Let me introduce you …

It it’s Friday, it must be France …

Bonjour! Another Friday and another opportunity to wax on about  reasons I love to spend time in France. Thanks for stopping by!

Two weeks ago I posted about finally getting to meet the fabulous writer/reviewer Claire McAlpine, while I was in Aix-en-Provence in June.  Her Word By Word blog is one I highly recommend.

Speaking of Aix, here’s one of my favourite window shots, snapped while strolling one day last month with our women’s tour. There’s something about the mix of ancient stonework, fading paint, and that curtain caught in the window … was it closed in a hurry? Why? Who lives there? Hmmm, there just might be a story to write!


Making my stay in Nice even more fun this year, I also had the opportunity to meet and spend time with another talented writer/blogger, the also fabulous Margo Lestz. 9dbe8910f06cf943a2e8dad887f59d36When Ida Young-Bondi (more about Ida in another post!) organized a special writerly soirée for me one evening in Nice, Margo brought her husband and some friends along and it was a pleasure to meet all of them.

Although she is lucky enough to live in Nice, Margo also travels extensively and often studies as she goes. Talk about a life-long learner! Fortunately for us, she shares her experiences and wealth of information on her blog, The Curious Rambler … another one on my all-time favourite list. Be sure to pop over when you have some time to enjoy her posts!

Along with her always entertaining blog, Margo writes for The Good Life France website, among other venues, and is working on a non-fiction book about Nice. I can’t wait to read that one and will keep you posted when it is published!

Ahhhh … Nice …


Vieux Port, Nice

Now let’s travel a little west of the Côte d’Azur, to the Var region which is located more or less between the towns of Saint-Raphael and Bandol.  I’ve been a fan of the French Word-A-Day website for years as I constantly attempt to keep building my grasp of the language. Yet again, meet another talented writer/blogger … and photographer … Kristin Espinasse!

UnknownKristin and I have not met in person as of yet, but that rendezvous is high on my list for our next visit to France in 2015. One way or another, we will make it work!

If our timing is right, we might make it to one of their special wine-tasting events at their new-old’ vineyard, Mas de Brun.

We began to correspond after I read her most recent, delightful book of essays and photographs, First French Essais. I’m a big fan of all of her books and you can check them out right here.Unknown-1

If you haven’t dropped by her site, I know you will be glad you did. Say bonjour to her from me!

Kristin shares vignettes of her extraordinary life in France, raising her family as an American ex-pat married to a French vigneron. Learn about the trials and tribulations of this challenging lifestyle!

At the same time, she educates us on the nuances of the French language as it applies to daily life.

We share a passion for photography and I envy her the unlimited source of images from her splendid surroundings.

Oh ye dedicated Francophiles, we can never have our fill of photos from that part of the world. N’est-ce pas?

One town my husband and I love to visit in the Var is Sanary-sur-Mer, pictured below, not far from Bandol. We explored much of that departement during two different home exchanges a few years ago. Put it on your list!


It’s such a pleasure to actually spend real time with people you have known online, whether it is through travel or attending conferences or just good planning! Has this happened to you lately?


We’re getting there … thanks to a lot of help! Yes, Barb Drozdowich … I mean you! Merci beaucoup!!! As we progress setting up all of my information on this new site, I soon will have links to Claire, Margo, Kristin, Ida, The Good Life France and other favourite France-related websites in the column on the right. Stay tuned and bon weekend tout le monde!

About Patricia Sands

Family, writing and travel are my passions ... okay, and chocolate ... and I'm seldom without a camera. I write women's fiction and keep in touch with readers by a monthly newsletter that also has giveaways and contests. Come and join us by signing up on the right. See you there!


  1. Barb Drozdowich says

    Hugs back 🙂 This site is certainly becoming more and more beautiful!

  2. patricia, I love Kristin also. have all her books and get the three blogs a week. love reading about her life. can’t wait for the sequel to promise of provence. love, love , loved that book. sorry for not capitalizing, I am just lazy. love hearing from you and the photography is fabulous. makes me want to “go”, but here I sit. joy wood

    • Patricia Sands says

      Joy, you made me laugh with your comment about capitals! Thanks for your kind words … just what authors love to hear! Isn’t it lovely that we are connected with Kristin. She is a very special person indeed (plus a BIG help with the language!) and I truly hope we will meet in person next year. I’ve only been back in Toronto for two weeks and I already am planning for France 2015! Keep enjoying sitting there, dreaming of Provence! Perhaps you will join us on a tour! À bientôt!

  3. This was wonderful. I wish I could go to France. Thank you for telling us about these authors and their blogs. I will check them out. 🙂

    • Patricia Sands says

      Well, Chrys, perhaps you will get to France one day. Keep dreaming! I just loved those cat photos of yours. I once had three cats and that was great fun (along with two dogs and a pet squirrel!). Travel precludes having any pets now. Life changes!

  4. Thank you for the mention Patricia and the introduction to others. As always your photos are amazing and Sanary-sur-Mer made me smile, as it is where my son went with his class when he was 9 years old for class verte – school camp. It could not be more different to my own experience at the same age (tents crafted from canvas in the middle of native bush, building commando rope bridges across rivers and having to cross, blood sucking leeches and more!) something I wrote about recently for my primary school’s centenary, memories of my school camp and the incredible contrast with my son’s primary school camp in Sanary here in France. 🙂

  5. Just ordered your books on Amazon…Have Kristin’s books! Wrote a few months ago about a trip to Provence in ’99 with my French sister…envious, oh so envious!!!

    • Patricia Sands says

      Great! I’m sure you and your sister had a wonderful time … I’ll take a look. Thanks so much for connecting here!

  6. Now i found you once again Patricia, More power to your new site my friend 🙂

    • Patricia Sands says

      Thanks so much for stopping to comment! I’m excited about the new site and look forward to connecting more with you. Cheers!


  1. […] July, I’ve shared a few posts about other writers in France you might like to follow. You can click right here to go to links to Claire McAlpine, Margo Lestz and Kristin […]

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