) in no time.

My bike & I stopped for a breather and admired the view of the lake & the mountains.

We spent a few minutes watching these guys fishing:
Anything biting today, fellas?

We rode along again for a while until we reached the beach at Sévrier, 
a little town just down the lake from Annecy.  

FQ & I had been here once, back in July & it was madness.  So crowded.  
Today, however, I didn't have to fight anybody off to get a prime seat under this chestnut tree.

My view looked something like this.  Pas mal, non?

I sat a spell, read some of the paper, wrote a letter to a faraway friend & daydreamed.  
It was lovely.

Then I went hunting for a wish rock & found this perfect specimen:

I wished that bike helmets weren't so dorky-looking.

Looks like it didn't work.

Oh well.  It was a great afternoon out anyway!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Cheers! Santé! ¡Salud!

Our friends Pascal & Iria live in London.  He's French & she's Spanish.
They just got engaged last month while on vacation in Italy.
(Are you still with me?  Good!)
So today they came to Annecy to visit us. 
We opened a bottle of champagne to celebrate their engagement. 
Aren't they cute?
Besides drinking bubbly on our balcony, what else did we do?  

Earlier in the day, we had lunch in the old town, followed by ice cream for dessert.

We went for a walk by the lake.
Then it was time for tea at the Café des Arts. 
And a bisou on "Lover's Bridge", of course!
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Congratulations Iria & Pascal!
So excited to celebrate your wedding with you next year!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Two years ago today...

We made it official...
Took a zillion photos of us in our fancy clothes...
Smooched a lot...
And drank champagne!
All photos taken on September 20, 2008 in Gap, France.
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Friday, September 17, 2010

Meanwhile, back at Stanford University...

My brainy brother and my beautiful (& brainy) sister-in-law.
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This is a shout-out to my brother David, who successfully defended his thesis at Stanford University yesterday. After five years of blood, sweat, and tears (ok, and quite a lot of burritos, beer, and football), my little brother is now a PhD. Wow! I always knew he was no slacker, but this is crazy!

Speaking of crazy, the graduation ceremony/silly hat party was back in June, before his defense even took place. Apparently they didn't actually put a diploma into that fancy folder he's holding in the photo.  So - if the folks at the Stanford University Diploma Department are reading this - fire up the printer!

Congratulations, Dave! I'm so proud!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Back in business (well, maybe one of these days...)

This (really crummy) photo was taken with the camera on my cell phone, at night to boot.
If you keep reading my blog, I'll post much better pictures, I promise!
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I've been living in France for a couple of years now, but there are still plenty of little differences that make me shake my head on a near-daily basis. Business opening times, for example. There's no 24/7, no noon to midnight... heck, there's no 7-11! But there is an abundance of seemingly arbitrary &/or unreliable opening hours that make it impossible to remember when I can actually go pick up my dry-cleaning or buy stamps at the P.O.

I spotted this sign in a restaurant window the other night & I couldn't help but laugh. It says, "Opening, September 14th or 15th or 16th". I guess the owners of the restaurant were off doing something fun & didn't want to have to rush back and open up shop before they were good & ready!

The vagueness of this sign made me think about how I've been wanting to fire up this blog for a while now. I too had been feeling non-committal and was waiting for just the right time to (re)start blogging. But you know what they say about "no time like the present?" Well, they're probably right.  

So here goes!  
Stay tuned for more about my continuing adventures in France. 
You know, one of these days...
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