“F” is for France! And I’m here!!

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Working my way through the alphabet, one country at a time

“F” is for France! And I’m here!!

First impressions:

  1. The rooftops are charming!  I came directly to Strausberg from the airport. When the train arrived it was dark. When I woke up this morning I was delighted to look out from my third story window at all the red tile rooves. Most of the tiles are semicircles so they have a frilly appearance and are aged to a yummy variety of terra cotta hues.
  2. Men feel comfortable not only wearing scarves, but wearing floral scarves in color palettes I would assume are for females.
  3. Everyone has been so helpful!  Yesterday I started walking in a direction that looked promising for a bus to Strausberg city center. A kind couple made sure I arrived at the bus stop, after they queried where I was from (“E-da-ho!”) and I found the word for potatoes: pomme terra. Today the entire group at the bus stop volunteered information to the train station. A kindly gentleman took my suitcase, made the transfer from the bus to the tram with me, and instructed me when to get off after he left!
  4. Strausberg is a lovely place, situated on a river. The biggest attraction is the Notre Dame Cathedral (not THE Notre Dame, but also named Notre Dame). I turned a corner and it suddenly appeared, looming above me!  After thoroughly soaking up every gorgeous detail of the cathedral–including an enormous astronomical clock–I spent the afternoon in the Rohan Palace Museum. I enjoyed learning the history of the Alsace region of France in the archeological museum.  Briefly, Celtics were here, they dispersed when the Romans set up camp for several centuries, and the Germans finally managed to insert themselves but without much influence.
  5. The window shopping yields culinary delights of all flavors, colors, and shapes!  The patisseries do not disappoint, although I opted for the rose shaped gelato and some mouthwatering caramels on my first day. I must make certain I am burning enough calories to keep tasting! I’m in food heaven!


    “Moi” may be mistaken, but I’m afraid Kermit is on display at the charcouterie!

Rhonda Sarantis

Rhonda Sarantis

"She's crazy and loud but she loves you!" That's what they tell my infant granddaughter to prepare her for my visit, so I thought it would be a great way to prepare you. And while I may not always be crazy or loud, one thing is always true: I LOVE people. That's at the heart of my passion for travel. I love getting to know people from different cultures who speak different languages, eat different food, have different ideas and opinions. I'm endlessly curious and make a point of reading about the countries I visit. Instead of saying "that's not how WE do it," I enjoy identifying strengths in diverse cultures, and learning about their way of life. I LOVE road trips! I have great memories of monthlong vacations growing up. Dad always had a van--before they were popular--and invited anybody who wanted to join us. My road trips within the United States will be featured in "The Lower Case Travelogs." Be sure to buckle your seat belt. I execute illegal u-turns if a bakery or estate sale is spotted!

L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, France

Salon de Provence

Puycelsi, France


The Cliffs of Etretat

Mont Saint Michele


  • Amy Bell

    Wow! I love all your pictures. How lovely that the people are helping you find your way around. That is so sweet! My little sister served a mission in France and Switzerland, so your visit there is bringing back memories of photos she shared. Everything is so charming.

    October 7, 2016 at 8:31 pm
  • Cindy

    Love this post. Poor Kerrrrmi and Pigie. How fun to Wake up to the new adventure after a good nights sleep. Its so fun to discover new things but to rediscover that there are so many sweet and helpful people all over the world. (That having been said,sweet sister, be safe) in your French adventure.

    October 8, 2016 at 4:06 pm
  • Ami

    I wish I were with you!!!!!! Have the time of your life (on behalf of all of us).

    October 8, 2016 at 9:04 pm
  • Ali

    The gelato rose! Did the gelato taste more sweet because of it’s beautiful shape? I bet it did.

    October 29, 2016 at 3:11 pm