The 12th day of Christmas my true love said to me…
No, not the song, just the 12th day of Christmas as in The Epiphany or the Adoration of the Magi who came to Bethlehem 12 days After Christmas by following the comet and bearing gifts for the baby Jesus. Not something that is normally taught in America, or not as how I remembered it.
January 6th, the 12th day after Christmas is a big deal in Europe. Actually, the night before, 11th night is a big deal with old folklore stories including a witch and gifts in a stocking, (kind of like combining Halloween and Santa together!) but day 12 is THE day.
In France they celebrate with the Kings Cake or Galette des Rois where they hide a tiny figurine of Mary, Joseph and Jesus for the lucky eater to find (hopefully not with their tooth!)
We’ve always been in France for Epiphany day so this was our first Italian celebration and wow is Florence the right place to be. It’s an entire processional of fully dressed and decked out people who are re-enacting the 3 Wise Men walking to the live Manger in central square Florence. The entire villages and royalty are represented in full period clothing, including Eagles, Owls, donkeys, goats and horses. It was site to behold!
I think I prefer the parade to the cake! What are your thoughts? Enjoy our photos, it was a fun day and a wonderful new experience and such a great surprise. I love learning new traditions and history and who doesn’t love a parade?!
I love walking thru the towns of Italy and seeing it as a Scavenger Hunt. Every corner might reveal itself to be a street artists masterpiece; or just a quick reminder to have fun, share the love and don’t take life too seriously.
The need to express themselves to share with the world just to make us happy!
I love that they bring this art to the masses on the corners. Graffiti or art? Like Banksy, these unknown artists give me joy when I find them on a corner. Not expecting to find them or now, on a hunt to go find them, I love when I have success!
#OIOIII #BLUB are two of my favorite Italian street artists. I have no idea who they are, (I will find them one day!) but I love sharing them with you. Come with me, and Imagine Travel Tours and go on an Italian Street Art hunt with me. We love sharing our adventures on our Luxury, Custom tours with YOU.
Wow what a wild night! We decided to venture out for what we believed and turned out to be, one of the greatest fireworks shows on earth. We planned the spot arrived hours early and prepared ourselves for camping out, French style: sipping Champagne in the park.
Then came the people . . . and more people. By the time the fireworks were ready to begin we were fearing for our safety. No Joke. At one point the police drove 8 blue vans with a motorcycle in the lead though the crowd of thousands, displacing people willy nilly. These shots are before it got crowded!
The French themselves are incredibly tolerant and peaceful. I applaud them and after observing them tolerate people stepping on their belongings, toes and fingers multiple times I was amazed that the only time a fellow got riled was when a rude youth almost stepped on his child rather than go around. I on the other hand was another story. I am not sure where the feeling of invasion of personal space comes from but I seem to suffer from it rather badly. It was not the French locals causing such issues but the large groups of people whose culture seems to know no personal boundaries. They thought that was ok to push, shove, lean and generally make themselves at home on my lap. When I mentioned that I would enjoy a wee bit more elbow room they seemed really put out. I therefore clarified myself a bit and the issue seemed to resolve itself. Then the little gypsy child tried to run off with the backpack that I was standing on. Sneaky little so and so . . . Oh and then this happened . . . ??
This guy was making a delivery amongst 1000’s of people packed so tight it took him 5 minutes to pass in front of us ha ha ha.
Later back at the Tower the music began and the show started in earnest. All was put aside as the singing and general merrymaking began. There was a part of me that cried out,” God, just get it over with, start the bloody fireworks already so we can all go home!” Then they did start and while holding my belongings securely and being incredibly spacially aware with Darla in tow, I had the incredible pleasure of enjoying a display of music, enthusiastic singing, light and pyrotechnics incorporating the iconic Tour Eiffel to an amazing effect. Just cool, I kept thinking how cool is this?!?
The show ended and the crowd slowly parted as we stood still just waiting for the space to breathe again. Eventually we said goodbye to the neighbors we liked 😉 and made our way down the street.
We stopped a block or so away to take a picture for Darla’s mom and then continued on a bit more.
It was then I looked back and saw a large plume of smoke rising in front of the tower and wondered what was on fire. I took this picture and left it at that till we got home. Turned out a fireworks truck accidentally caught fire.
My final rant: I am glad we did it. I am glad we got to experience the whole thing but I will never put us in that situation again. I felt that way even before we heard the news about Nice. We were so vulnerable there. We endeavor never to be in a situation where we could be victimized and this was undeniably that. The police are woefully ill equipped to deal with these kinds of events. It is and should be our responsibility to care for our own safety. We will not be exposing ourselves to this kind of situation again.
With regard to the cowardly, despicable act in Nice last night, people who don’t value their own life will never value other peoples lives. That is the challenge we all face. How to live and thrive on this planet and allow others to do the same? Everyone inherently knows this, yet so many in power disregard the truth for greed and power. Assholes! K nuff said, to all my family and friends all around the world I love respect and miss you all. Till we meet again, peace out…
The correct way to pronounce 9 French brand names you’ve been saying all wrong
Who hasn’t had one of those slightly embarrassing “seen-it-but-never-said-it” moments with a high-profile foreign brand?Especially with a French brand.
Brands hailing from francophone speaking countries are tricky for an untrained ear, considering French is a language you can’t really pronounce phonetically.
But be it because of a language barrier or just simple unfamiliarity, below are some of the most frequently mispronounced French brand names accompanied with a Parisian’s pronunciation.
Merci a Lucas Paszkowiak pour la prononciation en Française.
1. Yves Saint Laurent
Yves Saint Laurent
The French fashion house was named after its founder Yves Saint Laurent who started the brand with his partner Pierre Bergé in 1961.
YSL is known for pioneering androgynous styles for women such as, Le Smoking suit, arguably the most classic tuxedo suit for females.
YSL sits alongside elite fashion houses like Chanel, Dior, Prada, and Louis Vuitton.
In 1837, Thierry Hermès opened his Parisian workshop crafting leather saddles and harnesses for carriages.
Hermès has expanded to specialize in luxury accessories, leather, clothing, and perfumes.
“Just to make sure that our customers are happy we also still dress horses as well as helicopters, cars, bicycles, boats, dogs and the occasional leopard,” the company notes.
L’Occitane en Provence
3. L’Occitane en Provence
L’Occitane en Provence
L’Occitane en Provence is an international retailer of skin care, fragrances, makeup, men’s products, hair care, and home products.
L’Occitane was founded in 1976 by Olivier Baussan and is based in Manosque, France.
5. Le Pain Quotidien
Le Pain Quotidien
Le Pain Quotidien, which translates to “the daily bread,” is an international chain of bakery-restaurants founded by chef Alain Coumont in Brussels, Belgium in 1990.
Part cafe, part restaurant, Le Pain Quotidien is known for its rustic bread and communal tables.
Founded in 1828 by perfumer Pierre-François Pascal Guerlain, the French perfume house created scents for royalty, most notably French Emperor Napoleon III, earning Guerlain the prestigious title of being “His Majesty’s Official Perfumer.”
In addition to its exquisite fragrances, the luxury brand is known for its cosmetics and skin care.
After almost a year, we are departing France for at least a few months to explore regions we have never been to. Some places you may have never heard of, so I thought, rather than just showing a map, I would show photos of Where we are going. That way, you will get a real idea of where we will be exploring and posting from. Unsure what type of WIFI we will have so it may not be daily like you are accustomed to but the photos will be Awesome as the places we are going look Spectacular.
We are leaving Paris and heading East towards Germany but stopping in two beautiful French Cities – Nancy and Strasbourg. Then we will be saying Merci, Au Revoir to France and Guten Tag, as we head into Germany! Oh no, another new language, we barely learned French!
From Crazy Ludwig’s Castles, and the Black Forest, to naked massage health spas in Baden Baden, we start our exploration of Germany or really, Bavaria, Southern Germany. (I have NOT decided if this Okie can bare it all in a all naked health spa though!)
Heading down thru Bavaria, exploring the country of the Black Forest, the famed German Castles and Hitlers hideaway at the Eagle’s Nest, it will be a new and very different History we will start to learn as we travel.
Laufenburg Baden und Schweiz
Briefly crossing into Austria to see Salzburg and then heading straight South to the shores of Slovenia. To say “Dober Vecer” (good afternoon in Slovenian)
Yes, you might know where that is, because Donald Trumps wife is from there! ha ha little Political humor there for you! Slovenia has a tiny stretch of gorgeous beaches and is located just above the top of Croatia. We start our Coastal Tour at Piran, Slovenia and then head down the coast into Croatia: Roving, Pula, Zadar, Split and the capital of Dubrovnik.
Briefly into Montenegro and its gorgeous beaches and ferry over to Puglia, Italy in Bari.
Buon Pomeriggio, Italy. (Good Afternoon in Italian!) We are exploring the Heel of the Boot of Lower Eastern Italy. Puglia, is undiscovered by most Americans as its hard to get to, but the French, Spanish and other Europeans know about it, but we are hoping its still slower moving than the beaches of France and Spain that are too full for us.
We head from the lower heal, back over to the top of the boot, to the areas most of you will know: Amalfi Coast, Sorrento, Naples to see Pompeii and Capri.
From the touristy spots, we head down to a little more off the path to Sicily. Land of the Godfather! Good Food, Gorgeous Beaches.
If you’ve noticed, Yes, there is a theme in all these locations; they are mostly ALL beach cities and towns. Water and sand are what we are in search of! France, Spain and Portugal, weren’t our thing beach wise so far. Ah, to find a home on the sand and water. Hoping this journey might find us our final Home Away in the Sun and Sand.
Taking a car ferry from Sicily, we then go to Sardinia and then another car ferry, back in to France’s Island of Corsica.
Taking another car ferry, we come back over to the mainland of Western Italy to hike the lovely cities of Cinque Terre, after a fast stop in Pisa.
Cutting back across Italy, from Bologna to end in Venice!!! Hoping we miss the Huge crowds of August, and get a bit cooler, slower September in the water city. That is the GRAND SUMMER TOUR!
Whew I’m exhausted Before we leave! Seven Countries, Six languages, we will be SO well rounded and educated by my birthday in October. Gotta get my tour books, history books read and highlighted and learn learn.
Come along, enjoy the ride from the comfort of your couch, and we hope we entertain you. Thanks for stopping by and we LOVE to hear from you 🙂
No chance of a tropical storm here. Incredible pictures show luxury resort complete with sandy beaches, palm trees and clear blue water inside enormous German hangar surrounded by snow. With sandy beaches, clear blue water and palm trees, this looks like a spectacular and luxurious sun-kissed resort. Holidaymakers can be seen relaxing in swimming shorts and bikinis. Even the occasional flamingo can be spotted.
Fun: Despite appearances, not everything is as it seems at Tropical Islands
The ‘resort’ is actually located on the site of a former Soviet military air base in Krausnick, Germany, inside a hangar built originally to house airships designed to haul long-distance cargo. And despite it looking like temperatures are through the roof – outside the giant hanger it is actually snowing.
As these incredible pictures show, the resort contains a beach, a lagoon, and water slide and adventure park. Guests can enjoy numerous restaurants, evening shows and can also relax in a sauna.
Cold: Snow surrounds the giant hangar which houses Tropical Islands
Guests can also enjoy numerous restaurants, evening shows and saunas
A range of options are available for stays, from the basic to luxury. Accommodation includes quaint looking cottages and even beach tents. As well as flamingos, free-flying canaries also fly around the site. It is believed that the hall which Tropical Islands is located in is the biggest free-standing hall in the world.
Popular: Tropical Islands attracts up to 6,000 visitors a day and in its first year attracted 975,000 visitors
As well as the thousands of visitors each day, approximately 500 people work at the site. Tropical Islands opened to members of the public in 2004. Incredibly, the hangar, which is 360 metres long, 210 metres wide and 107 metres high, is tall enough to enclose the Statue of Liberty.