Subject: GTG in France
Hi Ziners, I've been slow reporting on my recent trip to France and especially wanted to tell you about two GTG's with Ziners.

The pix are posted at http://www.thetravelzine.com/zine16.htm

My friend, Bonnie, and I were with a tour group, and it was a very good experience -- her first time to France, so it was all new and wonderful. We could see the lighted Eiffel Tower from our hotel room at night, looking about two blocks away. You really knew you were in Paris. In Paris, we met Juliette Lac (Pariswoman on the Zine) and had a lovely lunch at Le Train Bleu on the second level of Gare de Lyon. I was surprised that the restaurant was very large and quite elegant. (Le Train Bleu is also in the casino at Monte Carlo.) The service and food were very good, and the company couldn't have been better. Juliette shared with us the newsletter that she was starting for women ex-pats in Paris, and it was quite impressive. We would love to have had more time to spend with her, and she really knows the city. Thanks again, Juliette. While in Nice, Frieda Lekkerkerker very kindly drove from Le Garde Freinet to pick us up in Nice for lunch. We ate at a restaurant in Cagne Sur Mer, facing the Mediterranean, enjoying the most delicious grilled tuna and great conversation. Frieda shared the news that she has a novel being published in Holland (I believe it comes out in the Fall), a murder mystery called, The Last Kiss. I'm hoping that it will be a smashing success and soon be published in English, because the premise sounded so interesting. I've enjoyed her About Provence newsletter on the web so much and didn't connect for some time that it was done by Frieda on the Travelzine. I know a lot of you have really benefitted from her posts on the Provence area. We surely did. Thanks, Frieda, for a super GTG. Hope we can do it again some time.....my place or yours. My favorite places in France remain the perched towns, i.e., Eze, St. Paul de Vence, etc. I also especially like Les Baux and was so glad to see it again. There was a Flower Festival in Cannes, and the whole town was decorated with huge, floral arrangements of every shape and kind. It was very enjoyable to see and to photograph, though I'm a rank novice as a photographer. Annecy is a favorite of mine from an earlier trip. It's so picturesque you almost feel like it was done by Hollywood, but even tourists can't take away its charm. We so enjoyed the market there, sampling a jillion cheeses and buying more than we could possibly eat -- then the most delicious strawberries picked that morning and red and sweet all the way through. With a bottle of wine and a baguette it made for a super picnic on the boat trip on the lake. We went to Chamonix to go to the top of Mont Blanc. It was an unbelievable day, sunny and bright. We were prepared with long-johns, etc., and really needed them at the top (though I had forgotten gloves and my hands became numb). There was enough wind for both the cable cars to do some swaying on the way up; then we took the elevator to the top. You really feel on top of the world. What an experience! BTW, if you get to the Savoie area, be sure to enjoy the Tartuflette, a great version of potatoes with Reblochon cheese. Wow ! If only I could get t he cheese to make it..... It's good to be home, but I will never tire of France, and there is still so much of it I need to experience. If you haven't been, start planning a trip. Happy travels to all, Lou (TX)