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French Summer 2014

Our summer 2014 trip to France.

Tears, Greenland and an Old Friend

Years of airport goodbyes allowed me to master the art of holding back tears. I never let anyone, especially not my family, take me to the airport. I made the mistake once—never again. It’s just too...

Snapshots of Nantes

Nantes is definitely more touristic than it was before. Every day, I see dozens of people—couples, families, single travelers—wandering around the city core, the "Journey to Nantes" booklet in hand...

Again, The River…

It's been hot and stormy in Nantes, and staying indoors is not an option. There are seven of us (plus a cat) in a two-bedroom apartment and of course, like most French, we don't have air-con (unless...

French Food in Nantes

Much has been written about French food, from the classic “French women don’t get fat” mystery to haute cuisine drool-worthy cookbooks.

Fingerz in Ze Noseuh

“Fingers in the nose!” I laughed. “Les doigts dans le nez—it’s a French idiom, it’s used to describe something that’s super easy. I guess they want to show that buying the pass is the easiest and...

At The Beach

The first thing he did in Saint Michel was to run down the dirt stairs. He ran too fast, tripped and fell own. “Mark, slow down! See, this is what happens when you go too fast. Go slower next time.”

Urban Fun

In Ottawa or in Nantes, keeping Mark busy is always a challenge. The upside of Nantes is that I know the city very well and I remember the places I used to love as a kid. I don’t have to go for a...

The Loire River

Nantes' most common nickname is the Venice of the West, a name owing to its position on the river delta of the Loire, the Erdre, and the Sèvre. Except around the Isle of Nantes and the Quai de la...

Experience of the Sublime

Huang Yong Ping, a Chinese Avant-garde artist, currently has works on display at the HAB Gallery on the Isle of Nantes. And for some reason, his art spoke to me.

Across the River

In a way, Trentemoult reminds me a bit of the colourful barrio of La Boca in Buenos Aires, although much smaller. It definitely has a “bobo” (bourgeois bohême) feel.

French Pastries Porn

Nantes has several famous and fancy pâtissiers, such as Debotté or Carli. Their shops are fascinating, with elaborated colourful pastries on display. Frankly, I think sticking a spoon into these art...

Saint Mark

There are many churches in Nantes and Mark’s goal is apparently to visit them all. He sees the church towers from afar and doesn’t stop whining until we actually step in.

Exotic Snakes in Nantes

It was a rainy morning and Mark had woken up way too early. He was cranky and so were we. The rest of the city was enjoying a quiet Sunday morning with croissants and café au lait and here I was...

Castle of the Dukes of Brittany

Last summer, we used to sit on the grass and let Mark crawl around us. This year, we need to watch out: he tries to chase the ducks and I’m always afraid he is going to fall into the moat!

World Cup Fever in Nantes

Yeah, yeah, I know, France is out. I hope I didn’t jinx Les Bleus… for once, I was actually out taking pictures of the crowd watching the France-Germany game on a big screen!

The Isle of Nantes

I didn’t want to rush to the Isle of Nantes because I know we will end up there several times during our “French summer”. The home of the giant mechanical elephant and other Jules Verne...

The Artist

I hadn’t had the chance to teach Mark how to hold a pencil or draw shapes—I figured my dad will. So we took him to my dad’s atelier. He set up a canvas for him and we gave him charcoal.