Monday, June 27, 2011


Pétanque is one of those quintessentially French things to me... like croissants or formules or apéro or unnecessary paperwork. I've never really had it explained to me... but near the end of my stay in France I saw a few games here and there, once the weather started to get nice.

I came across this game on my last day in Paris, in the Jardin du Luxembourg. The men (always men) each had their own metal engraved boules, which they take turns throwing. The goal is to get your metal ball closest to the little yellow jack.

Another one going one over there...

I must have sat there for a good 20 minutes, watching them walk back and forth, round after round. Sometimes snapping a picture or two. There was something really satisfying about sitting close to the game; you could feel the ground rumble a little bit when the ball hit the ground with a loud thump. And I loved the clicking sound when the ball hit another one, nudging another player's boule out of his spot.

The stance is very important. Two feet solid on the ground. Inside the little circle. Concentrate. Throw underhanded, with your hand over the ball.

After the round is over, they collect their boules with these neat little magnets on the end of strings.

This guy was my favorite. You could tell he knew everyone sitting around watching. And I loved the guy with the book. After a particularly good throw, he would loudly exclaim ohhh, law law law lawwww. (I think that is my favorite French phrase. People actually use it for everything. And it's not "ooou la la!" like a flirty American girl trying to be French, it's a serious and often exasperated "oh law lawww." Love it.)

Ok actually you know what, it was hard to pick favorites at this match. I loved the lady doing her knitting, too. Watching her men and their little jeu. Oh, la la.

Et voilà, a little piece of my last day in France. More to come.

Friday, June 10, 2011

dans le sud

This is my last day in the south of France. Nice and Marseille have been lovely... last night I met some fellow travelers from Orange County (small world!) and a Norwegian girl I met in Nice and we went to go see a free concert at the Vieux Port in Marseille. It was one of those perfect summer nights that I will remember forever.

I have a feeling the theme of this week will continue to be tearful goodbyes. I need to remember that it's not adieu, just au revoir. To all the people I've met here and to France in general.

After all, I do have a return trip booked in September... I made it just to save money (a round trip was a better deal and I still hadn't [haven't?] decided if I'm coming back for another year) and I'll probably just let it go.. or try to save it for later... but maybe a little trip wouldn't be the worst idea ever. Anyone up to join me? :)

It will be nice to be home. It will it will it will.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Sur la route

Bonjour from Tours!  (Actually bonsoir. It's quite late. I should really be sleeping, I'm catching a train to Lyon early in the morning...)

I've seen 4 castles in the past two days, and I'll have to write more about them later... and of course post pictures. Always pictures.

Speaking of pictures, I've added a little badge over there on the right side of my blog ------> that goes to my flickr page. There you'll find all the pictures I've taken that I think are worthy of sharing. Then again, like this blog, I haven't been updating it very much... but I promise to make more of an effort! I'm uploading a batch right now from a month ago, so, progress!

I'll be home in about 10 days. So bizarre.

A sneak peek of the châteaux...