Insiders Abroad French Road Trip Through Eastern France

Julia Willard, Falling Off Bicycles, Insiders Abroad, Paris road trip, Julie Willard

Looking for a unique road trip route through France? I took a 2-week road trip through France for the second year in a row this past September and talk all about it in the FREE online magazine Insiders Abroad! I share some of my favorite locations, as well as some tips and tricks for surviving the French road trip (look out for those tolls!). Check it out by clicking on the magazine cover above.

Photos shared in the article are available in my Etsy shop, here.

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Waterlogue Wednesdays: Bastille Day 2016

Julia Willard, Julie Willard, Falling Off Bicycles, Holland photography, waterlogue, tinrocket, Paris, Bastille Day, fete nationale, France, macaron, colorful France, France photography
Celebrating my second home since 2003!
Julia Willard, Julie Willard, Falling Off Bicycles, Holland photography, waterlogue, tinrocket, Paris, Bastille Day, fete nationale, France, colorful France, France photography, Pantheon
Beautiful view from the Panthéon
Julia Willard, Julie Willard, Falling Off Bicycles, Holland photography, waterlogue, tinrocket, Paris, Bastille Day, France, Nice, colorful France, France photography, windows of the world, shutters
Charming window scene in Nice, France
Julia Willard, Julie Willard, Falling Off Bicycles, Holland photography, waterlogue, tinrocket, Paris, Bastille Day, fete nationale, France, Tuileries, colorful France, France photography
Fun in the Tuileries

I started this year’s Bastille Day with excitement and in a celebratory mood. I’ve only been in France a couple of times on Bastille Day, but I always celebrate wherever I am in the world.

By afternoon, though, excitement and celebration had turned to tragedy with the breaking news of a mad man plowing through a crowd in Nice. I began seeing photos of Nice everywhere on social media… in the way those of us who have visited think of it: charming, welcoming, and beautiful. I ended up posting the carnival ride shot in the Tuileries on Instagram because I love the joy and carefree feeling it evokes, even in times of great sadness. 🇫🇷🇫🇷🇫🇷

Image taken by me, processed in Waterlogue

Waterlogue Wednesdays: Magnificently Colorful Martigues

Julia Willard, Julie Willard, Falling Off Bicycles, Holland photography, waterlogue, tinrocket, Martigues, Provence, colorful France, France photography
Éclatant
Julia Willard, Julie Willard, Falling Off Bicycles, Holland photography, waterlogue, tinrocket, Martigues, Provence, colorful France, France photography
Illustration
Julia Willard, Julie Willard, Falling Off Bicycles, Holland photography, waterlogue, tinrocket, Martigues, Provence, colorful France, France photography
Épanouissement

Today’s Waterlogue is from images from my favorite town in Provence, Martigues. I have held onto these photos for too many years and am inspired by Spring colors to share the beautiful and colorful images I have from my day trip to Martigues.

Whenever I’m down visiting my French family, I always feel tempted to travel to all the nearby towns and villages. After deciding on a day trip to Martigues (after it was described as the “Venice of France”), my family dropped me off at the train station and off I went to one of the most memorable places I’ve ever visited. The charming town is full of pretty boats, stray cats roaming the alleys and narrow streets, colorful façades, parked bicycles, and so much more. I can hardly wait to return. This is just a sampling of my images from that day.

Introducing… Falling Off Bicycles’ First Puzzle!!

My mom and I have always loved putting jigsaw puzzles together. She has that puzzle- and word game-loving mind that I seem to have inherited. I have dreamt for years of making all kinds of products from my photographs, but a puzzle was always among the few at the top of the list. Last year, I finally decided to go for it and find a partner to create jigsaw puzzles out of my images.

In secret, I sifted through my favorite images, vetting them for which ones would make the most interesting puzzles. The first one I decided on is one of my favorite images taken in one of my favorite French towns. My trip to Martigues in 2012 was a favorite for me. I took the train from Marseille where I was staying with my French family to go discover the nearby towns. This image sells really well for me, and it’s one I return to time and time again to remind myself of why I love photographing France. I, of course, am also thrilled there is a bicycle in it! 😉 So for Christmas this past year, I gave away my very first Falling Off Bicycles puzzle, and the recipient was obvious… it had to be the one who taught me my love for puzzles, my mom.

France puzzle, jigsaw puzzle, Martigues, France, colorful puzzle, lilacs

Even after Christmas festivities wound down, we still didn’t get it done when I was home for Christmas, but my quick Spring trip home gave us just the right amount of time to tackle it. For the first time in my memory, my dad also sat down to help with the puzzle, which made the coming together of it all a bit sweeter.

So voilà! Here is the finished product. I must say, I was quite pleased with the result. What do you think?

Waterlogue Wednesdays: Lavender in Bretagne

Julia Willard, Falling Off Bicycles, lavender Provence

Today’s Waterlogue is from an image not from Provence, but from the western region of Bretagne. I still dream of seeing fields and fields of lavender one of these summers in France, but this particular garden was just as satisfying with its impressive display of both lavender and hydrangeas. The bumble bees were having a heyday! We had picked up a brochure of the region somewhere along the highway and so I was directing us based on what looked most interesting… and colorful. Although this is only a small zoomed-in image of the incredible garden, I prefer to share this simple snapshot of so many consider quintessential French summertime.

Waterlogue Wednesdays: Parked Bicycle in Avignon

Avignon, France photo by Julia Willard Falling Off Bicycles

Today’s Waterlogue is from an image I took at a church in Avignon. As you probably know by now, I go to Provence regularly, since I have an adopted French family there. I took a few days away from my sweet family to explore a few French towns on my own. I had been to Avignon a couple of times before, but I had a completely new experience with it this most recent time. It’s so charming and has such a strong bike culture! (I can’t help but wonder if I was oblivious to it before or if cycling is on the rise there.) I loved getting up early and wandering the streets by myself. Those beautiful French doors, the framing of the churches beautiful stonework, and the bicycle all together naturally caught my attention.

Thankful Thursdays: Birthdays in Fun Places

Julia Willard, Falling Off Bicycles

Julia Willard, Falling Off Bicycles

I used to think I was so unlucky. Every year my birthday seemed to fall right in the middle of Spring Break, and all my friends would be on vacation somewhere far away from any birthday party I may have wanted to have. My 14th birthday being spent in Maui helped me get over that a bit, and many years since, I have spent my March birthday in some of my favorite places in the world.

When visiting my French family in 2009, we lunched at what has remained one of my favorite meals ever, in a restaurant mere steps away from the tide of the Mediterranean. I took a picture of my plate that day, and am not ashamed to admit I have looked back at it many times. Last year, I decided to spend my birthday with my adopted family and requested that we return to O’Pedalo in Marseille for our lunch. It was slightly chillier (thanks to the Mistral) than our initial visit when we were out in the sunshine listening to the waves crash, but the company was just as wonderful and that Provençal food was just as good as I remembered.

As if a birthday lunch alongside the Sea weren’t enough, my French papa made us this delectable tarte tatin for the birthday celebration (three birthdays that week!). A perfect Provençal birthday celebration, indeed.

Julia Willard, Falling Off Bicycles, Provence Tarte Tatin

Updated Twenty20 Gallery

So many cute products available with bright colors and summery scenes. Get yours here in the Falling Off Bicycles Twenty20 gallery.