Obsessions du Moment
Summer is in full swing, and there is so much going on in France as well as for us francophiles in the US. Here are my Top 10 Obsessions, in no particular order!
1 - The Tour de France
Witnessing a segment of the Tour de France is on the bucket list of so many people, present company included! Usually spanning the month of July, the 108th edition of the Tour began in Brest on June 26th and will finish in Paris on July 18th. Why the change? To avoid an overlap with the Summer Olympics. And let's face it, we have a lot of pent-up energy and want to get everything in this summer! For the latest official news, follow the tour at: https://www.letour.fr/en/
2. Festival de Cannes
I have always loved a good film, and this has only intensified as my son got into the business. In fact, I would love to be a film critic! I love watching all of the award shows and hearing the perspectives of the film-makers and actors. The Festival de Cannes is usually in May, but have we noticed that EVERYTHING is happening this summer?? This year it is taking place now, from July 6-17. Watch all of the latest on their official website:
Don't miss the interview by France Inter with Jodie Foster who received a Palme d'or d'honneur at the opening ceremonies of the Festival. I have always found her to be an exceptional actrice with high personal standards, but to hear her speak French like a native - wow! She sets the bar high! Impressionnant!!! And if you haven't seen her latest film, The Mauritanian, I highly recommend it.
3. The Parisian Agency
On the smaller screen, I am absolutely OBSESSED with the new Netflix series "The Parisian Agency". Similar to the "Million Dollar Listing..." shows in the US, this combines stunning properties, clients with beaucoup bucks, and a family working together. In PARIS. ❤️. What's not to love?? Olivier and Sandrine Kretz began the agency and their 4 handsome sons all work along side them. I have only watched the first two episodes and I am hooked. (There are only 5 and I want to savor them!) I especially love the grandmother, who in her mid-80s is more chic and hip than I have ever been! Season 2 better not be too far behind! If you ever needed a reason to get Netflix, the Lupin series and this one are worth every euro!
4. Bastille Day
We are just off the heels of July 4th, and Bastille Day is creeping up quickly! Grab your bleu, blanc et rouge and prepare your pique-nique! No plans? Check with your local chapter of the Alliance Française and you are sure to find a festival!
We are fortunate in the Twin Cities to have a very active and creative calendar of events thanks to our amazing Director Christina Selander Bouzouina and her incredible staff.
"Our Bastille Day celebration will feature live performances by local bands and artists The Whale in the Thames, The trio Francine Roche - Mark Stillman - Jim Price, Afoutayi Dance, Café Accordion Orchestra, Douala Soul Collective, Benjamin Domask and Ariel Begley. Delicious treats from Oh Crêpe will be available! Our marché des créateurs et des associations will feature numerous local artists, businesses, and vendors for you to explore, and many games and activities will be nearby and sure to bring fun for children and adults alike! "
Get all of the latest on the event here: https://www.afmsp.org/events-afmsp/bastille-day/
Be sure to check out the gallery of artwork by the extremely talented Isabelle Skoog on display until July 28th at Alliance Française.
Blast from the past - as my son has always adored French baguette, it was a special treat for him to enjoy it all to himself! The price to pay was of course wearing a beret and posing allowing photos! (circa 1999)
5 - FACCMN
That's a lot of letters, but what do they mean? I am extremely proud to be a newly elected member of the board of the French-American Chamber of Commerce of Minnesota. Home to many international businesses, "the mission of the French-American Chamber of Commerce (FACCMN) is to support strong economic relations between France and the United States, and to promote the development of our members and member companies in the Minnesota and Midwest regions." I look forward to working with this incredible group of people. Stop and say "bonjour" at our booth at the Alliance Française Bastille Day celebration!
6 - Feast of St James
Many of you know of my plans to do a part of the Chemin de St Jacques de Compostelle (Or Camino de Santiago) I was planning to do a 10-day segment starting in Le Puy-en-Velay, France in May of 2020. No need to tell you how that went! I am setting my sights on spring of 2022, but keep walking and preparing for this journey. There is a group called the American Pilgrims on the Camino who inspire and prepare others for this amazing experience. I joined chapters in both Arizona and Minnesota, and I encourage you to look for a local chapter if you have ever been curious about this journey made so popular by the film "The Way". The Feast of Saint James is on July 25th, and when that day falls on a Sunday, there is an extra special celebration world-wide.
"This special event celebrates St. James as the patron saint of Spain and for whom the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela is named - the Way of St. James. Pilgrims have been walking to Santiago for centuries to visit the cathedral where the remains of St. James are entombed. The pilgrimage to the shrine became the most renowned medieval pilgrimage, and it became customary for those who returned from Compostela to carry back with them a Galician scallop shell as proof of their completion of the journey."
7 - Books!
There are people in this world who are constantly making the world a better place. If we are lucky, we have a few of them in our circle. What do these inspirational people do when forced to spend months on end at home? They write! And now we get to benefit from their work! I recently did a post on my dear friends Chip and Joni and their book "French Bliss". If you happened to miss it, read it here https://www.frenchdetours.com/post/your-key-to-finding-french-bliss . This lovely book makes me count down the days until I reach French soil!
Another dear friend, Erin Austin, just released her book The Ultimate Guide to Selling Your Original World Language Resources. Erin is a National Certified French teacher in Colorado but I met her while we taught together in Minnesota. She is one of those rare people with abounding energy, creativity and curiosity. She is always preparing for another adventure, and is the biggest cheerleader for others. She inspires, guides and lifts up others, believing everyone should realize their dreams. I hope you have someone like this in your life. Her book is available on Amazon in paperback or on Kindle.
8 - France Magazine
Speaking of writing, inspired by my friends, I have done a bit of my own writing recently. I am over the moon to have my first article, a collaboration with talented artist Isabelle Skoog, coming out in the September issue of France magazine! I have subscribed to France for more years than I can remember. I read it cover-to-cover the minute it arrives, and then search for the featured properties for sale for hours to follow! (Fortunately it comes out every other month!) Our first article features the flavors of Normandie. We are currently working on our second article, so stay tuned!
Subscribe here: https://www.completefrance.com/our-magazines/france-magazine
9 - Changes are coming!
Over the past year and a half we have had a bit of time to reflect, non? Like most people I thought about what is most important to me, and where I want to focus my attention. Family and friends top the list, of course, but my passion for France is not far behind. I honed in on that passion and the ways that I can share it with others. Some well-thought-out changes are in the works!
A newly improved website: Under the umbrella of "Let's Dream in French" will be:
French Detours: featuring ready-to-go self-guided itineraries AND group tours
France Artisanale: featuring an updated online boutique
Ateliers Français: featuring workshops and events
Don't worry - it will all be linked so you can find any of them from French Detours.
10 - Atelier de la Belle Vie Française
Mark your calendars for a one-of-a-kind weekend get-away February 25-27, 2022! We have all been missing France. We are watching every French show on Netflix, listening to podcasts, and trying to keep up our French in any way possible (yes, even speaking to the dog en français). February seems like the perfect time to pack up your passion for all-things-French and immerse yourself in a luxury French weekend, on the beach in Southern California! Immerse yourself in joie de vivre as we talk travel, culture, food, wine and other specialties as well as honing our French language skills through conversation, games, film and music. This exclusive event will be capped at 30 participants, so register early to ensure your spot, as well as get a discount AND a year subscription to France magazine! We are putting together the final touches, and will notify our French Detours subscribers FIRST for consideration! (Design by Isabelle Skoog)
Wishing you a summer packed with special moments with family, friends and of course,