One of the joys of being in France is eating, especially eating out, although my b-i-l is a master with the grill and my s-i-l an excellent cook.  When Plombières-les-Bains was recommended to us, my s-i-l looked online for restaurants, which thankfully led our steps and hungry stomachs, to the Brasserie Montaigne. Although there were tables outside, on this first trip (yes, we ate there again), we opted to eat inside, just barely making it before they stopped serving lunch.


It was hot, so a beer sounded good, although their idea of a dark beer and mine were obviously not the same.  :-)  But it was refreshing.


We both chose a “small” salad, which was a delicious mix of warm and cold.  Lettuce on the bottom, tomatoes, cheese, half a hard-boiled egg, and croutons were cold or room temperature.  Potatoes, bacon, and dressing were warm and there was some cream on top (not sweet) that blended with the dressing.  The disc on top was cheese grated and then fried.  Delish!


Even though the salad was filling, we decided to give dessert a try and were we glad we did!  You can see the size of the berry tart compared to the spoon behind it.  It was light (the tart that is, not the spoon) and, like the rest of the dessert, just barely sweet.  In the foreground on the left was homemade ice cream and above that, a scoop of whipped (real) cream, again very not sweet and just right (and light.)


Once we’d paid our bill (not on this beauty), we were refreshed and ready for more exploring and photos.


Today, I’m on my way to Wyoming for an unexpectedly early week in the mountains, the date change due to some issues at work.  I’ll be on the road today (10+ hours) and Saturday (8+ hours to Sheridan, WY, then shopping for food, and another hour or so up the mountain to the cabin.)  Needless to say, my internet presence will be almost nil and although there’s internet at the cabin, it’s slow and I’ll be busy riding, hiking, and relaxing.  Don’t worry.  I’ll also be taking lots of photos and they’ll eventually show up here. I don’t imagine I’ll be having any lunches like this and on the road, I’ll be eating as quickly to get to my destination as soon as possible.  But I can’t wait.  See you soon!  In the meantime, enjoy lunch!

Plombières les Bains’ claim to fame isn’t doors, it’s the thermal baths.  But there are an enormous number of attractive doors to be found.  So without further ado, let’s continue walking.

I’m not sure if this is a unique way of forestalling salesmen and unwanted visitors or if there’s another entrance, but I find the urban landscaping quite attractive.


A little ironwork is always eye-catching.


Have to include one door with potential!


Much of Plombières is built on two ridges of hills that form the sides of the narrow valley in which the main part of the town is located.  That means lots of stairs and also that gardens tend to be small and sometime long rather than wide. This “door” opens to one of these little jewels.



Image  —  Posted: July 27, 2016 in Wordless Wednesday
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Having survived the arrival blues with the help of my b-i-l, it was now time to relax.  And explore.  Every day, my s-i-l and I took the dogs for a walk, all the dogs except for Lily, the dog that was deathly ill from a tick bite.  Although there’s always danger of ticks in the forest, this year the evil little critters are particularly plentiful, so despite the heat, we went out in long pants, long-sleeved shirts, brimmed hats over pulled-back hair, and all exposed parts sprayed with repellent.  We thoroughly checked the dogs during and after the walk and ourselves as well.  Despite the care, there were always ticks to be drowned.  Ticks aren’t just in the forests of France  We have them here in Naperville and they could easily be near you.  So do take care and do the same for mosquitoes.  Too many bad diseases being transmitted by them these days.

But enough of that. Our mornings began with tea.  I was able to try some African teas that my b-i-l had brought back and served as the tea-rista for everyone most of the time.


The forests around us have been inhabited for thousands of years.  The Celts were here, perhaps built this very wall.



You can look out from certain spots.


But be sure to look down as well.  There’s life all around, even in the moss that grows on downed trees.


Throughout the day, I refreshed my soul by glimpses of this view.


Every morning we explored the near.  In the afternoons, we explored the far(ther.)



This still life consists of a still life and painting in our house in Cleveland.  I loved the way the colors of the Chinese lanterns echoes that of both the inner mat and one of the colors in her shawl.  Unfortunately, the contents of the vase did not make the move with us.  The painting, however, did.


You know I’ve been to France recently.  (Did I really only get back one week ago???)  Here’s how the trip start, aboard a Lufthansa jet from Chicago to Frankfurt with a connecting flight to Basel.  With all that’s been going on in Europe, I avoided Paris, which seems to be a sort of terrorism magnet.

After I checked in (nice that they had a line for online check-in customers), I found myself at the end of a very long security line…that wasn’t moving.  Evidently there weren’t enough TSA people to open it, but when it finally opened, we flew, so to speak, through, without having to take off shoes or take anything out of our carry-on bags.

Finally found myself aboard and when we were all loaded, this face was staring back at me.


Although she was rather vocal, I was thankful to find that she slept during the night.  :-)  That’s “The Magnificent Seven” I was watching, but that was the only movie for me.  I had my Kindle and generally prefer reading.  I even managed to doze off a bit.  As morning dawned, this sight met my eyes during a walk to the back of the plane.  All imperfections are due to the plane window, but the view was wonderful.  I also saw some lights in Iceland at one point.


We arrived in Frankfurt in good time, whizzed through passport control, and I found my b-i-l, who works for Lufthansa and was there to fly to Basel with me.  That’s where things went a bit wonky.  We were all on the bus ready to be transported to the plane, when we  had to go back into the airport because of a mechanical problem.  Five minutes later, the flight was cancelled.  In the meantime, we’d found out that one of their dogs was deathly ill due to a tick bite and my s-i-l, who had to pick us up in Basel, was taking  her to the vet.


Thank goodness for a b-i-l law who knows the Frankfurt airport like his own home.  We left everyone else trying to get vouchers, speed walked about ten miles (exaggeration) to get our bags, hopped onto the train to the train station, shoved our bags into a large locker, and spent a bit of time walking around the city.  It started raining, but we made it to the market and had some lunch of bratwurst in brotchen, German rolls.  Then back to the train station and aboard the TGV for Belfort, much closer to home than Basel, and the fight to stay awake.  I won, but not by much.  What a relief to eventually arrive at their house in the quiet of the Voges forest!  It had been a long day!

© janet m. webb

All aboard! Frankfurt train station

You can bet I was ready for vacation!

What do you do while sitting in a car moving through a car wash without need of direction?  If you’re me, you take photos.  Just what the Oddball Photo Challenge calls for.