October 3, 2022

My personal life in France !!!

Upon arriving in France on August 23rd 2003, I was not really aware what the term expats meant and seek them out to I guess keep up with the nostalgia of lands now gone. These expats are it; their world turns around this nostalgia and comparing the two worlds. Not really good if you are planning to settle in a new country, culture etc. I guess not an expert on this sociological phenomenon, and coming from already a French family in Florida USA, making trips to France every year since 1990 not the typical expat per se. After all, I was French in 2000 before living permanently in France! Therefore, when came in to France I was a returning Frenchman !!

I met an American attorney from South Carolina in Paris who started a group of Expats calling it simply Expats Paris, I was one of the first members with sometimes just him and I or 4 folks meeting in Au Trappiste , 4 rue Saint Denis, always on Thursdays by 19h30, The last time I look this group now managed by new folks, has grown to over 8 thousands members !! Of course, I am no longer a member for several years since moving to the Morbihan breton dept 56. The meetup Expats Paris https://www.meetup.com/fr-FR/ExpatsParis/

expats paris charlie birdy spring welcome drink mai2007

I have gone to Au Trappiste several times afterward ,even bringing visiting friends from the USA there, and the place is nice indeed, plenty in my blog on it, Just for reference the RestaurantGuru reviews on them : https://restaurantguru.com/Au-Trappiste-Paris

Paris Au Trappiste aaro mtg PF Pipo 5apr10

Well, the expats are well and kicking all over Paris, never a dull moment, after all Paris is the melting pot of France and France is the melting pot of Europe! Back then ,it was estimated that one out of four Parisiens were foreigners or French not from Paris!! Online I was very busy on several travel sites over the years even from the 90’s ; some of the travel sites were Madridman (inactive), Cityvox (now yelp), Slow Travel (closed but members have setup independant group slow travel tours), Tripadvisor, Virtual Tourist (now part of Tripadvisor), Fodor’s, and Bottin Gourmand (as taster in France). I am no longer with any for reason of time and personal expressions that led me to start my blog, and away from forums. It is my intention to help readers enjoy the beauty of my surroundings and travels, and to help them enjoy their visits to these wonderful places more and better.  As much in France all foreigners/expats etc is base in Paris as it is the only City that exist in France ,,,lol ! Everything French is outside of it, And of course, been far, not easy to stay active and do not want to be just a name on a list.

paris 7me resto VT first mtg

 It all started back in November 26, 2010 !!! with the blog as Paris1972  because did visit from while living in Madrid for a brief two days and was an impact, and Versailles2003  because that is when came to live in France, permanently.  It has been already 12 years of my blog, time flies when having fun ! Hope you enjoy reading it as I do. Thank you all for putting up with me all this years !!!

 I came first to lived in France with my in-laws in Chambry Seine et Marne dept 77 of the Île de France region,for free of course ,a great beginning! Then, once the rest of my family came from USA in Dec 2003 we went on to purchase a home in Versailles by July 2004, while always working in Paris or Suresnes. While in Versailles, my mom Gladys passed away on December 27 2007 (RIP) For job reasons and the wish of my wife Martine , I took a job in the Morbihan breton dept 56 of the region of Bretagne to start on June 1st 2011. We rented an apartment in Brech for me to stay while started working and the family follow early 2012. We then proceeded to purchase a home in Pluvigner on July 13 2013 , and we have been here ever since, except my dear late wife Martine (RIP) who passed away from cancer on April 30 2018. We are still here and plan to remain here.

While in Versailles and working in Paris I came up to know and joined PAN or Paris Alumni Network, This is a group of mostly Franco-Americans who have graduated from American Universities ; later it was expanded to all those who graduated from American Universities even if not American, We did a lot of travel in Paris and France visiting nice monuments always with an inside touch as many of them were in tourism related businesses or univ professeurs at Paris IV and the Sorbonne,I met them visited their homes and had many American celebrations such as the 4th of July and Thanksgiving, It all ended when moved to Bretagne, I heard but did not participate, that PAN has merged or joined a group call AUC or American University Clubs de France, last address was  71 Rue de la Tombe Issoire 14éme, This info cannot be confirm, I search but could not find their old webpage.

Paris PAN paris alumni network

Paris AUC american universities club de france membership

I was, also a member of AARO or Association of American Residents Overseas, They were first base in the Mona Bismarck Foundation at Avenue de New York 16éme, later they move out as the MB became the American Center for the Arts exclusively. By this time I was out too due to moving to the Morbihan. This group is said to be a lobby group for defending the Americans abroad and even has a US Congress bipartisan group, They were helpful at first with their tax seminar with several Franco-American attorneys and tax experts who are base in Paris, They are very much active and with address at 4 rue de Chevreuse 6éme, their webpage : https://aaro.org/

Paris AARO brochure

Paris AARO membership

And briefly on job related beginning, I was a member of AFDCC or the Association of French Credit Managers and Advisors, and my dear late wife Martine was a member of AAWE or Association of American Women in Europe (new name), both base in Paris, I was also, the Director of Alumni Relations for my American University,(ERAU) in France with many engineers etc working now for EADS , Airbus, Eurocopter , Orange, etc, I had met fellow Alumni in Paris Au Trappiste and Toulouse J’Go restos, Also coordinated and reserve the prestigious Salons de l’Aero Club de France ,6 Rue Galilée for a dinner with many aviation enthusiasts from the world over during the Paris Air Show. The US Embassy in Paris publish a booklet call the Blue Book with helpful information and contacts for the American community in France.

Paris AFDCC directory

Paris AAWE assoc american wives of europeans

Paris Au Trappiste ERAU alumni brochure 2006

Toulouse ERAU alumni meeting J'Go resto pl Victor Hugo

Paris comite national pour la reconstruction des Tuileries

Paris ERAU paris air show 2007 dinner aviation club de France

PAris USA Embassy Blue Book of services to Americans

AFDCC webpage: https://www.afdcc.fr/

AAWE webpage: https://www.aaweparis.org/

ERAU alumni webpage: https://alumni.erau.edu/s/867/bp20/home.aspx

The Salons de l’Aero-Club de France: https://www.salons-aeroclub.com/

USA Embassy Paris assistance for Americans: https://fr.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/resources-u-s-citizens-france/

I was the Treasurer of the Comite Nacional pour la Reconstrution des Tuileries, (see post) Paris, the old palace that closed in the Louvre , destroyed during the commune de Paris and raze by the City in 1882, This was to re built it but unfortunately the funds were not there nor the times helpful. The project is dormant. The webpage: https://www.tuileries.org/

There you go folks, a wonderful memorable lane I took to take you into my personal side a bit more in France. It has been a wonderful ride in all, as I believe the passing of my mom and wife could have been anywhere with dreadful sickness. Over all, we have beenn good and I see France is it ! Hope you enjoy the post and appreciate coming to know me a bit better. Thanks for all your support, comments, likes of the past and looking forward to continue in the future.

And remember, happy travels, good health, many cheers to all !!!

October 3, 2022

Some news from Spain CXXXII

And back at you with my series of some news from Spain !!! thanks to you all. There is lots of things going on in my beloved Spain, and Fall is already here ! I am eagerly looking forward to be back too!! Let me tell you the latest tidbits of news chosen by yours truly, Enjoy it as Spain is everything under the Sun!

Eight festivities, five bullfights, two bullfights with bullfighters and the final of the Road to Las Ventas make up the Autumn Fair in the Madrid arena, which will be held from this past Saturday, October 1, until Wednesday October 12, 2022, the date on which the season will close. This cycle, which is dedicated to the figure of Antonio Bienvenida on the centenary of his birth, begins with two novelties: an increase in the number of subscribers and the opening of the Venta del Batán, closed for 18 years to the exhibition of cattle announced on the posters. During the fair, various cultural activities will also be held that revolve especially around the figure of the Madrid bullfighter Antonio Bienvenida. The room that bears his name will host an exhibition of historical posters by the collector Ángel Sonseca Rojas, who will offer an extensive tour of some of the afternoons that made history in the career of the bullfighter and members of the dynasty. On the other hand, the plastic artist Mariano Cobo will exhibit a monograph on some of the best works with Antonio Bienvenida in the Antoñete room. And until October 12 you can visit an exhibition of the plastic artist Jesús Solano on the ground floor,webpage : https://www.las-ventas.com/

The area of Sobrarbe ( province of Huesca) feeds its people and shapes the landscape of the Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park, in the Huesca Pyrenees. A diverse place made up of ravines, canyons and glacial valleys that has attracted more and more visitors since the Bielsa parador was opened in 1968, the tunnel connecting France with Spain was built in 1976 and the protection of the national park was extended in 1982, The parador is located in the Pineta Valley, very close to the Ordesa y Monte Perdido National Park, where you can see the calcareous massif of Monte Perdido at 3,335 meters. The HU-V-6402 road ends at the parador. Beyond there is nothing and that is everything ! An element of the landscape that has already disappeared are the iron mines The gates of the monastery of El Escorial were built with iron from Sobrarbe, You should stop by Aínsa, the largest city in Sobrarbe and one of the most touristic for its medieval quarter, Lovely region we road warrior so many times over the years. Tourism webpage: https://www.turismosobrarbe.com/comarca.php?niv=1&cla=_25G13P91D&cla2=&cla3=&tip=1&idi=3

As usual in these posts , let me give you a tour of my dear Spain with some excellent spots for visiting/vacationing many of which we have already.

Land of legends and impossible loves, the province of Teruel, a paradigm of empty Spain, makes up for its low population density with endless delights for the senses, which increase when the leaf begins to fall. I will take you first to Matarrañala served as a link since historical times with the Mediterranean coast and as a border between the neighboring communities of Catalonia and Valencia. The old house of the Marquis of Santa Coloma, built in 1703, is one of them. Unmoved by the passage of time, it was built on a 120-hectare farm in the middle of Mount Monroyo, a village of just 385 inhabitants that instantly invites you to disconnect. While the facade still resonates with its stately past with the original door of the time, the interior and surroundings reveal one of the hotel enclaves with the greatest projection in the area, the Torre del Marqués hotel. In this area you have the world emblem of Garnacha Tinta, a different grape varieties grown on its fertile lands, which are processed and marketed by a large number of family wineries in the area. Traveling the six round trip km of the Parrizal de Beceite natural route will be the best way to lighten the gastronomic days offered by the region. Recognizable by the wooden walkway that leads to the Matarraña River, the sound of its emerald waters serve as a guide between wooded paths and gouges, a needle-shaped geological formation resulting from erosion. After an approximate hour’s walk, Els Estrets del Parrissal rises up, a canyon about 200 meters long that takes your breath away due to the verticality of its walls. If you undertake the route on a hot day and its crystal clear waters, not suitable for swimming the desire to take a dip, one can recover in the nearby pools of Las Pesqueras. These natural pools of warm water are accompanied by viewpoints such as the Racó de Sant Antoni, where you can glimpse the beautiful landscape that the Ulldemó River fosters.

A few kms away awaits Valderrobres, a medieval jewel of Bajo Aragón that has earned its place on the list of The Most Beautiful Towns in Spain. When exploring its historic center, the best access is given by the Gothic bridge raised over the Matarraña River; without a doubt, the most characteristic photo of this villa. From there and between the remains of the urban wall, you can access the Plaza Mayor, presided over by the Renaissance-style City/Town Hall. The ascent to its monumental castle will reward you with a walk through narrow streets dotted with climbing plants, with houses dyed with an indigo pigment for its disinfectant effect.

On the hunt for the treasures of the Maestrazgo , entering this area bordering Castellón means stopping time suddenly, mimicking its stone villages and exploring its forests without telephone coverage in search of the great treasures of Teruel soil: mushrooms. Cantavieja, the capital of the Maestrazgo, with its intense aroma impregnated on the palate, it is time to explore the historical arteries of this town perched on a rock at 1,300 meters of altitude, with interesting examples of Aragonese architecture such as the exterior of the Casa de los Osset, the remains of the crenellated wall or the castle of Templar origin. About 13 kms by road, Mirambel competes in historical beauty, the town that served as the setting for the film Tierra y Libertad (land and liberty 1995), by Ken Loach. In memory of the filming of this film set in the Spanish Civil War, in which many neighbors acted as extra actors, a wide promenade bears the name of the British filmmaker. Barely altered since the Middle Ages, its town center is a delight for lovers of the past with a large succession of churches, convents such as that of the Augustinian Nuns ,with its fantastic portal with mud and plaster lattices, Renaissance palaces and popular houses not to be missed.

On the other side of Cantavieja, the small town of La Iglesuela del Cid has taken an unexpected turn in its morphology. It has an increase in travelers attracted by its hiking trails ,such as the Senda de la Piedra Seca or dry stone path that leads to the sanctuary of the Virgen del Cid, good food and good sleep, especially since the inauguration last June of the Palacio Matutano hotel- Daudén. This 18C building declared National Heritage symbolizes the union of the two richest families in Iglesuela, who amassed a great fortune from the wool trade with notorious clients such as the former King of Naples. This cozy palace has now been converted into accommodation with the luxury preserves part of its original structure and furniture , such as the rococo staircase where the town’s children used to played, while on the floor it replicates the original cobblestone floor through which the horses used to passed or the family’s private chapel is now an elegant living room. Through the main door you access Calle Ondevilla street, where the town was founded, bearer of some of the most beautiful stately homes. Our exit leads to the Plaza Iglesuela square, contained by the 17C parish church and the old dungeons , open for daily guided tours along with other buildings of interest such as the Casa Aliaga.

The province of Teruel tourist office: https://www.turismoenteruel.es/

The city of Teruel tourist office: https://www.sienteteruel.es/#

The richness and diversity of its landscapes make Burgos a travel attraction that redoubles its charm in autumn. We follow the course of the rivers to explore some of my favorite Burgos enclaves. Lovely indeed!

We come to Frias, next to the Ebro, although this time as it passes through the Merindades, Frías holds several titles to tempt the traveller, such as being one of the members of the Association of the Most Beautiful Towns in Spain. Although technically it is not a town, but the smallest in Spain. Its strategic location makes it unique. Also the taste of its medieval streets, the set of hanging houses that defy gravity and its imposing rock castle, undoubtedly one of the most spectacular in all Castilla. Another of the most beautiful enclaves is found before reaching the town: a bridge with nine arches and 143 meters long over the Ebro of Roman origin although fortified in the 14C with a defensive tower used to collect the pontazgo.

We leave the Ebro and head for the Arlanza River, which runs through the south of the province, opening up a gap in that serene and essential landscape that we know of Castile. In fact, Covarrubias is the homeland of popular Castilian architecture thanks to its half-timbered houses and wide arcades. Doña Sancha’s house is possibly the best example. It has many other jewels. Walking through the historic center you can find up to seven monuments declared of Cultural Interest. An essential visit is the Torreón de Fernán González, the 10C fortification where, according to legend, the Infanta Doña Urraca was imprisoned. Another is the former Collegiate Church of San Cosme and San Damián. The temple hides, among other treasures, the oldest functioning organ in Castilla, tables by Berruguete and Van Eyck, and the valuable triptych of the Adoration of the Magi. Without forgetting the tombs of the counts and princesses of Castile, and that of the infanta Cristina of Norway.

In Lerma, we continue on the banks of the Arlanza. This villa with perfect baroque skyline is the product of one man’s ambition. You guessed it: the Duke of Lerma, the most powerful man in the court of Felipe (Philip) III. De Lerma wanted to do something like the first branch of the kingdom. Hence, he did not hesitate to build up to six convents, in addition to the collegiate church and the ducal palace with the invaluable help of the best Herrerian architects. As an example, the Parador Nacional or old palace, stationed on one of the flanks of the Plaza Mayor.

The province of Burgos tourist office: https://turismoburgos.org/nuestros-pueblos/

The Community of Madrid town of Alcalá de Henares celebrates its Cervantes Week, a festival in honor of the author of Don Quixote with storytellers, sewing workshops, period costume contests, traditional music, recreations of the Campamentos de Tercio…The Cervantino Market: a six-day trip to the Golden Age between parades, knight tournaments and a prize for… Sabina. More than 350 artisan stalls, Cervantine sewing or historical dance workshops, period costume contests, parades inspired by the exemplary novel by the jealous Extremaduran, storytellers, cannon salvos… These are some of the proposals of the traditional Cervantino Market that next week (from October 7 to 12 2022) will transfer the Golden Age to the main streets of Alcalá de Henares. The Cervantes Week gives for more, since the Book Fair will also take place in parallel on Calle Libreros with 19 stands, as well as the VI Cervantino Poetry Encounter, the Cervantes train, the representation of hors d’oeuvres on the Escolapias staircase , the Alcalá Gastronómica and Ancient Music contests in Gilitos and the public reading of Don Quixote in the Corral de Comedias.

The city of Alcalà de Henares on the Cervantes Week: https://semanacervantina.ayto-alcaladehenares.es/

Let me take you now to the walled cities of my dear Spain, my favorites of course. Travel to the past through the most beautiful, and best preserved, walled towns in my dear Spain.

I passed several times by Albarracin in the province of Teruel (see above for more) . Perched on a rock, almost entirely surrounded by the Guadalaviar river, to the south of the Sierra de Albarracín, its charming old quarter, whose origin dates back to the 11C, has the title of National Monument. The town, with an irregular layout adapted to the difficult topography of the land, is protected by well-preserved 14C walls, inside which are also the Alcázar (11C) and the Cathedral of El Salvador (16C).

Moving on to visit coming down as well from home. Alquézar in the province of Huesca. “The most beautiful town in Huesca”, as this town is known, which was born in the shadow of a castle of Islamic origin converted into the Collegiate Church of Santa María after the Reconquest. Declared the town a Historic-Artistic Site, the wall comes out of the fortification with some sections from the 11C are still standing , that surrounds the historic center of the town with luxury viewpoints, such as the Sonrisa del viento or smile of the wind. As important enclaves: the Albarrana tower, the ruins of a quadrangular tower and some fragment of the Romanesque church, integrated into the impressive 14C cloister.

We go to my childhood hangout with Mom. Buitrago del Lozoya in the province of Madrid. Located on a promontory on the banks of the Lozoya river, at the foot of Somosierra and 75 km from Madrid, the beautiful town is also known as “The Wall of Madrid”, due to the good degree of conservation of the wall, of Muslim origin (11C), which protects its historic center with a perimeter of more than 800 meters. Some sections of the wall, which contains numerous defensive elements, such as towers, a barbican, a moat, a corach, an albarrana tower and a fortress, reach 16 meters in height and 3.5 meters in thickness. Intramuros, you must not miss the castle, linked to the Mendoza family (14C), the Church of Santa María del Castillo (or castle 14C), the Clock Tower and the Picasso Museum, (another one !) in the square of the same name next to to City/Town Hall.

And I let you breathe by reaching Ciudad Rodrigo in the province of Salamanca. It is on the west side of the province of Salamanca, next to Portugal, and irrigated by the waters of the Agueda river. The city whose walls, witness to numerous sieges due to its strategic location, were built by order of the king Fernando (Ferdinand) II of León in 1160. The 2.5 km of wall perimeter, taking advantage of the remains of a Roman wall, enclose the town, declared a Historic-Artistic Site in 1944. Intramuros, you should not miss strolling through the medieval streets full of palaces and stately homes , such as the Marqués de Cerralbo, the Miranda and the beautiful Palacio del Águila, or the Plaza Mayor with the City/Town Hall , a Renaissance building from the 16C. In the highest part, the Castle of Enrique II de Trastámara (b.1372), with its three-story Homage Tower, today houses the Parador de Turismo. Another of the jewels of the town is the Cathedral of Santa María, from 1165.

Let me tell you extensively about a great region of my dear Spain, Galicia. And its most precious sights on the Way of Santiago de Compostela and two of its most emblematic Caminos. I have gone by here on my road warrior trips by car; anyway you come is most reassuring an enjoyable travel.

The Camino del Norte or way of the north route allows the pilgrim to cross the river Eo, the natural border with Asturias to the north, to get rid of everything that his senses have accumulated and fill himself with the purest Galicia. It enters through Ribadeo, on the coast of Lugo, but quickly plunges inland for almost 200 kms to Santiago de Compostela. Galicia is intertwined with corredoiras, deep and narrow paths whose tunnel-like shape derives from the continuous passage of cars, animals and people through them for centuries. Open between groves, fragas and old oak groves, covered with branches, stones and moss and varnished with shade, pilgrims on the Camino del Norte still have to pass through these paths today on their journey to Santiago. One of the most famous is the Corredoira de Cimadevila, deep and green, located in the parish of Castrofeito (province of A Coruña). A few meters from the Camino there is also another one that crosses the carballeira da Casa do Gado, a forest located in Sobrado dos Monxes. There is a voice timbre that all the residents of Mondoñedo recognize, that is the one from Paula, the main of the seven bells of the cathedral of this town of 3,500 inhabitants located in the Mariña Central de Lugo, 150 km from Santiago. Its touch, serious and profound, has been calling Mindonians to prayer for more than a century and a half, announcing the celebrations and informing of the deaths. The pilgrim who finishes the stage in Mondoñedo can get lost in this cobbled city, with white houses and slate roofs and one of the most beautiful towns in Spain, according to the Association of the Most Beautiful Towns in Spain, which evaluates the natural heritage and history of populations of less than 15,000 inhabitants. You will learn about the origin of this Jacobean route, as old as the Primitive and a World Heritage Site, at the Camino del Norte Interpretation Center, located in an old church, The statue of Álvaro Cunqueiro, who attentively observes the bell tower with a relaxed gesture , from his sculpture in the plaza de la catedral square. Next door, at number 13, stands the museum house of this writer, journalist, chronicler and indispensable figure of Galician and Castilian letters.

Its visitors say that the silence in the Monastery of Santa María de Sobrado is impressive, especially in the church ,occupied only by the benches and the altar and empty of images and altarpieces, and in its kitchen, in which only its columns remain. and its gothic ceilings. In the building, founded in 958 and abandoned from the beginning of the 19C to the last quarter of the 20C, you can also visit two of the cloisters and the chapter house. The soil of the parish of Argomoso, 5 kms from the city of Mondoñedo (Lugo), hides a set of intricate galleries of more than 6 kms that make up the Rei Cintolo cave, the largest in all of Galicia. Its name comes from the legend that once explained its origin, and that tells how the sorcerer Manilán, after not being able to marry the daughter of King Cintolo, condemned the kingdom to be devoured by the earth on the day of his death. On the banks of the Madalena River, passing through the town of Vilalba, ( Lugo) , runs a path drawn by nature and described in literature. A 3 km route between old mills and wooden bridges known as Paseo dos Soños or walk of dreams, with which the walker can discover other names of Galician literature. The end of the trail offers a gift: the river beach of the Madalena recreational area, a tiny island full of vegetation to cool off before continuing on the Camino. The Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela keeps in its main entrance, the Portico de la Gloria, sounds from almost a millennium ago. In the central tympanum, above Christ and the apostles, there is an orchestra made up of the 24 elders of the Apocalypse, representatives of the church, according to the Bible, of which 22 carry medieval musical instruments ,the other two carry flasks called phials. They prepare, according to tradition, to interpret with them the melody of the end of time. Sublime !!!

The Camino de Santiago on the Camino del Norte: https://www.caminodesantiago.gal/en/make-plans/the-ways/northern-way

The Camino de Invierno or the way of winter is a telluric route: a route that adheres the pilgrim, like no other, to the earth. It does so through the epic of its vineyards, which cling to the ground hanging from the deep Sil and Miño canyons. They make up the wine territory of the Ribeira Sacra and deliver exclusive wines. A Camino dotted with museums, accommodation of all kinds, with authentic tributes to yeyé psychedelia, and pioneers who bring Galician olive oil, which seemed forgotten, back to life. Some of the largest chestnut trees in Europe grow here and it is the place that inspired Lorca’s poems that, immense in his talent as he was, he wrote in Galician. A journey of 239 kms, opened by the first pilgrims to avoid the icy peaks of the Camino Francés or French way, which crosses the most atavistic Galicia where the land is so alive that it feels. On this Camino, the pilgrim can savor a different wine from the moment the grapes are picked. Because the harvest can only be done manually, with hardly any mechanization, and it is a real effort given the conditions of the land where they are grown: the vertiginous walls of the Sil and Miño river canyons. A peculiarity that has earned it the name of heroic viticulture. The Sil river accompanies the pilgrim during the first 60 kms of the Camino de Invierno in Galicia, marking the route through villages, fields and forests and telling the story of the Ribeira Sacra not only from the water, but from its Roman origins , its illustrious characters and the tragic lyrics that it has inspired . A tragic event connects the Sil with the poetry of Federico García Lorca (see post) from Granada. In 1935, during a trip with his popular theater company La Barraca, one of the stagehands drowned in the river after the performance in Puente de Domingo Flórez, a Leonese border town. Three years later, the writer immortalized the event in Noiturnio do adoescente morto,( nocturne of the dead child) one of the six poems he wrote in Galician!

The pilgrim can turn the Camino de Invierno into a sensitive journey through art, astronomy or engineering if he decides to visit some of the museums that dot it. The Geological Museum, exhibits fossils of prehistoric mammoths and brown bears and a realistic reconstruction of the first Neolithic woman. When the pilgrim enters Quiroga (Lugo), he is entering one of the oldest places in Galicia. A privileged territory of almost 600 kms that makes up the Geoparque de las Montañas do Courel ,which has belonged, since 2019, to the UNESCO World Network of Geoparks due to its unique geology and biodiversity. Amenities, such as the first public hostel on this route, and accommodation with an extra in which to enjoy the best fusion cuisine or a psychedelic experience abound in this Camino de Invierno. An gustative way to Santiago indeed!

The Camino de Santiago Galicia on the Camino de Invierno: https://www.caminodesantiago.gal/en/make-plans/the-ways/winter-way

And I finish as usual with some wine recommendation to get wherever you are and they are available these are great price/quality deals me think.

Blas Muñoz Chardonnay Vineyards and Bodegas Muñoz. Under the umbrella of the D.O. La Mancha make a chardonnay fermented and aged in French barrels that is elegant and powerful. A real treasure that comes from a small town in Toledo .Price in Spain 12.50€. webpage: https://www.bodegasmunoz.com/nuestros-vinos/blas-munoz/
Malahierba the Malahierba Vinos winery, and the D.O. Sierra of Salamanca. Made with old vines from different towns in the Sierra de Salamanca, the diversity of the soil makes us find a fresh wine, easy to drink, but with an interesting complexity. It is very fruity with light touches of wood due to aging in 3,000-litre vats Price in Spain 12.90€ reference webpage: https://www.carlotawineshop.com/tienda/vino-tinto/malahierba/
Fuerza Bruta, a red wine from the Comunidad de Madrid from the A Pie de Tierra winery -obtained from a vineyard located in Aldea del Fresno and cultivated organically with vines between 50 and 90 years old. It is a light, fresh and mineral Garnacha, which comes from granite floors and rests 12 months in chestnut wood Price in Spain €13.50. webpage: https://www.apiedetierra.com/fuerza-bruta-2018.html

Albamar Albariño ,a white made in Rías Baixas by the Albamar winery with grapes from vineyards settled on sandy soils very close to the Ría de Arosa. It is an Albariño with a lot of identity, citrus and floral notes, whose acidity and salinity are reminiscent of the Galician coast. Price in Spain 14.80€. Best reference their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/BodegasAlbamar/

There you go folks, another dandy tour of my beloved Spain ! As said Fall season is here with all those shades and cool evenings to be cozy and homey again. Time to enjoy my dear Spain once again, and we are gear up for it! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

And remember ,happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all !!!

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October 3, 2022

Nostalgia of Hallandale, Fla. !!

Here I am again looking at my vault and this time again no pictures, just a simple paper cloth table cover to remind me of a wonderful place and time in my dear Florida! This believe it or not was not from my local south Florida area but coming all the way from Daytona Beach to Hallandale Florida! This was wonderful disco times and my rdv at the Limelight discothéque! Let me tell you a bit about it for the memories of always and a right place in my blog. Hope you enjoy it as I.

Hollywood limelight disco tablepaper c1981

This new find allows me to show in my blog places not shown or pics with lots of nostalgia in my life. I was living in Ormond by the Sea, just north of Ormond Beach on the north peninsula beachside, which is north of Daytona Beach where I attended my university. Looking for places to have fun and hangout I read an article about a place that was to show Sylvester and France Joli and later Gloria Gaynor! So of course, I jumped in my car and head south. 

As the trip was long and over the influence, I remember renting a little hotel Don Sebastian in North Miami Beach ( a separate town from the more famous one). This hotel no longer there but condos! It allowed me to go to different disco places at the time such as Tiffany’s at the Sheraton Bal Harbour and 747 in Miami Springs (another miami). However, the highlight was going to the Limelight discothéque in Hallandale near the Hollywood dog track! The place is closed of course, but they even have a memories Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/groups/134475280210/

As Valenciartist reminds me in the comments, there were many others that I frequented while visiting from up north, sometimes along and others with cousins that still lives there. These were the Banana Boat by Kendall Drive, Casanovas in Hialeah, Faces In The Grove in the Mayfair-Coconut Grove, Firehouse Four (1000 S. Miami Ave, Miami) from my good friend Armandito and the miami exports group, Penrod’s Beach Club in Miami Beach,Scaramouche in the Omni Hotel, Miami, and the 94th Aero in Miami. All memorable spots of crazy youth.

For official info, The Limelight was a chain of nightclubs owned and operated by Peter Gatien. The Limelight had locations in New York City, Chicago, Atlanta, London, and this one at Hallandale, Florida !

A bit of history I like

Peter Gatien opened the first Limelight nightclub in Hallandale, Florida, in the 1970s. Following a devastating fire in the late 1970s, Gatien chose Atlanta for his next incarnation of the club. The Atlanta Limelight opened in February 1980. It was housed in a strip mall at the former site of the Harlequin Dinner Theatre. The Limelight in Chicago was housed in the former home of the Chicago Historical Society; the building itself is a historic structure. It was opened in 1985. From 1985, the Limelight in London was located in a former Welsh Presbyterian church on Shaftesbury Avenue, just off Cambridge Circus, which dates from the 1890s. The London club’s decline in popularity led to the club being sold as a going concern . The club in New York City, situated on Sixth Avenue at West 20th Street, was the most significant and infamous of all the Limelight locations. It opened in November 1983, the site was a former Episcopal Church of the Holy Communion.  There was a movie done called Limelight (2011) with 50 Cent ,Jay-Z, and Lisa Michelle Axelrod

I remember going there a lot and had great fun indeed. One for the memories as can be told it was wild and plenty of action inside and out. The Limelight is well remembered by old timers in the Miami area, including family members.

There you go folks, a walk down nostalgia lane from my earlier life in my Florida. The wonders of the Limelight and the heat of the Sunshine State, Florida , that still rings a bell to my ears on each stretch of meter I take on this world. Hope you enjoy the post as I reviving old memorable moments in life.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all !!!.

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October 2, 2022

Some news from France , CCCLXX

Well news in my belle France happens fast and need to tell you more, always more. Therefore, time again to tell you my latest rants about some news from France. An eventful post in my blog that I have enjoyed together with you for the last 12 years now!! And for those non Roman CCCLXX is 370 ! , another dandy round of news of my belle France , of course, chosen by me; there are many others. We are in Fall season ! ,and temps came to 19C, rainy humid time changing. Times like this are great to be in house warm and tidy and a glass of wine, and we will come back eating in dining room! Hope you enjoy the post as I.

Pascal Faracci, new director of the Cognacq-Jay museum The former director of the museums of Poitiers (Vienne 86) highlights the permanent collections of the 18C museum of the city of Paris through a new hanging to discover from October 1st 2022, Mr Faracci first exercised in the years 1990-2000 the functions of administrative and financial director in multinationals such as BNP Paribas, Essilor, Bonduelle, etc. webpage: https://www.museecognacqjay.paris.fr/en

The Place des Vosges! Built in the 17C and lined with 36 private mansions with illustrious inhabitants, it is the oldest of the royal squares in Paris.If it was Napoleon who gave it its definitive name in 1800, it was King Henri IV, great urban planner, who had the idea of ​​creating the Place des Vosges , Taste the charms of the green lung of the Marais district, astride like the central statue of Louis XIII, the 3éme and 4éme arrondissements, is for sure offering oneself a suspended moment. Normal: upon arrival, a very special scent of eternity takes hold of the walker. Indeed sublime spot of my eternal Paris,webpage: https://en.parisinfo.com/transport/73189/Place-des-Vosges

Perched at the top of the Montparnasse tower, discover the sensational exhibition that celebrates the streets of the capital, to the delight of fans of unusual images! On the program: a colorful and vertiginous “infinity room”, improbable and yet very real street intersections and works by street-artists in love with Paris. Every Saturday at 16h30, you can also attend two street dance shows by the Juste Debout School. Paris Montparnasse Observatory, 33, avenue du Maine, 15éme,until mid-November 2022. info webpage : https://www.tourmontparnasse56.com/en/ce-qui-nous-lie/

This Autumn, Maison FRED opens the doors to its first retrospective exhibition. You will be invited to dive into its solar universe and its jewelry full of light and joie de vivre, during an immersive journey inspired by the life and personality of its founder, Fred Samuel. More than 450 jewels and emblematic accessories of the house will be exhibited. Among them, iconic jewelry from Hollywood stars, such as the famous necklace from the movie Pretty Woman, the swords of academicians or jewelry worn by Grace Kelly. You will also discover unique drawings and archival documents, photographs, videos and even exclusive testimonials. Fred Joaillier, designer since 1936, Palais de Tokyo, 13, avenue du Président-Wilson 16éme From September 28 to October 24, 2022. webpage: https://palaisdetokyo.com/evenement/fred-joaillier-createur-depuis-1936-retrospective/

If Claude Monet and Joan Mitchell did not live at the same time, you will nevertheless see them in dialogue with each other within the Louis Vuitton Foundation, through their respective works. Artists who marked their times but also generations of painters after them, Monet and Mitchell show their singular perceptions of the same composite landscape, often expressed in particularly immersive formats. Monet – Mitchell, Fondation Louis Vuitton, 8, avenue du Mahatma-Gandhi 16éme .From October 5, 2022 to February 27, 2023,webpage: https://www.fondationlouisvuitton.fr/fr/evenements/claude-monet-joan-mitchell

From the first edition of Tintin in the land of the Soviets in 1929 to the most recent releases, Tintin, the immersive adventure will honor the famous reporter with the powder puff, whose adventures around the world have been part of popular culture for nearly 100 years old. Promising a singular and immersive reinterpretation of Hergé’s work, this digital exhibition will allow young and old alike to (re)immerse themselves in the creative and fictional universe of one of the greatest comic strip authors of 20C cartoon. Tintin, the immersive adventure Atelier des Lumières, 38, rue Saint-Maur 11éme .From October 21 to November 20, 2022 webpage: https://www.atelier-lumieres.com/fr/tintin-laventure-immersive

Bringing the essence of French chic back to life is the creative bet that the Mobilier national has taken on. From October 12 to January 29,2023, we come to discover nearly 200 works on the theme of decorative arts and furniture from 1930 to 1960, in a scenographed route full of charm. CHIC ! Decorative arts and furniture from 1930 to 1960, Mobilier national – Manufacture des Gobelins, 42, avenue des Gobelins 13éme. From October 12, 2022 to January 29, 2023 webpage: http://www.mobiliernational.culture.gouv.fr/fr/expositions-et-evenements/toutes-les-expositions

It will still take a little patience to find the connection between RER B and C at Saint-Michel. The station will remain closed until mid-December 2022 due to renovation work. There had been nothing since 1989, when the RER B interconnected. There will be a large influx of travellers. We have therefore launched these heavy renovation works now in preparation for Paris 2024. Because in Saint-Michel ( 5éme / 6éme arrondissements), 30 million people tread the quays on average: It’s more than Lille, Strasbourg or Austerlitz train station. But dark and a little dilapidated, the station deserved a facelift. Indeed

Faced with the density of transit traffic at rush hour, the city of Beynes (Yvelines 78) is testing an astonishing device: it has decided to dot a portion of the D 191 road with stop signs, even if it means creating a certain mess at first. The aim is to encourage drivers to use other routes. The Rue de La République is regularly saturated, and will no longer be a priority, which should force motorists to change their usual routes. Aha this was my short cut to go south when living in Versailles and I guess many others have found the way to cut time and km even better than Michelin lol !! Be aware or be square.

And here is a twist on travel. Undisputed stars of this initiative of the French Federation of Bicycle Users (FUB), the big cities act as gondola heads. The best-rated category in the barometer, many cities have benefited in recent years from the gradual commissioning of increasingly qualitative cycling networks. The barometer of cycling cities has once again designated Grenoble as the best-equipped large city in France for cycling. According to the sensors installed by the metropolis, the practice of cycling would have increased there by 32% between June 2020 and June 2021. Strasbourg, the heavyweight doubled during the second edition of the barometer by Grenoble, it nevertheless remains number 1 in the category of cities with more than 200,000 inhabitants. Strasbourg has a total of 560 km of cycle paths, with the added bonus of a very strong cycling culture among its inhabitants. Rennes, bronze medal! While there is still a lot to do to catch up with the two leaders in the category, the cycling policies initiated jointly by the city/town hall and the metropolis are already bearing fruit. The transitional arrangements made in the context of the health crisis, and since made permanent, play a significant role in improving infrastructure. The city of Rennes even boasts of a 66% increase in bicycle traffic in 2021 compared to 2019. The FUB webpage: https://www.fub.fr/

Occupied for more than fifty years by the Health Insurance Fund, the Château des Tourelles of Bois-Colombes at 98, rue Paul-Déroulède, (Hauts-de-Seine 92). has been completely renovated to accommodate a new artistic space. It opens its doors this weekend with two exhibitions. This building which sits in the heart of Square Franklin-Roosevelt has been renovated from top to bottom. This municipal building dating from the 19C has three levels and a basement for a total area of 500 m2. webpage: https://www.bois-colombes.fr/agenda/inauguration-du-chateau-des-tourelles/

The Château de Montgeroult was the home of a talented musician with an extraordinary destiny at the time of the French revolution. It has been inhabited by the same family since 1831. The Friends of Hélène de Montgeroult association is participating in the Baroque festival of Pontoise, which opens this weekend, has thus decided to ring out again the notes of the composer who worked on a pianoforte (the ancestor of the piano). Born in 1764, Hélène de Nervo has indeed married the Marquis André Marie Gautier de Montgeroult. The couple spent time in their Vexin castle before the French revolution. If their work is, by dates, between Mozart and Beethoven, it embodies in the eyes of specialists a real bridge to the Romantics. Webpage: http://chateaudemontgeroult.com/

At the Château de Pierrefonds, discover the monumental model of the Salle des Preuses. The artist Camille Bloch has just inaugurated, after five months of preparation, the exhibition of his model of the Salle des Preuses. It now sits at the heart of the mythical castle of the Oise (60). webpage: http://Château de Pierrefonds

At the Château de Chantilly,(Oise 60) you can “adopt” a book from one of the most beautiful libraries in the world. The famous castle is calling for crowdfunding to speed up the restoration of the Book Cabinet. The public is invited to “adopt” works by participating in their maintenance or restoration. 14,000 volumes dating from the end of the 10C to the beginning of the 19C are kept in the Book Cabinet of the Château de Chantilly. Henri d’Orléans, Duke of Aumale , the “prince of bibliophiles” bequeathed the Chantilly estate and all its collections in 1884 to the Institut de France to preserve its integrity. The bequest was transformed into a donation in 1886. The condition of the donation was the opening of the château and its collections to the public. Materials that react to the humidity of the air and that must be protected from a whole fauna of insects and a varied flora of molds. For 200 euros, you can contribute to the maintenance of the bindings, for 500 euros to their restoration. From 3,500 euros, you will be offered to adopt one of the treasures of the book cabinet by participating in the restoration of a remarkable volume. I am in Friends of the castle since 2008; worthy cause and keeping a beautiful library alive for generations to come,do it if you can please. Webpage: https://chateaudechantilly.fr/en/

The Friends of the Chantilly castle: https://www.amismuseecondechantilly.com/home

Medieval, fortified or troglodyte… The exceptional villages are reputed to be difficult to access. This is to forget that some of them are served by train or bus. Ok so see not only road warrior but given you some alternatives ways to see my belle France. These are some of my favorites:

Belvès (Dordogne 24) Besieged during the Hundred Years War and the wars of religion, the “city of seven steeples” keeps miraculously preserved vestiges. Among them, underground troglodyte dwellings inhabited since the 13C, a 500-year-old wooden hall and Renaissance-style mansions. At the gates of the city, the forest of Bessède is an ideal playground for hikers and mountain bikers who wish to venture into the Périgord Noir. Access: Belvès train station, 1h15 from Agen and Périgueux.

La Roche-Guyon (Val-d’Oise 95), Unique “Most Beautiful Village of France” in the Paris region, La Roche-Guyon is located on a meander of the Seine, at the gates of Normandy and the Vexin Regional Natural Park. It stands out for its medieval castle leaning against a white chalk cliff. Now owned by the La Rochefoucauld family, the building was frequented by the kings of France and the philosophers of the Enlightenment. Below, the 3.5 hectare vegetable garden, restored in 2004, uses the original plans dating from the 18C. Access: Mantes-la-Jolie (78) train station on Transilien J and N from gare Saint Lazare Paris, then bus 95-11,

Montsoreau (Maine-et-Loire 49), Alexandre Dumas made it the location of his novel La Dame de Monsoreau. Subsequently, several film adaptations of The Three Musketeers were filmed there. Welcome to Montsoreau, a medieval village located 15 km from Saumur. Its 15C castle, which houses a museum of contemporary art, dominates the confluence of the Loire and the Vienne rivers, After a walk in the flowery streets of Montsoreau, follow the Loire for 2 km to the neighboring town of Candes-Saint-Martin (Indre-et-Loire 37), also labeled “Most Beautiful Village of France”. Access: Saumur train station, then bus line 1 or summer line of the Agglobus network,

Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port (Pyrénées-Atlantiques 64), Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port is an unmissable stop on the way to Santiago de Compostela. The Basque village was awarded the “Plus Beau Village de France” label recently, in 2016. It owes its name to its location at the foot of the Roncesvalles pass, the pass being nicknamed “port” in the Pyrenees. Founded in the 12C, Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port, also called “Donibane Garazi” in Basque, was part of the Kingdom of Navarre. The Notre-Dame-du-Bout-du-Pont Church, the second Gothic building in the Basque Country, and the citadel remodeled by Vauban are among the must-sees in the village. Access: Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port train station, 1 hour by TER trains from Bayonne.

One hundred and fifty years later, what remains of the Seine of the Impressionists? The Chatou, Bougival, Louveciennes.etc, In the 21C, can we still find the rural charm of the 200 magnificent works created along these banks that Monet, Sisley and Renoir frequented assiduously? Yes we can, a tribute to France love of the arts and wonderful history and architecture to be seen all throughout, This is my contribution to let it known to all the world!

On August 24, 1837, the first French railway line to transport passengers was inaugurated: Paris Saint-Lazare-Le Pecq (Yvelines 78). The green setting of the department of Seine-et-Oise (which became Yvelines in 1968) attracts painters who lay on the canvas in fine touches of color luminous landscapes filled with poetry. Scorned by the critics, disdainfully nicknamed the “Impressionists”, Sisley, Renoir, Pissarro, Monet, Morisot paint the reflections of chestnut trees, birches and maples on the golden waters of this loop of the Seine. Today, their paintings proudly line museums around the world, including the Marmottan, the Orangerie and the Musée d’Orsay in Paris. On the banks of the Seine, 35 enamelled replicas of their paintings allow you to shine in their footsteps. A thematic map of the routes is even published by the tourist office Webpage:https://www.seine-saintgermain.fr/fr/a-voir -to-do/outings-and-leisure/hiking-walks/on-foot/circuit-monet/

Renoir and Monet, innovators in Croissy-sur-Seine (Yvelines 78). La Grenouillère ,this is how the Conty guide to the surroundings of Paris describes this guinguette which you can get to by ferry. Even if since May 18, 1852, a municipal decree requires swimmers to wear a bathing suit, it is only slightly respected. Suffice to say that this naughty place is very popular. Side by side, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Claude Monet together invent a new way of painting and produce a set of six paintings of the guinguette and its islet planted with a single tree connected to the pontoon boat by narrow and slippery planks. La Grenouillère burned down in October 1889. Rebuilt, the establishment was destroyed in 1920 during work to widen the Seine. Within the Espace Chanorier at 12, Grande Rue, the Grenouillere Museum houses reconstructions of life scenes (music, absinthe) with models in period costumes from the famous guinguette. Next door, the Local History Pavilion (free admission on Saturdays and Sundays from 14h30-18h) recalls the town’s market gardening past. The Grenouillere Museum webpage :http://www.grenouillere-museum.com/grenouillere/

The Pavilion of local history, memories of Croissy: https://lamemoiredecroissy.fr/le-pavillon-dhistoire-locale

Chatou, (Yvelines 78) the romantic Pierre-Auguste Renoir immortalizes the Luncheon of the Boating Party from the balcony of the inn run by Louise Fournaise on the island of Chatou. Her husband Alphonse, a boat carpenter, has set up a workshop and rents boats. Renoir will obviously paint these skiffs on the Seine. The balcony of the Maison Fournaise is identical to that of Renoir’s painting and the atmosphere on the banks of the Seine has not changed. The island now bears the name of the Impressionists. the Maison Fournaise, which has become a museum with immersive holograms, virtual paintings, videos featuring Renoir and his setbacks The Maison Fournaise webpage: https://www.musee-fournaise.com/www_musee_en

Bougival, (Yvelines 78) the bucolic. Installed in the hamlet of Saint-Michel, Claude Monet represents the bridge of Bougival inaugurated on November 7, 1858. In the evening, the sun tints the Seine with silver reflections, which he paints tirelessly. Alfred Sisley comes to join him: barges, locks, Marly machine, Île de la Loge are his favorite areas. Berthe Morisot spent all her summers there from 1881 to 1884, renting a house surrounded by a very large flower garden of hollyhocks where she painted her husband Eugène Manet and their daughter Julie. Two arches over the river and an aedicule that housed wooden needles responsible for protecting the machine from floating objects. The Hameau Saint-Michel winegrowers’ houses are as typical as when Monet lived there. Hollyhocks bloom on the sidewalks. At 4 rue de la Princesse where Berthe Morisot lived, which has become n°1 avenue de la Drionne, will become a space dedicated to the artist at the end of 2023. webpage: https://www.tourisme-bougival.com/en/visit-bougival/berthe-morisots-house/

Louveciennes,(Yvelines 78) the Pissarro family and Sisley lived in Louveciennes, a village of 900 inhabitants that Renoir also frequents, visiting his family and friends. Renoir immortalizes the Route de Versailles, the Rue du Village or the Promenades des Poules. Pissarro paints the streets of Voisins, the chestnut trees and Sisley, the Allée de la Machine and the Aqueduct. His painting represents very exactly the Tour du Levant where the water from the Seine arrived, pumped in Bougival by the Machine de Marly and transported to Versailles for the fountains of Louis XIV. He also painted the mid-side farmhouse, a forge intended for the maintenance of the Machine. The yellow house with green shutters of Renoir’s mother at 23, rue de Voisins is similar in all respects to that of 1870. The Allée de la Machine is strictly identical to the painting, the trees are simply taller and thicker. The mid-coast farm is in ruins and lush vegetation has taken over the place, but the paved path still allows you to descend to the Bougival lock. The Aqueduct is sumptuous. You can leisurely walk the 643 meters of the Aqueduct, admire the 36 arches and the work of the builders of yesteryear. Webpage: https://www.mairie-louveciennes.fr/DecouvrirLouveciennes/646/911

Marly, (Yvelines 78) .Sisley’s obsession .In flood, the Seine invades Port-Marly and Sisley seizes the sheets of water which surround the quiet house of a wine and spirits merchant (at St Nicolas). Resident of 2, avenue de l’Abreuvoir, he painted the watering hole in the park of the castle of Marly-le-Roi 17 times: summer, winter, under snow or frost, bathing horses…The name of the inn has changed, it is now a café for regulars, the Brazza. At the edge of the quays, house barges are permanently moored, with gates and letterboxes. A cycle path leads to Le Pecq or Bougival. In Marly-le-Roi, the horse trough dating from Louis XIV, the long wooded road that climbs along the park towards the museum of the Royal Estate of Marly… Everything is strictly identical, admire the shells of the trough, pond semicircular built by Jules Hardouin-Mansart in 1698 and restored in 2006. Port Marly webpage: https://www.port-marly.fr/index.php/Patrimoinehistorique?idpage=2093&idmetacontenu=36&iddossiercontenu=12

Marly le Roi webpage: https://www.marlyleroi.fr/Tourisme/5/

And I bet you thought Paris was all museums and parks, well there are some unusual places still around. Be safe. 300 prostitution parlors pinned in Paris, the 17éme particularly affected. Are there really a lot of massage parlors hiding places of prostitution in the 17éme? In any case, this is what the association Zéromacho (org for men against prostitution and for equality) asserts. The 17éme arrondissement would concentrate, on its own, around fifty prostitution parlors disguised as massage parlors . The district is certainly very affected, but it is far from being the only one . The 14éme, 15éme, and 9éme ,also include around thirty fake massage parlors each. According to the police headquarters, in 2021, four networks of pimps would have been dismantled in Paris, leading to the closure of only three businesses of this type in 2022, in the 17éme !! A far cry from the 53 fake salons listed by the Zéromacho association in this district/arrondissement. Oh those boys in blue need to do better, they are very easy to spot!

And now as usual some eat out in my eternal Paris!

The starred chef Yannick Alléno takes over the historic Prunier restaurant, in Paris opening on October 3, 2022. Webpage : https://prunier.com/en/restaurants

Jeffrey Cagnes, the former pastry chef of the historic Maison Stohrer is now flying on his own and this is anything but bad news. Free, he signs a range of inspired contemporary pastries without neglecting pastries. Like the brownie, the financier takes the form of a small domed corolla, sprinkled with icing sugar. Quite dense and with a good almond taste, it is available in two recipes: pistachio paste or caramel, each in a flowing insert, revealing itself when cut. Roasted pistachios for the first and hazelnut for the second give the crunchy side. 24, rue des Moines (17éme). Galeries Lafayette Le Gourmet, 35, boulevard Haussmann (9éme), webpage : https://jeffreycagnes.fr/

At the Hôtel Meurice ,Au Bar 228 until Saturday October 8, 2022 the caviar-smoked egg-brioche bread trio, staged on a small individual platter, accompanies a glass of Dom Pérignon vintage 2004 this Dom Pérignon “pairing”, designed as the marriage of a dish and a wine on the “by the glass” mode, includes a 30 gram box of caviar associated with a brioche tartlet garnished with a creamy smoked egg and horseradish surrounded by a lace of oxalis, fragile tangy aromatic growth. Webpage :https://www.dorchestercollection.com/en/paris/le-meurice/restaurants-bars/bar-228/

There you go folks, another round of my some news from France coming to you freely by the road warrior of this blog. Hope you enjoy the post and do prepare for a wonderful Fall season with a bang. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all !!!

October 2, 2022

Wines news of France XXXII !!

Well, we are now in Fall season , and October 2022 , so we are all ready for the cold weather indeed. Anyway, always good to bring the best of Wine news of France. First ,thanks to all my readers and/or followers! Oh yeah, the wines of France are just super simply awesome and a great tradition. Often imitated, some time equaled ,but never surpass! Let me give some news shall we; hope you enjoy it as I.

Artémis Domaines, owned by the Pinault family, merges with Maisons & Domaines Henriot and becomes a leading player in the wine sector. This operation is effective as of September 30, 2022.

Artémis Domaines is a group with unanimously recognized know-how for cultivating prestigious terroirs and producing exceptional wines with strict respect for the environment. Property of the Pinault family, the group owns Château Latour, 1er grand cru classé in Pauillac, the Clos de Tart in Morey-Saint-Denis and the Eugénie estate in Vosne-Romanée in Burgundy, the Château Grillet vineyard in the valley du Rhône, or the Eisele Vineyard located in the Napa Valley in California, as well as a minority stake in Champagne Jacquesson. Artemis Domaines webpage : https://www.artemis-domaines.com/

The Maisons & Domaines Henriot family group owns Bouchard Père & Fils in Beaune, William Fèvre in Chablis, Maison Henriot in Champagne and Beaux-Frères in Oregon. Champagne Henriot has belonged since 1808 to the very restricted circle of historic Champagne Houses that have remained entirely independent and family owned. Since 1731, Bouchard Père & Fils has brought together a fabulous wine-growing heritage of nearly 100 hectares in the Côte-d’Or, including many precious plots, such as Montrachet, Chevalier Montrachet, Vigne de l’Enfant Jésus, Corton Charlemagne, Bonnes Mares, Chambertin or Meursault Genevrières. Domaine William Fèvre is the most important operator of Grands Crus in Chablis. Founded in 1986, Beaux-Frères has established itself today as a benchmark estate in Oregon. Maisons & Domaines Henriot webpage : https://www.maisonsetdomaineshenriot.com/en/maisons-terroirs/

Bollinger’s grand design! The house of Aÿ is preparing for its bicentenary with a large format program that includes new cuvées but also the creation of a hotel and a restaurant. Webpage : https://www.champagne-bollinger.com/en/INT/

In just four years of existence, the La Bouche du Roi estate, located in Davron in the Yvelines,(dept 78) has imposed its production on the most beautiful tables in the region. Their chardonnay caught the eye of chef Thierry Marx, who selected it for its Madame Brasserie restaurant on the 1st fl (2nd US) of the Eiffel Tower, and their full range is served on the tables of Alain Ducasse at the Palace of Versailles. In barely four years, the wines of the La Bouche du Roi estate, produced in the Yvelines by Adrien Pélissié, Julien Bengue and Julien Brustis, have seduced the most demanding palates. For the past few days, their vats have been welcoming the first harvests of the six farmers from Essonne and Yvelines who have just embarked on viticulture with ambition. Versailles tourist office info : https://www.versailles-tourisme.com/domaine-la-bouche-du-roi.html

La Tour d’Argent organizes an online sale of old vintages,until October 8 2022, The resto is currently closed for restoration, but holds an exceptional sale of 1000 bottles initially intended to be served at its gastronomic table. The wine selection made by Victor González, the restaurant’s head sommelier, is made up of emblematic wines from the French terroir, including many Burgundy wines, but also little-known appellations from the national vineyard.More info webpage : https://epicerie.tourdargent.com/fr/179-les-automnales

Traditionally organized in June in Bordeaux, Gironde dept 33 in odd-numbered years, alternating with the River Festival, the wine tourism festival will now thrill the Bordeaux metropolis every June. See you from June 22 to 25, 2023, and in preview from June 15 The other major aspect highlighted by the Bordeaux Métropole Tourist and Convention Bureau, organizer of the event in coordination with the CIVB Bordeaux Wine Interprofessional Council (with the assistance of the Bordeaux Métropole Tourism Mission, the Nouvelle-Aquitaine Food Agency AANA, and the support of the City of Bordeaux, Bordeaux Métropole, the Nouvelle-Aquitaine Region, Aquitaine, the Departmental Council with Gironde Tourisme and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Bordeaux), it is the environmental aspect. Webpage : https://www.bordeaux-wine-festival.com/

Not wine, but worth mentioning . The oldest brewery in France, Meteor beers have been produced on the same Alsatian site, in Hochfelden, since 1640. In the Haag family since 1844, it is now run by Edouard, who embodies the eighth generation at the head of the company, The brewery achieves a production of 500,000 hectoliters of beer per year, a struggle to find a place in this competitive market which had 2,300 French breweries in 2020, In order to reduce its impact on the environment but also its costs, Meteor has set up a bottle return system,and an unique marketing campaign, webpage : https://www.brasserie-meteor.fr/en

And again not wine but goes with it marvelous !!! The first Great Mussel Festival arrives in October 2022 in Paris , The Great Mussel Festival takes up residence in the 4éme, 9éme and 13éme arrondissements, but also in Nogent-sur-Marne (Val de Marne 94). Organized by the catering group Cie Les Maquereaux, To take advantage of this popular meal, the organizers are offering you a single price of 15€ , La Grande Fête de la Moule at 14, quai de l’Hôtel-de-Ville – 4éme , 47-49 , avenue de Trudaine 9éme, 66, quai d’Austerlitz 13éme, and Square Tino-Rossi, Nogent-sur-Marne (94),From October 13, 2022 and from 19h30, Paris going out guide webpage : https://www.sortiraparis.com/hotel-restaurant/tendances-food/articles/282336-la-grande-fete-de-la-moule-debarque-a-paris-et-a-nogent-sur-marne

There you go folks, another wine episode of my belle France! The wines of France that is, superbe, sublime, wonderful, gorgeous, enjoy without moderation but accompanying a meal, family table just perfect. See you in the vineyards of France.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all !!!

October 2, 2022

My personal life in Central and South Florida !!!

As usually the case exchanging with a fellow blogger Valenciartist came upon the idea of telling you a bit more than just travel and anecdotes in my blog. After all, my life has been very rich and why not have some in my blog which is after all my life’s stories. Therefore , here is a bit extra on me from my life in Central and South Florida !!!, and in Volusia, Broward and Miami-Dade counties !!! Of course, I have other posts in my blog. Hope you enjoy this bit of personal trivia as I.

Let me tell you a bit more on my personal life in the Central and South Florida of mine. It is said that to remember is to live again, well I am doing just that with this post and the one on NJ. Florida was the last land lived before my moved to my belle France in 2003. My nostalgic moments of our time in Florida, several years, college graduation, marriage, sons to show for it, the works.

I lived for 18 years in Florida in addition to four years of University studies!!!while living in NJ (see post).  My first contact with the State of Florida took place in 1974 when I went from New Jersey to visit my father’s side aunt in Miami Lakes; it didnt seem that great, I guess I was already used to the cold weather from Spain and New Jersey lol! Then in August of 1977,  I went to pursue my university studies there, and settled at Daytona Beach. It was instant love, the city was warm, sunny but also cool in winter, nice folks and the beach and the girls was awesome. Spring Break is an event all American college students need or do go thru in their life,and its not to be missed.

On January 5 1985 arrived for good, this time living at Seaside Drive, Ormond by the Sea (North peninsula) on a house my parents had bought for their retirement ::) Beach bum boy was using it first Lol!!! Living was great as I could use the school library ,and became active in the soccer/football team that was playing in the Daytona Beach YMCA fields. I did obtain sponsorship with Coronado Title Co for a Co-ed indoor soccer team that finish Champion in 1986!! It was easy as my team was made up of women from the Univ Central Florida(rank in top 10 in USA soccer) and resident guys from England , Greece, and Germany!

For a shorter story, time went on and while traveling met a young French girl (Martine) working in Paris living in Meaux Seine-et-Marne dept 77 Île de France region in 1989.  This was quickly followed by visits to her family and hers to mine and before I knew it, this independent young men was married on December 26, 1990 at City Island municipal courthouse in Daytona Beach, deciding to live there. We went all over together, visiting France every year thereafter.

 My last home was in Miramar ,Silver Lakes divison of Sapphire Bay sub-division in Broward county . While there came down to Biscayne Blvd and the French Consulat to become a French citizen in 2000; before moving permanently to France in August 23, 2003.  We had 3 wonderful boys, one older (born in DB) and then identical twins,(born in Hialeah). While continuing to work in Miami Beacon Center area and my wife by the MIA airport. I have to add again here, sorry, the trip was not without losses as upon arriving in France my dear late mother Gladys passed away on December 27 2007, and later in the Morbihan breton my dear late wife Martine passed away on April 30 2018, so life is a beach cannot be all glory, there are ups and downs , and these were really deep downs; still sad and will always be sad, there is no words. My blog posts sweeting the pain a bit.

While in Florida early on was very much involved in my University, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University ,Eagles Soar as told by the Duke of Edinburg to our Pres John Paul Riddle upon training the British aviation personnel for the defense of their island nation before and during WWII.

Daytona Beach ERAU diploma BS av management PF 24april1982

Daytona Beach ERAU student card 1982

I took part in the ERAU univ Soccer/football team as libero or central defender where we played all over the State of Florida from 1980 to 1982. Also, participated in intramural Volleyball, beach Volleyball ,and Softball always reaching semis or finals, and winning one in Volleyball ,and co ed indoor soccer at the YMCA of Daytona Beach,  and Beach volleyball in Miramar !!

Daytona Beach ymca co ed soccer champion 1986

db ERAU management club softball team pedro in green in front seated 1981

Miramar JL audio beach volley team Pedro left seated front row 2001

Daytona Beach ERAU certificate Volleyball intramural PF 1977

I,also, participated and was name Treasurer of the Univ Management Club, a great honor indeed as was voted by my peers. I signed myself the id card lol !!

Daytona Beach ERAU management club member PF 03jan1981

I did my jury duty in the criminal courthouse of Fort Lauderdale, which gladly escape been chosen for the final jury. It was awful sad there…I was picked twice for the selection but escape both times !

Ft Lauderdale courthouse PF jury duty sep95

I became involved with associations that were part of my job such as the National Association of Credit Management in USA. We had our branch out of Tampa, and also , Orlando.

Miami NACM member Inter High Tech PF30august1997

I had my first management job function with an outfit called Promark Distributors out of Beacon center in Miami. This allows me to be member of the above organisation. In the mean time I was call up by big Microsoft for a job interview, it went so well the HR person told me the only candidate send to met them was me! I interview with a whole gang including the 2nd men Steve Ballmer at the time who came in for a handshake , another indication I was on the lead. However, after discussing with the wife, we decided the move was too far from France, and the area we lived was better so I refuse to the astonishement of my collegues, you have refuse Microsoft!! Yep I did it my way !

Miami Promark commercial with PF c1993

Hialeah visit job interview schedule Microsoft Redmond WA 4april1997

Hialeah visit job interview schedule Microsoft Redmond WA my refusal PF 14May1997

I was involved with the Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts Miami and importing wines from France with Philippe Dreyfus, a great great great…nephew of Captain Dreyfus famous affair in France. Also, participated on the first Spanish wines tapas event held at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables that after I left it has become the now famous South Florida Wine Festival! The event at the Biltmore Hotel counted with 35 Spanish bodegas and several Spanish oriented restaurants in the greater Miami area. I , also, participated with Alberto Mueller a journalist with Diario de Las Americas and hooked up with Gourmet Group of Spain introducing Spanish wines at Sunset Corners store at 8701 SW 72nd St. I went up to be awarded certificate as knowledable of Spanish wines by ICEX and French wines by SOPEXA. I was invited by dinner/wine tastings by Chuck Cassidy senior buyer of Crown Wines & Spirits, which I patronise first the store in Biscayne blvd North Miami and later the US 1 1590 South Dixie Highway, Coral Gables. I,also, worked for a short period at the ABC Wines and Liquors store that was in US 1, 725 S. Yonge Street, Ormond Beach and was in charge of wine stock and ordering under manager JD Brandy !! 

Miramar Sopexa diploma on wine knowledge

 And my last forays into politics were in the early 90’s before my eyes open up to American politics and no more.  I continued to received recognition by Republican groups, which I kept them all for the tell tell of any bar lol !!!

In closing, I had the distinct pleasure to start using Cruises into the Caribbean with an outfit called Windjammers Barefoot Cruises. I did a post on it but it was great and many memorable moments of my stayed in Florida. Unfortunately, the boat Fantôme was sank and destroyed with crews on board by hurricane Mitch. I have the book of the sad story and a post in my blog. I have found me the certificate of participation!

Ormond Beach windjammers fantome certificate c1984

As I am having lots of personal items here and my name, let me remind you all these are personal private properties and are not to be use in any way or manner falling under the US DMCA copyright rules which I have posted in my blog here: https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/1-all-rights-reserved/

The Daytona Beach tourist office (my oldest boy was born here): https://www.daytonabeach.com/

The city of Ormond Beach on leisure services (we lived here): https://www.ormondbeach.org/258/Leisure-Services

The city of Hialeah on things to see (my twin boys were born here): https://www.hialeahfl.gov/101/Visit

The city of Miramar on parks and recreation (we lived here last) :https://www.miramarfl.gov/1726/Parks-Recreation

My last Greater Fort Lauderdale tourist office: https://www.sunny.org/

The Visit Florida tourist board on Central East Flahttps://www.visitflorida.com/places-to-go/central-east/

 The Visit Florida tourist board on South East Fla: https://www.visitflorida.com/places-to-go/southeast/

There you go folks, a lot more about me and my personal life in Central and South Florida ,where my working life took off exponentially ,that eventually took me to my belle France. My Florida will always be remembered !!!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all !!!

October 2, 2022

My Florida !!!

Now far away in my new neck of the woods, the Morbihan Breton,sunny and clear reminds me of my Florida, The old Central and South Florida of my family and birthplace of my 3 sons, and I am nostalgic enough to update this older post with family trivia and less history of the place. After doing the trajects America ,Europe, America , and back to Europe, I like to remind myself of one special place ; the title is simple but the meaning is huge for us, this my story in Florida, the Sunshine State !(see other posts). Hope you enjoy it as I.

I had a brief visit in 1974 on the old National airline to visit my aunt (dad’s sister) in Miami Lake, However, it was my searching for an University to go to, saw one of my liking and trade in Daytona Beach, Florida and went there for 4 years Bachelor of Sciences degree.  This was ERAU or Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, simply the best in its field ; the Harvard of the Air ! Liking it so much or rather liking Daytona Beach so much, once back to worked in New Jersey could not remain there so decided to moved back to DB to live to the surprise of my parents. The independant boy was a determine young men and the beaches and bikinis was it lol!!!  This was the beginning of a beautiful story as was said in Casablanca, the movie.


I convince my parents to buy another home in Ormond by the Sea , north peninsula area while working in Daytona Beach, Volusia County, My parents did not took long to follow me within a year ) welcome, really we were very close and are with my Dad still with me. Growing up there made me visit other lands ,mostly in the Caribbean and Central ,South America, However, at the time Daytona Beach  was the spring training site for the baseball team of the Montreal Expos (French Canadians). French taken as a language in High School stayed with me and friendly with French students at the University.  For a shorter story,as already told in other post, as time went on and while traveling met a young French girl (Martine) working in Paris,born and  living in Meaux ,Seine-et-Marne dept 77 of the Île de France region in 1989.  This was quickly followed by visits to her family and hers to mine and before I knew it, this independent young men was married on December 26, 1990 at City Island municipal courthouse in Daytona Beach, deciding to live there. We went all over together, visiting France every year  then moved south to live and work at  North Miami, then Hialeah,in Miami-Dade county, and last Miramar in Broward county , While living in Silver Lakes division, Sapphire Bay sub division I became a  French citizen at the French consulate in Miami in 2000 , Eventually, moving permanently to France me in August 23, 2003, and after the house sold ,the rest of my family on December 13, 2003.  My parents again followed me and were given residency status immediately in France, We had 3 wonderful boys, one older (born in DB) and then identical twins,(born in Hialeah); the moved was not without sad events as my dear late mother Gladys passed away on December 27 2007 while living in Versailles, and with my dear late wife Martine passed away on April 30 2018,in our current home of Pluvigner, of my beautiful Morbihan dept 56 of the lovely region of Bretagne , The saying goes we cannot have it all, sad and still sad and will always be sad, there is no words. My blog posts sweeting the pain a bit.Thank you all for reading my blog all these years since 2010.

I like to tell you briefly, really short as too many towns and places in dear Florida, a State will never forget the experiences and which have many family members still living all over.  I will go into nostalgia lane to tell you of places we lived for 18 years ! I am used by now on Europe to use kilometers ,but below anything in km to miles is equal to 1 km = 0,621371 miles.ok.

Florida is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. Florida is a peninsula of 700 km and a narrow part in the form of a narrow “stove tail” (Panhandle).Climate change from North (cold really) to South (warmer) The coast of Florida extends for some 1 930 km. Considering the bays and capes, the cumulative length reaches about 13 600 km. No other U.S. state, except Alaska, has a longer coastline then Florida with as well more than 4 500 islands. Florida ; with almost 18% of its area under waters , it has nearly 1 700 courses of water, 7 800 sweet water lakes, 700 springs, 44 500 km2 of wetlands;  Florida has the largest concentration of  springs/water sources in the World. Okeechobee is the most extensive with more than 1 800 km2; It is shallow ,between 4.5 and 6 meters, like most Floridian lakes. Florida has five geographical areas such as the East Coast, West Coast, Central Florida, Panhandle (North), Southern Tip (Keys), and 12 National Park Service parks. The main highways are Interstate 4, Interstate 10, Interstate 75 and Interstate 95. The U. S. Route 1 connects Key West to the Canadian border. This section of the US Route 1, in the Keys, called Overseas Highway, is about 150 km long and has 42 bridges including the Seven Mile Bridge, the longest in Florida with 10.8 km . It has four international airports which I have used two,Orlando, Miami, with Fort Lauderdale and Tampa as well. A bit of history I like.  Since its discovery, in 1513, by the Spaniard Juan Ponce de León who baptized it “La Pascua Florida” (“Easter Flowers” in reference to Palm Sunday), Florida is an issue for the European colonial powers before integrating  it into the United States in 1845. The Pánfilo de Narváez expedition discovered the West coast of Florida, but he is killed in an Amerindian attack in 1528. In 1539, Hernando de Soto landed near the present day Bradenton near Tampa Bay and explored the interior of the land. The French Huguenot Jean Ribault approached the eastern coast of Florida in 1562 and took possession of Florida in the name of the king of France. He built the Charlesfort fortress to defend the new colony of French Florida. In 1564, René de Laudonnière founded a second fort in French Florida, Fort Caroline (Jacksonville).  In 1565,  after a great battle with the French at Fort Matanzas (massacre of the French…)  the Spanish colony of San Augustin was founded in 1565 by Pedro Menéndez de Avilés: It thus became the oldest colony of the United States occupied continuously by Europeans. The Treaty of Paris (1783) gave Florida back to Spain, without specifying its borders. The United States wants the old pre-1767 limit to be resumed. The Treaty of San Lorenzo ratified this choice in 1795. Florida was ceded to the United States by the Adams-Onís Treaty, signed in 1819, and formed a territory in 1822. The capital is located in Tallahassee, halfway between Saint Augustine and Pensacola. On March 3, 1845, Florida became the 27th state of the United States. The Cold War (1947-1991) intensified the development of the military-industrial complex; Florida is becoming a major issue because of its proximity to the communist island of Cuba. It accommodates thousands of Cuban refugees. Due to this immigration, Miami gradually became one of the major economic centers of Latin America. During the Missile crisis of 1962, the region could be directly threatened by Soviet nuclear missiles. As part of the competition with the USSR and because of its geographical location, Florida hosts the Patrick Air Force base and the launch base of Cape Canaveral (NASA).

My dear Volusia County stretches between the St. Johns River and the Atlantic Ocean. Volusia County was named after its largest community, Volusia, when the Florida legislature created it by dividing Orange County on December 29, 1854. The county is geographically divided into East Volusia,  also known as the Greater Daytona Beach Area, or the Halifax Area;  Southeast Volusia,  also known as the Greater New Smyrna Beach Area, and  West Volusia,  also called Saint John’s River Country (named for the Saint John’s River which lies nearby),  Adjacent counties are on the north ,Flagler , on the south Brevard, also south is Orange, and southwest is Seminole, west is Lake ,and northwest is Marion and Putnam counties. Interstate 95 is the main south-to-north interstate highway along the east coast of the state (an up to Canada)  as well as in Volusia County it has eight interchanges  or exits, three of them in Daytona BeachInterstate I-4 is the main west-to-east interstate highway through Central Florida (going from DB to Orlando to Tampa), however it also serves as the westernmost interstate highway in the county. It has  seven interchanges and becomes State Road 400 east of I-95. US 1.is the main local road through eastern Volusia County, running south to north. This one is more city central and slower traffic. US 17  is the main local road through western Volusia County, running south to north. US 92 (can go to Deland and Orlando)  west-to-east route shares a concurrency with US 17 further south in Polk County until branching off onto the International Speedway Boulevard in DB. Florida A1A.is the scenic coastal alternate route to US 1, which also includes some county road spurs and extensions. It goes parallel to the Atlantic Ocean.  SR 40, a west-to-east road in northern Volusia County enters the county from the Astor Bridge over the St. Johns River and heads east towards Ormond Beach or towards Ocala and west Florida on the other direction.


My glorious little town of Ormond by the Sea boundaries include the Volusia/Flagler county line on the north, the city of Ormond Beach on the south, the Atlantic Ocean on the east, and the Halifax River on the west. The area has traditionally been called the North Peninsula, although other nicknames such as OBC or OBTS are sometimes used.  My oldest boy was born in Halifax Hospital in nearby Daytona Beach. There are two principal roads, State Road A1A (also known as Ocean Shore Boulevard), which runs along the Atlantic Ocean, and John Anderson Drive, which runs along the Halifax River. A bit of history I like . The Timucuan Indians, who in the 16C occupied a large village called Nocoroco, located at the site of Tomoka State Park. Another nice area which I used a lot is the North Peninsula State Park, comprising approximately 800 acres (3.2 km2) along the A1A Atlantic Ocean road facing the sea! This is where I lived most. The wonderful  Bicentennial park facing the ocean we love , and then some more later on, The city we live is not a city but an incorporated area of the county of Volusia, however, our services and leisure activities like the park most were done out of the city of Ormond Beach.



And we came south to the newly name Miami Dade County . The old Dade County was created on January 18, 1836, under the Territorial Act of the United States. The county was named after Major Francis L. Dade, a soldier killed in 1835 in the Second Seminole War, at what has since been named the Dade Battlefield. On November 13, 1997, voters changed the name of the county from Dade to Miami-Dade  to acknowledge the international name recognition of Miami. Adjacent counties are north, Broward, southwest Monroe, and northwest Collier. It has great wonderful National Park Service such as the Big Cypress National Preserve, Biscayne National Park, and Everglades National Park.  Miami International Airport, located in an unincorporated area in the county, serves as the primary international airport of the Miami Area. One of the busiest international airports in the world , Miami-Dade County has 10 major expressways such as  I-75,(to go home!) ,  I-95, I-195 / SR 112,  I-395 / SR 836,  US 1,  US 27,  US 41,  US 441, and  SR A1A(ocean).


Our first foot on Dade County or later Miam-Dade county was North Miami, The city lies on Biscayne Bay.  Originally the town of “Arch Creek”, the area was incorporated as the “Town of Miami Shores”, which was renamed the “Town of North Miami” in 1931. It was reincorporated as a city in 1953. The city is also home to the Oleta River State Park, which is the state’s largest urban park. The park contains one of the largest concentrations of Australian pine trees found in a Florida state park. The Arch Creek Park  opened in 1982. Today, Arch Creek is an 8-acre (32,000 m2) site at the junction of N.E. 135th Street (right where our apt was!!!) and Biscayne Boulevard, and offers many opportunities for botanical, historical and archaeological study. It has a museum/nature center modeled after an early Florida pioneer home, displaying Indian artifacts dug from the grounds, and live animals from the nearby hammock. Remains of the original coontie mill are still visible across the creek, and the park exists as the only preserved archaeological site in the County.

And memorable close Hialeah ,the sixth-largest city in Florida and is the only place in the county, other than Homestead, Florida, to have its own street grid numbered separately from the rest of the county (which is otherwise based on Miami Avenue at Flagler Street in downtown Miami, the county seat).  Hialeah has the highest percentage of Hispanic population in the USA with almost 98% . My twin boys were born in Hialeah Hospital! The city’s name is most commonly attributed to Muskogee origin, “Haiyakpo” (prairie) and “hili” (pretty) combining in “Hialeah” to mean “pretty prairie”. Alternatively, the word is of Seminole origin meaning “Upland Prairie”. The city is located upon a large prairie between Biscayne Bay and the Everglades.


Broward County Its county seat is Fort Lauderdale. It was founded on April 30, 1915. It was intended to be named Everglades County, but then-Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives Ion Farris amended the bill that established the county to be named in honor of Napoleon Bonaparte Broward, Governor of Florida from 1905 to 1909. In 1915, Palm Beach County and Dade County contributed nearly equal portions of land to create Broward County.  Adjacent counties are north Palm Beach, south Miami Dade, west Collier, and northwest Hendry. The Fort Lauderdale–Hollywood International Airport serves as the primary airport of the Broward County area. The airport is bounded by the cities Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood and Dania Beach;  three miles (5 km) southwest of downtown Fort Lauderdale  and 21 miles (34 km) north of Miami. The airport is near cruise line terminals at Port Everglades and is popular among tourists bound for the Caribbean. Te major roads passing by it are the Interstate 95, I-75 ,I-595 (Port Everglades Expressway), Florida’s Turnpike (SR 91) Florida’s Turnpike Homestead Extension (SR 821) ,and Toll State Road 869 (Sawgrass Expressway).

And our last foothold in the USA was Miramar in Broward county, and it was name after the city of Miramar in Havana, Cuba (also near where I was born). The city has adjacent towns such as Pembroke Pines, Hollywood, West Park ,and  Miami Gardens. To the extreme west you find the Everglades! Miramar (en. seaview) was founded by A.L. Mailman to serve as a “bedroom community” for nearby Miami and Fort Lauderdale. He bought the original property he was to develop from H.D. Perry, Sr. in 1953.  The city was incorporated on May 26, 1955 bordered by the following cities,Pembroke Pines to the northwest and north,Hollywood to the  northeast, east West Park, and south Hialeah, Hialeah Gardens, and a bit of Miami Lakes. My sons went to school here at Silver Lakes Elementary School, memorable last school in the USA and they fondly remember it as well as their teachers! We lived at Silver Lakes Division west of I-75 interstate road on Sapphire Bay sub division our last spot in the USA and very fondly remembered it.



There you go folks , now you got all you need on Florida,and heck even me lol !! We fondly remembered the Sunshine State, and love it. We made a decision to move to France and we do not regretted either as it has been a roller coaster of fun and memories. Now ,the French reason is gone, but we still very much attach to France thanks to her courage and determination. My Martine, never to be forgotten. For now hope you enjoy my Florida.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all !!!

October 1, 2022

My personal life in Perth Amboy NJ !!!

As usually the case exchanging with a fellow blogger Valenciartist came upon the idea of telling you a bit more than just travel and anecdotes in my blog. After all, my life has been very rich and why not have some in my blog which is after all my life’s stories. Therefore , here is a bit extra on me from my life in Perth Amboy, Middlesex County, and New Jersey !!! Of course, I have other posts in my blog. Hope you enjoy this bit of personal trivia as I.

I lived for 13 years of my early life in Perth Amboy, Middlesex County, New Jersey. This is not counting the 4 years spent in univ in Fla. Our county seat was/is New Brunswick , where I became a US Citizen in 1980! My first contact with the American scene. My English is from here, my last years of middle elementary school, all of high school, my first driving license, sports, worked in parents small businesses as well as industry to save for University studies in Florida. Wonderful early life ,always fondly remember; Perth Amboy forever !!!

My schools! The William C. McGinnis Middle School for grades 5–8; and Perth Amboy High School for grades 9–12.  All from the 7th grade onwards , memories never forgotten and fondly remembered. The card below 1985 was just my student number ok,the year was 1977 !  I had an inclination for aviation to be a pilot but because of eyesight restrictiong end up in Aviation Management. Before university studies took a home course from the California Aircraft Institute of Los Angeles Calif in Spanish in April 1978.  Then, after graduating from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical Univ of Daytona Beach, Florida (see post) came back for my working experience outside the family at  EWR  Newark International Airport, Newark, with an outfit called Butler Aviation an FBO doing ticketing for charter flights from England and Greece as well as the UPS second day air delivery contract. This only lasted for about a year, as I realised I missed Florida, and went back to live there by 1985.

Perth Amboy middle school Mcginnis diploma PF 19june1973

Perth Amboy HS diploma of PF 20june1977

Perth Amboy HS student card c1977

Perth Amboy Calif Aircraft Inst diploma PF 3April1978

However, while in Perth Amboy, I took my training to be an income tax preparer for individuals and small businesses from H&R Block, the leading firm in the field at the time.  I was able to do the income tax for many families and small businesses such as ice cream parlors, misc vendors, and grocery store owners.

Perth Amboy H&R tax training accomp certificate 5dec1983Perth Amboy H&R tax training certificate PF 12May1983

My other function if you will is that I became a Notary Public and did several documents to individuals such as marriage affidavits and small business such as gathering of licenses. I became a member of the American Society of Notaries.

Perth Amboy Notary Public id card PF 8Nov1982

Perth Amboy Americans society of notaries member PF 6Dec1982

I , also , dwell into Real Estate and became an real estate salesperson with the ERA Clausen & Munson of Metuchen with the branch in Perth Amboy. I became license in real estate and was member of the Middlesex County Realtors Assoc and the NJ State Realtors assoc as well. My best year was a Million Dollar Club member selling 28 houses in one year. Unfortunately was hook up with casino gambling as it was opening up in Atlantic City and not much benefit from all this money. The gambling has long ago stop.

Perth Amboy State New Jersey real estate license PF 1983

Perth Amboy Realtor Certificate PF feb84

Perth Amboy Clausen and Munson Real Estate office members PF c1985

Perth Amboy Clausen Real Estate office sales force newspaper ad with PF c1985

And yes, well, lol! I was ,also ,an insurance salesmen with health and life licenses selling all king of products including IRA retirement and mutual funds with the Mutual of Omaha Ins Co out of Omaha, Nebraska with my office in Piscataway, NJ in the William Morgan division , not far from home. Here , I also, excel reaching builders’ Club status and was ranked 6th in the nation amongst first year producer/salespersons, and 2nd in the North East region of the USA! Group pic below I am first row 3rd from the right!

Perth Amboy Mutual of Omaha recognition Builders club 1984

Perth Amboy Mutual of Omaha ins sales recon PF c1985

Perth Amboy State New Jersey insurance license Mut Omaha code 1 life 4april1983

Perth Amboy State New Jersey life insurance license Mut Omaha code 2 health 4april1983


In other things, I was chosen to serve as an official challenger in the US elections by my then party Republican. I am now independant, no need to be in any, they are all the same….

Perth Amboy middlesex county official challenger PF c1986

However, before I realised the above, was very much involved in all local ,state ,and national political levels with the Republican party. I have achieved many distinctions from those years even meeting Presidents Ronald Reagan,and George Bush Sr, as well as NJ governor Tom Kean.

Perth Amboy Nat Rep Congress Comm recog PF jul86

Perth Amboy RNC recog PF 1983

In this run, I was elected as Second Vice Chairman of the Republican party at the local level on December 6 ,1984. And the awards and recognition follow like raindrops if only folks know of the games of a two party system! Enough said.

Perth Amboy The News TRibune newspaper news of VC Rep party PF jun84

As I am having lots of personal items here and my name, let me remind you all these are personal private properties and are not to be use in any way or manner falling under the US DMCA copyright rules which I have posted in my blog here: https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/1-all-rights-reserved/

The city of Perth Amboyhttps://www.perthamboynj.org/

The official Middlesex County on its history: http://www.middlesexcountynj.gov/About/Pages/History.aspx

The Central New Jersey tourist board on things to see includes Perth Amboy: https://www.gocentraljersey.com/historical-sites-tours/

The New Jersey tourist board on Perth Amboy: https://visitnj.org/nj/gateway-region/history#1|7||p_Perth%20Amboy|||||||one-time||

There you go folks, a lot more about me and my life in Perth Amboy New Jersey where my dreams began in freedom after passing by dictatorships of left and right in Cuba and Spain. My PA NJ will always be remembered !!!

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all !!!

October 1, 2022

My moment in Pittsburg PA !!

I found me a souvenir paper table setting of a memorable place in my life and even if not a picture, worth putting it in my blog. After all, as said, my blog is my life’s history and you search enough you will find me! Sadly, in those earlier days pictures were not my forte ; I was a post card collector which got to be over 4K and 76 countries. It was later on once on the travel forums that my inclination for pictures took off and eventually my blog since November 26, 2010. Well you get the picture, any heads up on the places is appreciated for my memories of the good old days.

I am kind of becoming nostalgic and try to remember places I have been in the USA but not lived. Well , if read my blog ,you know I lived in New Jersey and Florida for a total of 31 years…. Yes. Now let me tell you a bit more on Pittsburgh Pennsylvania USA !

Oh not the historical part, but the fact that was there stayed at the Hilton by the water point across from Three Rivers stadium (now gone) as 3 rivers do meet at the point (Allegheny, Monongahela, and Ohio). I was with a group of friends and went up to Liberty avenue and had a good time indeed…The hotel was tops first time staying in a fancy hotel it was an experience. There was the Three Rivers Park and then the Point Park with lush looks over the rivers. I believe the hotel name has been change from 1984, now is the Joinery Hotel a Hilton brand, correct me if wrong please.  webpage: https://www.hilton.com/en/hotels/pitktqq-joinery-hotel-pittsburgh/

Pittburgh Hilton hotel three point c1983

The find is that we went to another landmark now gone, here for the memories of always. The former Josephine’s Eating and Drinking Emporium Restaurant inside former Horne’s Department Store. It was a very nice place with a western saloon deco, broken up into several rooms and levels. And I notice wrote the street name below wrong!

Pittsburgh josephine resto bar 1984

A bit of old Pittsburgh story. The Joseph Horne Company, often referred to simply as Horne’s, was an iconic, regional department store chain based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The store was one of the oldest in the country being founded on February 22, 1849, but was often overlooked as it maintained only a regional presence. In 1879, he constructed a new central location at Penn Avenue and Stanwix Street in downtown/city center, a seven-story landmark which was the first department store in the city’s downtown. The chain ceased operations in 1994 and by 2006 the remaining was then under the Macy’s banner.

There you go folks a bit of Americana for you and me. Fond memories of my trip to Pittsburgh PA USA. Hope you enjoy the post as I.  I had a great time writing it for you and me.  Thanks for reading me in my blog !

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all !!!

October 1, 2022

The Church Saint Bily of Plaudren !

Again, my thrill of road warrior trips in my beautiful Morbihan took me to another new town ! Actually was on my round visiting towns and passed by these, that were unique.  Let me introduce you to Plaudren and its Saint Bily’s Church. Hope you enjoy the find as I.

The town of Plaudren is located in the canton of Grand-Champ and the department 56 of my beautiful Morbihan, in the my lovely region of Bretagne. The town is 18 km from our capital City of Vannes ,and 30 km from my house. The one monument that made me stop here was the Church Saint Bily, and here is my take on it.

Plaudren ch St Bily front sep22

The town of Plaudren is crossed by three rivers: the Arz, which has its source south of the town, which is a tributary of the Oust, therefore a sub-tributary of the Vilaine; the Loc’h (or river of Auray) , which rises to the east of the town; and the Claie, which is also a tributary of the Oust, therefore a sub-tributary of the Vilaine.

The Saint Bily’s Church is an imposing building located in the town center, this neo-Romanesque church was completed in 1896. It is dedicated to the patron saint of the parish, Saint Bily. A buried semi-spherical lech is visible in front of the southern sacristy. Plaudren has always strongly affirmed its Breton character as opposed to neighboring towns speaking Gallo. The parish church benefited from a major restoration program (exterior and interior) during the years 1998,1999 and 2000.

Plaudren ch St Bily side front sep22

Ancient parish, Plaudren had for centuries a church located at the exact location of the current one and surrounded by its cemetery where hemispherical stones attest to the antiquity of the site. The old church was of poor taste and without style and character, according to some. Already battered by events, since the tower collapsed in 1731, the church had to suffer a lot during the French revolution. At the beginning of the 19C, there were calls for repairs ,and it was in 1886 that we really worried about its reconstruction. As early as 1890, work was only done in the choir,,and an audacious plan for a new church was done. The new church nevertheless presents a monumental aspect. It imposes itself by the importance of its elevation, the size of its nave, the golden color of its stones. In neo-Romanesque style, these reminiscences of this style are found everywhere: in the Latin cross plan with its semi-circular apse and the apsidioles on the wings of the transept, in the semicircular openings twinned with the gables, tripled on the chamber of bells, with a drip edge to accentuate their curvature. Built in the work, the bell tower is preceded by a forepart which acts as a porch and whose arcade is supported on granite columns, inside a triangular gable. the buttresses rise up to the bell chamber, framed by corner columns.

Plaudren ch St Bily chevet sep22

Other things to see here me think is the Cross of Saint-Bily erected at the entrance to the town of Plaudren on the site where a bishop is said to have been assassinated. Saint Bily was Bishop of Vannes at the turn of the 9C and 10C. He would have been born near Redon around 840, is attested as bishop of Vannes from 892, and would have died assassinated at Saint-Bily between 913 and 919. He was beheaded by the lord of Kervasy,or even some said vikings ! at the site of the Calvary and would have been buried at the site of the chapel.

The town of Plaudren on its heritagehttps://www.plaudren.fr/eglise-et-chapelles

The Gulf of Morbihan tourist office on Plaudrenhttps://www.golfedumorbihan.bzh/explorer-vannes/decouvrir-vannes/golfe-morbihan/landes-de-lanvaux/plaudren/

There you go folks, another dandy road warrior ride and another nice find in Plaudren! These are the off the beaten paths town we love to go by,and look forward to more ,and more of Plaudren. Again hope you enjoy the post as I.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all !!!

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