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Car Wash

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We're back home in Duluth, now.

We were supposed to return our car clean, so we took it to a car-wash on our way back to Paris.

This one is not far from our village.

Wherever we went in this car we were stared at. We finally realized it was our red license plate, which is unusual. We leased this car, which I guess is why it has a red license plate. 

While you are at the car wash, you might as well also wash your comforters or whatever you have that's too big for your home washer.
They have two big washers with an 8 and 18 kilo capacity, and one dryer. 


And then while you are waiting, why not enjoy a pizza?

The sign says that on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday you can buy one and get one free. Here is a close-up of the menu of pizzas.

Being a huge cheese-lover, I would have to go for the 4-cheese one (Mozzarella, Goat cheese, Blue and Camembert). Some of the other choices are Chicken, potatoes, bacon, cream; Ground beef, potatoes, onions, olives; Mozzarella, mushrooms, shrimp, mus…

A Literary and Serendipitous Trip

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I’ve enjoyed reading the saga of the Vialhe family, written by Claude Michelet(1). It follows the lives of a fictitious farm family in a small village in France from about 1900 through the 1980’s. The stories are well-written and the characters likeable and interesting.  I think the first book of the series is the only book I’ve ever read 3 times. I read it twice in French and once in English. So I wanted to visit the part of France where these books are set. I had discovered that the fictional village of Saint-Libéral was based on Perpezac-le-Blanc in Corrèze. This is the village where the author’s parents-in-law lived. He uses the real names of all the other towns around this one, so the other town names in the area were familiar to me. Then I also discovered that the town only a few kilometers away, Saint Robert was the one used for the setting of the TV mini-series based on these books. When we travel, I usually pick out the places I want to visit and Jim finds hotels where we st…

Un Télégraphe de Chappe

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Un Télégraphe de Chappe
This is just so cool. I think I have a couple readers who admit to being technology nerds, or steam-punk enthusiasts. I’m not sure if this qualifies as steam-punk, because it might just be too authentic.
I’ve been listening to The Count of Monte Cristo through Craftlit. If you read this blog last August you might remember I said the same thing then. Yeah, at a chapter or two a week it is taking a long time to get through this book, but that’s okay. I’m learning more than I did the first time I read/listened to it.
In about chapter 61 or 62 the Count manages to convince (pay off) a telegraph operator to transmit a false message, which then causes someone he knows to sell some stocks at less than their value and lose money. The first time I read this book, I just assumed it was an electric telegraph that sent Morse Code. I was wrong, because this happened (fictionally) in 1838, which was before the electric telegraph came into use in France. Also in the book Mon…

Lake Bled, Slovenia

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We decided to take a trip to see some of Slovenia and Croatia. Our sons visited there in May and sent some fabulous pictures, so we thought we'd go to some of the same places they did.
Our first stop on this trip was the lovely Lake Bled in the mountains of Slovenia. 
After we got settled in our hotel in town, we needed lunch. We found this lovely restaurant right on the lake,
Where we had a couple salads for lunch.
After lunch we walked around the lake. It looked like a long way, but we'd read that it should take about an hour and a half, which sounded fine, so we started out.
There's an island near the far end of the lake that has a church on it. It's quite picturesque, so I took lots of pictures of it. There are also a number of possibilities to rent a boat or ride across the lake. On the left in this photo you can see the castle on top of a hill. The white church steeple is quite close to our hotel in town. 
. About 3/4 of the way around the lake we saw a stairway…

Festival Weekend in Gronigen

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Our son James has been living and working in Groningen for the past 3 1/2 years. He is moving to St. Louis, Missouri this month. We wanted to visit him in Groningen once more before he left. So we drove up there from our house in Normandy. It was a somewhat difficult drive with lots of traffic in Belgium and the Netherlands, but we finally got there.

With a population of over 200,000, Groningen is the largest city in the northern Netherlands. It's also an old Hanseatic League city, but predates that period with its first major settlement being traced to the 3rd century CE. 
The Saturday we were there was a holiday celebrating a victory over the bishop of Munster in the siege of Groningen in 1672 and also one of the warmest days of the year. As far as we could tell everyone in Groningen was out that day. We spotted two brass bands on the streets.
Here's the second one.
We happened on this dragon boat race that was just getting started. 
The bridge ahead is the finish line. 
The…