Flew to France, Watched Dancing, Planted Roses, in That Order Backwards

Have just landed in France and driven 72 years to Dijon. Okay 3 hours to Dijon and another 3 to get to the hotel which you cannot get to because every street is one-way opposite the way you need to go and the other streets are closed for construction… So finally I am lying on the bed eating gluten-free flax-snax which are against the law in France as they contain no butter, garlic, snails or animal organs, but that may have changed under the new Socialist president…

Air France pique-nique
This is an ad in France magazine for Air France, who wishes us "a delicious journey" etc. but does not include flax-snax.

Weekend before last we planted 17 new rose bushes at Bee Cottage, and last Saturday I was in Atlanta to see my sister dance… In other words I’ve been all over the place, like this post…

Rose at Bee Cottage
A newly planted David Austin rose at Bee Cottage
You can despair... or rejoice - Abraham Lincoln
I am not the despairing type; I just like this quotation.

Speaking of rejoicing, sister Duvall and her professional partner Josh won our hearts and won the “Dancing Stars of Atlanta” trophy Saturday night for having raised  the most money of contestants in this event benefitting the Alzheimer’s Association. Friends and family rallied to put her well over the $100,000 mark. Hooo-weee! All together, the  evening raised more than $500,000. Double hooo-weee. In case you missed, here is a video of Duvall and Josh doing their Argentinian Tango. (The password is “Duvall”) and here is my Tango Temptress post from earlier.

Duvall and Josh tango
My sister the Tango Temptress and her partner Josh Ingraham.

She was hot I don’t mind telling you, and of course she takes after me that way.  (If you could see me right I would not need to tell you I AM KIDDING but not about her) The judges made their comments afterward and one remarked on how lovely her feet were, with such beautiful arches. Another one, the cute young local newscaster whose name escapes, said, “I never got to the feet.” Everybody fell out over that.

Like Argentina, Burgundy also has good wine.

See how this is all coming together?

Here’s what I know about wine: I like it. It is possible I will know more at the end of our five-day visit here, because I have a good foundation.

From Wine Spectator
From the June 30, 2012, Wine Spectator, featuring Burgundy.

His Grace keeps saying “magnifico!” and thinks he is speaking French. But I am the one eating flax-snax, so what can I say?

I will be back more coherently once the jetlag subsides.

Remind me to tell you my favorite rose joke. Seriously.


  1. have a wonderful visit and I look forward to the pictures- it is so windy here in the Valley- be glad you are “gone like the wind”.

    1. Christine, thank you! Windy valley and rainy Burgundy… We’ll see what the week brings! xox

  2. Hi Frances, Wish we were in F. with you. We are on our mountaintop in Cashiers. Back to F. in late Aug.
    Love your blog. Duvall looked great. I could not make the password work. Just her name, right? Sorry we were in NYC with the kids for a christening and could not attend. I can imagine she was the star of the show.
    Get in touch sometime when you are in Atlanta. And tell Craig Happy Birthday when you see him.

    1. Nancy so good to hear from you and to have your kind words about Duvall! Password btw should work with just her name – but maybe it was case sensitive – cannot remember. But the quote marks are not included – jic you put those… Would love to see you. xox

  3. Frances, We have never met and I am new to your blog but I love it. You absolutely crack me up-especially yor latest from France….my favorite country on earth, after our USA 🙂 Enjoy your stay and give us more posts, once you get some sleep….Many thanks!

    1. Katherine, bienvenue! Thank you so much for your kind words and I hope our paths cross in real life one day. Until then, we are buds anyway. Best, Frances

    1. Oh thank you Joan – so glad to have you – and something tells me your life is inspring, too; takes one to know one. :O

  4. OMG…the image of Tom, (in my mind, sporting a Closeau-esq mustache) announcing, “magnifico” while you recline on the bed eating flax snacks, just made me wet my coulottes. Frech women do that all the time, right? Have a blast, sounds like you already are. Duvall was briliant. xxxooo Pete

  5. Wow! Yay for your sister … and yay for you on a fabulous trip! Although I’m not too excited about the gluten free flax snax. 😉 My kiddos are going to a French immersion kindergarten in the fall (and hopefully through middle school), so I am counting on many trips to France in my future!

    1. Traci, the flax snax were better than they sounded, but that may not be saying much… Love that you are going to bring up those babies to be “bi-langue” – it is so useful and Americans too often fall short in this. A shame you will have to endure all those trips to France… 😉

  6. Congrats to Duvall! I was so teary eyed when I saw the video. You must be so proud! What an inspiration!
    Btw…How’s your tush faring at this point on your bike riding adventure through the French countryside?

    1. Oh Gina, so sweet, merci! The tush is faring surprisingly well, thank you for asking. Amazing what just a little bit of preparation – calling it “training” would be a stretch – can do. xox

  7. Sitting here laughing out loud (and getting weird looks from co-workers … again!) at His Grace’s saying “magnifico!” thinking he’s speaking French. I once dated a guy who would serenade me by singing “La Cucaracha.” I had to tell him “It’s about a cockroach who can’t walk because it’s missing a leg and it’s MEXICAN, I was born in Cuba!” Hadn’t thought of him in years. You and your sister are fabulous, children of light. The world needs more like you all. Enjoy the “magnifique” French wine! Love, love, love your blog. Safe travels.

    1. EB you are just adorable and i always love hearing from you. The Cucaracha story is hilarious. Thank you for YOUR light. xo

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