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NewsletterSeptember 2015

Meet me on the Champs de mars

How about taking a walk with we me around the Champs de mars? Best known as the home of the Eiffel Tower. I won't be talking about the Eiffel Tower but the history of the Champs de mars and the neighborhood around it. We'll compare the Champs de mars of today with 100+ year old postcards, photos and paintings. We'll also discover where the once largest Ferris wheel stood, the relationship between the Champs de mars and July 14th and hidden history just a few feet from the Eiffel Tower. All my treat!
Save the date, Saturday September 12th at 1pm, depending on turnout there might be a second walk at 3pm. Rain or shine! Please RSVP at .

Differences France & US

Nothing like a few weeks in the US to highlight the many subtle differences between France and the US.

Date Format

We start with dates: In the US the date format is mm/dd/yy whereas in France (& most other parts of the world) the format is dd/mm/yy.

Traffic Lights

In the US traffic lights are often across the intersection on the opposite side. In France, traffic lights are like stop signs and therefor on the side you stop.

Laughing Cow

You'll find lots of French cheese in the US including La vache qui rit - The Laughing Cow. In the US there are at least eight different types of Laughing Cow's most popular product, the spreadable wedges. In France there are three. The packaging is also slightly different with the US labeling The Laughing Cow 'Creamy Swiss Original' even though it's a French product.


US washers are bigger than in France and side by side with dryer. In France most laundry is air dried.


At first glance there doesn't seem to be a lot of difference between pizza in the US and France. But in my experience you'll get many more topping choices (like eggs and sliced potatoes) in France but a smaller and thinner pizza than in the US


Sales always seem to be on going in the US whereas in France there are two main sales periods during the year - early January and summer.

Street Size

As with pizzas, streets in the US are often bigger than in France.

Street Signs

I've never seen a street sign on a building in the US but have seen them often in France.


This is one I still have to get use to when in the US as the list price in a store almost always doesn't include taxes. In France the price you see is the price you pay.

Town Signs

I have yet to see a sign for a village, town or city in France that lists population or elevation. In the US those facts seem to be standard.

On My Website

La Rentrée: September means back to school. Here's the French school calendar for 2015/16. New for this year - school zones have changed!
Saint-Gingolph: This Franco Swiss town could have suffered the same fate as Oradour-sur-Glane during WWII if not for the courage of Saint-Gingolph's Swiss mayor to disobey direct orders and open the border saving many lives.

Events in France

Here are two events coming up in France. The first is Journées européennes du Patrimoine - European Heritage Days taking place September 19-20. Journées européennes du Patrimoine is a great way to see buildings in France normally closed to the public. Another plus, public museums in France are free, and private museums offer reduced admission.
Tous au Restaurant is September 21-October 4. Similar to Journées européennes du Patrimoine, Tous au Restaurant is a celebration of French food heritage, with participating restaurants offering a two for one 'Tous au Restaurant' menu - two people can eat for the price of one.

End of Summer Reading

Living in France Made Simple: This book is the result of what happened to a 40-something, odd-ball introvert whose world turned inside out the day she fell in love with a Frenchman and moved (from Australia) to France. If you're serious about following your heart to France, finding and buying a bargain dream-home and learning the rules of the game (including what makes the French tick romantically), read this book.
France: 100 Locals Tell You Where to Go, What to Eat, & How to Fit In: Want to experience France as only a local could? This guide’s for you. Filled with 100 interviews with people who live, work, and adventure in France, this book will give you: * Addresses for hidden-away restaurants and bakeries with the best French fare * Lists of must-try dishes and wines (and where to find them) * Day trip suggestions for the most charming countryside towns, the most historically significant castles, and the most interesting walking paths in France
Murder on the Champ de Mars: Paris, April 1999: Aimée Leduc has her work cut out for her—running her detective agency and fighting off sleep deprivation as she tries to be a good single mother to her new bébé. The last thing she has time for now is to take on a personal investigation for a poor manouche (Gypsy) boy. But he insists his dying mother has an important secret she needs to tell Aimée, something to do with Aimée’s father’s unsolved murder a decade ago. How can she say no?
A Tour of the Heart: A Seductive Cycling Trip Through France: Told by a proudly-feminine and sophisticated travel writer, an expert in all things French, searching for harmony and true love with her super-cyclist boyfriend. A Tour of the Heart will keep you bien captivé through its many twists and turns.

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