I personally am not a fan of the drink Cognac. It’s really strong and, I guess, an acquired taste. I do like Pineau des Charentes which has cognac in it and I really like the city of Cognac and its history.

I’m guessing by the little barrel over the door that the owner is in the Cognac business.

Love windows like this-wish it didn’t have the reflection in the glass.

I once did a tour of the Hennessy building showing the barrels used for storage and how the whole process works. Their boutique is very elegant and rather bare. I mainly went in to see if there was a toilet, which there was.

Here is a fancy, private cognac tasting room. I did the tasting, but not in this room, the time I did the tour as it was offered at the end

Pretty sculpture over a door.

We aren’t very far from the city of Cognac. I’d been there once before. Maurice and I were driving along and I saw an exit for Cognac (being an American, I didn’t even know that Cognac was an actual place, not just a drink) and asked Maurice to make a stop there. I don’t remember being that impressed for some reason. All of the stones of the buildings are gray from years of the process of making cognac and it was strangely empty. We did take a tour of one of the companies that make Cognac which is rather like that of one which makes wine and were back on the highway before long. I made another stop there the other day and found Cognac to be a delightful place with fascinating architecture and cobbled streets.

Unfortunately, it was an overcast day so the light is poor in all of my photos but here is a photo of those cobble stone streets. Cognac has a very interesting history. Kind Francois was born here, there was a very large salt industry because the city is on a river and then, just as that business started to decline, the cognac making had started leading the wealthy people which leads to beautiful buildings. Many of the streets are made of ballast stones, which were used to make ships heavier on return trips after they had delivered their wares. Cognac is a brandy, by the way. “The brandy must be twice distilled in copper pot stills and aged at least two years in French oak barrels from Limousin or Tronçais. Cognac matures in the same way as whiskies and wine when aged in barrels, and most cognacs are aged considerably longer than the minimum legal requirement.”-in case you wondered.

One of the windows on a half timbered house with Pinocchio hanging from the window box. Don’t know why but sort of fitting.

A scallop shell by the door, a sign of welcome.

I took many photos of windows and doors.

Another half timbered building with interesting upside down figures carved on the wood. There was also a man like figure which looked like an alien to me-very primitive anyway.

Cute little corner café. I arrived too early to have lunch in Cognac which I would have enjoyed. I did notice that their prices were close to those that I see in Paris taking advantage of all of the cognac lovers.

Just regular life here on the beach. I took some photos to document it.

You can see by that dark strip on the sky above the ocean, that rain was on its way.

And we got it. It poured. The kite surfers were out in droves. It cleared up after long and we got sun.

This is my favorite house in our village. Wish there had been a blue sky to set it off.

Here is the front porch. Someone has a green thumb. The house has a huge yard, all fenced off so we can’t see much but what we can see looked well taken care of, and a lot of work.

Maurice and his grandson.

You seldom see such a well preserved Citroen Deux Chevaux. The cheerful yellow really set it off. They aren’t made anymore but you still see them everywhere putting along, being passed by newer, larger cars.

I have a mix of photos, some left from our trip to Bordeaux.

I wrote a bit about this on Facebook. It’s a photo of some bottles in a window of Ott Rose, said to be the best by many in the States. It is more expensive than wines I usually buy. I just as happy with a 4 Euro bottle to tell the truth with my discriminating taste. I asked a wine expert in a Parisian wine shop if it was the best and he shook his head and pointed to another bottle and said it was better. Ott just has really good marketing. Ott is a Provencal wine by the way by way of an immigrant from Germany. Marketing seems to be the way in many areas-just look at Louis Vuitton and its prices for instance.

A huge bottle of rose from Aix that I was surprised to see in a Bordeaux bar.

Alone for an hour with a two year old who only speaks French. The hardest part is that he’s two, actually. I have collected many toy trucks and cars through the years so I can keep most boys entertained for quite a while. And then there is the beach of course. He is Maurice’s grandson and we are having him with us for a few days. Oh, the energy of a two year old! Plus, he is learning to use the toilet and wants to give it a go every 30 minutes.

I was trying to get a magical shot of the water, the birds and the light this morning on my run but the sun wouldn’t co-operate and my lens isn’t good for what I want. I’m going to check out the one you can get for iphones one of these days.


Cole Porter, an American who for a time lived in Paris, is still well known for his songs-Anything Goes, Let’s Do It, Let’s Fall in Love are just two of the many. A show is being put on in Paris about his life and music which starts at the end of August and goes into September. Be sure to go and see it if you can. I certainly plan to. Here is the write up about it:

On stage, a singer, a guitarist, and two dancers retrace the important steps of Cole Porter’s life. Dive into the pleasures of Paris during the roaring 1920s, the pizazz of Broadway, and the passion of Hollywood!

“Cole Porter unveiled…” This was the title of an article by Jean-François Mondot for Jazz Magazine’s blog discussing the Cole Porter Project, duo created by Mathilde and Vladimir Médail almost two years ago. This desire to “unveil” Cole Porter, going beyond his facade of a unique and provocative dandy, lead them to join talents with director Ariane Raynaud and choreographer Emma Scherer.

Cole Porter wrote songs as he lived his life: with levity and ease, but also with profound melancholy. A millionaire dandy, he was a prominent figure in Paris in the 1920s, and ended up a successful musical theater composer throughout the 30s and 40s. His whole life, Cole Porter lived with the obsession to please women in society, men in secret, and, above all else, to please the audience.

Together, we have worked to highlight the contrast between the two opposing facets of Cole Porter’s life: the social facet, worldly and full of levity; and the intimate facet, dark, even tortured. In this show, the music, the lyrics, the choreography, and the staging communicate and come together to draw the portrait of this star of Broadway musical theater, strangely still so unknown.

from August 24th to September 9th

Théâtre de Belleville
94 Rue du Faubourg du Temple
75011 Paris

Sunday, August 24th at 8:30pm
Monday, August 25th at 8:30pm
Tuesday, August 26th at 7:15pm

Sunday, August 31st at 8:30pm
Monday, September 1st at 8:30pm
Tuesday, September 2nd at 7:15pm

Sunday, September 7th at 8:30pm
Tuesday, September 9th at 7:15pm

For more information:



French speakers can reserve tickets here:


Because I’ve got them, I’m going to post more photos of our time in Bordeaux. It really is a wonderful city.

A piece of ancient history left in a pretty square.

Bordeaux has a really extensive and well done tram system and you can see it stretching down towards the river. There are a lot of open spaces in this city.

On the corner right up the street from our hotel was a brasserie that I wanted to try and we finally ate there for our last meal. I love brasseries with that old time French ambiance. This one has been around for a long time.

I liked this glass behind the wine glasses.

Isn’t this a great corner? The food was good too and the staff very friendly.

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