Finally the Pictures from our last blog! Beginning with our drive to Lake Iseo and Lake Garda.
Just another round-a-bout decoration! RIVA made in Italy.
This is just on one of the winding curvy roads on our way to Lake Iseo. Riva di Solto.
This is in Lovere. Such a beautiful drive.
Toscolano-Maderno from the road.
This is in the little town of Toscolano – Maderno facing the lake.
View of the pool and Lake Garda from Gargnano with all the “haze” that surrounds this part of the area.
We finally found our hotel in Gargnano, on Lake Garda, after quite awhile without GPS working. It was at the top of a hill, actually 9.2 km up the hill.
Took this picture while I was driving out of Gargnano, just such pretty scenery, couldn’t resist.
This is on our way back to Venice, we went through a lot of these, this one is short, but some were miles long.
Now we are in Venice!
Not a lot of traffic today on the Grand Canal!
Well, you can sure tell that George is gone!! This is the view from our balcony. We found out that CNN had our room while George was in town and they broadcasted from it! Cool!
Nice day for a gondola ride!
Bridge of Sighs.
Love these “roads” here in Venice!
And back to Lake Como!
We stayed here in Tremezzo, on Lake Como.
Here’s Norm!! We’re wondering why our car gets to be parked right here at the entrance, it’s not a Ferrari or a Lamborghini !!!!
Church along the coast of Lake Como.
What they used for the James Bond Movie ” Casino Royale”!
Just another lovely home that you can rent…. probably for a million gazillion dollars!!!
This hotel is for sale… Norm’s been pondering this venture.
Missoni ( designer ) home.
First sighting of George’s home, on the left, behind the BIG trees. You can’t see, but there are two other buildings (large homes) behind the house which is also on his compound. One is a studio.
He does have a lot of “lake frontage and property”.
This is his guest house, at the end of the garden area.
This was just a beautiful place along the waterfront!
We were told that kids jump off the top of this yellow home, there is a terrace up there and they jump directly into the lake! Must be crazy-ass Italians!!
Bellagio, a very quaint village on Lake Como.
This home belongs to the Guinness, still the best selling beer in Ireland.
Rockefeller’s house is the one in the trees overlooking Bellagio.
Nice corner lot we loved!!
And the Heinz Palace. This is as close as we could get, the people here in Italy are very respectful of Mrs. Heinz.
Couldn’t get the huge mountain behind this lovely home in the picture, but I think you get the point.
Could this be a postcard?
Now we are on our way to Switzerland.
Now we’re back on the road again to Switzerland. Think this is what they call falling rock? Or one half of a tunnel?
I think we just crossed into Switzerland!
And now, the real beauty begins. This is also taken while driving.
And the curvy, winding roads begin, uphill here.
Imagine if you had this view every day.
Now this is one of my favorite pictures! Lake Sils, Switzerland.
St. Moritz, another beautiful place.
They do have modern architecture in St. Moritz.
View from the roof of our hotel in St. Moritz.
View of the Lake of St. Moritz.
Here are some views of the countryside.
These views are everywhere, Mamorera Lake, Switzerland.
I’ve got to stop taking pictures while driving, but I just couldn’t stop myself!
We could not believe the beauty here.
This is the close up….
This is the countryside photo.
So.. while Norm is out of the car, chasing these guys along the road for a picture of the cowbell, this guy comes up to my car window and says hello! I got the good picture!! LOL !
Appenzell, Switzerland – known for their “Painted Houses”.
We were amazed at how the gravesites were all in a perfect row and decorated!
Another view of Appenzell.
Train station in Appenzell.
This countryside just goes on forever! Such beauty.
WAIT!!!! We have a little roadblock ahead of us!
Then, on to Lucerne!
The bridge in Lucerne. Oldest wooden bridge in Europe. Second most photographed sight in Switzerland.
Little guy in Lucerne.
View of Lucerne from the bridge.
YEP!! Heidi is from here!
View of Zermatt Village from our bedroom.
Chandelier in our apartment in Zermatt!
O.K. what do you call this kind of building?
These types of homes are all over the place.
One of the many streets in Zermatt.
Nice use of old shoes!
Sunrise view from our room! Yes, I do get up early, I actually had to show this to Norm.
Nice view from Zermatt of the Matterhorn.
On our way up to the top view!
We’re here! Now lets get off this train and look around!
Beautiful view from the top!
We made it!
Another nice view from the train on the way down!
Close train tracks all the way up and down (when there are two sets)!
Now these people have this view every day! WOW!!
Another postcard in the making!
Hope you enjoyed these!
Here are our pictures from Yann and Peggy’s visit and then our road trip to Italy!
Looks like the kids had a great time in the pool! They could have stayed in it all day!
This is the river in St. Leon sur Vezere…. Tons of people come here to camp along this river, and the English actually swim in it!
This was an adversitement we saw on our way to St. Cyprien’s market day!
St. Christophe’s Rock… Thousands of people lived up here in houses built into the rocks, here is Tinael as we enter the rock village.
This is where they would hang their meat after it was caught! I guess this is the butcher shop. LOL!
Cheyanne and Tinael coming through a Troglodytes doorway! They were small??
He must have been a baaaaddddd Troglodyte!!
This is a medieval kitchen for sure!
One of their cave homes.
This is in the Prehistoric Parc!!! Mary and Angela… bet you wished you would have gone to see this!!
Now they are skinnin’ it???
This is a tee pee they lived in, uhmmm seems just like the ones we see in the U.S.
Apparently, Rock Climbing isn’t a new sport!
Pay no attention to that bush, moving around over there by that tree, it’s just a bush. Nothing to look twice at. Nothing to be alarmed about. This looks like it could be gravy. I smell varmint poontang, and the only good varmint poontang is dead varmint poontang.
A sudden downpour, and yes, the red wine is still great!
Norm keeps trying to steal Tinael’s hat.
Of course, we had to take Tinael an Cheyanne to Sarlat…
Another little harbour along our way to Italy.
Here is our first view as we “START” walking toward the Hotel lobby. LOL!
Game of chess, anyone??
Yeah, so this pool will do.
OK, we can see ourselves eating on this great terrace, along the way to the hotel entrance, still….
Hey Stephanie… This one’s for you!! She must have been a gymnast!
One more bend in the road, and soon….
Finally, the entrance door to the hotel!
OK, so now we have to walk to our room, which is the highest room they have, so that means a long way, and a lot of climbing!
And now we go down just a little bit, only to …….
Go back up again, Uh oh, a fork in the road, guess which one we took? The one going up!
Then through this nice little path…
Past this cool little archway…
And finally we make it to our room! Oh, yeah, we have to climb one more set of stairs!!!
I guess the hike, all that way, was worth it. This is our view from our room! Lovely!
Entrance to the church gardens.
And, when we came out of the church, and turned left, this is what was on the rock wall! It made NO SENSE to us… Does it to any of you???
Our last evening dinner was here, in this quaint little restaurant!
Breakfast on the patio was special!
And then we ended up here, in this quaint little port, “Portofino, Italy”. Very small harbour, but lots going on!
This is the symbol of Portofino…. we’ve searched quite a while, but cannot find out why?
View from the port side.
View from the starboard side.
This view is from the center.
We’re thinking…. will this big yacht fit betweeen these to other ones???
Oh, yeah, it did! Man, I can’t even back up my car straight!
Here’s a job for Norm in retirement!
And now we are off to get settled into our villa in Greve, Italy!!
She’s a beauty, even in the rain!
Swarovski Crystal staircase… only in Paris…
No caption needed, just sayin..
Cafe Fouquet’s… as we are walking inside for a special drink!
Awww, Norm and Angela standing in the middle of the Champs Elysees!!
Rita, Angela, Norm and Mary stopping for a Kodak moment with one of the great Paris monuments in the background!
Mary and Rita.. fun times in Paris!
Arc de Triomphe…
Franc Mayne Winery and Chateau..
Uphill is common in St. Emilion!
Mary and Rita, WOW.. how things don’t ever change with them!!
How nice of Norm to pull up the car for Mary, as we were leaving St. Emilion!
Here we are, getting yet another tasting of a different year!
July 5th, 2014 post…. No Fireworks here…
Dinner the night before we left on our adventure to Biarritz.
Lamb with truffles
And the “After Dessert” !! Who knew??
I’m not sure I can get this into my mouth!!! It’s a really big bite!
Our hotel in Biarritz is the one that looks like a ship jutting out at the beach.
First view of the lighthouse
Lighthouse overlooking Biarritz Beach.
Hotel de Palais built by Napoleon for his wife Eugenie. Now a very expensive hotel on the beach at Biarritz.
Rocky shoreline in Biarritz with St. Eugenie church in background.
St. Eugenie gothic church Biarritz.
The old port in Biarritz, now lined with seafood restaurants.
Craggy archway with Atlantic Ocean underneath in Biarritz.
Statute of the Virgin Mary at the entrance to the harbor at Biarritz.
Outdoor cafe/restaurant in Biarritz in the market area.
Biarritz casino from outdoor cafe on La Grande Plage.
Eglise Alexandre Newsky – Russian Orthoodox Church in Biarritz.
Nice little swim cove in Biarritz.
Happy hour or so….. at the Sofitel in Biarritz! Let’s get this evening started!
Wow! Chateau Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande
Chateau Pichon-Longueville Comtesse de Lalande
Chateau Pichon Baron Longueville Grand Cru Classe en 1855
Chateau Margaux in the Medoc area of Bordeaux. One of five premier grand cru vineyards recognized since 1855.
Cabernet Sauvignon grapes in the Medoc. We were impressed with the quantity of grapes on the vines and the rocky soil in which they grow.
A small little church in the middle of Margaux’s winery.
Entrance way to Chateau Mouton Rothschild
A lot of work was done here for this.
Grapes from Chateau Mouton Rothschild. Don’t look any different to us from the last Chateau… uhm…
What a beautiful site driving up to Chateau Latour
The central “place” in St. Emilion, another wine area of Bordeaux is dotted with outdoor restaurants serving good food and wine.
Monolithic Church of St. Emilion from the 11th century.
Cute store front of one of many wine merchants in St. Emilion willing to trade wine for your money.
View beyond St. Emilion
Bicyclists at their morning briefing in St. Emilion before taking off on their 49.709 mile ride. My partners Craig Helmreich and David Robinson should check this out for future vacation plans.
Another great dinner Rita ordered, at least they cut the head off!!
A photo of the Church of St. Emilion from the town “place”.
Whoah… we took a wrong turn, (not using GPS) and stumbled upon this…
We discovered Chateau Monbazillac. Cool place!
Close up back view!
And look at their back yard view!
I know you can see Bergerac from here! Gorgeous Views!
Up close and personal.
Side building where they store the wine.
And, we see a crucifix on every road, no matter where we are, as you enter or leave a city, in a vineyard, out on an old road that is only one lane, and in cemeteries, as you see here.
Is this solid silver?
Chateau Lafite Rothschild vineyards in the Medoc. Another one of the premier grand cru red wines recognized since 1855.
Again, just driving home and saw this one. Probably privately owned, but it didn’t stop Rita from driving right into the driveway close enough to take this picture!!
Wow!! Lots has happened since we last posted pictures! See all below!
Paris Skyline including Eiffel Tower from the rooftop restaurant of the Holiday Inn St. Germain de Pres.
Notre Dame at night
We think this is what the French do when there is no water in the fountain and sunny skies above!
The Dordogne countryside from the top of Chateau Puymartin.
The hand-laid stone roof of Chateau Puymartin.
The Chateau Milandes, the former home of Josephine Baker.
Chateau Milandes from the front.
Beautiful palm trees at Chateau Milandes.
They had a bird show after our tour, (had NOTHING to do with the castle) but we decided to watch it! Here is an eagle coming towards us! Look out!
Isn’t is amazing how close he is?
Yohan handling this big creature!
Hey Mary (Mary R) …. Is this my Owl????
Or is it this one?
Or is this my Owl???? We yelled his name, “Owl” and he turned around for me to take this picture!
View of another castle nearby Puymartin in the background. They are everywhere!
Norm trying to hold her back, yeah right, that’s not going to work!
Jasmine playing with her new duck friends!
Fresh Paella at the market in Sarlat!
Mother and calf are doing fine! The population of St. Leon-sur-Vezere has just increased by one.
Standing, walking and eating within the first 24 hours!
Norm and Lina in the Le Source Garden.
Le Source ( the restaurant) has a new friend for Jasmine… Meet Anna Sophia!! Yeah, I’d say she has a princess name too!
The most beautiful garden setting for our dinner!
At our last celebratory dinner with Lina, Jasmine, Isabel and Yoran!
Whitefish dinner topped with crayfish! AMAZING!!!
Free Range Pork dinner!
Here’s how you say it Rita…. TROIS!
Here is Jasmine’s facial expression trying to show me how you pronounce “trois”! TWA!! I still can’t do it right!
Dessert!! So Pretty! and Yummy!
Anna Sophia telling us goodnight! Bedtime calls.
Lina, Isabel, Jasmine, Rita and Norm… Bye Bye!!
Saying good bye to Yoran, Lina, and Jasmine!
Week Six of French Impressions
Here we are with Ian putting on the finshing touches to our green salad we all made in class! Thank goodness Ian didn’t ban our iPhones!
Here we are with Matt and Amanda on the left and Ian on the right side of Rita looking over the fois gras stand at the La Bugue market.
Here is Ian pouring the cauliflower soup into these tiny cups! Another use for the many espresso cups in France. Just enough to wet your appetite and not get too full to enjoy the dinner.
Here is the duck after it had been roasted in a very hot pan for about 20 minutes and we are shredding it.
The beautiful gardens at Les Glycine resaurant in Les Eyzies de Tayac Sireuil.
Lez Eyzies built into the limestone rocks.
Such a beautiful little village street.
See the magnitude of the Chateau?
Sunset on our way home from our dinner with Matt and Amanda at Ian and Sara’s place.
Castle “Chateau de Marzac”
Impressions from St. Leon sur Vezere, Haute-Fort and Montignac!
Aerial view of St. Leon-sur-Vezere with our next door neighbor’s Castle and our landlord’s Castle.
Hamburger is hiding under the egg! It is on a bun with all the trimmings. Only the egg was unexpected.
Rita is no longer in charge of steering the canoe!
Petanque tournament in St. Leon-sur-Vezere.
Perigeaux’s Cathedral Saint-Front. Byzantine architecture.
See feather in egg carton? Those are really fresh eggs!
This would be considered a modern front door here in Montignac! We like them all!
We liked this home because it was a corner lot.
Here is a typical front door in Montignac.
Had lunch on the river bank in Montignac.
Just a little street we walked by in Montignac.
View of a few of the restaurants in Montignac.
Our first view of the Eiffel Tower!
Our favorite lady, Notre Dame. A visit is not complete without paying a visit to Notre Dame..
View from our hotel on Rue de Seine.
Les Deux Magot Cafe. Yes, it is called the two magots. No visit to Paris is complete without having an aperitif or two here on the left bank.
Our wonderful French family going back to 1968. Dominique, Alain, Aude, Yann and me.
Same group, without Dominique, but with Rita.
We drove to the French Riviera, St. Raphael to check out a house to rent. We stayed at this hotel on the beach.
A rare sand beach on the French Riviera at St. Raphael.
This is the main square at Sarlat la Caneda.
A timbered building in the old town of Sarlat.
A quaint street scene in Sarlat.
Market days are Saturday and Wednesday in Sarlat. This is an artisan bread maker. We eat lots of fresh bread and none of it is Wonder Bread!
You want fresh fish? This is the place. The market in Sarlat. Just cut the heads off before you cook!!
How about fresh produce? There is plenty to go around in Sarlat market.
Rita loves potatoes and white asparagus is in season!
In addition to food, the Sarlat market has other vendors. In this photo, the vendor is selling umbrellas.
We did a weekend in Brittany after Sarlat. This is the beach at La Baule. Notice the nice sand!
Evening was coming rapidly when we snapped this photo on the beach at La Baule.
A photo of our hotel in Dinard on the North Coast of Brittany. Our Megane is the first car you see in front of the hotel.
The beach at Dinard. Notice the low tide and wide sandy beach.
A photo of our hotel in Dinard on the North Coast of Brittany. Our Megane is the first car you see in front of the hotel.
No trip to Brittany/Normandy is complete without paying a visit to Mont St. Michel. It is incroyable.
We had lunch at La Mere Poulard a famous omelette restaurant in Mont St. Michel.
We spent the first day of Rita’s birthday at this hotel in Brantome in Dordogne. A great location.
This is one of the modern showers we blogged about. It has two rain shower heads and jet sprays on the sides. It also has a sign about saving the world by not laundering towels each day!!
Modern, or Contemporary Vanity, with towel warmer for those cool mornings.
A great chocolate dessert for Rita’s Birthday.
Dordogne is known for Foie Gras. Foie Gras is goose liver. It is really good. Yes, I know there is an ethical question about the forced feeding of geese. But, when in France it is hard not to partake.
Rita and I tried canoeing one day. It did not end well!
This is a privately owned Chateau (Castle) we ran across in Dordogne.
This is a pizza place in Sarlat with live music where we had dinner one night.
This is Rita in Sarlat buying produce in the market for the first day in our house. She used a lot of pointing.
To the left of our car is a limestone cave that our hotel was using as a parking garage! We didn’t go into the cave. We were afraid there may be troglodytes in it!
The first view of our house in St. Leon sur Vezere for the next 9 weeks. Rita did well. So far, so good.
This is the main house. It has four bedrooms and 4 baths You are welcome to come visit us.
Photo of main house with pool, covered of course.
Photo of living room.
Photo of kitchen with Chef.
Photo of master bedroom. No screens or air conditioning. You have to make choices. It does have a heated pool.
Photo of master bath.
This photo shows the name of our house and our nearest neighbors in the background.
This photo is of our landlord’s gatehouse which is located right next door.
Photograph of a home in St. Leon sur Vezere.
We are in Maison de Clerans. This is Chateau de Clerans, the Castle which is owned by our landlord and located right next door to us!
This truck is parked inside a home at St.Leon sur Vezere where it is being used to rehab an existing home.
This is a photo of our delicatessen. It is just one of 4 restaurants in St. Leon sur Vezere.
Finally I have some time to post a few of our pictures from Paris!
We finally arrived to the city of the Eiffel Tower!
Our TINY room! Who cares when you are in Paris!
This little gal was dancing away in the streets right on the corner of our street.
What we walk out to each day from our hotel room. Seriously, this is only about 6 steps away!
We love the activity in our little neighborhood!
This is your typical “cafe after cafe” in our neighborhood, we love this!