• Learning Ink & Watercolor – Urban Sketching (Ink & Watercolor)
    There is a whole community of artists practicing the style of art called Urban Sketching across the world. So much so that an artist's material company, Etchr Studio, seems to target this clientele!
  • Learning Ink & Watercolor – Etchr Studio (Ink & Watercolor)
    I just discovered Etchr Studio's "demo" videos. These are 40 to 60-minute demonstrations from really talented artists. The notes list the material and colors used, which is really helpful. Here are the ones I particularly liked.
  • A Gourmet Getaway in Quebec City (A Foodie Tour) (Canada, Gourmet Getaways, Quebec)
    If you want to discover Northern and Boreal cuisine, a gourmet getaway in Quebec will delight you.
  • A Gourmet Getaway in Oslo (A Foodie Tour) (Gourmet Getaways, Norway, Travels)
    What a delight it was to experience 3 days of delicious culinary discoveries all in crescendo, in Oslo!
  • Surfing in Iceland – “Under an Arctic Sky” (Europe, Travels)
    If you are a Netflix subscriber, you MUST watch this documentary "Under the Arctic Sky" (40 min)! You don’t have to love surfing to simply love it! This group of crazy surfers is traveling the world to find the best waves to surf. So here they are, in Iceland, in the middle of winter!
  • Butter with Sea Salt Crystals (Brittany)
    Clearly, Brittany is known for its salted butter, but the inclusion of coarse salt crystals brings a delightful crunchiness to regular salted butter.
  • Sea Salt Caramel – A Brittany Favorite (Brittany)
    Salted caramel. A few years after becoming so, so popular in Brittany, that delicacy crossed the Atlantic!
  • Road Trip to the Origins of Camembert (France, Gourmet Getaways, Memories)
    A misty morning in Normandy. Green pastures and Normandy black and white cows grazing. To my surprise, the GPS is taking me on a country road that is so narrow that I am not sure what happens if a car comes in the other direction! The landscape is simply magical and my only regret is […]
  • What Columbus Believed About the Earth (Maps & Explorers)
    Columbus' misconceptions inspired a voyage which would never have won backers had the truth been known.
  • Defining Lines: Cartography in the Age of Empire (Explorers, Maps & Explorers)
    An exhibition reminds us that, at the time of empires, maps were more than just tools for the explorers to find their way.
  • Carta Marina 1516: A New Approach to Map Making (Explorers, Maps & Explorers)
    For his 1516 "Carta Marina", cartographer Waldseemüller changes his approach to map making.
  • Where was Columbus Born (Maps & Explorers)
    Could Christopher Columbus actually be the son of Polish King Władysław III?
  • The Marité – The Last Cod Fishing Boat (French America, Maritime History)
    This 90-year boat which used to fish for cod in Newfoundland waters is magnificent and it taught me how large and gorgeous those fishing boats were.
  • Five Centuries of Cod Fishing (Books, French America, Maritime History)
    I recently read the book "Cinq siècles de pêche à la morue - Terre-Neuvas & Islandais" (Five centuries of cod fishing) written by Nelson Cazeils (in French, sorry!). The book discusses the history of cod fishing in all its aspects.
  • British Capture of Fort Ticonderoga – Reenactment (American History, New York State)
    In early July 1777 (July 5th to be precise), Continental Army’s General Arthur St. Clair decides to evacuate Ticonderoga, and British General John Burgoyne captures the fort, before advancing to Saratoga. This July 21-22, 2012, it was fun to attend the two-day battle re-enactment highlighting this climatic summer of 1777 as the Fort’s American garrison […]
  • Finding Soldier’s Names on Powder Horns (American History)
    Most people who own a powder horn are looking for information about its original owner and that it would be very interesting to provide them with tips and references on how to go about such a quest.
  • One Ocean, Two Continents, 1,000 Connections (Brittany, Explorers, French America, Memories)
    As I read about those men who came from where I come from and lived where I have lived… on the other side of the ocean, I can only be fascinated to discover so many connections between those two worlds.
  • William Farwell’s Powder Horn (American History)
    A very interesting powder horn with naive images of all sorts of animals, from birds to turtles and mammals.
  • Where does the Name Vermont Come from? (American History)
    If you’ve read that the word “verts monts” (green mountains) was first used by Samuel de Champlain in 1609, we believe it’s wrong.
  • Canoeing the King’s Waterways (American History, Books, Explorers, French America)
    I recently read a fascinating French book which I would recommend to anyone interested in the early colonial history of the US, or should I say “French America”.
  • Mystery Powder Horn (American History)
    Jules is looking for any information about the powder horn he owns.
  • Newfoundland – “Terre aux Bretons” (Brittany, French America, Maritime History)
    Bretons and Basques have been fishing and exploring the seawaters of Newfoundland and the Saint-Laurent before Samuel de Champlain and even before Jacques Cartier.
  • Saratoga-Stillwater Colonial Story (American History, French America)
    A presentation entitled “The Uttermost Frontier”: The Saratoga-Stillwater Colonial Story and What it Means to You, sponsored by the Old Saratoga Historical Association.
  • Brittany Wooden Shoes (Brittany)
    Stories about Brittany wooden shoes.
  • Engraved Powder Horns – Part 4 (American History)
    Rufus Alexander Grider cataloged more than 500 engraved powder horns from the French and Indian War and American Revolution periods, by painting them in watercolor.
  • Engraved Powder Horns – Part 3 (American History)
    American Engraved Powder Horns, an article reproduced from the July 1939 issue of the American Collector.
  • On the Steps of Champlain – Part 2 (Explorers, French America, Maps & Explorers, Travels)
    Here is the schedule of our 7-day tour across France, on the steps of Samuel de Champlain.
  • President Coolidge House (American History, United States, Vermont)
    President Calvin Coolidge Homestead is definitely my favorite Vermont's State Historic Site.
  • French Settlers in Saratoga, NY (French America)
    The Saratoga area has a rich colonial history that included French settlers.
  • Engraved Powder Horns – Part 2 (American History, Books)
    We cannot talk about powder horns without talking about William H. Guthman, an avid collector of powder horns and a well-known scholar and dealer in historical and military Americana.
  • Historic Vermont Towns (American History, United States, Vermont)
    Often, the historic Vermont village centers have remained just like they were in the 19th century, with their white church, its steeple, or town meeting hall dominating the green, mountain backdrops.
  • Engraved Powder Horns – Part 1 (American History)
    Powder horns often feature maps from the region of Lake Champlain.
  • 1731 French “Fort de pieux”, Lake Champlain (French America)
    New archaeological finds at Chimney Point, Vermont.
  • Celebrating Samuel de Champlain in 1908 (French America, Maps & Explorers)
    I own a piece of Quebec history!
  • Lake Champlain… French? (French America, New York State)
    A part of American history often forgotten.
  • Map of Champlain’s Travels (French America, Maps & Explorers, Maritime History)
    A map of the various explorations of Samuel de Champlain.
  • De Lafayette’s Cartographer (American History, Maps & Explorers)
    Mr. Capitaine, the “aide de camp” of Marquis de La Fayette has drawn beautiful maps, while in campaigns. Magazine Antiques had an excellent article on this cartographer. And some of the maps can be seen at the Library of Congress.
  • Battle of Hubbardton Reenactment (American History, United States, Vermont)
    Early July, every year, you can attend the reenactment of the battle on Sunday morning. It gathers 2 to 300 hundred reenactors who come and spend the weekend there.
  • Lake Champlain’s Old Maps (American History, Maps & Explorers)
    A map of Lake Champlain with the dates of the battles during the 1777 Burgoyne’s campaign.
  • On the Steps of Champlain – Part 1 (French America, Maps & Explorers, Memories)
    The beginning of a great adventure of touring France with 36 young chorists on the steps of Champlain.
  • Fireplace and “lit clos” (Brittany)
    The "lit clos" or enclosed bed is a very traditional and unique piece of Brittany furniture.
  • Interiors – Beach & Country (Memories)
    For some interior decoration inspiration, marine style.
  • Rediscovering Brittany (Brittany)
    Brittany is where I came from. I left. And here I am, having to rediscover the place I came from. I was born and raised in Brittany but left for America when I was 22. America was a place where everything was possible. But there is nothing like being back home. And Brittany is the […]
  • Burlington – Prettiest Town and Great Food (United States, Vermont)
    Sarah Tuff Dunn said: “Burlington has it all… a brick pedestrian marketplace, Vermont's iconic white steeples and rolling hills that spill down toward a lively, green waterfront on Lake Champlain” when she explained Burlington’s selection as one of the 20 Prettiest Cities in America, by Forbes Traveler.
  • Celebrating Champlain (Explorers, French America)
    As we celebrate the 400th anniversary of the founding of Quebec city and of the discovery of Lake Champlain by Samuel de Champlain, a lot is being written and discussed on this subject: conferences, movies and documentaries, books…
  • Brewpubs of Vermont (United States, Vermont)
    The idea of pairing beer with food is perhaps the oldest preoccupation of mankind, but only in Vermont has the art reached its zenith. So if you’re hungry and want some of the best craft beers...
  • Sunset on Historic Chimney Point (United States, Vermont)
    This mid-1780s tavern seems the perfect place for it, with its nice white porch wrapped around the red brick building; and the view on Lake Champlain and the bridge to New York state is superb.
  • 9 Back Road Bike Tours (United States, Vermont)
    We've just come across this section of the Central Vermont Chamber of Commerce website which has some suggestions for bike tours, and we thought we'll share it with you because we believe they did a very nice job with it.
  • Day Hike: Mount Independence (United States, Vermont)
    You can hike or have a pleasant walk if you are not eager to tackle the 400 feet of descent and re-ascent to the shore of the lake.
  • Grande Isle Magic… and Jazz (United States, Vermont)
    We attended the Vermont Mozart Festival’s Wednesday (July 16) event, Grand Isle Jazz with the Helen Sung trio. What a fabulous location right on a point into the lake, with water on three sides, and such a majestic historic building – the Lakehouse - on the site.
  • Mount Independence – Reenactment (United States, Vermont)
    This weekend, July 19 – 20, is the Mount Independence Encampment and Re-Enactment "Soldiers Atop the Mount". If you haven’t been to one of these before, don’t miss it.
  • Our Favorite Vermont State Historic Sites! (United States, Vermont)
    Last weekend – June 14-15 – Vermont Days were our excuse to drive around.
  • Vermont Scenic Drives: Route 17 (United States, Vermont)
    Route 17 is not frequently listed among “scenic drives” but it definitely has a stunning view from the top of the Green Mountains at the Appalachian Gap (great during the foliage season) and lots of sweeping views of the Lake Champlain Valley.
  • Waterbury Award-winning Restaurants (Gourmet Getaways, United States, Vermont)
    Two award-winning restaurants in Waterbury! Or rather two award-winning Chefs I should say - to be more accurate.
  • Brookfield: its Unique Floating Bridge (United States, Vermont)
    As you travel south from Montpelier, on route 14, don’t miss the historic floating bridge in Brookfield on route 65.
  • The Palanquin of a Chinese Bride (Asia, China)
    A very special moment of Chinese tradition! Maybe it did not mean much to my fellow travelers, but for me, it was one of the most exciting moments on my time in China…
  • Photos from Layang Layang, Spratly Islands (Asia, Malaysia)
    Some photos from our expedition to Layang Layang, part of the Spratly Islands, in the middle of the South China Sea.
  • Encounter With a Shark! (Asia, Malaysia)
    Here in Layang, Layang, Spratly this week, we truly feel like the odd couple. Everyone here is a diver. One American even asked us - very surprised - "How is it possible?! You are here in one of the top diving spots in the world and you don't realize it?!".
  • China Media Coverage of the Tibet Situation (Asia, China)
    What I am sharing here is how we felt last week when trying to get news about Tibet from “inside China”… You had to be there to realize how the “picture” of what was happening could be incredibly distorted!
  • Layang Layang: One island, One resort (Asia, Malaysia)
    After an overnight in KK, we flew to Layang, Layang, a Malaysian Spratly island yesterday morning.
  • Heading to Spratly! (Asia, China)
    Xiamen is where we have lived for the past 7 months.
  • Xiamen Sidewalks (Asia, China)
    Some tiles (like the yellow ones on the photo) are actually soft, like made of rubber. But why?
  • Chinese’s Bound Feet (Asia, Books, China)
    I remember hearing about Chinese women with bound feet when I was young. I thought it was a legend.
  • Middle of the South China Sea (Asia, Malaysia)
    I am going to be right in the middle of nothing else than... the South China Sea.
  • Love for Mao (Asia, China)
    I have not heard one Chinese person mention Mao"s name. I am sure they got an overdose of him for years. But Mao is in the flea markets today... for the pleasure of tourists.
  • Lantern Festival (Asia, China)
    Last night we finally went and wandered through the great displays of lanterns not far from our apartment.
  • Ex-Pats of the World (Asia, China)
    Fascinating people… whom we have met in the past few months. There is something truly fascinating about being in places like China and meeting all sorts of people with intriguing life stories to share.
  • The Year of the Rat (Asia, China)
    The “year of the rat” is everywhere around us… to my great surprise.
  • Beijing – Getting Ready for the Olympics (Asia, China)
    We watched a really interesting program on the Discovery channel two nights ago on how Beijing is getting ready for the Olympic Games.
  • Emperor’s Daughter Residence (Asia, China)
    A hidden treasure in Beijing! The former residence of princess Hejing, the third daughter of a Qing Emperor. A place you won’t find in the guide books!
  • Beijing’s Forbidden City (Asia, China)
    The Forbidden City is indeed a remarkable place to see. While we spent 3 days touring Beijing, it was definitely the highlight of the trip.
  • Aromatic Hotsprings (Asia, China)
    Riyuegu Hotsprings - Imagine 60 little swimming pools surrounded by bamboo trees and palm trees, each with a special scent.
  • The Greatest Places on Earth! (Asia, Bhutan, Canada, China, Malaysia, Quebec, Travels)
    I started thinking about the places that I have visited and found remarkable. Not easy to select.
  • Polluted China (Asia, China)
    The recent discussions in Bali and particularly the reaction to the Canadian position, which is simply that “it wants all countries to be part of an agreement, including developing countries such as China and India”, have made it impossible for me to delay writing about pollution in China any longer.
  • Fascinating Silk Factory (Asia, China)
    In Suzhou, we visited the Humble Administrator's Garden, the nice water village of Zhouzhuang, but even more interesting, a silk factory.
  • My Book List on China and Asia (Asia, Bhutan, Books, China, Travels)
    Here is a list of books that I enjoyed and recommend.
  • Beijing – The Door to China History (Asia, China)
    We had such a nice time in Beijing. It is so different from other cities in China, like Xiamen or Shanghai. The history from the Ming and Qing dynasties is so present there.
  • Street Life Photography (Asia, China)
    Small open shops, retailers in their shop, selling their merchandise but also living right there, on the street: cooking, eating, drinking tea, watching TV, playing cards or checkers, even doing school homework. That’s real China.
  • On the Silk Road (Asia, China)
    Dreaming of following the Olympic Torch on the Silk Road
  • China-Taiwan Intricacies! (Asia, China, Taiwan)
    The intricacy of the relationships between China and Taiwan shows its little head even in subjects like the road taken by the Olympic Torch Relay on its way to Beijing next year!
  • Very Exotic Malaysia (Asia, Malaysia)
    In the few days we spent on the Malaysian island of Borneo, I have done some of the most exotic things I have done in my entire life. A few of them could be easily added to a top 10 list!
  • Old Malay Houses on Langkawi Island (Asia, Malaysia)
    Old Malay houses at the Bonton resort in Langkawi Island, Malaysia. That special place, a small resort (12 rooms) is composed of old Malay houses, 120 to 150 years old, on stilts, made of nice tropical dark wood and nice carvings.
  • Dehli? Oups, no… Singapore! (Asia, Singapore, Travels)
    An unexpected day in Singapore, an island nation, at the tip of the Malay Peninsula, Malaysia, and the smallest country in Southeast Asia.
  • Map of Marco Polo’s Travels (Explorers, Maps & Explorers)
    It seems that a number of people are looking for a map of Marco Polo's travels (as shown by my blog traffic data). So here is the best one I found.
  • Private Room at Know How Restaurant (Asia, China)
    There is a nice little restaurant, close to where we live in Xiamen, called Know How.
  • Books on China (Asia, Books, China)
    I have been reading a few books about China.
  • China in 1895 (Asia, China, History)
    My husband received an issue of Puck, a New York magazine dated 1895 as a gift from my parents. And, surprisingly, the center spread was this illustration. The Chinese emperor, looking rather ill, is being served ultimatums (hard pills to swallow) from Britain, Russia, and Japan.
  • History Discussion With a Young Chinese (Asia, Books, China, History)
    I decided to ask a local young Chinese about what he learned at school about China in the middle of the 19th century and the relationship with the Western nations.
  • Marco Polo in National Geographic (Explorers, Maps & Explorers)
    I discovered this really interesting series of 3 articles from National Geographic while searching for a map showing the route Marco Polo took during his travels.
  • $3.70 Meal for Two! (Asia, China)
    Yep. Two lunches of noodles for a total of 28RMB ($3.70). Nice dishes. Great taste.
  • China Road: A Journey into the Future of a Rising Power (Asia, Books, China)
    China Road: A Journey into the Future of a Rising Power draws on Gifford's 20 years of observing first-hand this rapidly transforming country, as he travels east to west, from Shanghai to China's border with Kazakhstan.
  • Bhutan Tourism (Asia, Bhutan)
    My husband Ed and I were very curious to compare the tourism industry in Bhutan to the one back home in Vermont because both places are about the same size.
  • Morning Light in the Himalayas (Asia, Bhutan)
    The sky is blue with a few white clouds. The air is so crisp and so clear. The light is unbelievable in the rising sun. Everything, the trees, the monastery seem to take the nicest colors and the crispiest lines.
  • Trekking in Bhutan (Asia, Bhutan)
    Trekking is a wonderful way to discover Bhutan. The Himalayas are spectacular. And of course, you see places only accessible that way. We hiked for 3 days and a half, from Thimphu, the capital of Bhutan, to Paro.
  • Taksang Monastery (Tiger’s Nest) (Asia, Bhutan)
    Taksang Monastery (Tiger's Nest) was the reason why we decided to go to Bhutan and it was just as impressive as we could imagine - and even more.
  • Tonight We Can Read Blogs in China! (Asia, China)
    Tonight we can read blogs in China.
  • Bhutan Economy 101 (Asia, Bhutan)
    There are some interesting facts about the economy of Bhutan. While countries look at their GDP (gross domestic product) to measure their economic success, Bhutan has actually decided to focus on GNH (Gross National Happiness!)
  • Smiling Faces from Bhutan (Asia, Bhutan)
    People of Bhutan are so wonderful. Charming people, beautiful faces, colorful clothing, and smiles, lots of smiles.
  • Painted Bhutanese Houses (Asia, Bhutan)
    Magnificent houses, very square, with white walls, visible structural beams made of blue pine, all painted of the same colors from nature: red, ochre, brown, white and black (no chemical paint here!). Amazing architecture!
  • Landing in Bhutan (Asia, Bhutan)
    A week ago, we were arriving in Bhutan. We flew from Bangkok, Thailand and after a short stop in Kolkata (Calcutta), India, we were finally approaching our destination: Paro, Bhutan.
  • 370 Million Tourists in One Week! (Asia, China)
    When 1.3 billion people are on holiday at the same time for a whole week, it can get pretty chaotic!
  • A Day in Colonial Gulang Yu (Asia, China)
    Spending the day walking around Gulang Yu was such a treat last Sunday! Gulang Yu is a small island just a 5-minute ferry ride from the island of Xiamen.
  • Mid-Autumn Festival (Asia, China)
    Xiamen is preparing itself for a celebration. It is the mid-autumn festival here in China, one of the most important celebrations of the year. Don’t be confused, as we are end of September and you are thinking it is the beginning of fall. We are on the lunar calendar here in China, and the autumn […]
  • Blog Censure in China!? (Asia, China)
    Bloggers from Xiamen, China – like my friend Tina and I - are happy to post blog entries for you to enjoy (as long as we can guess the menus in mandarin), but guess what… we cannot read them ourselves!
  • Chinese Food Etiquette (Asia, China)
    An evening at the restaurant with Chinese hosts... Food is coming, several dishes at once. We are taking nice portions of food: fish, meat, vegetables, soup…
  • Museum of Tea Ware, Hong-Kong (Asia, China)
    During our last visit to Hong-Kong, it was great to discover the Museum of Tea Ware, which is located in Hong-Kong Park.
  • Blind date at the Orient (Asia, China)
    Stories about a blind date at the Orient with ex-pats Tina and Mark.
  • Exchanging Money Back to US dollars? (Asia, China)
    We had been warned not to exchange too much money into RMB because we won't be able to exchange back to US dollars.
  • Enough Elbow Room? (Asia, China)
    With 1.3 billion people, this is a busy place. 49 cities of more than 1 million people, most of them you never heard about.
  • Call 110 for English! (Asia, China)
    We foreigners who are totally unable to communicate here in the native language of this beautiful country can be saved from any situation by just dialing 110 and having access to a translator, right there on the phone.
  • Practical Tips (Asia, China)
    I thought I could share a few practical tips.
  • Buying a Phone Number! (Asia, China)
    At the cellular phone store, with a local translator, choosing a cellular phone and phone number.
  • One Week in Bhutan in October! (Asia, Bhutan)
    A week ago, I saw that photo in a magazine and I said: "That's where we need to go!". Honestly, I did not know anything about the country of Bhutan.
  • Blogging 101 (Travels)
    The beginning of exploring the blog scene.