Annie at Estabrook

Postcard Apps for Writing Notes from Afar

Given most of the world is in lockdown due to COVID, this is probably not the best time to write an article about postcard apps that let you mail a note with your own photo from all over the world.  At the same time, they may still be used to cheer someone up during this difficult time and for the holiday season.

When I began traveling internationally for extensive trips, I wanted an easy way to say “hello” to my friends and family back home without having to hunt for a postcard, find a post office, and get the appropriate postage.


Paris: The City of Lights

My first visit to Paris was extremely impromptu.  One day I was talking to my friend Theresa about her upcoming trip to Paris, and the next week I was flying there with her.  Needless to say, she did all the planning including where to stay and what to see. 

Naturally, for our first time in the city, we stuck to the main attractions like (but not limited to) the Eiffel Tour, Notre Dame, the Louvre and miraculously, we hardly ever waited in a line, despite not having purchased advanced tickets.  I still don’t know how that worked out except maybe it was due to visiting in October.


Roland-Garros: All You Need to Know for the French Open

Buy Tickets Online

Roland-Garros has successfully eliminated scalping tickets at the French Open.  While it is possible to get tickets on third party sites or through a tour group beware that they are legitimate as names are assigned to the ticket during the 15-minute purchasing time slot.

moulin rouge at night

Féerie at the Moulin Rouge

My first visit to France several years ago was impromptu.  My dog had just passed away, and my friend was going to France the next week.  I jumped on board.  Needless to say, I had done little research and only knew that I’d like to see the famous sites like Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, and the Louvre.  With slightly more planning under her belt, Theresa wanted to see Féerie at the Moulin Rouge.  Not knowing exactly what to expect, I was game.

We were seated feet away from the stage and enjoyed a spectacular show.  I liked it so much, that on my second visit to France, I went again.  Those who know me know that doing the same thing twice is very uncommon. 

We had such great seats which the venue selected on our behalf that I couldn’t risk get anything worse.  As such, I splurged for the VIP treatment. 

Lot River Valley

A Day in the Lot Valley

During my recent farm stay in the Corrèze region of France, I spent one day exploring the Lot and Célé valleys located in the Lot Department of France.  In my opinion, these valleys are just as pretty, if not prettier, than the nearby Dordogne Valley. The area is also less busy!  If I had to do it over again, I would spend two days visiting the area, or shorten the guidebook’s proposed drive that I followed in one day.

My guidebook recommended six stops over 100 miles in two days which included Grotte de Pech-Marle, Marcilhac-sur- Célé, Espagnac-Ste.-Eulalie, Figeac, Cajarc, and St.-Cirq-Lapopie.  I made four stops in one day after driving 1.5 hours south from Lagraulière to which I returned later.  Needless to say, it was long, yet very good day.

Continue reading “A Day in the Lot Valley”
view from chateau de beynac

Three Days in the Dordogne Valley


While visiting the Dordogne Valley, I recommend staying in Sarlat-la-Canéda and setting aside at least three days for exploring.  Sarlat is perfectly situated between amazing natural caves, sacred pilgrimage destinations, and picturesque riverside villages.  Not to mention, Sarlat itself is home to the highest concentration of medieval, Renaissance, and 17th-century architecture than any town in France.  It also hosts an incredible market.  For more details on Sarlat, visit my Sarlat post.

Rocamadour in the dordogne valley

Rockin’ Rocamadour

Rocamadour is a picturesque village that clings to the side of a cliff overlooking the Alzou River.  It has been a renowned Christian pilgrimage site since the Middle-Ages.  Both its religious importance and spectacular scenery have qualified Rocamadour as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a Grand Site of France (of which there are only 46).

view of dordogne valley from Domme

A Visitor’s Guide to Domme

Domme is a medieval, bastide town located in the Dordogne Valley in the Nouvelle-Aquitane region of southwestern France.  Perched on a rocky outcrop, Domme provides magnificent views of the Dordogne River and valley.   A member of the association, Les Plus Beaux Villages de France, Domme is a popular tourist destination.

garlic and olives in the sarlat market

A Guide to Visiting Sarlat

Sarlat-la-Canéda is a lovely French village in the Dordogne Valley.  It is home to the highest concentration of medieval, Renaissance, and 17th-century architecture of any town in France.  Its picturesque lanes and facades display the privileged status Sarlat received in return for its loyalty to the French crown during the Hundred Years’ War.

Continue reading “A Guide to Visiting Sarlat”
montane river


Gimel-les-Cascades is a small commune in the Corrèze region of France.  Not in my France guide book, this tiny town is truly a hidden gem.  It is a picture-perfect French village and was one of my favorite places in the Limousin and the surrounding area.

I was thankful to arrive around lunch time, as most everything closes between 12-2 in the Corrèze, and I didn’t have to contend with any traffic. As such, somehow, I managed to drive my giant rental car through the few narrow streets that we were wide enough for only one vehicle at a time. 

There was so much to see in Gimel-les-Cascades including remains of castle La Rouche Haute, Church Saint Pardoux and its treasury, Chapel of the Penitents, the home of Gaston Vuillier, and of course the waterfalls for which Gimel-les-Cascades is named.