Waterlogue Wednesdays: French Countryside in Autumn

Julia Willard, Falling Off Bicycles, Waterlogue, watercolor, France, vignes de France, vineyard, French countryside
Julia Willard, Falling Off Bicycles, Waterlogue, watercolor, France, French gite, petit dejeuner, pommes, brioche, French countryside
Color Bloom
Julia Willard, Falling Off Bicycles, Waterlogue, watercolor, France, Lauzerte, French countryside, French medieval city, joli village France

I had the chance recently to get away (in a car!) and see some of the French countryside. I have so many photos to share, but my full computer will be putting a damper on me sharing them for now, so I have a few snaps-gone-Waterlogued here for you. The first is from a “pull over, pull over!!” moment. I got out and shot vines from every angle, all the while looking to see if anyone might come scold me. The scene was absolutely beautiful with fields of vines as far as the eye could see, all of spectacular color. I was so grateful that we stopped there because most of the rest of the vineyards I saw along the way were blocked by fences. 🙂

The second image is from breakfast at a B&B. Who doesn’t love brioche, homemade apple compote, hot tea, and homemade jam in the morning?

The final image is from a beautiful village that we were driving by and saw at the top of a hill, and once again asked if we could maybe go take a look. (Incidentally, there would be many more villages atop hills in the hours that followed.) We really fell upon a gem with this one, because Lauzerte in the Dordogne region was truly one of the most charming places I’ve ever been. I was giddy with excitement that day. We saw so many beautiful things that I’m looking forward to sharing here.

Images brought to you by moi and Waterlogue.


Thankful Thursdays – France Ailleurs

Sasha's baking company, Kansas City

Americans have a love affair with France for decades, if not centuries. One of the most interesting books I have ever read on France is the prolific David McCullough’s The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris, in which he discusses early Americans’ interest and downright fascination with France, and Paris more specifically. French styles in homes and décor are as popular as anything else out there and France remains a number one tourist destination for Americans year after year.

In the time I spend back in my hometown, Kansas City, Missouri, I always enjoy discovering new places that pop up – and there are many. One of my most recent favorites has been Sasha’s Baking Company in Downtown KC, where you can get your Paris and Amsterdam fix at the same time (because, in my opinion, the interior is more Dutch than French). The menu is typically French, but familiar for Americans, and the breakfast pâtisseries are to die for. I’m so thankful to have this taste of France so close to me when I return.

Thankful Thursdays – Meeting New People

Cafe Central Paris, Falling Off Bicycles, Patricia Parisienne Last year, as you all know by now, I had the wonderful opportunity to contribute to the book, My Paris Story: Living, Loving, and Leaping without a Net in the City of Light. Contributing to this book has afforded me many cool opportunities (and still is), including meeting some incredible women I probably wouldn’t have met otherwise. Our group of fascinating women includes ladies from all over the world with such diverse stories and backgrounds. Even with several mutual acquaintances, it wasn’t until this book came to be that I got to meet Mlle Tricia of the popular blog Patricia Parisienne. We finally set aside some time to chat and get to know one another better over a petit déj at Café Central on rue Cler last year. Here’s our picturesque breakfast, complete with fresh squeezed O.J., steeping tea, rich croissants, and lots of laughter.

Ever so thankful for new friends to add to my ever-growing expat family.

La Chambre aux Oiseaux Breakfast

After spending a fair amount of time in the 1oth arrondissement the last couple of weeks, I couldn’t help but notice an adorable little place on a not-so-busy street that I knew I just had to try. Today I finally made my way over to La Chambre aux Oiseaux, and boy was it worth it.

As a little party of one, I was content as could be seated facing out the window at an old desk. With the delivery of that basket of different-shaped starchy délices, I felt life couldn’t get any better on a rainy morning.

cafe, charm, brioche, Einstein
I highly recommend Einstein and the Art of Mindful Cycling

I took my notebook with my to work on some creative stuff, but what I ended up spending most of my time on was reading the charming book I happened to pick up at WH Smith the other day called Einstein and the Art of Mindful Cycling. This book is the most engaging philosophy book I have ever come across. How better to explain the basics of philosophy than through cycling? Yes, it is possible!

baguette, brioche, Paris, France
Brioche and chocolat chaud?