Archive for ‘Americas’

December 31, 2019

My year 2019!!! thank you all!!!!!!

So here we are , another year went by today is December 31 2019 in most parts of the world. I like to first tell you thank you for all your likes and comments during this year, it is appreciated. I write about my travels, likes and fun things to keep a history of my life for my future generations and hopefully encourage others to do the same and do travel.

Let me say a few words on the New Year’s Eve and New Year Day.

In the Gregorian calendar , New Year’s Eve (also known as Old Year’s Day or Saint Sylvester’s Day in many countries), the last day of the year, is on 31 December. In many countries, New Year’s Eve is celebrated at evening social gatherings, where many people dance, eat, drink, and watch or light fireworks. Some Christians attend a watchnight service. The celebrations generally go on past midnight into New Year’s Day  January 1.

We do have a late night meal with friends after drinking all day (we just began with Porto red lol!) and do see out the fireworks to await the New Year in my current country of France.

New Year is the time or day at which a new calendar year begins and the calendar’s year count increments by one. Many cultures celebrate the event in some manner and the 1st day of January is often marked as a National Holiday. In the Gregorian calendar,  the most widely used calendar system today, New Year occurs on January 1 as New Year’s Day. This was also the first day of the year in the original Julian calendar and of the Roman calendar after 153 BC.

During the Middle Ages in western Europe, while the Julian calendar was still in use, authorities moved New Year’s Day, depending upon locale, to one of several other days, including March 1, March 25, Easter, September 1, and December 25. Beginning in 1582, the adoption of the Gregorian calendar has meant that many national or local dates in the Western World and beyond have changed to using one fixed date for New Year’s Day, January 1. During the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire years beginning on the date on which each consul first entered the office. This was probably May 1 before 222 BC, March 15 from 222 BC to 154 BC, and January 1 from 153 BC.

Other cultures observe their traditional or religious New Year’s Day according to their own customs, sometimes in addition to a (Gregorian) civil calendar. Chinese New Year, Islamic New Year, traditional Japanese New Year, and the Jewish New Year are the more well-known examples. India and other countries continue to celebrate New Year on different dates. The official dates in some countries were Holy Roman Empire (Germany) 1544 .Spain, Portugal,   Poland 1556. France (edit of Roussillon) 1564. Great Britain (Ireland, British empire) 1752, Scotland 1600.

In my current adopted country of France, New Year’s Eve (la Saint-Sylvestre) is usually celebrated with a feast, le Réveillon de la Saint-Sylvestre. This feast customarily includes special dishes including foie gras, seafood such as oysters, and Champagne (plenty of it!). The celebration can be a simple, intimate dinner with friends and family or, une soirée dansante, (dancing night away)  a much fancier ball. On New Year’s Day friends and family exchange  New Year’s resolutions, kisses, and wishes.  We are all alone out west so will have my Dad and 3 sons and our dog borador Rex. Some people eat ice cream, actually we do eat logs or Bûches of different flavors. The holiday period ends on 6 January with the celebration of Epiphany (the 3 wise kings brings gift to the child Jesus and we get our gifts on this day).  A traditional type of flat pastry cake, la galette des rois, made of two sheets of puff pastry, filled with frangipane (almond paste) is eaten; nowdays we have in chocolate, raspberries flavors too . The cake contains a fève, a small china doll (can be of different characters) ; whomever finds it becomes king or queen and gets to wear a gold paper crown and choose his or her partner. This tradition starts nowdays practically right after Christmas on December 25 and go on to January 6.

More info on it here by Local news journal in English: The Local news journal on New Year’s Day to do things

In my other dear country of mine in Europe, also citizen as Spain. New Year’s Eve (Nochevieja  or old night) celebrations usually begin with a family dinner, traditionally including shrimp or prawns, and lamb or capon. The actual countdown is primarily followed from the clock on top of the Royal House of the Post Office in Puerta del Sol square in Madrid (many years waiting for it here!) . It is traditional to eat  twelve grapes, one on each chime of the clock (and we in my family had a 13 the last one we threw away making a wish for the new year) . Nowadays, the tradition is followed by almost every Spaniard, and the twelve grapes have become synonymous with the New Year. After the clock has finished striking twelve, people greet each other and toast with sparkling wine such as cava,Champagne or cider. Earlier in the evening at around 20h, there is a 10k run called the San Silvestre Vallecana, which starts on Paseo de la Castellana next to the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium (Real Madrid!), and ends at the Vallecas stadius (Rayo Vallecano). Professional runners come to Madrid for this 10k. After the family dinner and the grapes, many young people attend cotillones de nochevieja parties (named for the Spanish word cotillón, which refers to party supplies like confetti, party blowers, and party hats) at pubs, clubs, and similar places. Parties usually last until the next morning and range from small, personal celebrations at local bars to huge parties with guests numbering the thousands at hotel convention rooms. Early the next morning, party attendees usually gather to have the traditional winter breakfast of hot chocolate and fried pastry (chocolate con churros). Yes indeed i have to say a more vibrant celebration than in France.

More info from the Local news journal in English: The Local news journal on New Year’s things to do

Now to follow the groupies, some of the towns I have been in 2019 (and can remember lol!!) have been in no chronological order

Pays de la Loire: Nantes, Clisson, Le Mans, Angers, Guérande, Piriac sur Mer, Brissac-Quincé, Montreuil-Bellay,

Bretagne: Josselin, Guidel, Larmor-Plage, Baden, Gourin, Vannes, Auray, Concarneau, Quimper, Saint Armel, Guidel plage, Quiberon, Carnac, Sainte Anne d’Auray, Saint Nolff, Questembert, Rochefort en Terre, Locronan, Châteauneuf-du-Faou, Sarzeau,

ïle de France: Paris, Versailles, Saint Denis

Hauts de France: Chantilly

Normandie: Alençon

Spain: Madrid

Just doing this count realise, not much foreign visits in 2019 due to a reduce family and lack of envy, will see if 2020 can improve on it. Again thanks for following me in my travels, and always hoping you enjoy it as much as I

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!! As well as Happy New Year 2020, Bonne Année, Feliz Año Nuevo and Feliz Ano Novo!!!

 

 

 

December 29, 2019

My last house in USA!

So now that I took time to remember one nice shopping experience in Florida many years ago, why not bring back and in more details my last house in Florida and the USA. Time to let 2019 go away and start 2020 with nice memories of my globettrotter life that has taken me to lived in 6 countries , work in 5, citizen of 4 and visiting 81! Hope you enjoy this story dear to me. For info I have an early single life in New Jersey with posts here.

My last home in the United States was in Miramar, Broward county, Florida. We had a nice home there. Let me tell you a bit about the State of Florida.

Florida is located in the southeast of the United States, on the so-called Gulf Coast. It 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. it is the third most populous state in the country. With an area of 151,940 km2, Florida ranks 22nd among the United States. Florida’s coastline stretches some 1,930 km. Considering the bays and headlands, the cumulative length reaches around 13,600 km. No other US state, except Alaska, has a longer coastline. Florida is made up in the east of a peninsula of approximately 630 km long and in the west of a narrow coastal strip of approximately 330 km long in the shape of panhandle. It is subdivided into 67 counties which exercise various local prerogatives. The political capital is Tallahassee, but the most populated agglomeration is Miami.

Since its discovery in 1513 by the Spanish Juan Ponce de León who baptized it “la Pascua Florida” (“Easter flowers” in reference to Palm Sunday). He landed on the eastern coast of the peninsula between April 2 and 8, 1513, probably near the site of the current city of Saint Augustine which in turn is founded in 1565 by Pedro Menendez de Aviles. The Pánfilo de Narváez expedition recognized the west coast of Florida, but the Spaniard died in a Native American attack in 1528. On May 30, 1539, Hernando de Soto landed near the current Bradenton south of Tampa Bay and explore the interior.

St Augustine

Florida has been an issue for the European colonial powers before integrate the United States in 1845. In May 1865, the northern general Edward M. McCook was charged with regaining control of Florida. He challenged Colonel George Washington Scott, hoisted the flag of the United States on the state capitol in Tallahassee and read the proclamation of slave emancipation on May 12. The Civil War is over in Florida, which is officially reinstated in the Union on July 25, 1868.

Florida is becoming a major issue because of its proximity to the communist island of Cuba. It welcomes thousands of Cuban refugees. Miami gradually became one of the main economic centers of Latin America.

The official tourist webpage for Florida : Visit Florida official tourist webpage

And a bit on my last county of Broward

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 (now Miami-Dade county) contributed nearly equal portions of land to create Broward County.  Adjacent counties are to the north Palm Beach, south Miami Dade, west Collier, and northwest Hendry.

Fort Lauderdale

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. Public transportation available are the Broward County Transit, Tri-Rail, Sun Trolley, and the 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).

Broward county tourist office : https://www.sunny.org/

Cities of Broward county:  Official Broward county on cities

Then, my city my last in the USA.

Miramar  is in Broward county, my last town in the USA, 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,(for shopping) ;Hollywood (for the beach), West Park ,and  Miami Gardens. To the extreme west you find the Everglades!.

Miramar (English is 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.

Miramar

This was our homeowners association in Silver Lakes with the different sub divisions: Silver Lakes Homeowners Association

And the city of Miramar FL : have it on parks we enjoyed a lot: City of Miramar on parks

And this is where we lived last/ Description of sub division Sapphire Bay of Silver Lakes: Sapphire Bay is a neighborhood in Miramar, Florida. Sapphire Bay mostly features midsize homes that are competitively priced. This is a well-established community that continues to attract interest from buyers looking in the Miramar area. More info on property values , map, and  living ideas is here: Neighborhoods on Sapphire Bay Miramar

Miramar

Miramar

miramar

There , now you got all you need on Florida,and heck even me lol!!! Love the Sunshine State. 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 (my dear late wife Martine) is gone, but we still very much attach to France thanks to her courage and determination. Never to be forgotten. Enjoy the State of Florida.

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

 

 

 

December 29, 2019

Dolphin Mall, Miami USA!

So let’s make a 360 degree turn and get you back to the Americas and the good grand Florida USA or more specific Miami Florida. And the shopping of Dolphin Mall!!!

I enjoy life’s pleasure and do not mind going shopping with the family or friends as long as there are nice places to have a drink and or eat and the Dolphin Mall was one of my favorite hangouts when lived closed by. I used to live lastly in Florida at Silver Lakes, Miramar, Broward County but worked in Miami, Miami-Dade County. The relationship goes way back and enjoy my 18 years living in Florida! After all , graduated from University there, got married there, and my 3 boys were born there! And even thus was already French there since 2000 , finally left permanently to France in 2003…

Miami

Now let me tell you a bit on this wonderful shopping center / Mall. The Dolphin Mall!

Dolphin Mall (11401 N.W. 12 Street) a shopping center in actually today’s Sweetwater, Miami-Dade County,  west of the city of Miami. Bordering the now call Ronald Reagan Turnpike toll road on the west , and the junction with the Dolphin Expressway or State Road 836  that takes you all the way to the McArthur Causeway into Miami Beach at  5th Street and right into the Beach!! You really need to pinpoints the places there as there are about 7 different towns with the name Miami on it including the most famous Miami Beach.  The mall opened on March 2001.

Miami

The Dolphin Mall is accessible by public transportation via bus line 7. If you go to the Dolphin Mall on weekends, take bus 238 from Miami Airport. It will take you directly and non-stop to the Dolphin Mall.  Here is the Metrobus network I have on 238 westbound from airport to the mall: Miami Dade County gov transportation bus schedules

Of course the above is for info only, I always drove a car there… 8,500 free parking spaces including a state of the art parking garage, featuring a convenient race track layout for easy-access shopping. The Dolphin Mall is located from Miami Airport (10.5 km) Coral Gables (13.5 km) Coconut Grove (15.1 km) ,and Little Havana (16.8 km).  And last check the hours are open 7 days a week. Opening hours may vary from week to week. In general, the shopping center opens at 10h or 11h and closes at 20h (8 pm).

Dolphin Mall has more than 250 stores and a wide selection of discounted brands making it one of the most popular and busiest malls in Miami area.  Dolphin Mall is the largest mall in Miami , and the second-largest mall in Miami-Dade County.

Dolphin Mall is separated into three major universes:

Ramblas: built in the form of a village square with restaurants and entertainment

Playa: designed to remind South Beach, there are stores for clothing, accessories and home decor.

Moda: which refers to Collins Avenue and Bal Harbor with its chic and refined atmosphere

Miami

Dolphin Mall brings together shops for clothes, video games, toys, cosmetics, etc., as well as restaurants, a 19-screen cinema, a children’s play center, an arcade and a bowling alley.  Experience life with an exciting mix of entertainment venues such as CineBistro, Dave and Buster’s and Bowlero Miami. Crave life with more than 30 diverse dining options in the Food Court, and 19 sit-down restaurants including Texas de Brazil Churrascaria, P.F. Chang’s China Bistro, Brio Tuscan Grille, El Gran Inka Peruvian Gastrobar, Buffalo Wild Wings , Milanezza Argentinian Restaurant & Bar and The Cheesecake Factory. Live life to the fullest here.

My favorites there were the JC Penney store,( no longer there) , and Burlington, plus the cinema, the outdoor live music events under the Florida sky, just sublime. come to shop or come to party is all here. Gap, Banana Republic, the Borders Book store, FYE Entertainment (no longer there 2009 picture) , Sbarro’s,  The Cheesecake Factory, and TGIFridays, for food eating, a great place for the whole family.

Miami

Miami

The official Dolphin Mall webpage is here: Shop Dolphin Mall

Tourist office of Miami and the Beaches on the Dolphin Mall

And there you go, come under the sun and do some serious shopping in a grand location. Things have change a lot since i left it, by looking at the webpage but according to local family still a place to be. Hope you enjoy the shopping at Dolphin Mall Miami or is it Sweetwater...

The text is from 2019 the photos are from 2009 last visit !

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

 

 

 

 

December 20, 2019

The market , Daytona Beach!

Ok so let’s swing around and go over the pond or ocean the Atlantic for memories of old that never fade away! As said we love the markets and this is not just a new found thing, we go way back as a family our first experience happened in Daytona Beach Florida USA

This is a sentimental post for us but will tell you a bit about the flea market at Daytona Beach.

Wow I read that the Daytona Flea Market is ranked one of the top five markets in the USA and top 10 in the world! The market boasts hundreds of vendors, a top notch farmer’s market, specialty stores, antiques, and two indoor shopping malls!!! It has grown indeed over the years

I have been coming here since living in nearby Ormond by the Sea and going to college in Daytona Beach, the city I got married and my oldest son was born at Halifax Hospital, and baptized at St Brendan’s Catholic Church in Ormond by the Sea!  Memories galore of a wonderful place of fast speed and fast oh well everything in season. I have done some older post on this stories but not on the market.

My experiences here goes back to 1977! And ended in 2003 when I left Florida for France! Already a French citizen to brag lol! However, all my adult young history was base around here first alone, then with my parents, then with my wife and later my older boy and then visited with the whole gang before departing Florida. A one stop shopping and cultural experience recommended to all.

Hardly a photo left but here I am with my paternal grandfather of Tenerife!And my parents.

daytona beach flea pipo mima y abuelo manolo

The Daytona Flea Market is another that makes a proper event out of the market. At least once a month it offers either an arts and crafts fair or the Classic Car Cruise-In. Daytona Flea Market features stalls stretching over 3 miles and there is plenty of shopping to be had. It is worth getting to this market earlier on in the day, for ease of parking as well as sourcing the best items.

Note that Daytona Flea Market is not the place to hit for specific antiques, but instead is a haven for all things second-hand and curious. Sellers are there to clear their tables, so barter away for some awesome bargains! Located at 1425 Tomoka Farms Rd, Daytona Beach, FL and open Friday, Saturday, Sunday from 9 am to 5pm or 9h to 17h year round.

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Official Daytona flea Market

City of Daytona Beach on the flea market

Tourist office of Florida on the Daytona Flea Market

Hope you enjoy the post and do stop by! for me it is wonderful memories and thank for sharing them in my blog.

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

 

 

December 12, 2019

Colonel Armand, France and USA!

Ok so as I like history, will tell you about one personnage very dear to me and many others… I read about it while living in New Jersey many years ago, and finally while walking the streets of Fougéres in dept 35 Ille et Vilaine of my lovely Bretagne came upon a statue of him very seldom mention but worth a lot for the history of the two dear countries of mine. The story is long even if condensed bear with me and hope you like it.

Armand-Charles Tuffin, Marquis de La Rouërie, born April 13, 1751 in Fougères,dept 35 Ille et Vilaine died January 30, 1793 at the Château de La Guyomarais in Saint-Denoual, dept 22 of Côtes d’Armor all in Bretagne. He was a French soldier, hero of the American Revolutionary War and the organizer of the Breton Association. After a stormy youth, La Rouërie decides to go to America. He participates in the American War of Independence in the Continental Army. Known as Colonel Armand, he distinguished himself at the head of the 1st Legion of Dragons and actively participated in the Battle of Yorktown. Admirator of the American Revolution, friend of George Washington, La Rouërie returned to France with the rank of brigadier-general, decorated with the cross of Saint-Louis and the order of Cincinnatus. Back in Bretagne, La Rouërie defends the Parliament of Brittany against the edicts of Versailles, which is worth to be locked in the Bastille July 14, 1788. Opposed to absolutism, he first saw with joy the signs of the French revolution but the refusal of the Breton nobility to have deputies at Versailles prevents him from playing a role in the States-General. Royalist freemason, La Rouërie rallies the counter-revolution following the suppression of the particular laws and customs of Brittany. He created the Breton Association to raise an army against the revolutionaries. Betrayed, the Rouërie dies before being able to finish his enterprise but the movement organized by the marquis was later to be precursor of the Chouannerie (rebels in Brittany,Maine, Anjou and Normandy regions in favor of Royals and against the French revolution).

Fougeres

A bit of a long history I like

In 1766, his family bought him a certificate of sign in the regiment of French Guards. Aged 15, he left the Château de Saint-Ouen-la-Rouërie where he spent his childhood for Paris. He takes his service at Versailles. The French Guards being an elite body and parade, the leisure takes more time than the service, at the beginning life in Paris and Versailles pleases him, but quickly it is gained by the boredom. During a duel, due to a dispute over the cooking of a chicken!, he badly wounds the comte de Bourbon Busset to the point that one fears for his life. This event provoked the anger of King Louis XVI, whose Bourbon Busset was a childhood friend. The duels being prohibited, the King threatens to hang the marquis. Rouërie resigns from the French Guards and exiles in Geneva. This exile does not last, the King agrees that La Rouërie can return to France on the condition that he withdraws to his land.

It was during this period that the news of the American Revolution finally reaches Brittany. La Rouërie was initiated to Freemasonry, to the lodge of the Royal-Roussillon Cavalry Regiment; the Perfect Union and also frequents the Masonic Lodge of Fougères, the Aimable Concorde as Scottish Master. The Freemasons fougerais, in correspondence with their American counterparts, frequently receive news from the Thirteen Colonies; it is thanks to these steps that La Rouërie keeps abreast of the events. The desire for revenge on the English in the wake of the Seven Years’ War, the taste for adventure, the desire to forget his past, the opportunity to revive his military career abroad with a cause that he is right, are the principal motives which impel La Rouërie to embark for America.

After a first unsuccessful attempt to leave on a French ship, the Amphitrite, belonging to Beaumarchais from Le Havre, La Rouërie managed to embark, with one of his servants named Lefebvre on the Morris, an American ship sailing from Nantes. in the first months of the year 1777. An eventful voyage, which ends at swimming ashore, the English having attacked the ship in Delaware Bay. A boat is put to the sea, Rouërie takes place with his servant after the captain handed him the dispatches. Refusing to leave the cargo to the English, Captain Anderson blows up his ship. The boat is overthrown by a wave caused by a cannonball and all its occupants must swim to the shore. Rouërie and Lefebvre arrive in Philadelphia and get an audience with the Congress to offer their services in the Continental Army. The Marquis was recommended to Congress by Robert Morris. At the hearing, La Rouërie says he is ready to refuse to pay a salary, only wishing to put his sword in the service of the cause. He also declares that, not wishing to be known under his title of marquis or under family name, he wishes to keep only his baptismal name, which is why he had to engage himself under the name of Charles Armand and be known by the nickname Colonel Armand. This spirit of panache and devotion pleases the Congress which gives Armand, on May 10, a the right to use colonel. Confirmed in his rank of colonel, La Rouërie can not however join the continental army, because at this moment no post is vacant, instead he is allowed to raise a body of partisans and militiamen. There are, however, few Frenchmen in the US Army at this time and La Rouërie is to report to a commander of a free infantry corps, composed mainly of German-speaking Pennsylvanians. Quickly, Rouërie enters into conflict with the commander, reproaching him for his looting habits. Gen Washington gives him reason, he dismisses the commander and La Rouërie takes the head of the infantry corps.

Fougeres

The Battle of Short Hills (New Jersey) is the baptism of fire of La Rouërie which is placed with its troops at the forefront of the attack. The battle ends, however, with a defeat for the Americans against the British better trained and twice as many. Armand’s corps, made up of infantrymen and dragons, officially takes the name of 1st battalion of the legion of partisans. The Patriots, however, resume some hopes when they learn the victory of General Horatio Gates at the Battle of Saratoga. The latter had to convince king Louis XVI to send troops. La Rouërie and La Fayette were then the only two French officers of high rank in the American army, La Fayette arrived in America in July, shortly after La Rouërie, quickly they experience friendship and mutual esteem. In the spring of 1778, La Rouërie obtained the authorization of the Congress to create a legion of “Free and Independent Chasseurs” of 452 men and 14 officers, placed under his orders and supported financially by the Congress. As early as March, he recruited volunteers from prisoners of war. Armand’s corps consisted of horse-drawn dragons and light infantrymen, who rode horsemen as the legion moved long distances.

La Rouërie is in charge of capturing Colonel John Graves Simcoe, commander of a troop, the Queen’s Rangers who had been marked by many ravages. After a long ride Armand Legion seizes Simcoe on the Raritan River near South Amboy, New Jersey, (near where I lived there!!!) as it prepares to sink ships. US troops of the Southern Army have suffered several defeats and are particularly lacking in cavalry. Gen Washington decided to reinforce the Southern army with the Delaware and Maryland regiments, as well as with the Armand legion. General Casimir Pulaski (a Polish American hero and places there name after him today) was killed on October 11, 1779 at the Savannah headquarters. On February 25, 1780, Congress decided to incorporate what remains of the Pulaski Legion into the Armand legion. In May 1780, La Rouërie took the road south, before joining the army he made a stop in Wilmington, North Carolina, where are the soldiers of Pulaski responsible for strengthening his legion.

La Rouërie embarked for France in February 1781, he traveled with Colonel John Laurens to negotiate financial assistance to King Louis XVI. Following a trip without any surprises, the Marquis de La Rouërie arrived in Versailles in April 1781. Wishing to make the King and the Court forget his stormy past in the French Guards, he had asked and obtained from Gen Washington a certificate of service status. But the main goal of La Rouërie is to obtain the necessary equipment to rearm its legion. For this, he must go into debt and pledge his own land. After a visit to Fougères and Saint-Ouen-la-Rouërie where he visited his family, La Rouërie embarked with his cargo at Brest, towards the end of June 1781, aboard one of the two French ships who form a convoy of arms for the Americans, escorted by The Magician, a frigate of the Royal French Navy. During the trip, one of the transport ships dismay during a storm and must go to Spain for repairs. The other ship carrying La Rouërie and her cargo arrives in Boston on August 15th. La Rouërie thus returns to America after six months of absence.   Nevertheless, thanks to the intervention of the Kingdom of France and the Kingdom of Spain, the outcome of the war seems to turn to the advantage of the Insurgents. In Virginia, English Gen Charles Cornwallis must shut himself up at Yorktown with his army. when the French and American troops, led by Gen Washington, Gen Rochambeau and Marquis de La Fayette, march on Yorktown, La Rouërie is in Philadelphia, where he tries to recruit new troops. Legion veterans still fight in the La Fayette division. But the fact of being removed from the operations becomes unbearable for La Rouërie who decides to join the army. After two weeks of travel, he joined the Franco-American camp near Yorktown, a few days before the siege of that city.

To take Yorktown, the French and Americans must first take the two redoubts that are the main defensive elements of the city. However, both must be taken during the same offensive, otherwise the English will have no trouble in taking the other. It is decided that the French and Americans will each attack a redoubt. On the French side, the attack was led by Antoine Charles of Houx de Viomenil, but the troops that formed the spearhead of the attack were commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Guillaume de Deux-Pont, seconded by the Baron de l’Estrade . For the second redoubt, on the left, it was the Marquis de La Fayette who led the attack for the Americans, the command of the offensive came to Colonel Alexander Hamilton, assisted by Colonel Gimat, the former aide La Fayette camp, and Colonel John Laurens. The attack is scheduled for 11 pm.   In the afternoon, a few hours before the attack, Colonel La Rouërie will find General Washington and ask permission and honor to participate individually in the assault of redoubts, without exercising command and accompanied of only a few of his officers. Washington agrees. The attack, at night, is successful; the Americans seize their redoubt more quickly than the French. During the fight, La Rouërie is among the first to enter the American redoubt. Three days later, on October 17, 1781, General Charles Cornwallis surrendered.

However, in June 1782 La Rouërie left Virginia after six months in Charlottesville. He is ordered to settle with his troop in York, Pennsylvania. In early 1783, Colonel Armand still serves in the US Army. Arrived among the first in America, Rouërie is one of the last French to leave. The French Expeditionary Force re-embarked for France at the end of 1782 and La Fayette departed shortly after the siege of Yorktown. On March 26, 1783, La Rouërie finally received the reward he had been waiting for a long time. He is promoted by the Congress to the rank of Brigadier-General. One thinks of the constitution of armed forces in peacetime, La Rouërie is invited by the Congress to give its opinion on the composition of the cavalry (known as the father of the US Cavalry!). In his written response to Washington, La Rouërie proposes to continue his service in the US Army, he recommends Lieutenant-Colonel de Ternant to take the lead of his former legion which has grown to 340 soldiers perfectly well disciplined, he also points out in this letter “his attachment to your Excellency (Gen Washington) and to the form of the republican government,” who later became one of the leaders of the counter-revolution in France. On September 3, 1783 with the signing of the Treaty of Paris, the American war of independence officially ended. On November 25, 1783 Armand ‘s Legion soldiers parade for the last time in Philadelphia in front of General Washington. On December 15, 1783, General George Washington wrote to La Rouërie: (small excerpt of the letter will post here):

“My dear Marquis, Among the last actions of my life as a public man, there is none which gives me more pleasure than that which puts me in a position to recognize the help I have received from those honorable men whom I have I had the honor to command and whose actions and conduct have contributed so much to the safety and freedom of my country ..”

After finishing the dismissal of his Legion, La Rouërie embarked in the spring of the year 1784 for France from Baltimore on the Count of Estaing, battleship and arrived in Nantes on August 29, 1784, accompanied of 6 officers including his friend Major Georges Schaffnerlors and definitively leaves America. Back in Brittany, La Rouërie is welcomed as a hero on his return to Fougères and Saint-Ouen-la-Rouërie where he finds his family. He became engaged then married Louise Caroline Guérin of Saint-Brice, who lived at the Château de La Motte, near Saint-Ouen, and came from a wealthy family. On December 27, 1785, the Marquis de La Rouërie and Louise Caroline Guérin of Saint-Brice married at the chapel of the Château de La Motte in Saint-Brice-en-Coglès.

At the beginning of the year 1786, La Rouërie sought to resume the career of arms, thanks to his services in America where he was appointed General, he hopes to be granted an equivalent position within the French army. General Washington recommended the Marquis to Count Rochambeau in a letter dated May 16, 1784. Meanwhile; Madame de La Rouërie is suffering from pulmonary tuberculosis. Dr Chevetel argues that only the air of the mountain could cure the marchioness, so it is decided to send it to Cauterets, in the Pyrenees. La Rouërie and Chevetel quickly became friends, so the marquis went along with his views. Soon Louise de La Rouërie sets out for the Pyrenees. But he soon learned of his wife’s death on July 18, 1786, shortly after her arrival at Cauterets.

On May 8, 1788, King Louis XVI passed the edicts of Brienne and Lamoignon. These edicts nullify the political powers and diminish the judicial competence of the Parliaments. But the Parliament of Brittany refuses to apply these edicts, which it considers contrary to the Treaty of Union of Brittany to France of 1532. The nobility of the States of Brittany en masse signs a petition to the king and decides to send a deputation of twelve Breton nobles at Versailles. The twelve chosen nobles are the Marquis of Tremargat, Bourdonnaye-Montluc, Carné, Bois de la Ferronnière and La Rouërie, and the counts of Nétumières, Becdelièvre, La Fruglaye, Bedée, Cicé and Godet de Chatillon, and finally the Chevalier de Guer. On August 25, 1788, the ministry efforts to obstruct the nobles led by Etienne-Charles Loménie de Brienne falls, which causes the release of the twelve Breton nobles the same day. The return to Brittany, and especially to Fougères for the Marquis La Rouërie, is a triumph. By its action and its loyalty, La Rouërie gains a very big popularity in Brittany

La Rouërie is liberal, having fought for the United States, he really admires the American revolution and he said he was very attached to the US Republican government. But in France, La Rouërie remains fiercely royalist. On March 22, 1791 in Fougères, the Marquis de La Rouërie received the visit of François-René de Chateaubriand who was due to leave for America. La Rouërie writes him a letter of recommendation for Gen Washington, it must be the last letter written by the Marquis to the President of the United States.

La Rouërie therefore decides to address the Comte d’Artois, brother of king Louis XVI, (later king Charles X) then emigrated to Koblenz in the Holy Empire. They arrive in Koblenz on May 20, then go to Ulm where they are received by the Count of Artois. After having received from the Comte d’Artois a signed document confirming his agreement on the creation of the Association Bretonne, the Bretons cross the border and return to France. Seeking a place to spend the night in Paris, La Rouërie goes with his companions to his friend Dr Valentin Chevetel who hosts them. When they had met La Rouërie and Chevetel had quickly become friends, they had discussed politics and at the beginning had immediately shared the same liberal ideas, so Rouërie told him about his projects without any suspicion. He does not know, however, that since then Chevetel’s ideas have been totally different from his. Chevetel lived in the Hotel La Fautrière, rue de l’Ancienne Comedie, near the Cordeliers Club. Becoming a patriot, he became particularly close to Jean-Paul Marat and Danton, the latter was also his neighbor. If he welcomes La Rouërie and his companions at home, he is careful not to share his revolutionary convictions with his guests. Subsequently, the Breton Association also receives the support of the Comte de Provence, (later King Louis XVIII) who since then had also emigrated. La Rouërie now finds support among the Breton population, very disappointed with the French revolution, after having first been favorable, and strongly hostile to the civil constitution of the clergy. Although not particularly pious, La Rouërie was Catholic.

On April 20, 1792, France declared war on the Archduchy of Austria and the Holy Roman Empire, which received the same day the support of the Kingdom of Prussia and the Army of the Emigrants, the First Coalition against the French revolutionaries is formed. The Breton Association is ready for the fight, its strength is then 10,000 soldiers!

On the edge of the park of the Château de Launay-Villiers, is the forest of Misedon. This forest was the den of Jean Cottereau, aka Jean Chouan and his men who had taken the name of Chouans. Cottereau and his companions revolt on August 15, 1792 against the revolutionaries in Saint-Ouen-des-Toits. For several weeks, the Breton association await the instructions of the king’s brothers. The wait causes some nervousness among some of the partners. On one side La Rouërie must calm the ardor of some of them who wanted to take up arms on the spot, on the other he firmly calls to order the committee of Saint-Malo who challenges his orders and asks to wait for the capture of Paris by the allies before taking up arms. Finally, towards the end of August, Fontevieux arrives at Launay-Villiers, he is carrying a letter from Calonne dated August 11th. This one announces the next offensive in France of the armies of the coalition. La Rouërie spreads the news to all the committees. He fixed the taking of arms for October 10, 1792 the date of the taking of Châlons-en-Champagne, by the armies of the coalition.

On August 19, 1792, after having repulsed the offensive of the French revolutionaries, the Prussian and Austrian troops entered France. Dr Valentin Chevetel then returned to Paris, and on September 2nd, the very day of his arrival, he appeared at 3 am, to Danton, then Minister of Justice. Chevetel (traitor) informs Danton of the danger represented by the Breton Association, and informs him of all he knows.   But at the end of September, La Rouërie receives news of the victory of the French revolutionaries, on September 20, at Valmy, located only 35 km from Chalons-en-Champagne. The coalition troops retreat, cross the border and leave France. On September 22, 1792 the French monarchy is overthrown and the French Republic is proclaimed.

La Rouërie quickly ranks with their views and the date of the insurrection is postponed for March 10, 1793. Being the principal sought, he must go into hiding. On January 12, 1793, after galloping in the vicinity of the forest of Hunaudaye, La Rouërie and his two companions will find refuge at the Château de La Guyomarais, belonging to the family of the same name, in the parish of Saint-Denoual. It snowed that day and Saint-Pierre is suffering from fevers. Monsieur de La Guyomarais is a member of the Breton Association and has hosted La Rouërie three times in the previous months. They are housed in a castle room. With chills and violent coughing, La Rouërie suffered from pneumonia. The next day, Schaffner and Fontevieux arrive at La Guyomarais, and bring with them a newspaper which has informed them of the execution of king Louis XVI on the 21st of January 1793. However the associates decide not to reveal the death of the king to the marquis, believing that it would aggravate the fever whereas despite the episode of the day before one maintains the hope of its recovery. La Rouërie takes it and learns the death of Louis XVI. La Rouërie then has a crisis of delirium, he jumps out of bed, dresses, declares he wants to leave but collapses, totally weakened. For three days,he alternates between prostration, delirium and unconsciousness. Finally, La Rouërie died on January 30, 1793, by 4am (4h).

On the 31st of January, however, it was necessary to hide the body during the night, Schaffner, Fontevieux, Loaisel, Lemasson, the gardener Perrin, servants and members of the La Guyomarais family, burying the body of La Rouerie secretly in the woods of Vieux Semis (old sowing), which belongs to the castle. But before that, at the end of January, Thérèse de Moëlien, who knows La Rouërie was sick, wrote to Dr Valentin Chevetel. She asks him for help, remembering his profession as a doctor. Chevetel then arrives at La Fosse-Hinguant. He learns from Désilles the death of the Marquis de La Rouërie, as well as the place and circumstances of his death. Later on February 25, the Chevelet, at the head of 15 French Republican soldiers, burst in La Guyomarais. He arrested all his occupants, the family of La Guyomarais, and their servants. The three doctors who had treated the marquis were also arrested and taken to the manor. Lalligand-Morillon then interrogates the prisoners, one by one, for long hours and in the mansion itself. All the defendants deny having sheltered La Rouërie. However Lalligand-Morillon intoxicates the gardener Perrin who ends up talking. This one leads Lalligand-Morillon and some soldiers in front of the tomb. The body of the Marquis de La Rouërie is exhumed,and he had it beheaded. He then returns to La Guyomarais and throws to the ground the head of La Rouërie which rolls at the feet of the accused. Monsieur de La Guyomarais then said: “There is no more to deny. This is the noble head of the man who has made you tremble so long.”

The body of La Rouërie is then put back in the ground. His head, abandoned after the departure of the French Republicans and their prisoners, is recovered by the two girls of La Guyomarais and hidden under a slab of the castle chapel. The skull was discovered in 1877 and handed over to the La Belinaye family (his mother’s side family). On the denunciations of Chevetel, Lalligand arrested several members of the Breton conspiracy. He also discovers the papers buried by Désilles. But most associates escape thanks to Thérèse de Moëlien, who soon after the death of La Rouërie burns the list of members of the Association. In all, Lalligand-Morillon arrested 27 people, who were taken to Paris for trial. After several months of imprisonment, the trial opens on June 4, 1793, and ends on June 18. At the end of the judgment thirteen accused are acquitted, two are sentenced to deportation, the gardener Perrin and the doctor Lemasson, who were sent to Bicêtre, are executed there on June 26, 1794 during the conspiracy of the prisons, and twelve are sentenced to death ; Monsieur and Madame de La Guyomarais, Louis du Pontavice, La Chauvinais, Madame de la Fonchais, Morin de Launay, Locquet de Granville, Jean Vincent, Groult de La Motte, Picot de Limoelan, Georges de Fontevieux and Thérèse de Moelien. They are executed the same day.

The expected date of the uprising of the Breton Association was March 10, 1793, but an insurrection still took place in the month of March 1793. The application of the levy en masse provokes the revolt of peasants in Brittany, Maine , in Vendee. The rebellious peasants then give themselves the name of the first insurgents of Mayenne: the Chouans. They choose soldiers and nobles for chiefs, most of them former members of the Breton Association. In 1794, Joseph de Puisaye presents himself as the successor of La Rouërie, in order to unify the groups of Chouannerie, he tries to resuscitate the Breton Association.

Couple famous excerpts written for La Rouërie:

Monsieur de La Rouerie came here some time before me, and obtained the rank of Colonel with the command of an independent corps. He was everywhere and everywhere he distinguished himself by a truly French bravery, an indefatigable zeal and above all difficulties, a violent love of his profession. He had happy opportunities. Is it not, my dear cousin, officers like you? I am all the more certain that you will like M. le Marquis de la Rouerie that the qualities of his heart and his mind do not yield to his military qualities. ” Marquis de La Fayette

“The rival of La Fayette and Lauzun, the predecessor of La Rochejaquelein, the Marquis de La Rouerie was more intelligent than they; he had fought more often than the first; he had kidnapped actresses at the Opera as the second; he would have become the companion in arms of the third. He foraged the woods in Brittany with an American major, and accompanied by a monkey sitting on the rump of his horse. The law schoolchildren at Rennes loved him because of his boldness of action and his freedom of ideas. He had been one of the twelve Breton gentlemen sent to the Bastille. He was elegant in size and manner, brave and charming, and resembled the portraits of the young lords of the League. ” – François-René de Chateaubriand

This is the Castle or Château de la Rouerie that can be visited. Offiical Chateau de La Rouerie

In the woods of the Château de La Goyomarais (really a manoir house) at Saint Denoual ( a very small town of less than 500 folks) there is a tomb of the Marquis de La Rouërie, it has a stone plaque erected by the Embassy of the USA in France. The village is between St Malo and St Brieuc about 1h30 from me and less than an hour from St Malo. Tel +33 (0) 2 96 31 50 36 . No webpage.

In his native Fougéres behind the Hôtel de La Bélinaye , former home of the Bélinaye family now housing the district courthouse you can see on the back of the square the bronze statue of the Marquis de La Rouërie, born in this mansion. There is a bit on him at the tourist office of Fougéres here: Official tourist office of Fougeres see end page for La Rouerie

I had to give you this long post because I have been to these places,i love the history of the two dear countries USA and France ,and understand the will of the Breton! So there you go a nice round trip that can be done with a car to visit all these places. Enjoy a bit more the friendship in blood of these two nations.

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

November 29, 2019

The foodie in me, best restaurants! World and France!!!!!

Ok so this is fun for me and love to eat good haa that is maybe one good reason I am in France lol! Written pieces on food and wine before, and will try once in a while to post interesting foodies reports here. I just saw one that caught my attention and translated a bit of it from Les Echos business journal on their weekend edition.

First, credit where credit is due, this is the Les Echos webpage on the whole article in French: Les Echos on the best restaurants in the world from La Liste!

And here are some excerpts in English

What are the best restaurants in the world? The question may seem inept, or terribly complicated … Better for what and for whom? Five years ago, Philippe Faure decided to take the issue seriously, and even to respond methodically. The former diplomat, who also owned the Gault & Millau guide and President of Atout France (the national tourism development agency), founded La Liste, an app that lists the best restaurants in 180 countries for travelers. A “metaclassement”, a bit like that of ATP for tennis or that of Shanghai for universities, which provides both a practical tool (the app La Liste) and a very original track record. By its methodology, it puts forward addresses often different from the three Michelin stars, or the list of the 50 best restaurants in the world established by the British The World’s 50 Best thanks to the votes of regional juries.

In exclusivity, Les Echos Week-End reveal the main results of The 2020 List, which will be formalized on Monday, December 2, during a ceremony at the Quai d’Orsay

Starting with the laureates, who are four this year. Two new names appear, and both are in Tokyo: Nihonryori Ryugin and Sugalabo. The first, an institution run by Seiji Yamamoto, offers elegant traditional cuisine (kaiseki). The second, only 20 seats, was created five years ago by Yosuke Suga, a chef with a more international and even French inspiration, since he worked for Joël Robuchon for a long time. The two other 2020 winners are more familiar to the list, since they were already big winners last year: Le Bernardin in New York, a Manhattan restaurant whose chef, Eric Ripert, is French, and Guy Savoy at the Monnaie,Paris.

Of the 1,000 best restaurants on the planet that we have distinguished, Japan is the first country in terms of number of establishments this year. It is being followed by China, which is gaining momentum. Then come France, then the United States. However, France is still doing well. We have made the accounts: with 120 restaurants ranked in the Top 1 000 for 67 million inhabitants, France has a ratio of 1.8 per million inhabitants. It is better than Japan and its 148 tables among the best 1,000 (1.16), and much better than the United States (0.28) or China (0.1). We are reassured!!!!!

Find the list of the first nine restaurants in the ranking, whose score is 99 or above.

Guy Savoy Monnaie de Paris / France (Paris) / Chef : Guy Savoy / Score : 99.5

Le Bernardin / Etats-Unis (New York) / Chef : Eric Ripert / Score : 99.5

Nihonryori Ryugin / Japon (Tokyo) / Chef : Seiji Yamamoto /  Score : 99.5

Sugalabo /Japon (Tokyo) / Chef : Yosuke Suga / Score : 99.5

 Kitcho Arashiyama / Japon (Kyoto) / Chef : Kunio Tokuoka / Score : 99

 L’Arpège / France (Paris) / Chef : Alain Passard / Score : 99

 Le Louis XV – Alain Ducasse / Monaco / Chef : Alain Ducasse / Score : 99

 Martín Berasategui / Espagne (Lasarte-Oria) / Chef : Martin Berasategui / Score : 99

 Sushi Saito / Japon (Minato-ku) / Chef : Takashi Saito / Score : 99

For business travelers or inveterate foodies, here are the best restaurants according to The 2020 List, in 20 capitals or major cities on the planet.

Amsterdam : Ciel Bleu / Chefs : Onno Kokmeijer et Arjan Speelman

Barcelona : Lasarte / Chef : Martin Berasategui

Berlin : Lorenz Adlon Esszimmer / Chef : Hendrik Otto

Brussels : Sea Gril / Chef : Yves Mattagne *

Doha : Idam (Alain Ducasse) / Chef : Damien Leroux

London : Gordon Ramsay / Chef : Gordon Ramsay

Lyon : La Mère Brazier / Chef : Mathieu Viannay

Madrid : Coque / Chef : Mario Sandoval

Marseille : Le Petit Nice / Chef : Gérald Passedat

Montréal : Le Mousso / Chef : Antonin Mousseau-Rivard

Moscow : Twins Garden / Chef : Ivan et Sergey Berezutskiy

New York : Le Bernardin / Chef : Eric Ripert

Paris : Guy Savoy Monnaie de Paris / Chef : Guy Savoy

Pékin : The Beijing Hongkong Jockey Club / Chef : Johnson Meng

Rome : La Pergola / Chef : Heinz Beck

San Francisco : Atelier Crenn / Chef : Dominique Crenn

Shanghai : Ultraviolet / Chef : Paul Pairet

Singapore : Odette / Chef : Julien Royer

Tel Aviv : Lumina / Chef : Meir Adoni

Tokyo : Sugalabo** / Chef : Yosuke Suga

Tokyo : Ryugin** / Chef : Seiji Yamamoto

* Déménage en mai 2020 à la Villa Lorraine.

** Ex aequo.

The authors of La Liste (the List), also list good bistros around the world. Here are their ten favorites in the Hexagone (France).

Au Vieux Comptoir ; obsolete, genre The Traversée de Paris. The charcuterie (Jura, Basque Country, pâté de l’Ardèche) is carefully selected, such as scallops, fish or veal kidneys from Corrèze. Regressive desserts, like this drunk baba of rum. 17, rue des Lavandières Sainte-Opportune, 75001 Paris. Tél. : 01 45 08 53 08. Budget menu à la carte from  40- 55 €.

Le Grand Pan :  Benoît Gauthier has earned a loyal following with his no-frills appetizers (creamy cold white bean soup) and left the choice between a saddle of golden lamb with saltire or a braised pork cheek with red wine. In the evening, soup of office, and choice between a pork chop (Ibaïona), beef (blonde of Aquitaine), veal (of Mauléon) or a Breton lobster. 20, rue Rosenwald, 75015 Paris. Tel. : 01 42 50 02 50. Count from 35 to 55 €.

Café de la Fontaine :Bruno Cirino is a huge chef whose talent can be put to the test both at the Café de la Fontaine and the Hostellerie Jérôme, the big table in the hinterland. Depending on the season, the market or the auction, the menu will feature a brandade of sweet pepper cod or Mediterranean fillet of red mullet with wild fennel. 4, avenue du General de Gaulle, 06320 La Turbie. tel. : 04 93 28 52 79. Menu 33 €.

Café Brunet :  Installed in 1875 in a building of the fourteenth century, this bistro is resistance. Here, no trendy dishes or interchangeable menus. The canaille menu announces the color: féra, apples in oil, candied pork cheek or grilled sausage, French toast … found. 18, place Gabriel Fauré, 74940 Annecy. tel : 04 50 27 65 65. From 26 € to 33 €.

Mets Môts : The old printing press has kept some traces of its past, but the delicate and tasty cuisine does not invite nostalgia. The pie, tart red cabbage, like the blood pigeon, fondue caramelized or pumpkin pie recall that the chef is a former Gagnaire. 98, rue Fondaudège, 33000 Bordeaux. tel : 05 57 83 38 24. Menus lunch 22 €, evening 33 € and 58 €.

Le Goût des Choses : It is said that Marseille is the capital of a continent named Mediterranean. Precisely, Olivier Rathery went on a stroll before settling there, about ten years ago. The slightly aniseed cod moss evokes Florida, the Chimichurri sauce applied to Simmental beef fillet, Argentina. 4, Place Notre-Dame-du-Mont, 13000 Marseille. tel : 04 91 48 70 62. Menus 24 € (debit), 32 and 41 €.

Daniel et Denise : Created in 1968 by Daniel Léron (MOF), taken over by Joseph Viola in 2004 (also MOF), this corkscrew institution is a sanctuary of the sapper apron, fat double (in the cap), passed the beaten egg, breaded, seared served crispy with a gribiche sauce or a snail butter. 156, rue de Créqui, 69003 Lyon. tel : 04 78 60 66 53. Formula (dej.) 21 €, seasonal menu 33 €.

Le Bistrot d’Antoine :A stone’s throw from Place Saint-Etienne, in the heart of Strasbourg, Antoine Kuster proudly composes his menu with the products and traditions of Alsace. Frog legs, schniederspaetle (stuffed ravioli), wild boar stew, roasting cock, hand-molded pudding. A paradise for gourmets. 3, rue de la Courtine, 67000 Strasbourg. tel: 03 90 24 93 25. Menu 33 €, carte 45 €.

Terre-Mer : (yes this is in my area !!! good one)This is the good address of Auray, in the Gulf of Morbihan, where Anthony Jehanno and his wife remind us of the immemorial links that the Bretons have woven with the sea. The “pot-au-feu” of  gamberoni and marrow , followed by a monkfish tail, boudin, hock and langoustine bisque illustrate a creative and respectful approach to the products.20, rue Louis Billet, 56400 Auray. tel. : 02 97 56 63 60. Formula 28 €, menus 34 and 55 €.

Le Patio :   Although it promises to be self-taught, the young chef has a job: for example, scallops, cream of endives, confit pork belly, potatoes, or small cabbages (chocolate and passion cream). /blood orange). No map, but a slate and a reasonable addition. 5, rue Christine, 50100 Cherbourg. tel : 02 33 52 49 10. Menus 22 € (lunch) and 30 €.

And there you go folks, we keep on ticking the world with the best culinary skills and tastes even in far away places , they are either French inspired or French expatriates doing the work of heavens on earth. Bon appétit!!

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

 

November 10, 2019

My early life in my blog!

So on the Armistice weekend (celebrated Monday November 11) in Europe (the end of the Great War or WWI)  and Veteran’s Day in the USA (for all combine) ,I come to end my nice weekend with the family in my Pluvigner, Morbihan , Bretagne and head back to the CDG Paris area to continue my job mission. These will be many weekends back and forth until May 2020 at the latest.

Just the re start of my finance consultant life into retirement and thereafter. Life on the road is nice but sometimes missed the boys back home even if we also celebrated early this weekend my twin boys 26 yrs old birthday. We went to eat out at favorite family restaurant Tablapizza , then shopping in the Armand Thiery store and others , doing the groceries at Carrefour with them and next day like today went to the cinema Cineville to see the Maléfique : Le Pouvoir du Mal or Maleficent: Mistress of Evil   movie and then more gifts to them and eat out at the old Burger King lol! they love it.

Now reminicent in a sentimental way of my life travels and efforts starting with my dear late mother Gladys and continue with my dear late wife Martine , still going strong out of faith with my 3 boys and Dad. I have to tell you a bit of my early post when I started this blog out of inspiration of many in the famous travel forums and friend in Madrid. Most if not all these early posts have no pictures as used elsewhere but they tell my early steps in life in a chronological manner. Hope you enjoy reading it as I did/do.

So these were my entry into my first blog posts ever!!! It all started back in November 2010!!! wow already 9 years time flies when having fun. Thank you all!!

Well I am finally into a blog after many years posting elsewhere. Hopefully this will allow me to share with my friends and family my travels and favorites pastimes over the years,and to hear back from folks similar stories. It will grow with us,looking forward to it. Posted: November 26 2010

Havana/La Habana it was once the Paris of the Americas, the Pearl of the Antilles, the most chic city of Latin America until the revolution destroyed everything;streets names were changed, city names were change, people left in hordes, and more poverty than ever sets in all under the glorious revolution still there.  Posted: November 28 2010

Madrid .I arrived from Havana, Cuba on December 30th 1971 in a lonely long flight of 16 hours aboard a Britannia four propellers aircraft with a fueling stop in Santa Maria, Azores islands of Portugal. After much political pressure and the help of the Spanish government as Spanish citizens to leave the island dictatorship. I end up in another one Lol! Posted: November 28 2010

Where it all began for me and my family finally arriving in freedom at Perth Amboy , New Jersey ,USA on may 10, 1974. From Madrid ,Spain. After successful avoiding two dictatorships of the left and right, freedom sets in. Posted: November 28 2010

Daytona Beach/Ormond Beach /North Miami/ Hialeah/ Miramar. My first contact with the State of Florida took place in 1973 when I went from New Jersey to visit my Aunt in Miami Lakes; it didnt seem that great, I guess I was already used to the cold weather from Spain and New Jersey. 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. Posted:  November 29 2010

Versailles. Coming around my life, as a family we decided way back that one day we might end up in France. Being married to a French woman, and all French citizens, the time was just any minute. Life in South Florida has been great, and we were visiting France every year since 1990 together,even sometimes with my parents. The decision was made to come to live in France permanently in August 2003. Posted: November 30 2010

Auray/Brech . Well here I am back and with new photos to share the wonderful world of  France. Today, I will talk a bit about my new area the Pays ‘Auray. Its a agglomaration of several towns into a metropolitan system of cities. The capital and main city is Auray or An Alre in Breton language.  I arrived here in May 30 2011. Posted: June 26 2011

Pluvigner. The town we are now is call Pluvigner, same department of Morbihan 56, in fact only about 11 kms from where we were, but a much bigger home. 255 sq meters of home and 1000 m2 of land!!! The house is great, we will do some adjustment to our convenience but no major works needed. I arrived here on July 2013. Posted: September 8 2013.

Now you know a bit more of me for those new to my blog in a nutshell!!! Again thank you very much for keeping with me these last few years (9) and hopefully many more to come on our roads of our world.

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

 

 

 

October 25, 2019

My trip to the roots where all begun ,Cuba!

Well this was a business trip with my company but took advantage with my assigned driver to see the family still there and nostalgic moments in my life. It all began here for me many many years ago. I left it in 1971. The comments are updated , but the photos are from 2012.

I took a long flight it seems endless from home in Brittany, went by car to Nantes airport;following the road N165 all the way to exit D201 Nantes Atlantique signs about 1h30 minutes. Then took a regional Air France flight to Amsterdam, Schiphol airport, change there to KLM for the flight to La Habana about 10 hours !!! lol!!! and finally arrive in Havana.

I stayed at a Casa Particular as was assigned this by the company in district of Playa, no fancy hotels for me!!! Stories about Cuba abound from all periods; blaming each other but no doubt the previous regime was better for the mayority. Proof over 2 millions have left already and several millions waiting for the opportunity while been politically correct.

havana

We went to eat at EL Palenque, the resto of the Convention palace nearby, great Cuban food, why bother with all those international places if in Cuba eat like a Cuban. Calle 17 y 190, Playa.. Ciudad de La Habana tel  (53 7) 203-8222 .

havana

We had not much time so I took a ride on the Malecon, went over to the old Church of San Francisco de Asisi, the Morro ,Fuerza ,and Cabanas castles.

Havana

havana

havana

havana

havana

We had business lunch at Restaurant 1830 at Calle Calzada esq. a 20, Vedado. Ciudad de La Habana tel(53 7) 55-3090-92 . There was a special treat at a casa paladar on a fifth floor of a house but could not remember the name as it was at night and friends rode me there, we had lobsters supreme with a view of the city.

The next day I ask my assigned driver to talke me to my native town of Punta Brava, just in the borders of the city of La Habana, visiting family aunt and cousins (which by now left Cuba too) , I ate at a typical Cuban casa paladar in pesos nacionales, a dish of roast pork,moros black beans,yucca,tostones in garlic sauce, salad of tomatos and lettuce, plus coffee and four beers for two persons at 10 CUC or about 260 Cuban Pesos Nacionales. Just in Calzada (main street Avenida 51) before turning left to Guatao, the old Carretera Central.

havana

I went further inland to visit another aunt and cousins at Cayo La Rosa, (these still there) off Bauta, this was a huge textile plant (Ariguanabo) of 5000 workers done by Americans now in ruins. The village have not change much, and took a ride with my cousin in an electric moto on the town, crazy but a great and cheap means of transportation there now.  And proud of myself was able to take my local driver there as he did not know how,and I did it with so many years out just on good memory lol!

Of course in each visit i ate with the family and reminiscent of the old days, telling me what a nice guy I was !!!  Finally, it was time to come back again, and took my flight from La Habana Jose Marti International airport, very easily, this time in route to Paris CDG on Air France. The plane was full and cheapy company had me on economy class! but was bump up to Business Class , by asking and it shows the difference, very nice flight of 9 hours to Paris CDG. There change again on AF to Nantes, and took my car from the airport parking for the trip home after paying 54 euros of parking fees. Cheaper than renting a car lol!

havana

havana

I was hoping not to be the last trip like this, but this is October 2019 and not back yet; time is ticking and less family there. Even in the difficulties of that system was the same warm welcome by the family and the faces of the buildings even if change were still recognisable, and I look forward to the future when all can have a pleasant place to visit with family and no government mistreatments and inconveniences.

No webpages just for the memories update in my blog. Hoping you can enjoy a visit there under better circumstances and then tell me about it ok. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

 

October 25, 2019

A Church at Arroyo Arenas, Cuba!

And coming back to the roots, a bit of my old neighborhood, its been almost 50 years but the memories lingered. I like to tell you briefly as not much info on the internet on one of my sights when my dear late Mom Gladys passed by here taking a friend’s car or the bus line 99! We always made the cross sign passing by the Church of Arroyo Arenas. The blog is also a way to keep my history for eternity I hope and future generations can see it all.

The town of Arroyo Arenas is in the municipality La Lisa, city of La Habana, Cuba. It is located on the banks of the Camino Real (Royal route), today Avenida 51 (avenue 51). It limits to the north with the municipality of Playa, to the south the Cano – Valle Grande – Bello 26 and Morado, to the east with Punta Brava (my native town!) and to the west with San Agustín

Arroyo Arenas was granted in 1672 status of village by the Spanish colonial governor. By 1778 they still subordinated its existence to the city/hall of Havana. In 1780 the local city hall were constituted, corresponding from Arroyo Arenas to Santiago de las Vegas. TheCaptaincy were subordinated to El Cano and Bauta. The first was subordinated the town of: Arroyo Arenas.

Towards the last decade of the 18C, this seat made possible the foundation of the town of Arroyo Arenas, a fact that was recorded in 1790 when a chapel was constituted that apparently was attached to a house or room, separated from common uses. Likewise, in 1794 the first tile house was built in this town and in 1795 the hermitage of Arroyo Arenas was officially erected under the invocation of Jesús Nazareno del Rescate or Jesus Nazarene of the Rescue.

The location of this site on the side of the Camino Real to Vueltabajo was enriched by the migration of Canary island peasant population initially settled in Vueltabajo (the best cigars in the world and my ancestors the Guanches of Tenerife and Grand Canaria) . Its growth as a town is evidenced by the fact that in 1843 the Spanish Army Weapons Command was established there and already in 1846 it had 12 masonry houses, 7 of wood and tiles, 36 of mud and guano, a clothing store, 3 mixed, 2 shoe stores, 2 tobacco shops, 1 carpentry, 1 blacksmith shop and 298 settlers, of which 44 were slaves.

From 1878, according to the new political-administrative division established by the colonial government on that date, the city hall of the towns of El Cano, Marianao and Santiago de las Vegas were created.. To each of them the districts were subordinated to El Cano corresponded Arroyo Arenas, Barandilla, Falcón, Jaimanitas and El Cano proper; Marianao was subordinate to La Lisa, and to Santiago de las Vegas, the districts Bauta, Punta Brava ;and Guatao were subordinated. In the judicial order, all these municipalities were subordinated to Bejucal until 1880.

In the first months of 1955, the construction of a highway that would connect Columbia (army and airport barracks) to the central highway at the exit of Arroyo Arenas was announced. In April 1956 it was finished. The Hermitage and Country Club, were projected to link with the with the Biltmore Riviera, Boulevar del Biltmore and Montecarlo, which would extend to Novia del Mediodia ( roundabout call the noon girlfriend) . These projects were interrupted with the triumph of the Cuban revolution.

The Hermitage is now a National Sanctuary of Jesus Nazareno del Rescate , located at the Central Highway (that goes from one point to the other of the island country) and here it is call Avenida 51 building no. 26455. The same route that passes by my native town. The Church was erected in 1795, under the invocation of Jesus of Nazareno del Rescate. But the church instead of one, has two stairs, the one on the right where the ladies went up distributing alms, and the one on the left that has more steps, 29 in total. In general, here, women and humble men, the true devotees, those that Jesus did not expel from his temple were climbing. Have one photos souvenir of our passing by it.

Arroyo Arenas

No webpage but the memories lingered. Hope you can appreciated and maybe one you can pass by it and make the sign of the Cross too , for me at Arroyo Arenas!

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

 

 

October 1, 2019

Mexico DF from above!!!

And here I am going back to America, nahh not that one, the whole of it America as in Mexico. I have been there several times and sometimes even gone high , yes really high with great views of the city. Therefore, I like to tell you a bit more about it ok! As believe do not have these yet in my blog, DF from above!!

Metro Eje Central is a station on Line 12 of the Mexico City Metro. The station is located south of the city center, at the intersection between Eje Central (Lazaro Cardenas) and Avenida Popocatepetl. It is built underground. Right next to Plaza Universidad shopping center, in fact the hotel is connected to it inside.

The Avenida Popocatepetl is name after the famous volcano.. The Jewel, in the famous Paso de Cortés which connects the Popocatépetl and Iztaccíhuatl volcanoes, from where the conquistador Hernán Cortés and his men saw the Mexican Valley for the first time on the way to Tenochtitlán (today Mexico City).!

Photo from City Express Patio Universidad Hotel. The corner is a very active area with lots of stores, malls and restaurants. As you can see the views are excellent too. More on the hotel here: City Express Hotel Popocatepetl and Universidad

mexico

The Torre Mayor is a skyscraper located at number 505 of Paseo de la Reforma avenue, in the space previously occupied by the Chapultepec Cinema and near the Bosque de Chapultepec forest. The tower has a height of 225.meters from Paseo de la Reforma) and 55 floors, in addition to 4 levels of underground parking and 9 above street level, with more than 2,000 self-service spaces available. It is equipped with 29 elevators /lifts and 84,135 m² of office space, 2 pressurized emergency stairs, automatic air conditioning units, mechanical, electrical and telecommunications systems on each floor. Given the seismicity of Mexico City, a rigorous seismic engineering study was carried out for its construction, in order to be able to seismically isolate the tower, insulation within which the 98 seismic dampers are located. The Torre Mayor is considered one of the strongest skyscrapers in the world and the one with the highest seismic tolerance in the world, with a maximum tolerance of 9.0 on the Richter scale. Likewise, it is considered the most solid and resistant tower on the planet, for its anti-seismic attachments and implements. See the picture from the Torre Mayor!

More on the Torre Mayor here: Official Torre Mayor location

mexico

Avenida Paseo de la Reforma is about 15 km long avenue. The name commemorates a series of liberal reforms carried out during the presidency and by the government of Benito Juárez in the 19C. It was traced on the orders of Emperor Maximilian I of Mexico and was first called “Paseo de la Emperatriz” (promenade of the emperatrice). Inspired by the great European boulevards, it was intended to link the Chapultepec Castle to the National Palace located in the center of the city. It begins at Chapultepec Park, passes along the Torre Mayor and crosses the Zona Rosa and then to the Plaza de la Constitución (popular name is Zócalo) along Avenida Juárez  and Calle Francisco I. Madero.

Mexico

The picture is from the bank building of Citibanamex at Av de los Insurgentes Sur 1602. More info here Citibanamex bank webpage on the location

mexico

The Avenida de los Insurgentes is a group of three continuous avenues that form one of the main road axes of the west of Mexico City (DF). It has a combined length of about 29  km through most of the Mexican capital. It is divided into three avenues or zones: the north (norte), the central zone(centro), the southern zone(Sur).

Popularly called Insurgentes, this avenue has its antecedents in several streets, rural roads, and sections of avenues that date back at least to the first half of the 19C. At that time, almost entirely, the land that would house Avenida de los Insurgentes was part of what were the lakes of Texcoco and Lake Xochimilco, which were dried by the different works that were carried out since the colonial era to dislodge the waters of the basin of Mexico. It is until the administration of Manuel Camacho Solís (1988 to 1993) as Head of the Department of the Federal District that the legal situation of the Avenidad de los Insurgents is regularized with the official creation of the three sections. Avenida de los Insurgentes Norte, from the street of Mosqueta or Axis 1 North to the Aqueduct of Guadalupe. Avenida de los Insurgentes Centro, from the Calle de Mosqueta or Axis 1 North to the Paseo de la Reforma.  And Avenida de los Insurgentes Sur, from the Paseo de la Reforma, to the Monumento al Caminero.

The one I visit the most is the Avenida de los Insurgentes Sur: This area begins at the crossroads with Paseo de la Reforma and, due to its extension, will be divided into several zones. These are briefly:  Avenida de los Insurgentes Sur (Cuauhtémoc – Juárez). Avenida de los Insurgentes Sur (Roma). Avenida de los Insurgentes Sur (Napoles – Del Valle). Avenida de los Insurgentes Sur (Florida – Mixcoac). Avenida de los Insurgentes Sur (San Ángel). Avenida de los Insurgentes Sur (C.U. – Pedregal). Avenida de los Insurgentes Sur (Cuicuilco – Tlalpan).

Mexico

Currently the avenue has a system of rapid transit buses called Metrobús, based on other systems such as the RIT of Curitiba (Brazil) and the TransMilenio in Bogotá(Colombia). Both tried by yours truly too.  Here are some interesting places to visit including the one I go to the World Trade Center  Mexico. The Galerias Insurgentes shopping center,  Plaza Manacar shopping center (both great) ,and the Teatro de los Insurgentes (wonderful) . The Torre Mural is a great shopping area too.

mexico

The Avenida de Chapultepec is one of the main roads of Mexico City located in the central and western part of it. It takes the vehicular route in both directions to communicate the central part of the city with the areas near the Bosque de Chapultepec, Tacubaya and Polanco districts. The name assigned to this avenue comes from the Nahuatl language Chapultepec, which in that language means “hill of crickets or grasshoppers”.

mexico

Part of the layout of this avenue is due to the old Aqueduct of Chapultepec, an indigenous work that was built on the old lake of Texcoco to bring the waters of the springs of Chapultepec to the Aztec capital. The same route was taken towards the end of the 19c by the Imperial Committee of Emperor Maximilian I before the route of the so-called Paseo de la Emperatriz (the current Paseo de la Reforma).

With the growth of the city finished the Mexican Revolution and in the 20C, the decision was made to expand the avenue, for which part of the old colonial aqueduct is demolished. The idea was taken to conserve only 20 arcades of the old aqueduct located in the central ridge, near the Sevilla metro station. Likewise, the famous Glorieta de los Insurgentes  beautiful roundabout (see picture) was designed and a replica of the fountain was placed where the aqueduct in front of the hermitage of Salto del Agua was concluded. Passing the roundabout we find the Zona Rosa on our right.My old hangout area when in Mexico!!! My bags loading was at the Hotel Royal Reforma in calle Amberes 78 almost corner with Avenida de Chapultepec from which the picture was taken! More on the hotel here: Hotel Royal Reforma

So there you go a nice view of nice walking areas in Mexico city (DF) for all to enjoy and soak in the local culture. Not to leave great views of this huge city that you need to pinpoint the address very well to get to your location. Hope you enjoy the tour!

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

 

 

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