Learning A New Language Means Jumping In With Both Feet!

Have you every wished you could take your foreign language skills to a whole new level?
Well… Bill Blanning has done just that. He dusted off his old high school French language skills
and jumped in with both feet! Traveling to Lyon, France he enrolled in a week long immersion
program and stayed at the home of a hosting family. The Program is called Lyon-Bleu International .

In LA Times new “Departure Points” section about learning and traveling, you can read about

One Of The Oldest Restaurants In Europe “La Couronne”

La Couronne in Rouen, France- Auberge La Couronne in Rouen on the du Vieux Marche was established in 1345. A long roll of parchment dating from 1364 provides the authenticity of the deeds. It was a tavern providing food and drink to weary travelers and locals alike. It is regarded as being the oldest restaurant in Europe, however its early beginnings included a tavern, so some argue it is not the first “restaurant” per se. The dilemma continues.

A daily Farmer’s...

Behind The Kitchen Door- On A Danube River Cruise

A One-On-One Interview – With The Charming Executive Chef Jozsef Lado

I recently returned from a fabulous trip in Europe. This trip began, as most do, in Paris. Indeed, there will be many more articles on that in the months to come, including visits to the oldest restaurant in Europe and Paris! After Paris, we then flew to Budapest to explore the ancient city, and then join a 7-day AmaWaterways River Cruise on the Danube River. ...

The Bistro Setting

Re-tracing Movie Locations in The South of France

Exploring Luberon in The South of France ~ Often "the destination” itself guides me on my pathway for a trip, yet this time my itinerary was inspired entirely by a movie!  I wanted to re-trace the steps and locations featured in the movie "A Good Year."  Join me on this fanciful adventure as we meander our way through the south of France, and see the impressive haunts and hideaways where this mesmerizing movie was filmed.


Kitchen Tour With Chef Benjamin

Chef Interivew- Executive Chef Benjamin Hausner on A Viking River Cruise

On a recent river cruise in the south of France, I had the opportunity to learn about life on a river boat. And more specifically----from the kitchen. The person educating me on all this was none other than our illustrious Executive Chef, Benjamin Hausner. Watching he and his culinary team “in action” on the first few days of our voyage had me wondering just how all this comes together, and with such seamless fluidity? It is a well-orchestrated dance, and all the...

Evening On The River

River Cruising Through The South of France

This is the sixth article in this Series on France. Journey with us through one of the most talked about regions in France. The countryside is dreamy, the people are approachable, and the essence of Provence is everywhere----overflowing with bouquets of lavender, robust olive oils, crusty breads, colorful ceramics, delicious cuisine and charming village towns rich in history.

I decided the best way was to traverse this countryside, and experience the real...

Monet's Home

Paris- Monet’s Magical Muse








FOR any lover of impressionistic art, and especially artist Claude Monet, here are some very special “not to be missed” places to explore these fine works of art up close and personal. Please enjoy my favorite places when I am in Paris and in need of a “Monet-fix”----Parisian style, but of course!

Musee d'Orsay- Housed in a former railway...

Paris Finds For Foodies… Four “Must See” Spots to Explore


Second in our Series on France- In addition to the “City of Lights” Paris is noted for its incredible cuisine. Each time I visit I am tempted to secure an apartment so I can purchase all the delectable ingredients, and cook it all right there in my own abode. But alas, I am always on the move, so it never quite works out that way.  And speaking of “on the move” here are some “not to miss” foodie adventures when you find yourself in Paris! Enjoy my foodie...

Revisiting Our Favorite Restaurant In Paris!

It is hard to get a bad meal in Paris, and we often pop into restaurants based on the menu or the vibe. But here is one of our favorite that we return to each and every time we visit Paris.


La Closerie des Lilas (garden of lilac trees) opened in 1847 as a post station, and by the late 19th Century was frequented by French poet Guillaume Apollinaire, and other poets and notaries. By the...

Exploring Paris In Three Days Flat!

This is the first in a Series of adventures in Paris that can provide an easy guide to anyone wanting to explore this City of Lights, the south of France, the Luberon Hill-top towns and everything in-between. From museums, to dining, to hide-aways, watch for weekly articles to add to your planning guide for Paris!

Now Doesn’t It All Start In Paris?

Our recent trip to France was two years in the making and is...