We visited a friend with a place in Sonoma. She had been out of the country and hadn’t heard about the fire. When her plane landed there were suddenly all of  these notices about fires and evacuations on her iPhone.  She didn’t know for a week if her home had been destroyed or not and then, once she found out it hadn’t, she had to wait a few days before being allowed into the area. We drove up to her home from Oakland passing black hills, former homes with nothing but chimneys left, and trees with green tops but black trunks. Tragedy up close. I didn’t get a chance to take  any photos of the devestation, just the beauty left.


We had lunch in a bistro in the town of Sonoma. I liked that olive oil with balsamic vinegar was served with the bread.

We then went to a wine tasting at the Saint Frances Winery which had just reopened that day. Most the their vineyards had made it. The nice guy helping us who, by the way, spoke French and German showed us one of the bottles and said that they weren’t sure if one of the grapes used survived the fire.

The next day we went to a redwood forest which was beautiful to walk around, along with enjoying the scent of the trees. Many of them grew in circles like this, growing around the  mother.

Another circle.

Some of them had black interiors like this one caused by long ago fires. Redwood is slow to burn so they usually recovered.

I have just returned to Paris but while I overcome my jetlag and get my life back in order, I have a few more posts left from our time in California.

Epecerie Provencal

Here is another blog posting done while I was in Paris in June. I have photos of beach life, but they are mainly of sunsets. I take at least one photo each evening. We’ve mostly just been hanging out at the beach and taking a bike ride here and there.

The Epecerie Provencal is a store chain that is full of items from Provence and it’s a very nice store to wander around in.


They sell olive wood bowls and plaques.

Olives from different regions of Provence.

You can get golden olive oil and then…

put it in one of these cute bottles.

French-American couple living in California, near San Francisco, would like to exchange our house and garden for an apartment in Paris,
From end of August to Sept 23, 2013. Please Contact nadine :