Monday, October 25, 2021

I left my heart in France

Musee D'Orsay in Paris
(Sacre Coeur in the distance)

France will always be one of my favorite places on earth! I was lucky enough to enjoy a 10 day trip to Paris, Nantes, Mont St. Michel, Rouen, and Givery earlier this month. I took over 500 photos, so it's been a bit slow going on the sorting and choosing what to share. Let me just say that it was so marvelous in every way possible. The food, the people, the sights, the history, the quilt show, I couldn't possibly choose a favorite experience, so I will give you a peek into the trip with just some of the memorable moments.

We spent our first few days in Paris. We stayed in the Latin Quarter just across the river from Notre Dame. We were able to walk the area and see so many sights including: Shakespeare and Co. Bookstore, the oldest surviving tree, the Musee D'Orsay and Jardin du Tuileries. We took an Uber to Montmartre and walked the entire neighborhood including Sacre Coeur. On the way, we asked the driver to stop by the Arc de Triomphe so we could snap a photo of it all wrapped up by the famous artist Christo. It was 60 years in the planning and is said to be his last grand scale work. (We also happened to see it being unwrapped on our way to the airport on our final day before heading home.)

Then we took the train to Nantes, and who did we see in the train station in Paris? My friend Cecile!! She was so helpful teaching us how to use the local tram in Nantes, and now I feel like I can do it anywhere! We also spent a morning at the Pour L'Amour du Fil show, and enjoyed all of the lovely quilters and exquisite quilts. It is such an honor to have my quilts displayed in their gorgeous magazines. And I can promise you, that quilt friends really are the best friends!

After a few days exploring the castle and gardens in Nantes, we rented a car and drove north to Mont St. Michel. This has been a dream of mine for decades to experience this magical place and it did NOT disappoint. We walked all the little lanes and along the ramparts, and we climbed all the way to the top and toured the cathedral. It was simply awe inspiring and gave me chills to think of all the history of this incredible place. Words cannot describe how perfect this experience was for me.

The next day we drove to Rouen (my father's family is from there hence our surname deRouen, Americanized to Derouen). We stayed at this charming inn with the most adorable rooms and delicious breakfast included. The inn keepers couldn't have been kinder or more helpful. (That was our experience with every single person we met in France. They all apologized for their poor English and I found that so funny because their English was a million times better than my French!!!)

And we took a day trip to Giverny, the home and gardens of Claude Monet. I've been a fan for as long as I can remember and I was so thrilled to finally walk through these gardens and tour the home. It was a dream come true and was even more magical than I had hoped. 

Then we took the train back to Paris for our last day and stayed in a lovely little hotel around the corner from the Eiffel Tower. We walked the beautiful streets, ate at a lovely cafe for one last croque monsieur, and enjoyed watching the dogs play in the park. It was the perfect slow and easy last day to a whirlwind trip. 

Obviously these are just a very few of the highlights. The memories we brought home included more than beautiful sights, amazing food and superb wine. We laughed until we cried more than once. We survived my driving a 5 speed on round abouts while clutching the gps! We got caught in the rain and felt the sun warm on our faces (both almost every day!) We mastered the train system, only once getting caught with the doors closing while I was off the train and my sister was on it! We visited cathedrals, museums and historical sites around every corner. We learned so much and spent evening reading more about the places we were seeing and the events that had taken place. We walked so many miles and climbed so many stairs that I lost 5 lbs even though I ate a croissant the size of my face every day! 

It was memorable and magical and better than I remembered from my last visit 5 years ago. France makes me fall in love every time I visit. I hope I don't have to wait another 5 years before I return.




  1. It was nice to see you again Diane ! I saw you’ve got a new puppy ! Give it a big hug please !
    I ‘m sending a huge hug for you ( and your sister)

  2. It was so nice to see you again Diane !! I saw you’ve got a new puppy... give him a big kiss please !
    I’m sending to you a huge kiss ( and your sister too)

  3. My husband and I spent two weeks in France this fall. It was our first time there. It is a beautiful country with many sites to see. I learned that I need to study French more before I go back! I miss the croissants.

  4. Sounds like your trip was magical indeed! Thanks for sharing and letting us enjoy vicariously!

  5. It is so magical! I have fond memories of my daughter and I in Paris and beyond! It sounds like a wonderful time, Diane. So happy you were able to go!

  6. What a beautiful trip and forever memories

  7. How wonderful Diane! I'm so happy for you both.

  8. What an incredible trip. Wow such beauty and history. I'm so happy to shared it with your sister.

  9. Awesome! So glad you got to go. Wonderful memories.:)

  10. I hope you can go back in France too!!


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