Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Le Quatorze Juillet in Ardèche

  July 14th is a day of national celebration in France- la fête nationale! Fireworks, parades, parties- it's a big deal. Why the 14th? To commemorate the Storming of the Bastille (which is why maybe you've heard of "Bastille Day", however here in France it is simply "la fête nationale" or "le quatorze juillet"- July 14). La Bastille was the former main jail of Paris. During the French Revolution, it was taken by the revolutionary troops on July 14 1789 and became the symbol of the people’s revolution. In Paris, the day is celebrated with a huge military parade on the Champs Elysées and by nightfall nearly a million people gather for a concert and fireworks near the Eiffel Tower.
Being a national holiday, many businesses close so lots of Parisians choose to take a long weekend and escape the madness- which is exactly what I did this year...and, well, last year too. This year I went South to the Ardèche region with my boyfriend to celebrate a friend's birthday and spend a few sunny days enjoying pool-side barbecues and kayaking the Ardèche river.
Ardèche is a beautiful area in thAuvergne-Rhône-Alpes region of south-central France. With a few stops along the way, it would take our caravan of friends about 6-7 hours to arrive by car from Paris. So I packed my fav sunhat, SPF50, and new bikini (and all the insecurities that came along with it-more on that later) and off we went!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Trouville / Deauville : Normandy

Summer in Paris.
It's hot and empty. Ok, some nights still require a sweater and although the metro is significantly less crowded, you've still gotta squeeze on at rush hour (and hope that everyone remembered their deodorant). While lots of locals clear out for those famous weeks-long French holidays, shuttering their businesses with jaunty, hand-written "Off to the beach! See ya in September!" signs, lots of tourists stream in. Alas- we aren't all so lucky to be able to jet off to exotic locales all summer, but a weekend trip to the lovely beaches and endlessly charming towns on the Northern coast? Totally do-able.
So, along with a couple of my favorite Parisian babes, that's just what we did- the perfect weekend entre filles! Already plotting a visit back with mon amour in these precious remaining couple of weeks of summer;