Tag Archives: France

Le mot du voyage : « Gîte »

28 Jan

When traveling in-country or abroad, a wonderful way to discover the local culture, culinary art and get an insider travel experience, is to stay at a local bed & breakfast. When you stay “chez l’habitant”, you usually have either a studio or apartment with full kitchen, or a room at your host’s house. You can opt for “pension complète” (full board) or “demi-pension” (half board), and all meals are home-made with local flavors and specialties!

// Gîte // nom masculin: bed and board, bed and breakfast

You can also pick a “gîte auberge” (similar to a hostel), or a themed type of B&B, such as equestrian (“gîte équestre”) or a stop on your hiking trip (“gîte étape”).

The official website for the Gîtes de France® is very comprehensive and available in several languages. You can book straight through the site, and there are ratings/ levels of “épis” (rather than stars) to indicate the class of the accommodation.

My husband and I, have personally been offering a chambre d’hôtes (guest bedroom) in our mountain cabin (our permanent residence) through an awesome site called AirBnb. The site offers anything from a room in a chalet or beach apartment, to a tree house, boat or villa all over the world. The site takes care of all the financial details and screening, and we get to welcome friendly guests from all over (so far Charleston, Washington D.C., Kentucky, Texas, Alabama, North Carolina, Maryland, France, Switzerland).

Our American guests have particularly enjoyed our “European hospitality”, with French crêpes or banana pancakes for breakfast, French dinners when they opted for it, and the opportunity to practice their French with us… if you can’t go all the way to France, you can always stay at our house!

You can see our listing and reviews at this LINK, and if you want to sign up to either travel or host, please use this referral LINK.

For today’s discussion, please take the polls below and discuss (preferrably with a French sentence or two in your comment 😉 ) your views on this style of travel.

Bon voyage!

Un film magnifique : « La gloire de mon père »

22 Jan

Bonjour!

For a relaxing Sunday, I thought I would recommend one of the most beautiful French films ever made, which I had the opportunity to watch last Sunday evening (yay to Netflix!) with my American husband who had never seen it: « My Father’s Glory« , an adaptation of Marcel Pagnol‘s novel « La gloire de mon père« . The sequel is called « My mother’s castle » (« Le château de ma mère« ).

The DVD will include English subtitles, but the following video of the French trailer is French audio only… If you have trouble understanding, just the beauty of the landscapes should captivate you enough to make you want to watch it! Provence is a region of France I have not yet taken my husband to, and we plan to visit that area in May hopefully… the weather should be perfect then.

The two films are an autobiography of famous French writer Marcel Pagnol. They are set in the period between 1900 and the First World War in 1914. Young Marcel was born in the country but raised in Marseilles. His father, Joseph, is a public school teacher in Marseilles. Marcel’s Aunt Rose marries Uncle Jules, who offers to split a vacation home in the Provence countryside (near Aubagne) to spend the summer break together as a family. Marcel is enchanted by the beauty of the arid mountainous landscape, full of surprises and treasures…

A beautiful family movie, enjoy!

Audio Post: « se réjouir »

22 Sep

// se réjouir // 2nd group verb,  (conjugate⇒): to look forward to, to rejoice.

USAGE:

{credit yoonnachoi.lohasbebe.com.au}

Je me réjouis de partir en vacances en France. // I look forward to going on vacation in France.
Il se réjouit du week-end. // He is looking forward to the week-end.
Nous nous réjouissons de passer le week-end en famille. // We look forward to spending the week-end together as a family.

NOTES:
– See link above for the full conjugation as a reflexive verb.
– Please also ensure you do not confuse with the verb « jouir » (to climax). Always use « réjouir » to mean « looking forward to », « delighting », « rejoicing ».

En me réjouissant du prochain post!

Audio Post: « conduire »

14 Sep

// conduire // 2nd group verb, (conjugate⇒): to drive (a car)

Usage:

Je conduis de Paris à Strasbourg tous les mois. // I drive from Paris to Strasbourg every month.
Tous les jours, il conduit à peu près 45 minutes par trajet pour aller au travail. // Every day, he drives about 45 minutes one way to go to work.

– Qu’est-ce que tu conduis comme voiture? // What type of car do you drive?
– Je conduis une Toyota Corolla. // I drive a Toyota Corolla.

Additional tip:

« conduire » is a transitive verb, so you can say « conduire une voiture » (to drive a car) or « conduire quelqu’un à l’aéroport » (to drive someone to the airport).

And a funny story:

Growing up in a small village in the northeast of France in the middle of the « vignoble d’Alsace » with a mechanic and car dealer as my father, I always dreamed of the day

{source: Wikipedia}

 I would finally be able to drive and try the new cars that I could only enjoy as a passenger… I remember loving the smell of a brand new car and cleaning cars that had been under repair so they would be perfect for our clients.

Although I had to wait until 18 years old to finally take lessons for 6 months and take the test right around my birthday, I had some interesting experiences with cars as a passenger… My father, goofy and funny as he is, would enjoy taking his oldest daughter in the tow truck to rescue a client, or on a test drive for a new or newly repaired car. Well that did not always turn out well!!

Citroën 2CV (pictured right). He put me in the front passenger seat with no seat belt on (why bother for half a kilometer, he must have thought…). He always enjoyed taking wide and scary turns around a roundabout and this one being triangular, required a sharper turn at the top of his speed… at which time… I WAS EJECTED FROM THE CAR RIGHT INTO THE VINEYARDS IN FRONT OF THE SCHOOL!!!!… And papa went on and parked, only a second later to see I was missing!!

{Credit Uderzo & Goscinny}

Yes, although a fantastic mechanic with a perfectly functioning engine, there were other details that had not been checked such as… the passenger door lock! And I went flying, bruising and bleeding… and this time the teacher did not get angry with me but with my father, whom she had as a mischievous pupil 25 years before….

Obélix fell in the « marmite » of magic potion when he was a baby (see comic strip series « Asterix et Obelix »), but I fell out of a car when I was 4… I know, that explains it all!

Today’s funny word: « les moules »

10 Sep

I had this childhood song in my head, as I enjoyed some delicious mussels at a restaurant on the pier in Folly Beach, South Carolina this past week-end:

« A la pêche aux moules, moules, moules. Je ne veux plus y aller maman »

Yes it is a children’s song, but not it has subtitles and it is part of the French culture. You could learn it with your kids if they are learning French in primary school.

// un moule // nom masculin: a mussel
// les moules // masculin pluriel: mussels

J’aime les moules!!

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

RECETTE: MOULES MARINIERES  (Source: marmiton.org)

{from flickr.com}

Préparation : 45min

Ingrédients (pour 4 personnes) :

– 4 litres de moules
– 30 g de beurre ou de margarine
– 2 échalotes
vin blanc sec : 1 verre
– 1 cuillère à café rase de farine
persil
sel et poivre

Préparation :

  1. Grattez bien et lavez les moules. Mettez-les dans une cocotte avec 1 noix de beurre, les échalotes hachées et le vin blanc.
  2. Faites-les ouvrir dans la cocotte couverte, sur feu vif pendant quelques minutes. Mélangez 2 ou 3 fois pendant la cuisson.
  3. Dès qu’elles sont ouvertes, retirez les moules de la cocotte en conservant le jus de la cuisson. Déposez-les dans 1 plat creux et gardez-les au chaud.
  4. Remettez le jus sur le feu. Malaxez avec 1 fourchette 1 cuillerée à café de farine avec le même volume de beurre ou de margarine. Incorporez le tout au jus de la cuisson des moules sur le feu. Laissez bouillir un instant. Salez poivrez.
  5. Versez sur les moules. Saupoudrez de persil haché et servez.

BON APPÉTIT!!

Learn to say « un jour férié » for Labor Day!

6 Sep

Bonsoir and hope you had a nice Labor Day week-end! How appropriate that today’s « mot du (bon)jour » is in the « Travail » category. In France, Labor Day (la fête du travail) is always on the 1st of May.

// un jour férié // nom masculin: a bank/ legal holiday

Usage:

La fête du travail est un jour férié. // Labor Day is a public holiday.
Même quand ce n’est pas un jour férié, les magasins sont souvent fermés le lundi en France. // Even when it is not a bank holiday, shops are often closed on mondays in France.
Durant quels jours fériés la compagnie ferme-t-elle ses portes? // During which holidays is the company closed for business?

J’espère que vous avez passé un bon jour férié aujourd’hui! Bonne nuit!

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