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IT SEEMS TO HAVE ALL STARTED WHEN MARIE ANTOINETTE allegedly screamed her infamous one-liner: “Let them eat cake!” (Then again, probably not!)

 … alas, she was probably never to feed or paint her face again!

Quatorze Juillet/ 14 July commemorates the first anniversary of the storming of the Bastille fortress-prison on 14 July 1789 and was seen as a symbol of the uprising modern nation. Now, like the Fourth of July, it’s a great day to celebrate our independence!

Fortunately now the only popping sounds you will hear tonight are fireworks and Champagne corks!

Bonnes Fêtes et à bientôt!   Jack

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July 14, 2013 - Posted by Jack Tobin

it is friends from abroad meeting our neighbors…

it is afternoons blending rosé & conviviality…

it is the tranquility & beauty of our rural river setting…

it is all summed up by my favorite Renoir…

it is called… Luncheon of the Canoe Party

C'est parfait, n'est-ce-pas?

Want to experience it for yourself? Just click our 'Paddle France' link below and we'll be happy to answer any questions:



See you again soon! (à bientôt!) Jack
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June 30, 2013 - Posted by Jack Tobin

HERE IS A SCOOP… next Saturday don’t confuse ‘Cinco de Mayo’ with Mexico’s Independence Day! Mexico actually declared its independence from mother Spain on 15 September, 1810.

So what happened on the morning of 5 May, 1862 in Mexico that is such cause for celebration? Well, that was the day 4,000 Mexican soldiers were victorious over Napoleon III’s army at Puebla which is a village about 100 miles east of Mexico City. Oui! I said, Napoleon’s army.

You see, the French had landed in Mexico five months earlier under pretense of collecting Mexican debts from the newly elected government of democratic President Benito Juaréz. But that was really a ploy of Emperor Napoleon III, who hated the United States, to gain a permanent foothold in Mexico. Napoleon had already sent a Hapsburg prince, Maximillian I, to rule over this new Franco/ Mexican Empire, an idea that both President Juaréz and his Mexican liberal party refused to recognize.

There is no question Mexicans had won a great victory on that May 5th and in doing so also kept Napoleon from supplying the Confederate rebels for another year which allowed the Union army to grow in strength. The Confederates loss at Gettysburg just 14 months after the battle of Puebla essentially ended the Civil War – Gracias Mexico!

Why do we celebrate Cinco de Mayo? Well, we love Mexico, margaritas, and our imported Corona’s! Remember, although we love France…  we don’t want everything in our lives to be French.

I hope today when you are having that tasty margarita or ice cold Corona… you will share a bit of this ‘French History’ with your amigos.

Plan to visit in 2013? Please have a look at the delightful accommodations at both Le Sud and the affordable ‘all-inclusive’ 1 week home-stays at the rural & eclectic French casa: Rancho Escargot.

Both represent excellent value and are located in the very heart of the Dordogne River Valley.

Viva Cinco de Mayo! et à bientôt, Jack
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May 5, 2013 - Posted by Jack Tobin